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Category Archives: Groove!

The dull and the downright dazzling

In the past week, I have been on somewhat of an album splurge. Here is what I’ve accumulated.

Yes! What an opener to an equally exceptional album. Spanky Wilson & The Quantic Soul Orchestra really need no introduction, producing the bass heavy and brass looping ditty I’m Thankful (Part 1), with delicate guitar and THAT voice.

The subject of my first ever blog, Field Music released their latest offering, Music For Drifters, only yesterday. Having had the pleasure of witnessing the album in its entirety live at the Islington Town Hall back in 2013, the Brewis brothers have laid down on record their instrumental soundtrack to the seminal silent documentary Drifters. As ever, it serves to demonstrate the breadth and intelligence the duo possess when composing.

Also officially released yesterday, Creation (East L.A.) from Quantic presents The Western Transient is a world feast. I have been told by a chap who I hold in very high esteem that the track is a ‘bit dull’…………I would argue otherwise.

There seem to be a few versions kicking around of this fantastic tune (the Planet Records Archive, Vol 1 cut I cannot seem to find), but this slower version of Perpetual Langley’s Surrender packs just as much punch. The vocal is simply wonderful.

And finally, also the subject of one of my previous blogs, Quopern by Sax Ruins has undeniable and unbridled joy in its main motif. Typically of the duo, it veers off into mind melting territory, perhaps not one for the soothing of a headache. Still, it’s bloody good.

Enjoy!

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Groove! numero tres

Let us revel in the ability people with instruments have to make you sit up, gawp slightly and shuffle. Or, in my case, rear up like a panicked dog emerging from the Channel Tunnel with the slightest hint of froth.

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Old American geezers Battles open proceedings with Wall Street – a sturdy mix of stringed instruments and electronic sampling backed up by some of the tightest drumming around. The production of the drums in particular is incredibly focused and resonant, with a cutting snare and huge bass drum with just the right amount of click.  Check out the inventiveness from 3.24 to 3.50, it will not fail to disappoint.

The original version is a stone cold funk classic, but this cover version of Sing A Simple Song by The Meters stands tall in its own right.

Another cover follows, as the Minutemen’s track The Only Minority is given a beefy update by Karate. A snippet of brisk funk with deliciously jazzy guitar noodling.

Finally, noise rock maestros Deerhoof give us Flower, taken from their latest release Breakup Song. The switch of riffs at 0.51………well, what more is there to say?

Bo!

Groove! numero dos

The time has come, once again, to fill your ears with pure filth. The second instalment of big tunes is here.

Get The Blessing

Get The Blessing

Organs have the potential to rule the world, and Alan Hackshaw’s Beat Me Til I’m Blue could be the song to achieve global domination. Or so I like to think anyway.

Written by Stevie Wonder, Tell Me Something Good by Rufus featuring Chaka Kan is next up, a tune of talk box, heavy breathing and bass plucking wonder. Add a big chorus to the mix too and it’s a belter.

The first track from the album Bugs in Amber, Music Style Product by Get The Blessing can not fail to instantly hook you with raw energy and blaring brass lines. Look out for them again in future blogs, they have a raft of awesome music.

A Tribe Called Quest need no introduction…….an old favourite, Luck of Lucien is from the album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.

And lastly, the massively funky Make It Real (Ride On) by Betty Adams rounds things off, with brilliant vocal performances and piano work.

Enjoy!

Groove! numero uno

The+Meters+GeorgePorter_FessMS

This particular post does not need much explaining – only that it is a necessity in life, perhaps once a day, to have a rut carved into your cerebrum by a shuddering groove. These tunes might just do the job.

From the 2010 album The Colossus by RJD2, Tinflower is a dirty, barnstormer of a track.

Tricky, angular saxophone/trumpet intertwined with 70s American cop show style funk can’t be wrong…….the Brecker Brothers do it in style with Skunk Funk.

Dark, catchy and piano led, Up Above The Rock by Ray Bryant is a favourite ‘go-to’ song of mine. I would also suggest checking out the David Holmes’ version, which is mixed with a pleasingly loud reverb.

Dutch funkers Lefties Soul Connection, aside from their brilliant cover of Organ Donor, have a fair few heavy groovers up their sleeve. This track, Paul Newman, is taken from their 2007 album Skimming The Skum. While it is admirable that someone has put together a montage of the handsome devil that is Paul Newman, I can only apologise for the absurd idea to include talking over the drum outro.

Who else could you finish with? Jimi Hendrix is undoubtedly one of the greatest groove machines that ever lived, and this version of Power of Soul live at the Fillmore with the Band of Gypsys could well put you in a coma. From the beginning at 0.15 to the first solo at 1.05, each riff just gets better, heavier and more infectious. The drop at 1.46, the casual tuning at 2.04 and the settling into an easy going phrase at 3.07, this is soulful musicianship at work on all instruments.