Something Else Radio!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Found Treasure, Both New and Old (Something Else! 5/21/09 on www.WtnrRadio.com)

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Hello and welcome to the Treasure Hunt! The"Something Else! Intro" starts us off headed toward a new thing "Let Go" by Deborah Jordan and produced by one of my favorite UK MCs, Ty. He was always the soulful type and it is evidenced in this track. Jamaican-style soul is the next item on the list and "Waterhouse Rock (Groove Corporation Mix)" by Big Youth fills the bill. The Groove Corporation are a Birmingham, England institution and they give the track the full bass impact that we now expect from Dub. A re-imagined classic "Rapper's Delight" is transformed by the Bentzon Brotherhood into a Jazz-Hiphop hybrid that brings the best of both worlds: energy, invention and groove. Back in the early 90s I was blown away like many others by the sheer power of the West Coast's "Reality Rap" (aka Gangsta Rap and later "G-Funk") as created by N.W.A., Snoop Doggy Dogg (now known as simply "Snoop Dogg") and Ice Cube. There were many others, like The D.O.C., Above The Law, and Compton's Most Wanted, but my "Gangsta Essentials" are: Straight Outta Compton by NWA, Amerikkka's Most Wanted by Ice Cube and Doggystyle by Snoop Doggy Dogg. Fair warning: this music isn't for everyone (the subject matter is definitely for mature audiences--this music SHOULD have those parental advisory stickers) and there's very little of it I can play on my show (5% or less?) However, if you want to know what all the hype was about with G-Funk, those albums are the best examples. "Jackin' for Beats" by Ice Cube is from an E.P. called Kill At Will and is about much tamer sentiments -- using the groove from someone else's song and making it his own. In the Old-School mentality of Hiphop, using someone else's music was considered "biting" and akin to petty thievery. Then again, gangsters always reveled in the idea of being "bad guys." Another Hiphop concept is "flipping"--the idea of taking something pre-existing and re-imagining it ("biting" implies no imagination was involved, just theft.) The next track, "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" is of course a Michael Jackson song, but re-imagined by Derrick Laro And Trinity in a Jamaican groove. "Port of Entry" is one of my classic musical left turns but is also a fitting jewel by Weather Report. Speaking of jewels, Radioslave's "Dedication" was something I picked out of a recent live set by the legendary Gilles Peterson when I heard him at the Jazz Cafe in London. I wrote him about it and he was kind enough to tell me what it was. "Her Song (Sting International Mix)" by MKL vs Soy Sos is a track I'd been looking for for years in digital form! I'd had it on vinyl, courtesy of Marques Wyatt's "Sound Design Vol. 1" on Om Records (pictured above) but a few years ago when one of my record boxes was stolen, that compilation was in it. I found this track on Traxsource.com. Apparently a lot of tracks are being made available for download now, so if there's something you haven't found in your searches, look again! I was initially turned onto Lenny Fontana presents Black Sun's "Spread Love" (A cover of the Paradise Garage classic by Al Hudson & One Way) through another compilation, "Incredible Sound Of Gilles Peterson" but I have since found it on a double CD (one of full-length songs, the other Dj mixed) "Soulsonic Vol. 1" since my Gilles compilation is another long-gone vinyl treasure. We close out with a new track (like we started) and a mystery track... "Special Lady" is from Tortured Soul's Did You Miss Me? a great soulful, Deep House album full of songs, not merely tracks like most Deep House CDs. The band (yes, they are a band) is touring in support of the new release, so check http://www.myspace.com/torturedsoul for dates in your area! Last but not least is "Too High," an uptempo "flip" of Stevie Wonder's classic opener from Innervisions. Sorry, no artist name provided...

Enjoy and see you next week!

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