Monday, 29 June 2009

The Detroit Emeralds - Feel The Need (Westbound 1977)

The title track here will be familiar to many people, gorgeous soulful dancefloor R&B that I'm loving on these warm days. I often find that the b-sides of these '70s soul or funk albums are weaker than the a-side...that's certainly the case here, but side one is pretty great all the way through, though I'm sure you're more than capableof mking up your own mind.


01 Set It Out
02 Take It or Leave Me
03 Feel The Need
04 Wednesday
05 Love For You
06 Look What's Happened To Our Love
07 Sexy Ways
08 Love Has Come To Me

Get it HERE.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Electronic Music - Various Artists (Turnabout Records 1967)

I don't know much about modern classical music, Cage and Stockhausen and that academic avant garde stuff, but what I do know is that Luciano Berio's piece 'Visage' is one of the most incredible, confusing and completely psychedelic pieces of music I've ever heard. The piece was composed in 1961 and it is basically a 20 minute tape cut up (a la William Burroughs) of opera singer Cathy Berberian's astonishing voice. To call it a cut up however, is to underplay the stunning complexity of the sound, for the voice is layered and manipulated, pieces of tape are speeded up and slowed down...what is recognisable as human voice is entirely wordless, beyond language, transporting you to a place of pure emotion, or pure thought. This is music to fall into, maybe something like an aural black-hole?

The other tracks are worth a listen too...


01 Ilhan Mimaroglu - Agony
02 John Cage - Fontana Mix
03 Luciano Berio - Visage

Get it HERE.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Something Weird: Kemialliset Ystavat - Varisevien Tanssi / Silmujen Marssi (Kevyt Nostalgia 2003)

It's been a while since I posted anything out-of-the-ordinary, left-of-centre or slightly-off-kilter, so this great album fits all those bills. Kemialliset Ysatvat have been quietly ploughing their own unique furrow in Finland since 1995, passing those long winter nights making weird, improvised twilight noise. Their music is often described as freakfolk or psyche-folk, and there is certainly something folky about the sounds they make, complete with flutes and recorders, and all kinds of acoustic stringed instruments, but this is a fractured noise that possibly reflects the fractured nature of the 21st Century European 'folk', or the difficulties inherent in trying to think any kind of 'volkish' collective in the digital age.

However, there's more going on here than midnight woodland yodellings and bellringing as Kemialliset Ystavat (Finnish for 'Chemical Friends') introduce us to rasping animal grunts and squeels, looped and fed through ancient samplers and antique effects pedals. There is something mystical and shamanic, something ecstatic, about this music, but then again it seems shot through with boredom and ennui, and it sounds at times like something you might find sitting on the turntable of a broken down gramophone in a long forgotten attic where dust and cobwebs shimmer in the shafts of sunlight that creep through gaps in the rooftiles. Its a magical sound, but weirdly mundane.

This album collects two very limited cdrs that were released in 2001 and 2002 and throws them onto one lovely slab of vinyl. Its a fascinating album from a fascinating band who are very much alive and kicking, and I urge you to check it out then try and see them live because they really put on a great show.


All songs are untitled so you just get an mp3 of each side.

Get it here.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Prince Nico Mbarga & Rocafil Jazz - Free Education (RAS/Rounder 1977/1982)

Prince Nico Mbarga is best known for his smash hit, 'Sweet Mother' a record that sold more than 13 million copies across Africa after it was released in 1976. Free Education was released the following year and I like it even better than the first. Sweet, sweet melodies, beautiful guitars and infectious dance rhythms make this an essential listen.

Track list:

01 Free Education in Nigeria
02 Onye Ori Obi
03 Simplicity
04 Nature

Get it HERE.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Alhadji Haruna Ishola & His Apala Group - Erin Onihun Se Nile

Alhadji Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group play a completely incredible music that reminds me of the music of the Balinese Gamelan orchestras. It's fast paced, almost frantic, and yet hypnotic and stately. The group play talking drums and thumb pianos all washed over with beautiful harmonies. I think this Apala music is related to the Fuji music of Chief Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, although this is certainly more mellow. I strongly recommend you give this one a go, then check out the other albums that have been posted over at WorldService.

Track list:

O1 Erin Onihun Se Nile / Late Mary Awolowo / Aiye Yio Ma Fewa
02 Late Owonifari / Enu Dun Rofo / Agbe Ko Gberere Tomi Wa

Get it HERE....go on, you won't regret it.

Monday, 15 June 2009

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 1976 - Various Artists

This was a real surprise find at last sunday's boot sale. Great live recordings of some classic New Orleans artists, including a whole side from Allen Toussaint. My favourite stuff on the album is the storming performance from Irma Thomas and the grand old blues of Lightnin' Hopkins who introduces Slow and Easy by telling us that " takes an old man to sing this song, cos the young folks can't sing it to save they lives". Getting old obviously has its perks then.

Track List:

01 High Life /Sweet Touch of Love / Play Something Sweet / Shoorah Shoorah / Freedom for the Stallion (Recorded April 9 1976). ALLEN TOUSSAINT

02 Working in a Coal Mine / Holy Cow (September 11 1976) LEE DORSEY

03 Ain't It the Truth / Mother-in-Law (April 11th 1976) ERNIE K-DOE

04 Barefootin / Country Side of Life (September 26 1976) ROBERT PARKER

05 You Can Have My Husband But Please Don't Mess With My Man / Cry On / I Done My Part (April 11 1976) IRMA THOMAS

06 Mama & Papa / Trick Bag (September 11 1976) EARL KING

07 Mojo Hand / Baby Please Don't Go / All Night Long (Slow & Easy) (April 11 1976) LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS

08 Tipitina / Mardi Gras in New Orleans (April 11 1976) PROFESSOR LONGHAIR

Get the funky goodness HERE.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Osayomore Joseph & The Ulele Power Sound - Waka Waka (Emotan 1982)

This is some fantastically funky afrobeat/highlife from Benin City in the Edo State of Southern Nigeria. Wish I could tell you more, but I can't, other than its great.


01 Waka Waka
02 Iro Ghama
03 Omonogie
04 Okpani Ya
05 Obo

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Animal Records - Various Artists (Animal 1982)

Lovely compilation of stuff from Chris Stein of Blondie's Animal Records label. Great tracks from The Gun Club, Tav Falco's Panther Burns, Iggy Pop and James White and the Blacks. Snuky Tate was new to me, and I Don't Know Samba is a pretty messed up percussion thing, while Babylon Under Pressure is weird no wave dub. Not sure about Walter Steding though.

Here's some little tasters for you. First up, some of that lowdown swamp rock fromTav Falco, playing live on some late night poker show in 1999:

This is the Gun Club preaching the voodoo blues at the Hacienda in 1983:

Here' s a clip from Downtown 81. This film was shot in the '80s, starred Jean-Michel Basquiat and featured a host of New York musicians and artists including Fab Five Freddy, James Chance, Debbie Harry and DNA. This clip features James White and the Blacks and Walter Steding in the Mudd Club:


01 The Gun Club - Run Through the Jungle
02 Walter Steding - Dancing in Heaven
03 Panther Burns - Panther Man
04 Iggy Pop - The Horse Song
05 The Gun Club - Like Calling Up Thunder
06 Panther Burns - I'm On This Rocket
07 Iggy Pop - The Villagers
08 Walter Steding - All the Way
09 Snuky Tate - I Don't Know Samba
10 James White & The Blacks - The Twitch
11 Snuky Tate - Babylon Under Pressure
12 James White & The Blacks - Irresistable Impulse

Get it HERE.