Wednesday 12 October 2022

Five tracks vol. 8

Yay more tunes let's just go 4 it.

Herb Alpert - Rotation

I love how Herb Alpert was able to transcend his zany uncoolness with The Tijuana Brass (at least in my ill-informed opinion) and pull out some fucking good music in the late '70s/early '80s. Rotation sounds ahead of its time for 1979, kind of casually electronic rather than in-your-face electronic like others incorporating synths, drum machines and sequencers were doing as the 80s kicked off. A legendary downtempo groove with big, pulsating energy.

Greg Phillignanes - Lazy Nina

Yes it's the one cut off Greg Phillignanes' second album that I like and boy do I like it. There's a simple reason: it was written for Greg by the great Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, and it comes through so clearly in the sweet vocal harmonies, masterful chord selections and laid-back jazzy yacht groove. The writing is complex but the result is easy lounge funk bliss. Skip the rest of this album and keep the Neens on repeat.

Jimmy Smith - Can't Hide Love

Jimmy Smith goes disco! The iconic Hammond player had a long career in jazz, R&B and funk that included sick moments like Root Down (a ripper live album whose title track was nabbed by the Beastie Boys on Ill Communication) and he was always great - even when trying his hand at disco, which loads of artists from other genres did a shit job of when they jumped on the bandwagon. Chunky bass, soaring vocals and slaying Hammond :)

Leon Vynehall - Inside The Deku Tree

I've never fully made my mind up about Leon Vynehall, but credit where credit's due - the opening track off debut album is just dazzling. Super evocative and emotive, it's a real composition with real dynamics and real arrangement that you wouldn't expect from your average house producer. Goosebumpsy stuff.

Len Leise - Desperado Dining

THROWBACK ALERT. Len Leise's magnificent edit of Azymuth's Despertar lives on in my heart as one of the finer edits out there. No lazy looping or quantised kick to sell some easy records - this one was clearly treated with respect and love to tease out a gently groovy side of an already awesome song. This was a coveted 12" when it came out in 2015 and it's still hot property on Discogs for good reason. A real nice trip.

Here's that YT playlist with all the tracks I've posted in the last few months if you wanna keep up to date <3


Tuesday 20 September 2022

Five tracks vol. 7

Got nothing but good vibes music to share this week since it's spring and I like the sun. Also, a PSA: I've made a YouTube playlist for everything that's being added here, so if you want to skip the bullshit and just listen to songs, give this thingy a follow why don't you:

OK here are some freshies. 

Tata Vega - I've Got My Second Wind feat. G.C. Cameron

Heard Theo Parrish play what I assume is his own fast, loopy edit of this some years ago and hooo boy it's a good one. Full to the brim with gorgeous vocals from both Tata and Motown dude G.C. Cameron, it's smooth beautiful disco from the top shelf. No idea if Theo's edit was actually released, but you can hear it on his gobsmackingly good final set from Plastic People.

Eon - We'll Go On

Oh goody, it's big, fast, bright, emotional soul from your boys Eon. I so often find myself humming this catchy number to myself, it's just a beaut of a melody. Weirdly these fellas did just the two albums and they're both self-titled - guess they were either super into the name or didn't have much imagination. But they're good boys and this is a great song.

TC James and The Fist O Funk Orchestra - Bumpsie's Whipping Cream (Tom Savarese Remix)

I've never quite understood the niche sector of disco folks who seem to be obsessed with featuring a woman moaning to climax in a song, but that aspect aside this is a fucking belter of a tune. When the bothersome sex noises finally peak and the sax jizzes everywhere it's an absolute dance floor melter. Found this on a comp called The Men In The Glass Booth which has some other quality OG disco re-edits from the likes of Walter Gibbons, Jim Burgess and Francois K, it's worth checking!

Little River Band - It's A Long Way There

Yes hello it's Aussie AOR legends Little River Band. Yes the one that John Farnham was in for a while but not at this point in the mid-70s when they recorded surely their best song, It's A Long Way There. Yes it's got to be up there with the best AOR jams of that era, with great Crosby Stills & Nash-style harmonies, big Doobie Brothers Long Train Runnin' energy and an indulgent amount of classic rock guitar soloing. Yessss I like it.

Michael Franks - When The Cookie Jar Is Empty

I don't like picking just one Michael Franks track to share because he has so much magnificent music in his discography, but oh well. He's an interesting fellow - his lyrics usually have this novelty silliness to them yet the music is pure class. It's smooth loungeroom jazz with a perfect '70s chiller aesthetic that makes excellent background music but shouldn't be discounted as foreground music because he's just really fucking good. Anyway, here's one of the many that I like.


Tuesday 6 September 2022

Five tracks vol. 6: oddballs

Had a couple of stranger bits I felt like sharing this week and I figured I'd dump all the outsider weirdos into one place. I love strange records by unusual people who have completely their own sound and vision, and they usually come with really interesting stories attached. Anyways, here are a few of those things. 

Ronald Langestraat - I'm Ready For Dancing

I really quite adore the first Ronald Langestraat album that South Of North unearthed and reissued a few years back. Supposedly the Amsterdammer was getting weary of the "high brow" jazz scene in the early '80s and did the LPs as a bit of a personal space jazz project, playing every instrument and self-recording in his living room. This track is one of my faves from the record - it's a little jazz, a little leftfield disco, a little weirdo lounge, wrapped up in an endearingly primitive package.

Vito Ricci - I'm At That Party Right Now

Dunno how I ended up uncovering this one but it vividly transports me back to the first time I went to London in 2015 or something and it was on heavy rotation at the RA office. It's from a Music From Memory retrospective of New York weirdo Vito Ricci's mid-80s releases, and it's somehow completely mesmerising to me. It's astonishingly lo-fi outsider boogie that's addictively groovy in a way that doesn't quite make sense to me.

Tonetta - A Really Big Cock

Of all places I heard this played on FBi Radio while I was driving and it floored me, quickly sending me into a years-long fascination with the now-73-year-old Canadian sex-freak enigma that is Tonetta. There's just too much to begin to explain, but if you haven't gone down the Tonetta rabbit hole, I can't recommend it enough. In any case, this is a song about his big dick that happens to be deviantly funky and remains one of my favourites.

Human Egg - Feeling On My Mind

This is not a weird song but, as a whole package, the self-titled 1978 Human Egg album is remarkably diverse and downright WEIRD. I picked up the reissue on Favorite in 2010 after hearing this chunky low-tempo strutter and was quite bamboozled. There's other funky stuff like this, including the uptempo jazz workout 'Love Like This' that flicks between space disco and Head Hunters-grade fusion, and then there's some totally off the wall shit like 'Onomatopoeia'. But all in all, a very special record.

Osamu Shoji - Airport in South Islands (Waffles Edit)

Ok this is totally splitting from the formula because it's a reworking that hardly resembles the original, but my blog my rules. Osamu Shoji's 1979 cosmic synth album Night Flight is a real oddball beauty. This edit on the anonymous Waffles label, which I wouldn't make any connection to the original if it wasn't listed on the Discogs page, is squelchy, low-tempo electronic funk that's sure to impress anyone you play it for.

Back with regular programming next week 🫡

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Five tracks vol. 5

I'll always have a tiny bit of regret that I gave this blog such a dogshit name. And it was especially stupid when all I was posting was DIRTY ELECTRO HOUSE BANGERS. But you can't be that mad at someone who was a little baby. What I can do is share some actual nice disco music to make amends. 

Norman Connors - Once I've Been There

It bursts out of the gates at full pelt with horns blaring and strings stringing, winding up a wild crescendo before dropping into one of the slickest mid-tempo disco grooves I know, filled with big band hits and ultra-funky, cruising verses. I just adore this record so much, and it hits so hard on a big system.

First Choice - Double Cross (Larry Levan Remix)

If I could have heard one record at the Paradise Garage, it may well be this one. Other versions of it don't work nearly as well - Larry arranged this mix to perfection, from the dramatic acapella > strings intro to the questionably chirpy early chorus/verses then launching into the real meat of the song, the phenomenally funky slap bass-driven dance floor nuke section. The first couple of minutes are a bit of a whirlwind and never hint at the gooey goodness at the centre.

Jaymz Bedford - Happy Music

It's sinfully repetitive, but I guess that's what dance music typically does, and I could listen to this squishy bass magic for eternity. This is the kind of tune you can imagine inspiring the birth of Popular People's Unlimited (is that label still a valid reference point?) and despite being recorded in 1981 it sounds absurdly fresh. Heavy chugging electronic funk with a happy message.

Alex Rodriguez - El Mercardo

You just don't hear enough '70s Latin American jazz-funk fusion that features thundering timpanis. Pretty cowardly, really. This stunning nugget by Venezuelan guitarist Alex Rodriguez (who only has one solo album to his name, sadface) manages to hang onto plenty of South American sauciness while still being an all-out, high-octane shredfest. Must have been a bonkers session to sit in on.

Poncho C. Saint Fingers - When I Come Knocking

I think I may have already given a nod to Andy Hart's ripper RA podcast recently, and either way there's more to come. I fell in love with this track instantly with its wobbling bassline and silky smooth boogie vibe. Another sad one-off, Poncho C. Saint Fingers (sick name) seemingly only released the one 7-inch in 1980. Why do that :(

Thank you for indulging me. 

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Five tracks vol. 4: psychedelic special

I adore '70s psychedelic rock, so that's today's theme.  Good for afternoons and stuff. 

Savanna Silver Band - Like I Do

Huge thanks to the great Tamas Jones of Hey Convict! for sharing this Australian psych relic way back in a Test Pressing podcast. There's plenty on the album that's A-grade, but Like I Do in particular is pure bliss in the order of The Sopwith Camel's Fazon. The fact that this syrupy jewel came out of Aus makes me feel a bit proud. 

Paladin - Third World

Fuckloads of cowbell? Yes. Setting up a ripping groove with only bass, percussion and vocals? Yes. Lots of WOOOOs? Yes. Inexplicably ending the track seconds after one of the most awesome piano entries ever? Yessss. I'd give 40 million dollars to hear an extended session of this 1971 masterpiece, but the teasing just makes me want to listen to it again and again. 

Neal Francis - Changes Pts. 1 & 2

I'm a bit of a 'they don't make music like they used to' grouch, so hearing modern stuff like this makes me so happy. All the best elements of 70s psych rock, produced with a super warm sound - if I was told this was recorded 45 years ago I wouldn't question it. Bonus points for mister bass man who absolutely cuts sick. Can't say the rest of Neal Francis's stuff I've heard has hit me in the same way, but I'm very pleased this track is out there.

Mark-Almond - The City

This featured on Lexx's magnificent Lovers Lane mix many years ago and always stuck out to me as a perfect slice of groove tranquility. I discovered recently it was a refresh of the band's 1971 unplugged-style original song that's super beautiful in its own right, but the plodding bass of the 1978 version probably tips it slightly ahead for me. Both stunners, though. 

Shoot - Mean Customer

Firstly, who the fuck designed this album cover? Surely even in 1973 this looked dated and bizarre. But, pull the record out of the monstrosity of a sleeve and you'll hear this very fine meeting of psychedelic, folk and soft rock released as a one-off by Shoot, a group helmed by Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty. It's good. 

Tuesday 16 August 2022

Five tracks vol. 3

It's pretty amazing how shit Blogger is these days. Suppose it was always this shit, but it really hasn't been improved in the slightest in the 10ish years I've been off it. Anyone know how I can set up a subscribe-by-email situation with this archaic technology? 

Hey here are some pieces of music that I hope you like. 

The Valentine Brothers - Money's Too Tight (To Mention)

It was only a few years ago I discovered that Simply Red's version of Money's Too Tight was a cover. Fuckin hell the Valentine Bros original is red hot. Absolutely filthy groove that makes Simply Red sound like little baby music. Surely one of the sickest synth basslines ever too.

Alex - Flying High (You And I)

Plenty of people have heard of Alex's 1977 track I Gotta Feel Something thanks to folks like Floating Points (if you haven't, it's spectacular) but I only recently came across this beauty by the Polish-Norwegian singer. Same year, different album - it definitely sounds like something I might have heard in a Floaty P set. Short, sweet, snappy and fun. 

Robin Trower - I'm Out To Get You

I first heard this in the final episode of The Leftovers — one of the most incredible TV shows ever that also reintroduced me to this Black Keys masterpiece — and listened to it constantly for weeks after. A little bit spacey, a little bit dancefloor-friendly rock, it's a perfect package of an earworm bass hook, great vocals and killer guitar from Trower. 

Material - Ciquri

OK, if the Valentine Brothers tune is filthy, I suppose this is in full-on sewage territory. Some of Material's music is a bit hekkers for my taste, but their Secret Life compilation gathers up some pretty good stuff, and Ciquri takes the prize. The groove is so sludgy it's almost repulsive, and the guitar sounds like it was recorded in hell. Very, very, very good, but wear gumboots. 

Nação África - Camarão Orkestra

Favorite Recordings can be a tiny bit hit and miss for me, but the hits are big ones, and the catalogue is so extensive there are plenty of them. Case in point: this funky as hell Afro groove from 2020. Probably one of the songs that made me go buy a bass that I sold pretty quick because I didn't become crazy good at it within a month. Anyway, it's a jam.  

See you next week pals. 

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Five tracks vol. 2

Hi m8s. I'm feeling VERY creative so I'll be creating some remarkably accurate sleeve reproductions to go with these posts, so DD is officially an art blog now too. 

Here are your tunes, put them in your ears and tell me what you think. 

Jah Wobble & The Edge - Hold On To Your Dreams

Ahh man, this has been a cherished tune of mine for such a long time. What a wacko cast on this mini album - you've got bass freak Jah Wobble, kraut master Holger Czukay and THE Edge (from U2, yes) with Francois K doing some drum programming. No Holger or Francois on this track, but Arthur Russell gets a writing credit for extra weirdo star power. Anyway, it's a magical jaunt that doesn't age. 

Arthur Adams - You've Got The Floor

Seems like this one's having a real go round the circuit at the moment, and why wouldn't it? Just a straight up mid-tempo disco classic with a fucking belter of a sax solo. Looks like the good Italian folks at Groovin are reissuing it soon, get those release notifications set. 

Sylvester - Give It Up (Don't Make Me Wait)

Why not double down on golden era saxophone disco? The embers are really glowing on this semi-overlooked Sylvester cut thanks to some disgustingly rude bass and sax shredding. Imagine Larry Levan thumping this one out on the Paradise Garage system, it must have been just heavenly. 

Kerri Chandler & Joe Claussell - Escravos de Jó (Robust Horns)

Ever since hearing it in a revoltingly lo-fi recording of an ancient Harvey set, I've long dreamed of starting a beachside set with this. A gift sent from the house gods, it's so densely filled with Joe Claussell's transcendently good vibes and uplifting percussion. That guitar comes in and it's amazing. Then the kick comes in and it's even more amazing. Ugh, total euphoria. 

Marlena Shaw - Loving You Was Like A Party

From a festival-grade opener to a slow-dancing late-night closer - the magnificent Marlena Shaw really nails this soulful, sentimental ballad. Very beautiful and very groovy, I love how the track keeps opening up and up. IT'S GOOD. 

Thanks, you can go back to doing whatever you were doing now.