Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Rephrase - Little Victories [2007]

Arrgh! I've had two opportunities to move permanently to Australia and I waish I has because the music scene there is rocking - I mean I knew about the live band rock scene but little did I realize that the best in dub/reggae/soul is coming from NZ and some hot beats/breakfunk is pouring out from AUS. And here's my sacrificial lamb to represent the Australian quarter. Some great breakfunk and mellow funky house all put together on one album - and even an AGFA remix to round it off.

Get Down, get down under.

Purchase: emusic, juno, itunes

Freeloaders: the usual d6218c3e

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Mp3Fiesta, Completeness and I

Whilst I tend to stick to emusic as my source for music I recently took the plunge with mp3fiesta since besides emusic it seemed to be able to fill the gap for the more obscure albums I was after - however I haev noticed that they have more than back catalog stuff which made me a little suspicious at the prices they charge.

Of course I did 'check them out' and their ecommerce credentials are impeccable - unfortunately a google search suggested that they were good boys, subsequent searches have shown me that they're acually a russian outfit mostly posting stuff they've scraped from torrents or elsewhere (hence the variety of bitrates etc). So once my current balance is out I'll not be using them as clearly they do not in any way support artists/labels (I thought the latter since it seemed back-catalogue stuff to me) and they basically just recycle stuff you can get for free anyway.

As for tagging stuff as available from them - I shall carry on as my intention here is to find the best source of mp3s on the web and if it happens to be a site in Russia (that is legal under Russian law) well that says more about the record industry's failure to get stuff out there and create mp3 portals where you get can just about anything you ever want. I mean if I was a seller I'd take requests (I mean once burnt you can resell ad infinitum and data on what's being requested would informa marketing decisions add infinitum).

My big debate now is whether I should make a concerted effort of tagging torrents (where available) and iTunes (which I just plain don't like) to see how good as sources they are too.

Please feel free to comment on this one...

Monday, 28 April 2008

Gioachino Rossini - Petite Messe Solonnelle beginning [1863]

I'm getting married this December so I've been attending to my soul a bit more lately and am pleased to say that the C of E has lightened up/modernised a fair bit since my school days (i mean the vicar basically flogged us a DVD called Evan Almighty (it is a good film, mind you) and we even had a hymn to the tune of Dambusters to finish the service on in high spirits. But that was the only good him the rest where solemn latin dirge's that are about as connected with Jesus as capitalism is. And given that Jesus (if nothing else) was at heart a progressive rebel and worldchanger, it's always disappointeed me that his followers are so conservative. Which brings me to this little number, Rossini was an Italian master of Opera but like me (and anyone sane) he thought church needed jazzing up a little bit and so he created this take on mass. And boy is it so much better than anything less modern than a 20th century gospel choir of course whether or not its for you may depend on how against religion you are but Rossini said it best when discussing the work:
Have I just written music for the blessed or just some blessed music?
I'd say both, you?
Purchase: emusic, amazon, 7digital
Freeloaders: sharebee 9fd05937

It's The Blues Man - Eddie "Blues Man" Kirkland [1961]

Whilst Eddie Kirkland is still going lion strong (strong as any Jamaican born Alabama raised bluesman can be), his first album (and I believe before he hooked up with John Lee himself) is my favourite - and since despite a re-release it seems hardish to find on CD (and mp3 but not ringtone!? it seems...) it qualifies as underscovered. Energetic, wistful (of course), and getting hotter every track in - King Curtis on sax and some sweet female vocals all adding to the brew, I challenge you to not feel yourself juking the joint. "Blues Man" indeed.

Purchase: mp3fiesta
Freeloaders: sharebee 95fcaceb

Thursday, 24 April 2008

DJ Shadow - What Does Your Soul Look Like [1995]

Probably the best single CD single purchase I have ever made.

Whilst DJ Shadow is by no means underscovered (in fact very few of the stuff here really is - perhaps I just mean hard to get a hold of via the Freewave) I feel that no music blog of mine could be complete without this album, and since this shit is 13 years old maybe you haven't heard it.

Anyway, these tracks are all available on the 98 album Preemptive strike which you should go buy right now.

Why? Well like some of the other posts here this qualifies as, if I can be so pretentious (and I can because I always am), spiritual/moving and all the rest of it. I mean the title says it all so listen to it all in one go and go to a better place. Serious beats, vocals, atmospheric instrumentation, whimsy and emotion you name it its go it. Deep, deep, deep, phat ph*cking sh*t

Purchase (album not single): mp3fiesta plong
Freeloaders: sharebee 5b08a7b9

MJ Cole - Cut To The Chase [2003]

[Waffle deleted]

My best summer ever was the summer in Brixton where the whole of South London was flooded with the sunshine tunes of M J Cole's Sincere. And heres the follow up album that I think was largely ignored - not as groundbreaking and elegant as his debut but nonetheless a listen that will help you understand why dubstep producers are in so much mourning for 2 step - only the good die young.

Purchase: plong, mp3fiesta

Freeloaders: sharebee ee7504e6

Charles Kynard - Reelin' With the Feelin' ['69]/Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui ['71]

This one's for my first comment poster, AcidJazzy as a thank you for poppin my posting cherry.

Recorded in the hazy days of cool this might be a bit too retro for the average nineties/naughties Acid Jazz buff but there's still plenty of licks worth digging; and, if when you hear Blue Note you think of a record label rather than a phat night club, you'll be styling like a good un.
Oh yeah and Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui means "wear a nappy" in spanky speak coz that track has me needing restraint everytime I hear it, simply fantastic

Purchase: mp3fiesta

Freeloaders - sharebee 2426ea08

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Melvin Van Peebles - What The Fuck You Mean I Can't Sing?! [1973]

Okay, so he's more famous for his son and his TV shows but, like the celebs of today he tried his hand at tunage and this the one album that says the most about his talent. A laugh - oh yeah. A gimmick - perhaps. Good music - unlikely. A classic - no way. A great listen - absolutely. Think of it a soundtrack or poetry or whatever - and give me more of those Sweet Sweetback's Badass songs.

Purchase: mp3fiesta

Freeloaders: sharebee e0852955

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Border Crossing - Ominous [2005]

Reggae, dub, dancehall, hip hop - Border Crossing are the quintessential underscovered group. Perhaps they simply came too late -they could have saved us from buying every Massive Attack album in the hope that it would be as exciting as Blue Lines or as polished as Protection instead of rather uninspiring. Whatever the reasons I got this in the bargain bin and have listened to it regularly ever since - a quality and varied album that's never bland but possibly too easy on the ear to have reached larger status.

Purchase: 7digital
Freeloaders: sharebee a81d477a

Thursday, 10 April 2008

All Good Funk Alliance - On The One [2005]

Often overshadowed by Washington DCs awesome Fort Knox Five, the All Good Funk Alliance have done some crisp tracks and remixes too and I've done my best to badger all my DJ friends into filling their BreakFunk stockings with AGFA and FKF. Sadly for them trawling the web for AGFA's albums defeated them until now (tunestop had one I think) and whilst their best tracks and mixes feature on many compilations there's nothing quite like an album to get you loving a group the way you should. 21st century funk to be sure and well worth purchase price from emusic.

Purchase: emusic
Freeloaders: sharebee da42cc3b

Lightnin' Rod - Hustler's Convention [1973]

Back in the days of yore (90s) I picked up a mix tape (yup a tape) from a clothes shop called Driver in Northampton - the tape played out with a fantastic tale of a 70s style hustler - prototypical rap over funky backing tracks - but I never found out how the tale ended. I didn't know the name or the artist and back in those Compuserve days it certainly didn't exist in the interweb. Later on I asked a few DJs and they reckoned it must have been Iceberg Slim but that was a dead end. Finally Google rescued me when I finally decided that if it was about a hustler going to a convention a good search would be Hustler Convention and combined with the amazing back catalogues on emusic I was released from purgatory and finally owned this album. Some may find it only a one listen wonder but a wonder it is nonetheless.

Purchase: emusic

Freeloaders: sharebee 7a897567

Cleveland Watkiss - Victory's Happy Songbook [2002]

You'll probably have heard Cleveland Watkiss's voice already (he gets around) but his album is a rare example of how a more or less entire album dedicated to God can still be interesting, contemporary and a pleasure to listen to even if you don't share the singer's spiritual sentiments. Soulful in every sense of the word, a solo album by this guy was long overdue

mp3: plong emusic(US)
Freeloaders: sharebee 223fc6bb

Keith Jarrett Trio - Changeless [1989]

Keith Jarrett isn't exactly underscovered, his Koln Concert album is one of (if not the) best selling albums of all time and a must have album. But whilst a lot of his work is improv and a bit too plinkety plonkety and jazz nerdish for many (and dare I say it me too). Changeless bucks that trend but seems to be largely ignored. Philosophically and musically perfect put this on loud, close your eyes and feel the music. Recorded live you can here the artists/audiences musical orgasms as Keith pushing the boundaries of experience. Or in the insert's words, this is:



Mp3 purchase: 7digital, itunes
Freeloaders: Sharebee 18a3d146

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Smith & Mighty - Bass is Maternal [1995]

In the late nineties my heart and ears were firmly in Bristol - Roni Size, Massive Attack, Portishead - it was all happening - the birth of trip hop and drum and bass from Hip Hop and Jungle - what happens when the suburban meets the urban, black meets white (and every color in between). Anyway one of the more interesting bristol outfits was More Rockers and one of their more interesting groups was Smith and Mighty - so have a listen and digest, Bass is maternal.

Mp3 Purchase: Plong itunes

Freeloaders: Rapidshare 97465340 SmiMit_BaIsMat.rar

Digital Jockey - Codeine Dub [2005]

Another real musician here - piano, Terry Armstrong's amazing voice, a classical vibe and sincere dub sounds . High culture dub reggae soul? - it can't get much better than this. Damn those Germans make some good music when they're not into techno/rap/Hasslehoff

Mp3 purchase: juno, emusic
Freeloaders: filefactory 773b4f

Rob Dougan - Furious Angels [2003]

You've all heard Clubbed to Death that Elgar tune with Big beats too that has been played to death on TV the last few years. Well this is the album, but be open minded - Rob Dougan is clearly a classically trained musician so check out this varied offering of one of Mo-wax's most innovative artists -

mp3 purchase: 7digital
Freeloaders: RapidLeak Rob Dougan Furious Angels

Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information [1974]

In his Dad's shadow Shuggie is a definitive underscovered artist who has been re-released in the 00s (so as usual shouldn't really be here!), he is apparently still kicking it with his Dad stateside. This guy was a musical polymath from production to experimentation - check him out you won't regret it and if you do you're probably in the wrong place!

Mp3 Purchase: emusic mp3fiesta itunes
Freeloaders: megaupload 9ISJRK8H

Barry Adamson - Oedipus Schmoedipus [1996]

Since he's got a new album out this year (Back To Cat) I've decided to revisit a favourite artist of mine from days of yore (the nineties). Barry Adamson is a talent, probably not underscovered as an artist, though since this album is listed as Experimental Indie everywhere and is over a decade old I figure it probably qualifies. Great atmospheric jazz with beats the real doozer here is "Something Wicked This Way Comes" which does what it says on the tin. Don't miss the vocals from Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker and Billy Mackenzie either - this guy is well-heeled.

mp3 purchase: amazon, plong, 7digital, itunes
Freeloaders: Mininova Barry Adamson

The Matthew Herbert Big Band - Goodbye Swingtime [2003]

Although some tracks are difficult and experimental (and apparently recorded behind plate glass!) there are some right doozers in this avant garde reinvention and exploration of 40s Big Band - watch out for Dani Sciliano’s vocals too.

mp3 purchase: plong
Freeloaders: Full Album at Megaerotic 6FWNSD99