Fri, 31 May 2013
"Scattered records, had Aretha Franklin in the Pun case..."
Four complete years of episodes! A lot of nights fretting over the right tunes to play, hunching over the turntables, digging up interesting links, and buried in recording software. Hope you're enjoying the journey!
I just had a good portion of the show notes I'd slaved over wiped out - Libsyn, why is the browser session length so short? I'll give the notes another browse soon and fill in any links I've missed in my lightning re-write...
Above The Law : You Might Get Stuck
Starting things off pretty harsh, but I do like some of that bass! A little known track even for Above The Law, and also one of the few not produced by Cold 187um. Too-little-known West Coast veteran Laylaw brings some late night creep, prowling & growling bass to this track and frees up the MCs to do what they do. Wonderfully dark track from the "The Lawhouse Experience, Volume One" LP, which is well worth having if you find it for a reasonable price!
[Alchemist] Casual : Gotta Get Down (Instrumental)
One of those Alchemist tracks that wasn't so much forgotten as not really heard in the first place! To my mind, Casual has never quite got the respect he deserved, and he's bounced around doing a fair few projects that escaped wide notice. This track was on an interesting 12", where the headline track wasn't really saying much but the other two cuts were definitely worth paying attention to.
The Mouse Outfit ft. Sparkz & Dubble O : Never Get Enough
We asked, and they delivered! One of Manchester's premier crews have finally released their debut album "Escape Music" and it is very, very worthy of your support. They've really pulled the stops out to produce a top quality product in a world of so many throwaway projects. I wanted to include a track this month that I hadn't already played, and so we go to this one which just happened to make for a good mix. Being primarily instrumentalists, the album has a wide slate of guest vocalists, and this track gives you the golden pairing of the city's own Dubble O and Sparkz. Manchester stand up!
Rise : Part Of The Game
A bit of a pain to mix - the right kind of speed and everything but some seriously awkwardly-placed change-ups! DJ Spinna throws some subtle curveballs on this cut, not to mention a healthy helping of bells and a layer of quality boom-bap drums. Pretty obscure track - the first B-side on Rise's "Evolution" 12", but easily the best thing on there!
Homeboy Sandman : Cops Get Scared Of Me
An unusual beat in a different way - in fact, quite a unique track overall! Exile is on this strange-sounding yet absolutely fire production from Sandman's "Chimera" EP. With both the MC and producer in experimental mood, it makes for something really individual. It floats, but it's hard in a way. Kind of like some kind of sonic stealth warship.
DJ Quik & Kurupt : 9x's Outta 10
The almost-absent drums on the last track created a nice space to blend the huge smackers from this one over the top. The third track I've pulled from the "BlaQKout" album over the time I've been doing the podcast, and probably the most speaker-destroying! Kurupt handles the mic almost completely on this cut, not letting Quik get a look-in on his own beat! It's a bit of a semi-abstract monster...
Only Child : Breakneck
If you know about the Manchester scene, then you know about the whole Fat City legacy - the famous shop, and the record label. I missed plenty of the records the first time round but found a CD of "Central Heating Vol.2" recently and found this nice little track on there! Only Child is half of the highly-regarded Unabombers DJ duo, but shows on here that he can get busy with the production too. He's got a couple of albums in his discography, so I might need to search those out.
Jay-Z ft. Beanie Sigel : Streets Is Talkin'
While I do like this tune, there is one reason and one reason only why I'm playing it this month; this story. Sorry, couldn't resist!
Action Figures ft. T3 : Jumanji
I didn't know about these guys until I saw them on the support slot for Slum Village this month, but I remembered their Facebook Page name after they got the crowd to repeat it four or five times! Coming out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kysean Bell and MarQ Beyond are them men on the mix and they get the big Detroit co-sign here with T3 of Slum guesting. As far as the beat - is that the legendary "Funky Drummer" in the background? You can get this heavy tune, plus their other single "Russell Westbrook" on Soundcloud for free, so it'd be rude not to. Oh, and get well soon Russell!
Slum Village : How It Feel
Michigan again! Something fresh for 2013 from the "Dirty Slums 2" mixtape, and the latest Slum lineup - T3 (founding member), Illa J (brother of J Dilla), and Young RJ. They get the keyboards and sharp drums going on this one, with the keys being a little "awkward" alongside the drum layout. Good track, but think of the DJs! ;) Seriously though, it's just good to see that Slum Village flag flying after all they've faced. Much respect.
Kris Kross : Tonite's Tha Night (Kris Kross Redman Remix)
Bit of a flavour change, but with the passing of Chris Kelly (Mac Daddy) I wanted to get some Kris Kross on here and it'd have been a bit too obvious to go for "Jump" or something. I've only just heard this track, which was on a compilation of Kris Kross remixes, and has the slightly-older-than-you-remember MCs rhyming alongside Brick City heavyweight Redman. The beat should feel kind of familiar - Jermaine Dupri's production is a live take on the same sample EPMD used for "Please Listen To My Demo," giving them a smoothed-out backing. RIP Chris Kelly...
Buckwild : Move Your Feet
Nothing crazy, just a nice little beat from the DITC producer's 1998 "Still Diggin' Composition" EP. For some reason that snare sounds a bit weird to me, but then I'm not the one with a list of production credits the length of my arm :)
Tekitha : Walking Through The Darkness
Can't go wrong with that Bobby Womack sample/interpolation. If you're a Ghostface fan you might listen to this track and think there's something missing...you're only half right! This track was originally on the "Ghost Dog" soundtrack, exactly as you hear it now - as a Tekitha solo track. Sometime after that, Ghostface took it, kept the beat and the hook, and rhymed on it for a track of the same name on "Bulletproof Wallets." Got to say - I prefer the original!
Steve Arrington : Nobody Can Be You (But You)
Thirty years old this year! You might recognise it as the main sample on Brand Nubian's "Grand Puba, Positive and L.G.," which I was going to play here but decided against in the end. Formerly of the group Slave, Steve Arrington broke out on his own in 1982 with his own band "Steve Arrington's Hall Of Fame" and this was one of his biggest hits. It sounds very much of its era but you have to love the positive, uplifting message! Great tune for riding in the sunshine too...
Roger : Everybody Get Up (EPMD Diesel Remix)
How about this for an interesting twist of fate for EPMD, who started their careers in 1988, had a monster second single with "You Gots To Chill," one of the first tracks to sample Zapp's "More Bounce To The Ounce?" They sampled the legendary Zapp and Roger Troutman heavily through their careers, and on this remix of the first track from Roger's "Bridging The Gap" album, he brings them in to collaborate - bridging the gap for real :) I got this on a 12" of "Everybody Get Up" which may or may not be rare, but I've only seen it once!
Trouble Funk : Still Smokin'
This song was my introduction to Trouble Funk back when it was released in 1985 - yes, I'm old :) I saw it on TV on "Solid Soul" or something and straight away respected that heat! You cannot argue with that lead guitar line. At all. Trouble Funk are and were one of the foremost groups in the Washington DC "Go-Go" scene, which much better people than me have written about. Hip-Hop and Go-Go are both dance-focused music forms at heart, but while Hip-Hop is rooted in finding the breaks on old records, go-go is a live instrument form, with big bands, all kinds of crazy drum action, and lots of call/response. Follow the links for more info on the style in general, but as for this track - I've got it on an old 12" and it's from the soundtrack of a film called "Good To Go" which is itself based in DC. The reviews indicate that the soundtrack may be better than the film...
Mike R. Max : Nasty
B-side of a random purchase from Leeds' Polar Bear Records on a cash-strapped day many moons ago - didn't hear it in advance but the cover drew me in! I don't know anything about it, and by the looks of things this was Mike's first and only release, a relatively obscure 2002 French house record - I wonder if he ever envisioned it turning up on a mix like this?
Zapp : Playin' Kinda Ruff
Huge tune from "Zapp II," straight funk classique ;) I'm not sure if Roger (sans talkbox) is on the lead vocal or if Bobby Glover or Greg Jackson took the reins (do educate me), but if you work hard every day to pay those bills, you can relate to those lyrics! Funky as hell all the way through, and all the vamping at the end is just amazing. If you're hearing this for the first time, I'm kind of jealous of you.
Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!