Monday, July 28, 2008
NYCC - I'll Keep My Light in My Window
Friday, July 25, 2008
Here's a jam. One of my favorite instros. As far as I can tell this is Mr. Jim and the Rhythm Machine's only output. I actually can't find anything else out there on the Wizdom label either. If any readers out there can help me illuminate this one I'd be grateful. I was djing a party last Friday and some drunk dude actually tried to LICK this record he was so into it. Solid.
Mr. Jim and the Rhythm Machine - (Do the) Hot Pants
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The whole mix is great and deliberately sentimental. Out of the many favorites are these two Motown tunes from 1970 (Stevie) and 1971 (Smokey) that are both unmistakably Stevie and Smokey, respectively, but also kina uncharacteristic of both of their styles.
Stevie Wonder - Sugar
This Stevie song rules! Those drums are so huge - I wonder if he played them. And that hook. The song is nothing BUT hook. Hearing it for the first time I immediately knew it was Stevie, but also I was also bewildered that I had never heard it before. The title is perfect as it's about the sweetest bit of pop confection that Stevie ever laid to wax.
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Crazy About the La La La
I think my brother, Charlie, might have tipped me off to this one. Once again William Robinson is a genius with lyrics, telling the audience about this "thing" that he's crazy about without ever saying what it is, just "la la la." The way he sings you get the impression that the "la la la" might be something that the conservative Motown execs (himself being VP at this time, I think) wouldn't want uttered on the pop charts. Knowing Smokey's predilection for women and illict substances, it really could be either, or maybe he's talking about "toast and jam."
Monday, July 21, 2008
Webster Lewis - Welcome Aboard
Webster Lewis - Lift Your Voice and Say (United We Can Live in Peace Today)
Webster Lewis - Nightlife in the City
Friday, July 18, 2008
Welcome, Rios, and check out his blog which is in the blog roll here as Dibble Dabbling.
re: the dream team photo . . . no offense should be taken about who is who here, though x-ing out Karl "thug-life" Malone was no accident. Repping from Portland, we have no love for Malone and all that Jazz.
And hell, since I made it I get to be MJ.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Change - A Lover's Holiday This was a pretty big hit on both sides of the atlantic actually. Luther Vandross sings on some songs on this album (including Larry Levan favorite "Angel in My Pocket") but not actually on this one. I love the synths that come in on the outro and the super Chic-y group vocals.
Bazuka - (C'est) Le Rock This song was kind of the inspiration for this post. Could this be any more of a Chic ripoff please? I mean, its called "(C'est) Le Rock" for crying out loud! When I dj this song, I cut it in from the breakdown that's about three minutes in so ripping it yesterday I kind of heard it for the first time as well. Holds up pretty well, I think.
Charanga '76 - Good Times For me, the genera of the non-english version of a disco hit has gotten a bit tired but I need to include this as well. Charanga '76 starts with a more or less faithful cover of Chic's monster hit but quickly turns it into a latin space echo freakout... come to think of it, thats kind of what they do on all their songs!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
First of all, this track "Visualize" by Mr. Complex is a totally underrated underground banger from like 1996, which deserves to be heard, if only for the farty synth effect, a sound that always gets me. Plus it's full of quadruple-entendre lyrics about trying to get laid.
Mr. Complex - Beat Junkies Mixtape
But then there's the DJ that's playing it. Just after the dumb jabber jabber from the guy introducing this mixtape, starting at 00:34, the DJ (Babu from the Beat Junkies, Dilated Peoples, et al) does the most INSANE beat juggle with this record, which only lasts like 15 seconds. He completely flubs it as he reintroduces the snare, but if you think about what he's trying to accomplish--dissecting one little part of the beat on the fly, turning it inside out and backwards, while holding on only to the little hi-hat hits--it's really impressive. And he almost pulls it off. What is it about California Pinoys and their turntables? It has to be genetic.
Which reminds me of another recent feat of DJ Babu's, wherein the dude gave the world a blazing rap track by a four-year-old child, namely his own kid. Granted, the track's really short, but imagine how many takes it must have required to get a small child to nail lyrics like this:
Skateboard, rip rhymes and draw/by the time I'm turning ten I'll probably be on tour
From this 2007 comp. And the breezy Aloe Blacc song on the same record is a future classic. Is there anything Stones Throw Records can't do?
The "Funky . . . Freetown?" post is also his, he just used my account to post it. Welcome, Josh!
By most counts Tim's quality output begins to suffer as soon as the dreaded 80s arrive with his albums for Odeon (Reecontro, 1979) and Polydor (S/T, 1980) keeping up the disco pace, but overall they're weaker than everything that preceded them. The story goes that Tim was upset about the direction is career was taking and the pressure to produce big hits, likely a result of his top-selling album from 1977 "Tim Maia Disco Club" which was on another label, Atlantic. In between his 1980 and 1983 Polydor albums, he decided to record an album on his time, with his own money and with his select group of friends and musicians. The album is called "Nuvens" and is the last great Tim Maia album.
What prompted me to post these songs was that: 1) I have a CD-rip of the album courtesy of DJ Greg Caz (seeing as most of my music is currently in storage until I move into my new apartment), and 2) my good friend Bradley sent me a copy of Nelson Motta's biography of Tim Maia. You can find the book here for purchase on eBay. The picture above is of Tim and Nelson soon before Tim's passing.
Tim Maia - Nuvens
A classic Maia ballad. Those outro horn lines just kill me.
Tim Maia - Ar Puro
Tim's environmental plea for "Pure Air" . . . kinda ironic given how much grass this guy smoked!
Tim Maia - Apesar Dos Poucos Anos
This is my jam! I love how the song cuts out for a bit longer than you think it would before picking up right where it left off.
All three of these songs are from Side 1 of the album and there were plenty more to choose from. Never on CD . . . cop the LP if you see it. It shouldn't set you back more than $30.
Using this method the other day, I happened upon a painfully short little piece of obscure West African soul, a clip from a band called Geraldo Pino and the Heartbeats. Apparently this band is not obscure at all if you're 60 years old and from Sierra Leone, in which case you see these dudes as the local version of the Beatles.
While you'll find plenty of commentators calling this music afrobeat, I'd much sooner call it funky soul: way more Philadelphia than Lagos. Somebody made a comp a couple of years back.
Five minutes of web research into these dudes had me stumbling upon what turns out to be an amazing African vinyl blog curated by--get this--the Voice of America! Turns out that the VOA has a gigantic trove of African vinyl and tapes from its many decades of making radio in Africa, and props to them for mining it. (Now only if they could make a decent news show. Sheesh.)
Soul Spectrum trivia nugget: Allen worked at VOA in DC during college.
Geraldo Pino & the Heartbeats - Heavy, Heavy, Heavy [snippet]
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I know this is a 180 from my last post and I kind of feel like I might catch mega shit from certain persons for dropping these tracks - after all the blog is called SOULspectrum, but whatever. I think these are pretty tasteful though and maybe even a confirmed techno hater could get into it. I don't own a ton of this kind of music, only really cuts I feel will mix well with my own disco oriented sound. A little vocoder never hurt a dance party!
Hipnosis - End Theme (Blade Runner) Yep, this cover of Vangelis's theme music is pretty catchy. I just got this in the mail off ebay yesterday so i'm excited about it. I found it on the cheap by searching for what I know to be the "A" side, Pulstar. Fortunatly for me, it had the right song on the other side!
Kano - I'm Ready This is an old favorite of mine. I even got some punks to dance to this once! Pretty futuristic for 1980.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Yeah, I kind of fell off the wagon for a bit there... longer then I would have liked that is for sure. I'm going to have to blame it on the amazing weather we have been receiving here in Portland for the last three weeks. Between the swimming at the river, bike rides, fine wine and the ladies, blogging just kind of slipped through the cracks. No longer though! I am returning refreshed and inspired so stay tuned as I am planning on holding down the fort until the Ambassador can return. Anyways, here are a few more picture sleeve singles I bought from a well traveled dude at a garage sale. They were both manufactured in Spain but certainly not recorded there!
Sociedade Amigos do Mocoto - Mocoto Here's a groovy version of Jorge Ben's "Mocoto." The flip of this album is rather confusingly labeled but it seems to be not another cover but the song "Tributo Ao Sorriso" by Brazilian proggers O Terco but I thought we could all live without that.
Afrikanders - Tamba
Afrikanders - Africa
Outside of Fela, I don't really know a thing about afrobeat... for all I know this could have been recorded in Spain. It kind of gets me though- especially the trippy vocal arrangements and searing high-hat action. You also have to love the way the singer intones the word Africa. Makes me smile every time.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I have a few goodies on my girlfriend's computer, much to her chagrin, that I might post only after I feel I've made sufficient daily attempts to secure a real job . . . needless to say we'll be back up and running in August with some nice vinyl scores from the road trip.
Let's hope Mr. Morgan continues with his posts in the meantime . . .