Creation Rebel – The Best of Cutting Edge Hip Hop [coll] – [Cutting Edge]

aarbor   1/13/2021   CD, Hip Hop

Two CDs full of Japanese hip hop from 1995-2000. A variety of outfits with lyrics mostly in Japanese, although if you listen really carefully you’ll catch some FCC language hiding amidst the intense vocals and rhythms. I liked the variety and the Japanese-ness of the hip hop, although sadly all the liner notes and a number of the tracks were not only in Japanese but in Kanji. AArbor

Worrell, Bernie – "All The Woo In The World" – [Tidal Waves Music]

aarbor   1/13/2021   12-inch, Soul

Bernie Worrell (who died in 2016) was a founding member of Parliament/Funkadelic, also known for his work with Talking Heads. This is his first solo album, originally released in 1978. Featured artists include: P-Funk alums like George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and Eddie Hazel. One reviewer described it as “so funky you can smell it through the dust jacket.” This beautiful slab of orange vinyl has much of what you’d expect from Funkadelic: layered sounds, amazing horns, toe-tapping midtempo beat – a classic platter of cosmic slop. AArbor

Brown, James and The Famous Flames – "Tell Me What You're Gonna Do" – [Rumble Records]

aarbor   1/13/2021   12-inch, Soul

This is a 2015 re-release of an early 1960’s album by James Brown and the Famous Flames when they’d had a few hits, but hadn’t quite made the big time. James has gone beyond just being a “blues singer” or a gospel singer and is singing ballads and covers here as well. What I love is the energy and intensity of his singing here – a star on the way to super stardom. AArbor

Lee Hazlewood's Woodchucks – "Cruisin' For Surf Bunnies" – [Light in the Attic]

aarbor   12/30/2020   12-inch, A Library

Lee Hazlewood’s Woodchucks were one of Lee’s fake groups, a vehicle to release instrumentals, it’s just a pseudonym for Lee’s usual band: The Wrecking Crew. According to the record jacket, these tracks were recorded October 26, 1964. Light in the Attic released it in 2018, 11 years after his death. That explains the early ‘60’s surf sound. Hazlewood is best known as a producer and songwriter. also for his collaborations with Duane Eddy and Nancy Sinatra. His collaboration with Nancy Sinatra began when Frank Sinatra asked Lee to help boost his daughter’s career. When recording ‘These Boots are Made for Walkin’, Hazlewood is said to have made this suggestion to Nancy, “You can’t sing like Nancy Nice Lady any more. You have to sing for the truckers”. She later described him as “part Henry Higgins and part Sigmund Freud”. AArbor 

Toots and The Maytals – "True Love" – [V2]

aarbor   12/30/2020   CD, Reggae

From 2004, this is Toots and the Maytals along with some other well-known musicians, mostly playing Maytals hits. Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Terry Hall, Bootsy Collins, Bunny Wailer, Keith Richards and others are featured on different tracks. Enjoy! AArbor

Cole, Max – "Mo High" – [Wah Wah Records]

aarbor   12/9/2020   12-inch, A Library

 Max Cole’s Mo High features a berimbau (Brazilian single-stringed percussion instrument – a musical bow – originally from Africa) and vocals which are very soul-kissed. You might even catch yourself singing along to Max’s almost choirboy pitched infectious vocals, which demand answers to a backing provided by unreal keys, shrieking synths and fractured beats. Natural Self’s (Nathaniel Pearn – of the Tru Thoughts label) remix gives the beats extra bite, a more powerful bass and loops. Be sure to give both sides a play! AArbor

Fauna Flash – "Fusion" – [Compost]

aarbor   12/9/2020   12-inch, A Library

From 2001 this release showcases the work of Fauna Flash (Roland Appel and Christian Prommer) in a variety of styles from the electro dub of Mother Nature, to jazzy house, funk, breakbeats – even to hip hop (last track). Appel and Prommer are drummers and play with the Rainer Truby Trio and with Peter Kruder in Voom Voom. Very nice drum ‘n bass tracks throughout. Some tracks have vocals, some don’t. It’s an excellent mixed bag. Probably their best album. AArbor

Cohran, Kelan Philip & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – "Kelan Philip Cohran & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble" – [Honest Jon's Records]

aarbor   12/9/2020   12-inch, Jazz

Phil Cohran was a jazz musician, best known for playing the trumpet in the Sun Ra Arkestra from 1959-1961 and for founding the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and Afro-Arts Theatre. This was one of his last recordings (from 2012, he died in 2017 at the age of 90). At times it sounds like a New Orleans brass band, at times like klezmer, at times like Balkan gypsy music, at times like Red Baraat, but it cooks and is always interesting. AArbor 

Transmitting From Heaven [coll] – [Exist Dance]

aarbor   12/2/2020   A Library, CD

Michael Kandel and Tom Chasteen are the masterminds behind the Exist Dance label which they started in 1991. They also produced music as Tranquility Bass. They also used other monikers including: High Lonesome Sound System (breakbeats), Up Above the World (Goa trance). Kandel was considered a pioneer of electronic music psychedelia and ambient trip hop. They were definitely ahead of their time. Transmitting From Heaven was originally released in 1993, then re-released in 1999 this is a classic collection of their work. Most (maybe all) of the tracks are by Kandel and Chasteen with different monikers. The classics are: Cantamilla, I’m So High, They Came in Peace (which features Asian bird songs collected during a trip to Asia), and Mya Yadana. “Transmitting from Heaven” was the name of their studio in L.A. AArbor

De André, Fabrizio – “Crueza De Ma” – [BMG Italy]

aarbor   12/2/2020   CD, International

Fabrizio De Andre was an Italian singer-songwriter. He was known for his sympathies towards anarchism, left-libertarianism and pacifism, his songs often featured marginalized and rebellious people (e.g. gypsies, prostitutes and knaves). He is considered one of the most influential and important Italian songwriters. He is best known for the quality of his lyrics, which are considered to be poetry by many. This album from 1984 is one of his most celebrated (it was awarded several prizes and considered “The best Italian album of the 1980s”). The title means: Path to the Sea. The songs are a tribute to the traditional music from the Mediterranean basin and are in his native Genoese dialect. Mauro Pagani wrote the music and De Andre wrote the lyrics. The accolades are well deserved check out these songs they are powerful, even if you don’t understand the words. AArbor 

Aza – "Tamghra Wushen" – [Aza Music]

aarbor   12/2/2020   CD, International

Tamghra Wushen means “Wedding of the Wolf” in the Berber language – it describes simultaneous sun and rain. A rainbow or Taslit Ounzar follows. This recording (from 2007, made in Sta Cruz) is Tamazight (North African – think Morocco) traditional music and Western style. Guitars, banjo, a Western drum kit and saxophones are what you see in Youtube videos  of their performances. Their recordings include more North African/Middle Eastern instruments (oud, ribab, bendir…) as well as African drums and percussion. These songs sit easily in Western ears .  AArbor 

Tobin, Amon – “Bricolage” – [Ninja Tune]

aarbor   11/25/2020   12-inch, A Library

Bricolage is Amon Tobin’s second album from 1997, the first released under his own name, and his first on the Ninja Tune label. It was a departure from his first album, Adventures in Foam as Cujo (which KFJC owns), incorporating a heavier blend of jazz melodies and intense jungle rhythms.  The track Easy Muffin has appeared in a soundtrack, an ad and other places online so you may have heard it before.


Snowboy Presents – New Vintage Volume 1 [coll] – [BBE]

aarbor   11/25/2020   A Library, CD

21 versatile tracks of “New Vintage” Jazz, Latin, Swing, Funk, Rockabilly, Mambo and Northern Soul from a wide range of artists assembled by Snowboy to accompany the Vintage festival in the UK. The musical experience at the Vintage Festival covers decades, genres and styles that have affected Britain over the years. They even have Vintage Nightclubs to suit all musical tastes  AArbor 

Lunca, Gabi – “Sounds From a Bygone Age, Vol. 5” – [Asphalt Tango Records]

aarbor   11/18/2020   CD, International

Gabi Luncă (born in 1938) is a Roma (or “gypsy”) Lăutari singer from Romania. She was a very charming performer and became a favorite of Romania’s communist ruler Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena. She is also known to be a committed Christian, in a place and a time where this was a difficult position to take. In the Bucharest of the 1980s there were two different worlds: Official state folklore with songs of the golden era proclaimed by Ceausescu, and lively suburban music (muzica de mahala), which at that time was played at private parties. Gabi’s voice is remembered in Romania. Her songs are the quiet, melancholic songs of passion and yearning for one’s home, mother, or sweetheart; songs to lift the weight from one’s soul. Included among Gabi Luncă’s greatest hits are: “Omul Bun n-are noroc” (The good have no luck)  track 1, and “Superata sint pe lume” (I am sad in this world) track 7. Her silvery, lightly strained singing was often copied, but never equaled, although as the accordion player Victor Gore remembers, she “always sang slightly out of time”. AArbor

Dimitri From Paris – “Sacre Francais” – [Yellow Productions]

aarbor   11/18/2020   10-inch, A Library

Dimitri  (born Dimitrios Yerasimos) is a Turkish-born French music producer and DJ of Greek descent. His musical influences are rooted in 1970s funk and disco sounds that spawned contemporary house music, as well as original soundtracks from 1950s and 1960s movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, La Dolce Vita and The Party, which were sampled in his album Sacrebleu. Dimitri fused these sounds with electro and block party hip hop he discovered in the 1980s. Sacre Francais the track remixed here is from the Sacrebleu album. The remixers are Bob Sinclar a/k/a The Mighty Bop and Chris the French Kiss (label boss of the Yellow label), Dim/DFP [Dimitri himself], and Konishi Yasuharu of the Pizzicato Five. Yasuharu’s track is  hysterical and not to be missed! AArbor 

Ade, King Sunny – "Mo Dupe (Gratitude)" – [Sunny Alade Recordings]

aarbor   11/18/2020   12-inch, International

Recorded and mixed in Lagos this album is from 1985. The record has no delineated tracks. Sunny Ade’s style is very traditional for Nigerian juju. He was adamant that Island Records which released 2 earlier, Grammy winning records, not “over Europeanise and Americanise” his music. Ade and Island parted ways – to his detriment IMHO. AArbor 

Tango Lesson, The [coll] – [Sony Classical]

aarbor   11/18/2020   CD, Soundtrack

This is the soundtrack to Sally Potter’s 1997 semi-autobiographical film The Tango Lesson. Sally, a filmmaker and screenwriter suffering from writer’s block, is dissatisfied with her film project, a murder mystery called Rage, which features the fashion industry. Taking a break, she travels to Paris, where she sees the dancer Pablo (Pablo Verón) performing tango. She becomes obsessed with the dance and offers Pablo a part in her film in exchange for dance lessons. The music is both traditional Argentinian tangos [tracks 5 and 17 are iconic] alongside tracks by Fred Frith which are stylistically very different. AArbor 

Pop-Shopping [coll] – [Crippled Dick Hot Wax!]

aarbor   11/11/2020   12-inch, A Library

According to the cover this is “juicy music from German commercials 1960-1975”.  And in fact that’s exactly what it is: cars, shoes, safety at work… Cheery upbeat ‘60s pop rock sounds.   German lyrics with English words interspersed like “schuhe mit swing” (shoes with swing). Have fun with this, it’s silly, its trite, it’s commercials! AArbor

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