THE SUN USED TO SHINE: SYNTHETIC SUBSTITUTION


Melvin Bliss: Synthetic Substitution
From 7″ single (Sunburst, 1973)

UBB: Synthetic Substitution
From 7″ single (Street Beat, 2009)

It took a long, long, long time, but I finally got around to copping Melvin Bliss’ breakbeat classic, “Synthetic Substitution.” In a sense, it’s a song I’ve heard many times, at least the first bar, given how popular a drum break it’s been. But it’s been a long time since I actually listened to the song itself and when it arrived in the mail, I threw it on and just let it […]

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ELIAS RAHBANI: BEATS FROM BEIRUT (SOUL NAPS)



Elias Rahbani: Dance of Maria
From Mosaic of the Orient (EMI Lebanon, 1972)

Some really far-flung, disparate regions have seen the rare groove reissue treatment in recent years. Scandinavia, the former Eastern Bloc, North Africa, the Far East, South America: they all seemed to have their pioneering clusters of mad musical geniuses and jazz iconoclasts in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and it’s been fabulous to have their respective musical riches brought again to the surface like so many Concepción ducats. Soul Sides readers might remember O-Dub’s September 2006 feature on […]

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MANNY CORCHADO: SWING HARD



Manny Corchado: Pow Wow + Up and Down
From Aprovecha El Tiempo (Swing While You Can) (Decca, 1967).

Barely had early boogaloos like Joe Cuba’s “Bang Bang,” Pete Rodriguez’s “I Like It Like That,” and Ray Barretto’s “El Watusi” become bona fide commercial hits than young Latino combos were coalescing to perform it, savvy older bandleaders were adding it their repertoire, and homegrown New York City record labels were there to package, promote, and, naturally, sell it. This is part of what’s exciting about the […]

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NINA SIMONE: IT BE’S THAT WAY (SOUL NAPS)



Nina Simone: It Be’s That Way Sometimes
From Silk & Soul (RCA, 1967)

You could run through the superlatives all day and you still wouldn’t begin to capture the thrilling complexity of Nina Simone. One thing can be said categorically, however: Nina Simone was one of those rare talents who chose eclecticism over any single easy genre – possibly the most difficult path for an artist – and, moreover, it was a choice that she triumphed with, both commercially and artistically.

Such eclecticism depends on the right […]

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SOUL SIDES + OFFICE NAPS = SOUL NAPS?


Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Dum Maro Dum
From Hare Rama Hare Krishna (Odeon, 1971)

(Ed. note: I’ve invited Daniel Shiman of Office Naps to become a guest contributor to Soul Sides. Hopefully, time allowed, we’ll be seeing something from him every couple of weeks. Here’s his inaugural post. –O.W.)

The soundtrack music of India’s Bollywood cinema has only recently started to garner much attention in the West. If you’ve heard it, though, it’s likely that you’ve also heard the playback singer Asha Bhosle; hers is the spellbinding wail heard in literally thousands of Indian movies. “Dum […]

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