Posts from 2005

Boozoo Bajou

Monday, July 18th, 2005 by Paul Irish

calypso dancehall // dub // bossa

To get an idea, imagine Basement Jaxx in a damp island jungle instead of a nightclub. With Boozoo, the beats are wet, the grooves are deep and the hooks are funky-ass funky – Mike Reinboth of Compost Records aptly called them, “NuDubReggae-meets-Mambo-Bossa”. These German blokes have been pumping out LPs and remixes for some time, but have now found their groove with their new record Dust My Broom on K7. “Killer” is the body-moving, hip-shaking stunner on the disc – dancehall vocals on top of a wide tropical bass. “Take It Slow” unfolds a smooth summer reggae ballad of a more intimate feel.
One to move your hips. And one to move your lips.

Boozoo Bajou – Killer
Boozoo Bajou – Take It Slow
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Friday, July 15th, 2005 by Andrew Ladd

chill-out // experimental hip hop

Andrea Mangia falls somewhere between a blissful float down a sunset river and snow falling on industrial estates, whatever that means. And yes, he sounds like a breed of Scott Herren (Prefuse 73) and Four Tet, but I mean, so what? I like Four Tet, and frankly the last album wasn’t that great – so if there are competent imitators I’m happy to oblige. Especially with tracks like ‘Hip Hop Cocotte’ that swirls slowly into a great, sticky mass of guitar strings and electronic hisses; or ‘The Dixie Saga’ which has an eerie darkness to its clicks and twangs.
A nifty handful of beats, heady yet sweetly chilled out.

Populous – Hip-Hop Cocotte
Populous – The Dixie Saga
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Trina Hamlin

Thursday, July 14th, 2005 by Paul Irish

acoustic blues // harmonica folk

Hearing a musician inhale is a guilty pleasure of mine. And then hearing that oxygen toke through a reeded harmonica, like an Ashley Judd drag on a cigarette, it’s enough to make you squint those eyes in a twisted pleasure. Trina brings her game to rocking out on harmonica and tambourine in “Down To The Hollow”. It’s a full-force blues number, but the recording makes you feel like she’s riding next to you on a roadtrip down to ‘bama.
Strong, sexy, and from the soul.

Trina Hamlin – Down To The Hollow
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Roísín Murphy

Monday, July 11th, 2005 by Paul Irish

glitch-jazz // nightclub diva

All the girls you know adore Frou Frou. You’ve dabbled deeper into Imogen Heap‘s solo work and you still remember a British duo, Moloko, and their finely tuned house tracks, “Sing It Back” and “The Time Is Now”. Well, the vocal siren from that dance-pop duo, Roísín Murphy, is now back with enough energy and spice to heat up your bedroom. Armed with the production mastery of Matthew Herbert, Roísín’s debut album, Ruby Blue, is packed with strong, soulful tracks with enveloping beats and complex time signatures. Much of the jazz-laden feeling from the Matthew Herbert Big Band‘s work is present, save Jaime Lidell‘s identifiable croon. “Sinking Feeling” emotes a 1950’s barstool seductress, teasing her audience’s eardrums and tantalizing their senses.
Finger snap, bra strap, electric zap.

Roísín Murphy – Sinking Feeling
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Mr Scruff

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005 by Andrew Ladd

bouncy electronica // funky downtempo // acid jazz

Mr Scruff got a heap of exposure not too long ago when Lincoln yoinked “Get A Move On” from his album Keep It Unreal for use in one of their commercials. You’d be forgiven for calling KIU his first album, because his actual first album was released in quite limited numbers by a smaller label (Pleasure Records), seven months before Scruff signed to Ninja Tune. That debut album, Mrs Cruff, has just been re-issued, and from it I offer the epic ‘Chicken In A Box’, a vaguely Asian-sounding bundle of big drums, a flutey riff, and Scruff’s trademark warm, stringy goodness. For added protein, enjoy the fun ‘Dancing Time’ number from Scruff and fellow Brighton mate Quantic.
A huge beat – stick it in your car and drum your drive away.

Mr Scruff – Chicken In A Box
Mr Scruff & Quantic – It’s Dancing Time
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The Tiny

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005 by Paul Irish

uneasy minimalist folk

The awkward emotive voice of Ellekari Larsson rattles inside your head. You question what beauty sounds like. A piano and cello creep in with slow trepidation. The song’s lyrics strive for a warm emotional intimacy, but yet the instrumentation and vocals feel almost frigid and aloof. This raw power of this gem, ‘Closer’, hit me immediately when I sampled it from Fat Planet and continues to addictively reel me in.
An intimately disorienting ballad from a trio in Stockholm.

The Tiny – Closer
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Lizz Wright

Thursday, June 16th, 2005 by Paul Irish

sultry female vocal jazz

Earlier this week it was unbearably hot outside. Although not soon enough, the rain came and drenched absolutely everything. Now the heat is seeping out of the ground and the water evaporates into a sweaty steam that delivers that sweet summer rain smell right to my nose. Lizz Wright’s music fits in perfectly with this smell and humidity – an undercurrent of warmth and passion simmering beneath a blue-gray soundscape. Each element is recorded with killer clarity: her voice, the guitar plucks and strums, the deep double bass string rattle.
Absorb the summer rain in aural form.

Lizz Wright – Old Man
Lizz Wright – A Taste Of Honey
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Song: Wonderwall

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005 by Paul Irish

pop-rock -> somber indie -> big-band swing

The most satisfying covers are those that transform the song into a completely new setting. Today, you’re getting two unique covers of the Oasis classic ‘Wonderwall’, easily my favorite track from the Gallagher brothers. Ryan Adams (who’s coming out with two more albums this year) presents a slow but deliberate guitar and reverbed vocal track. From the subtle voice crack to fingertip-string treble to his emotional howling, Ryan’s cover emotes a clear and true representation of the song’s meaning. On the complete and opposite side of things, Paul Anka’s take, from Rock Swings, is a glitzy big-band version with spot-on vocals and instrumentation. The arrangements are well done – not sleazy covers like Richard Cheese.
One version subdued and sincere. The other bright and boiling.

Ryan Adams – Wonderwall
Paul Anka – Wonderwall
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Baby Mammoth

Sunday, June 12th, 2005 by Andrew Ladd

downtempo // jazzy electronica

My ex-girlfriend gave me Baby Mammoth’s Seven Up for my birthday one year, after we had broken up but before the novelty of remaining friends with your ex had worn off for her. If that sounded bitter, it probably was, but only because it’s irreparably tainted the easy-going charisma of an otherwise extremely appealing album. Downtempo, chilled electronica in the same vein as 9 Lazy 9 and Fila Brazillia (with whom Baby Mammoth shared a label for a time), Seven Up starts with a real corker; simply titled ‘1’, it’s an uncluttered symphony of chillout staples, whispery drums, twangy riffs, and foamy keyboards. The album hits a hump after such an auspicious start, but if you can work through the next two tracks, you’re rewarded with more of its impressive, crisp clarity.
A sanguine collection of syrupy electronica.

Baby Mammoth – 1
Baby Mammoth – Pink Elephants (Live)
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Minotaur Shock

Monday, May 30th, 2005 by Paul Irish

dynamic indie electronica

David Edwards, the man behind Minotaur Shock, comes across as a geeky soccer-dad. However, his music bears no relation to his looks and comes at you with such dynamicism and polish that you’d think a collective of eight Berklee grads was behind it. His sound has been in demand, last year being commissioned for the remix of Bloc Party’s ‘Tulips’ – a keeper for hipster DJs everywhere. Minotaur Shock’s upcoming release on Melodic, Maritime, is a impressive array of solid tracks – ‘Vigo Bay’ is one of the standouts with a jilted guitar line licked by a bouncy pop rock beat. [Think Junior Boys meets Ratatat] If you want the more emcompassing tweeky twitter ambient electronica, sample his remix of Hint’s ‘Count Your Blessings’, one of my favourite clear-my-mind deep-breath tracks.

Minotaur Shock – Vigo Bay
Hint – Count Your Blessings (Minotaur Shock Remix)
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