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This week's selection features tunes I picked up while traveling. I was most recently in Los Angeles and Switzerland before that.
In a nod to my hometown of LA, I start off with "Mya Ydana," a Tranquility Bass b-side to their wildly popular "Cantamilla"--which found its way onto the 4th volume of the respected Rebirth Of Cool series. Last time I heard about him, Tranquility Bass' Mike Kandel was living in Washington state, but the group began in Los Angeles as a partnership with producer and DJ Tom Chasteen who is responsible for the legendary Dub Club in LA's Echo Park. Next up is the latin number "Deja" by Sidestepper from Palm Beats Vol. 1 a great compilation of music from Palm Pictures and related labels (e.g. Quango--another LA contribution to music.) "Stars & Rockets" by Spiritual South is from one of my favorite compilation series, Rewind! on Ubiquity Records. The idea is that it is a series of cover songs, sometimes well-known artists, sometimes well-known tunes--sometimes, neither! In my world of electonic music, Spiritual South is a name because of the tracks and remixes made by Mark Robertson and his former partner Danny J Lewis (aka "Enzyme Black.") Turns out that Mark went further than most of his cohorts who love latin music and incorporate it into their productions--he formally studied latin percussion! "Distance To The Ground" by Detour takes me back to my early days playing the music then known as "acid-jazz." This track is from the compilation Down To Earth on Planet Earth Recordings, an antecedent of the aforementioned Quango Records. The compilation was (co-)executive produced by Jason Bentley (KCRW) in '94, a year before he began the night Bossa:Nova with Bruno Guez (founder of Quango) which started out as an event in the footsteps of LA acid-jazz club-night legends Brass & Umoja. The biggest groups in acid-jazz were English, generally speaking, but there was a scene that developed in France as well which helped MC Solaar and his producers, La Funk Mob--who now go by their house moniker, Cassius. "Pardonne" by Revel comes from the French scene which also produced the smash "Non, Non, Non" (a cover of Dawn Penn's "No, No, No [You Don't Love Me Anymore.]") I was turned onto Nomo by a Ubiquity label employee, "You like afrobeat? These guys are from Detroit and they mix in electronic elements, too..." SOLD! "Waiting" is from their album Invisible Cities. Another sale from the same guy was the album with "Get Off Your Seats"--Tommy Stewart's self-titled album that also contains the rare-groove classic "Bump & Hustle Music." Speaking of classics, how about "What'd I Say?" I was gifted a Ray Charles CD by a family member and I was excited that it contained the full version of this song, one that gets split very often into pt.1 and/or pt. 2 Going back to the Rewind! Series, "Take It All In And Check It All Out" is Joseph Malik covering one of my favorite soul artists, Bill Withers. Next up a UK acid-jazz group goes garage with "Come To Me" by Outside. From their album Out Of The Dark, Matt Cooper, Andreas Allen and frequent collaborator Cleveland Watkiss (aka "Origin") bring sweet vocal harmonies to a style where vocals are often treated non-musically. I follow it up with a UK Garage classic that I used to play on my 2-Step gigs, "Summer Of Love" by Lonyo. I was able to find a compilation of UK Garage, The Sound Of Ayia Napa, that was not DJ-mixed (99% of them are, unfortunately.) I close out with afro-electronic, "Sida (Spider Mix)" by Ibrahim Hamma Dicko. This is from a great compilation called Frikyiwa Collection 1 that I have as issued by Six Degrees Records, but is originally from F Communications (best known as Laurent Garnier's label.) It is a great collection of remixed African music!
Next time expect more music from my travels and a few non-throwback tracks as well!