Sunday, February 28, 2010

Guem : Riacho

Hard hitting percussive track inspired by the traditional Brazilian Batucada, but this one builds up very slowly.
This track appears on Brazilian Beats, Vol. 3 a survey of what was popular in Brazil around the turn of the century, at least in clubs. Primarily put together for the dancefloor, there are a few tracks that look back to more traditional Brazilian sounds, but most often the emphasis is on dance rather than Brazil.
Couldn't find anything on the track in particular so all info is welcome.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kool & The Gang : N.t. Pts. 1 & 2

We all know them from their massive disco hits, but hey, the band recorded some of their best music long before that. "Live at PJ's" is the third full album released in 1971 and recorded at a local club. The groove here is far more freewheeling and complex than some of their singles from the later 70s, loads of wicked horn bits from Ronnie Bell and Dennis Thomas that complicate things up nicely, while still staying soulfully in the groove.
The Song "N.T." is the opening of the album and has frequently been sampled by hip hop producers like De La Soul, Kriss Kross, Kool G Rap's "Truly Yours", Nas's "It Ain't Hard To Tell, A Tribe Called Quest's "Mind Power", and a lot more.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Beginning Of The End : Monkey Tamarind

The Beginning of the End was a funk group from Nassau, Bahamas. The group consisted of three brothers and a fourth member on bass. They released an album entitled Funky Nassau in 1971 on Alston Records (a subdevision of Atlantic Records), and the track "Funky Nassau - Part I" became a hit single in the U.S., peaking at 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The track was picked up again by modern funk bands like the JuJu Orchestra and Orgone, producers and dj's played the reworks all over the world and yes it fueled up the dancefloors big time.
"Monkey Tamarind" is another track from the one and only "Funky Nassau" album, not a winner in the charts, nevertheless as funky as the Part 1 & 2 of their big hit single.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jimmy Bo Horne : Let Me Be Your Lover

Jimmy Bo Horne's "Let me (Let Me Be Your Lover)" scored a massive hit in its second lifetime where it was sampled by the Stereo Mc's in their 1992 song "Connected".
Horne was a Florida based artist who had been recording since the mid-60s for Henry Stone’s Alston label (where he recorded the “answer” to Betty Wright’s ‘Clean Up Woman’, entitled – not surprisingly – ‘Clean Up Man’ in 1972). He laid down ‘Let Me Be Your Lover’ in 1978 during the heart of the disco era. Fortunately for us, the tune was written and produced by Harry Casey and Richard Finch, two gentlemen who wrote and recorded some of the funkiest disco records with KC & the Sunshine Band (Casey being “KC”), as well as tunes for George McRae (‘Rock Your Baby’) and Betty Wright among others.
Another relative success of "Bo" Horne was "You Get Me Hot" in 1979. Although it was released as the B side of the cult-hit "Spank", the song reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Black and was played in many clubs of the time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fatback Band : Wicky Wacky

The Fatback Band made many great singles through the '70s and early '80s, ranging from humorous novelty tunes to energetic dance vehicles and even occasional political tracks. The original lineup featured drummer Bill Curtis, trumpeter George Williams, guitarist Johnny King, bassist Johnny Flippin, saxophonist Earl Shelton, and flutist George Adam. Synthesizer player Gerry Thomas, saxophonist Fred Demerey, and guitarist George Victory were integral parts of the group during their peak years. They began recording in the early '70s, and had moderate luck with "Street Dance" in 1973. While funk audiences loved songs as "Wicki-Wacky" and "(Are You Ready) Do the Bus Stop," they didn't generate much sales action. Their first sizable hit was "Spanish Hustle" in 1976, which reached number 12 on the R&B charts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mark Ronson : God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

"God Put a Smile upon Your Face" is a song by English alternative rock band Coldplay. It was written by all members of the band for their second album, "A Rush of Blood to the Head". The song is built around an acoustic and electric guitar sound, that accompanies it with uptempo drumming. The song was released in 14 July 2003 as the fourth single from "A Rush of Blood to the Head".
The song was also covered by Mark Ronson on his album "Version", which he performed live with Adele at the 2008 Brit Awards.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Frank Popp Ensemble : Breakaway

Influenced by spy music and organ-heavy go-go soul of the '60s and '70s, but driven by the same massive beats that fueled pop club crossovers like Fatboy Slim and Pizzicato Five, the Frank Popp Ensemble began as a studio project of German DJ Frank Popp. After a few successful singles, the once conceptual "ensemble" became a reality by the time of their 2001 debut full-length, "Ride On". The eclectic mix of upbeat mod soul and kitschy pop was a hit in Europe and led to several songs from the album being used in commercials. Since their initial success, Popp has been busy with remix work and the Ensemble successfully toured Europe in 2003. In 2005 a new EP titled "The Swinging Library Sound of ..." the Frank Popp Ensemble was released in the U.K.
Breakaway is the 3rd radio-single taken from the groundbreaking album The Frank Popp Ensemble 'Ride On!' and is finally closing the success story of that debut album, that generated 4 years of international success throughout the worlds of advertising, clubs, radios and that particlular unique live vibe of the bigband Frank Popp Ensemble.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)

"Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" is a song written by Mickey Newbury. Said to reflect the LSD experience, the song was intended to be a warning against the danger of using LSD. First recorded in 1967 by Jerry Lee Lewis, who rejected it, it was a hit for The First Edition (with Kenny Rogers on lead vocals) in 1968. It was Rogers' first top ten hit in the Billboard charts, but was not typical of the country folk harmonies that characterized most of The First Edition's catalog.
In 1998, the song appeared virtually in its entirety (with the bridge and the final few seconds of the fade out cut off) during a psychedelic dream sequence in the cult film The Big Lebowski.
Sharon Jones recorded the song on their album "Genuine (parts 1 & 2)" in 2004, an uncompromisingly hard funk record which firmly kept the interest of enthusiasts and their cover of "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)", released in 2005 but which was apparently recorded for a KFC commercial in 2002 but was never used.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Salif Keita : Madan

Salif Keita's success story reads like an improbable historical novel. Born in Mali and descended from a famous warrior king of the Manding Empire, Keita is an albino, which is still considered bad luck in many parts of Africa. He was ostracized from birth, and his childhood was marred by his father's oft-expressed revulsion. Although it was considered shameful for people of his caste to become entertainers, he must have felt that he didn't have much lose, so he migrated to the capitol city of Bamako bent on a career as a singer.
It's 2001. After a few artistic missteps, he needed an album to reaffirm who he was and give a renewal to his sound. Sometimes a return to basics can be the best way for an artist to move forward. For Salif Keita, that's definitely the case with the album "Moffou", released in 2002. In spite of using a hefty number of musicians (17, plus six backing vocalists), the sound is very stripped-down. Even the supple electric guitar work of Djeli Moussa Kouyaté is mellow and low-key. The real beauty here is Keita's voice, carefully framed and used to maximum effect.

Beatconductor : Kumbara

Released in 2006 by Ture Sjöberg aka Beatconductor, Beatfanatic, Discoconductor, Jazzconductor, Southside Break Crew, Southside Connection, Warehouse Choir and probably more...
Stockholm based producer Beatfanatic has become an undisputed master of the art of the “blend”: insanely great and generally downtempo remixes and edits that mash together the best aspects of various disco, funk, soul, jazz, latin dance, dancehall, roots reggae, dub, and hip-hop tracks, sometimes with the addition of a broken-beat. You can find his tracks on GAMM records and other small labels in Europe, as well as the following albums : “The Gospel According to Beatfanatic”, “Around The World In 80 Beats”, “Beats Cut Out, Played Back, and Souled”, and “A Collection of Reworks.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Truby Trio : Jaleo

The Trio was founded in 1997 by Rainer Trüby, Roland Appel & Christian Prommer. Since their very beginning they played in the Champions League of dance business, as they combined different flavours like Brazil, Latin or even Disco and invented a completely new dance genre. Ever since the interest in their music has been steadily growing. Just think of their remix works for such artists as Turntable Rocker, Nitin Sawhney, Peace Orchestra, Bebel Gilberto, Klaus Doldinger and Frederic Galliano. In 2001 they reached another milestone as they were asked to contribute their favourite tunes for the DJ-Kicks series, for which they also toured the world, where they were able to pick up all sorts of different cultural and musical influences for their inspiration, and finally they were able to work on a full-length album project.
"In Mallorca we had a lovely little flamenco session at the Soulcamp / Flamingo Studios in Palma. Nacho Velasco, from the excellent Garito Café, brought his cajón round and jammed with Concha Buika who gave all her ‘jaleo’ out of her soul… "
Concha Buika is part-time Madrilena and part-time Mallorquina, and she is the first Spanish voice for the Trio. In Spain she is a famous jazz singer and her voice is also featured on a lot of deep house productions.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Casbah 73 : How Long

Born in the States, Oli Stewart or Casbah 73, grew up in Madrid, where he developed a passion for music from an early age.
His two first singles, "Cabo Verde Strut" and "The Way I Am" received strong support from Dj's around the globe, quickly followed by his debut album 'Moods & Grooves'.
His growing reputation as a premier vinyl digger brought him into contact with many of the more foward-thinking Dj's and producers on the scene. Anyone in search of these rare vinyl gems over the last eighteen years has probably come across one of Oli's famous lists, as Casbah Records is considered one of the most respected rare vinyl mail order services out there. For years he has travelled the world and his 15,000+ rare record collection documents many of black music's best moments.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

George Baker Selection : Little Green Bag

George Baker is the alter ego of Johannes Bouwens from Holland, a singer, guitarist, and keyboard player. As the leader of the five-member George Baker Selection, he was part of the "Dutch invasion" of 1970, when groups as the Tee Set and the Shocking Blue also had U.S. hits. Their first album, Little Green Bag (1970), gave them their first great hit. Their debut single, "Little Green Bag", reached position 21 in the Billboard Top 100 in the United States. The disc sold over one million copies globally, and received a gold disc. By 1972 the band had sold over 5 million records.
In 1978 the George Baker Selection split up because "the pressure had become too much." The band has sold over 20 million records worldwide. George Baker formed a new George Baker Selection in 1985, which stayed together until 1989. The band has released twelve albums and several compilation albums.
The band experienced a brief return to the international charts in 1992, when the song "Little Green Bag" was used in the film Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino, and a Chilean soap opera.

Monday, February 8, 2010

George McCrae : I Get Lifted

Along with wife Gwen McCrae, Miami-based artist George McCrae was a prime mover on the early disco front with his own R&B chart-topper "Rock Your Baby" in 1974. With disco kings Harry Casey and Richard Finch of KC & the Sunshine Band producing and writing his output on Henry Stone's T.K. label, McCrae rapidly returned with the double-sided hit "I Can't Leave You Alone"/"I Get Lifted".
In 1975 Gwen McCrae scored a U.S. top 10 hit with Rockin 'chair. The separate successes were taking their toll on the McCrae's marriage and the couple split later in 1977.
In the beginning of the 80s George left the music business and started working as a doorman in a hotel and had a job in a supermarket. In 1984 he returned and brought the album "One Step Closer". In America, his comeback remained unnoticed, but in Europe he reached the lower regions of the charts.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Incredible Bongo Band : Apache

Despite the fact that the band has released "Bongo Rock" in 1973 and "Return of the Incredible Bongo Band" in 1974, the band is best known for their cover of the song "Apache", which was first released by The Shadows. The record remained relatively unknown until the late 70s when it was adopted by hip hop pioneers like DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. The song caught their attention due to the unusually long drum solo in the middle of the song. Later, more samples from plates of the Incredible Bongo Band used by hip-hop producers. The "Apache break" is still a widely used sample by a lot of dj's and producers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Etta James : Tell Mama

Etta James is the winner of four Grammys and seventeen Blues Music Awards; need to say more ?
After several massive hit recordings, a succesful career in the music business and after struggeling with a heroin addiction James began recording again in 1967 and achieved her biggest hit in years, "Tell Mama," which reached the R&B Top 10. An album of the same name also featured a rendition of Otis Redding's song, "Security" which peaked at 11 on the R&B chart. Although she wasn't as successful as she had been, James remained a large concert attraction.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Spanky Wilson : Sunshine of Your Love

Renowned as a soul singer beyond comparison on both sides of the Atlantic, she has consistently released quality music for the past four decades, always collaborating with some of the most talented and respected producers of the day.
In 2004 Will Holland found Spanky Wilson, and they worked together on two songs for Quantic's record, Mishaps Happening, leading to a full-length Wilson and Quantic Soul Orchestra album, "I'm Thankful" which came out in 2006 on Ubiquity
"Sunshine of Your Love" is a song by the British supergroup Cream, released on the Disraeli Gears album. It was Cream's best-selling song and Atlantic Records' best-selling to date as well.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Doors : Break On Through (Remix)

This whitelabel plays on every dancefloor worldwide. Released in 2004 as side A of the "Bossa Rocker" EP released on G.A.M.M., a Swedish underground label. The label has released various bootleg and original releases covering genres such as nu-jazz, broken beat and soul.
But who did this incredible remix of the classic ? The question has been answered... it's Dj Disse from Denmark.

The Bobby Hughes Experience : Sahara 72

The Bobby Hughes Experience or Combination is the alter ego of producer Espen Horne. Over the years Espen has perfected his skills to morph old and new records with the help of percussionists and other musicians into his very own individual sound. During these sessions between dj'ing and jamming, the tracks for his debut album "Fusa Riot" developed, and with this the figure of Bobby Hughes. This track is co written by Rodrigo Lopez, the Fender keyboardplayer of the band and appears on the instrumental album "Fusa Riot" released in 1999.

Cameo : Rigor Mortis

Cameo was initially a 23-member group known as the New York City Players, but this name was later changed to Cameo to avoid a lawsuit from The Ohio Players, a more successful group of that the time. Since then, Cameo has recorded several hit records. As of 2009, some of the original members continue to perform together, while two others were hired by the hip hop group Outkast.
The title "Rigor Mortis" is a euphemism for being lonesome on the dance floor.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Frank Popp Ensemble : Hip Teens Don't Wear Blue Jeans

The Frank Popp Ensemble is a German band from Dusseldorf. In 2001 the song "Hip Teens" reached alternative radio stations all over Europe.
In 2002 Coca Cola chose the song to promote their energy drink Burn for a 3 month campaign. The commercial drew the attention of the major labels and soon The Frank Popp Ensemble signed to a devision of Warner Music.
In 2003 "Hip Teens" peaked again, bigger than before, with a re-release and scored high eyes in charts, followed by the re-release of their debut album.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tal M Klein : Sextant Machine

"I'm all about drunk funk, that's music which inspires one to both chill and shake their ass at the same time. Finding that perfect funky record, to me, is like winning the chocolate, money, and sex lottery."

Tal M Klein, known to many as Trancenden, was born in Israel in 1976.
He set up his own label Aniligital Music in 1997 and he’s released a wide range of different styles and genres by him and other artists over the years. This track appears on the album "Plastic Starfish" released in 2008.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gwen McCrae : All This Love That I'm Giving

The original track was released in 1979 by Gwen McCrae. Gwen was a gutsy Southern soul diva with a particular affinity for dance tracks. "All This Love That I'm Giving" later became a favorite on Britain's Northern soul scene, it didn't attract much attention upon its release. In 2005 producer Smoove scored a hit with a nice funk dancefloor production twist of the track. It comes with Smoove's debut album "Dead Men's Shirts".
Smoove is now signed under Jalapeno Records for his album with soul singer Turrell.

Gwen McCrae :

Smoove :