Archive for the ‘All – Songs’ Category

Basic Channel – Phylyps Base (1983)

May 21, 2018 Leave a comment

I’ve recently bought myself a new turntable to enable me to play my old vinyl records.

However, I’ve also started buying stuff which is often best appreciated, or is only available, on vinyl.

In the former category, I’m trying to get all the great LPs and singles associated with the wide ranging career of Nile Rodgers!

In the latter, I’ve been buying up 12″ singles by Basic Channel, Maurizio, Rhythm & Sound, etc, where the vinyl versions are often longer and different to those available on CD. Tonight’s post is a great example.

Ear bleeding Berlin techno from the early 1990s – utterly relentless and compelling. Play loud!


Bobby Hutcherson – Catta (1965)

May 18, 2018 Leave a comment

I’m having a bit of a jazz jag at the moment and am working my way through three enormous guides in alphabetical order. On the way, I’ve already bought up 20+ CDs and I’ll be posting highlights over the next few days.

Why not start here? I’m not generally a big fan of the vibes but Bobby Hutcherson does a great job of avoiding too much showboating and with Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and the brilliant Andrew Hill on piano, the combination was always likely to be a winner.

Taken from the Dialogue LP released on Blue Note in 1965.

Alice XY – Me and the Devil (2018)

This is how to do a cover version.

  1. Take a 1937 blues classic from the legendary Robert Johnson.

  2. Meditate on how Gil Scott Heron tackled it.

  3. Radically strip back the music to the essentials required to make your point – simple bass, gorgeous keyboard washes and pulsing drums.

  4. Add soaring, yet melancholic, vocals over the top and definitely don’t change the genders of the subjects.

  5. Mix down, add video and release.

A new talent has arisen, Alice XY hits the mark with her debut solo release.

Did I mention that she’s my daughter?

Eric Dolphy – Bee Vamp (1961)

April 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Recorded live at the Five Spot in New York in July 1961, “Bee Vamp” is a wonderful track written by Booker Little who plays trumpet on the piece (and who died 4 months later at the age of 23).

The band is led by the wonderful Eric Dolphy on alto saxophone and bass clarinet. Ed Blackwell on the drum keeps an understated beat going but, for me, it is Mal Waldron on the piano who steals the show. From an insistent, metronomic pulse, he suddenly breaks out into a wonderful solo from 7:17 in. It will be the best thing you here today!

Tim Maia – Rational Culture (1974)

April 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Twenty one minutes into Tim Maia’s Racional LP, I was beginning to wonder whether my almost infallible “friend in New York” had recommended a rather expensive turkey for me to buy. However, 12 and a half minutes later, I had heard this stunning track and within an hour it had been elevated into the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime.

Tim Maia is one the icons of Brazilian music and “Rational Culture” is a stone cold funk classic. That being said, there are hatters out there who might be a tad offended were anyone to liken Mr Maia to one of them.

According to Wikipedia, Tim was visiting a composing friend and came across a book Universo em Desencanto (Disenchanting Universe) which revolves around the cult of Rational Culture (me, neither). Anyway, in double quick time, Mr Maia converted to the cult, abandoned the drugs and red meat, and decided to write lyrics based on the knowledge contained in the book. RCA rejected the resulting albums.

Fortunately, Tim bought the masters and released two volumes of Racional.

I’d like to say a big thanks to Tim for his gumption and I know you are going to want to do the same.

What a record!

Midori Takada – Crossing (1983)

April 8, 2018 Leave a comment

A holy grail of Japanese ambient music, the Through The Looking Glass LP was finally released on CD in 2017.

This track is my favourite and finds Japanese composer Midori Takada really channeling her inner Steve Reich.

Pitchfork describe the creation of the LP thus:

… Takada entered the studio by herself to realise this music. Over the course of two days, she put to analog tape all four of the LP’s extended performances as well as laying down the overdubs, producing and mixing the album on her own … Looking Glass is one of the most dazzling works of minimalism. be it from the East or West.

The track “Crossing” builds up layers of overdubs from a single struck cowbell. More cowbell? Yes, please.

Stunning stuff.

Booker T. and the M.G.’s – Time Is Tight (1969)

April 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Quite simply one of the best records ever made. The tension builds so slowly, the restraint is compelling, the command is complete!

I actually first heard this song as a cover version by The Clash on the superlative 10″ LP “Black Market Clash”,  almost 40 years ago (gulp!). In those days it was so difficult and expensive to find and hear the original versions of songs!

Featuring a staggering bassline; some of the most restrained percussion of all time; a classic, insistent, guitar riff from Steve Cropper, and; Booker T.’s perfectly timed keyboard strikes and washes, this is instrumental music of the highest precision!

Perfect popular music!

The single version then a great live cut!


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