‘Witness To A Heartbreak’ :: The Dynettes [Constellation, 1965]
This single from The Dynettes is a real beauty, sung as if it were court testimony after ‘witnessing a heartbreak’. Not much is known about the Dynettes though this comes from Chicago, 1965, arranged by Maurice Williams (unlikely this Maurice Williams but who knows). The sluggish, delicate arrangement and interplay between the lead and background vocals make it what it is. ‘Witness To A Heartbreak’ is actually a b-side and is nothing like its upbeat a-side may have suggested. I’ve been trying to get my hands on a clean copy of this for ages and finally, I did. Dig it!
(Editor’s Intro: DJ Monk One, Wax Poetics’ writer, mixtape specialist, collector, and all around nice dude, hit us with Milt Matthews’ ‘It Ain’t Your Fault’, comparing it to Thai food for its tempered approach. Read more on Monk to see how consistent and tasteful his output is. Thanks Mr. Mason!– DM)
Milt Matthews Inc. – ‘It Ain’t Your Fault’ (Commonwealth United, 1970)
The curious genre of Folk Funk is sort of like Thai food. If the delicate balance of disparate flavors isn’t correct, you’re left with an unpalatable mess. ‘It Ain’t Your Fault’ gets the ingredients just right, combining strummy guitar, honky-tonk piano and organ that could’ve come straight off a Band-era Dylan record with a hard hitting rhythm and a Otis Redding worthy vocal. A little sweet, a little sour, and addictively tasty.
Milt Matthews Inc. was a DC-area band who put out two LPs in 1970 and ’71. Though psych and rock collectors pay big money for their second record, I find the concoction a little heavy on the fuzz guitar and prefer the understated flavor of their first, from which this song is taken. – Andrew Mason
Our homies at Daptone gave us the new Budos LP to give away. They also threw in this 45 (out of print) which was only available with pre-orders, featuring a track not available elsewhere. Purchase the release HERE and check out a song off the new album below.
‘Unbroken, Unshaven’ The Budos Band III [Daptone]
Send an email to NERDTORIOUS@gmail.com with ‘Budos Giveaway’ in the subject for your chance at some new Budos vinyl. 2 lucky winners chosen at random. Contest ends in 1 week!
* CONGRATS JAMIE S. and SHAWN H. **YOUR RECORDS ARE IN THE MAIL! ***MORE GIVEAWAYS SOON!
(Ed. Note: Finally got to speak with one of my favorite DJs, Cut Chemist. His new project, Sound of the Police, is out now, as is this dope internet-only mix, The Death of Disco. Check both those out and peep our talk below. -DM )
Originally Published on www.waxpoetics.com
Cut Chemist’s selection has always worked in lockstep with his techniques. On Sound Of The Police, his latest project, he uses a foot pedal and one turntable, looping breaks and portions of rare African records to make the mix. Like past work with DJ Shadow (Brainfreeze, Product Placement, and The Hard Sell) it’s more of a live set than an official follow up to his studio album The Audience’s Listening. The routine in fact debuted last year at a concert with Mulatu Astatke, a towering figure of Ethio-jazz, and the release itself was recorded live; no post production, just records and swaths of detail. The response was “so overwhelming” according to Cut, that he thought he’d make it official and release it.
Sound Of The Police is in line with recent explosions of interest in African records, evidenced by books, reissues, and the Broadway musical “Fela”. Since Wax Poetics first spoke to Cut in issue #16, he’s done cameos in films and still shows interest in different genres. The Death Of Disco (1973-1979), a recent internet only mix, sounds like a drunken dance party—highs, lows, sloppiness and all—and has been incesantly downloaded.
When asked what he’s been into lately, he said, “Can’t go into specifics, but I’ve been digging early industrial cassettes from France circa the early 80’s, really great music with primitive drum machine textures.” Here’s my recent talk with Cut Chemist; still on top after all these years.
Were the records on Sound Of The Police accumulated from your collection over time or were these recent finds?
These were records I’ve accumulated over the years. I’ve been into African and South American music ever since being in Ozomatli. Being in that band made me explore different sounds from around the world, as that was the group’s mission.
What are some of the technical things you did on this that possibly may have been lost on the average listener?
As a listening piece, not a performance, the listener may not realize that the mix is live with one deck. It still holds up as a nice mix of music, but everyone might not appreciate how difficult it actually was to record it. This is why I would like to perform the set live.
What was the first African record that got you hooked?
I collect everything. I chose to release this collection of music because I intended it to be just a performance opening up for Mulatu Astatke at the Timeless concert series. The first African record that really moved me was the Mulatu Of Ethiopia LP. The chords were very different from anything I heard in the past. (more…)
(Alex LaRotta who runs the audioblog I’m Shakin’ gave us this to share. It’s been in queue for a while but there’s never a bad time for something so timeless. Hats off to Alex for the nice contribution. -DM)
‘Black Gal’ by Roy Gaines
Houston native Roy Gaines and his take on the classic Americana folk dirge, ‘Black Gal’, features a spread of sweet organ soul with a country blues foundation. ‘Black Gal’, also known as ‘In The Pines’ and ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night?’ in various renditions, was made popular in the early ’90s by Seattle’s most well-known crusty grunge trio, Nirvana, on their lauded MTV Unplugged series. Though largely credited in origin to the various recordings by blues folk pioneer Lead Belly, this song dates back to the late 19th century and has since gone through an evolution of genres and interpretations. (more…)