REVISITS

Reflections

In my last Shades of Soul show, I included a few records that I’ve been waiting to share for a while. I thought I’d some additional details on a few choice tracks. Here’s the show again:

Shades of Soul EP 1.4 by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

3:50 Michigan & Smiley: Tom’s Diner
From Reality Must Rule Again (VP, 1991?)

Cool Chris had this one waiting in the wings the last time I was up in the Bay; he knows my penchant for strange covers and a dual-toasting dancehall group that covers both “Tom’s Diner” and “OPP” has to qualify. I have to guess there are more examples of similar dancehall-fied pop/rap songs out there: school me.

10:50 Port Authority-Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone
From Reflections (US Navy, 1980)

This one came from Andy’s store and holy sh–…a modern soul dance jam inspired by…The Twilight Zone? This is absolutely a WTF moment and it’s really quite awesome.

35:00 3 Peas: The Shadow Of Your Smile
From 3 Pea’s in a Podd (String Bean, 1980s)

Another Record Jungle find; private press jazz album out of Michigan(?). By coincidence, WFMU’s blog has a fairly extensive write-up of this. This is a real amateur effort but I love private press stuff like this, especially the earnest vocals, the slightly-off mixing that puts the cymbals up front, giving this a much bigger, brassy crash that you might expect.

49:00 Ella Fitzgerald: These Boots Are Made For Walking
From 7″ (Salle, 1966)

Another Groove Merchant find. Ella is one of my all-time faves (I did, after all, name my daughter after her!) but I had no idea this existed. And damn, she kills this cover. I don’t normally think of Ella as having cuts I can spin out for parties but this is absolutely fills the bill.

59:00 Sensualities Unlimited: Sweet Blow
From 7″ (Timmion, 2013)

In case you wanted to know where today’s outro music is from: new 7″ from our friends out at Timmion in Finland.


Let’s keep this going, shall we?

Shades of Soul 1.3: The Soul-Jazz Episode by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

In episode 1.3, I had my soul jazz special, which was really an excuse to pull out songs that have been haunting me since I first got into buying records in the 1990s. Very little on that show was anything my long-time readers – or people older than 30 – haven’t heard at some point but who cares? There’s a reason a few of these songs are unqualifiedly “timeless” in their beauty and charm, from Andy Bey’s mesmerizing vocals on Gary Bartz’s “Celestial Blues” (10:14) to Archie Whitewater’s haunting, melancholy “Cross Country” (7:00) to the majestic journey (46:38) of “Smilin’ Billy” from its original 1973 version through the four-part suite that appeared on Strata-East.

I don’t have a ton to add to that; not to be a jerk but these songs are so classic that if you’re not already up on ’em, spend a few extra minutes following those links above and learn you something. One thing I will extend on (since I’ve never written about this album before):

31:14 Denis King: Mr. Beretta
From Pop/Rock Sounds / Multi-Keyboard Sounds (Standard Music Library, 1971)

As I’ve sometimes heard said, a song like this practically predicted hip-hop’s later sampling aesthetic, just 15 years ahead of the curve (though, as far as I know, this hasn’t been sampled). There’s a few other cuts off this same LP but those are the two best.

SHADES OF SOUL EP 1.4: THE KITCHEN SINK

3peas

The latest episode of Shades of Soul (broadcast live on Radio Sombra) is dedicated to records that I file under “the kitchen sink,” i.e. the weird and wonderful records whether we’re talking unexpected remixes/mash-ups, quirky covers, or just plain WTF tunes.

Shades of Soul EP 1.4 by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

To see the playlist, visit our Radio Sombra page.

SHADES OF SOUL, EP 1.3: THE SOUL JAZZ EPISODE

Sj

Our latest episode of our Radio Sombra show, Shades of Soul, is dedicated the soul-jazz sound of the late ’60s (and its rediscovery and celebration in the 1990s). We end with a monster set of all five parts of the greater “Smilin’ Billy Suite”.

Shades of Soul 1.3: The Soul-Jazz Episode by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

Visit the Radio Sombra page for the playlist.

SHADES OF SOUL, EP 1.3: THE SOUL JAZZ EPISODE

Sj

Our latest episode of our Radio Sombra show, Shades of Soul, is dedicated the soul-jazz sound of the late ’60s (and its rediscovery and celebration in the 1990s). We end with a monster set of all five parts of the greater “Smilin’ Billy Suite”.

Shades of Soul 1.3: The Soul-Jazz Episode by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

Visit the Radio Sombra page for the playlist.

SHADES OF SOUL, EP 1.2: W/ GUESTS BILLY GOODS AND BOBBY SOUL OF THE BOOGALOO ASSASSINS

Boogaloosombra

Episode 1.2 of my new Shades of Soul program on Radio Sombra included guest DJ sets by Billy Goods & Bobby Soul of the Boogaloo Assassins. Their new album, Old Love Dies Hard is just out (liner notes by moi) and the three of us spun a slew of Latin soul/boogaloo jams for over an hour.

On a sadder note, I dedicated the show to the late Richard Marin, who I just learned passed away a couple of months back. Marin (the older brother of Bobby Marin) was a key producer at Mercury and Decca and is an undersung, pivotal player in the story of how boogaloo blew up. My first set was a selection of Latin soul songs that Marin played a hand in shaping.

Before we get to a music, a quick programming note…Radio Sombra is DJ-supported, which means that all of us who have a show pay a monthly fee to the station to help cover operating expenses. As such, I’m asking you all – my loyal listeners – to help support both the station and my show through your financial assistance. The Boogaloo Assassins were good enough to help me with a set of materials for the offering:

1) The Vinyl Package: You’ll get the new Boogaloo Assassins album on vinyl plus a copy of their new 7″ (“No No No” b/w “Evil Ways (Instr.)”). You’ll also get higher quality versions of the show taping from 1.2 onward.

2) The CD Package: You’ll get the new Boogaloo Assassins album on CD plus the 7″ (if desired…if you don’t have a turntable, it may not matter!) You’ll also get higher quality versions of the show taping from 1.2 onward.

Each set is $20 and if I find a taker for each, that means the show will be supported through the end of October. If interested, email me and let me know which package you’d like.

Pledge drive over.

Here’s Episode 1.2 and if you need the playlist, check back on the Radio Sombra site.

Shades of Soul, EP 1.2, feat. Billy Goods and Bobby Soul of the Boogaloo Assassins by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

BACK ON THE AIRWAVES WITH SHADES OF SOUL

I am really excited to announce my return to radio after nearly 10 years away. I just debuted a new show, Shades of Soul, on Radio Sombra. Right now, it’s every 1st and 3rd Friday, 2-3pm. I wrote about the station earlier in the summer and part of what makes them so awesome is that they are an actual, honest to goodness storefront radio station (taking it back to the days of Dolphin’s of Hollywood!), broadcasting right off E. 1st in Boyle Heights.

My first show was last week. The theme was “Summer’s Twilight,” reflecting the near-end of summer and the songs that got me through the season.

Shades of Soul 1 by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

Playlist is back on the Sombra site.

Tune in next Friday at 2pm (PT).