April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Don't Shut Me Down

In preparation for swine flu I've been studying the following:
Breathless - Shankar Mahadevan, Breathless

You can also watch the video, which is well worth your while:
The secret is, he doesn't take a breath the entire song (from 0:40-3:00), for a total of 2 and 1/3 minutes of lung power. I am up to 1/6 of one minute and have yet to catch any pigs.

Aging Well

Ramsey Lewis of jazz groove lore.

Watch him swing across South America:
One, Two, Three - Ramsey Lewis, Goin' Latin (1966)

Fourteen years later watch him throw smooth jazz for a funky ride:
Tondelayo - Ramsey Lewis, Routes (1980)

I love musicians like this that I can rely on, and particularly those that I can rely on over the years (say between '65 and '83). I've posted these tracks not because I think they are his best. My personal Ramsey is the epic funk fusion of Sun Goddess and Funky Serenity. Despite that, I've thoroughly dug most all else that I've scooped of his. And these are just two supporting arguments in my five paragraph essay on getting down with RL.

April 28, 2009


You are in the record store. You see this cover. What do you do?
Correct Response:
You buy it 5-10 seconds after looking at the back and seeing that it is produced by Dr. Dre (and Yella and Arabian Prince) in 1988. Same year as Straight Out of Compton.

The first single off the record sounds familiar:
Supersonic - JJ Fad, Supersonic (1998)

It always blows my mind when I hear what I like to think of as 'sampled concepts'. I wonder if a straight up audio sample isn't more legit than a re-production of a concept. I strike this distinction provisionally, and fully understand that everything under the sun is 'new'. Keeping that in mind, my thinking goes as follows: audio sampling takes original work and provides it with a new context, while 'concept-sampling' takes a context and gives it a new audio form.
This is of course common in many forms of music (jazz, soul, folk etc.), but somehow in pop music it feels less worthwhile.

Perhaps another way of saying this is that if Fergie were going to come out with a bad pop song, couldn't she have come up with it herself? I prefer JJ Fad any day of the week, both for their originality and for their version.

To get back to the quality, Dre's production on these beats is so much fun. Its like reading the diary of a genius and getting to see brilliance even in the notes and scribbles:
Time Tah Get Stupid - JJ Fad, Supersonic (1998)

For example, I like to think that he came up with the intro to the song. I do remember seeing Snoop interviewed once talking about how Dre told him to put that sing-song into his voice when they were working on Doggystyle. What a guy.

April 26, 2009

Some Quality Now FOUND Here

I've moved across the way to here.


I really just wanted to be able to include flash previews for you, and a blogroll, and archives, and I didn't want to wait for advice on how to do so at tumblr. So, old blog: still good. New blog: even better! I've moved the last three posts over so that you can not go there. But if you miss the yellow and baby baby blue, please feel free.

And, for a summer feel (it was 87 degrees today) here you go:

Fatback - Mongo Santamaria, Mongo Explodes (1964)

My only regret is the guy who comes in after the beautiful silked voice of the woman. I'll do something about that in my newest attempt at exploring some qualities of songs: Some Quality Follow Up Post Remixes/edits. Sometimes with rap.

Juicy (Fruit)

I’m sure you know where this is going:

Juicy Fruit - Mtume, Juicy Fruit (1983)

I just want to note that Juicy Fruit apparently originally referred to the gum flavor. And that the song is basically a ‘sweets’ themed love song.

I also want to highlight that Mtume and his band really had it going on. Juicy wasn’t just Puffy scoring a randomly dug sample. Check another:

Hip Dip Skippedabeat - Mtume, Juicy Fruit (1983)

Acid or Base?

Could this be the kind of place where such solid nothing-but-funk emulsions as this one were created?

Phil Hurtt - Ph Factor Boogie (1979)

Somehow everything in this smooth jam comes together - the voices ride right on top of the bassline to leave no one confused about how to walk across the room (step, dip

step, dip).

I suppose this sort of funk has to be a base. A face melting drain-o. A rotten milk. A mmonia.

Different Faces, One Beat

This is what the Tom Tom Club means when they shout “Bohannon”.

He has many faces and always always makes you move. So listen to
Listen to the Children Play - Hamilton Bohannon, Summertime Groove (1978).