Bruce Haack’s ‘Party Machine’

‘Party Machine’ from Farad: The Electric Voice [Stones Throw]

A new release further explores recent interest in voice manipulation by way of vocoders. Bruce Haack (1931-1988) was an experimental electronic musician who used a self-made vocoder he called ‘Farad’ on his recordings. He founded Dimension 5 Records, releasing strange but ultimately progressive abums, “pre-dating Kraftwerk’s Autobahn by several years” according to Stones Throw. Haack didn’t just use vocoders, he made them the centerpiece of his work, which included a children’s album, pop rock releases, dance tracks and a conceptual electronic psych-rock album called The Electric Lucifer. ‘Party Machine’ is an epic cut off Farad: The Electric Voice, the new 16 song collection which includes unreleased songs recently okayed by Haack’s estate.

* ‘Farad’ is named after Michael Faraday, an English chemist and physicist from the mid 1800s who some historians say is the ‘greatest experimentalist in the history of science’ and who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Riddim & News

Very excited to have written the story above for the new issue of Wax Poetics. It’s been years in the making and seeing it in print finalized an incredibly long process of emails, cold calls, miscommunications, and a lot of waiting around. But it ended well, standing as one of the few long, in-depth pieces ever done on the Cool Ruler himself, Gregory Isaacs.

This is the 43th issue of Wax Poetics and is dedicated solely to Reggae. I also added to the Re:Discovery section, writing about one of my favorite 45s, The Gaylettes’ cover of ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Listen to it HERE

Bear Witness

‘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!

Monk One on Milt Matthews

(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

Budos Giveaway!!!

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!

New Cut Chemist Piece

(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. Continue reading “New Cut Chemist Piece”

Roy Gaines’ Black Gal

(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. Continue reading “Roy Gaines’ Black Gal”

Dilla-San

This mix is further proof of Japan’s love affair with Dilla. Recently in Tokyo, I saw his image on magazines and a lot of hip-hop flyers. There were also ‘Ma Dukes’ t-shirts and more than one free mix cd. This is one of those mixes and has a lot of Dilla tracks found on newer releases, like this one with Black Thought or this with Raekwon. I hadn’t heard of DJ Tsubasa but, in a sea of Dilla mixes, this isn’t as obvious as others have been– and is probably the best, most inexpensive thing I got in Japan.

:::::::::::::::::: DOWNLOAD DJ TSUBASA’S DILLA MIX Pt.1

:::::::::::::::::: DOWNLOAD DJ TSUBASA’S DILLA MIX Pt.2

Little Willie Needs Your Love (so bad)

(Dan Ubick, serious musician from Rhythm Roots All Stars, Connie Price and the Keystones and The Lions, has played with Ghostface and Slick Rick among so many others, recording for Blue Note, Ubiquity, Tru Thoughts, and Stones Throw along the way. In his spare time he also writes (I worked with him on this Richard Evans piece) but he’s a music head above all things. A guitarist who transitions between different genres, he’s apparently, at heart, a bluesman. Here’s his thoughts on Little Willie John’s ‘I Need Your Love So Bad’. – DM)

‘I Need Your Love So Bad’ by Little Willie John

“I Need Your Love So Bad” by Little Willie John is to my ears absolutely the most perfect song ever (a huge claim I realize… but true.). This recording contains the most heart wrenching and captivating vocal take I personally have ever heard committed to tape (and I’ve listened to a couple records at this point like most of you reading I’m sure!).

The lyrics, apparently written by Willie John’s brother Mertis John Jr, (their sister was Stax and Motown artist Mable John) are the kind of lyrics that you never forget. Willie John’s well-worn and perfectly loose delivery draw you in like a good friend sharing his troubles with you personally. A voice of wisdom, longing and truth we can all relate to.

“I need someone’s hand to lead me through the night, I need someone’s arms to hold and squeeze me tight. When the night begins and until it ends…I need your love so bad.” Continue reading “Little Willie Needs Your Love (so bad)”

Icelandic Pentameter

This new 45 on BSTRD Boots takes Toots and the Maytals’ ‘Peggy’, blending it with ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately’ by Janet Jackson. It’s the latest release by our bud and Nerdtorious contributor, DJ Platurn. The flip is a pretty nice take on Prince Buster’s ‘Al Capone’ too.

Listen to it here. Buy it here.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Platurn’s Breaking The Ice series for some more rare Icelandic goodies.

DYNAMITE SOUNDS: ADRIAN YOUNGE INTERVIEW

(Editor’s Note: Adrian Younge, producer, collector, composer, and musician currently touring as Adrian Younge and The Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra recenly gave us details on his creative processes. Jeff Brummett, musician and now occasional contributor, interviewed Adrian a few months back. Stay tuned for his extensive, upcoming interview with Soul Cinema icon, Jamaa Fanaka. -DM)

By Jeff Brummett

Adrian Younge is the composer, producer and songwriter for the amazingly righteous Black Dynamite soundtrack. An homage to classic blaxploitation films, the movie and especially the soundtrack are pitch perfect. He went to severe lengths to perfect and duplicate the analog sounds of classic era Soul Cinema creating a very distinct flavor mirroring the original intentions and grooves of those groundbreaking works. The attention to detail and painstaking long hours really bring this project an authenticity that is tremendously impressive. Adrian was also the editor for the film Black Dynamite, so this was very much a passion project for him. We look forward to hearing more from this multi-talented artist.

Were you given the freedom to completely create the tracks or were you and the director working together to come up with the sound?

The producers and the director gave me the freedom to do anything for the score; we collaborated ideas on most of the songs and this was a very joyous experience. The director, Scott Sanders, actually wrote the lyrics to “Cleaning up the Streets.”

How did the tracking aspect go? Was it usually starting a groove with the drummer, then overdubs?

I rarely wrote any of the music with drums first. On the song, “Black they Back,” my drummer, Jack Waterson, composed a drum sequence and I just basically followed his progressions; other than that, songs were either written on organ, bass, or guitar; I would record my instruments into my mpc 2000 for arrangement purposes; after the song was arranged, the band and I would play every instrument onto tape sequentially (do a youtube search for the black dynamite score documentary, it shows the entire process). Continue reading “DYNAMITE SOUNDS: ADRIAN YOUNGE INTERVIEW”

SylMatic

‘Falling In Love’

Besides the awesomeness of having Syl Johnson’s best tracks in one HUGE BOXSET, it also allows fans of his work to fill in gaps between his rare songs and more known recordings. ‘Falling In Love’ is an early, simple Syl tune done for TMP-Ting Records, 1965.

The upcoming release, The Syl Johnson Mythology is being put out by Numero, probably the only label that could curate something like this and nail it. With Syl being sampled so much through the years, and with him hitting the road again, the timing of this is perfect. It’s also an effort to get some funds back to Syl, who is now 74, and who has in the past attempted epic lawsuits to get paid for his work.

This is a massive release, a 6LP + 4CD Boxset. Be ready for some epic listening (81 tracks!) and linernotes (52 pages!) when this comes out late October. I’ll be linking up with Syl soon for an upcoming interview, so keep an eye out in the months to come!

Summer Heat!

(Editor’s note: Recently, I stopped by Soul-Sides to talk about one of my favorite summer jams which you can peep here— as did Adam del Alma. Adam’s on a summer song rampage and we’re glad given his past record. Here are choice cuts he sent us for this late June 2010 (peep the Beto Villeno joint!). Finally, summer’s here. Let the sunshine in. –DM)


** READ / HEAR SUMMER SONGS DEL ALMA… Continue reading “Summer Heat!”

Ramona Come Closer: Interview with Nite Jewel

I don’t know much about Ramona Gonzalez, the woman behind the sort of solo act/sort of band called Nite Jewel, and I kind of like it that way. The most appealing thing about her music is the mystery of it. Nite Jewel songs are kind of like looking into a foggy window: There’s clearly something worth seeing but, as an outsider, you’re never privy to the full picture, thanks to a seductively muffled sound which keeps the listener at a distance even as it reels you in with catchy grooves and gorgeous singing. Gonzalez is not coy or secretive in this interview — she’s not too cool for school — but she doesn’t give too much away, either. Perfect.

Where are you from? Introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m Nite Jewel. I was born in Oakland, CA.

You make your own beats mostly on keyboards, right?
My music making process has changed drastically over the past two years. For my first album I recorded everything on 8-track cassette and shared beat making duties with Cole M. Greif-Neill, though most everything was written and recorded on my own. On that album, I used old drum machines, samples, one microphone, a few old synths, and an SP404. It sounds pretty degraded because I also shared production duties with Cole. Now I have more equipment and am recording in a professional yet unconventional studio in Berkeley, CA on 2-inch tape. On the current recordings, Cole and I are writing and performing in tandem. Continue reading “Ramona Come Closer: Interview with Nite Jewel”

O-Dub on Jorge Darden

“Please Don’t Stop The Music” by Jorge Darden is the B-side to a record currently posted on over at Soul-Sides. Head over there to hear and read more; below is the equally nice flip O-Dub graciously sent us:

Darden’s “Please Don’t Stop the Music” is the B-side to an equally good (though more uptempo track “All Alone” ) and the first I heard it, it reminded me of something J.R. Bailey might have recorded if he was fronting a lounge act. There’s something just ever-so-slightly unpolished here but that’s precisely what holds your attention, the subtle “off”-ness of his vocals, the ways in which he’s trying just a little too hard to nail that intimate “breathy” style. Yet, like the song says, once he starts, you don’t want to stop listening. –Oliver Wang

Tru Thoughts Giveaway!!!

Tru Thoughts, the ever expanding decade old UK label, gave us tons of CDs and a collection of their newest projects to give away; 4, by The Bamboos, the Saravah Soul project, the latest Zero dB album, and a couple others. 1 grand-prize winner gets the entire set of new projects (5 CDS!) and 20 other winners gets the newest Tru Thoughts compilation. Winners chosen at random.

Answer the following question and send it to NERDTORIOUS@gmail.com with “Tru Thoughts” in the subject. Winners announced in 3 weeks.

An early Tru Thoughts signee, Bonobo, eventually went onto to work with Ninja Tune. What other Ninja Tune affiliate currently sits on Tru Thoughts’ roster?

Answer: Hint

Winner: Samuel K.

Thanks to everyone who dropped us a line! More giveaways soon!

Matthew Africa on The Identities

(Editor’s note: I recently reached out to some of my favorite music dudes to see if they’d drop some expertise. Through the years, I’ve been able meet and work with some of these cats and, through their generosity, we’ll be rolling out some great posts in the coming months. The concept was straightforward: Have a great song or record you’d want to share? The responses and selections are top-notch. First up is THAT DUDE, Matthew Africa–his mixes, his blog, a lot of his output is straight up educational.  We’re delighted to have him.  –DM)

A quick listen to the Identities’ “Hey Brother” shows it’s a thinly-masked rewrite of the Billy Roberts composition “Hey Joe”. Although Jimi Hendrix’s recording of “Hey Joe” is perhaps justifiably the best-known version, it seems to be one of those rare tunes that’s impossible to mess up– of the dozens of versions I’ve heard, I have yet to hear a bad one. The lyrics here get recast as a peace and brotherhood bromide so vague Hendrix himself might have winced.

As far as I can tell this is the only record credited to the Identities. The vocal is almost certainly by producer Walter Whisenhunt’s wife, Gloria Taylor. The duo recorded far and wide throughout the seventies before a split which, according to legend, drove a vengeful Whisenhunt to wild out on her masters, giving birth to this left-field disco grail:

Duderonomy: Devin The Dude Q&A & DJ Eleven Mix!

* Download DJ Eleven’s Eleven & The Dude Mix

The Village Voice called him, “An asshole in the tradition George Clinton or Rudy Ray Moore, a shit-talker who thinks yukking and fucking is a life plan”. Granted, weed and big butts aren’t entirely all Devin “The Dude” Copeland talks about. But for the span of 5 albums (and a new 6th) his everyman approach has endeared him on both coasts as well as in Europe.

“Sheeeit, I’m just a normal dude who smokes weed and raps, ” he says, confirming his entire approach and motto. He continues, barely audible from laughing so hard: “My songs are like my kids [laughs], some are uglier than others but I love them all the same!”

A longtime Rap-A-Lot signee, Devin added ease and self-deprecation to Houston’s rap scene, counteracting the overt aggression of labelmates, The Geto Boys, and other local rap acts. His at ease style got calls from Dr. Dre, as work with De La Soul, Premier, Nas, and Xhibit followed.

His new project, Suite #420, finds him delivering over rolling beats where he’s the butt of his punchlines. I spoke with Devin on all things casual: from how often he smokes, to how Europeans sound funny rapping his lyrics.

What rappers make you laugh?
The very first rap record I heard made me laugh! It was called “Rap Dirty” by Blowfly [laughs]. I thought it was the funniest, grooviest thing I’ve ever heard. You could dance to it and it had a story behind it too. Back when I was a kid, a song sounded like it was a movie and I loved every bit of it. It was a comedy to me for sure man [laughs].

Who would you say are your rap idols?
Shit man, that’s tough. But really, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Slick Rick. How he put his songs together and just all the silly humor in his songs spoke to me. But he was smart too. He was so creative and projected personality into his songs. He was so well-rounded. He’s a true artist.

The other would have to be Continue reading “Duderonomy: Devin The Dude Q&A & DJ Eleven Mix!”

Golden State of Mind

A couple great new releases happen to focus my home state. The first is the newest in Now-Again and Jazzman’s Funk Compilations. The entire series is a compendium of rare, regional songs, notably Carolina Funk, Florida Funk, and Texas Funk. California Funk is a collection of twenty-one 45s from San Francisco, Berkeley, San Bernadino, LA and San Diego. The liner notes add scope and are great themselves. Here are snippets of some choice cuts.

‘Smokin’ Tidbits’ by The Edwards Generation

A cover of ‘What’s Going On’ by Mr. Clean & the Soul Inc.

If there’s continuity of Californian funk, than Orgone fits tangentially somewhere. From the evergreen Los Angeles area, they’ve played with some of my favorite LA funk driven groups, Breakestra and Connie Price and the Keystones. A nine piece band, they play soul and funk with a little afrobeat too. Some songs have vocals, most are instrumentals. Here’s the first track off their latest, Cali Fever, (Ubiquity) out next month.

‘The Last Fool’

Words Manifest

It wasn’t mostly the voice, it was mostly the consistency–indeed, a daily operation. Guru (right) and Primo are a prime example of a rapper and producer perfectly meshing. Their output married and listeners benefited for decades. I spoke with Guru a few years back and, of all the older, revered artists I’ve interviewed, I never thought I’d be writing on him in this uneasy light. But his work lives on. RIP.

Read my 2007 interview with Guru for Wax Poetics

Read a very candid recent interview with Primo by Rob Harvilla of the Village Voice

Download Matthew Africa’s recent Gang Starr Mix

Speaker of the House: Binky Griptite Interview

(Editor’s note: The voice of the Dap-Kings, Binky Griptite, graciously gave us the scoop on I Learned The Hard Way, the fourth studio album by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. For this this interview, we got miss Sharon herself to introduce Binky, which is somewhat of a role reversal, as he explains his duty as a King of Dap. Thanks Sharon. Big ups Binky! –DM)

Intro by Sharon Jones

I first met Binky at a session for Lee Fields, it was on 42nd Street in Manhattan. He still had on big dreads he’d wear under a beanie that looked liked a turban. I think he was still playing with Antibalas at the time. I remember thinking how so laid back he was. The Dap Kings hadn’t really formed yet, and Binky would just show up and do his thing. At the time, I was actually real afraid he’d leave our band and just stick with Antibalas full-time!

For the new one, he’s been working so hard. Some nights he’d come to the studio late and just lay down his parts; other times he’s playing the guitar half asleep with his eyes closed. He’s a stubborn perfectionist, really. He had me re-record a song over and over again because he said it ‘wasn’t soulful’ enough. It ended up taking four days! And I don’t take four days to record anything.

Really, I love what Binky does with the Dap Kings and his own Mellomatic stuff is great too. As an announcer, his voice gets people hyped. He’s like Bobby Bland. He’s a master. I really notice when he’s not at one of our performances. He’s that good.

You’re essentially the master of ceremonies at all the shows. Where do you draw your influences from?

BG: Well of course there’s Danny Ray, James Brown’s longtime emcee, as well as some gospel preacher. I come from a family of preachers so it’s not that much of a stretch. There’s also a real strong circus ringmaster influence there too. You know why people call the Ringling Bros. Circus the “Greatest Show on Earth”? Because the emcee told them to, that’s why.

My job is to prepare the audience for what they are about to see and hear, and to let them know what’s expected of them. We are not a ‘sit down and pay attention’ show, we’re a ‘get up and dance’ show. You’d be amazed at how many audiences still need to be told that they are a part of the show and that it is not meant to be a passive experience. Continue reading “Speaker of the House: Binky Griptite Interview”

Femme Fatales

I’m not too deep on Jamaican soul or reggae in general, but I’ve always loved things I’ve heard from say, Phyllis Dillon (pictured above), The Dreamletts, or compilations like this one. Below are random Jamaican girl-group joints I scored from my girlfriend, mixtapes, 45s, rare comps, and LPs. All of which are rather short, sweet, and uncomplicated.

The First Generation’s “Give Him Up”, a rare Jamaican soul track with, even rarer, a change-up in the arrangement! This song gets better and better as it moves along.

One of my favorite girl-groups in any genre, The Gaylettes. Here’s a b-side called “Goodbye”.

Susan Cadogan’s “Hurt So Good”. The her vocals really propel the simple arrangement.

Marcia Griffiths’ cover of the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” won’t let you down. Note the crashing cymbals and unexpected hi-hats.

Phyllis Dillon has so many great random songs. “Tell Me You Love Me All The Time” is another one.

The always enjoyable Nora Dean, “Mojo Girl”. Supposedly she’s 15-years-old on this one.

Beat Merchant: Jake One Interview

Originally Published on URB

Kids with new MPCs and “Listen To Dilla” shirts only dream of the career Jake One’s having. Out of Seattle’s late ‘90s rap scene, he’s worked with all types and degrees of MCs—essentially, most anyone who’s caught wind of his beats. Big names, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes; to indie cats, Casual, Gift of Gab, and Slug; to legends like De La and Dre.

“It’s weird because at a certain point you actually build relationships and become friends with these people,” he says, adding: “I’ve been making beats for complete superstars and complete non-superstars. I’m across the board as usual. ”

He just made tracks for Snoop, which he’s hoping will see the light of day, as is a cut on De La’s upcoming album. And DOOM is currently still “sitting on some beats”. Same with M.O.P., Bun B, Raekwon, the list is impressive as it is long. Meanwhile, he’s pushing his latest effort, another project on Rhymesayers.

Along with the clever packaging, The Stimulus Package, shows Jake piecing together soulful, versatile joints for another touted MC—Ex-Roc-A-Fella turned Cash Money signee, Freeway. Here, Jake explains the differences between working with indie artists and big names, and what’s next for someone who’s already worked with his heroes. Jake’s beats continue to attract MCs of all regions, genres and varying rap tangents, and the callbacks haven’t halted. With The Stimulus Package just out, here’s a very broad, 3 part look at Jake’s career, one that any beatmaker would kill for right now.

JAKE ONE, DAY ONE…

What was your first piece of equipment?
Well, my first sampler was some sort of Rolland. I was 16 working at Taco Time for a couple months and saved up for it. I looked in the ads and bought the only sampler I could afford. I didn’t know how to use it; I just wanted one so bad.

What about soul records struck you as such good sample fodder through the years?
I think it’s just being into hip-hop and just being used to those sounds. When I was younger, I actually depended on samples quite a bit because I wasn’t proficient in playing things like synths—so I had to go the sample route. Its one of these things where you go through phases. When I first started I was sampling Jazz almost exclusively and I’ve just transitioned to other things as I’ve aged and learned more. Continue reading “Beat Merchant: Jake One Interview”

Guest Post con Alma!

(Editor’s note: Adam D. who runs Musica del Alma, an audio blog that explores rare Latin funk, soul, and rock, kindly contributed this quick guest post. He’s been a constant source for Latin grooves and we’re glad to have him finally on board. Gracias por el calor!)

Leonello y sus Palos Nuevos

“Soul Makossa”

“Paso Al Gigolo”

From Calenturas De LP (Caliente, Colombia, 1973)

Mega props go to David Ma and the wonderful thing that is NERDTORIOUS! Thought I’d discuss an excellent LP from Colombia that features two funk tracks for my guest post.

Don’t know much about Leonello except that he was a Colombian guitarist who played cumbia and porro. On his Calenturas De LP, he branches out, covering the Manu Dibango classic “Soul Makossa” in a hot Afro Latin way. Also on the album, a strange funk track called “Paso Al Gigolo” has fat horns and a blazing keyboard. This may be the one and only Colombian funk track with a slide guitar (a haunting one at that!). It almost sounds like one of those musical saws.

’93 Til Now: Tajai Outtakes

I was listening to old Hiero tapes and realized I was hearing dudes half my age rap. It was “Step To My Girl” by Souls of Mischief whom, says Tajai, were only “15-years-old when we first recorded those songs.” He continues, explaining “Cabfare”: “I didn’t even have a driver’s license let alone a cabbie license! I just laugh at those songs when I hear them but they have a special place because they’ve touched so many people and have the ability to bring me back to that era.”

“Cab Fare”

“Step To My Girl”

I just spoke with Tajai for an upcoming short piece on their new album, Montezuma’s Revenge, produced by Prince Paul. Here are some quick outtakes from that interview—for Hiero fans, and cats that remember seeing “93 Til” on CMC.

When was the first time you heard Prince Paul? How did he get on board with the new album?
Opio and Domino were on a Handsome Boy Modeling school tour with him and he mentioned doing some music with us. What started out as a dream became reality when he came out to record with us in 2006, damn near 20 years after we first were exposed to his wizardry. His projects have been some of the most influential in my progress as an artist and a person so it was a no-brainer to work with him. Continue reading “’93 Til Now: Tajai Outtakes”

The Minimal Wave Tapes Volume One

“Blurred” by Turquoise Days

“Game and Performance” by Deux

I don’t know exactly what it is, but it seems recently hip-hop dudes can’t get enough of no-wave. I can see why, especially since post punk’s entire wayward ethos, DIY concept, and gritty aesthetics probably speak to rap heads in many ways. Maybe hip-hop grew stale and cats begun looking elsewhere. Maybe it’s an age thing. I digress and present Stone Throw’s latest monster The Minimal Wave Tapes. I reviewed it for URB recently, which you can read HERE for more of an in-depth look at the album. Above are snippets from a couple choice cuts off the project. Out now, very interesting, and highly recommended.

Pieces of Pisces

Numero’s killer project, Pisces: A Lovely Sight, was among my top releases of last year and the Linda Bruner tracks in particular stood out. Bruner: Songs For A Friend, are her only known remaining recordings (6 total, mostly covers). Newfound songs include a cover of “Wichita Lineman“, which, like Bruner, has a dusty, disheveled aesthetic. The songs are sparse and sound as damaged as you’d think they would. Below are snippets of Bruner cuts that originally appeared on A Lovely Sight. Songs For A Friend comes out on Record Store Day, April 17th.

“Sam”

“You Are Changing In Your Time”

Dilla Re?uest Live

?uestlove is one of those dudes whose intelligence allows him to wear many hats. We touched on his hectic schedule a couple years back in a piece I did for The Metro, a local outlet based in San Jose. While he’s now essentially The Roots’ frontman on Jimmy Fallon (which I’m sure is time consuming) his productivity however hasn’t slowed. He maintains a blog, still gigs, writes liner notes, produces albums, acts, AND dropped this Dilla Tribute Set last week on Tony Touch’s radio show. It’s all Dilla related material thrown together in a very low-key fashion, first reported by It Takes A Nation….

====>>>> Download ?uestlove’s Dilla Tribute Set

Q&A with Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo

By Stacy Gueraseva

Thanks, Jet Blue. Not only for your extra leg room and getting me home alive during that one emergency landing, but for introducing me to Neon Indian. The in-flight playlist of a budget airline can be a good place to discover cutting-edge, new music. Who knew?

It was late summer of ’09, and by then, the buzz around this enigmatic Austin/Brooklyn duo had reached fever pitch. Though just a few months old, Neon Indian was already being touted by bloggers as the next big indie thing (many called them the “new MGMT”), their then-undisclosed identities igniting rabid curiosity. Somehow, the buzz had passed right by me, and unaware of their rep, I listened to these enchanting, synthy soundscapes while descending over the hyperactive night glow of my destination city, Las Vegas. The effect of the music, set against the backdrop, was deeply cerebral.

Psychic Chasms, Neon Indian’s debut album, is like a gadget that was taken apart by the nimble hands of a tech nerd and then reassembled—with a few pieces pleasantly out of place. Or like a random ‘70s movie on a dusty VHS tape that you dug out of a storage box in your parents’ basement and then ran through the latest editing software, preserving some of the vintage quality while adding modern bells and whistles. It sounds like the future—the kind of future imagined in a decidedly ’80s film like Blade Runner. It’s upbeat, it’s mellow; introspective and carefree.

It all came from the mind of Alan Palomo, a 21-year-old Mexico native who grew up in Denton, Texas and moved to Austin in 2007. It was there that Palomo, during a kind of self-imposed creative isolation sometime around the winter of 2008, pumped out a series of short tracks in his bedroom, using a small yet sufficient set of tools. When he found that they didn’t fit the style of his other outfit, the more poppier-sounding band Vega, he filed them under a new project with collaborator Leanne Macomber, the project now known as Neon Indian.

Recently back from a worldwide tour—including three sold-out shows in New York City—Palomo shared the story behind the buzz with NERDTORIOUS.

What was it like for you, moving to the States from Mexico at age six?
Definite culture shock. It was a complete immersion process. I have these vivid memories of being in all-English classrooms and having these really specific moments where I didn’t know how to say a certain word. I remember this kid had accidentally spit on me and I was trying to tell the teacher, and all I could come up with was, “His mouth water was on me!” Because I didn’t know how to say saliva. At the same time, as a result of that, I got assimilated pretty quickly. I think I learned English in maybe 8 months to a year. It’s nuts how, when you’re little, you pick up a language like it’s a video game or something. Continue reading “Q&A with Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo”

Soul-Sides Guest Post!


I’ve been so mired in projects and deadlines that I forgot to plug my guest spot on Soul-Sides!

I was asked to write about the last record that struck me and decided on Paul Parrish's Forest of My Mind, this folky psych record from ’68 that left my face on the floor. I’m aslo real stoked that O-Dub called us one of his favorite sites. Dude, many thanks!

Here’s “Something of a Love Song”, a track off the album that isn’t included in the guest post. I felt it didn’t stand out as much as the other tracks, but I don’t dig it any less. It’s a real sweet one. Peep the post too. Enjoy!

*Note: The links on the actual post are down from being over a few weeks old, so below are the tracks that I originally wrote about. Peep ’em!

“English Sparrows”

“Tiny Alice”

“I Can’t Help Myself”

Girls Girls Girls

My Love Will Follow Me is the new EP (out next month) from brooklyn hipster babes, Vivian Girls. Interestingly, the b-side to the lead single is a cover of “He’s Gone”, the killer Chantels song supposedly written by a 16-year-old Arlene Smith, the group’s lead singer in 1957. Both versions below.

The Vivian Girls’ cover is slower and aesthetically hollow sounding, but the harmonies at the end (which the group is “moving towards”) are pretty impressive.

“He’s Gone” was a big hit single for the Chantels in late ’50s, recorded on End Records. Classic material !

Heatrocks For Haiti

If you’re a lover of music and have seen or read about Haiti, please take note of the Heatrocks for Haiti campaign hosted by Soul Strut. All proceeds of this auction will be channeled towards relief for Haiti.

Peep O-Dub’s latest contribution for an idea of what’s available, what’s happening, and how to help. Any way of generating awareness and, obviously money, is helpful right now. Spread the link too:

HEATROCKS FOR HAITI CAMPAIGN

Syncopated Triplet Aquaman: New Qbert Interview

He’s widely recognized as one of the best to ever do it. When I spoke with Automator years back, he touched on Qbert saying: “I’ll tell you this—Qbert is the best DJ in the world. Technically, that guy’s fucking untouchable.”

I caught up with Qbert real quick to see what he’s been doing and what his thoughts are on recent DJ news. From DJ Hero, to Shadow’s recent comments, to the passings of DJs AM and Roc Raida, we hear it from an OG’s perspective. For a seasoned vet, he isn’t at all salty, remaining remarkably positive, spiritual, and seemingly still a big fan of a genre that reveres him. Here’s our interview, done over the course of a couple phone calls and an email or two. Safe travels home Rich!

Where are you right now?
I’m in the Philippines doing a show where the proceeds go to the victims of the typhoon.

How often do you still practice?
Everyday, at least a few hours. I can’t miss a day!

Touch on Roc Raida and DJ AM.
God has a mysterious way of bringing souls back to heaven. Raida and AM are just there ahead of us all. I do think that it also exposes people to much of their great music and accomplishments though. Continue reading “Syncopated Triplet Aquaman: New Qbert Interview”

DVD Giveaway!

It’s almost rare to see a Rap DVD that doesn’t suffer from poor production quality. Most, regardless of huge budgets, seem thrown together for some reason. I just reviewed the new Jam Master Jay documentary which was NOT the case AND was able to snatch an extra copy for our readers! Peep my review HERE for more on the film.

To get a copy of 2 Turntables and a Microphone: The Life and Death of Jam Master Jay send your name and address to NERDTORIOUS@gmail.com with “JMJ” in the subject.

Winner chosen at random by week’s end. Good luck!

Congrats to Dom L. out of Colorado! Your DVD is en route!

Afrobeat Goes On

“Comencemos” by Phirpo Y Sus Caribes

“Woman Pin Down” by Dan Satch and his Atomic 8 Dance Band

It’s fitting Fela gets the deluxe treatment now considering his work experienced a revival of sorts in the last decade or so (and continues to). But Black Man’s Cry: The Inspiration of Fela Kuti is much more than a project of “Fela covers”. In fact, besides a couple tracks, these covers and interpolations themselves are from rare Nigerian 45s and other international LPs.

The boxset includes 4 x 10-inches and the book it comes with—written and researched by Egon—is a great, quick primer on Fela and partly why the project’s so strong. Above are a couple snippets. The deluxe boxset comes out on Now-Again late next month.

Farewell Willie

*Studio musician Todd Simon (of Antibalas, Breakestra, The Dap Kings, and El Michels Affair fame) wrote this on Willie Mitchell’s recent passing. Willie was a big influence on Todd, and studio musicians like him, so here are some of his thoughts. RIP Mr. Mitchell.

By Todd M. Simon

To find out one of your biggest heroes has passed away via Twitter is not fun. Five days into a brand-spanking new decade, I stumble upon a tweet from the east coast vinyl-digging monster DJ Small Change: “RIP Willie Mitchell. Can’t fuck with Hi Records real schitt.” My heart sank 20 floors.

Willie Mitchell is solely responsible for creating one of the most unique sounds from the R&B Soul movement of the ’60s and ’70s. Mitchell, who died at the age of 81 due to a heart-attack on January 5th, 2010, developed something fresh in R&B while Soul radio stations were flooded with James Brown, the Motown sound of Detroit, Philly Soul, and of course, his neighbors over at Stax in Memphis.

As in-house producer for Hi Records, “Papa Willie” produced and arranged hit after hit with Soul legends Al Green, Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson, O.V. Wright, and Bobby Bland. Mitchell also led his own band as a trumpeter and released many hits under his own name, including “Soul Serenade” and “30-60-90“. Eventually, he gained ownership of Hi Records in 1970 and continued the label’s legacy until the late ’70s.

The first time I heard Willie’s sound was on Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” on an oldies radio station around the age of nine. I had already started studying the trumpet and was blown away by the powerful and intense horns throughout the entire song. Soon to find out, my mother had two Al Green LP’s in her wonderful vinyl collection: I’m Still In Love With You and Let’s Stay Together. Little did I know that these records would go on to shape my musical life for years to come. It’s these recordings that served as reference for my first ever horn arrangements in addition to the majority of albums I’ve worked on since.
Continue reading “Farewell Willie”

Echo Party And Such: Interview With Edan

Edan’s Beauty and The Beat was one of my favorites albums of the last 10 years. It’s still so fun and all the nuances never get old. But it’s not just about a particular release, more so, it’s about Edan’s versatility and complete catalogue. From radio shows to guest spots, from mixes to his increasingly layered beats, everything is very detail oriented.

It’s been about 5 years since Beauty… and turns out his next move was Echo Party, a frenzied 30-minute opus that sounds like something out of a futuristic Black Ark studio. Now that it’s here and has sunk in, I got Edan on the phone to explain the project in his own words, what he’s been doing, and what’s up next. In the process, you’ll hear new tracks, rarities, and a song sent to us by Edan for readers to check out. Thanks E!

Explain to people how Echo Party and everything with Traffic went down.
I had a longtime friend at Traffic. I know those guys because they’ve distributed my records for a long time. And you know, they have a lot of access to a lot of stuff; Paul Winley, Peter Brown, all these old acts. They’re like the Rhino of old hip-hop. So they figured, it would be cool to have me do a mix for them. They offered me a little dough and that was that.

At what point did you decide to make it more involved than just a standard mix?
I knew that in this day and age, a mix of someone cutting up two copies of “Smokin’ Cheebe Cheeba” is not that interesting. And I don’t like to do things on consignment, which this basically was, so I figured if I’m gonna do it I might as well make it fresh. So I started fucking with it and realized that I should be real technical and showcase some sort of creativity. It wasn’t one of those mixes where I could just bank on the obscurity of the records just to impress the record community. So I basically decided to go the route that I went, which is make a record that was on some bugged out, freewheeling shit in the lab.

You mentioned collecting and not banking on obscure records. Have you grabbed anything interesting lately?
Yes! There’s this fucking record I got at this year’s WFMU Record Fair and it’s just perfect. It’s this one song called “Lookin’ in The Toaster” by this group called Research 1-6-12. The song is just this dude looking into a toaster and the lyrics are a trip [sings: Lookin’ in my toaster, lookin’ in my toaster, the face I see is mine. Weird is the image like a Hendrix poster, like a dream I had one time]. I got the test pressing which just had a piece of paper glued to the front. Once I heard it, I listened to it like 10 times. You want an MP3 of it to put up with this interview?

Yes, definitely. Continue reading “Echo Party And Such: Interview With Edan”

Raise It Up For Ma Dukes!

Here’s a track mixed and mastered by Bob Power, the grammy award-winning producer who worked on Tribe’s and De La’s early records. It’s from the Timeless Series which were held earlier last year. The DVDs and music will be released as an ultra-deluxe boxset this March, but for now, here’s the orchestral version of “Take Notice” off Dilla’s Rough Draft EP and a link to the video. The “Suite For Ma Dukes”, and said track, really add dimension and a sense of epicness to Dilla’s beats. Take notice.

“Take Notice” by the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and the Suite for Ma Dukes orchestra

Playin’ Kinda Ruff: The Troutman Legacy

Bay Area ace, DJ B.Cause salutes Roger and Zapp with an ultra fun mix of famous tracks, rap choruses, interludes and a healthy dose of cuts and blends. Like his other work, everything is well-selected and ironed out. This is perfect since interest in vocoders will likely peak real soon. Peep the mix, the rest of B. Cause’s work, and familiarize yourself beyond “Computer Love”.

====>> DOWNLOAD PLAYIN’ KINDA RUFF: THE TROUTMAN LEGACY BY DJ B.CAUSE

Breaking The Ice

*This is the first of our “Breaking The Ice” series featuring friend and fellow music nerd, DJ Platurn. In addition to his mixtapes and ongoing DJ work, dude’s a collector who has made efforts to gather and document (funky) records from his country of Iceland. “Breaking The Ice” will feature the music and stories from these experiences. All vinyl rips from ultra-rare, Icelandic funk and boogie records from the ’70s. Peep the post (and others to come!) courtesy of Platurn.

By DJ Platurn

Way back in the year 2006 in my motherland, Iceland, my cousin Sveimhugi and I began compiling what we considered some of the best groove-based music from the annals of our little island’s rich musical history. We had no idea what we would come across. The following is a breakdown of one of the bands and one of their songs (note: all vinyl rips).

I am making a fairly safe assumption that this will be the first that time that all you digger nerds will hear some Icelandic funk. So for now, enjoy! Continue reading “Breaking The Ice”

Arthur Ponder’s Dr. Strangelove

One of my favorite audio blogs, Derek’s Daily 45, asked me to drop by a few weeks back. In fact, we ended up swapping posts. You can read (and listen) to Derek’s post HERE. Below is my quick contribution to his site. Thanks D!

“Dr. Strangelove” by Arthur Ponder

I first heard this on a mixtape years ago. “You know, that song where he says ‘Doctor Strangelove’ over and over in the chorus,” I’d ask people I knew. No one had info besides the occasional, “Does it have anything to do with the film?” “No,” I’d say.

This year I finally got it. I wish I could say I found it digging in Georgia somewhere, but it was Ebay. So here we are:

Arthur Ponder began his career singing with Johnny Jenkins, a left-handed guitarist and known influence on Jimi Hendrix who also played on Otis Redding’s early work. Not much info exists on Arthur himself, who recorded for Capricorn Records, a Georgian label founded in the late ‘60s known for spearheading Southern Rock led by their biggest signee, The Allman Brothers Band.

Arthur’s credited for additional vocals on other projects and also cut singles for Trey Records, another local Georgian label. He continually, albeit very quietly, put out material well into the ‘80s as far as I know.

I’ve since heard Arthur’s other work, but “Dr. Strangelove” is his defining opus: a song where he teeters on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the chorus, and where steady drums and a beautiful bassline propel the arrangement for roughly 3-minutes. The singing is so pained but the music’s so sunny. It was both written and produced by Eugene Davis. It’s killer Georgian soul, overtly filled with so many warm elements that can grab you. Hope you dig it.

Blunt Talk: Reggie Noble Interview

Published on URB

“Now, you know you don’t own a Benz / Yes, I do and chrome’s the trim,” says Redman to himself on ‘Redman Meets Reggie Noble’ a track off his 1992 debut, Whut? Thee Album. Even then, he drew a line between himself and Redman, a boastful blunt smoking, gun-toting rap character who’s nothing like Reggie (besides the blunt smoking part). That was 17 years ago, and now, his new album Reggie Noble 9 ½ caps a career that’s made him known in both rap and entertainment.

Known for his solo records (Dare Iz A Darkside and Muddy Waters) and work with Methodman (Blackout! 1 & 2), Reggie’s been in films and TV, runs his own label, Gilla House Records, and is an admitted workhorse. “I multi-task ‘cause I’m after that paycheck,” he says, which was apparent during our interview as he repeatedly placed me on hold, talked to his agent about the new album and upcoming mixtape, while taking his daughter to soccer practice.

I caught him on a busy off-day to talk about his pre-Redman days, upcoming film work, and other projects in the pipeline. Here’s to Reggie Noble, a rapper who’s never taken himself seriously and who’s built a name through hard rhymes–and an even harder work ethic. “So fuck all you fools out there with a large vocabulary in your sentence / I don’t need that shit to pay my rent with!”

You debuted on EPMD’s Business As Usual? Talk about that history for people who don’t know?
I met the legendary EPMD at a club in Jersey called “Sensations.” I was actually a DJ at the time and was with this other dude. We went to Sensations to see MC Lyte, but once we got there, we saw EPMD backstage and decided to just kick it. My friend told Eric Sermon [that] I could rap, mind you, I was a DJ at the time and only knew, like, two raps [laughs]! But they kept fucking with me, telling me to kick some raps for them. After a few hours of drinking and smoking, I kicked some raps and Eric threw me on stage that very same night! That’s how I got down with those dudes. That’s how everything started basically.

That’s how you linked up with Def Squad?
After that night, EPMD was just a phone call away. We became homies and I ended up living with Eric [Sermon] for some months. When they’d go on tour, I’d come along to carry their bags and shit. Eventually I worked my mic skills up and got to be featured along with Def Squad. Continue reading “Blunt Talk: Reggie Noble Interview”

Daptone Contest!

We’re happy to announce the first of some major contests with Daptone Records!

This time, 2 winners will get this HOUSE OF SOUL SHIRT and 1 winner will get this DAPTONE COLLAGE POSTER! Like the label itself, both items are real classy!

The 3 winners will be chosen at random. Contest ends December 18th 2009. Goodies will be in your stockings by X-mas! Correctly answer this to win.

Q: Daptone was founded by two dudes. What are their names?

Easy right? Send the correct answer to NERDTORIOUS@gmail.com with “Daptone Contest” in the subject. Good luck!

The Vontastics – Never Let Your Love Grow Cold


“Never Let Your Love Grow Cold” by The Vontastics

By Derek See of Derek’s Daily 45

Perhaps it’s all the winters and blazing hot summers that I spent near the windy city throughout my life that makes me feel such a strong bond with the sound of Chicago soul. Traits that records from the city by the lake have in common are grit, incredible voices, lyrics that are deep direct and heartfelt, and music that always rhythmically compels (no matter the tempo).

This record epitomizes everything I love about Chicago soul, and with its’ unusual chord progression, takes a hint from the psychedelic music that was also in full bloom at this time. From the incredible guitar and horn hooks on the intro followed by the powerful drum fill, it’s obvious from the first few seconds that this record is full of confidence, swagger and emotion. Lead singer (and songwriter) Bobby Newsome comes out swinging with his vocal which frames the record to keep shooting higher until the declaration of undying love in the chorus.

Things let up a little bit in the bridge (there was nowhere else to go but take it down a bit), exploding once again for a final chorus. And when that final chorus ends, all I wanna do is hear this song again. And again. The beauty of a perfect 45 RPM record. From 1967.

*Derek See is a DJ, musician, and writer who runs one of my favorite audio-blogs, Derek’s Daily 45. Please visit his band’s website for more info on him, his music, and whereabouts. Subscribe to his blog and dude will email you a track from his collection (almost) EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Subscribe Yo!

It’s that time again: our friendly reminder telling readers to SUBSCRIBE!

Our subscriptions are still going strong, but the more the better. In fact, there’s many different ways to subscribe and none of them require much info or time. And there’s no spam or anything else intrusive.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE NOW!!!

Some stuff we’re working on:

– An exclusive interview with Edan about his killer new project, Echo Party!

– Guest spots from DJs, musicians, and writers we dig: Dam Funk, Derek See, Cosmo Baker, Amir (of Kon & Amir), Binky Griptite, Prince Po, Vivian Host, Dan Ubick, Sam Sever and more!

– An interview with Alan Palomo, the producer behind Brooklyn synh-pop-ish dance-rock-ish band, Neon Indian.

– NERDTORIOUS MIXTAPE Vol. 1 : A blend of choice cuts ranging from funk, psych, soul, garage, and rare joints you’ll hopefully dig!

– An interview with pioneering filmmaker, Jamaa Fanaka. This one is a long time in the making, so stay tuned!

– Contests and giveaways with labels we love! Up next: we’re building with Daptone, so expect a slew of Daptone related giveaways!

– A talk with The Whitefield Brothers! Their new album, a world-psych project features El Michels Affair, Edan, Percee P, Poets of Rhythm, The Dap Kings and more! Stay tuned for this one!

– Way more!

Thes One, Lando Calrissian

PUTS: “Check The Vibe (snippet)” off Carried Away

I spoke to Thes One around the time he released his first solo project, Lifestyle Marketing. And his production on PUTS’ new album, Carried Away, is even more layered, more fleshed-out than their past beats. Ontop of his equipment know-how, Thes is a collector, and the combination has proved successful time and time again—check out “Acid Raindrops” and “San Francisco Knights” and know that PUTS’ have made like 7 albums wrought with similar enjoyable, boom-bap qualities.

Carried Away, came out recently so I contacted Thes again to see what’s gone down since a couple years (and albums) ago. Head over to URB’s newly relaunched site to read that interview!

Carried Away marks PUTS’ return to OM Records. As such, OM is giving away specially made 45s. It’s a “beer” colored 45 of the track “Beer” featuring Lando himself, Billy Dee Willimas. Thes even flips “Blind Alley” on this version, which you get free only when you order the album from OM! It’s free with purchase of the vinyl (only a few left!) so DO IT NOW!

MC Bobby D

THE DZA

I’m checking my facts for an upcoming Kurtis Blow article and found out about a “duet” that features Bob Dylan “rapping”. Dylan just says a couple lines at the beginning which is later chopped and replayed throughout song (all 8 minutes of it!). But he’s not doing spoken word or just talking; it sounds like he’s trying to rap—or at least imitate what rap at the time sounded like. The track isn’t memorable, nor does Dylan exactly spit hot fire, but it’s funny and he sounds exactly like how you’d imagine. I have tons of questions and wish I had known about this before I spoke with Kurtis. For kicks, here’s a snippet of just Dylan’s part:

“Street Rock” by Kurtis Blow featuring Bob Dylan (snippet)

You can hear the entire track on youtube HERE.

Orchestrated Funk

I recently interviewed “Music Man” Miles Tackett, the cellist, producer, DJ, bassist and guitarist of Breakestra. If you haven’t already, check out their latest LP, Dusk Till Dawn. It’s funky and filled with all kinds of nice grooves. My talk with Miles recently went up on Soul Culture, a London-based music site focused on soul and all its modern tangents. Check the interview along with a couple great Breakestra joints below.

“Inner City Blues” (Live Mix Pt. 2)

“Got To Let Me Know” (Hit The Floor)

———–>> Miles Tacket Interview