Sunday, 20 July 2014

We're In The 70s Again...

A really great weird list over at FACT on their top 100 LPs of the 70s. It's just one LP per artist. I love how they really don't stick to the rock-crit consensus. I couldn't have predicted that they'd put half of these in their list. I own about 63 of these records. There's no Bob, Neil, Bruce, Pink Floyd, The Clash or even Led Zep! That should rile up a few rock bores. Some of my faves on the more esoteric side of things from the list include A.R. & Machines Echo, Guru Guru's UFO, Libra's Schock, Annette Peacock's I'm The One, Bruce Haack's Electric Lucifer,  Rot by Conrad Schnittzler, Flower Travelling Band's Satori,  Fern Kinney's Groove Me, First Utterance from Comus etc. Hawkwind make an appearance but no Ash Ra Tempel or Amon Duul 2. Funkadelic but no Parliament or Bootsy. Heaven forbid no Big Star what will the indie kids say? Black Sabbath's Master Of Reality over Vol. 4 and Paranoid. That would have been a hard choice. As would the Bowie decision with at least 11 classics to choose from. No T-Rex! No AC/DC! They went wild with their Lou Reed pick Live-Take No Prisoners. No Iggy, that's outrageous! The 70s I guess was a peak time for albums so really they could have made a top 200. Can's Ege Bamyasi over Tago Mago, Future Days and Soon Over Babaluma. There's plenty of Krautrock, Jazz, Avant Garde, Punk/post-punk and the just out there. Not much Glam (That was more of a 7"trip) or Prog, No Country at all (it must have exhausted its hipness).

Of the punk & Post-Punk we've got Wire, The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcock, Stiff Little Fingers, Suicide, No New York, Patti Smith, Cabaret Voltaire, Crass, Pere Ubu, The Slits, New York Dolls, Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle, Modern Lovers, The Residents (another hard choice so many classics), Richard Hell, Devo and Talking Heads who all make the cut. Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures is mysteriously overlooked. The Saints (I'm)Stranded is the highest placed punk record, right on FACT!. No Radio Birdman though, or X-Ray Spex, Dictators, Germs, Gang Of Four, Magazine, Television or The Ramones?! Metal Box by PIL is oddly missing. There ain't no Tubeway Army, Pop Group, Durutti Column, Thomas Leer & Robert Rental, Swell Maps, Minny Pops or Gary Numan solo. Der Plan's Geri Reig would have been my left field pick with its gloriously demented electronic toy town post-punk German stylee.

Soundtracks are thin on the ground. You could make an excellent list of 100 70s soundtracks I reckon. I think there are only 3 OSTs in the list. I'd have probably had Life On Earth, Eraserhead, Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist, Death Line, Quintet, Wickerman, Enter The Dragon, Shaft, Cannibal Holocaust, The Taking Of Pelham 123, Phantasm, Vanishing Point etc. etc.

On the soul and funk tip Curtis Mayfield makes the grade with his excellent Curtis/Live but Isaac Hayes doesn't. Stevie Wonder in, Michael Jackson's Off The Wall out!? Sly Stone, Gil Scott Heron, Last Poets, Shuggie Otis and Millie Jackson are here. The Meters, James Brown, Bill Withers, Al Green, Betty Davis, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, Teddy Pendgrass, The O'Jays, The Isley Brothers et al. are not. My esoteric Pick would have been Lightnin Rod's Hustlers Convention from 1973 which is a proto gangsta rap concept album that is some funky superfly shit man. On the disco tip no Risque from Chic or Donna Summer's Once Upon A Time. But we do get Cerrone's Cerrone 3: Supernature and the aforementioned Fern Kinney.

There's no records from Sweden ie. International Harvester, Harvester or Trad Gras Och Stenar (I'd probably have included an LP by each of those groups even though they're all pretty much the same group). Maybe my other Swedish pick would have been Algarnas Tradgard's Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden. That's a nice slice of folky space prog jams. From France you get Serge Gainsbourg, Magma, Ghedalia Tazartez and Heldon. Some other French weirdness would have been good too like Pole's classic meandering electronic psych prog trip Inside The Dream from 1975. Brazil still seems to be on the hipster map with several entries, however Milton Nascimento & Lo Borges sprawling opus Clube Da Esquina misses out as does Jorge Ben, Edu Lobo etc. On the Yank/Brit folkish tip you get Linda Perhacs, Judee Sill, Bridget St John and Robbie Basho but no Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan, Dr Strangley Strange, Tim Buckley (losing his hipster cache?) or my fave of the lot John Martyn. It would have been a toss up though for a Martyn LP between Bless The Weather, Solid Air, Inside Out or One World. Only one LP from Japan shows up so there's no Les Rallizes Denudes, Masahiko Satoh, People, Far East Family Band or Brast Burn. Nothing from Turkey at all! I'd have perhaps put in Baris Manco's funky Anadolu psych classic 2023 or something from Mogallar, Bunalim, 3 Hur-el or Eric Koray's masterpiece Electronic Turkular. On the Avant Garde front you get Bernhard Palmigiani, Charlemagne Palestine, Gavin Bryars, Basil Kirchin, Harold Budd, Robert Ashley etc. I reckon Taj Mahal Travellers August 1974 would have got my overlooked vote for its eerie deep psych drone goodness.

I could go on forever, perhaps I should have made my own list. Klause Schulze's Moondawn gets a guernsey but it could just have easily been 7 of his other 70s classics. On The Corner from Miles Davis seems a conservative choice to me. I'd have gone for something like Get Up With It, Dark Magus, Big Fun, Agharta, In Concert or Live/Evil. On the more rock front The Rolling Stones, Blue Oyster Cult, Steely Dan, Budgie and The Pink Fairies don't get a look in. I guess those bands are for other lists. FACT do things their way and the worlds a better place for it.

Here's ten LPs that haven't been mentioned yet in this or the FACT article that are essential 70s recordings in my book:
Edge Of Time - Dom
No Other - Gene Clark
For Your Pleasure - Roxy Music
Ball Power - Coloured Balls
Tres Hombres - ZZ Top
Split - Groundhogs
If Only I Could Remember My Name - David Crosby
Alien Soundtracks - Chrome
Delta Momma Blues - Townes Van Zandt
Dub From The Roots - King Tubby

Wow this has made me realise once again how rich and deep the music goes in the 70s. I'm lookin forward to going through all my Miles Davis and Klaus Schulze records oh and then there's some I've never heard from the FACT list. I might finally check out Henry Cow, Millie Jackson, Cymanade, Judee Sill and Gary Wilson. I never could get into Stiff Little Fingers, Joni Bloody Mitchell, Genesis or pre-Swordfishtrombones Tom Waits. But hey any list with Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats at number 1 is fine by me.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Under Currents

Lovin this! It's got a really sad lost future vibe running through it. Like what happened? Is that all there is? What now? Who's got the vision?  Is this retro-future better than other versions of futures put forth by other artists in other genres of popular culture/music? Why does no one care? Not even us. Featuring the new millennium's only guitar legend Mikey Young.

.....and this from like 2 years ago now. Featuring the main man Brendan Huntley (from Eddy Current) hopefully still in fingerless gloves. My theme tune of the last 2 weeks, except I did mind gettin caught in the rain. Every time I get on my bike it bloody rains.

Classic from 2008 with Mikey & Brendan together in Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Dunno if this is their video or a custom made fan job. There's was something so peculiarly Australian about Eddy Current that was so fabulous, you couldn't ignore it. Then there was Brendan who is so damn charismatic. They didn't seem fake either like say The Arctic Monkeys. Primary Colours feels like it was released a lifetime ago but it's only 6 years old. That can't be right? I saw this album Primary Colours (from which the above track is from) and Ooga Boogas Romance & Adventure get reveiwed on daytime tv by Dicko(ex-Australian Idol Judge) and David Reyne (ex drummer of shite 80s girl pop group The Chantoozies and brother of Australian Crawl's James). Reyne had a go at the drummer of Eddy Current and said with disdain that they reminded him of The Saints as if the Saints were the worst band to come out of Australia and not like one of the greatest. This made me think Reyne was a turd, even though he was in the classic 80s tv series Sweet & Sour (which was about underground inner city hipster post-punk/new pop bands). Primary Colours even made it into the end of year Pazz & Jop Poll in The Village Voice of all places. They placed somewhere in the top 70 which was pretty good but Guns & Roses' Chinese Democracy placed ahead of them!? Make of that what you will.

Friday, 11 July 2014


Created a bit of discussion over at Mess&Noise with my thoughts on the new Total Control album. Someone called me Space Dickhead which I liked, might even change my name to that. Big ups to Anok, checkers, MelonHCST, Seahunt, __v & amazinglyblended.

You can check out my love here for Mikey and his cohorts Ooga Boogashere as well!

I'm not sure what the Mess&Noise meant by linking that Tinashe remix, by Drake, in the forum though (If it was sarcasm it didn't come across. They're a bunch of writers though surely they understand that sarcasm doesn't work in written text) As much as Drake might come off as a winging rich arsehole in his music (which I only very occasionally like) he does have some sense of the now and not just the resigned retro now. My point on that post was how pointless are remixes (well 99.9% of them)? Having said that I love the original version of 2 On by Tinashe, that's a 2014 killa.

Random thoughts: What the fuck is the difference between trap and ratchet? Do I need to know? Should I care? C'mon all you micro-genre nerds what's lowdown?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

2 On -Tinashe, Drake & Other Remixes.

This is pretty much a Drake version of 2 On and it's pretty good but not really bettering the original. After the first minute of Tinashe's original he takes it over and makes it his own for the rest of the tune.

Then there's this which is pretty odd but this stays Tinashe's track. Although the whole vibe of the tune is moved to somewhere else not as compelling. The rap ain't anywhere near as good as the original Schoolboy Q cameo though. What was Vado thinking? How on earth was he gonna top one of the great rap cameos of all time? He shouldn't have even bothered. I imagine Schoolboy Q being not too threatened by its lameness. I love that string loop thing though, nice. Remixes: What were they for again?

The Original and Best Version. 2014 Classic!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Gangster Stripper Music 2 - Beatking

Here's another killah tune from Beatking's mixtape Gangsta Stripper Music 2. Echoes of Darkside Hardcore, Gabba, Marc Arcadipane and more. This could be the tune of 2014!

Similar influences here as well as a bit of 90s Dutch, Belgian and the omnipresent 666 Mafia.

This one is incredible too. Haunted, disorientated and faded!

Rome Fortune

Well the backing track is like Kraftwerk, then there's a Moonshake(the group)-like sample followed later by a Pole-esque unskank at the end. It's an incredible production whether the producers are hip to these references or not.

More haunted soundz similar to Burial ala Drake, Schoolboy Q etc. The sound of sweet emptiness.

Total Control - Typical System

I'd already decided to review this LP before I'd heard it. I liked their previous record Henge Beat from 2011. I guess they are a side project band but I can't tell these days what the main bands are for these people and what the side projects are. So I guess you have to take them all on their own merits. Hey I'm a fan of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Ooga Boogas and UV Race some of whose members are in Total Control. I wasn't however expecting to be so disappointed by this record. Sure Total Control show they have fabulous taste in punk/post-punk/synth music but is that enough at this stage of the game/epoch.

It all kicks off with Glass a Suicide/Numan/Foxx pastiche. Then Expensive Dog which is just like a Wire song. Flesh War is better like a new romantic Eddy Current tune. A chorus you're not expecting turns up and you're in pop heaven for a moment and the previous two tracks are forgotten. The guitars and synth intermingle perfectly. In fact you can't help thinking why didn't they go over the top with the production on this one to give it a chance at being a top 10 hit in the pop charts! Systematic Fuck is next, in my notes it says systematically fucking boring, huh? Liberal Party starts off promising with synths, drum machines, maybe a sax and an insidious guitar line. Then you're thinking well this could have been made in 1981 by The Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast. Nothing modern, now or futuristic is happening here or anywhere else on the record. There is no attempt to use the attitude/manifesto's that caused their influences to create such visionary work. Total Control are content to reproduce the sounds of trailblazers but not attempt anything revolutionary/innovative themselves, not even really attempt to extend on their heroes ideas. Are they/we just resigned to repeating the past future over and over. Nietzsche has been mentioned as an influence on this record but that feels like a cop out and a little too convenient doncha think?.

Two Less Jacks is a bit like er.....Gang Of Four. Black Spring is a bit more organic. It's a trippy psych gem (If you're in need of another one of those that's up to you I guess). I'm trying not to say Black Cab or Spaceman 3 but I just did. The Ferryman follows and it's synth noodling for 2 minutes & 42 seconds that's not unpleasant. Hunter is weird electronic goodness that I wish Typical System had more of. The keyboards & guitar seem barely controlled. The vocals have a desperation and the sweet girl backing vocals add an unexpected juxtaposition. Safety Net is more Numan/Foxx/Human League in indieland schtick with Mikey Young's unmistakable guitar which gives the tune an odd vibe. But then I just can't help wishing it would turn into an Eddy Current Suppression Ring song with Brendan takin over the microphone with his fingerless gloves and the rest of the Eddy Current boys kickin out the jams in their unique style. Instead Safety Net just plods into inconsequence to end the record. Probably not really what the world needs now. Flesh War & Hunter are the standout tunes and I really wanted to love the rest of the record as much as those tracks but....

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Kevin Gates ...Again

More Kev! Anything that mentions Patrick Swayze but spelt wrong has gotta be good. Add in Whoopie Goldberg and it's pure gold. I find this hilarious and don't even understand it.

Well this one reminded me of Lick My Nuts (below) which was made by Kev's collaborator here Juicy J . Kev tellin it like it is. He is the new King right?

Lord Infamous, DJ Paul & Juicy J - the early 90s Memphis rappers/producers who are more influential today than they ever have been.

4.30 AM .....they just keep comin from King Kev and there's way way more check out these as well.

This one from 2013 as well

I think he's been in prison but he's managed to
 release this 2014 jam. He's on a roll.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

I first heard this track on the Badmuthas: 18 Original Black Movie Hits compilation (not a dud on that by the way) and it blew my mind. Sweet yet bleak soul soundz a bit like a lot of the rap and R&B now. This is like a fine aged single malt whiskey....mmm......yeah.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Kevin Gates/Beatking/Dizzy Wright

Only just heard this track from last year and OMFG! How good is it? I know what to call it - Magnificent!

Now this is some tripped out ratchet that seems to have gone over the edge. What about that absurd drum machine. 2014 Digital psychosis!

Anthemic tune from Wright's 2014 mini album State of Mind.