Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mpese Mpese band - Mpese Mpese theme (Drumtalk remix)

Thanks to @al_mazzles for the tip on this one. This is sick. Original tune is from 1986. Sofrito have just released this Drumtalk remix on their Highlife Underground EP.

Afro-dance times!!



Echoes feat. Bundy K. Brown - Directions

Kieran Hebden just tweeted "I probably got most of the idea for Four Tet from this".
Need I say more? Absolutely awesome.


Tullio De Piscopo - Stop Bajon (1987)

Post xmas vibesing with Italian drummer-singer maestro Tullio De Piscopo and his (very) merry band. Cheers to @iikans for the shout on this one.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Low - Christmas (1999)

yes. yes. yes.

after hanson's classic "snowed in," this is easily the best christmas album ever

merry xmas everyone!!!


p.s. thanks goes to my sister, ianthe.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Real Estate - Days (2011)

Posting this one might be redundant as its gotten a ton of buzz recently, but if you haven't checked it out its worth sitting down with for a while. Definitely an LP you want to let simmer, on first listen its mellow enough that I didn't really grasp everything that was going on.

Its Real Estate's second LP, and is much better produced and put together than their endearing, more lo-fi first self-titled. The phaser guitars, catchy hooks, and surf pop feel are guaranteed to grow on you. If you like interwining, lackidaisical guitars, and lyrics about home in the suburbs, this is for you. Happy relaxing.

For a taste of the first LP:

- A

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage (2011)

never really got into black metal, but this is awesome. wolves in the throne room are apparently pushing black metal to new, inter-genre heights, and it works. think epic post-rock, mixed with the best of metal.

it took me a couple of spins before i massively got into this album, so definitely give it some time if your ears aren't tuned to metal vocals, shreddage and pounding double pedal rhythms. it's worth it.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Ice Cube - The Predator (1992)

Hey All,

I'm finally back for a second post, and this one's coming straight at you from the golden age of hip hop. Ice Cube, the crazy mothafucka from Compton, was never really up my alley, or so I thought. But after being introduced to his biggest hit ever, "It Was A Good Day" (check the first vid below), in a hip hop history class I'm taking, I changed my tune. The beats all the way through this LP are insane, full of horn blasts, soulful vocal hooks, and thumpin like you wouldn't believe. Ice Cube, not renown as a conscious rapper by any means, hits all the gangsta tropes: getting women, selling drugs, using his AK 47, poppin a three wheel turn with his hydraulics, all the classics. There are even some hilarious skits included as interludes (which have their own sick beats as well), both political and humorous, my favorite being a cop that threatens to book Ice Cube if he doesn't share his donuts (the cop ends up shot). Key tracks are almost all of them. "The Predator," "It Was A Good Day," "Check Yo Self," and "Now I Gotta Wet 'Cha" are probably my favorites. So grab some St. Ives, a blunt, and put your hands up. This ones a party.

- A

Monday, November 28, 2011

West African Afro-beat & Blues (1968-1981)

i'll kick this post off with some De Frank and His Professionals:

and because everyone loves compilations, especially when they're awesome:

Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shockwaves - Ghana & Togo 1972-1978 (2010)
"Consistent to the last, West African Shock Waves is another fine installment in a series that threatens to become as essential a glimpse into obscure and vintage African music as the Ethiopiques series – and that’s high praise indeed." -BBC

Ghana Soundz
vol.1 (2007)

Ghana Soundz
vol.2 (2007)

Ghana Special-Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds & Ghanaian Blues 1968-1981 (2009)


p.s. get your soundway copies here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dirty Gold - Overboard (2011)

i guess what i used to think was called 'dreampop' is called 'chillwave' now? that's kind of annoying, because when that term came up, message boards made me think it existed solely for that wavves prick. i guess it's a good, descriptive term though actually.
anyway, if imma be posting more again, expect some chillwave :)

finding out about this one comes with a fittingly bittersweet story, but that's not what this blog is for.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Charles Bradley - No Time For Dreaming (2011)

completely forgot to post this album upon its release this january by Daptone Records (again great stuff after Sharon Jones and El Rego). the andrew and i were raving about bradley during the jerusalem days, good times. in any case: 12 tracks of banging soul&funk with a sublime backing band.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mountain Goats - Get Lonely (2006)

i recommend seeing the mountain goats live. john darnielle jokes about when he wanted to commit suicide, explains song lyrics, takes requests and helps sell his own shirts after the gig. just the best dude.

and after years of listening to the same mountain goats albums i recently discovered 'get lonely'; a fucking bleak reflection on loss with darnielle on the verge of a mental breakdown.

or buy some records here


Monday, October 31, 2011

James Brown - Star Time Compilation (1956 - 1965)

been listening to this early james brown compilation (1955 to 1965) over and over. brown brings the raw power with tracks covering solid 50's R&B and soul to the early stages of funk. get it.

p.s. for all 4 volumes of the box-set, go here


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

El Rego - El Rego et ses Commandos (2011)

El Rego is a rediscovered legend of West-African music from Benin. Blending afro-beat, afro-funk, soul, psychedelia, crazy wah-wahing guitars and James Brown-esque wails - this isn't one to be missed. El Rego is, like many underground African artists of the 60s and 70s, gaining a new Western following and a collection of his material has been compiled and reissued by Daptone Records this month - available here.

El Rego's also featured on Analog Africa's compilation 'African Scream Contest' (2008). It's amazing - buy it. Here's a track from it:

Vimado Wingnan (I'm going with Daptone's title rather than the youtube vid) is also available on a release from Daptone:

You can grab a two track vinyl rip here. The tunes are more chilled than the videos above, but just beautiful.

If you like this, then you'll love Orchestre Polyrhythmo de Cotenou.


Monday, October 24, 2011

The Advantage - Elf Titled (2006)

NES meets math rock meets Television: The Advantage is fucking amazing. Listened to both their self- and elf-titled albums for years until my ex gf dropped a precious 1TB external drive with all my shit on it. Now they’re back on the phil-scene, banging tracks like Batman – Stage 1, Contra - Alien's Lair and Megaman – Flashman. There’s barely any synth (unlike most other NES bands), just wave after wave of outrageous riffs and math-rock beats. Unbeatable.


Molton Bonderas: Musical Footballers Extraordinaire

For the past few years I've been playing in a 5/7-a-side football team - Molton Bonderas - which has seen a host of awesome guys come through its roster. During the summer we usually expand to a larger collective of guys playing in Regents Park in London.

Recently I was thinking how amazingly prolific and diverse musically our team and the wider group of guys we play with have been, so I thought I'd dedicate a bit of space on Fucking Chill to highlight the phenomenal and varied talents of my football compadres:

1. Ed Godden
Position: team captain; absolute hero of the pitch with a penchant for blind rage.
Music: Jason and the Astronauts - ace post-punk with electronic flourishes and shouty vocals. Check it.
He's also put out some great compilation CDs to fundraise for Homerton Hospital.

2. Evan Morgan
Position: Rock in defence; rugby tactics.
Music: Dubious Caesar - beautiful future-folk duo of soaring harmonies and macabre anthems. More on them here.

3. Alex Gordon
Position: Midfield maestro; chilled gait.
Music: DJs as Gongon, some awesome future bassy and tech mixes. Plays with Deadboy as D&G.

4. Allan Wootton
Position: Regent's Park football crew; gangly antics!
Music: DJs as Deadboy - now getting massive and deserved acclaim. His Fact Mag mix was voted mix of the year I believe. It's fucking ace: check it out here.

5. Alex Jackson
Position: Fill-in keeper; wonder shot-stopper.
Music: Dynamo Garage - Bewilderingly good drummer in this great alt-indie outfit; ace live show.

6. Luke Massey (yep. me.)
Position: Undoubtedly the fulcrum of the team; playmaker and striker extraordinaire. :D
Music: Green as a Primary - we're not making tunes anymore but this is what we were doing back then - drifty electronica with ambient instrumentation with Evan Morgan and Alex Massey of Dubious Caesar (above).

7. Leon Marks
Position: I forget where he played, but play he did ;)
Music: Shit and Shine - crazy noise-rock; wowing live experience.
Leon also made tunes for a while as Hyper Black Bass which to this day is the best name I've ever heard for a DJ (ref to the fishing game on the Game Boy circa '95).

8. Matt Parker:
Position: Hotstepper; silent assassin who played with us a couple of times (so I thought he should get an honourable mention here!).
Music: Nedry - great bass-fuelled tunes with shimmering guitars and beautiful vocals. Blogged about them a while back.


Vani Jayaram / Shankar Ganesh - Kola Kola (1985)

Big props to eclectica cybernaut Henry Hobson for the tip on this one. I've had trouble finding out exactly who is responsible for what is potentially one of the greatest audio-visual advertising experiences ever created. In short, it seems to be from a film called Mangamma Sabatham (1985). The song featured here is essentially an elaborate advert for Coca Cola, but the tune, choreography and production is all blinding.

The female singer is Vani Jayaram; some production on the song is by musical producer duo Shankar Ganesh. Other than that, what needs to be explained; just soak it up.


P.S. I've just seen that this is our 100th post! w00t. What a corker to celebrate haha.

Etherea / Balam Acab - Free Etherea (2011)

Usually known for his dreamy electroniscapes, Balam Acab has been foraying into hip-hop terrains of late under the name Etherea. I've been loving the ace mash-up of MF Doom and noise-poppers Wavves (below), which reminds me of some the progressive glitch-hop stuff coming out in the early 2000s like Prefuse 73:

Here's a typically downbeat track off his free release 'Free Etherea':

Download 'Free Etherea' (2011) here (some of which is really nice, some of which is a bit uninspired - but worth a listen nonetheless). Remember, it's free, so the DL is guilt-free :)


The Lana Del Rey Phenomenon

Like it or or loathe it, Lana Del Rey is here, and lurching industry promo, obsequious radio stations and hysterical blogs (just like this one!) are going to make sure that you know about it. There have been far more interesting discussions about her going on than I have to contribute here, so to get you up to speed: check this.

Having some serious reservations about this kind of perfectly image-conscious creation and the meteoric rise that naturally accompanies it, I particularly like Amy Klein's deconstruction of the Del Rey phenomenon.

The tunes are definitely catchy, and I guess that's the point. The things that leaves me feeling slightly hollow about it all are as follows:
1. The hackneyed nature of the retro film reel footage, which is empty despite seeking to evoke a warm and nostalgic feeling in us. It runs like the end of an uninspired film, with the "emotional music" kicking in at just the right time to deliver the sob and imperceptible slump of the doting audience.
2. The overwhelmingly derivative substance of the songs. It feels to me like some of the melodic hooks from Video Games and Blue Jeans have literally been cherry picked from great songs and blended into something which is a sure fire hit.
3. Similarly, the emphasis on image over content. It's built for internet viral appeal, which is kind of depressing, because I think that she has a genuinely decent voice, and obviously some great production behind her.
4. It's empty empty empty.
5. Did I mention the hollowness of it all?

But anyway, make up your own minds; this is what all the fuss is about:


Monday, October 17, 2011

Twin Shadow - Forget (2010)

Check this awesome track 'Castles in the Snow' from Twin Shadow's 2010 album Forget - it's totally addictive:
(ignore video!)


Crystal Fighters - Star of Love (2010)

Crystal Fighters are a London-based Basque troupe band who've been together since back in 2007 and have reached real critical and commercial success over the last couple of years with some stellar singles (one on Kitsuné I believe), including Xtatic Youth (below) culminating in the release last year of their debut album Star of Love. The album reveals a collage of influences, frequently fusing Basque folk instruments with dirty basslines and scenester London-electro; add some densely layered vocals and you've got some real gems.

As such, the album is beyond varied, but this doesn't detract from the flow but merely demonstrates what a wonderfully playful and prodigious talent these guys are.
Compare for example the delicate electronics, instrumentation and soft poppy melodies of 'At Home' with the dirty shoreditch electro anthem of 'Xtatic Truth' (complete with half-rap vocal hook - not a fan of that, but hey).

And here's a clip of a fresh mix of the CF track 'Champion' from London producer Gongon, who's an accomplice of Deadboy's and a former football compadre of mine!


The Vaselines - Son of a Gun (1987)

That Saint Etienne song made me think of another awesome indie-pop classic - Son of a Gun by The Vaselines. The chorus is beyond addictive:


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saint Etienne - You're In A Bad Way (1993)

just noticed we've had over 5000 visitors since we started! awesome.

a perfect pop song to celebrate:


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zomby - Dedication (2011)

Posting those tunes below has made me remember that I wanted to pen something on Zomby's latest offering - 'Dedication' - which came out a few months ago on 4AD. He's not your average producer so you should read up on the trajectory of his music, but as I never got round to writing anything substantial, I thought I may as well just stick it up.

It's a deeply personal album with some dark currents running through it and some chill samples. The quite Burial-esque "Natalia's Song" is an instant YES, but the whole album deserves some solid you-time.


Burial / Sepalcure / Julio Bashmore

Things have been pretty hectic recently and I haven't had time to finish off more elaborate posts, so here are just a few cool tunes that are hanging around in my circulation...

Dark urban sounds from Burial. Perfect for walking home from work in the early darkness of approaching Winter... (chills video as well - the animation kind of reminds me of parts of Monkey Dust):

Similar vibes in this Sepalcure tune, love that bass:

On a lighter note - Julio Bashmore's been brightening my journeys to work in the morning. It should be too banging for a sleepy-eyed tube ride. But it's not.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Avus - Furry Hat (2009)

border community 4 life. been loving james holden for years, then nathan fake, and now this track.

hypnotic holdenesque soundscapes floating on minimal beats. tasty shit.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Earth - Hex (2005)/The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull (2008)

Hey Everyone,

My name is Andrew. I met Phil this past summer when we lived and worked together in Jerusalem, sticking it to the man. Turns out we both listen to too much music, so he let me in on this cool blog you guys got going. Anyways, I'm from Connecticut, USA, go to school there, waste my life there, etc, and this is my first post.

I recently decided to try out some drone bands for size. This band, Earth, is my favorite so far. They are from Seattle Washington, and fathered an entire scene of metal-drone heads, but eventually their music morphed from dark metal chords to western-influenced soundscapes. The two albums below are filled with relaxing, beautiful tunes. Believe it or not, a Youtube comment describes it best: "This makes me wanna sit in a chair on a farm in a big feild next to a fence starring at the scenery of trees off in the distance and the giant barn infront of me while i live life slowly as i puff on a joint watching the vibrational energy of existance take its course seeing the truth that the man made reality ignores..."

If you're in a darker mood, check out their older stuff too (i.e. Pentastar: In The Style Of Demons), but be ready for some sludge.

Check it. Drone on.

Earth - Hex (Or Printing In The Infernal Method) (c) 2005 Earth/Southern Lord

Earth - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull (c) 2008 Southern Lord


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gentle Friendly

Thinking of HEALTH made me think of a band who make similarly awesome music but who mean a lot more to me: Gentle Friendly. GF is made up of David Morris and Richard Manber (originally Dan Boyle). David's from Birmingham, my home town, where he was already playing in some great bands like The Reverends back in the day; we've come in and out of each others lives over the years. They've supported HEALTH and Ponytail among others in their time and have been released by ace lables like No Pain in Pop and Upset the Rhythm.

Gentle Friendly make seriously beautiful and progressive noisy melodic lo-fi which just cuts through in a way that totally grips you. The vocals, often distorted into the mix, swirl with a real emotional intensity, and the frantic drumming really wraps up some of the rabid and throbbing synth lines. Their live show is where their raw awesomeness really shines through. There's more info on their label bio.

Here's a couple of examples of why they're fucking amazing:

And here's one of their early songs played live - 'Five Girl Night' - great tune:


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

HEALTH - Goth Star (Pictureplane cover)

Cheers to @Al_Mazzles of Dubious Caesar fame for the tip on this one. HEALTH have come in and out of my life over the past few years, but this one apparently just doesn't want to leave my head.

So - glitchy electro fun with a hint of melancholy: enough said. Here's the HEALTH remix of Goth Star by Pictureplane:

Stereogum have very kindly put it up for download here


YES. and check out this javelin remix of 'In Heat'. so smooth.

update 11/10/2011: been listening to goth star religiously. major props.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thundercat - Golden Age of Apocalypse (2011)

Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat has been flying under the radar for some time as a bass maestro and contributor to various productions including work with Flying Lotus on Cosmogramma (2010) and even playing bass with punk legends Suicidal Tendencies.

Flying Lotus has finally coaxed Bruner out from behind the scenes and assisted in the production of his debut release 'Golden Age of Apocalypse' which is out now on the Brainfeeder label started by Flying Lotus in 2008 (and home to acts such as Samiyam and Daedalus - who I shared a stage with a few years ago at a festival in Oxfordshire, but that's another story).

The album is a disparate but flowing meld of soul and jazz infused electronics, synths and of course some creamy basslines - well worth a listen. One track getting a lot of attention is Bruner's dreamlike cover of George Duke's 'For Love (I Come Your Friend)'. Also check out the addictively upbeat 'Daylight'.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clams Casino - Rainforest EP (2011)

brooding dark/green jungle-themed electronics by clams casino. think midnight safari on shrooms. would def recommend late-night listen.


Martyn - Ghost People (2011) - Hoxton album launch

Dutch producer Martyn is an electronic music pioneer and always puts on a banging set, and to celebrate the hotly anticipated release of his new album Ghost People in October, a big night was in order. Fortunately the line-up didn't disappoint, and with sets from Dbridge (Exit/Autonomic) and Hyperdub label boss Kode9 it was always going to be a corker.

Set in a sparse basement deep in the underbelly of Hoxton (with the venue remaining almost worryingly mysterious until the last minute), 3024's visual maestro and fellow Dutchman Erosie's artwork adorning the venue was a fitting backdrop for Martyn's unique fusion of techno, dubstep, funky and house.

After Manny Z warmed the room, including an awesomely leftfield remix of Blue Monday, Dbridge stepped up. Dbridge is a veteran who never disappoints, and tonight was no exception - with an eclectic bass driven set of melodic drum & bass, dub step and some jungly beats it was a floor filler. I think I lost about a stone brocking out.

Martyn's set raised the roof, and the crowd seemed to embrace the more housey direction of his new tunes, which he's discussed elsewhere. No Natural Selection or Vancouver here, this was the set of a DJ who clearly feels comfortable when constantly moving, shifting, defying expectations.
It would have been a great night ending after Martyn (the room was roaring) but it was topped off with the legendary Kode9 dropping some absolute bangers for his garage-filled finale. Awesome night.

Here's a taster of the album, but it has to be seen live.

Can't wait to session the album properly and hear where Martyn's headed. Ghost People is released on Brainfeeder on 10th October 2011.

Update: some great photos of the night over at Brainer mag


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bon Iver - Bon Iver (2011)

several months after everyone's been hyping it, i finally gave the latest bon iver album a spin. i like it.

their sound comes close to talk talk, but it misses some raw awesomeness. maybe i'm just projecting my latest (re)obsession with talk talk.

still a great record though, even though they're not talk talk.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Wendy Rene - After Laughter (1964)

blogging's been slow lately now that we're all busy

but man this song

the youtube version doesn't really do justice to the song, so def check out

if it sounds familiar:


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ishilan N-Tenere - Guitar Music from the Western Sahel (2010)

“This compilation highlights recordings of local guitar bands in three areas of modern day Senegal and Mali. These bands are almost unknown outside of their homes but have a devoted local following. They play all events, celebratory or political. Their songs are folk anthems, hummed under the breath and chanted by children, traded by cassette and transferred by cellphone. The guitar bands are the pride of their towns.”

Lo-fi recordings consisting of sparse guitar rhythms, entrancing vocals and the occasional beat tapped on a guitar. in the background there's cars starting, kids playing and people chatting. the whole record just brings you right there. 'Zinezju Meghdem' delivers a drony introduction, but the album really kicks off at 'Hommage a Ali Farka Toure'. highly recommended.

stream, buy or download the album here:

and check out their disclaimer:
"I fully support free music and the realism of digital availability. If you wish to download this album for free, please download it, as it shouldn't be difficult to find. But it's also available for those who wish to support the musicians and their work: 15% to Bandcamp, 50% to the buy it for $2 or $20!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Moondog - Moondog (1969)

Because of an incredibly shitty internet connection and general busyness it's been forever since I posted. Luke's totally been carrying the team with some epic posts. props.

Aight so here's Moondog.

Wikipedia: Moondog, born Louis Thomas Hardin (May 26, 1916 – September 8, 1999), was a blind American composer, musician, poet and inventor of several musical instruments. Moving to New York as a young man, Moondog made a deliberate decision to make his home on the streets there, where he spent approximately twenty of the thirty years he lived in the city. Most days he could be found in his chosen part of town wearing clothes he had created based on his own interpretation of the Norse god Thor. Thanks to his unconventional outfits and lifestyle, he was known for much of his life as "The Viking of 6th Avenue".


Friday, July 22, 2011

Fool's Gold - S/T (2009)

I can't believe I haven't got round to posting about Fool's Gold on here before as I've basically been living their debut album for months and banging it out at any opportunity. I most recently dropped the track Surprise Hotel in The Windmill in Brixton when they were looking for some tunes between bands; awesome to play it over a big soundsystem! I also rocked Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou which was ace!

Difficult to describe but I'd probably say something along the lines of addictive up-tempo afro-licked world-pop. The tunes have such a great flow, with beautiful african-infused guitar work, complimented by the soft toned harmonies of Luke Top (bassist/vocalist) and Lewis Pesacov (lead guitar). Pesacov also throws in some gorgeous and sometimes hectic sax which really blends the vibe into something quite unique.

Enough of this; listen to the first track on their self-titled album - Surprise Hotel - and then do so OBSESSIVELY. (video is ridiculous though)

I can't condone stealing this album, but some people like that kind of thing.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Shangaan electro: Tshetsha Boys

What can I say? These guys are big in the game. Lilting high-tempo new wave african dance that you can't help moving to: the sweet vocal melodies carry it through for an awesome party vibe. Loving this.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Omar Souleyman - Dabke 2020 (2009)

Just over a year ago I had the pleasure of catching some of the wild flailing delights of Omar Souleyman's frantic Syrian folk-ravepop in the dingey pit of London's Scala. Last week I had the opportunity to meet him at Glastonbury. After Omar being something of a legendary figure amongst my friends for some time before the Scala show, it was seriously a night to remember and I can't recall seeing a crowd going quite so mental for ages, never mind that it was to such a bizarre blend of Syrian folk melodies and heavy budget-synth beats, lorded over by an emotionless, sunglassed MC in the traditional Arabic keffiyeh and thawb. Omar cut a jarring figure in King's Cross I can tell you, and I still don't know if his popularity is just some strange sneering embrace of Orientalist irony in the indie-electronic music community that's adopted him (for the moment?), or if there is a genuine overlap of aesthetic ideals between his music and some current trends in Western music scenes. I suppose time will tell.
Either way: it's fucking brilliant.

And if you want to see me and some friends raving out throughout this video (from Glastonbury last week) then check it out (first glimpse is at 0:12, yellow t-shirt and panama hat - big look):

Check out the album Dabke 2020 here.

Also - just to keep you updated - work is already underway on Omar Souleyman's first collaboration with a Western artist: a co-written album with fucking BJÖRK! AMAZEBALLS.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway (2003)

The song Carry Me Ohio from Sun Kil Moon's debut album Ghosts of the Great Highway (2003) just came into my head and I remembered what a wonderful and addictive tune it is. Quality nostalgia track for me: it sends me back to a roadtrip to Cornwall with friends some years ago - great music to watch scenery pass by to, even better to remember it to.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Afrocubism - Afrocubism (2010)

check this out. interesting read and great music.

"the album itself [...] was recorded live over four days in Madrid without any prior rehearsals. A joyfully ebullient meeting point between traditional Malian music and the kind of Cuban rhythms the Buena Vista Social Club brought to the wider world, AfroCubism continues a cultural exchange that has been going for over half a century. In 1960, following independence from France, Mali's president Modibo Keïta introduced one-party socialism, resulting in Fidel Castro becoming a close ally and Cuban music being actively promoted throughout Mali. A member of the entourage old enough to remember this period is Djelimady Tounkara.

One of Africa's foremost guitarists, Tounkara moved from the countryside to the Malian capital of Bamako in the early 60s to become a tailor, but ended up joining a state-sponsored orchestra instead. "We were encouraged to play Cuban music," says Tounkara, a gentle bear of a man whom the other musicians hold in a great deal of affection. "And it wasn't hard to combine Malian and Cuban music, because people from Africa went to Cuba and took the rhythms with them."

This musical cross-pollination came to an abrupt end in 1968, when a military coup overthrew Keïta. The new regime encouraged the development of authenticité – traditional African music, devoid of outside influences. "After the coup d'etat, the military destroyed the ballet, the opera, everything," says Tounkara. "I dealt with this by escaping to Senegal, but the military made me come back, and I had to find a new way of making a living as a musician."

So began one of the strangest and most celebrated episodes in the history of Malian music. In 1972, Tounkara joined the Rail Band, a group initially hired by railway authorities to play in a hotel lounge near the main station in Bamako to help pass the time for people waiting to catch a train. The Rail Band became a phenomenon, with African music legends Salif Keita and Mory Kanté passing through its ranks; it became the first band to combine traditional instruments with an Afro-Cuban sound. Tounkara managed to sneak in a Cuban influence while remaining close enough to authenticité to keep the authorities off his back. "I don't want to boast," Tounkara says with a little wiggle of the head, "but I played an important part in the development of Malian music with the Rail Band. We created something new."

Among the younger musicians who had to discover Cuban music is Bassekou Kouyate, a ngoni (traditional string instrument) player with more than a passing resemblance to Otis Redding; and Lassana Diabaté, a member of Toumani Diabaté's band (though no relation) and a player of the xylophone-like balafon. They seem to come as a pair, and wish to be interviewed together. "When we grew up, the only Cuban song we knew was Guantanamera," Kouyate says. "We didn't have the opportunities to get influences from the rest of the world. With AfroCubism, there was no time to do a rehearsal, so we had to learn about Cuban music on the spot. But we did it."
- The Guardian (read)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sharon van Etten - Epic (2010)

sharon van etten's last album has slowly been growing on me. been recurringly humming the lines of 'don't do it' over the last days, which convinced me that Epic is, in fact, a great album.
think cat power but (only a bit) less depressing, more mainstream and more country.

here's the album
and some tracks on her myspace

Dubious Caesar (2011)

This shit's totally fresh - and that's not just because I live with the guys and have blood-ties with one of them!
Amazing two-piece of beautiful folk guitar with soaring harmonies and driving beats. The tunes up on their myspace now are from their first self-recorded demo and are amazing, and I'm told there are more to go up. They're playing their first shows around London at the moment and I'm loving it.

You can get downloads of these first three tracks here:
(you need to download the tracks individually, this is the first one - Flutterbyes - the other tracks are on the right hand-side of the page (Stratosphere and Edge of Nowhere)


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou - Volume One "The Vodoun Effect" 1973-1975 (2008)

Awesome afrobeat and african sounds. And one of the best names ever. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou have been going for decades and this release on Analog Africa was put out in 2008 - well worth checking out.

This song isn't on the album linked below, but it's a great tune (jokes video):
*Update 26th July '11: Just found a nice interview with OPR from May of this year:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Silver Pines - Forces (2010)

discovered this record because of the sleep 8 over post below. three band members (all girls from Austin, Tx) are the same, but there's definitely a different sound here. think shoegaze calexico. i told luke there was some electro in there, i take that back.

personal favorite tracks are maypearl and timefather


Friday, May 27, 2011

Sleep ∞ Over - Outer Limits (2010)

Only two tracks.

Especially 'Outer Limits' is instant bliss.

rik, they're playing at primavera sound this year


DM Stith - Heavy Ghost (2009)

I can't believe I've only just come across DM Stith (cheers to Ev for the shout). Awesome and dark folk-noir compositions with beautiful vocals/lyrics, intricate and weaving guitar-work and some great, often chaotic, production. Brings to mind artists including Joanna Newsom; Nick Drake; Bill Callahan; Fionn Regan; Jeff Buckley; Benjamin Wetherill and many others. Basically all great stuff! He's currently touring Europe with Sufjan Stevens (playing Prima Vera festival tonight actually!).

Here's him playing live in New York last year with some wonderfully deft backing from Inlets:


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Peggy Sue - Fossils and Other Phantoms (2010)

Saw these guys last week and they're really ace. Quite varied folkiness with awesome harmonies, sometimes an accordian and some soul-infused vocals. Altogether YEAH.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Alela Diane - Black Cab Sessions

I just stumbled onto 'Black Cab Sessions'. They're all about "one song, one take, one cab." Luke posted an Alela Diane album some months ago, so I figured I'd listen to her singing in a cab. It's great.


-Really loving this. Great late-night vibes. L

- fixed the url -p

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – I Learned the Hard Way (2010)

"Since so few acts in the new millennium attempt the old-school soul that’s the specialty of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, it may be easy to assume that they’re heralded simply because of their rarity: although they certainly sound like plenty of acts from back then, they’re praised because nobody else sounds like them now, something that’s all well and good but doesn’t quite suggest how good the group really is. I Learned the Hard Way, their fourth album, goes a long way in illustrating that they’re very, very good, holding their own with all the ‘60s Southern and Northern soul they hold so dear."


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Feelies - Here Before (2011)

After 19 years, another Feelies album.

1. Again Today (3:43)
2. Bluer Skies (3:13)
3. Change Your Mind (4:38)
4. Here Before (3:19)
5. Later On (3:11)
6. Morning Comes (4:12)
7. Nobody Knows (2:52)
8. On And On (3:52)
9. Should Be Gone (3:30)
10. So Far (3:55)
11. Time Is Right (2:35)
12. Way Down (3:39)
13. When You Know (3:16)
and if you don't know what the fuzz is all about:

Crazy Rhythms (1980)

The Good Earth (1986)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

James Blake - S/T (2011)

Sparse-chic-eclectic-soul-bass-dub-electronickery - yes Brixton based James Blake is currently IN. Sparse is the watchword ;) or perhaps "sparse + mashup crescendo = blake"

Especially check out Lindisfarne i & ii for a nice intro to his sound.


Friday, April 29, 2011

More Jamie XX (same album as below)

This song is just ace. Again, listen LOUD. :D


Television Personalities (1980-1982)

Television Personalities forever.

Television Personalities - And Don't The Kids Just Love It (1980)

Television Personalities - They Could Have Been Bigger Than the Beatles (1982)


Personal and the Pizzas - Raw Pie (2010)

1. I Don't Wanna Be No Personal Pizza
2. Pepperoni Eyes
3. I Ain't Takin' You Out
4. $7.99 For Love
5. Nobody Makes My Girl Cry But Me
6. I Can Reed

7. Brass Knuckles
8. Tear Jerker
9. I Don't Feel So Happy Now No More
10. Don't You Go In That Ground
11. Never Find Me
12. Pizza Army

lo-fi garage. can't imagine a better wedding band.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

We're New Here - Jamie xx / Gil Scott-Heron (2011)

So I was pretty excited with the release of Gil Scott-Heron's 2010 album I'm New Here, which is well worth a listen, some great spoken word craziness from the man himself. But Jamie xx's remix of the album released earlier this year as We're New Here (2011) has become a bit of a classic of the moment in my house. There are some awesome tunes on there so check it out.

Needs to be listened to loud. :)

Jamie xx and Gil Scott-Heron - We're New Here (2011):

And here's the original...
Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here (2010):


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wes Anderson's mix-tapes (1998-2007)

Been wanting to make this post for a while. These soundtracks are something else.

Rushmore (1998):

"Hardest Geometry Problem in the World" – Mark Mothersbaugh
"Making Time" – The Creation
"Concrete and Clay" – Unit 4 + 2
"Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl" – The Kinks
"Sharp Little Guy" – Mark Mothersbaugh
"The Lad With the Silver Button" – Mark Mothersbaugh
"A Summer Song" – Chad & Jeremy
"Edward Appleby (In Memoriam)" – Mark Mothersbaugh
"Here Comes My Baby" – Cat Stevens
"A Quick One While He's Away" – The Who
"Snowflake Music" (from Bottle Rocket) – Mark Mothersbaugh
"Piranhas Are a Very Tricky Species" – Mark Mothersbaugh
"Blinuet" – Zoot Sims
"Friends Like You, Who Needs Friends" – Mark Mothersbaugh
"Rue St. Vincent" – Yves Montand
"Kite Flying Society" – Mark Mothersbaugh
"The Wind" – Cat Stevens
"Oh Yoko!" – John Lennon
""Ooh La La"" – Faces
"Margaret Yang's Theme" – Mark Mothersbaugh

Lots of Kinks/Kinks-like tracks, and all the (great) 'filler' was done by Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo. Includes "The Wind", which makes the whole compilation a must-have by itself.

Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

"111 Archer Avenue" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"These Days" by Nico
"String Quartet in F major (Second Movement)" by Maurice Ravel, played by the Ysaÿe Quartet
"Lindbergh Palace Hotel Suite" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"Wigwam" by Bob Dylan
"Look At That Old Grizzly Bear" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"Lullaby" by Emitt Rhodes
"Mothersbaugh's Canon" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"Police & Thieves" by The Clash
"Scrapping and Yelling" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"Judy Is A Punk" by The Ramones
"Pagoda's Theme" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"Needle In The Hay" by Elliott Smith
"Fly" by Nick Drake
"I Always Wanted To Be A Tenenbaum" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"Christmas Time Is Here" by Vince Guaraldi Trio
"Stephanie Says" by The Velvet Underground
"Rachel Evans Tenenbaum (1965-2000)" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"Sparkplug Minuet" by Mark Mothersbaugh
"The Fairest Of The Seasons" by Nico

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

"Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" (Peter Sarstedt) – 4:38
"Title Music" from Satyajit Ray's film Jalsaghar (Vilayat Khan) – 2:25
"This Time Tomorrow" (The Kinks) – 3:25
"Title Music" from Satyajit Ray's Teen Kanya (Satyajit Ray) – 1:25
"Title Music" from Merchant-Ivory's film The Householder (Jyotitindra Moitra & Ustad Ali Akbar Khan) – 1:37
"Ruku's Room" from Satyajit Ray's film Joi Baba Felunath (Satyajit Ray) – 0:49
"Charu's Theme" from Satyajit Ray's film Charulata (Satyajit Ray) – 1:01
"Title Music" from Merchant-Ivory's film Bombay Talkie (Shankar Jaikishan) – 2:33
"Montage" from Nityananda Datta's film Baksa Badal (Satyajit Ray) – 1:15
"Prayer" (traditional) (Jodphur Sikh Temple Congregation) – 1:07
"Farewell to Earnest" from Merchant-Ivory's film The Householder (Jyotitindra Moitra) – 1:59
"The Deserted Ballroom" from Merchant-Ivory's film Shakespeare Wallah (Satyajit Ray) – 0:46
"Suite Bergamasque: 3. Clair de Lune" (Claude Debussy; performed by Alexis Weissenberg) – 4:57
"Typewriter Tip, Tip, Tip" from Merchant-Ivory's film Bombay Talkie (Shankar Jaikishan) – 4:37
"Memorial" (traditional) (Narlai Village Troubador) – 1:26
"Strangers" (The Kinks) – 3:20
"Praise Him" (traditional) (Udaipur Convent School Nuns And Students) – 0:43
"Symphony No. 7 in A (Op 92) Allegro Con Brio" (Ludwig van Beethoven; performed by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) – 6:48
"Play With Fire" (The Rolling Stones) – 2:15
"Arrival in Benaras" from Merchant-Ivory's film The Guru (Ustad Vilayat Khan) – 1:44
"Powerman" (The Kinks) – 4:19
"Les Champs-Élysées" (Joe Dassin) – 2:39

Includes the amazing "Strangers" and "This Time Tomorrow" by the Kinks.


The Turtles - Happy Together (1967)

Monday, April 4, 2011

African Head Charge - Off the Beaten Track (1986)

African Head Charge - Off The Beaten Track
Label - On-U Sound
Recorded - 1986
Style - Electronic, Dub, Reggae, Lee Library, World Music
Additional Musicians - Skip McDonald, Jah Wobble

1 Off The Beaten Track (5:02)
2 Some Bizarre (5:05)
3 Belinda (3:40)
4 Language & Mentality (4:22)
5 Throw It Away (3:35)
6 Conspiring (4:38)
7 Release The Doctor (3:32)
8 Down Under Again (3:05)
9 Over The Sky (3:15)!download|5tl3|285588599|AFC_-_Off_The_Beaten_Track.rar|50588


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pale Saints - Comforts of Madness (1991)

When thinking of the finest dream pop records from the early '90s, The Comforts of Madness tends to get lost in the shuffle. The touchstones -- Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Galaxie 500 -- are somewhat apparent, but their debut is certifiably unique. Noise and melody duke it out, but in an arrestingly off-kilter fashion. Comforts is really as much of a "quirk-out" as it is a "bliss-out," experimental in many ways and apparently so from the beginning of "Way the World Is." The noisy rattling eventually gives way to wobbly bass and tunefully violent Wedding Present-like strumming, whipping up a tempestuous haze of frenzied pop. Throughout the record, the trio throws in countless tempo curveballs (with no sense of pomposity) and effectively balances the blasting chuggers with levitational banks of piled-on guitarscapes.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Sound - From the Lion's Mouth (1981)

1 Winning - Bailey, Borland, Mayers 4:15
2 Sense of Purpose - Bailey, Borland, Mayers 3:51
3 Contact the Fact - Bailey, Borland, Mayers 4:21
4 Skeletons - Bailey, Biltoo, Borland, Dudley 3:26
5 Judgment - Bailey, Borland, Mayers 5:01
6 Fatal Flaw - Bailey, Borland, Mayers 4:34
7 Possession - Borland, Janes 3:25
8 The Fire - Bailey, Biltoo, Borland, Dudley 2:49
9 Silent Air - Borland 4:10
10 New Dark Age - Borland 5:51

great album

Dan Deacon - Paddling Ghost

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - See a Darkness

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Selftitled (2009)

it's been a long time since the last post but i'm sure it hasn't affected any of our stats


so here's something that's so 2009:

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is the self-titled debut album by the New York indie band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, released on February 3, 2009. The album was recorded at Honeyland Studios in Brooklyn, New York, and was mixed by Archie Moore. The album was released to generally warm critical reception, with Allmusic drawing comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, Ride, The Field Mice, and bands on Sarah Records.Rolling Stone compared the band to the The Jesus and Mary Chain, while The Tune compared the album to "a rock version of Joy Division, and an American version of The Smiths." In December 2009 Radio Scilly's new music show The Sound Of Confusion declared The Pains Of Being Heart to be the best album of the year, as well as the 4th best album of the decade.

1. "Contender" – 2:40
2. "Come Saturday" – 3:17
3. "Young Adult Friction" – 4:07
4. "This Love Is Fucking Right!" – 3:15
5. "The Tenure Itch" – 3:45
6. "Stay Alive" – 4:56
7. "Everything with You" – 2:59
8. "A Teenager in Love" – 3:24
9. "Hey Paul" – 2:03
10. "Gentle Sons" – 4:32