Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the Power

I still get amazed sometimes when I hear something cool that I've not heard before and it's all thanks to the whims of a radio DJ.  I don't know if online streaming services can be as eclectic as an actual DJ can be, since they supposedly cater to what they know of your tastes.  Hard to say really, but I came across some music on Radio 6 the other day that I'm pretty sure I'd never have heard otherwise.  It's a collaboration from 2003, so not even new, I just never knew about it.  The collaboration is between Terry Hall & Mustaq.  You may be thinking "who?".  Well, Terry Hall is a founder member of the Specials, a classic UK ska act.  I've liked Hall for a long time and I'm not sure if it started with the Specials cassette I bought or when I heard a song of his as a solo singer.  Mushtaq I'd never heard of but it turns out he's a member of Fun-Da-Mental.  Now, I could probably write a whole other post on Fun-Da-Mental, but I won't, I'll just keep it short, but looking into them for this post again also displays the power of radio to remind us of things we'd forgotten, and how it exposes us to massive amounts of random music.  Fun-Da-Mental are a multi-ethnic UK group who are anti-racist and quite pro-Islam.  They were using and singing about these topics back in the 90's, way before 9-11, when wearing  your Muslimness on your sleeve wasn't even a thing!  They basically started with a combination of Asian sounds and hip-hop, and their Asian/Muslim identity was pretty mind-blowing to me when I first came across them as a teenager in Wales (though not mind-blowing enough to get me to hear anything else by them for nearly twenty years).  Very interesting group, definitely worth a further read upon.  Anyway, back to the main topic; Terry Hall & Mushtaq put together an album called 'The Hour of Two Lights' which is a great blend of Hall's singing with Arabic instrumentation -- you can hear it all here.  It reminds me of a bit of some Gorillaz stuff, and it turns out that Damon Albarn had some involvement and put it out on his Honest Jon's label -- hmm.  The song I heard, and that  piqued by interest, is below:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

something something ketchup

It's been a pretty long break since proper postings so here I am.  Not that the interim has been spent in an audio-less vacuum, not at all, just didn't feel like blogging for whatever reason, but there are many sounds and links that have accumulated during my time away.  I will attempt to summarise forthwith; please don't get annoyed at the length of the post, it's all good stuff.

First up, Daniel Avery, an electronic musician who's probably very well known, but not by me, not until now anyway.  I heard of him through this Guardian video and then looked him up and was pleased I did.  His sounds are excellent and I'm planning on picking up the album and the Fabric mix in one form or another.  You can hear loads of things on his Soundcloud page, including this:

Next, some video links, and I don't mean music videos.  I don't have the time or patience to really use Youtube to it's full potential, but there are definitely some gems on that site, including a couple of great documentaries I've come across recently.  One is all about Bjork, and I think it was originally on the BBC.  You can watch it here.  The other documentary is about dance music, a kind of general overview, and it's narrated by Idris Elba with his full-on, I'm-actually-from-London-mate geezer accent.  Here you go.  

Washington's version of City Paper had a good write-up recently on the 20th anniversary of a local music venue, the Black Cat.  I've been to the venue a fair amount of times (to see Mum, Ash, Bonobo, and M83 to name a few), and while it's not one of my favourites, it's definitely not the worst venue in DC (that honour is reserved for the Rock n Roll Hotel, which is the worst venue I've been to around here anyway), and they do have a great booking policy -- in fact, I'm going there tonight to see Mount Kimbie.  I found the write-up quite interesting, maybe you will too -- check it out here.  

Lastly, I really like this Arctic Monkeys track, it's got a great groove to it:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Only the Lonely

My sister just sent me a forward from Ben Watt's email list that linked back to his website and I came across an interesting little post he's got up.  It's him talking to a sound engineer about Vinyl vs CD's and the whole debate about which sound better, etc etc.  In the end it's a relatively minor concern but still makes for interesting reading if you're into that type of thing.  You can check it out here.  I would say I don't really have a real preference -- vinyl seems a bit cooler, and I like the size of it, but it's also more expensive.  I usually end up going for whatever option seems economically reasonable, but there are some purchases where the vinyl stands out a bit more to me -- the Smiths boxset, for instance, is something that, to me, just seems cooler to have on vinyl.  Or cassette.  Something about the object that is a CD just doesn't appeal.  Plus my main hi-fi doesn't have a CD player on it.