DJ Schedule Saturday 11/19 I Love Vinyl @ Louie & Chan 10:00 p.m.–4:00 a.m. 303 Broome Street NYC
Monday 11/21 Friends @ Kinfolk 8:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. 90 Wythe Ave, BK 11211

Archive for May, 2006

We’re Almost There (DJ Spinna Remix)
Michael Jackson
Soul Source – Jackson 5 Remixes 2, 2001

I picked this DJ Spinna remix as an acknowledgement of last weekend’s stellar annual installment of the WONDER-Full party. It might seem like an easy thing to play a party where everyone already knows and loves a lot of the music and I’m sure it is but I bet it’s doubly hard to play it really well. It reminds me of this quote that always stuck with me from On The Road by Jack Kerouac:

“Here’s a guy and everybody is there, right? [It's] up to him to put down what’s on everybody’s mind.”

The obvious irony is that there is no one thing that’s on everyone’s mind but, in a way there is. What do you do when everyone’s expectation is for their expectations to be exceeded? If you’re DJ Spinna, you wait until 2:45 am to play “As” but start 3:00 minutes into it and re-work it (live, of course) in circles for 12+ minutes until my friend walks over to me and tells me they just had the best dancing moment of their life.

Kudos WONDER-Full Family.

Ok, onto this song gem of a song. This is convertible music. I don’t have a car much less a convertible but this is begging for a midnight top-down spin from the moment the guitar washes over you at :13 (followed by the strings at :30).

Shamefully, I haven’t heard the original but I would guess that first three minutes of this mix don’t alter the song structure that much. Then, just as you think the song is over (3:20 and 3:40) he launches into what amounts to a dub version of the remix that usually would be its own track. Don’t miss the last false ending 5:46-5:56.

>> songs are available for two weeks [8.9 MB]

Melodi (Sounds of Home)
Letta Mbulu
The Chisa Years: 1965-1975 (Rare and Unreleased), 2006

Hugh Masekela was an exile from apartheid South Africa who went on to be an internationally successful trumpet player in the musical gray areas between the African music he grew up playing, Jazz, Pop and Disco. He also created the Chisa record label in California in 1965. Chisa was home to many including the Crusaders and this stellar album I posted last fall.

This collection of lesser and unknown material from that label came out about two months ago on the British label BBE which is more known for its quality hip hop output. Unlike many “from the vaults!”-style compilations, this one didn’t leave me thinking, “there was a (good) reason these songs weren’t released the first time.” This whole album is solid although I have only heard the other songs on it once as I immediately fixated on this one.

It doesn’t take any effort to get into the emotionality of this song. I’ve been trying to place what mood or image it conjers for me and this morning I realized that it sounds like a funeral that might feel much more cathartic than any that I’ve been to. The song lumbers forward repeating one basic bar with all manner of adlibs on top of it like a large group marching to bury the body of a loved one. Letta serves as the minister, leading the group chant with everyone riffing off of her melody, adding their 2 cents as they think about their personal relationship with the dead person. Cries from the back of the group break out at 2:33 and 2:49 as they approach the burial ground. Or maybe my imagination is getting carried away…

Be sure to listen to this on headphones or somewhere that allows you to hear all the call and response between the instruments seperated into the left and right channels.

>> songs are available for two weeks [6.1 MB]


Lovely Is Today
Eddie Harris
Plug Me In, 1968

This is early electronic music…son! Kraftwerk be damned! And by early, I mean early – back when Atlantic had the funky blue and green labels. “Eddie Harris and His Electric Saxophone” must have been risque for 1968, there’s even the nervous sounding marketing sentence on the back: “The wide public acceptance of the previous album demonstrates that an electronically aided instrument, when placed with a talent such as Eddie Harris, can find a proper niche in today’s ever evolving music.”

Truth be told, it’s hard to really tell the difference between this “electronically amplified” tenor sax and a normal one, other than that his tone is a little unruly. Bill Cerri, our genteel liner note writer, says that without Eddie’s skills, the amplified sax would sound like a kazoo. They probably could have come up with a more descriptive term for it then, as “electronically amplified” sounds like he’s just playing into a mic.

This song actually has the “live horns in a room” sound that I search for on old records. Obviously all of the backing horns are live but its still ironic that they are basically apologizing for it’s avant garde sound and 38 years later, the difference is hardly discernible.

As you might guess this track was sampled (on Gang Starr’s “2 Deep”) a long time ago.

>> songs are available for two weeks [6.1 MB]

i got my first "note request" last week

Apparently, it wasn’t ok to play Jeru between the two R&B songs she requested (at least they were decent requests).

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