Sure, I got hit with the ol’ “I’m dying trifecta” of swine flu, oral surgery & food poisoning… but that’s no excuse for an absence so prolonged as this. I’ll admit it: I dipped out for a minute. But I’m trying to make a comeback. So here goes. Starting simply.
This XX remix has been floating around for a while, but I can’t get enough of it. That purrrfect conjoining of dubstep murk & indie hookery, the simplicity of the song manages to rouse me every time… and by the time the chorus hits. Daaaaaaamn.
Next up. I heard this Hudson Mohawke promo at a record shop in NYC over the summer. Tried to get the dude to sell it to me. He wouldn’t. I guess I wouldn’t have either. The record is dope. The Scottish Mohawke is the genuine article: DMC champ at fifteen, underground icon before 20, and clearly an emerging producing talent. His music finds a fragile experimental harmony between Dilla, Cornelius, early DJ Shadow & Sa-Ra. “Just Decided” clearly leans toward the latter. “Rising 5” is just a good olde-fashioned instrumental headnodder that Pharoah Monche would have turned into an anthem in 1999. Cop the album.
Yet another irresistible Chromeo joint, reworked by dubstep mavenÂ Skream, into a slinky stinky slow-burning epicÂ that wouldn’t have been amiss on the Top Gun soundtrack. And I mean that in a good way.
Finally. I got real hype a few months back when I was (re)-introduced to Edwyn Collins. I guess I’ve known about this song forever, but always figured it was some under-appreciatedÂ Bowie single or maybe an Iggy experiment. Um, three words : nineteen ninety four. Needless to say the song KILLS it, but it also got me exploring some of the earlier Collins material, where I uncovered this RIDICULOUSLY good re-edit of one of his earlier works as Orange Juice. I defy you to not play air-sax around the 2:40 mark. Impossible.
So that’s that. I guess I’m back.
Florence & The Machine: You've Got the Love (The XX Remix)
Chromeo: Night By Night (Skream Remix)
Edwyn Collins:Â A Girl Like You & Rip it up (intermediate edit)
Well, friends, that just about wraps up another one. If the Back to School billboards ain’t convinced you; if the NFL preseason hasn’t sparked the nervous dread of impending winter (cause if it isn’t summer, then really, what is it?); if the those last few empty squares on the August page of your calendar aren’t concrete enough proof… well, I’m here to remind you: IT’S OVER.
But we’re not going out emtpy-handed. No sir-ree. I want to make sure you’ve got a few sunny tracks to carry you through the next nine months, fodder to spark to mind those last lazy days and steamy nights, when your only care in the world was wondering where to find the next BBQ and how to scrounge up the cash for Coronas. Consider these the acorns to store away in the frozen hollow of your winter tree.
The summer is dead; long live the summer.
Booker T. & The MG’s:Â L.A. Jazz Song
Tom Ze:Â Quando Eu Era Sem Ninguem
That first concert attracted a strange crowd. There they were:Â leaping marmosets, roving rhino, feeding jackals and various other members of the animal kingdom frozen in their diverse and respective habitats, a veritable potpourri of Life on Earth. All the disparate parts, the whole spectrum of the Circle of Life (to quote the Lion King), had been brought together under a single vaulted roof. To add to the curiosity, a stage had been erected amidst the fauna and their many ecosystems — a rainforest here, a frigid glacier there– and a couple hundred Urban Outfitted 20-somethings now paraded casually through the shifting landscapes, comfortable, I suppose, in their own larger ecosystem: a 21st century American metropolis. It was the kind of strange and fascinating intersection that could only be produced synthetically. Like, say, in a Natural History museum.
Which is exactly where we were. And which is where I watched another strange and fascinating intersection take place…
The first-Friday jump-offs have been going on for a minute at the Museum of Natty History here inÂ L.A., a truly unique and fun monthly event that culls together music and booze and lots of taxidermied animals toward the pursuit of merrymaking. I had been a few times over the years, seen a few good bands. Got drunk with the dinosaurs, etc. But it wasn’t until this particular night that potential of the context was fully realized.
Here’s what I saw: a motley crew of lanky Angelenos, dressed in tight jeans or Birkenstocks or turbans or wildly-patterned mumus, jerking out African and Middle Eastern rhythms in Parkinsonian bursts — hand drums shakers electric guitars gourds vintage keyboards — accompanied by Hebrew and English vocals (and other simply unidentifiable noises) with a whole slew of rapt (and mystified) scenesters, museum-goers and dead mammals dancing like the survival of the planet depended on it.
Fool’sÂ Gold (the band, not the label, fool!) are an ensemble of local L.A. talent that are giving some credence to the notion of a truly globalized world. Sure,Â David Byrne, has been doing this stuff forever and Vampire Weekend got crazy hype for adding just a few of those kinetic melodic flourishes, but rarely have I heard this kind of boundary-shifting global fusion done to such beautiful effect (I’ll take this opportunity to shout out that otherÂ L.A. conglomerate, Dengue Fever, as another rare example of that delicious alchemy). And with such a strange cast of characters. Of course, what makes great music great is not who makes it. So, yes, here’s a scruffy and unlikely group of African music purveyors; but finally, what sells me on Fool’s Gold is that the music itself sounds utterly authentic, even for it’s disparate parts. Which is to say, there’s nothing inherently synthetic in synthesis.
They’ve got an album due later this year. Buy it.
Fool’s Gold:Â Surprise Hotel
Happy Tuesday! I’m pleased to present y’all with a new mixtape by the illustrious Goldie/Keaton conglomerate. Local L.A. heads, friends and extended famiglia, these are two baaaad dudes. Golden (aka. Jesse Rogg) has been doing BIG things in the last few years. The man behind mixing boards of a certain Sam Sparro and the forthcoming debut by The Love Grenades, this is a dude worth watching out for. Diane Keaton — like, as in the DJ, as opposed to the human being — is none other than international artist playboy/neo-anarcho-hedonist Jonny Coleman. What can you say about a staple Eastside L.A. nighthawk who summers in Berlin? Living the dream. When he comes back stateside, I’m gonna con him into joining the westcoast contingent of Mixtape Riot madness. ‘Cause that’s how we roll…
As for the mix… This one’s been in steady rotation for the last few weeks. A perfect L.A. summer night soundtrack. Space disco, retro-future dance music, a few tasty classics and a handful of exclusives. Equal parts lunar casbah and cosmic discoteque. It’s 3AM on the 101 freeway. You’re driving under a starless sky. What are you listening to?
Here’s the (updated)Â LINK
I know, I know. I been gone a minute. Not without a whole litany of excuses, but I’ll spare you those. Accept this as my apology: three of the dirtiest soulful heaters I’ve heard in a minute. A little backlog of Northern fire I been saving up for just the right occasion. I’ve been storming the dancefloors with these tracks for the last few weeks and imagine I’ll continue stormin’ ’em for weeks–nay–months to come.
The common thread to these songs–besides the undeniably heavy dose of soul– is a certain underlying fierceness. From the driving proto-funkiness of Judy Freeman to the almost punk-like jerk of my boy Reggie Garner to the absolutely decimating relentlessness of the Flirtations (listen to the way it goes straight from the pounding opening piano, right into the blasting horns, right into the scorching vocals, without leaving a split second to catch your breath–YIKES!!!). Who says that soul music is for softies? This stuff hits like a sack of bricks.
Aside from the Flirtations who scored a medium sized hit with “Heartache”, I don’t have much info on the other two artists. If you know something that I don’t, do tell. Otherwise, embrace the ferocity and dance with a fury. Till next time…
Reggie Garner: Hotline
taken from the 7″ on Capitol
Judy Freeman & Blackrock: Hold On
taken from the 7″ on RCA
The Flirtations: Nothing But A Heartache
taken from the LP “Nothing But A Heartache” on Deram