Monday, November 30, 2009

Cymande : Brothers on the Slide

It doesn't get any better than this !! What a song ! 
Taken from the album "Promised Heights" (1974) probably the best album of the band.
Cymande were an eclectic funk band who released records in the beginning of the 70s.
The group developed a subtle and complex, deep funk style influenced by African music, American soul and UK rock of the time. Cymande can now be seen as one of the most sophisticated of the funk acts that evolved in the early 1970s. By the mid-70s the band members were going their separate ways and the group was disbanded in 1974. It wasn't until 20 years later that they reaped any financial rewards, as their music became a popular source for samplers. Perhaps the band's best known recording is the soulful dancefloor filler called "Bra", which was later sampled by the American hip-hop group De La Soul and used as a breakbeat record by the godfathers of hip-hop Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Funkadelic : (Not Just) Knee Deep

Funkadelic recorded and released its most successful and influential album, "One Nation Under a Groove" in 1978, adding former Ohio Players lead and keyboardist Walter "Junie" Morrison and reflecting a more melodic dance-based sound. The title track spent six weeks at #1 on the R&B charts, around the time that Parliament was enjoying the #1 R&B singles "Flash Light" and "Aqua Boogie." "Uncle Jam Wants You" in 1979 continued Funkadelic's new more electronic sound production. The album contains a fifteen-minute version of "(Not Just) Knee Deep", an edited version of which topped the R&B charts, featuring former Spinners lead singer PhilippƩ Wynne.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The O'Jays : I Love Music

A classic !
In 1972, The O'Jays finally scored with their first million-seller, "Back Stabbers", from the gold album of the same name. By this time, original member Bobby Massey had also departed, leaving the group a trio. This album produced several more hit singles.
They became known as "The Mighty O'Jays" due to their exciting, emotion-packed stage performances, led by the dynamic Levert, and the cool, multi-range vocals of Walter Williams, coupled with the matinee idol looks and smooth first tenor voice of William Powell.
During the remainder of the 1970s the O'Jays continued releasing chart-topping singles, including "I Love Music". Original member William Powell died of cancer in 1977 at the age of just 35.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Free The Robots : Jazzhole

Producer Chris Alfaro has applied his advanced knowledge of jazz, funk, rock, hip-hop and electronic music to his "Free the Robots" solo project, and the diligent studying and crate-digging have paid serious dividends. Call him an old-school avant-gardist.
The track "Jazzhole" comes with the second EP from 2006. These tracks swing and funk and bliss out and aren’t afraid to wave their Bollywood or pre-bop-jazz freak edges.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Buscemi : Ramiro's Theme

Ramiro's theme comes with Buscemi's debut album "Our Girl in Havana"; his best album so far.
Buscemi has released 4 fully-fledged CDs and one album with the Italian pianoplayer and composer Michel Bisceglia for the famous Blue Note label. Also there were 2 jazz-compilations he did for that same label. Buscemi's skill at turning his hand to basically anything is born out by the way he manages to combine a wide range of musical styles. Buscemi's groove is worldwide acknowledged and his fame as remixer too. The man produced already 40 mixes, he reworked tracks for bands as Madredeus and Calexico.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quantic : Not So Blue

This is definitely one of our favourite tracks of all time ! Unbelievable how much feeling and depth you kind find in an instrumental track like this.
Will Holland is one of the most talented and prolific artists in the world of alternative dance music today.
He has enjoyed consistent success with Quantic, releasing his first album, The 5th Exotic in the summer of 2001. It was picked up on by some of the most respected names in underground music. Richard Dorfmiester, Mr Scruff and LTJ Bukem all rated it very highly, not surprising when tunes like “Common Knowledge” and the near classic “Life in the Rain” had blazed across dance floors all over Europe.

He built on this acclaim with the release of Apricot Morning less than a year later, dispelling any talk of “the difficult second album”. His sound seemed to expand in every direction on ‘Apricot Morning’ and he became the first Tru Thoughts artist to collaborate with Alice Russell; Gilles Peterson ranked it amongst his albums of the year. The track Not so Blue comes from this album..

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Diplomats Of Solid Sound : Hurt Me So (Lack Of Afro Remix)

I dropped this track to introduce, for the ones who never heard of him, Lack Of Afro ! And the man has a new album released the past month.
The simply stunning follow up to the highly acclaimed debut album “Press On”, Lack Of Afro combines his live musicianship & top notch studio production skills with rappers and vocalists into a skillful combination of compositions blending funk, hip hop and soul into a steamy stew of a breakbeat bonanza.

As a multi instrumentalist, in-demand producer and re-mixer, a DJ with his finger on the cutting edge of contemporary sounds, and an ear tastefully cocked to the hippest soul, jazz and funk music from the 60´s and 70´s, Adam Gibbons, the young man at the centre of the Lack Of Afro phenomenon, has already established an unrivalled reputation as one of the most crucial names at work in funk and dance music today.

The Lack Of Afro story began back in 2006 after excited word spread to the Freestyle Records offices about the sounds Adam was creating, Freestyles´ head honcho DJ Adrian Gibson instantly signed him and released the stunning debut single “Wait A Minute”. One of the labels fastest selling 12”s ever, it has gone onto sell massive numbers worldwide and appeared on countless compilations. The subsequent 2007 album “Press On” fulfilled his early promise, with Adam playing nearly all the instruments himself. Hailed by iDJ magazine as “one of the greatest albums of the modern funk era” the release passed into contemporary music folklore.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gerardo Frisina : Descarga

Gerardo Frisina is an Italian dj and record collector. This track is taken from his debut album in 2001 `Ad Lib` or `At your own pleisure`, an expression often used by jazz musicians to interprete the freedom of expression. This album represents endless hours of exploring diverse musical genres. Without doubt, this is a superb blend of Brazilian, Afro-Cuban & Jazz. Just lovely !

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kaleta & Akoya Afrobeat : The Spirit Of Fela Is Alive And Well!

With a furious storm of thundering congas and the deep boom of the Kaleta drum, the Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble takes the stage with an explosion of dance rhythms, 14 pieces make up this fully fledged funk factory. That means five drummers, two guitarists, keys, bass, and a full horn section : Madness !
Kaleta, the singer, real name Leon Ligan Majek, hails from Porto Novo in Nigeria and lived most of his adolescent life in Lagos. Kaleta has played, toured and recorded with the likes of Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Lauryn Hill.
This track first came to label manager Nik Weston´s attention in the early part of 2007 and it´s taken this long to get it out on the Mukatsuku label. The original track 'Fela Dey' now re named ´The Sprit Of Fela Is Alive & Well´ was an epic afro masterpiece of over 14 minutes. GUYNAMUKAT (the production duo of Guynamite and Nik Weston ) edited that version down to half losing none of energy; the result is a killer afro beat monster tried and trusted now on the dance floors all over the world.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brass Construction : Movin'

Formed in Brooklyn, New York in 1968, and funky as hell !
Brass Construction were the brainchild of keyboards player and singer Randy Muller.
In 1975, their debut album changed the face of dance music and is still a huge influence some 30 years on. Randy originally formed the band in Brooklyn, New York, under the name of Dynamic Soul.
Renamed Brass Construction, the nine-piece group were signed by United Artists in 1975. With their tight horn section and brief, chanted vocals, the group's first release, 'Movin', topped the R & B charts and was a pop Top 20 hit.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kraak en Smaak : Money in the Bag

Time for a classic club track !
This 12" was the big breakthrough for the Kraak en Smaak boys in 2001. Their first single came from the album Boogie Angst, a must have album !
From there it just went up for the guys from Holland, they quickly established a place as topproducers in the music scene by making several remixes for names like Jamiroquai, Dorfmeister, Mark Rae etc. etc. 
Although this song is built around a sample from Tommy Stewart's  "Bump & Hustle" it's good enough, or even better then the original.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Band : Bukom Mashie

There aren't many songs where just the drum fill is awesome, but this is one of them. A clattering pile of percussion starts at a frantic tempo, and then that simple fill ushers in a staggering bass line. Saxophones dart from side-to-side avoiding stabbing, voluminous horns; the funky beat swings, bobbing up and down like a car with soft suspension. Sax and flute solos and chanting vocals are all swept up in Sulley's wild arrangement, a sort of miniaturized take on Fela's cinemascope big-band funk.
It's amazing that the song is from 1973 and was never released until 2003, when the Sound Way folks scooped the weathered masters off a pressing plant shelf. Sulley now leads Ghana's national symphony orchestra and teaches percussion to poor children in Accra.

Dj Shadow : This Time

DJ Shadow, real name Josh Davis (Hayward, Californiƫ, 1 januari 1973) turntablist and producer.

This Time is the second track from the album "The Outsider" released in 2006, a kind of controversial release amongst the hardcore Dj Shadow fans. The albums total incoherence is actually kind of impressive... for me the track 'This Time' is an outstanding soul track, amazingly enough a 2006 release !

Alice Russell : All Over Now

Alice Russell, our favourite white soul singer, what a voice !
Formerly signed to the quality Tru Thoughts label, her latest album "Pot of Gold" with a breathtaking "Crazy" cover, released on Six Degrees.
The track All over Now is from her 2005 album, incorporating aspects of gospel, hip hop, jazz, funk, northern soul, broken beat and electronica, ‘My Favourite Letters’ raised Alice Russell’s international profile, cemented Tm Juke’s reputation as a gifted producer and went on to become one of Tru Thoughts’ all-time best sellers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quantic & Mr Scruff : It's Dancing Time

This was the b side of the 'Sweetsmoke' 12", and Mr Scruff's first collaboration 
with Quantic in 2002.

Mr Scruff & Quantic 'Its Dancing Time'

Ann Peebles : I'm gonna tear your playhouse down

Ann Peebles (born April 27, 1947, St. Louis, Missouri, United States) is an internationally acclaimed singer andsongwriter, best known for her Memphis soul albums of the 1970s on the Hi Records label. Two of her better known songs are "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" and "I Can't Stand the Rain", popularised by cover versions by Paul Young and Eruption.


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