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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guns, Drums & Emotions (Something Else! on Wtnr for 7/7/11)

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As you may know from reading this blog, I love discovering the sources of samples in music.  A popular sample a few years ago comes from our opener, "Drumbeat" by Jim Ingram.  It showed up in everything from house tunes to DJ sets.  The source itself reminds me of my youth in the 1970s when Afro-Americans (as we were known then) were proudly claiming and seeking out their African heritage, as evidenced most popularly by Alex Haley's book and the popular mini-series based on it, Roots.  Another part of that social movement was "The Black National Anthem," officially titled, "Lift Every Voice And Sing."  This version is by Kim Weston from the film Wattstax (a documentary of a concert commemorating the Watts Riots) and the money from the single was donated to the United Negro College Fund.  Kim had a huge tune in the 60s, a duet with a fellow Motown recording artist Marvin Gaye called "It Takes Two."  Next up, another track with 70s written all over it, "Kind of Funky" by Kool & The Gang.  "Nautilus" is a jazz-funk standard written by CTI Records legend, Bob James.  The rework by Sexteto Exellencio (another alias of Lance Ferguson of The Bamboos and Cookin' On 3 Burners) completely flips the script by doing a salsa version--¡caliente!  Downshifting the tempo while still keeping the bump, Mark de Clive-Lowe (aka MdCL) brings us "Hope (Feat Rahel)" from Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Bubblers Six.  Keeping the downtempo groove for another one, De La Soul's "Stakes Is High (DJ Spinna Remix)" follows with a nice electric piano riff and deep bass line.  Cee Lo Green seems to have found his stride recently after several years of "dues paying" in Goodie Mob as part of the same Atlanta music scene that brought us Outkast, India Arie and others.  He first made his mark on the mainstream with the hit "Crazy" as half of Gnarls Barkley (the other half being producer Danger Mouse of Grey Album fame.) He seems to be "doing it again" with "Forget You"--the radio-friendly version of album cut "F**k You" from The Ladykiller.  I actually heard the album version of this song on the radio in Basel, Switzerland and Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert featured him performing live on the Colbert Report with a slight substitution for the title phrase: "Fox News."  Spiritual jazz classic "The Creator Has A Masterplan," originally by Pharaoh Sanders and vocalist Leon Thomas, has been covered by many people including Brooklyn Funk Essentials.  The "More Rockers Combination Style" version was remixed into a drum & bass track by Bristol UK legends, More Rockers (the d&b side project of Smith & Mighty.)  Keeping it "junglistic," "Guntalk (Jungle Dark Lick)" by Redrose & Rebel from Ragga Jungle Anthems 2 is a 90s uptempo re-version of a dancehall reggae classic on Greensleeves Records.  Something a bit newer is "Happy (Feat. Kissy Asplund)" by Grooveman Spot, another number drawn from from Brownswood Bubblers Six.  Another group better known under another name is Da Damn Phreak Noize Phunk.  Normally, they work as Hardfloor, the German acid techno duo, but this track, "Projective Pimpin" is a good example of their downtempo work from album Electric Crate Digger.  The closer is another sample source, "Celebration Suite (edit)" by Brazilian percussion legend, Airto Moreira.  I'm sure that much of the percussion has been sampled, but I chose to play you the end with the more recognizable horn melody.

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