Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Extended Play On George FM 090305

Blackjoy-La Stache-Artofdisco-2005 Bam Bam-Give it to Me (unbelievably cheesy & tacky Double Trouble remix)-Serious-1988 LCD Soundsystem-Yr City’s Sucker (12” version)-DFA-2005 Joyce Sims-All’n’All (UK remix)-London-1987 Gallifre-Don’t walk out on Love (radio edit)-Gherkin-1989 Black Science Orchestra-Strong (part One)-JBO-1993 Frankie Feliciano Presents Mass-Our Saviour (Dub)-Nervous-1994 Black Leotard Front-Casual Friday (12”)-DFA-2005 Mark Romby vs Blake Baxter-Freakin’-Systematic-2005 Luther-Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)-Cotillion-1975 Lace-Can’t Play Around (Larry Levan vocal)-Atlantic-1981 East Village Loft Society-I Wanna Sing Sunshine (Salvation Mix)-Black Sunshine-1994 Out Hud-One Life to Leave (Put it Away, Put It Away, Put It Away, Dad)-!K7-2005 69-Ladies and Gentlemen-Planet E-1991 The Clash-Charlie Don’t Surf-Epic-1980 Adeva-Respect (Paul Simpson 12” mix)-Cooltempo-1988 Choice-Acid Eiffel-FNAC-1993 MD Xpress-God Made Me Phunky (Original)-Open -1994 The System-You Are In My System (Kerri Chandler AtmosphericVocal)-Ibadan-1998 Syclops-Mom, The Video broke-Tirk-2005 Duplex-Axiom 3-Frantic Flowers-2005 Jah Wobble / The Edge / Francois K / Holgar Czukay-Snake Charmer-Island-1983 The Golden Girls-Kinetic (Frank de Wulf mix)-R&S-1992 Hambone-Wow (Use an Accapella Dub)-Kumba / Tribal-1995 Carl Craig-Sandstorms-Planet E-2005 Esther Williams-Last Night Changed it All-Friends & Co-1980

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Now where was I......

For no good reason…actually there is one…the sun is out in Auckland town, it’s a glorious Saturday, I’ve got two passes to the George FM day out at the races in my car but I’m stuck in the bloody office doing necessary paper and other stuff and, to top it off Brigid has gone to Queenstown for the day on business…I listened to a whole bunch of stuff today.

But before I ramble on aimlessly about tunes etc, I really want to mention Phil Fuemana’s passing briefly. I went to his funeral yesterday (my first one on a marae) and felt somewhat honoured to have known Phil. There was a lot of stuff said at the funeral, much of it reverent and somewhat moving, especially from his brothers and sister, all of whom I know fairly well, and some a little ugly (the National Party ‘s clumsy attempt at homage in the form of a spiel from their local candidate complete with a factually incorrect letter from Don Brash – I’m sure good old Don is well down with South Auckland hip hop – was simply embarrassing and wrong). Phil was a good man, and his legacy is going to be felt for generations. His legacy is probably best seen in the Dawn Raid setup and the success of Dei Hamo (anyone seen the massive billboard in Newton Rd…Sonny is larger than life at the best of times and seeing him larger than larger than life is quite a thing, but kudos to Universal for committing so much to him) who is on Matty J’s label and Matty’s links to the Fuemana family go back decades (and include the amazing House Party on Murray Cammick’s Southside label...time for a compilation Mo….which is a true rare groove and a lost classic). But the way the press, especially the NZ Herald & NZPA, kept on bringing up the “Proud” compilation (which featured 2 Phil associated tracks and was essentially the brainchild of Alan Jansson and Tim Mahon, although Phil toured the record for Alan) and OMC’s “How Bizarre” (which Phil had nothing to do with, and was the creation of brother Pauly and Alan Jansson) is disgraceful and, as Phil never claimed those records as his own, disrespectful to his memory.

It makes you wonder how much is factually correct in other Herald stories when every one you are privy to, is factually incorrect….

Phil was the guiding force for so much music and so many aspiring artists over the years but I’ll always associate the Otara Millionaires Club’s “We are the OMC” with him, an astounding fusion of Pacifican rhythms, ravey keyboard sounds (courtesy of producer Jansson) and a ferocious rhyme that sounds for all the world like a South Auckland mutant of early Sugarhill, that can be found on “Proud”. I guess the soul of a person can often be found in what they leave behind and Phil’s case it's immeasurable….

Talking of Dawn Raid, I love the Savage single “Swing”, which is a hell of a pop song, beautifully crafted as a composition and justifiably number one, but why in gods name is it so badly produced…I bought the single because I liked it so much but I can’t get past the first thirty seconds in the car before I pull it out or flick to radio. The production is so thin, muddy, and one dimensional that I can’t listen to it for more than that.

So, to the main drift of this post which was an unapologetic ramble about some music I listened to loudly in the office today……..I had a bit of a Motown (actually Tamla because that’s the label Smokey was originally on) thing with two Miracles collections: “Lost and Found” a collection of raw early (58-64) unreleased takes and obscurities; and “Whatever Makes You Happy”, a bunch of second tier (ie. Not so played out) hits and deserving album tracks up to 71, that for some odd reason is on Rhino, not Motown. Smokey makes me quiver…his voice, his phrasing and the shimmer…he is just so bloody sexy, especially on the slow stuff like “Don’t Think Its Me” (originally on the 1967 album “Make It Happen” which I love in its entirety)…it does things to me that I can’t logically explain, but that’s music innit….I did some more Motown in the form of the recent-ish UK compilation, “A Cellarfull of Motown”, a fantastic double CD of rare tracks, all previously unreleased on CD, beautifully packaged and annotated and available around town new for about a tenner.

I did a bit of a Stan Getz thing after that, mainly because I’ve always loved “Mahana De Carnival” off the 1962 Verve album “Big Band Bossa Nova”, and if Stan isn’t sunshine then nothing is (until someone does a house remix then I’m gone).

New Order are a singles band..their best album is the "Substance" 12” collection (don’t you hate WHITE album sleeves..a stupid idea or someone’s idea of a joke…thanks Peter)..and their albums are ok, even though I own them all, but I really liked the last one…or at least about 80% of it and I feel the same way about “Waiting for the sirens call” which is about 70% completely wonderful and about 30% I wish you would shut up. But the 70% is just, here comes that word, plain NICE….its warm, smiling fuzzy stuff….just loveable in its almost amateurish calculated trademark New Order naviety. The title track of the album is a current car favourite and gets multiple rewinds in the CD player…as do the first two tracks. I don’t like the current rather pedestrian single “Krafty” that much anymore, despite my earlier note (which puts a lie to my idea about them being a singles band) and there are one or two others that grate….but its New Order, the best British band of the post punk era and I love them.

I did a TK soul thing with some Miami / Dades Southern grit on the Westside collection “Sweet Brown Sugar”, which I almost prefer to the Soul Jazz “Miami” album, as excellent as that is, by a nudge. I’m a big fan of the whole TK setup…so much stuff that there seems to endless gold to discover. The sun, the Latin infusion to the deep southern soul and little sprinkling of pop is completely unique. EMI’s “Ghetto Discotheque” is also highly recommended if you’ve not heard it, and is cheap around town.

I played the Nu Groove compilation “Second Codes” the second collection of tracks from NYC’s premier early house label put together by Network’s Neil Rushton (the man who pointed the world in the direction of Detroit and Techno in the mid 80s) in 1992. I love Nu Groove..I’ve got loads of 12”s on the label but these two Network albums were truly intelligent and tasteful gathereings of tracks from one of the greatest American indie labels of the past twenty years. As the sleeve note said

“There are no air horns on Nu Groove Records and that is a good thing….do you understand? …Nu Groove not only understands; it invented the codes.”*
*(Actually I have no idea what that means but it sounds vaguely profound so I'll pretend I do....)

A couple or three new 12”s…..Mathew Jonson’s deep techno epic “Followed By Angels” is just plain lovely; Maurice Fulton’s slighty twisted “Mom, The Video Broke” under the name Syclops, on the so far, impeccable Tirk label (the successor to Nuphonic); and my favourite new release at the moment (at least at the time of writing) a fantastic four track ep by new (I’ve not heard of them anyway) acts on Dutch label Frantic Flowers which invokes the memory of labels like Nu Groove and Transmat. Killer, killer stuff…..and clear vinyl.

Then Laurent Garnier's completely timeless "Acid Eiffel"...the best French dance record ever, which hasn't aged a day and remains one of the most beautiful thirteen minutes I've ever still, after all these years, leaves me gasping for air....

But it’s hard to work when you’re jumping to the turntable so I ended the day with a couple of re-issues I’ve bought recently. The Lou Reed “NYC Man” compilation is a really smart trans label mix, selected by the man himself, of the obvious (Velvet Underground & “Transformer” hits”) and things I really want to listen to like the full 11 minute version of Street Hassle and the great live version of “I Want to be Black” off the under-rated “Take No Prisoners”. I find a lot of Lou Reed really irritating and he can be too NY twee for his own good at times but this is no formulaic greatest hits or self indulgent song cycle and its pretty damn good. There are two completely different LR comps with this title for some reason and the other is not good....

So up the volume goes and on goes “Stranded” By Roxy Music (and before I get a comment, I'm aware the above shot is pre-Stranded..I just like the burlesque of it), the third of the four truly classic Roxy albums from the early seventies before they drifted off into MOR mawkishness (although I do have a soft spot for parts of “Manifesto” and “Flesh and Blood”). I bought the vinyl (still have it) back in 1973 from Taste Records in Lorne St (R.I.P. Dave are missed) and thrashed it until it almost wore through…and it still sounds as good, especially….actually no...I can’t single out a track…love this rekkid unconditionally.

Right..I’m off to the pools……