Thursday, September 22, 2011
Back to Bass-ics (Something Else! 9/22/11 on Wtnr Radio.com)
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We're all over the place this week (kind of a regular occurrence here, no?) Starting out mellow with "River Man," Andy Bey's cover of the Nick Drake classic. Given that Andy is known primarily as a "jazz" singer (many of you will know him from work with Gary Bartz, such as "Celestial Blues") it seems interesting that he would pick a track from a 70s English singer/songwriter. I was first turned onto this version via a mix CD, INCredible Sound of Gilles Peterson. Keeping it classic, bass legend Stan(ley) Clarke's "Bass Folk Song" is next from his '73 album Children of Forever. I'd been looking for this track since hearing an old dj partner play it years ago at our event called Jazzid Up! (Shout out to DJ Junior Roach, The Empressario [Nickie Black,] and Elson Trinidad!) "That Voice Again" by Peter Gabriel is from his breakthrough album So. He'd had hits before, such as "Solsbury Hill" and "Shock The Monkey," but So was the first album he'd made on his own (he was the original lead vocalist for Genesis) that charted in the US top 10. He'd charted in the UK top 10 with his 2nd solo album, Peter Gabriel (aka Scratch--because of the cover art.) "Me Dough feat. Lil' Shaker & Yaa Pono" by Kay-Ara is some new hiphop from Ghana! Thanks to Benjamin Lebrave of Akwaaba Music you can read about hiphop in Ghana and other musical trends at The Fader. "Whole Latin Love" by La Familia Rústica is, of course, a salsa take on the Led Zeppelin track "Whole Lotta Love." La Familia Rústica is fronted by Dani Txärnego, a Barcelona local who also sang on the Los Chicos Altos Pa'lante EP. He also djs and used play this track at La Bodega Del Onze, the same bar Los Chicos Altos used to host Urban World Social Club Barcelona. Speaking of clubs, "Lights On feat Ms. Dynamite" by Katy B should be the new anthem for the people who never want the night in a club to end. It's from her new album On A Mission. Keeping the bass, but flipping the drum-style a bit, Aquasky's "Opaque" is the old-style jazzy drum & bass from the 90s. It leads us perfectly into a newer track remixed by a big producer in the d&b world, Shy Fx with his take on "Where You Should Be (Shy Fx Remix)" by Skream. The original version of this track has a synthesizer-sounding vocal, but Shy Fx brings in a female vocalist to give the track a bit more soul, not to mention the half-time intro with the reggae vibes. The next track was big during the early days of "ambient dub," "The Underwater World of Jah Cousteau" by Original Rockers. It incorporates a vocal that was used in a few other tracks as well, "Push Push" by Rockers Hi-Fi (later incarnation of Original Rockers) and "Tempest Dub" by Edge Test being good examples. The source of that vocal is the following track, "Plague of Zombies" by Scientist from Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires. Wrapping up are a few jazzy tracks, "Hard Work" by John Handy, a nice soul-jazz groove that tends to remind me of summer BBQs and "On The Dunes" by Donald Fagen from his second solo album Kamakiriad, produced by his old Steely Dan partner, Walter Becker. Starting mellow and ending mellow, not such a bad way to do things, eh? Enjoy and see you next time!