Monday, February 28, 2011

ndzi teke riendzo.

Here is some more South African music I discovered. I think this is a really beautiful piece of work. Ndzi Teke is a South African pastor who apparently gets to wear really comfortable clothes all day long, I dig that getup he is rockin.

Nass el ghiwane - Sabra et chatilla

Really nice Moroccan tune from Nas El Ghiwane. Morocco has some superb music/musicians that many of us in the west never get to hear, and that's a real shame because it can be so good on the ears.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blockhead - The Music Scene

Here is an amazingly trippy animated video for a Tony Simon aka Blockhead track. Blockhead makes some of my favorite instrumental trip hop beats on the planet. I met him in Chicago once and he seemed like the type of guy that you'd have to be a dick to not get along with.

Friday, February 25, 2011

South African music (Vomaseve Dance Mix)

And one more for good measure...

Zinja Hlungwani - Nwa Gezani My Love

Shangaan dance music originates from South Africa and is built on of synthetic, sped-up rhythms, call-and-response vocals, and incessant repetition. The tracks from scene leading light Nozinja are so mind-meldingly fast that, to borrow a phrase from Andy Battaglia in his review of the compilation Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa, the music begins to sound almost psychedelically slow. This stuff can be hard to listen to straight through in one sitting-- it's so relentless, it might have you reaching for the Excedrin midway through-- which makes Zinja Hlungwani's compilation standout "Nwa Gezani My Love" the perfect sample of this sound. Hlungwani handles his sensual sentiments ("You're my desire") with a buttery croon, pleading, "What can I do, my baby/ I wanna make you mine," and giving the cut a smooth, almost-midtempo feel. Then, you watch the video, with footage of dancers doing their thing over the intoxicatingly busy rhythm that lies below "Nwa Gezani My Love", and you realize: this shit is addictive. If Shangaan doesn't make you want to dance, you should quickly check your pulse.

Tshetsha Boys - Nwa Pfundla

This music sticks in your soul.

Shangaan Music (Tshetsha)

Here is some South African Shangaan dance music to brighten your day. The dancing in this video is extremely good, yet mental and hysterical at the same time (sounds like every good party I have ever been to). Disclaimer if you are freaked out by clowns this video will surely give you nightmares.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Marvin Gaye - Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

Marvin Gaye was one of the most powerful "conscious" singers in soul music history. I miss Marvin so much it makes me wanna holler and throw up both my hands.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Les Volcans de La Capital - Oya Ka Jojo - African Scream Contest

I am ashamed I haven't posted any Afrobeat yet. Shame over. This is off of the African Scream Contest album. The whole thing is absolute FIRE and you can find a full review of it here. This track in particular may confuse you as to where in the world this music was made if you didn't know it was "afrobeat". There are elements of Africa, Europe, South and Central America in the mix (you could throw North America in there too as many of the musicians on this album were influenced by James Brown records which were trickling into Africa at the time, hence African SCREAM contest).

Smutlee "Body Language / Look Pon Me" (Moombahton Edit)

This is so smooth. London's Smutlee—who has done some fine work in the funky bashment arena—has paired the vocals of Jamaican dancehall diva Natalie Storm with M.A.N.D.Y. vs. Booka Shade's classic "Body Language," which has been screwed down to moombahton tempo.

LES TWINS "An Industry Ahead" | YAK FILMS | Music by B'zwax & Lafa Taylor

Here is some more beautiful dancing from Yak Films. Les Twins are amazing dancers that studied dance in Paris/the streets and are helping lead a new movement of dance into the next chapter. Music by B'zwax.

Black Milk - Shut It Down ft AHK

Black Milk is bangin on this track featuring AHK from the album Popular Demand. Black Milk is s Detroit hero in this current all too weak hip hop game. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stevie Wonder - Superstition live on Sesame Street

Stevie Wonder rockin on Sesame Street. I would trade almost anything to be that kid at the 4:10 mark.

Jay Dee (J-Dilla) Love it Here

More Dilla I can't get out of my head. Here is a comment from this youtube video I totally agree with: "All i can say is wow,this is sampling to the third degree. If there is something like an PHD for sampling Dilla graduates cum laude. Just freakin amazing a true master peace of sampling."

Friday, February 18, 2011

WAX TAILOR - Lost The Way

"I don't want to rule or conquer anyone, I should like to help everyone if possible. We want to help one another, human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. This world has room for everyone, the good earth is rich. We can provide for everyone the way of life to be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way... Greed has poisoned men's souls, it has barricaded the world with hate. We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and believe too little. More than machinery we need humanity, more than cleverness we need kindness. Without these qualities life will be violent and all will be lost.

Let The Dollar Circulate - (Prod by 9th Wonder & J Dilla)-Instrumental

What are you gonna do with that change? Let it circulate...

I know I've had Dilla fever lately but I cannot get this track out of my head so I'm now going to place it in yours so I'm not the only one humming this everywhere I go. At the laudr-o-mat, bank, lunch spot, on the bus, eating donuts, working out, helping an old lady across the street, checkin out a random cutie on the street, through all of it, I'm lettin the dollar circulate... pleeeeeeeee

Muslimgauze - Medina Flight

I have a very special place in my heart for Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze. He had such an absolutely unique, beautifully harsh and jarring music that came out of him (usually middle eastern and/or noise based). He was mad prolific and politics were the basis of his instrumental music. Extremely educated and obviously musically talented, this man played all the instruments you hear and only used tape loop samples for accompaniment. He once said about his music, "There are no lyrics, because that would be preaching. It is music. It is up to you, to find out more. If you don't want that, it is up to you. You can listen to only the music or you can preoccupy yourself more with it."

Wale Oyejide - There's A War Going On feat J-Dilla

Dilla's beat is jaw-dropping as usual but what is special about this track is that it is one of the only chances he got to work with a "world music" artist in Wale Oyejide. The message is right on, right on.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope)

I lived in London when Roots Manuva's first album dropped and I almost fell of my chair in the pub when I heard this track. My neck was overtaken by the beat to the point I could not drink my lager until the track had ended. This beat (and Roots Manuva) was and is so ahead of its time. The Witness Dub version is almost as amazing as the original. I love his music but must also give him props also for clearly (personally & lyrically) standing against the injustice of the crushing poverty so many unnecessarily suffer from. He just released a new album called Roots Manuva Meets Wrongtom: Dubby Writer. I purchased it on vinyl recently and it sounds oh so good. I have to say that dub beats, more so than many other genres, always sounds so much better on vinyl than on any other medium. It is well worth the purchase price... and I can even touch it!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

El Remolon-Cumbia Lescanera (ft Pablo Lescano) vs Zaptap-Citizen 10

Big tune from El Remolon combining sick rhymes with ill cumbia beats. He has quite a few quality releases on the ZZK record label. Cumbia Hop taking over!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Oum Kalthoum Baed annak (part 1/11)

Egypt, I wish you self determination and lasting peace. Here is a clip of the most famous Egyptian (and arguably Arab) female singer to ever live: Umm Kalthoum.

balkan beat box-hermetico

Here is a track from 2007 from Balkan Beat Box, an Israeli musical group that brings some pretty intense music using mostly live instruments.

Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno - Cumbia Sobre El Mar

Here is a chill modern take on an old classic cumbia tune. I have mentioned new cumbia here too much without giving a nod to Will Holland aka Quantic. He produced a quality album in 2010 called Quantic Presenta: Flowering Inferno, Dog With A Rope. It brings dub, reggae & cumbia flavours to his already impressive array of sounds. He has only been around for a decade and has already released 6 albums and many remixes that span various genres. He draws upon elements of salsa, bossa nova, soul, funk, jazz and hip hop to create a sound that has been quietly taking the global music scene by storm over the last decade or so. It is global, undefinable, ever shifting humanist music that envisions the future with no borders, no nation states and no petty politics.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Old Dirty Bastard - Shimmy Cumbia (J-Boogie edit)

Shimmy Cumbia (J-Boogie edit) by jboogie dubtronic
Here is some cumbia hop by San Francisco resident DJ/producer J-Boogie. He has challenged the boundaries of music across genres, styles, languages and borders throughout his 15-year career. He speaks to his listeners, integrating musical genres like hip–hop, dub, soul, reggae, funk, Latin, afro-beat, bhangra, dancehall, disco, downtempo, electro and house. I like how this guy pushes change. I am excited to be able to check out his live set at SXSW in just 6 weeks.

Party and Bullshit (Ratatat Remix w/ Original Video)

Speaking of Ratatat here is my favorite remix they have ever done. I've dropped this while deejaying and had some seriously moon-eyed old school hip hop fans come up to me begging to know the remix. It is one of those tracks that shouldn't be messed with, unless it is by Ratatat with some slammin' guitars apparently. This original Biggie track they remix was his first official release on any album as far as I know. It's off the Who's Da Man Soundtrack from 1993. Not that I can remember anything very well but I do know me and my punk ass friends were listening to that soundtrack when it came out when we would have been 14 years old. Our skinny asses had no business rockin' to Biggie back then but I am sure glad we were.

Chiddy Bang - Danger Zone

New hip hop has been lacking lately as anyone who has listened to hip hop for a minute knows. I have a hard time listening to anything remotely mainstream that has come out in the last 5 years but I am glad to say that I actually like this new Chiddy Bang track. I think a big reason I like it so much is because of the Ratatat beat under Chiddy Bang's lyrics. Ratatat's beats are raw as steak. This song has almost a 50 cent vibe but the beat is better and the tone of the lyrics are more youthful and creative.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stroszek - Dancing Chicken

This clip utilizes Sonny Terry's Hootin' the Blues magnificently. The focus is the on the caged animals, the tricks for food, the crazy harp and the insanity of it all brought to you by humans. This is not a spoiler if you have not seen this movie but it is the end of the Stroszek, one of my favorite films. I tend to like odd films and this one is shot and takes place in my home state of Wisconsin. It is about 3 people who immigrate to Wisconsin from Berlin only to find that their dream of America isn't quite what they thought it would be. It is an enjoyable film (though I would say depressingly enjoyable) on the surface but the more I read about it (and the more I've watched it) the more depth I see in the film. It says a lot to say about the human condition, as all of Werner Herzog's films do. I personally don't think there is a better filmmaker than this man yet most people who claim to love movies (I don't) don't even know who he is which always baffles me. Here is the trailer: Stroszek Trailer and here is the wikipedia entry: Stroszek wiki

Sonny Terry - Hootin' the Blues

Sonny Terry was one of the greatest harp players ever to live. I am so glad there is footage of him doing his thing. This song's real title is "Lost John" commonly know as "Hootin' The Blues" for obvious reasons. He does a duet of this with Woody Guthrie here and Brownie McGhee live here. And for bonus points here it is live with a goat.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

David Byrne: How architecture helped music evolve | Video on

This is a pretty cool speech by David Byrne on the relationship between architecture and music. He'll learn you a thing or two if you pay attention. Whenever I hear a DJ playing techno in a small bar with no dance floor or say, easy listening music in an auditorium, I want to throw this video (a VHS tape would be ideal) at everyone I see in these settings. I have noticed I always enjoy live music/deejaying the most when the room "flatters" the music as David Byrne says. The problem is that it rarely does.

If you are interested in more information about architecture I recommend this blog BLDGBLOG. It focuses mainly on modern architecture (both physical and conceptual) and interesting related issues of our time. Sometimes there is information on architectures relationship to music posted as well.

Xenakis - Rebonds

This is some ill drumming. It is a piece of music written by the Greek genius Iannis Xenakis. He was an ethnic Greek, naturalized French composer, music theorist and architect-engineer. He is commonly recognized as one of the most important post-war avant-garde composers. Xenakis pioneered the use of mathematical models such as applications of set theory, varied use of game theory, etc., in music, and was also an important influence on the development of electronic music. He was an architect first and I think this is really important to his music. As David Byrne will talk about in my next post, architecture has helped music evolve into its many forms. Architecture is immensely important to music yet is rarely even considered by most modern musicians, bands, deejays, fans, event coordinators, ect. It was at the core of Iannis Xenakis's theory of music and I believe this is why he is so misunderstood and unknown. Most of us, myself included, that are raised with an appreciation for music are not raised with an appreciation of architecture. We rarely even acknowledge them as having anything in common. We do not understand the influence our aesthetic surroundings have on the music we are listening to or the impact it has had on the history of musical evolution. I understand much more than I used to about their relationship but I am still far from understanding.