Friday, November 28, 2008

The Inaugural Religious Friday

Funkadelic: Talk About Jesus (Westbound Records, 1971?)
George Clinton's Funkadelic were known for many things, but keenly-felt religious hymning wasn't one of them. Perhaps that's an oversight on all our parts, as they clearly had "it" in them - "it" being a love for the lord as well as a head full of eyeball-scouringly powerful chemical enhancers. Exemplary work from Bernie Worrell on the old joanna to "boot". Much more of this sort of think here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This New Record Is Literally Quite Good

Andrew Bird: Effigy (Bella Union, 2009)
Mr Bird is "a Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist, lyricist and whistler." He is also a writer of brilliantly mournful songs like Effigy that are a little like Leonard Cohen had the venerable Canadian gloomster spent a little less time on remote Greek islands and a little more time inside with the curtains closed watching vintage Scooby Doo reruns and listening to ancient sea shanties. If you have an un-scratched itch for twenty-one year old Momus records then, frankly, you'll love it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter Collection: Cheese Scones

Makes 8
450g plain flour, plus extra for kneading and dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g mature Cheddar, coarsely grated
284ml buttermilk or low fat natural yogurt
3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 Preheat the oven to 220 C, gas mark 7. Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and Cheddar in a large bowl.

2 Mix together the buttermilk, milk and mustard then add to the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon then using your hands, bring together to make a soft dough. Knead lightly until smooth then shape into a 22cm round loaf.

3 Cut the round into eight wedges then transfer to a non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little flour and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until browned and crusty. Cool a little and eat warm or split and toast the next day for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Music Wednesday In Dub

Peter Murder Tone: Paper Tiger (Jahtari, 2008)
Peter is a middle aged social worker chap from Australia who now lives in the UK. He has no reason to make digital dub records this good. I half-inched this - wholesale - from this marvelous record on which many other knob-twiddling types make merry with the delay units and cavernous reverb settings. Thanks to my old pal Bill at Cargo for this beauty.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Basement Crates: The "Pot Roast" Year(s)

Gravediggaz: Diary Of A Madman (Gee Street, 1994)
My very good friend Billy and I used to DJ as Pot Roast. I know, but it was a long time ago. Our reasoning was, we played the sort of music that sounded quite good if you'd inhaled and our regular gig was at The Albany on a Sunday night (what a night...). Anyway, I found a few of our most beloved tunes while looking for some cutlery the other day. I actually felt a little choked up as I pulled out what young people used to refer to as "the jizz-ams". So, The Gravediggaz were a huge hit with us, I remember seeing them play an amazing showcase at a club in Ladbroke Grove, and this tune was always somewhere near the front of "the box" (you see how I remember the lingo?).

Pressure Drop: Back 2 Back (Main and Dub mixes) (Big World Records, 1990)
I used to play this record so much that it actually haunted my dreams. It had everything I wanted from music in 1990, ie, it was a bit hip hop, a bit funk, a bit abstract and a bit weirdly ambient. The lyrics sort of make your eyes water now (although I like the way the guy says, "ray-shism"), but this is nearly 20 years old now - let's cut ourselves some slack, eh? Pressure Drop got signed up in the great post Coldcut / Massive Attack goldrush of 1990, but it never happened for them (that makes a nice change for Landcroft House, doesn't it?) This is the sort of record that (and here's another popular DJ phrase from the time) really "turns around" loud (ie, it has a walloping big bassline which sounds good if, perchance, you have inhaled / ingested and hear it on huge speakers). I've included both mixes because, frankly, they're both incredibly good.

E-Z Rollers: Believe (Foul Play remix) (Moving Shadow, 1994)
There was a school of drum and bass in the early to mid-90s that wasn't exactly "intelligent" and wasn't exactly whatever the other thing was (whither, "jump up") and this E-Z Rollers tune sort of typified that sound. Foul Play's drum programming is ludicrously tight and there's this full-on, proper head-spinning dance-floor diva vocal (to this day, Billy and I will sing, "Be-Leee-Eeeave" to each other for no clear reason and we have a combined age of 82) to "boot".

Bob Andy: Dubbing Home (I-Anka Records, 1989)
This is the one we used to play when we were, well, going home. A deed that, in itself, used to raise a few cheers. If there's a record in the world that makes you want to raise your lighter to the sky and sway slowly and drunkenly more than this one (bearing in mind you're not allowed to raise your lighter to the sky in clubs anymore), then I, for one, have never heard it. Fantastic record. Happy days!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Basement Crates: "Jazz" Tuesday

Jimmy Smith: In Search of Truth (Delta, 1980)
Neither of these tracks are really jazz at all. This wonderful Jimmy Smith track is, basically, a done-in-one-take blues vamp and the Emperor's New Clothes choon is consensually funkual, breakbeat dub with some silly noises on it. But I love both of them dearly, despite not having heard either of them for a Very Long Time indeed (hang on a minute, that's probably why I lo... etcetc). Eagle-eyed readers will notice that this is the later Milan pressing from 1989 - oh yes. Anyhoo, this was originally from the Lalo Schifrin soundtrack to Battlecreek Brawl (also the title of a fantastic track by Brit hip hop chaps, Gunshot) and it is, literally, really good.

The Emperor's New Clothes: Nature Never Repeats Itself (Acid Jazz, 1993)
I think I might start a strand where I just collect together vintage press releases. Then again, maybe I'll just throw myself out of a window and be done with it. 15 years ago, this sort of thing was - to my ears - incredibly wonderful and strange. It still sounds pretty good to me, but this sort of ambient dub has, sadly, been cheapened by being whacked on every TV ident between here and a thousand years in the future. Whatever, this is still a great record. It never really happened for TENC - if you're out there, get in touch...

Friday, November 07, 2008

London Sky: Not Boring

This New Record Is Literally Quite Good

The Monocult: A Sign (Pink Liquid, 2008)
This is a record has a boring sleeve. But the music is fantastic. Like, really quite surprisingly fantastic. I had moved The Monocult's record (quietly) to the Not Today pile (I blame the boring sleeve), then got a call asking me give it a listen. Thank you caller. No, really, thank you, as I have now played the damnable thing about twelve times and it has received the office accolade of being known as "The Single Greatest Record Ever Made", a title previously bestowed on the last Burial album and Tony Lamezma's remix of Biology - so it's in exalted company. Anyhoo, A Sign makes me think of Talk Talk and Pentangle and the Amplive mixes of Radiohead and, frankly, that's goood enough for me. The album - Maybe We Should - doesn't exist on the internet yet, so if you like this anything as much as I do, why don't you email them and ask them where you can buy it? Or send them links to filthy websites. Your choice, innit.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Pair Of Entertaining New Pop Records

Ray Lamontagne: Winter Birds (14th Floor, 2008)
A good friend of mine is In The Crazies for Roy The Mountain. He can't help singing along - especially when drink has been taken - and one evening he played me about six albums on the trot which, actually, is a bit cruel. Anyway, he got me in the end. This is a great song from Mr Mountain's new record which also contains a song dedicated to thirsty White Stripes drummer, Meg White. I hear you, Ray.

The Killer Meters: Black Mountain (Dub) (Breakin' Bread, 2008)
When Silvana and I were Young People we used to go to "niteclubs", sometimes even to dance. I know, I can't believe it either, but it's true. These days I am in bed asleep before most nitespots have pulled up the shutters and emptied the drip-trays, but that's life, innit? Anyway, one of the places we used to enjoy was the very excellent Breakin' Bread which is now in a smart central London location, but used to be in a slightly grotty pub in Camberwell. There was lino on the floor, there were amazing breakdancers, there were fantastic hip hop and funk records, pints were drunk, cigarettes were smoked (indoors!), we went home in the "wee hours" (about 11ish). The Killer Meters are, sort of, the Bread's house band. And this mix is from the top drawer. I wrote something nice about Breakin Bread for a magazine about eight years ago and they were kind enough to send me an invite to their 10th Birthday Party. Which I missed. Maybe me and Silvana should lead the charge to their next special party?