february 2016 mix

Posted on Wednesday 3 February 2016


[abbreviated spotify version]

This month’s mix started after recognizing a Slowdive sample from an obscure RJD2 track, which brought me back to sifting through funk, jazz, and soul samples that I was introduced to through hip-hop. All of which makes this mix a fitting entry into the “SCRAMBLE” series that I haven’t posted since 2013.

Mostly 70s. Good weekend listening music.

February 2016 Mix – “SCRAMBLE 3”

01 Kool & The Gang – Summer Madness (1974)
02 Soul Children – Move Over (1969)
03 Herbie Hancock – Watermellon Man (1973)
04 Human Race – Grey Boy (1971)
05 Cresa Watson – Dead (1969)
06 Syl Johnson – Concrete Reservation (1970)
07 Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity – Tiger (1969)
08 Bobbi Humphrey – Jasper Country Man (1973)
09 Billy Eckstine – Third Child (1971)
10 Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes – Devika (Goddess) (1975)
11 David Matthews – Silent Running (1977)
12 Chuito & The Latin Uniques – Wish I Could (1968)
13 Shuggie Otis – Island Letter (1974)
14 Crusaders – Mystique Blues (1971)
15 Alvin Robinson – Something You Got (1964)
16 Skull Snaps – It’s a New Day (1973)
17 The Manhattans – Follow Your Heart (1981)
18 The Pearls – Can I Call You Baby (1969)
19 Michael LeGrand – I Still See You (1969)
20 The Intruders – Memories Are Here To Stay (1973)

: FULL MIX DOWNLOAD (.ZIP) :

(Streamable version of the mix)

PREVIOUSLY:
SCRAMBLE | SCRAMBLE 2

topomodesto @ 12:56 pm
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sheep are counting me

Posted on Monday 18 January 2016

Ultimate Painting

Aquarium Drunkard‘s Lagniappe Sessions is a pretty spectacular series that shows some of the influences of bands, with the bonus of giving us some oddball covers/b-sides, in an era where b-sides and compilations — that would otherwise be venues for such tracks — are just about extinct.

In late 2014, the series spotlighted Ultimate Painting. Ultimate Painting is the side project (or main project? just another project?) of James Hoare of Veronica Falls and Jack Cooper of Mazes, two English bands of varying twee-ness.

I love that they cover Fugazi‘s “I’m So Tired” off of the 1999 album/documentary soundtrack, Instrument Soundtrack. I’ve always thought this was a kind of gem on an album of (very listenable) process demos and atmospheric songs. Ultimate Painting’s take builds it into a real song, less a side demo of Ian Mackaye howling a witty throwaway, “I’m so tired, sheep are counting me.”

: Ultimate Painting – I’m So Tired (Fugazi cover) :

Out here
Barely see my breath, surrounded
By jealousy and death
I can’t be reached
Only had one call
Dragged underneath
Separate from you all
You all

This time
I’ve lost my own return, in spite of
Everything I’ve learned
I hid my tracks
Spit out all my air
Slipped into cracks
Stripped of all my cares
My cares

I’m so tired
Sheep are counting me
No more struggle
No more energy
No more patient
You can write that down
It’s all too crazy
I’m not sticking ’round

PS – I kinda like these guys:

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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start again

Posted on Friday 15 January 2016

Operators
[photo by Jodi Miller]

I have a reoccuring frustration in not being able to keep track of the name changes of certain artists I love. Thomas Sanders of Tap Tap, Pete & The Pirates, and Teleman is a perfect example. Partially because of my distance from London or any real connection to a music scene in England, I lost track of him at each name change, only to find out years after the fact that he was still making music and had released albums years prior to my rediscovery. (And those links above are written proof of that frustration)

Dan Boeckner‘s re-establishment of himself as “Operators” post-Handsome Furs (and Divine Fits) follows the same trend. In Operators, he’s joined by Divine Fits (and New Bomb Turks) drummer, Sam Brown, plus singer/producer Devojka. This EP came out a year a half ago?! Fuck, I wish someone would have told me.

If you — like me — loved Handsome Furs (or Boeckner’s contributions to Divine Fits & Wolf Parade), you’ll love EP1 too.

Baby, you thought that love was just a game
Baby, you thought that the heart’s on a golden wire
It’s impossible
People that you know, they’re not there
You better start again

Baby, you thought that your life was a little strange
Baby, you thought your mind was a room on fire
It’s impossible
People that you know, they’re not there
You better start again
Start again

We were golden, we were vain
Making creatures of us, creatures of us
We were golden, we were vain
Making creatures of us, creatures of us
They were holding, they took the numbers and the names
Making creatures of us, creatures of us

Baby, you thought that love was just a game
Baby, you thought that the heart’s on a golden wire
It’s impossible
People that you know, coming from the cold
Truth is under control

You better, you better, you better, you better
You better
You better start again

And I really, really love “Cruel,” driven by those unrelenting snare drums in 2/2:

If you really, really love this too; here’s a whole 4-song set they recorded for KEXP: LINK

And… Just like that Wolf Parade has regrouped and is on tour and on Twitter.

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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black & white

Posted on Thursday 14 January 2016

Tica Douglas

For as heartfelt (and heartbreaking) as Tica Douglas’ Joey is, it remains an upbeat and optimistic album. It has the quaintness of bedroom rock, but fleshed out with the backing of a full band and amplified guitars. Like Tica’s own non-binary identity, the album can’t be reduced through a label.

I love the entire album, but the optimistic/realistic bedroom conversation of “Black and White” affects me most.

You close your eyes at the end of your night
Surprised that you find it alright
As for sleep, as for you, there’s not much I can do
But I’m here so that maybe you might

And if you promise not to dream in black and white
I promise to still be here when there’s light

And you wake up late for the second year straight
Dazed by the days and the days
“Then roll on ahead, you can sleep when you’re dead”
At least that’s what my dad used to say

But if you promise not to dream in black and white
I promise to still be here when there’s light

I know you like to see it coming
I know you like to see it through
Don’t you think it’s rather stunning, darling
Running for the hills when everything you know falls through

And you, you gotta know that I love love love you so
And I’m sorry for making this hard

But if you promise not to dream in black and white
I promise not to leave you in the night
I promise to still be here when there’s light
If you promise not to dream in black and white

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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you never knew

Posted on Wednesday 13 January 2016

Negative Gemini

Over the years my tastes have diverged more and more from Gorilla vs. Bear, a blog that I followed religiously when I first started this for this site. But Chris Cantalini still finds and spotlights some great music, especially on the electronica end of my tastes. He premiered this track by Negative Gemini in October. It’s set to be released this year on her debut LP, Body Work on 100% Electronica.

I hear a bit of The Knife, or even 3rd album Grimes. It’s upbeat and just the right amount of light for electronic music.

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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palms up

Posted on Tuesday 12 January 2016

Andrew Broder / Crescent Moon

This collaboration between Minneapolis producer Andrew Broder (Fog) and rapper Crescent Moon (Oddjobs) was a welcome surprise. I think it’s the soulful beat, which contrasts with the IDM synthesized drums. Sure drum machines have no soul, but does it matter when the rest of the track is all soul?

Andrew Broder / Crescent Moon, released only on cassette (and online) is rife with contrasts. “Palms Up” starts with a scratchy soul sample before 808 drums drop in without apology. Then there’s the darkness of Crescent Moon’s vocals that offset the sultry, soulful vocal sample.

It works.

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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warmspot

Posted on Monday 11 January 2016

George Clanton

I wish you, my dear and faithful reader, could see the 8-year-old-child-like dance moves that overtook me the first time I heard, “Warmspot,” by Brooklyn’s George Clanton (FKA Mirror Kisses). The track is from his debut last year, 100% Electronica. The beat has an atmospheric Moss of Aura-feel to it, and yet is even more driven by the beat and danceable. Then there’s the vocals, which has a sing-songy rapping style that screams of Roland Orzabal/Tears For Fears, until you get that Michael McDonald “baby” exclamation thrown in.

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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real friends

Posted on Saturday 9 January 2016

Kanye West

Yesterday Kanye West resurrected his G.O.O.D. Fridays free music giveaways and released “Real Friends” on Soundcloud and oh man did it give people hope of what’s to come from him.

The haunting production anchors the track, but what really makes it has to be the Whodini-referencing drums by Havoc of Mobb Deep. The flip of the track is a snippet produced by Madlib featuring Kendrick Lamar. This next album could be amazing.

#RealFriends.

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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emnete

Posted on Friday 8 January 2016

Imperial Tiger Orchestra

Browsing through some short films over at Monster Children, I stumbled upon this live recording by Imperial Tiger Orchestra of Mulatu Astatke’s 1970 Ethiopian jazz classic, “Emnete.” Imperial Tiger Orchestra is a modern jazz band from Switzerland formed with inspiration from Ethiopia’s golden age of jazz, and specifically with Francis Falceto‘s Éthiopiques series of compilations (one of my absolute favorites). “Emnete” translates to “My Belief.”

And yet, for a Swiss band playing Ethiopian jazz in the late aughts, it still comes off as a fresh take, probably in part to the looseness of the playing. This track was recorded in 2009 at a Club Alizé in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, and released the next year on their debut named for the city.

Here’s another, this one of the traditional song, “Selam Temagwet,” that I remember best as performed by Tèklé Tèsfa-Ezghi:

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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la souterraine

Posted on Thursday 7 January 2016

Clara Clara

Over the holidays Gary Sullivan of Bodega Pop‘s year end “Give The Drummer Some Radio” show on WFMU introduced me to an amazing treasure trove of modern french pop & indie rock, La Souterraine.

The track that got me most was this unforgiving electropop ballad from Clara Clara, “Écran Noir.” Clara Clara is a Lyon-based trio composed of drummer-singer François Virot, keyboardist Amélie Lambert, and bass guitarist Charles. Give it a listen, it might just be the best 6 minutes of your day:

Here’s another gem released on La Souterraine, from New York-based chanson singer, Hyperclean, which apparently dates back to 2002.

That’s it, I’m moving to France.

topomodesto @ 7:00 am
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