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. 

Tuesday 2 August 2022

Five tracks vol. 1

Ahoy mates, it's bloggy time. Before the music, can I just say that I tried this Kenji Lopez-Alt at-home al pastor recipe and it was SUPER good. Highly recommend if you have plenty of time for a food project and don't care that groceries are fucking expensive now. OK, on we go. 

Computer - Nobody Loves A Computer Because A Computer Does Not Dance

A looong time favourite that I don't think I ever shared on DD. This overly-indulgent French disco gem is a) over 14 minutes long for some reason, b) about a computer who wants to be in love or something, and c) uses all the right disco clichés while managing to be totally off-the-wall unique. 1977 is the absolute sweet spot for me when it comes to disco, and it's because of tracks like this. Stupid and brilliant. 

Alphonse Mouzon - By All Means

Then we get to 1981 where, for my ears, a lot starts to go wrong. Not so here with this spectacular joint where the great Alphonse Mouzon is joined by Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard for a total shredfest. Nobody holds back, Herbie especially, and even though the cheese is spread on thick, three of the all-time greats (and two other players who I'll admit I just dunno, sorri) blasting their chops steer it right. 'Do I Have To', a slower jam on this record, is also A+++. 

Dunkelziffer - This Is How You Came

Full credit to Hugh B's stellar Skylab Radio show Mornings From The Gonsch and guest Big Gus AKA James i.V for putting me onto this one. Semi-weirdo German funk rock that got a reissue on Emotional Rescue in 2013, this is one I've gone back to again and again over the past few months. Listen to Hubo's show each Friday for plenty of calming oddness. 

Joe Bataan - Ordinary Guy

Joe Bataan is best known on dance floors for Latin Lover, a RIPPER zesty Salsoul classic, but this melancholy, ballady groove is my favourite moment in his catalogue. It's sweet and sad and beautiful, but it's still rich with trickling jazz guitar, Afro-salsa feel and a gently berserk keys solo which I think Bataan played himself. Really good music. 

John Carroll Kirby - P64 By My Side

JCK's Septet album was easily one of my most listened records of last year, and this is the track that drew me in. Partly because I'm a huge sucker for vibraphone. It's got this deep, drunken sway that feels kinda nautical. I dunno, this is just a fucking good record of modern, electronic-touched jazz that gives me flavours of all the old music I really like. 

Thanks, love ya xo