Posts from 2006

Talkin’ Verve

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 by Andrew Ladd

mambo jazz

Yeah, it’s Dizzy Gillespie, and yeah, it’s not exactly original to associate the waggling piano and ballsy horns of his mamboish jazz with summer— but if this doesn’t make you want to pop on some shades and go to a barbecue, you are broken. And when the party’s winding down, grass swaying warm, greeny-gray in the melting sky, switch to Willie Bobo and float a frisbee over to the host (he’s tired of cooking hot dogs). Talkin’ Verve is a limited run compilation, but worth snapping up if you’re low on Verve catalogue items.

Classic tunes to kick off summer.
Dizzy Gillespie – Bang Bang (track 4 on the Aurgasm Summer Soundtrack)
Willie Bobo – Mercy Mercy Mercy
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An Pierlé

Sunday, July 16th, 2006 by Julija

belgian pianist // singer-songwriter

An Miel Mia Pierlé is a Belgian pianist, accordionist and singer-songwriter who had been touring with a theatre group, starring in a Belgium television series and giving solo performances before she signed her first record deal in 1998. Unlike the debut album, her second record, Helium Sunset (2002) , was released outside of the Benelux and France and received many positive reviews as well. And now she has come back with a new record An Pierlé & White Velvet (2006) written with her co-songwriter, arranger, composer and lover Koen Gisen. This is the result of everything Pierlé and Gisen have experienced and absorbed so far, the new sound of An that grows and creates something new.

Poetic and personal, sometimes sugary and bizarre.
An Pierlé – Jupiter
An Pierlé – I Love You
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Anja Garbarek

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 by Julija

glitchy singer-songwriter // norwegian dream pop

Anja Garbarek, the daughter of the prolific Norwegian jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek, as a child was surrounded by musicians but had no intention of doing something musical with her career. Instead, at 16 she went to drama college where her performance in a musical brought her to the attention of the Norwegian record industry and she was offered a deal. Anja Garbarek hates being predictable, for her songwriting has always begun with the lyrics and she is known for telling her own feelings reflecting dark stories put with comforting, hypnotic and sweet melodies. Her song “Sleep” from Briefly Shaking (2005) is based on the true story of a woman who was kidnapped and “The Last Trick” was written at a particularly dark moment. You’ll likely hear some Emiliana Torrini in Anja.

The sugar-sweet and the macabre.
Anja Garbarek – Sleep
Anja Garbarek – The Last Trick

Post contributed by Julija
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Birdy Nam Nam

Monday, June 12th, 2006 by Paul Irish

turntablism // downtempo

I hear you asking. “How precisely does a group of four Parisian DJs snag the DMC World Team Champion title?” (You’re asking that, right?) Well, let me let you in on a secret. It has to do with eight turntables, half as many mixers, and four Frenchmen that know how to cut, copy, paste, and manipulate songs into healthy grooves. The impressive thing here is that Nam Nam’s music is enjoyable by itself, yet similar to DJ Kentaro and C-Mon & Kypski, their performace and video techniques add the extra piece that establishs their obvious dynasty in the realm of team DJs. Peep the languid track below and then drop into the video of ‘Absesses’.

Downtempo masterpieces, composed scratch by scratch.
Birdy Nam Nam – Kind of Laid Back

Birdy Nam Nam – Absesses

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Rodrigo y Gabriela

Sunday, June 11th, 2006 by Paul Irish

exotic world instrumental // flamenco guitar

Of all recommendations from my readers, R y G has been mentioned most frequently. This worldly and adoringly cute couple emerged from Mexico’s metal scene and now resides in Dublin, making music you’d expect from Argentina. Their trademark red-hot guitar technique and harmonies spark your attention, but the timeless songwriting holds you tight. ‘Tamacun’ and ‘Diablo Rojo’ are off their newest eponymous release, while the video of ‘Capitan Casanova’ below is from their 2004 live album.

Baristas, prepare to be hounded for what these songs are.
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Tamacun
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Diablo Rojo

Rodrigo y Gabriela – Capitan Casanova

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Ane Brun

Monday, June 5th, 2006 by Julija

norwegian singer/songwriter // guitar

Back in 1998, Ane Brun (real name Ane Brunvoll), used to play in the streets to anyone who’d listen to her songs while travelling around Spain. Few years later she moved to Stockholm, Sweden where she started her own independent record label, performing live a lot and recorded the debut album Spending Time with Morgan (named after her beloved acoustic guitar, Morgan). After taking in Grammys in Norway and Sweden, she spent the past couple of years touring, playing at many festivals, supporting such artists as Keren Ann and A-HA. This last year she sat down to deliver her sophomore release, A Temporary Dive, a minimalist masterpiece of songwriting.

A less quirky Ani Difranco, shooting straight from the heart.
Ane Brun – My Lover Will Go
Ane Brun – Rubber & Soul
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Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns

Monday, June 5th, 2006 by Paul Irish

1950’s rock ‘n roll // boogie woogie
Following the footsteps of great New Orleans pianists like Professor Longhair, Huey made piano tracks to dance to. In 1957 he signed with Ace Records and formed ‘The Clowns’ with transgender artist Bobby Marchan at the helm. The two saw chart success multiple times, but none of the other records get me screaming along quite like this one. (turn it up!)
A good hearty 1958 rock ‘n roll rag.
Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns – Don’t You Just Know It
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Carl Orff

Thursday, June 1st, 2006 by Paul Irish

percussion // contemporary instrumental classical

You’ve heard Carl Orff’s composition in the trailer of some movie, I’m sure. From the opera Carmina Burana, “O Fortuna” has appeared in countless contemporary contexts, from Walt Disney World to internet video memes. ‘Gassenhauer’, or ‘Street Song’, was arranged from a lute setting by Hans Neusiedler from 1536. Orff used basic orchestra percussion, layering each one one top of eachother to create a vibrant crescendo of sound. If it comes off as familiar, you’ve likely heard it in one of these films: Badlands, True Romance, and Me and You and Everyone We Know.

Xylophone, marimba, timpani, shaker, castanets, then snare.
Carl Orff – Gassenhauer
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Sugarhill Gang

Monday, May 15th, 2006 by Andrew Ladd

80’s rap remixed

I imagine it’s pretty hard to remix songs that are as oft-played and over-sampled as much of the Sugarhill catalogue– and when I saw Still The Joint: Sugarhill Remixed in my local music emporium a few summers ago, I was a little dubious. But hey, it was the right price, so I picked it up and let it grow on me. Roots Manuva’s remix of ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash, particularly, has been a regular fixture on my headphones ever since, with its shadowy horns and tight, controlled bass. Even better, though, is the way other tracks slink out of my iPod’s shuffle mode and take me by surprise, like the strut-worthy Two Lone Swordsmen remix of The Sequence’s ‘Funk You Up’.

A chilled bag of electro funk.
Sugarhill Gang – The Message (Roots Manuva Remix)
Sugarhill Gang – Funk You Up (Two Lone Swordsmen Remix)
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Aurgasmic Adventures: Cuizinier

Sunday, April 30th, 2006 by Paul Irish

I need to share with you an encounter I had with a superstar French MC.

Poking around my myspace two weeks ago, I noticed a bulletin from the French rap group TTC, signed to Ninja Tune’s Big Dada label. This bulletin contained two interesting facts:

  1. Two of their members, Cuizinier and DJ Orgasmic, were touring the US
  2. They were looking for a place to crash in each of their stops

TTC – Dancingbox (Modeselektor remix)
Ever since hearing the Modeselektor remix of Dancingbox, I’d been deep into their sound. I figured I could offer up my pad, so I fired back a reply.
Cuizinier replied and was down for it:

hey thanks a lot man
i’ll call you when we’re in town
i already putted you on the guest list

Thursday afternoon I got a phone call from a number with seemingly too many digits. Hello? “Hey this is Cuiz”. After a short chat, I was set to meet up with him at the show. Going to the show I realized I didn’t really know what Cuizinier looked like, but I figured I could recognize a skinny white French rapper. On my way out the door I had grabbed my three bangin pairs of sunglasses so I could look my flyest; DJ A-Trak (Kanye West’s dj and 5-time World DMC Champion) and Brooklyn’s favorite dj duo, The Rub, were spinning.

The Rub warmed everything up with some reggae, then dropping into their signature dance/soul sound. Midway through their set we learned that this was the “Sunglasses Is A Must” tour and the three pair I brought along seemed fortuitously apropos.

A-Trak tore up his set, as usual, with some old classics and brand new hiphop– and of course he brought his turntablism a-game:
Video of A-Trak mixing it up (live)

Cuizinier took the stage around midnight and when I first realized the guy wearing the XXXL Celtics shirt was actually sleeping on my couch, I pretty much blew my shit. His set was hype as hell, bringing out the fire jams from both TTC’s Bâtards Sensibles and Cuizinier’s own Pour Les Filles records.
Video of Cuizinier – L’encule le plus cool (live)
Cuizinier – L’enculé le plus cool from Cuizinier’s Pour Les Filles Vol. 1 (2005)
Cuizinier – Seulement Toi (feat. Tido Berman) from Cuizinier’s Pour Les Filles Vol. 2 (2006)

After the show, me and my girl Anne waited for Cuizi to collect enough cash from the venue to pay for the next day’s train to New York. Cash in hand, we started heading back to my place. Cuizinier told me about the rest of the tour and TTC and Big Dada and all the news, accidentally slipping into French for several sentences, apologizing once he realized, and continuing. Off the stage, Cuizinier and DJ Orgasmic were surprisingly polite and well-spoken Frenchmen. We crashed at my pad, I woke them up at 9am and they took off for the subway shortly thereafter.

Before leaving however, my boy Cuizi Cuiz insisted in giving me a couple “presents” as thanks. I wound up with some goodies: copies of vols. 1 and 2 of his Pour Les Filles records, some flashy stickers and a dope ass Cuizinier sweatshirt.
So of course,


Sunglasses is a mustAs this was the Sunglasses Is A Must tour, y’all gotta email me your best photo of you rockin out in sunglasses.
Prizes will be awarded based on how fly y’all look. You might get just a sticker, or you may get all the booty.