Sunday, May 19, 2013

RBMA Video: 12 Years of DFA

RBMA has been in town in NYC this month. Unfortunately I've been too busy with life to go to their events (and I'm also a wallflower so I avoid dance parties) and the one thing I was thinking of going to with Lee Scratch Perry is now sold out. Oh well! Life moves on.

I did come across this nifty RBMA video which is about DFA Records in NYC. When the Rapture came out with "House of Jealous Lovers" about 10 years ago I did buy the album coz I thought I'd like it. I didn't unfortunately and its one of those CDs that's gotten quite dusty over the years. So I'm not really a DFA fan, but some of the tunes in the video sound quite nifty so maybe I'll check out some of the artists who are mentioned. Anyway this is a great little film that's very well-made, and is quite funny as well. I think what really makes this film work is the hilarious editing. Enjoy.
Film and music! My two favourite things!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Alt Jai

Just heard about this fella today, I think.  Actually, let me put it this way -- I don't recall having heard of him before.  I'm talking about Jai Paul, a young producer out of West London (see pic above for exact location) who became prominent about two years ago.  I heard a track by him today in a mix by Four Tet and looked him up.  There's not much official by him out, but the few things I've heard have been pretty intriguing.  He's signed to XL now and hasn't really done much, but hopefully something'll come out soon (look around and you can find copies of leaked tracks online).

Here's the track that got him noticed, including being sampled by Drake:

And here's the track that put me onto him, as heard in the Four Tet mix:

Really like the vibe of his music, I have to say, I hope future things are as good as these two tracks are.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Classixx nipper album stream

Peeps, if any of you were digging that Classix track you can hear a stream of their whole album at NPR.  I've been listening to it this morning and am finding it rather enjoyable.  Def worth a listen if you like sunshiney dance music.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Summer Jamz

A nice coincidence this morning -- for the last few days I'd been thinking about doing a post on music suitable for the nice weather we're having around here (70 degrees F, no clouds, sun-dappled streets, the smell of cut grass, and the sound of birds chirping and kids playing -- I like!), then the Guardian went and did a potential summer tunes round-up.  To be honest, I wasn't that impressed by most of the tracks, but there were two I'm going to highlight in a bit.  Also came across another Guardian article that led me to this next track, which is very very good and has a great video to boot.  Never heard of this song until today and it gets me wondering about all the good music I'm not hearing, despite my efforts!  This is possibly too "pop" for a lot of the sites I frequent, but it's great!  The article, by the way, is about youngsters making dance music.  I don't really care about age as long as the tunes are good.  Here's Duke Dumont, and a great video that celebrates the simple act of dancing like a loon:

Here's one of the tracks that really stood out to me from the Guardian's summer tunes round-up.  Again, never heard of anyone involved, but that sometimes come with summer music territory.  Got a bit of an 80's thing going on I think:

Jessie Ware's an artist I came across a few months ago and have been listening to quite a lot of.  First saw her on Jools but immediately dismissed her as just another English soul wannabe -- there's a lot of them that show up on Jools, and then you never hear about them again. I was wrong about her though, her album Devotion ended up on a lot of best-of-2012 lists and I ended up checking it out right after she played a cheap, not sold-out, show in DC.  Bah!  I liked the album after hearing it a few times -- to me, it's a continuation in the line of British dance-soul that goes back to Massive Attack and Soul II Soul, though it's more on the soul than the dance side; the sound is very contemporary without being gimmicky.  The track I'm going to put up though, is slightly different, in that it's more of a dance track -- not totally surprising as Ware started out doing vocals for dance acts.  Also, this video got lots of dancing in it too!

She's still worth checking out even if that track isn't totally to your taste -- I don't believe it really gives a good idea of the music found on her album.

Now, for me, nice weather and reggae just go hand in hand.  I heard this track on 6 music the other day and knew I'd have to find out more about the artist and stick it up on this blog.  It's by Roland Alphonso, who turns out to have been a founding member of the Skatalites, a classic Jamaican act from the first ska era.

I'll be keeping my eyes open for a Roland Alphonso compilation of some sort now, as music like that and driving around in a car in nice weather go together like ... cheese and cucumbers.  Well, that reggae vibe got me thinking about reggae legend, Horace Andy.  Here's one of my favourite songs, Skylarking:

Well, this is already a mad long post, so feel free to stop now.  If you'd like to go on cos you're just chilling with some juice on your balcony, I'm going to link to a few more good summery tracks.  If you're too busy for it then carry on wit ya.

Lumidee - Never Leave You
I still really like this from a while back.  It was hard to hear overtly dancey stuff here back then.

Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments
Good track off the album, like the spare production.

Daft Punk - Get Lucky
Yes, it's all over the place but it's still great!  I hope the album lives up to the hype.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

new season, new tunes

Every now and then someone asks me what I've been listening to. I'm not sure how to answer. For the last couple years I've been listening to a lot of mixes found online. So I guess I could answer by saying "mixes" but that doesn't as exciting as "oh this great new band blah blah". But hey these mixes ARE good. And its one of the best new ways to find new artists and tunes.

A few months ago Fahad wrote a bit about Disclosure. They're a dance act from the UK of two brothers. Somewhere in the last few months they got quite big in the dance scene and are now crossing over (perhaps?). Let's see if they reach Daft Punk crossover-levels. Anyway, I've been listening to their XLR8R mix since it went up in December. It has joined my list of favourite mixes that I listen to on repeat. It is very, very good.

And here are some of tunes I wanna highlight from that mix:
This is a really lovely, smooth tune. It has a nice laidback, warm summery feel to it. Let's put in the always great 'unclassifiable' section. This is Leon Vynehall - "Untitled017":

I love the bassline in this one. This is
Native Soul feat. Trey Washington - "A New Day (Spencer Parker's a Gun for Hire Remix)", a nice tune that pays homage to Jamaican influences in dance music. Apparently the original track came out in 1998?

This one is Jhelisa - "Friendly Pressure (From Midnight Mix)". Some nice garage sounds here, and it also makes me think of nice warm sunny days, like the Leon Vynehall track (maybe that's because I'm looking out on a sunny day). Anyway here it is:


I could keep highlighting tunes from their mix, but I'm gonna end with this stomper. Get up and dance! Yes go on. At least tap your foot. Here's a remix of Disclosure's "Latch" by Zed Bias. Zed Bias is a helluva cool name by the way.