Posts from 2004

Cassius

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004 by Paul Irish

funky french disco house

You wouldn’t expect a french house song to start off with wailing electric guitars and a strong vocalist. And you wouldn’t expect a raspy synth line to kick the track into high gear. And you definitely wouldn’t expect this from France’s most well-known house group, behind Daft Punk. On their second album, Au Reve, Cassius took a departure from the standard house sound of synths and 1,3 bass – here, we’ve got guitars, melodies, and a song construction closely approaching that of a pop song.

An incredibly catchy driving track, despite the eerily odd combination of the song title and lyrics…

Cassius – The Sound Of Violence

Professor Longhair

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004 by Paul Irish

instrumental piano funk // african rhumba

Looking through Afro Funk, volume 5 from the incredible Rare Funk 12-disc series, I knew I’d find plenty to like. Some ass-grabbin’ Fela Kuti leads the record off to a roaring afrobeat start. And if you got the great funkin’ action of The Mohawks and The Equals tying it up nicely, you know there’s gotta be some hot groove sitting in the middle. Well, “Big Chief” by Professor Longhair is it! Some sloppy-hand piano licks drop you right in, followed up by a african breakbeat, and some bass and horns give the song a bluesy AABA structure that’s relentless at getting you into the groove.
It’s a short, but potent number from the vinyl funk past.

Professor Longhair – Big Chief

Christmas Special

Thursday, December 23rd, 2004 by Paul Irish
In the Christmas season, it’s easy to get lost in all the hubbub of shopping and presents; and it’s hard to focus on what really matters: the music. It’s time to bust out the family vinyl, queue up Handel’s complete Messiah, and explain to your little brother that the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is actually a clever marketing ploy trying to pass off a synthesized action movie soundtrack as christmas music. It’s sad but true: musicians want to capitalize on the spirit of the season and end up releasing crappy music to fill our never-ending demand. And then we, as true music fans, have to filter out all that trash and find the real gems.

Being the christmas DJ is a demanding job, but here’s some odd songs and safe bets your family is sure to enjoy.

lounge remixed // funky nu-jazz // funk

Bing Crosby – Happy Holidays (Beef Wellington Remix)


contemporary jazz

Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone – Baby, It’s Cold Outside (from fluxblog)


pre-war blues // folk country blues

Leadbelly – Christmas is A’Coming


lounge // 1940’s vocal jazz

Frank Sinatra – Jingle Bells


1940’s west coast blues // piano blues

Charles Brown – Merry Christmas Baby

Telefon Tel Aviv

Monday, December 20th, 2004 by Paul Irish

experimental chill-out // idm

It being a chilly night and my furnace giving out, I’m turning to some warm snuggly music to envelop me. But instead of soft, comforting sounds, I want some sonics that come at me unexpectedly — from beneath, from behind and circling around my head. And I want all this confused sound to make complete sense. I’ll thank Telefon Tel Aviv and their debut album Fahrenheit Fair Enough for giving me exactly what I need tonight. They push both music in new directions and meanwhile continously demand more from themselves; their second album saw them mixing their trademark bleeps and twitches with vocals, breakbeats, and some more downtempo elements. (Sample the new album @ the ORTF mp3 blog)
Consider these a toe-dip into the experimental electronica tide pool.

Telefon Tel Aviv – Fahrenheit Fair Enough
Telefon Tel Aviv – ttv

Joe Bataan

Thursday, December 16th, 2004 by Paul Irish

boogaloo // latin soul

There is something so irrestible about handclaps leading off a song, especially when they’re backed up by a scorching brass section. Mr. Joe Bataan evolved from a childhood in Spanish Harlem, an adolesence with Puerto Rican gangs, and an absorbtion of R&B, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Rican musical influences into the absolute king of the boogaloo. He released this red hot track in 1969, right when the fiery attitude of the genre was at its peak. Unfortunately for him and others like Joe Pito, the fanbase faded but we’re keepin’ it hot. If this shit lights you up, get down with one of these soul brothas.

Get on this train and shake down with your lady.

Joe Bataan – Subway Joe