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Now This Is A Young Man's Summer Vacation

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, September 9, 2013 11:00pm | Post a Comment

Now this is a young man's summer vacation..

To someone who works as much as I do, summer is just a mere acknowledgement than a season. For instance, It is summer because it’s hot. It’s summer because the sun is out later and it’s because people are wearing less clothing. There is no summer vacations or lightening of loads for this working guy, just a little more sweat than usual.

However, this year I did take a summer vacation from this blog. The plan was to reenergize and come up with a fresh perspective of what to write about and whether I should continue to do so. It really hasn’t worked. Almost four months later, I still struggle in front of the computer thinking what I should write about. Clearly, there are better writers than myself, not only from all the great music blogs, newspapers and magazines from around the world, but within our pool of talented writers that work for Amoeba as well. They can write about the same artists and genres that I can, and with more eloquence and detail. Still, I don’t think that most of these writers have their hands in as many musical pies as I do. I came to realize that is my strength. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m the equivalent of one of those annoying foodies that can pontificate about the wonders of food cooked with liquid nitrogen then geek out on KFC Mac & Cheese. In the end, that what keeps me writing about music, the simple love of it.

So, I made it a point to listen to more music than usual, not pigeonhole myself and just enjoy what I enjoy. The following are some releases I really dug over the summer.


James Holden’s Inheritors and Destruction Unit’s Deep Trip

I listened to lots of Hawkwind, Can, Cluster and artists of that ilk over the summer. Likewise, I listened to all the bands that followed them, such as The Damned, The Stranglers, and Magazine. When I first heard my favorite late seventies/early 80’s punk bands, I had no idea how much they were influenced by Space and Kraut rock groups until I discovered them myself. Then it all made sense to me.

I’m not into retro bands that try to imitate the bands from that era. I don’t see the point. However, I love it when artists borrow from that era to take their music to another level. James Holden Inheritors is that thought process, taking electronic music not only to the days of Cluster and Popol Vuh, but to the days where musicians were trying to link into a pre-colonial past that they never knew. Inheritors can come off as imperfect at times but that is its charm. I love Holden’s use of analog instruments that have their own agenda mixed with the technology of today to keep it from going completely off the rails. It’s hard to describe their sound without making reference to some obscure 70’s electronic group. However, Holden shares the same sense of spatial concept with groups like Boards Of Canada. That is if Boards Of Canada took acid in the forest for weeks on end.

Destruction Unit has than Hawkwind lineage without trying to sound like them. In fact, their lineage comes from all the bands that were influenced by Hawkwind throughout the years. The former members of The Reatards that make this group lay it on heavy. It’s bad trip music but oh so good at the same time. The songs drone without boredom, like an amphetamined Spaceman 3 with layers of wah-petal and distortion. The best thing about Destruction Unit is that at the core, the music t is punk. While the psychedelia lies thick, the punk is there to slap you awake from a psychedelic slumber.

Matias Aguayo The Visitor  CD/ LP

I loved Aguayo’s last album, Ay Ay Ay and his style of sampling his own vocals to create his own sound. This time around, it’s less of the vocal sampling experimentations and more sounds of his environment. I’m not taking about nature sounds, but sounds that one hears on the urban streets everyday. I can help to think that moving back to South America has shaped his last two albums become less Eurocentric and more about the Americas. Still, much like The Meridian Brothers, who studied experimental music in Europe and now mixes it with the sounds of their native Colombia, it’s best not to shed all the layers of experimentation in order to be pure. The Visitor shows Aguayo complexities as a person. One who listens to traditional music. One who likes the band, Suicide. A person that likes mainstream pop music as well as hits from the hood. Someone who can take all those influences, mix them up and make for a great party record, albeit a party for weirdoes, freaks and nerds. I seriously not liked an album like this as since Manu Chao’s Clandestino, and that’s saying a lot.


Quantic & Ana Tijoux - Doo Woop (That Thing) / Entre Rejas (Sold Out)

Allow me to talk crap about the company that writes my check. Every year, Quantic comes out with something cool and limited. Every year, Amoeba only gets a few copies and then we get a billion phone calls asking for it. Before I get a ton of grief from the buyers, I do know in some cases, there are limited numbers each store can carry worldwide and there is nothing we can do about it. But when you get only three copies and one of them is the copy I will buy, then the chance of someone else getting it is now down 33.3%. By noon of release date, it’s “tough luck kid, sold out.” I figure we could throw out our, “Hey, we are Amoeba, we are the biggest record store in the world, send us more than three copies!” card and perhaps get more. But I digress.

I know the Lauryn Hill cover is all over the Internet and it’s quite good, but it’s the b-side, “Entre Rejas” which just slays me. It’s probably my favorite of all Lisandro Mesa’s songs, now with classic Hip-Hop beat and Ana Tijoux singing and not rapping, the lyrics. Already a great MC, Tijoux’s vocals has gotten stronger over he last few years. Natural phrasing is something that all MC should have. It’s that lineage to jazz vocalists and in the case of Latin American rappers, a link to the great Cumbia, Trova and Jarocho singers that improve just like Jazz singers. Had Mercedes Sosa been born in the time of Hip-Hop, maybe she would have been a MC? Anyways, if you can find the single, get it.

Steely Dan Aja

So this is my KFC Mac & Cheese segment. All summer while doing the mundane task of pricing used CDs, I listened to Steely Dan’s Aja on repeat. Part of it was to listen to something familiar to complete the task in hand. When I listen to something new, I want to dissect it and the next thing I know I’m listening and not working. Aja is exactly forty minutes long. By the time I get to the song, “Home At Last”, I better be rapping up a bin of priced world music CDs.

It wasn’t like I didn’t have thoughts in my head, but the thoughts in my head ended just as soon as the song did. Thoughts like, “I wonder what the women Donald Fagan sang about in the song, “Black Cow” looks like? I pictured her as a brunette with deep sunken eyes. Other thoughts, “I wonder what kind of car Deacon Blue drives?” “What does Peg’s 8”X !0” glossy promo picture look like? How is she posed?” “What the real name of the angular banjo instrument they talk about in the song, “Aja”?” I bet it’s not a Chinese instrument, it a Japanese instrument! Somehow I pictured Josie living in Jersey.
Whatever the case was, I soon was done with pricing the CDs and I was off to my next task.

A few weeks ago on a whim, my friend Jeremy and I decide to get tickets to see Steely Dan at The Nokia Theater the day of the show. I didn’t know it at the time I got the tickets, but they were going to play the whole Aja album in its entirety. When I found out, I was pretty jazzed. It was like it was meant to be. From the first notes of “Black Cow,” the first track off the Aja album, I was stoked. The musicians were amazing, as you would expect and Fagan’s voice hung strong. But after awhile, I didn’t know what to do without my pricing gun. All I knew is that after forty minutes or so, this experience will be over and I couldn’t hit repeat. I struggled with the “hits” portion of the program, as I’m not much of a fan of their earlier material. However, I felt a cleansing, like I quit cigarettes, coffee, booze and drugs at the same time. I felt I didn’t need that crutch of Aja to get through the day. When I return to work, I took the Aja CD out of the CD Walkman and I was ready for the next adventure. Maybe Chicago’s Greatest Hits??

Three New Cumbia LP Releases, Via Colombia, Peru & England

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 7, 2012 12:30am | Post a Comment
Three very interesting Cumbia vinyl releases are now available at Amoeba. Each one with it different takes on the Latin Music genre that only seems to get stronger as others start to fade into obscurity.



From Peru, we have Los Jharis, Los Creadors Del Sonido De La Carretera Central, out on Masstropica Records. These gems by Los Jharis reflect a period in the eighties when Cumbia had the time to travel outside of South America and returned as Sonidero, with its Sound System shout-outs and echo effects that reminds me of the great Jamaican Sound Systems. With this newer element, Los Jharis sound is straight from outer space, with all the Cumbia rhythms and surf twang that one expects from a good Chicha release.

Also included with the LP is a bonus seven-inch of Sensacion Shipibo, playing what they called Masha music, a Peruvian style of Cumbia from Pucallpa, where the Shipibo-Conibo people are located. They are the indigenous people that lived along the Ucayali River in the Amazon rainforest. The two tracks on the seven-inch are in Spanish but usually the group sang in the Shipibo language. Whether intentional or not, listening to this, I can see the connection between early Chicha and the likes of people like Ecuador’s Delfín Quishpe are doing today.

When I play tracks from last years Quantic Y Los Miticos Del Ritmo, Hip-Hop En Cumbia during my DJ sets, it still blows some club goers minds. To hear Dr. Dre or Missy Elliot in an authentic traditional Cumbia style is a mini- mindfuck. Some people have asked if perhaps those Hip-Hop artists borrowed those licks from old Cumbia songs! That is a testament on how well England's own Will Holland (Quantic) pulled it off.  Here is another collection of traditional Cumbia from Los Miticos Del Ritmo, this time along with covers of Queen, Michael Jackson and The Abyssinians are some original songs that sound like they could have been made in the Discos Fuentes studios back in the day. The combination of great Colombian musicianship and Holland's vision makes for another club classic. (Not to mention that Holland is becoming a mean accordeon player himself) This is not another mash-up or remixes of classic Cumbia tracks. Los Miticos Del Ritmo will do for retro-Cumbia what Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Hepcat did to revive Soul and Rocksteady.


Speaking of traditional Cumbia, Domino Sounds released a second volume of Cumbia gem entitled, Remolino De Oro. This is a follow-up to the excellent (and now out-of-print) A Orillas Del Magdalena, released a few years back. It’s a collection of the Discos Fuentes Records pre-orchestra Cumbia with plenty of accordion and percussion from legendary Cumbia icons such as Andres Landero, Alejo Duran and Los Corraleros De Majaual. New school Cumbia DJ’s; this is a must for your collection and a way to catch up on the rest of the crate-diggers who long fished out the water. Old-School Cumbia DJs; it’s a great collection that would save some of the wear and tear on your valuable seven-inches and LPS. For everyone else, it’s a great collection of classic Cumbia from another golden era of Discos Fuentes.


Mahssa's Massive CD Round Up - Theo Parrish, Walls, Plaid, Lawrence, DJ Shadow & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 7, 2011 05:05pm | Post a Comment

Theo Parrish
Ugly Edits
Ugly Edits 



Hello world, they're here. Unavailable for like, ever, now in one package complete with a hand-painted cover. Theo Parrish is one of Detroit’s most wanted exports especially in the past few years, but not too long ago, like many future techno-rebels that came before him, he was just another hustling Detroit DJ trying to make waves in the shadow of the city’s rich techno history. His indelible mark on the underground were highly limited, hand-labeled bootleg edit records of some of his favorite classic funk and disco tunes. The series of edits appropriately titled Ugly Edits, became highly desired rarities on the DJ and collector’s circuit. Rarities no more... as everyone should and can now hear his versions of Jil Scott, Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Freddie Hubbard, and Sylvester edits just to name a few somewhere other than YouTube. Cool.
Lawrence
Lawrence
Timeless

Cocoon  


 
Sure the techno mix CD might seem to some as a maligned format. But as long dope jams like these keep coming, well, better this than most. The port city of Hamburg is not only Germany's gateway to the world, but home of DIAL label boss Peter M. Kersten aka Lawrence which he runs with Carsten Jost, quality brand for all value-conscious cultivation of high-quality melancholy Techno. In a fit of celebration and after seven albums under his producer aliases Lawrence and Sten, his vision of sound (especially as a DJ) is manifested in his new mix, TIMELESS. Crafted with a kind of instinct only a seasoned producer/DJ upholds, and in flawless role reversal from spectator to participant, a romanticism of clubbing and its relation to electronic dance music as a crucially timeless sensual component is vivid and alive. Milestones of minimalized deep house are found here, cuts by Chez Damier, Ron Trent, Isolee, Rob Hood, and Thomas Melchior/Baby Ford to name a few.

Stefan Goldmann & Finn Johannsen
Stefan Goldmann & Finn Johannsen
Macrospective
Macro



Welcome to the first Macro label compilation, where first hand you can reap the awesomely weird fascinations of all things left-of-techno-field, as groomed by these avant-gardeners. In this world it is normal for minimal techno patterns and rhythms be paired with atonal choir chanting, or being inspired to stich 146 sections from over a dozen classic recordings of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps in order to create a "fully realized" version. Features cuts and remixes by Oni Ayhun, Elektro Guzzi, Oliver Ho, Villalobos, and Goldmann himself. Impressively at the forefront of everything stylistic, and perpetually cool, Macro has musical material and inspiration to be seriously reckoned with and celestially absorbed.

Plaid
                                                                                                        Plaid
                                                                                                   Scintilli
Warp
                                                                                                                                                                       
Warp Records is undoubtedly the worlds leading electronic brand of quality, and not so much quantity. And ill gladly wait 1-15 years for a new album by Seefeel, or in this case, Plaid. In this piece of sonic sci-finery, the main thing (out of all the cool things one can say about this album) is hearing how the ideas you hear in modern dubstep have their roots in and with these classic artists... old school Artifical Intelligence and UK post-techno. Its also interesting to hear how the modern dubstep sound has also influenced the old order. Generations melding. Speaking of the old order, there are also some cuts here that still runs hot with IDM in a true to from 90s Warp steez, reminiscent of not just Plaid/Black Dog's early days but also of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. Generously melodic and even poppy at times, this is a wonderful Plaid album, with chamber instrumentations and Stereolab-isms to boot.

 

Continue reading...

Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque Reviewed By Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 31, 2011 08:56am | Post a Comment

Over the years I made it a habit to dig through all the used Electronica 12”s to perhaps find a lost worldly gem. I’ll usually take a gamble on any used 12” that usually flirts with some sort of World Music theme. I look for key words such as “Afro,” “Brazilian” and “Latin” if I don’t already know the artist. A few years back I found a 12” from a label called Sofrito Discothèque. It looked cool so I bought it even though I had never heard of the label. The single was called Music Is The Word. It was a mixture of Latin, Afrobeat and Caribbean rhythms. I am so glad I took a chance on that single! I became a fan of the label and it became another go-to label along with Bastard Jazz, Freestyle and Raw Fusion in finding World Music edits and jams.

2011 finds a great pairing of two labels -- Strut Records, which has been releasing World Music heat for over a decade, has paired up with the Sofrito crew (Hugo Mendez, Frankie Francis and The Mighty Crime Minister) in releasing Tropical Discotheque. What I like about this compilation is that it mixes both vintage World music tracks and tracks made recently by newer artists. Vintage bangers from Banda Los Hijos De La Niña Luz and Mighty Shadow are joined by newer tracks from Frente Cumbiero and Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmo. On top of that, a few of the Sofrito edits are thrown in for good measure. The flow of African, Latin and Caribbean jams works together quite nicely, like a meal at a fusion restaurant that doesn’t take the grittiness away from the original dish when combining it with another culture’s flavor. In other words, it doesn't suck.

Unlike many of the recent World Music compilations out now, the Sofrito crew doesn’t bank on rare as much as they do on good. It serves as a calling card to buy a plane ticket to London to go dance your ass off at one of their parties.

The CD version of Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque is out now and the vinyl versions, which are the full length LP and a special 12”, will be out on February 1st.

Frente Cumbiero - "Pitchito"



Gnonnas Pedro - "Yiri Yiri Boum"

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 09/11/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, September 7, 2009 03:26pm | Post a Comment


New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Antislash
VERTIGES EP 12"
FRANKIE047

"LENDEMAIN DE FETE" is a shaky tool, with deep atmoshperes and a nice flip mid-track to get lost in. Bleepy and trippy stuff. Sick arrangements on the b-side with killer snares and sounds that are weird and twisted. Not your run of the mill techno-tech house here.  
 
  
Ninjasonik
SOMEBODY GONNA GET PREGNANT WHITE LABEL 12" PR01

White label 12" on the hipster club tip. Includes “SHOOT THE LAZER,” a raunchy club tune that jacks the opening to a certain animated movie classic, and “DAYLIGHT,” a bootie remix of the MATT AND KIM song by the same name. Rounding out the 12” is “STIR,” a minimal dancefloor tune with stuttering, drunken style vocal takes.    

A-Skillz INSANE BANGERS #8-N.THAYER 12" INSANE008

Big Pimp Jones 
BAD BAD JIMMY RUCKUS LP FSRLP058

Various 
REGROOVED SERIES 9 12" GG18 

Bent 
ALWAYS 2009 REMIXES 12" GAE010

Coldplay 
LIFE IN TECHNICOLOR-JTV RMX 12" LITJTV1

Dr. Stereo 
HEAR THE DIFFERENCE 7" JTP019 

Florence Trapp 
LOVE CAME INTO MY LIFE 7" SOUL7009 

Jahcoozi 
NAMEDROPPER 12" BB3

Keisa Brown 
DANCE MAN 7" JM071

New Mastersounds 
SAN FRANTICO 7" ONR7006

Pilocka Krach DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR 12" STD102    



New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Drivetrain
TRAGEDY PARK 12"
YORE002LTD

You can tell that Detroit's DRIVETRAIN has a soft spot for 70s Philly soul and funk. Includes "THE RAIN," the SERENITY mix of "ANGEL," and the title cut. There's everything from jacking to deep techno on this EP, with dub-influenced house pulses, and sweet soulful rhythms. 
   


Retro-Grade
MODA 12"
RETROGRADE1

Modern Italo disco done by SERGE SANTIAGO and his pal TOM NEVILLE. A ltd edition (500) taster for a RETRO-GRADE album due in 2010. Synth laden Italo disco grooves.
  

Chaz Jankel I COME ALIVE 12" CJ001

Various 
TRIBE SESSION SAMPLER TWO 12" TRIBEEP002

Aaron Carl 
RAIN (FT. ERICA LA FAY) 12" WMAC29

Adam Kesher 
CONTINENT 10" DP31

Ali Nasser 
STARS OF RA-LEON REMIX 12" SWS003

An-2 
FROM NOW ON 12" THEOM011

Cevin Fisher 
THE FREAKS COME OUT #2 12" SUB112TR

Filsonik 
DAY THREE-ALEXANDER ROSS 12" TD03

Floating Points 
VACUUM EP 12" EGLO002

Grant Nelson 
BRAVE NEW WORLD 12" CITY1081

Invasion 
SPELLS OF DECEPTION 10" THISIM015

Magik Johnson 
THE FEELING EP 12" HYS1819

Roe O vs Monk One 
EXTRA SPECIAL CATEGORY 7" DP005

Soul Purpose 
KEY ISSUES VOL.2 12" SP011

Steve Bug 
THE LAB 02 SAMPLER 01 12" LAB002A

Tiefschwarz 
TRUST REMIXES 12" SOUVENIR020    



New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming This Weekend: 

Others 
KING PIN 12"
DP030

This ultra-wobbly, big bassbin beast is gonna rock the dubstep dancefloors hardcore, while "SPLINTER IN MY SOUL" is a much softer side of these artists, with delicate keys swirling around a beautiful melody.

Trolley Snatcher 
THE FUTURE 12"
DP031

The title cut & B-side "SCATTAH" are both strong in the vein of wobbley dubstep beasts.

Big Bud CONNECTIONS 3LP FILMLP004

John & Jehn 
LOOKING FOR YOU 12" DUMB016DJC01

Ras G 
DESTINATION THERE EP 12" RAMP024

Rogue State 
LOGICAL REGRESSION 12" R8005

Rusko 
ACTON DREAD 12" DP009

Various Productions 
HOW CAN YOU STAND 7" BLAZE45168

White Lies DEATH - CHASE & STATUS RX 12" WHITE1    
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