Archive for the ‘US’ Category

I Can Feel the Ice Melting

February 3, 2011 1 comment

This one goes out to Eral in Connecticut!


The Parliaments – (I Wanna) Testify/I Can Feel the Ice Melting

Before Parliament, there was The Parliaments. George Clinton is one of the most genius musicians of all time and this is where the man got his start. A beautiful little 45 to keep you warm whether it’s a cool 60 degrees and sunny or you’re shoveling snow for the first time in your life.

(I Wanna) Testify comes at you hard and fast, a little bit of Chuck Berry guitar kicks it off, but a strong horn section and some deep Hammond B3 stabs keep it in a James Brown proto-funk groove. The chorus to this song is gold, George Clinton’s voice is unbeatable.

Speaking of unbeatable voice, Clinton flips into an odd sweet soul ballad for the b-side. This tracks plays up the Motown sound a little more, with that summery vibraphone opening hitting it like a Four Tops jam. This song is my jam, and as you can tell by the wear on the rip, whoever owned this before me really enjoyed it.

Link in the comments!

Categories: 1967, soul, US

2009 CDR

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m a few days late on posting this one, but for something like this, late is better than never.

On Sunday, LA’s own Teebs posted on his blog a CDR from 2009 featuring a short mix from Mary Anne Hobbs‘ show on BBC Radio 1 as well as some demos from his debut full length, Ardour. Ardour dropped last October on Flying LotusBrainfeeder record label, which was a successful ending to a very busy year for Teebs. In 2010 alone he released a split 10″ record with Daedelus,  an appearance on a compilation of LA beatmakers, a collaborative record with UK’s Jackhigh, a 7″ single on Brainfeeder, as well as the aforementioned Ardour. In sum, this hyper-productive young kid has been putting out some of the freshest and most blissful music I have ever heard.

Ardour winds in and out of melody, rhythm, ambient noise, and head-rattling bass in a way that is not just fluid and graceful, but is also organic and completely human. The sound of the music is light, pretty, and refreshing – noise that is both perfect while driving home late Saturday night or while in bed on a lazy Sunday morning. Teebs masterfully uses found sounds ranging from microwaves slamming shut to forks dropping on the ground as part of his sonic arsenal that both challenges and mystifies.  And I want to repeat this last part, Teebs both challenges and mystifies his listener, but in a way that is so engaging and accessible that one hardly realizes the complexity of the production. These tracks move and vamp in a way that evoke a human quality that not many electronic artists are able to achieve.

This is music on a spiritual level, beats that transcend similar work by artists of the likes of Baths or Fourtet, beats that reach into that vague strata of sonic communication that opens up your soul. If Flying Lotus is to hip hop what Coltrane was to jazz, then Teebs is our Pharoah Sanders – a direct descendant of one of the most important figures in contemporary music who is able to create his own niche with his searching, beautiful and warm tone.

While Ardour is an incredible album, and by far one of the best from 2010, it will not be the pinnacle of Teebs’ career. This kid his going to change the face of music.

For more info on Teebs and especially Ardour, check out this great interview on NPR. For those in the area, Teebs will be performing at the Eagle Rock’s Center for the Arts with new Brainfeeder signing Austin Peralta on February 11th.

Heres the 2009 CDR I promised. side note about the release. This actually was never meant to be released. A few tunes from my record Ardour and others unfinished…etc. Exctided as ever though that so many people got their hands on it. Heres the official track listing too.


::Track List::

1. M.A.H. BBC Radio 1 Mix. (15 mins)

2. Cook, Clean, Pay The Rent

3. Untitled 4

4. Humming Birds (unmastered)

5. Wind Loop

6. Youve Changed (unfinished cut)

7. Hi Hat. (unreleased populous remix)

8. Personal Winter

9. Blessed Assurance

10. Monterey Park Bells

Categories: hip hop, US

People & Love

May 15, 2010 1 comment

Johnny Lytle – People & Love (Milestone, 1972)

Johnny Lytle was a straight up baaaad vibes player, this guy was able to really groove and get a lot of energy from an instrument that usually often sounds stuck in the land of bad 60’s feel-good soundtracks. He was a player who often eluded fame, but not because of his lack of talent and this record really showcases his full abilities as both musician and songwriter. The record is from 1972 and electric instruments were beginning to show up in jazz bands – fusion was still in its baby steps, but this is is less a fusion record than a funky jazz record that makes wide use of its acoustic instruments with the added power of the keyboard and electric bass.

If you checked out my first mix Live at the Velvet Lounge you are already familiar with the funk that Lytle brings on the track “Tawhid,” but the record also conveys a more mellow sentiment on his own “Family” as well as a cover of the Stylistics song “People Make the World Go ‘Round.” The group he has is awesome, no big names, but each player is on point and the overall recording is very warm. Listen to Lytle’s playing on the track “Libra” the dexterity and speed of the man is spell-binding, and he does a type of hard-slide along the bars with the mallet that sounds like a magical UFO landing or something – really the way he controls the way the sound resonates is awesome. Also, listen to the drumming on “People Make the World Go Round,” Jozell Carter plays a tight kit, but with the energy of a rock drummer.

Overall this is an awesome record, definitely something you want to listen to when you are staying in for the evening and need something to keep the mood groovy. I definitely give this one a lot of play. And check out the writing all over my record cover, this Ed Randall fellow was making sure no one was stealing his jazz records. Love the “Power! to Blacks” tag next to the great shot of Johnny Lytle on the back cover.

Johnny Lytle: Vibraphone
Marvin Cabell: Flute, Alto flute, Tenor sax
Daahoud Hadi (aka Butch Cornell): Electric piano and organ
Bob Cranshaw: Electric bass
Jozell Carter: Drums
Arthur Jenkins: Conga drums and percussion
Betty Glamann: Harp

1. Where is the Love?
2. Libra
3. Family
4. Tawhid
5. People Make the World Go ‘Round

320-rip in the comments. Album photos by Eydie McConnell

Categories: 1972, jazz, US

Bridge into the New Age

May 13, 2010 1 comment

Azar Lawrence – Bridge into the New Age (Prestige, 1974)

As you can tell by the cover, this is not your typical coffee shop jazz record. Azar Lawrence is best known for his work with McCoy Tyner and Miles Davis, but his records as a leader were just as powerful and innovative. Bridge into the New Age is the first of three records the sax player recorded for Prestige and I feel it’s his most dynamic and interesting to listen to as a whole. His other records get more recognition because of their inclination towards a jazz-dance feel, but this record shows a young player (he was 21 when this record was recorded) taking in the history of jazz and updating it into a time period focused on Afro-centrism, peace and love.

The first thing that I have to say about this record is that for the time period, it’s astounding to hear this much experimentation and musical abstraction without the use of ANY electric instruments, it is a completely organic acoustic jazz experience. Not to say this is a free jazz record, because it definitely is not – it’s a new-jazz record, a sound just as challenging and interesting at a time when people like Miles and Herbie began making jazz marketable by adding synthesizers and electric guitars. Instead of going electric, he looks towards his contemporaries Keith Jarrett (he was also in Miles’ band) and Carlos Garnett to achieve a sound which was rich and experimental but still acoustic.

There are a lot of great players on this record, firstly the amazing Jean Carn who is known for her immense breadth of work including records with Earth, Wind and Fire, Doug Carn, Dizzy Gillespie, and Norman Connors as well as her solo work on Philly International and Motown. Other stand-out musicians include Woody Shaw, Billy Hart, Ndugu and the legendary Mtume. An interesting note here is that Eddie Harris engineered these recording sessions which is pretty wild.

The sound on here is “new jazz” but the use of multiple percussionists keep the music earthy, and Azar’s solos are never too far-out, just wild enough to show you he’s playing from his heart. “Bridge,” “Warriors,” and “Forces” are all faster numbers that truly take you into a new age of jazz, while “Fatisha” and “Beautiful” are more contemplative spiritual jazz tracks. Overall a fantastic listen. For those interested, Azar is still playing and in fact released a new record last week with the late Rashied Ali on drums. I haven’t heard it yet, but  2009’s Prayer For My Ancestors was great and I’m sure the latest one wont disappoint.

Link is in the comments! Album photos by Eydie McConnell

Categories: 1974, jazz, US

Verbal Headlock

April 26, 2010 2 comments

Clutchy Hopkins has returned with his fourth release for Ubiquity Records and his second “solo” album, The Storyteller. For those not familiar with Clutchy, the man is a mysterious cooperative of talent (I’ve heard rumors about DJ Shadow being in the mix?) putting together some of the freshest, grooviest, mellow music around. The team incorporates elements of instrumental hip hop, dub, jazz, funk, fusion, and psychedelic rock with the end product fitting into none of these pigeonholes.

As usual, the production is something to really enjoy as the instruments (usually acoustic instruments with exotic percussion and slight touches of electronics) sound clean and the drums sound crisp, the bass deep and the jam hypnotic. Upon first listen you may not be impressed, but take a second time to look at ol’ Clutchy and listen to the way these masterminds incorporate elements from music around the world and throughout time. Accordions layered over funky basslines, andean flutes dance with electric guitars, and my favorite, humming becomes a valid instrument when paired with congas, cajon and a funky backbeat.

The single “Verbal Headlock” is the most “hip hop” sounding track on the album with the deep bass and the claps, but I can see a smoked out MC mumbling shit on top of any of the tracks. Great single, amazing album, in fact I think it is my favorite Clutchy record so far. Definitely will make it to my top ten albums of the year. Not uploading this one, go out and support the people who are making music right now.

Categories: 2010, US, video

DOOD Records back catalog

April 15, 2010 2 comments

DOOD Records was a record label I ran from 2004-2007. DOOD was responsible for 9 releases, with the mission statement from day one being to support my local DIY punk/hardcore community in a way that was creative, fun and motivating. I released only vinyl and it wasn’t until my last year as a label that I released anything that was even available in another format. DOOD has been defunct for some time now, a lot of the bands I worked with have now broken up and a lot of these releases have not (and perhaps will never) see a reissue. For this reason I have decided to make available those releases which are not currently available. Take a trip through time with me…

DOOD01: Lachance/Occam’s Razor – Split 7″
This was the one that started it all out for me. I had been friends with Lachance (Riverside), often booking them at the shows I was putting on. They had nothing but an already years old CDR and we decided to do a record together. They suggested we do a split with their friends Occam’s Razor from Fresno. Lachance were borrowing the epic flowing song style of 90s emo bands like Julia or Still Life, but incorporated a harsher almost thrash-like attack that would blow up living rooms wherever they played. Occam’s Razor were a trio who played shorter songs, incorporating elements of grind with screamo (think Reversal of Man’s ‘Revolution Summer’ record) and I always loved to watch Jordan drum, he hit harder and played faster than most. Fun facts about this record: 1) Occam’s Razor recorded their side with Scott Crouse of Earth Crisis, thus resulting in that very metallic sound they had. Occam’s Razor would continue to record with him and Lachance later recorded their 10″ there as well. 2) Jordan of OR was one of the most creative people I had the opportunity to work with and we pieced together the intricate artwork for this recording to make it look like a criminal file. Those are actually fingerprints of his, mine and Charlie Wagner. Charlie and I spent what seems like months putting together all 500 copies. I also included in each release medical files that I had stolen from an abandoned hospital. The test presses for the record had very eerie photos that I had found at the same hospital. 3) Sergio Amalfitiano (sp?, sorry brother) of ACxDC, Liberaté, Hollywood hipster club fame helped finance this first release. He’s a good guy and I hope he’s still up to some cool stuff.

DOOD03: ACxDC – He Had it Coming 7″
The ACxDC kids had been friends of mine since day one. I had been bugging them endlessly to quit playing in the San Gabriel Valley and do a record. They pulled it together and Militant Records (Andres of Bastardäss) and I put out this now classic powerviolence revival record. This was a great record and moved very fast. ACxDC incorporated all the speed and strength of classic PV bands like Infest or Siege but added the ruthless assault of grind like Discordance Axis with heavy Harley Davidson riffs ala Enewetak. Great band, great record, and from what I hear they recently just did a reunion show. Fun fact about this record is that it was recorded by the unbelievable Erol “Rollie” Ulug who also has done recordings for Graf Orlock, Dangers, Final Fight, Jesus Christ and the Pirate Fuckers and basically every other hardcore/metal band from socal worth listening to.

DOOD04: Lachance – Nietzche Said There’d Be Days Like This 10″
Lachance were picking up steam and really coming into their own at this point. After two split 7″s (the one I released as well as a record they did with Colorado stoners Autokinoton), they were getting their first solo release on the awkward 10″ format. This record was originaly supposed to be a split LP with Mustaphamond, who had released a phenomenal cult classic 7″ on Grey Sky records, but because they were lagging and Lachance was gearing up for a west coast tour we decided to instead release the Lachance material as a 10″. Unfortunately Lachance broke up not too much after they returned home from tour. Fun fact: I silkscreened each of these jackets in my High School print shop class, but because I ran out of time/fucked up the screen I had to individually color in the covers.

DOOD06.5: Owen Hart – One-sided 7″
This is a record I still put on all the time. This was the first solo release I did for a
band not from Southern California, but the Tacoma, Washington crew (Greyskull, Owen Hart, Sidetracked) were like brothers to me at this point and I had been after Owen Hart to do a record for some time. Owen Hart was a powerhouse of Northwest hardcore that never failed to blow away everyone they played for. Mixing up the heavy style of NW hardcore ala Botch with the grind assault of bands like Pig Destroyer and adding heavy doses of Pantera riffs was the perfect combination. This record was originally released for a West Coast tour as a 5″ limited to 100 pieces but they had already sold out by the third day on tour. I rereleased the record later that year as a one-sided 7″ and Hellfish silkscreened the two-color Pantera-themed artwork for the b-side. Phenomenal record and phenomenal people. I don’t think they ever did another record which is truly a shame. If anyone has a copy of the Owen Hart demo or the Divinity of Truth demo please let me know – I don’t have a copy of either anymore!

Categories: Punk, US

Mind Fusion Vol.1

January 12, 2010 1 comment

Madlib – Mind Fusion Vol. 1 (???, 2004)

Madlib is one of my favorite hip hop producers of all time. His body of work goes so deep, constantly making groundbreaking beats, and redefining the concept of what a beat is. By thoroughly sampling from the deep bombshelter of jazz, funk, soul, hip hop and more recently Bollywood and Brazilian music, his breadth is huge. This man can boast working with MF Doom, J Dilla, Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killa, Erykah Badu, Mos Def…. basically an endless list of amazing hip hop artists, but also having worked with legendary Brazillian drummer Mamão Conti of Azymuth on a collaborative album. Madlib’s alias “the Beat Konducta” is not just a slick nickname, but really a fitting title for him as he literally orchestrates samples, loops and beats to create the perfect track.

There’s a lot to say about Madlib, and unfortunately I don’t have time right now to fully delve into a deep study on the artistic significance of Madlib’s groundbreaking beat constructions. Instead I’m going to look at the album at hand, Madlib’s Mind Fusion Vol. 1. There is not much information available about this record (or any of the other 4 Mind Fusion records), and the official Madlib discography page makes no mention of it either. Regardless, this is definitely Madlib’s work at hand. Each volume in the series runs like a mixtape, and this first one is somewhat of an early Stones Throw sampler with remixes of Oh No, Quasimoto, Jaylib, Madvillain, but also Method Man and Common.

This is a really great mixtape, a lot of fun to listen to. My favorite track on here is probably the Dudley Perkins song, but the Wildchild tracks are also super ripe. I’m not going to post the tracklist on here, but trust me in that you need to hear this whether you’re new to Madlib or not.

For more information on Madlib check out the Stone’s Throw website for more info about the Mind Fusion series check out the Rappcats blog.

Link in comments.

Categories: 2004, hip hop, US