Alpines – Empire (Creep Remix)[2012]
June 14, 2013

Well now the pressure is easing at work, I can go to work on getting this blog more frequently updated! The Alpines are a trio from South London, Bob Matthews (guitar and production) and Catherine Pockson (pianist, singer/songwriter). They have kicked out some really stellar downtempo, atmospheric crackers over the years and this is no exception. Taken from the EP of the same name which incidentally is a cracking buy in its own right, this remix by Creep is an absolute stormer. Preserving the vocals and adding a deep and dark flavor to the arrangement, you get a fantastically forward looking electronica track.

The Cure – A Forest (Album Version) [1980]
January 24, 2013

Something a little more eccentric today but a real cracker none the less. This release from The Cure’s 1980 album “Seventeen Seconds” sounds way ahead of its time, mashing some post-punk sensibilites with some wicked electro / effect pedal business and a bloody fantastic guitar riff that’s just begging for a remix. Cracking tune.

It took me an age to come around to listening to The Cure, pretty much dismissing them for years as whiny Indie Rock that I couldn’t get interested in. However, having picked up Seventeen Seconds and Faith several years ago, I found I couldn’t get enough. They have a massive back catalogue but spend some time in the 1980-1983 Cure period and its plain as day how they became to garner such a devout and rabid following. Easily one of the best bands of the 20th Century in my opinion.

Roy Ayers Ubiquity – He’s A Superstar [1972]
May 25, 2011

First off, religious connotations can be left at the door because Roy Ayers Ubiquity has a composition here that should be mandatory listening for people wanting to participate in the human race. Jesus gets mentioned, what, twice? The rest of the track is a Jazz Funk behemoth of epic proportions. How many riffs do you recognise? How many breaks to you recognise? Its a total, understated classic.

From Wiki
About Roy Ayers
Roy Ayers (born September 10, 1940, Los Angeles) is a funk, soul and jazz vibraphone player. Ayers began his career as a jazz player, releasing several albums with Arista Records before his tenure at Polydor Records, during which he progressed a new R&B style, slowly molding the new Disco genre. Ayers grew up in a musical family. At the age of five, Lionel Hampton gave him his first pair of mallets, which led to the vibraphone being his trademark sound for decades. The area of Los Angeles that Ayers grew up in, now known as “South Central”, but then known as “South Park”, was the epicenter of the Southern California Black Music Scene. The schools Roy attended (Wadsworth Elementary, Nevins Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School) were all close to the famed Central Avenue, Los Angeles’ equivalent of Harlem’s Lenox Avenue and Chicago’s State Street. On any given day, Roy would have been likely to be exposed to music as it not only emanated from the many nightclubs and bars in the area, but also poured out of many of the homes where the musicians who kept the scene alive lived in and around Central. Thomas Jefferson High School, from which Ayers graduated, gave to the music and jazz worlds some of its brightest stars, such as Dexter Gordon.Ayers was responsible for the highly regarded soundtrack to Jack Hill’s 1973 blaxploitation film Coffy, which starred Pam Grier. He later moved from a jazz-funk sound to R&B, as seen on Mystic Voyage and especially the title track from his 1976 album Everybody Loves the Sunshine. Other notable songs by Ayers include “Running Away”, “Searching”, and “Sensitize” (co-written by Ayers protegĂ© Wayne K. Garfield).In 1977 Ayers produced an album by the group RAMP, Come Into Knowledge, commonly and mistakenly thought to stand for “Roy Ayers Music Project”.In 1980 Ayers released Music Of Many Colors with the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.In 1981 Ayers produced an by the singer Sylvia Striplin, Give Me Your Love (Uno Melodic Records 1981).

Lyn Collins – Think (about it ) [1973]
February 24, 2011

The Amen might be the spritual soul of most breakbeat driven music but its impossible to overlook the classic that is Lyn Collins’, Think. In its own right, the track is amazing, soulful and funky with some great conscious lyrics, catchy as hell. Then you have the four bar break and hook that EZ Rock swiped wholesale for his and Rob Base’s “It Takes Two”, frankly, they could have saved themself some work and used Lyn’s vocals too but hey…

Other noteable usages (courtesy of Wikipedia)
In 1988, DJ Slick Rick used it at the end of “Children’s Story” and Janet Jackson sampled the song in her 1990 hit “Alright”. Much later, Fatman Scoop sampled “Think” for his own version of “It Takes Two”. Other recordings that sample the song include Kardinal Offishall’s “Clear!”, Lil’ Romeo’s “2Way [dub]”, Dizzee Rascal’s “Pussy’ole (Old Skool)”, De La Soul’s “Jenifa Taught Me (Derwin’s Revenge)”, EPMD’s “Gold Digger”, Dream Warriors’ “Face in the Basin”, Chubb Rock’s “Ya Bad Chubbs” and The Real Roxanne’s “Roxanne’s On A Roll.” At least one jazz musician has sampled the song, Vinnie Colaiuta, 1994, in the opening track of his self titled album. Today’s song “I Got the Feeling” samples a vocal from the song. Mariah Carey’s remix of “Heartbreaker” featuring Da Brat and Missy Eliott sampled the song and Snoop Dogg’s “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)” on Carey’s album, Rainbow in 1999, and from Snoop’s 1993 classic influential debut album Doggystyle.

And we havent even started into Drum & Bass yet, there’s a stack of hardcore and jungle tunes that ripped that “woo, yeah” break section as the secondary percussion to a main snare break. Ironically, it mixes perfectly with the Amen Brother break to fill the high end while the Amen takes the deeper bass and rough snares. Classic.

Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze [1967]
December 10, 2010

Absolutely no introduction necessary. Its incredible. My brain is a bit sore from all the banging electronica, time to soothe the nerves with Jimi.

James Brown – The Big Payback [1972]
June 23, 2010

How can we be talking music without a James Brown track?! One of the heaviest funk beasts on Brown’s catalogue, gone are the gospel riffs and vocals and in comes a fucking monster slice of funk. The whole Payback album was slated to be a soundtrack for a Blaxploitation film, Hell Up In Harlem but the director rejected it claiming it wasnt “James Brown” enough. Ironically, its one of Browns most critically acclaimed works and remains a landmark funk album with the title track being the one of the most sampled tracks in history. He was the Godfather for a reason, give this a listen to get an idea why. JB Perfection.

Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves The Sunshine [1976]
March 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Me. Bloody 32 if you can believe it. Seems only yesterday I was sitting in Abbey Park, listening to tunes just like this one, Stella in hand and not giving a shit. Well, Roy plays it into history with this cut. There is literally nothing about this track not to love. Smooth, funky bass, cool as hell vocals. Wow…

Roy Ayers – Running Away [1977]
March 2, 2010

Oh Roy, how we love you. Mr Ayers is responsible for some of the most recognizable jazz funk releases of the late 70’s and early 80’s. His sound is so crafted its completely irresistible. This outing is one of his best known releases but luckily someone uploaded the full release rather than the regular edit so we get 7 minutes of funk bliss.

From Discogs
Thanks to his trombone playing father and piano teaching mother, he became immersed in music from day one and the story goes that he was given his first set of vibe mallets by his hero Lionel Hampton at the age of five. Constantly performing and recording since the 1960’s, he is the most well known jazz vibraphonists. He has produced some of the most loved modern soul-jazz records of all time. Classics beyond genre such as, “Everybody Loves The Sunshine”, most influential afro-jazz with musician Fela Kuti, “Africa – Centre Of The World”, and the most seminal jazz-funk, such as “Running Away”. Roy Ayers is ageless and evergreen, and as per the title of another one of hits, remember “We All Live In Brooklyn Baby”.

Fatback Band – (Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop (1975)
January 16, 2010

Taken from 1975 7inch on Polydor Records

Funkin like it’s going out of fashion, the fatback band doing “the bus stop” Get your groove on!