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, 2008

Volans (Parachute Dub)
Travels: Rarities and Rereleases (Master Copies), 2008

I wanted to give a highlight to my friend Ian who recently released two EPs through his snocap myspace music store. This track is from “Travels: Rarities and Rereleases” (the top album image). The bottom image is of “Labor” the other EP.

I met Ian through myspace when he was first moving to NYC two summers ago. I never approve a friend request from an artist on myspace without making sure their music is at least decent. To this day, I think Ian is the only artist I’ve ever learned of directly through myspace that I makes me feel like being on myspace is worthwhile for that reason.

It was hard to pick which song to post, I’ve only gotten a chance to listen through the EPs once so far. I don’t know if it comes through from what I post on this blog but my musical taste often leans towards the cinematic and brooding and Ian is a master of cinematic and brooding. I know he samples a ton and I honestly don’t know how he is able to make his songs so cohesive with so many disparate layers.

He’ll be performing tonight at the Out of Sequence party at Karma Lounge and at the release party for these two EPs which will be on June 14 at the next installment of his monthly SyncTank party with DJ Kuma.

By the way, he’s also a great graphic designer, he did the covers himself (click to enlarge for detail).

>> right-click –> here to download “Volans (Parachute Dub)” [12.4 MB]

Bleeding Together (DJ Eli Remix)
Wide Hive 12 Inch, 2003

I played a Barack Obama Fundraiser last night at this swanky new place called Hudson Terrace on the far west side. This was one of the songs I pulled to play but I didn’t get to it. It was actually hard to know what to play. It definitely didn’t have the “rally” vibe, it was more of a business attire fundraiser. I tried to avoid being sucked into the upscale vibe of the place and I ended playing everything from “Impeach the President” (Honeydrippers) to “Superstar” (Lupe Fiasco) to Pharoahe Monch’s version of “Welcome to the Terrordome” to “Let’s Get Blown” (Snoop Dogg) to “A Chance For Peace” (Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes) to the “Barack Obama” song by Cocoa Tea (thanks to RikRok for that one, if you haven’t heard it – check it out). I managed to make it all work.

The Ahn Trio and Mingus Dynasty also donated their services to the fundraiser and gave great performances. Recommended. The Ahn Trio’s website is really impressive.

This track isn’t overtly political but the line “we are all alone…together / not all-together alone” seemed to fit with Obama’s overall message. I’ve never heard the original version of this song but I have the feeling this quiet little remix kicks its ass.

>> right-click –> here to download the 192 kbps version [10.6 MB] and here for the 320 kbps version [17.5 MB]

We Are One
The Hot 8 Brass Band
Rock With the Hot 8 Brass Band, 2007

This song is a cover of a Maze featuring Frankie Beverly song from 1983. It’s an unlikely choice for a brass band but the harmonies sound so lovely with that instrumentation.

This album came out on Louisiana Red Hot Records 6 months before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (with less appealing cover art). According to a poorly written press release on the Tru Thoughts website (the label that re-released the album), they were “inundated with thousands of enquiries about” the Hot 8′s version of “Sexual Healing.” These two sentence are particularly vexing:

After the hurricane the label never fully recovered and the track was pushed underground until it was brought to the attention of Tru Thoughts A&R Robert Luis when Quantic started dropping it in his DJ sets. People have been swapping CDRs and MP3s to get hold of the track ever since and it has received a remarkable response from DJs such as Gilles Peterson, Rob Da Bank and Coldcut getting in touch with Tru Thoughts eager to get hold of their own copy.

Wait, ever since what? It sounds like they are saying that these go from being underground to mainstream by merely entering the consciousness of Robert Luis. Tru Thoughts released “500 exclusive copies” of the single in October 2007 (although they can’t be that “exclusive” as the album came out two weeks later). I first heard this song in a Daz-I-Kue DJ set at Winter Music Conference in March of 2007 so it seems the swapping was in full effect many months before the Tru Thoughts release. I guess what is more likely is that he was leaking the mp3 to high profile djs but they should just say that.

Anyway, the music is great so who cares about everything else.

>> songs are available for two weeks [15.5 MB]

I’ll be filling in for my friend DJ Juice E at the Habana Outpost Market this Saturday (May 10th).
Click the flyer for more info.

You Can Leave, But It’s Going To Cost You
Marvin Gaye
Here, My Dear, 1978

When I was first trying to get into soul albums, I seem to remember that every online review I would read of this album was really negative; at the same time, people I would talk to would always rave about it. I tried to find some of the bad reviews just now and they seem to have disappeared, which is nice – it seems to getting it’s due, apparently it was even included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. What I didn’t know is that when the album came out “it was panned by consumers and critics alike” according to the Here, My Dear wikipedia page. Thinking of the current era bad reviews as lazy regurgitative journalism makes more sense to me than imagining someone sitting down with the album outside of the context of what was expected of Marvin in 1978 and still thinking it’s bad.

You can read more on wikipedia but this album has one of the more interesting back stories of any album ever. Marvin and Anna Gordy (Motown Records founder Berry Gordy’s older sister) were in the process of getting divorced because, among other things, Marvin was carrying on a public relationship with another woman who he had two children with during his marriage to Anna. He was low on cash because he’d been living the rock star lifestyle so the judge awarded a large portion of his next album’s royalties to Anna. This happened before he made the album so “Here, My Dear” is what ensued – one of the most literal albums ever. Apparently, Anna actually considered sueing him for invasion of privacy because the album revealed so much.

I remember like it was yesterday, we were over Gwen’s
And was trying one more time to make amends
Oh yes we was
Suddenly it occurred to me, it did not matter
Whether I was mad at her
Or she was made at me
Nah, babe, understanding my condition
I must surely be a-wishing
And a-hoping to be free

Some say “you can leave but it’s going to cost”
She said “yeah, you can leave but it’s going to cost you dearly”

Dusty Groove is selling this album for $6.99!

>> songs are available for two weeks 192 kbps [7.7 MB] or 320 kbps [12.8 MB]

Only One
Joan Armatrading
Walking Under Ladders, 1981

I’m going to switch it up this week. This is a tender, hazy, folky, simple piece of bliss. Warning: this is not going to sound good on work computer speakers combined with the hustle and bustle of an office. This song is best enjoyed in the quiet confines of your home late at night…on non-computer speakers, although I guess no one has stereos anymore, right?

This is from my pretty large folk collection that almost never makes it out of my apartment. I have 12 Joan Armatrading albums (you could call me a big fan). This album has two great songs on it (this one and “The Weakness In Me”) but I would actually recommend starting with Show Some Emotion (1977), followed by Bring Back The Night (1975) (which is apparently not available on cd!) and her self-titled album (1976), if you’re into the more mellow 70′s folk sound. In the 80′s she started using more electric guitar and developed a slightly more aggressive sound.

This song is actually not very representative of her style. Most of her 70′s work features her on acoustic guitar (with no synthesizers) and her songs incorporate elements of blues, reggae and jazz. That doesn’t sound so noteworthy now but she was a bit of a pioneer in the early/mid 70′s. She grew up in Birmingham, England (she was born in Saint Kitts in the West Indies) and she was, to quote 100 Great Black Britons: “first black female singer/songwriter to gain prominence on the British music scene.” She didn’t get “big” in the US until her 1980 Me Myself I album but her records sold enough here that I was able to find them somewhat easily so I think her impact was not only felt in England.

She gave the season-opening concert at Celebrate Brooklyn four or five years ago and I had a similar experience to when i first went to the Wonder-Full party; songs that seemed to only exist in my living were suddenly interrupted by the applause of 1000 people after their recognition of the first few chords.

I love this photo of her from the inner-LP-sleeve (click it to see the whole thing).

>> songs are available for two weeks (192 kbps) [5.7 MB]
>> songs are available for two weeks (320 kbps) [9.5 MB]

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