29 July 2010
21 July 2010
Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno
Dog With A Rope
I don't know about you, but I reckon it's getting colder as the NZ winter really begins to slide her icy fingers under our collective rump.
So when an album billed as "Tropical Horns on Reggae Rhythms" arrives for release, I find myself fighting thoughts of jealousy. When said album turns out to be the new Quantic full-length, from his Flowering Inferno project, well that, my dear reader, is another matter entirely.
Let's get the disclaimer out of the way up front: British-born, Colombia-resident Quantic aka Will Holland, is one of this music fan's favourite independent artists, with a vast back catalogue of excellent releases as Quantic, Quantic Soul Orchestra, Quantic & His Combo Barbaro & The Limp Twins; & projects with Alice Russell & Spanky Wilson.
Flowering Inferno is the freshest of Holland's many musical guises, which, all up, have seen the uber-prolific young prodcer, musician & DJ release 14 full-length albums in 10yrs, each of them on the little-label-that-could, Brighton's famed Tru Thoughts.
Dog With A Rope is his 2nd album as Flowering Inferno & it sees him embrace even more fully the ties between Jamaican music's reggae rhythms & Afro-Latin's many dance styles.
Recorded at his own Sonida Del Valle Studios in Cali, COlombia (where Holland has been resident since 2007), the album is inspired by soundsystem culture & is a seamless blend of rocksteady, reggae & dub with Colombian cumba & Cuban rumba, delivered by a well-schooled cast of musicians.
Holland has gathered an ensemble of horn players from Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico & Panama to ply alongside Jamaican-born drummer Conrad Kelly (UB40, Steel Pulse), Peruvian pianist Alfredo Linares (who has appeared on Holland's last 3 albums), Colombian percussionist Wilson Viveros & Holland himself, of course. The featured vocalists are Nidia Gongora, who you may remember from the ubiquitous Quantic & His Combo Barbaro single Un Canto A Mi Tierra; & Markittis Micolta, a vocalist who began his career in the '60s with the Colombian band Peregoyo y su Combo Vacana, one of the first groups to combine Descarga & Cuban sounds ith Colombian folklore.
Dog With A Rope stands in contrast to - and as an ideal companion piece for - Quantic & His Combo Barbaro's critically acclaimed 2009 album Tradition In Transition, which saw Holland explore the Latin styles of cumbia, son, salsa & mambo; and Flowering Inferno's debut album, Death Of The Revolution, upon which Holland delved more deeply into the roots of reggae.
On Dog With A Rope we hear more fully formed "songs" & more vocals than on the Death Of The Revolution, yet Holland keeps each track short & sweet; with the ideas plentiful, the sweet funk bountiful & the freshness palpable. Heavy, heavy bass, tropical reggae & genuine Latin rhythms make for the sunniest listen of our winter months & also one of Holland's finest albums to date.
The initial Tru Thoughts vinyl release of Dog With A Rope includes the album on LP plus a 7" vinyl single & the full album on CD!
In A Nutshell: top shelf tropical reggae with plenty of heavy bass
Nyntee's Rating: NINE Mojitos out of TEN
Check out the Radio Ponsonby Record Review with Nyntee, on Murry Sweetpants' Breakfast Show on Radio Ponsonby, every Wednesday around 8.25am. Tune in! 107.7FM.
19 July 2010
I'm really looking forward to spinning some disco boogie, rare groove & all 'round cosmic tunes THIS Friday 23rd July at Sugar Bar for a brand new evening of quality music in quality surrounds, this month titled Light Fantastic.
From 8pm 'til late & for just $15 on the door, you'll experience the lush surrounds of the wonderful Sugar Bar & their excellent staff, drinks specials all night & a sweet selection of tasty disco boogie business!
As the promoter so aptly puts it: Come Lose Yourself With Friends 30+
Weekend Inc. | Take It Easy (Breakdown Dub)
Rhythm Skaters | Ready For Skating (Frico edit)
Crown Heights Affair | Dreamin' A Dream (Frico edit)
Teddy Pendergrass | The More I Get (The More I Want) (Frico edit)
Joe Quartermain | So Much Trouble In My Mind (South City Allstars edit)
Chic | Soup For One (Frico edit)
Smoove & Turrell | You Don't Know
Night Dubber | Loose Boogie (King Onkyo edit)
From Russia With Love | Love In The City (Vladimir The Russian edit)
Jan Leslie Holmes | I'm Your Superman (DJ Spinna remix)
M.I.A. | XXXO
M.I.A. | Born Free
The Roots with Joanna Newsom | Right On
Maddslinky with Tawiah | Further Away
Electric Wire Hustle | Gimme That Kinda
Style Council | Long Hot Summer
Seu Jorge & Almaz | Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Curtis Mayfield | Keep On Pushing (South City Allstars edit)
15 July 2010
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
I never thought I’d be reviewing something positively whilst comparing it to Hall & Oates, Steely Dan & the Beach Boys.
Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with any of those well-respected & frankly mega-huge acts, you understand, but… well, none would exactly make it to my ‘All Time Favourites’ list.
However, the wee L.A. native Ariel Pink & his merry men, Haunted Graffiti, may well have edged into that list of favourites – by melding messy guitars, layered synths & keening vocal melodies with half-remembered hooks from those aforementioned ‘80s uber-stars – with their new album, Before Today.
The 2004 re-release of Ariel Pink’s Doldrums album (the first album from a non-Animal Collective member on that band’s own Paw Tracks label) brought his distinctly lo-fi styled, bedroom-produced, noise-pop sound to greater public attention.
Before Today is also a re-release of sorts, in a way, with a handful of these songs available previously in differing versions. It's their first album for the famed 4AD label (home to The National, TV On The Radio, Pixies) & no expense has been spared with the recording, with these full-bodied studio version more fully-realised, better produced & ultimately far more engaging than any previously available.
Yes, it is smooth & sometimes even a little cheesy in places, but it’s also pretty rugged in others, as if Phil Spector produced half of the album & Iggy Pop or Syd Barrett the other half. Having said that, after ten plus years & more than a dozen albums, Ariel Pink seems to have reigned in his noisiest elements & successfully harnessed his most melodic, resulting in what is easily his most accessible work.
In A Nutshell: jam-packed with outsider A.M. gold nuggets
Nyntee's Rating: EIGHT yachts out of TEN
Check out the Radio Ponsonby Record Review with Nyntee on Murry Sweetpant's Breakfast Show on Radio Ponsonby, every Wednesday around 8.25am. Tune in! 107.7FM
12 July 2010
The Clonious with Muhsinah | One At A Time
Chaka Khan | Chaka Kon (Kon's re-edit)
Mr Chop with C.L. Smooth | T.R.O.Y.
Stevie Wonder | All Day Sucka
The Spinners | It's A Shame (Frico edit)
Afro-Cuban Band | Something's Got To Give (Frico edit)
Jimmy Smith & Etta James | I Just Want To Make Love To You (unreleased mix)
Kendra Lou & The Miracles | Everyday
Son Of Dave | Low Rider
Vampire Weekend | Cousins
The Naked & Famous | Young Blood
J-Roc | Funkanomical Boom
Manhead | Birth School Work Death
Nightlife Unlimited | Peaches & Prunes (J-Rocc edit)
Natural Self | Fire The Body (Les Noirs remix)
Yarbrough & Peoples | Don't Stop The Music (Professor LeCroix re-edit)
Foreign Exchange | Sincere
Dam-Funk with MC Eiht | Hood Pass Intact (12" version)
George Baker Selection | Little Green Bag
Cardell Funk Machine | Shoot Your Shot
Jermaine Jackson | Little Girl Don't You Worry
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti | Round & Round
04 July 2010
James Pants | Driftwood
J Dilla | Safety Dance
Mayer Hawthorne | Just Ain't Gonna Work Out (El Camino remix)
MED with Talib Kweli & Madlib | Classic
House Shoes | Newports
Shawn Lee | Fade Up
Josh Rouse | Wonderful
Seu Jorge & Almaz | Everybody Loves The Sunshine
The Beatles | Because (edit)
Rick James | Getting It On (In The Sunshine)
Grandmaster Flash | The Message (Ed Smith remix)
Jimmy Cliff | You Can Get It If You Really Want
? | And The Beat Goes On
50 Cent | Window Shopper (edit)
Quantic with Alice Russell | Sound Of Everything (Senorlobo & Watch TV remix)
Checker Kabb | By My Side
Midnight Express Show Band | Breeze Up
Dam-Funk | LAtrifying
Exquisite Taste | It's You That's Happening
Shalamar | Take That To The Bank
D-Train | Music (Tony Humphries remix)
Evelyn "Champagne" King v Kid Cudi | Shame At Night
Orgone | It's Time Tonight
Florence & The Machine | You Got The Love (The xx remix)