Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Extended Play George FM 24.11.04

Sergio Mendes-The Real Thing (Beedle Re-edit)-Ghetto Defendant-2004 Tantra-A Place called Tarot (Idjit Boys Re-edit)-Tirk-2004 Eric B & Rakim-Move The Crowd (Wild Bunch remix)-4th & Broadway-1987 The Others-Hot Vs Cold-CDR-2004 Johnny Harris-Odyssey (Zongamin re-edit)-OST-2004 Vance & Suzanne-Can’t Get Along without You (Carl Craig Can’t Get it Anywhere re-edit)-Moxie-2004 Cherelle-Artificial Heart (Dance remix)-Tabu-1985 ABC-The Look of Love (Trevor Horn Special remix)-Neutron-1982 Inner City-Whatcha Gonna Do with My Lovin’ (Knuckles / Morales Def mix)-Virgin-1989 Fresh 4-Wishing on a Star-Ten-1990 Blake Baxter-Enjoy the Silence (Luv Lotto mix)-The Sound Republic of Detroit -2004 T Connection-At Midnight (Danny Tenaglia raw mix)-TK-1993 Dee-lite-How Do you Say…Love (Pal Joey Dub)-Elektra-1990 NYDC-NY-Tribal-1993 Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom-Rise (DFA mix)-DFA-2004 Klatsch-God Save the Queer-Fresh Fruit-1994 Rex the Dog-I Look Into Mid Air-Kompact -2004 Timmy Thomas-Why Can’t We live Together (Pressure Drop remix)-OST-2004 Sandy’s Gang-Hungry (Sean P re-edit)-Tirk-2004 69-Ladies and Gentlemen-Planet E-1991 Tim Wright-Oxygen (Abe Duque Mix)-NovaMute-2004 Inner City-Say Something-KMS-2004 Mateo Murphy-Panic-Underwater-2004 Yellow Magic Orchestra-Computer Game (theme from The Circus) / Firecracker -Horizon /Alpha-1979 Chic-I feel My Love Coming On (Carl Craig Bloody Cheeky remix)-Moxie-2004 Alden Tyrell-Disco Lunar Module-Clone-2004

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

One of the pleasures of having a blog is the ability to shameless plug things my friends are involved with, so...........National Radio (101.4fm if you are in New Zealand) continues its tireless struggle to provide some of the best radio you'll hear anywhere in the world (how's that Chris?) with a four part documentary series, "A Change is Gonna Come", starting on Sunday 22 January, 2005 at 3.04 (don't you love the way Nat Radio has programmes at 3.04? NZBC used to do that on TV too, years ago..."News at 6.23, followed by Town & Around at 6.34"), which charts the twists and turns and development of black American music over the past century (actually until 1980...I've already hassled them about no house or techno). Crafted by Chris Bourke, whose career itself deserves a program, he describes it this way:

I spent the winter working on a 4 part personal history of black music for Concert Radio. They were 55 mins each and I wrote as brief a script as I could get away with, preferring to let old news soundbites and black poetry to tell the story, and mix it together so it was fast paced enough to feel like two turntables, but not so fast that each piece of music got a decent spin.
And decent spin they do get...the soundtrack is mind boggling in its breadth and the research and detail astonishing. The topic itself encompasses such a spread of music, influences, styles and people who truely matter. Its a brave person to tackle WC Handy & Sly Stone, but the link is obvious and Chris draws that line between the two, and everyone in between, often using their own words . Looking forward to this

Sunday, November 21, 2004

How fucking cool are The Others? I’m not talking about the US or the English bands with the same name, rather our Auckland version, 3 kids from Mt Albert that I first encountered at the Suede Bar in Symonds St earlier this year.

As I said in an earlier post, I’m not a massive fan of most of the current crop of NZ hip hop acts (although Scribe I believe is a true pop star (and has benefited from intelligent and dedicated hard work from his label), he has what Pauly Fuemana had what a young Graham Brazier had all those years ago at the Globe Hotel in 1975, what Ray Columbus had, although without a global record company, which FMR is not, its hard to see how he’ll go beyond Australasia, I mean he ain’t Mos Def) and the failure of Misfits of Science album to set the stores alight (less than 300 sold in its week of release, out of 7500 shipped) may mean the kids don’t have much faith in most of them. The Mareko album didn’t exactly sell despite all the hype too. I just find it rather sad, that as hip hop evolves and develops around the world at a revolutionary pace, much of the stuff that we throw out sits uncomfortably in the mid nineties looking backward. To me, the industry hype is simply the Emperor's brand new outfit from people who would have a great deal of trouble telling an EPMD record from Jay-Z.

But there is something different about these guys, something I hadn’t felt since the early punk bands, an energy, a cool urgency factor. You can pick it in the room. That you need to be there, to experience this because it may never come again. Something I last felt with The Enemy years ago at Zwines. And no subservient Americana either, in their delivery or appearance.

Since I’m trying to get these guys hooked up to a record deal, I’m more than a little biased, but I felt it the first time I heard them, long before that. The lush, almost epic soundscapes, the effortlessly to and fro twists of their very stream of conciousness rhymes (that don’t speak to me as I’m far too old but I’m used to talk to your peers, especially in hiphop, although this sits on the edge of being something else) really are something beyond the cliches.

Like I said, fucking cool. I’m seriously impressed, guys.

The cool factor, the hip factor, it’s a phenomena created by the UK music press (especially the late lamented NME…yes I know it still prints but it effectively hasn’t said anything of worth since 1988, the last two great British rock movements, the Manc-slash-indie thing and Oasis / Blur / Pulp / Radiohead, owe nothing to the NME and nothing out of the UK, guitar-wise has really mattered globally since then). It may be Britain’s biggest contribution to popular music (Simon Fuller aside but that’s just global music hall- music is just a marketing tool) since The Beatles.

I’m not talking about mainstream crossover pop, but the more underground groundswells, where the interesting stuff usually sits.

The grab it, hype it, overkill it, dismiss it, forget it phenomena, especially with independent (these days read: electronic or beat based…I mean I love a loud guitar noise as much as the next punk raised white boy, but the last time rock music, in its traditional form did anything truly innovative was probably around 81 with the Gang of 4 / PIL / NY No Wave stuff, and since then it’s been a recycling process, often very pleasantly) music is a part of the musical cycle and gathering pace with internet exposure usurping magazine, television and record company driven hype. The pc / mac (I don’t care which flavour, they’re both commercially intertwined anyway) and the radio, the funny old radio after 100 odd years, rule.

How on earth else did funny little record labels like Output, Def Jux, Environ, Kitsune, Kompact, Crème & DFA become so cool. Has anyone at Rip It Up or Universal ever heard of any of these? Is it unfair to suggest there are less than five people working for record companies in NZ who look beyond the music plonked on their desk.... Actually domestic media are starting to mumble DFA about now, but that’s because they’ve done an EMI deal.

So to DFA…..since the DFA label was so overwhelmingly hip over the last 24 months, it’s reasonable to expect the backlash to start about now, as it did for Environ (although to be fair, it became more of a an unjustified yawn from the overcool), but the backlash is completely confounded by the second DFA compilation, called, inventively enough, DFA Compilation #2.

Under 1977 NME Burchill & Parsons (what a prize twat he is) rules, this label, compilation, and everyone involved has reached the harsh dismissal part of the cycle. I mean, an EMI deal (good on them, as the record companies move closer to irrelevance, at least one has some A&R instincts…although EMI interest will, predictably, be short lived) should, in all reason, be enough to condemn them, regardless of anything else. Shouldn't it......

But, fuck it all, the cycle is, as I said confounded. Firstly by DFA making their original critical splash with the anthemic “Losing My Edge”, a wry parody of the aforesaid cycle; and secondly, by making a seriously good record that happily gives the cutting edge a hard kick forward. Essentially comp #2 is a collection of recent DFA singles & bits, and a mix CD for yer Saturday night, of those records. But the two CD collections of 12” vinyl, or unreleased mixes, are, at times astounding (Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom’s “Rise”, an electronic beast that sounds like the break from The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled” stretched out for 8 minutes by Giorgio Moroder, or Black Leotard Front’s “Casual Friday” a 15 minute intrepid journey on and off the floor) or at others, just amazing (25 year punk-funk veterans Liquid Liquid with the percussive swirl of “Bellhead”).

This is the new front in popular music, or at least one of them, taking New York City back to its rightful place in pole position, the legacy of the block parties in the 70s, of Max’s Kansas City, CBGBs, The Roxy, Paradise Garage, Velvets, Arthur Baker, The Funhouse, The Brill Building, Sugarhill, Flash, Sleeping Bag & Tito Puente is safe.

Somewhere in Belfast