Posts from 2005

Lil Wayne

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 by Paul Irish

hip hop // neo-soul remixed

I’ll admit it’s odd for me to be writing on a fairly popular dirty south rap star, but this track “Shooter” has been on solid rotation since I first peeped. The casually dope bassline vibes underneath syncopated soul lyrics from Robin Thicke. Weezy gets in his breathy interjections every couple seconds until he lays into it heavy, nearly 90 seconds after the track starts. Tommy B describes it eloquently, “He’s got an easy drawl on this song, not the playful rasp from the rest of the album but a laid-back, unforced stream-of-consciousness that matches up perfectly with the track’s back-porch sunny-Alabama-afternoon lope.” Thicke’s 2003 soul track “Oh Shooter” bore that addictive lope, only it had Robin’s vocal crooning instead of Lil Wayne’s loose lyrics.
Firey southern rap dropped into a soulful riverboat groove.

Lil Wayne – Shooter
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Thursday, December 15th, 2005 by Paul Irish

bossa chill // acoustic // atmospheric downtempo

In 1997, Brighton-based duo Smoke City released “Underwater Love”, a Brazilian-flavored trip-hop tune which landed a great number of fans and ended up on over fifty compilations. The dreamy, sweet-tongued voice of vocalist Nina Miranda created the sharp allure and addictive quality of the track. Now, after some collaborations with Bebel Gilberto, Nitin Sawhney, and Da Lata, Nina joins eclectic producer Dennis Wheatley as Shrift. Together they create a seductive sound that transports you halfway between South America and wind-swept fantasy. Off their upcoming album, “Floating City” spins around you in a genre-fusing 6/8 rhythm and “As Far As I Can See” nails beautiful melody with little, deliberate instrumentation.
Effortless artistry from two worldly musicians.

Shrift – Floating City
Shrift – As Far As I Can See
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Spank Rock

Friday, December 9th, 2005 by Paul Irish

dirty bmore club crunk danceshit

A little while ago, Ninja Tune announced: If the future of Big Dada could be summed up in one word, survey says “DURRRTAY”. While before they had the UK hipster hip hop scene covered with Roots Manuva and Ty; now the label is getting some looks for bringing out the bleeding-edge sweaty club sound. Their current roster shines with Philly’s Diplo (who’s been awfully quiet lately), France’s TTC, and Baltimore’s Spank Rock. The xxxplicit “Put That Pussy On Me” spits hot lyrics over a Snoop Dogg vs Beach Boys mash. The just released “Backyard Betty” has tweaky synths chirping over a mile-wide fuzzy bass sine-wave.
“Cutting edge without really caring; phenomenally rude without even meaning to be.

Spank Rock – Put That Pussy On Me
Spank Rock – Backyard Betty
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Carmen McRae & GB

Monday, December 5th, 2005 by Paul Irish

jazz vocal remixed // chilled broken beat

While jazz sirens like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan had voices that made doves cry, Carmen McRae had a rhythm in her song – a bebop-style phrasing that could make Max Roach swoon. Her take of “Just a Little Lovin'” was first released in 1965 on Atlantic’s Great Moments in Jazz compilation. Earlier this year a mysterious producer named GB took McRae’s precise and casual vocal line and crafted a chilled, soulful track directly around it. Since then he’s gotten his paws into one of Ninja Tunes’ latest releases by Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio.
Some sexy, sneaky bedroom music.

Carmen McCrae – Just a Little Lovin (GB Remix)
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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005 by Paul Irish

cuban jazz // modern son

Havana’s prodigy, Jesús Alemañy, tightens these fifteen wildly talented musicians into a combustible knot of chart-topping latin rhythm. They lay down some flying trumpet riffs and fabulous bongos in the classic Cuban style, throwing in mind-blowingly high solos and firey dance grooves. This group was a key component of the Cuban musical explosion into the States in the late nineties, joining alongside the globally popular Buena Vista Social Club in drawing out American ears and feet to the dance floor and bringing the time-honored, trumpet-propelled Cuban band into the modern arena. Certainly one of the spiciest groups to blow out of Havana in half a century, ¡Cubanismo! tops my list of Latin music. Thank you, Senior Alemañy.
Thanksgiving en fuego!

¡Cubanismo! – Tumbao De Coqueta
¡Cubanismo! – Now In Marinao
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Sunday, November 20th, 2005 by Paul Irish

vocal downtempo // trip hop // eastern influence

I don’t know how it happened, but I swear my music taste is far more European than American. Music from Reykjavik, Copenhagen, and Brighton excites me much more than another band from the US – and I fear it’s not the innate exoticism of foreign entertainment. I suppose there may be different goals – music that aims to be beautiful, music meant to express thought, music to shake your ass to. Each culture exudes music that reflects it. I was introduced to Mig by my favorite Frenchman, Garrincha from Orchestrated Rise To Fall. The french group creates a warm sound that blends eastern elements and western sophistication, highlighted nicely in these tracks. They mix together wistful Nelly Furtado-like vocals and a soulful body of sound: naked acoustic guitar, synthesized electronic accoutrements, and a round bassline.
Morcheeba in the Middle East.

Mig – Concrete Jungle
Mig – Au nord de mon enfance
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Reflex Reaction: The World in Autumn

Monday, November 14th, 2005 by Paul Irish
I want your reaction, here. Leave a comment and for any/all of the songs, write your reaction to the song – keep it brief! (5-15 words, extra points if you hit exactly 10) After a few days, I’m going to publish the most evocative/impressive/amusing comments here. Be sure to leave your name!

UPDATE! The best reactions follow:
improvisational // minimal african
Postal Workers Canceling Stamps At The University Of Ghana Post Office (1975)
(Many of you were curious– though I know many who heard this in music courses, my introduction was through Audiography.)

  • This track is dripping imagery of khaki hats and sunshine on the savannah…~toshi
  • First heard this in ethnolomusicology class; still unbelievably creative and energizing.~courvidae
  • I sent this along to a friend whose husband is Ghanain. Her comments: “My husband was really pleased by this! He said he remembers seeing the postal workers doing this in another city, Oda. He said the post office gave training in the cancelling to do it that way. And the post office hired a drummer to accompany them. You can hear the drum briefly in the clip.”~Doctor Doom
  • laid-back tropical // lounge
    Quantic & Nickodemus – Mi Swing Es Tropical (2005)

  • Soundtrack to a Wes Anderson film about eccentric american expats in Central America~Keith D
  • if archie bell and the drells woulda had latin fever.~technoprayer
  • to enjoy: consume high gravity beer and don’t really listen~MT
  • electro-rock // garage-dance
    Tom Vek – C-C (You Set The Fire In Me) (2005)

  • ClassiC-eleCtroniC Carrying Creator’s Chords aCross Chasms, ColleCting Crucial CritiCism.~leonm
  • Catchier than I’d like to admit, actually.~Matthias
  • i’ll admit to turning this song off after ten seconds~jen
  • Antje Duvekot

    Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005 by Paul Irish

    singer-songwriter // acoustic folk

    Acoustic starlet Antje Duvekot has been captivating the ears of East Coast audiences ever since she came over from Germany as a teenager. Why, precisely? The girl can write. She placed both 1st and 2nd in the prestigious John Lennon songwriting contest and was also a finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition. Her song “Judas” first hit my own ears from local Boston radio station WERS. Part of the allure is making the religious familial (a la Christopher Moore), part is the unexpected lyrics, but the bulk of my attraction is the uplifting melodic lines that make listening such a joy. And before you go tell people about her, you’ll want to know the proper pronounciation: On-tyeh Doo-ve-kot.
    Well-excuted songwriting: thoughtful, delicate, and sublime.

    Antje Duvekot – Judas
    Antje Duvekot – Dandelion
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    Reflex Reaction: Halloween

    Thursday, October 27th, 2005 by Paul Irish
    I want your reaction, here. Leave a comment and for any/all of the songs, write your reaction to the song – keep it brief! (5-15 words, extra points if you hit exactly 10) After a few days, I’m going to publish the most evocative/impressive/amusing comments here. Be sure to leave your name!

    Up close, Mr Angry is on the left and Mrs Calm is on the right — move back six feet and they switch places!
    UPDATE! The best reactions follow:

    dub // vocal jazzy reggae
    Joe Dukie & DJ Fitchie – Midnight Marauders

  • Boyz II Men for the tight striped sweater and black-rimmed glasses set.~Ratrick
  • Rising from the “Dust”, vocal soul soars inna dub stylee.~Captain Planet
  • It sounds suspiciously like the kind of music I used to play on the recorder in sixth grade.~Aarika
  • broken beat // afro-beat
    Bugz In The Attic f. Wunmi – Zombie (Part One)

  • Like when Joe samples Pharcyde’s “Passing me by” in his craptacular “Stutter”. Femi: show these children how it is done.~Ian Shaughnessy
  • Frenetic Fela update – the master would be proud. Broken grooves for broken politics.~David R
  • Fela Kuti sans testicles, chopped up Scott Herren-style.~Ratrick
  • vocal downtempo // electronica
    Coldcut – Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force Remix)

  • Got violins? (let me throw up for a second…)~Séverine
  • this joint is what, like 10+yrs old! reminds me of spacing out in chill out rooms at raves as a teen.~Marco
  • that rare beast – an electronic rehashing of a jazz standard that actually works.~Jez
  • cuban // son
    Barbarito Torres – La Calabaza (The Pumpkin)

  • Rolled R’s and Spanish guitars, move your feet, ha cha!~Katie
  • compare it to the others – a great demonstration of the superiority and emotiveness of real instruments over electronic wizardry.~Jez
  • Roasted pumpkin stuffed with cumin-dusted free range chicken breast, wild rice, and grilled zucchini, drizzled with a garlicky-jalapeno mojo.~Ratrick
  • Hanne Hukkelberg

    Friday, October 21st, 2005 by Paul Irish

    norwegian eclectic // vocal

    From bicycle spokes to banjos, wineglasses to wash brooms, and accordions to wurlitzers, there seems to be no limit as to what Lady Hukkelberg might bring to the studio. And what she brings isn’t limited to instruments – on her album Little Things, she brought in fellow Norwegian musicians from Jaga Jazzist, Kaada, Shining, and Aurgasm fave Xploding Plastix. You’ll hear vocal similarities to Emiliana Torrini, but her music has quite a bit more quirk. “Ease” works itself in with calliope and clarinet–Hanne’s friendly voice relaxes you, giving way to a synchopated sampled dreamscape. [thx Julija!]
    Adorable childlike spirit beset by mad-hatter instrumentation.

    Hanne Hukkelberg – Ease
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