FOR THE BLOG FAITHFUL

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I’m not making mention of this one on social media. It’s just for you, the actual blog reader, for a limited time.

Slum Village’s original A&M advance of what eventually became Fantastic Vol. 2 #digginginthetapes

O’S DUB VOL 4 (1996)

Still digging’ in the tapes…

Side-A: 4×4 Trackin

the professor and primo intro
Group Home: Back to the Wall
crooklyn coolin’
Pharcyde: Y?
back on sugar hill
Erick Sermon w/ Roslyn Noble and Keith Murray: Tell ‘Em
Show and A.G.: Time For… (original mix)
E.C.: Mating Ritual (WICKED)
Q Ball and Curt Cazal: My Kinda Moves (VZQ)
3 Steps From Nowhere: Pass It On (Listen to the Natives remix)
Real Live: Real Live Sh*t
Sunz of Man: No Love Without Hate
Omniscence: Amazin’ (Keepin’ the Faith remix)
sweet as death
KGB: Bless Ya Life (Grim mix)
no cents
Mobb Deep: Temperature’s Rising (original mix)
KRS-One w/ Channel Live: Free Mumia
Ten Thieves: Black Reign
Mad Skillz w/ the Large Professor and Q-Tip: Extra Abstract
Skillz
Kool Keith: Wearing Make Up
wreck on
Hobo Junction: Shot Callin’ (SOUTH PAW)
this sh*t here
All City: Metro Theme

Side B: Points West

home grown m.j. intro
Key Kool & DJ Rhettmatic: Reconcentrated…from Kozmonautz
Chino XL and Ras Kass: Riot…from his upcoming release
Ras Kass and Coolio: Drama…from Soul on Ice (PRIORITY)
Latief and Lyrx Born: Latyrx…from The Wreckoning (SOLESIDES)
Gift of Gab: Paragraph President ’91…from the Radio Sole Vol I
Abstract Rude live on 90.7 Berkeley
The Visionaries: Danu, LMNO, Lord Zen and Key Kool live on 90.7
Berkeley
Eclipse: …from his demo
Mystik Journeymen: Rise Up…from Children of the Night
Aceyalone: How High I Am…unreleased
Peanut Butter Wolf-Chronicles…from Return of the DJ
the o-d.u.b. outro

JEAN-JACQUES PERREY AND DAVID CHAZAM: ECLECTIC TO THE END

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Jean-Jacques Perrey and David Chazam: What’s Up Duck? + An Elephant On the Roof
From Eclektronics (Basenotic, 1998)

I had been meaning to write a post about this Jean-Jacques Perrey/David Chazam LP for a long time and just never got around to it and then JJP passed away earlier this month and that reminded me to get back to it.

This came out in the late ’90s, a collaboration between Perrey – by then, a veritable legend amongst synthesizer aficionados – and Chazam, a younger Gen X-era musician/composer who I presume sought JJP out and convinced him come back into the studio for the first time in 15 years.

As you can hear, Eclektronics was quite the whimsical album. “What’s Up Duck?” initially sounds like a novelty track but Perrey and Chazam are doing more than messing with animal noises off a sampling keyboard. “What’s Up Duck?” brings an instant smile to me but “An Elephant On the Roof” is a more sophisticated and complex composition in terms of how it shifts and transforms along the way. This probably won’t edge out Moog Indigo on anyone’s want list but if you’ve never peeped it, I highly recommend.

ISLEY BROTHERS: IF YOU WANT TO GET INTO SOMETHING

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Isley Brothers: Get Into Something + Take Inventory
From Get Into Something (T-Neck, 1969)

Partly because I’ve always thought of the Isley Brothers as 1970s mega-stars, I forget: 1) that their careers began in 1959 with the original, wedding-rocking “Shout!” and 2) that when the left Tamla to start their own imprint, T-Neck, they recorded and released a full three albums in less than a year.

Get Into Something was the last of that trio and supposedly it’s “the most valuable and highly sought-after Isley Brothers album.” I’m a little on that claim but whatever: it’s a very good album and the title track is a nearly 7.5 minute proto-funk jam that gives drummer George Moreland a 16+ bar break to do his thing. I imagine that the band had a great time taping this in the studio since there seemed to be little urgency in recording a tight, radio-friendly single.

“Take Inventory” was the only song off the LP I was previously familiar with; it feels like it was trying to recapture the same magical groove as “It’s Your Thing” and while it doesn’t quite get there – what could? – it’s still pretty damn good, especially with that quick horn opening (I’m imagining a good DJ routine of just cutting back and forth on those horns).

RE-UPS

If anyone digging through the archives wants re-ups for certain songs on posts, let me know in the comments. It helps to have you link to the original post (since that’s where I’ll re-up to).

I may not have everything but I’ll try to find what I can.

ABDOU EL OMARI: MOROCCAN MAGIC

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Naima Samih, Abdou El Omari: Rmani Rih
From 7″ (Disques Gam, 1977)

Abdou El Omari: Zifaf Filada
From 7″ (Disques Gam, 1977)

I basically know nil about Moroccan music/records but my friend Bachir, out in France, laced me with both of these. He’s North African by heritage and he’s been steadily collecting Tunisian and Moroccan records, especially pic sleeve 45s. Both of these songs feature the mesmerizing instrumental work of organist Abdou El Omari (Aquarium Drunkard briefly wrote about him earlier this year), whose zippy playing style is all over “Zifaf Filada” (“Wedding In Space”?) though I think it’s the percussion on that track that really sets things off. (That song also seems to be featured on the recently reissued Nuits D’ete LP).

“Rmani Rih” (“Wind Thrown”?) features the vocals of Moroccan singer Naima Samih who came to fame in the 1970s and would have been in her mid=20s when this track was recorded. El Omari’s organ work adds the spacey element here, especially around :25, when the rhythm track comes sliding in.

Thanks again to Bachir for these!

BETTER THINGS: A SHARON JONES AND THE DAP-KINGS TRIBUTE

My friend Jeff Chang says, “don’t despair, create” so here’s my contribution for this holiday week: a simple mix based around 15 of my favorite Sharon Jones and Dap-Kings’ songs.

Annotated tracklisting:

    1. Sharon Jones: Hook N Sling Meets The Funky Superfly
    2. Sharon Jones: You Better Think Twice

    These first two are from Jones’s early years at Desco, where she first met many of the key players who’d later become part of the Dap-Kings. Back then, most of those folks were in a Desco house band called the Soul Providers. Both can be found on the Desco anthology, Spike’s Choice.

    3. SJDK: Cut the Line

    My favorite song off their debut Daptone LP Dap-Dippin’ With…. Musically, the LP owes more to the Desco era but you can already hear the improved chops here.

    4. SJDK: Keep On Looking (Kenny Dope Remix)

    I think this was originally commissioned for Scion’s Daptone Remixed project. Original version appeared on 100 Days, 100 Nights, my favorite LP by the group.

    5. SJDK: How Long Do I Have To Wait For Your Love?
    6. SJDK: How Long Do I Have To Wait For Your Love? (Ticklah Remix)

    Original appeared on the group’s second album, Naturally and the remix was also on that Daptone Remixed compilation.

    7. SJDK: Let Them Knock

    When I first heard this on 100 Days, 100 Nights it knocked me out; still does.

    8. SJDK: Inspiration Information

    Their cover of Shuggie Otis’s classic appears on the Dark Was the Night compilation from ’09.

    9. The Dap-Kings: Summer of Sound

    To this day, I don’t know when/where this instrumental was created and for what purpose. I just recall it popping up on my radar ~2008 and then for 2011’s Soul Time! anthology, the same track was slowed down and became the backing for “Longer & Stronger“.

    10. SJDK: Better Things

    My favorite song from 2010’s I Learned the Hard Way.

    11. Greyboy Feat. Sharon Jones: Got To Be a Love (Paul Nice Remix)

    Originally recorded for Greyboy’s 2004 Soul Mosaic LP, the Paul Nice remix was on the song’s 12″ release.

    12. SJDK: Making Up and Breaking Up

    Love the chorus on here; originally on Give the People What They Want from 2013.

    13. SJDK: Ain’t Nobody

    This came on a bonus 7″ sold alongside Give the People but doesn’t actually appear on the LP itself.

    14. SJDK: Slow Down, Love

    The group at their melancholy best.

    15. SJDK: All Over Again

    C’mon, like I was going to end this with a different song than this classic from Naturally? You know how I do.

SHARON JONES: AN APPRECIATION

My readers know how much I respected Sharon Jones and adored the music her and the Dap-Kings recorded. I can’t say her death last Friday was a shock – we all knew her cancer had come back and was very aggressive – but it felt unbearably cruel in a year where so many musicians we love have left us. NPR asked me to turnaround a quick essay about her and the group’s legacy and while I wrote it faster than I would have ideally liked to, I still hope I did them some justice in it.

Sharon Jones’ Soul Was Surpassed Only By Her Spirit

TRIBE’S GOT IT FROM HERE

I reviewed A Tribe Called Quest’s surprise last album this past week. I also had a few bonus thoughts about it:

First: “The Space Program” is ATCQ’s best lead song since “Steve Biko.”

Best ATCQ lead songs

    1. Excursions
    2. Steve Biko
    3. Push It Along
    4. Space Program
    5. Phony Rappers[1. ATCQ should have opened Beats, Rhymes and Life with “The Pressure” and closed it with either “Mind Power” or “The Hop.”
    6. (ironically) Start It Up

Second: “The Donald” is ATCQ’s best closing song since “God Lives Through.”

Best ATCQ closing songs

    1. God Lives Through
    2. The Donald
    3. Scenario [1. “Scenario” is obviously a classic but I always thought it was a weird song to stick at the end. “Vibes and Stuff” or “Jazz” might have been worked better.
    4. Rock Rock Ya’ll
    5. Stressed Out
    6. Description of a Fool

Third: “Black Spasmodic” is the best “Phife rhymes first” song since “Baby Phife’s Return.”

Best “Phife rhymes first” songs

    1. Buggin Out
    2. Check the Rhime
    3. Scenario
    4. Baby Phife’s Return
    5. Black Spasmodic
    6. Busta’s Lament

HANG ON IN THERE – A MIX BY MICHAEL BARNES

Michael Barnes, of The Melting Pot, has put together a great mix of soul music to soothe our pained souls or, as he puts it, “something to help with your election hangover and help you keep your head up and pushing forward.”

Oh so necessary right now.