Monday, December 21, 2009

Q is good for you!

All this snow has got me longing for the sun, and that's why I wanted to share this Quincy Jones-gem with you: 'Summer In The City'. I don't think there's anyone who hasn't heard the original by The Loving Spoonful (voted #393 in Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Songs of All Time'), but you should also check out the excellent B.B. King-cover (1972), the strange Tim Curry-version (1982), the popular Joe Cocker-cover (1993), the Butthole Surfers-cover (1999), the Styx-cover (2005), the Incognito acid-jazz-cover (2006) and the (ex-Golden Earring-singer) Barry Hay-version (2008). The Loving Spoonful also inspired De La Soul and J. Dilla for the chorus of 'Thru Ya City' (2000).
The reason I chose the Quincy Jones-version (apart from the fact that it's absolutely brilliant) is of course that hearing the first notes will make hiphop headz go 'oww shiiit', recognizing the main ingredient for 'Passin' Me By' by The Pharcyde, produced by... mister Dilla. Q's version also provided samples for Massive Attack & Horace Andy's 'Exchange', Black Moon's 'Reality (Killing Every N****)', r&boysband Intro's 'Funny How Time Flies', Nightmares On Wax's 'Nights Interlude' and 'Les Nuits', The Roots' 'Clones' and 'Funky' by DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ridin' On The Avenue

Since I have been driving most of the day -and the only non-dangerous thing one can do while driving is listening to music- I'd like to present 2 excellent cruising-songs:
'On The Avenue' by 70s-keyboardwhiz Ronnie Foster (perfect for late night city-cruisin') and my personal favourite 'Let's Ride' by Q-Tip (produced by the late J Dilla).
Ronnie Foster's extremely funky instrumental will make you put on your finest pimp-gear and fur hat, while Q's listing his in-car record collection over a beat that sounds so sunny you'll forget it's winter. Enjoy and drive safely!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Shadow of the DJ he used to be...

First of all, I want to point out that no matter how lame he'll ever come to be, I will always love and respect Josh Davis aka DJ Shadow. His groundbreaking album 'Endtroducing......' proved sampling is an art and opened the door to jazz, blues, soul and funk for a lot of hiphopheadz like me. I had the privilege to see him perform twice and I consider those concerts to be two of the best I've ever witnessed.
For his third official release, 'The Outsider', Shadow was inspired by the local Bay Area hyphy-sound. This crunk-subgenre was popularised by rappers Keak Da Sneak and E-40 (both featured on 'The Outsider') and it's main goal is "getting stupid" and "going dumb". Not quite the stuff one would expect the guy who crafted 'Midnight In A Perfect World' or 'Mutual Slump' to bring, but you can't expect him not experimenting either, so... I gave it a listen. When I tell you 'The Outsider' is the only Shadow-production I don't own, it should give you an idea of how much I didn't like it. Listen to crap like '3 Freaks (ft. Keak Da Sneak & Turf Talk)', 'Seein Thangs (ft. David Banner)' or silly pop-rock like 'Erase You (ft. Chris James)' and try not to vomit.
In fact, there was only one song that I instantly adored (I absolutely disliked most of the album) and that's the un-Shadow-like 'This Time (I'm Gonna Try It My Way)'. This string-coated soultrack is very catchy and sounds like a rare groove Davis found while diggin' in the crates, but after checking the credits, I noticed that Shadow was helped by The Heliocentrics and The London Session Orchestra. The excellent singing is uncredited, since Shadow found the vocals on abondoned tapes he found in an old recording studio.
Shadow, I know you've tried it your way this time, but for music's sake, please do it the Endtroducing......-way!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Murder Music

Since I'm a huge fan, I decided to do a little post on the music used in the popular Showtime-series 'Dexter'. This show is about a blood spatter analyst that canalizes his urge to kill by taking out bad guys who managed to escape their punishment. Apart from the complex plots and the amazing acting (Six Feet Under-actor Michael C. Hall makes it impossible not to sympathize with a serial killer), the soundtrack is a very good reason to watch 'Dexter'. The 'Dexter Opening Theme' by Rolfe Kent (who has also scored films like 'Sideways', 'About Schmidt' and 'Thank You For Smoking') always gives me goose bumps because it's spooky and mysterious, but the latin feel (inspired by the show's setting, Miami) adds a little ironic twist that I like a lot.

Watching the fantastic opening title sequence (Dexter's morning routine), one can only conclude that Tom Van Dyck and Michiel Devlieger must be big fans as well, since the opening of this years' 'Van Vlees en Bloed' seems completely inspired by Dexter's (even the music sounds alike). I tried to find the opening sequence for 'Van Vlees ...' online to demonstrate my allegations but couldn't find anything... (copyrightshit or just afraid to get caught biting, bitchez?). Be sure to check some other pieces of soundtrack including some of Michael C. Hall's morbid narration ('Sometimes I Wonder', 'Tonight's the Night' or 'Wink' by Daniel Licht) to get you in the perfect mood for one of the best tv shows ever made!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Green Eyed Concert

I just wanted to point out that Mayer Hawthorne has a new video for his track 'Green Eyed Love' (my personal favourite) and that he will be performing in Belgium:

@ Het Depot (Leuven), 06/11/2009, € 13 and
@ Make-Up Club (Ghent), 07/11/2009, € 10

Monday, October 19, 2009

Book 'em, Danno!

Jack Lord as Detective Steve McGarett

Just read in the paper this morning that remakes of popular TV shows like 'Dallas', 'Upstairs Downstairs' and 'Hawaii Five-O' are in the making. "Now who gives a shit about that?", one might say, but although most of us are way too young to have seen any of those series (I do remember feeling nauseous watching Dallas @ my granny's - the horns in the theme song still make me sick), I do hope we get a chance to see a new version of 'Hawaii Five-O'. The theme song by Morton Stevens is quite legendary and makes one feel like solving some crimes, doesn't it? More cult TV themes here soon...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dance, Dance, Dance!

Since most of you will be recovering from last night's bleeps and beats I'd like to talk about a couple of contemporary dance tracks that I like a lot. First I want to discuss Scottish giant Adam Richard Wiles aka Calvin Harris, whose poppy dance anthem 'Ready For The Weekend' is getting an awful lot of airplay on nearly every radio station. To me, the song sounds like a mash-up of an upbeat Elton John-song and an early 90s Eurohouse-chorus, but in a crazy way it works. The first Calvin Harris-song that caught my (and everyone's?) attention was of course 'Acceptable In The 80s', a ridiculously catchy track followed by the rather annoying 'The Girls' and the groovy 'Merrymaking At My Place' ("at my place baby, at my plaaaace...": lovely). This year he also surprised us by combining soft string-plucking with Tiësto-like stabbing synths in 'I'm Not Alone' and by teaming up with Dizzee Rascal and Chrome for the absolutely fantastic 'Dance Wiv Me'. Since the collabo was so succesful, Harris also produced Dizzee's after-Bonkers-single 'Holiday'. I know most of you think it's shit, but to me, the cheesy synths have just the right amount of silliness. Dizzee isn't the only one noticing Harris' production skills. Roisin Murphy and Sophie Ellis Bextor ('Off And On'), The Mitchell Brothers ('Michael Jackson') and even Kylie Minogue ('In My Arms', 'Heart Beat Rock' and the Roxy Music cover 'Love Is The Drug') counted on Harris' sound to score hits. I'm pretty sure we'll be hearing more from this Scot.

The other dance track I really like these days is 'Audacity of Huge' by the UK-duo James Ford and Jas Shaw aka Simian Mobile Disco. Yeasayer-frontman Chris Keating tries to brag and boast his disappointment away namedropping Damien Hirst, Joey Ramone, Bill Murray, Peter Tosh, James Joyce and even the Sultan of Brunei over a cool electrobeat and a fun bunch of bleeps. Other cool SMD-tracks are the lucious 'Hustler', '10,000 Horses Can't Be Wrong', 'I Believe' and 'It's The Beat'. Boom!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Science Funktion

Today I bring you the completely spaced-out synth-tune 'Discovery'/'Solstice' (1978) by Brian Bennett. The song was sampled by producer L.E.S. (Leshan David Lewis, also did 'Nastradamus', 'Gettin' Jiggy With It' and 'I'm Real') for Nas' 'Find Ya Wealth', by Alchemist for 'Top Prospects' by The High & Mighty (ft. Defari & Evidence) and by Baby Grand for Jadakiss' 'By Your Side'.
Bennett, former drummer of The Shadows (with Cliff Richard; for those who claim they don't know them: you do, just listen to this) evolved into a popular producer, music director and composer of various tv theme tunes and soundtracks (the Ruth Rendell Mysteries-theme is probably the best known). His album 'Voyage (A Journey into Discoid Funk)' provides exactly what the title and the record sleeve promise: funky and groovy but far out space funk that could be the perfect score for your occasional acid-trip. You should also check out 'Chain Reaction' from the same album, a tune filled with sounds that amazed everyone back in the day and prove that Bennett was years ahead of his time and (judging the spacecrafts on the sleeve) maybe still is...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gangbangs are good for the heart! Or aren't they?

I guess the title of this post made you curious enough to read it, but I'll be honest: I'm not going to list the medical pros and cons of having sex with several people at the same time (I wouldn't be able to say much about it anyway, since I haven't had the pleasure of sharing the bed with more than one female simultaneously - fingers crossed, though). Ann Sorel, a pretty unknown French Yé-Yé-girl did tackle the subject on her 1972 record 'L'Amour à Plusieurs', describing a wild night with friends and its consequences. Her raspy yet sexy voice is accompanied by a slow, smooth groove and oriental-sounding strings arranged by Jean-Claude Vannier, who did the same for Serge Gainsbourg's epic album 'Histoire de Melody Nelson' (and made a crazy score for an Yves Saint Laurent fashion show, check it here). 'L'Amour...' will certainly sound very familiar to Gainsbourg-afficionado's but is quite unknown to the big audience, and that is exactly why I want you to hear it. More Frenchism coming soon...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Vulture

Today I'd like to talk about the British (Nigerian/Belgian roots, though) singer-songwriter, musician, activist and poet Labi Siffre: a very strange name you probably haven't heard before. Yet, I'm quite certain y'all have been vibin' to his music at least a dozen of times. First and foremost because Siffre's 'I Got The' was sampled by Dr. Dre for one of the anthems of the late 90s: 'My Name Is' by Eminem. You'll have to wait till the break (2'10") to recognise the sampled bits, but the song itself is worth your while. Em and Dre had to change some of the lyrics to get the sample cleared after Siffre stated that "attacking two of the usual scapegoats, women and gays, is lazy writing. If you want to do battle, attack the aggressors, not the victims", which may have made the lyrics even better.
Dre wasn't the only one to see the potential of 'I Got The': Foxy Brown ('Hot Spot'), the Beatnuts ('Beatnuts Forever'), Jay-Z ('Streets Is Watching'), Noreaga ('N.O.R.E.')and Erick Sermon (for Def Squad's song 'Countdown') sampled it; even RZA used the bassline for
the Wu's 'Can It Be All So Simple'.
Labi's talent obviously wasn't as limited as the 'talent' of some of those sampling producers. Madness scored one of their biggest hits by covering Siffre's 'It Must Be Love' (you can find the Madness-cover here); his anti-Apartheid anthem '(Something Inside) So Strong' was covered by a.o. Kenny Rogers, The Flying Pickets and Michael Ball; Kanye West used a sample of 'My Song' for his 'I Wonder' and RJD2's 'Making Days Longer' is actually a cover of Siffre's 'Bless the Telephone'.
My favourite Siffre-song is 'The Vulture', a song in which Labi (despite being openly gay) admits to being a real playa playa seducing girls who just got their hearts broken. Play on playa!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Party All The Time, Bitch!

Now who could resist..?
This song has been buggin' me all day, so I decided to post it here and hope y'all get infected too. Deep Dish-producer (you all know their song 'Flashdance') and DJ Sharam stormed the charts in 2006 with 'PATT', a very simple but effective floorfiller based on the Rick James-produced Eddie Murphy-song 'Party All The Time'. O yes, the comedian/actor/director/producer used to sing! The song is très 80s (which makes quite a lot of sense 'cause it was made in '85), but the video is hilarious and if you're really honest you have to admit Rick 'superfreak' James did a great job on production. Two blonde nitwits called Shanell & Aubrey O'Day made their own obnoxious version. And now I gottago 'cause my girl likes to...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Take me with you for some smut peddlin'

Today I'd like to introduce y'all to Lyn Christopher, a beautiful lady whose addictive 'Take Me With You' provided a very dope bass riff for Smut Peddlers (High & Mighty + Cage) on 'One by One' (also check 'Medicated Minutes' and 'Amazing Feats' from their aptly named album 'Porn Again'). LL Cool J ('Listen To My Heartbeat' ft. 50 Cent) and DMX ('Three Stories' ft. Duo) made an effort to jack the bass as well, with rather disappointing results. Fun fact is that this groove was recorded in Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios (in 1972), which -in my opinion- makes it sound even better.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Animal Music

During my last visit to Alosta's state-of-the-art library I stumbled across 'The Blue God', the second album of Tricky's ex, Martina Topley-Bird. After releasing her 2003 debut album 'Quixotic' (single 'Sandpaper Kisses' got some airplay and was picked for the soundtrack of the popular videogame 'Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy') she collaborated with the likes of Jon Spencer('s Blues Explosion), Gorillaz and Diplo. Her second baby was conceived with the help of superproducer Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse, whose vintage sound perfectly suits Martina's soft and sexy voice. Singles 'Carnies', 'Poison' and 'Baby Blue' (extremely catchy) are very enjoyable, but 'Something To Say' and 'Phoenix' are worth checking out as well. More Danger Mouse soon!

Let's go Disco...

Two hit wonder Montell Jordan (his other hit was 'This Is How We Do It') became the talk of R&B-town in the late 90's with the song 'Get It On Tonight', displaying his aversion of dancing in the club, love of fur coats and Motorola-sponsordeal. Despite my aversion of the whole R&B-scene I must admit I always loved this song because of the exotic, laidback beat. Too bad we can't give Montell any props for that, because it was the German duo Jörg Evers and Jurgen Korduletsch who provided the epic discobeat 'Love For The Sake Of Love' for Jamaican singer Claudja Barry (ex-Boney M; later scored a big discohit with 'Boogie Woogie Dancing Shoes') back in 1976. The -mainly instrumental- original is a bit slower and the string-coated chorus is très Love Boat and thus quite terrible, but the groove is simply irresistible. Claudja starts her sexy parlando at 2'40" and doesn't play too big a role in this production, but I can't imagine Evers and Korduletsch selling a lot of records without her face on the record sleeve. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Jazz's Here

Miles Davis
Since my man Sylle asked me if I knew any good jazz (preferably stuffed with trumpets), I decided to list some of the greats:
1. Miles Davis (the Jimmy Hendrix of Jazz): 'Bitches Brew' (1970): a strange journey into a world unknown, trippin' music; 'Ascenseur Pour l'Echafaud' (1957): soundtrack for Louis Malle's film, check some scenes here and here.
2. Donald Byrd: this guy was a real blessing for any producer looking for a nice groove (vibe on 'Dominoes'). Check his albums 'Slow Drag' (1967) and 'Stepping into Tomorrow' (1974, remixed by Madlib here) or find out why Tom Barman and CJ Bolland should thank Byrd a zillion times here (compare to this).
3. Dizzy Gillespie: this guy wrote a lot of songs that are considered 'standards' nowadays ('A Night in Tunesia', 'Manteca'). Check his latin thing on 'Afro Cuban Jazz Moods' (1975) or 'Modern Jazz Sextet' (1956) with Sonny Stitt on sax.

These are of course only three of the greatest trumpeters of all time. If you like it, I'll try'n'list some more some other time. Enjoy!

Donald Byrd

Dizzy Gillespie

Monday, August 3, 2009

The King of Pop was Gangsta

I know I'm kinda late but I haven't payed my respects to the King of Pop yet, so here we go: it may be a bit strange, but my favourite MJ song is no massive hit like 'Thriller', 'Bad', 'Smooth Criminal', or 'Billie Jean', but one of his last singles, 2001's 'You Rock My World'. This song, produced by Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins (scored with these ones, too: 'The Boy Is Mine', 'It's Not Right, But It's Okay', 'If You Had My Love', 'Say My Name', 'Lose My Breath', 'When I Grow Up', ...), was never a #1 hit but still managed to get a permanent spot in my brain's back catalogue. The music video for 'You Rock My World' was -like most of MJ's video's- a nice short, featuring A-list actors like Michael Madsen, Chris Tucker, Marlon Brando, Billy Drago and the ravishing Kishaya Dudley. The video portrays Michael as the smooth player/dancer, exactly how I want to remember him...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dirty & Hung

Ray Drecker is hung...

HBO's new series 'Hung' (former jock with financial issues tries to make a living as a gigolo) is definitely worth checking out because of some excellent acting (Thomas Jane is perfectly cast as Ray Drecker) and a great soundtrack: check the title theme 'I'll Be Your Man' by The Black Keys, a raw and dirty bluesrocking motherfucker.
The Black Keys

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can't Top This

We all know the Four Tops as one of the exponents of the legendary Motown-label, scoring massive hits like 'I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)', 'It's the Same Old Song' and 'Reach Out, I'll Be There' ('... just look over your shoulder...'; love that break!). A song you probably haven't heard before is the astonishing '7-Rooms of Gloom' (hit the 'free user'-button to download). This song was -like most of the big Motown-classics- written by the Holland-Dozier-Holland production team and contains the typical up-tempo drumline, combined with strange gothic arrangements. '7-Rooms...' didn't make it to the top of the charts, but is definitely worth a listen...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lovely witch

Today I want to talk about the amazing Astrud Gilberto, the Brazilian queen of bossa nova. In the early sixties she scored a huge hit with saxophone genius Stan Getz' interpretation of 'The Girl from Ipanema', a beautiful composition used in numerous commercials. I discovered Astrud's mysterious and sexy but fragile voice on the track 'Black Magic' (hit the 'free user'-button to download), a sunny song that always manages to put a smile on my face...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jamaica Jamaica ...

Stranger Cole

Oyeah I'm irie today, so here's some more reggae: 'Crying Every Night' by Stranger Cole.This little wonderful tune has been fascinating me for the last months. The raw soul in the high-pitched voices really make you believe 'every word I say is true', while the keys and the bass (especially in the intro) sound quite cheerful. I can't get enough of songs with 'moodswings' like this (since I'm not a musician I lack the right lingo, but I hope you know what I'm tryin' to say) and I can't imagine anyone not feeling emotional when hearing this tune.
The other tune I wanted you to hear is Lee 'Scratch' Perry & the Upsetters' 'Sipreano'. Crazy genius Lee Perry toasts like a madman over an organ-based beat while displaying his skills as a producer manipulating the sound. Enjoy this spaced out classic.
The Upsetter himself

No birdz down

Horace in the 70s

Back to the island this time: introducin' Horace Andy. This Kingston-born rootsvocalist is probably best known for his work with UK triphop-band Massive Attack in the mid- and late 90s (check their version of John Holt's classic 'Man Next Door' with Andy's vocals; and 'Angel', a remake of Andy's 'You're My Angel'). This collabo got him a lot of well-deserved props, but the man has been making music since the early 70s. I heard his first big hit, the intoxicating 'Skylarking' (produced by Clement "Coxsone" Dodd @ the legendary Studio One), when I was 7 or 8 years old and the tune proved itself so 'masta' that when I got reintroduced to it a decade later I immediately recognised it. If you can't get enough of Horace's dramatic delivery I strongly advise you to check the compilation 'Skylarking: the Best of Horace Andy' (Virgin/Melankolic, 1996) ... "or you will end up, up, up in chains".

Performing with Massive Attack in 2003

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mighty Mos & Magical Madlib

Owwwww shiiiiit! Official soulfoodcook Mos Def dropped the fantastic new album 'The Ecstatic' featuring some beats Madlib made under his Beatkonducta-moniker. This combination of lyrical and musical genius results in a number of absolute bangers like 'Auditorium' (ft. UK oldschool rap phenomenon Slick Rick) and 'The Embassy'. Mighty Mos' topics and delivery on these tracks immediately remind us of the 'BlackStar'- and 'Black on Both Sides'-albums we absolutely adored. I can't say the whole album is as brilliant as these 2 tracks, but if Dante keeps on focusing on music these next years we might see the return of the real black star.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Madlib @ work

Some pictures of Mr. Jackson doin' his thang... which was of course spinning the dopest ish in his own stubborn and eccentric way. Madlib really is the bad kid...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Drift Away Ray

Ray Pollard
Now this is a song I need to hear at least once a week, just to sing my lungs out: 'The Drifter' (1965) by Ray Pollard. I think this string-laden ballad is the perfect soundtrack for some overly-dramatic crying and screaming over your long lost girl or just to express the unbearable pain of being lonely. Another great Northern Soul-classic is Chuck Wood's 'Seven Days Is Too Long' (1967). Although this guy seems to be having problems getting his girl to talk to him, he puts his sadness aside and convinces us to get on the dancefloor with him. Love those horns!Chuck Wood (hard to believe this guy can sing so passionately)

Friday, May 15, 2009

MMMMMMadlib Invasion

Oyeah baby! Tomorrow (16/05/09) musical genius and personal hero Madlib will be performing @ Petrol Club, Antwerp. Beatjunkie J.Rocc will be joining him on his quest for dopeness. The two will get some support from the Canadian duo Thunderheist, who will bring a quite eclectic mix of hiphop, electro, dancehall, etc. Check 'em out @ Petrol's site. After Madlib & J.Rocc, Belgium's hiphophead #1 DJ Lefto will guide us through the night. Hope to see y'all there!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

British soul-sauce by Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson (left) and Daniel Merriweather
Since the song 'Changes' (ft. Wale) is in high rotation on nearly every radio station... of this nation in creation (sorry, got a little carried away there), Daniel Merriweather rapidly is becoming one of the new heartthrobs in pop music. Although I can't stand the song (the piano-break makes me think of some lousy Maroon 5-type of crap - shame on you, Ronson!), I have to admit I like the guy. The reason for this is fairly simple: he was the singer of 2007's Mark Ronson single 'Stop Me', which made the charts in various countries. Mark Ronson is a very soulful and funky producer whose ears have provided hits for the likes of Nikka Costa ('Like A Feather', very dope), Robbie Williams ('Lovelight', a lot less dope), Lily Allen ('Littlest Things', 'Oh My God'), Amy Winehouse ('Rehab', 'Valerie', 'You Know I'm No Good', 'Back to Black' and 'Love Is A Losing Game'), Adele ('Cold Shoulder'), Kaiser Chiefs ('Never Miss A Beat'), Christina Aguilera ('Slow Down Baby'), Ghostface Killah & Nate Dogg ('Ooh Wee') and remixed/covered Radiohead ('Just') and Britney Spears ('Toxic'). Now the reason why I want to talk about 'Stop Me' in particular, is that it's actually a remix/mash-up of two older songs: 'Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before' by The Smiths and 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' by The Supremes. It might seem very strange to combine music and lyrics from a British 80's rockband with those of black female soul diva's from the 60's (Ronson was accused of being disrespectful towards both Smiths-singer Morrissey and The Supremes) but the outcome is great! Let's hope Ronson keeps creating quality music with that funky soul-flavour.
Nikka Costa (oyeah this pic needs to be here)

Azymuth: Brazilian jazzfunk

Azymuth in the 70's

Checking the credits on Jazzanova's 'Of All The Things' (which I discussed a couple of days ago), I found out Brazilian jazzfunk-band Azymuth contributed to the very sunny 'Gafiera' (ft. Pedro Martins). To me, this is proof these guys impressed music lovers around the world and still get a lot of props from contemporary musicians inspired by their stuff. Their best known song and greatest hit most probably is the up-tempo partyfunk song 'Jazz Carnival', but the Azymuth-joint that first caught my attention was the fantastic 'Dear Limmertz'. The bass-slapping immediately manages to hit your spine while the rhodes and vocoder create a spacy atmosphere suited for a promising night out. My personal hero Madlib, who is known to be a huge fan of Brazilian music , started a project with Azymuth-drummer Ivan 'Mamao' Conti, releasing the album 'Sujinho' last year. Check out a video of the Jackson Conti-duo jamming here. Enjoy!

Jackson Conti @ Paradiso, Amsterdam

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Shii am I happy today! For no apparent reason (meaning it ain't my birthday or something) I got my very own heart-shaped 'Just Ain't Gonna Work Out' 7-inch (like in the video) from this ill gangstabitch Sarah (on the right in the picture). Thank you a zillion times, Sarah!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another German invasion

Don't start panickin' though, chill and let these guys invade your ear canals. Why do I mention their nationality? Because Germany is the last place you think of when exposed to the sometimes exotic and always adventurous styles of Alexander Barck, Claas Brieler, Jürgen von Knoblauch, Roskow Kretschmann, Stefan Leisering and Axel Reinemer (I admit, their names are VERY German) a.k.a. Jazzanova. Formed in Berlin in 1995, these guys have been creating mainly nu-jazz, electronic jazz and chillout music, occasionally hitting the charts with their more pop-oriented, radio-friendly songs, like 'No Use' (ft. Clara Hill) from their album In Between (2002). Although I've known this band for some years now, I really feel I should mention them here. All this because their latest album, 2008's 'Of All the Things', has been camping in my stereo for several months now. While not ignoring the style of music they mention in their moniker, the band seems to have chosen for a more 'soulful' approach. 'Look What You're Doin' To Me' (ft. Phonte of Little Brother, I'll talk about that guy sometime soon) is a joyful uptempo love song combining Phonte's versatile voice with some excellent cutting and programming by Stefan Leisering. Ben Westbeech (he too will get a post someday) has a whole orchestra accompanying him on the swingin' 'I Can See', a song you'll want to hear at least a dozen times a day. Also check out 'L.O.V.E. and You and I', Jazzanova's very own tribute to the breakbeat, and 'Little Bird' (ft. José James) to prove just how all-round these guys are. If you want a true taste, check out Alexander Barck's dj-set @ Petrol, Antwerp (22/05/09). I guarantee you'll have a great time...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

'Pieces' by The Stylistics

The Stylistics

Today I'm gonna talk about one single song: 'Pieces' by The Stylistics. Since I first heard it, I can't get it out of my head and I catch myself tryin' to pitch my voice to sound like the pimped-out falsetto they use in this song. Real O.G.'s will probably recognize the intro, since it was sampled by Alchemist for 'The Grimy Way' by Big Noyd ft. Prodigy. The rippin' guitar is of course one of the song's main attractions, but the beautiful strings and subtle horns create the perfect background for The Stylistics' melancholic style of singing. This melancholy is countered by a firm and solid beat, accelerating the tempo and making the song less 'heavy'. As a result of this we get a melodic piece of soul music which balances between an up-tempo summergroove and a deep, heartbraking love song. If you fall in love with the song like I did, just ask for an mp3-version and I'll send it to you.

The Stylistics still going strong

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hiphop's favourite Canadian musical composer

Galt MacDermot in his basement

While most of you will go like 'who the fuck?', Galt MacDermot is one of the old white guys praised and respected by any good hiphop producer for creating a huge catalogue of really dope beats and soundscapes. MacDermot, best known for his production on the musical 'Hair', was sampled numerous times by a whole range of contemporary producers and artists like DJ Vadim, DJ Premier, Madlib, J Dilla, Oh No, Busta Rhymes, MF DOOM, Handsome Boy Modelling School and many many more. Listening to the original, you can only conclude one doesn't need that much talent to create a dope beat samplin' Galt's shit. Damn! Makes me wanna break my promise never to watch a musical voluntarily (no 'next Maria'-shit here, though). I'll hook you up with some links of MacDermot's compositions plus some of the 'new' shit using his samples.

1. 'Ripped Open By Metal Explosions' by Galt MacDermot -> sampled for 'Brooklyn Hard Rock' by Thirstin Howl III (Soundbombing II)
2. 'Space' by Galt MacDermot -> sampled for Busta Rhymes' 'Woo Hah!'
3. 'Coffee Cold' by Galt MacDermot -> sampled by Handsome Boy Modeling School for 'The Truth' (ft. Roisin Murphy & J-Live)
4. 'Harlem Medley' by Galt MacDermot -> sampled by Madlib for Quasimoto's 'Discipline 99 Pt.0'

Oh No (Madlib's brother) made a whole album using nothing but Galt MacDermot-samples: 'Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms'; check the song 'T.Biggums' (ft. Dudley Perkins & Georgia Anne Muldrow)
Oh No loungin' with Galt MacDermot