Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy All the Time

Joseph Spence - There Will be a Happy Meeting in Glory (from Complete Folkway Recordings 1958)

"Can you read music, Spence?" He replied, "No, I cannot read music." "How did you learn this song?" Indicating the book, he said, "From this book, mon. There's a lot of funny songs in this book. Lot of funny songs." "But if you can't read notes, how did you learn the melody to this song?" The response which typified Spence's personality, "I's talented."

-The Nassau Guardian March 19th, 2004

Caught between the great Bahamian sponge blight and the microphones of Alan Lomax sat a man who never heard recordings of himself, never had a drivers license, and quite possibly never met another guitarist. The finger styles of Joseph Spence are one of the most extraordinary examples of self-learned musicianship these ears know, making most "outsider" artist sound like guitar instructors in comparison. The backing to Spence's playing could be attributed to a number of things, including his years as a sponge hooker as a teenager and later on a stonemason, giving him great strength in his hands. His thumbs wrapping on his guitar were the key, as was his strange tuning style and complete blindness to musical notation. While certainly American blues rings a bell, his music was usually almost always about happiness rather than sorrow, hence the words "Happy All the Time". I'd closer relate his music to Christmas Carols, something he enjoyed immensely. Sitting on the porch playing guitar constantly only stopping to ride around on his bike, Joseph lived a full life in Andros and later Nassau with his wife Louise. He had breif success with some touring near the end of his life, but remains largely unrecognized. I really can't think of many people I'd rather hang out with, and really can't think of much music as good as the recordings of Joseph Spence.

Not a duppy in sight here!

For more Spence stories, read this excellent article from the Nassau Guardian.

Country Rap Tunes

Boss Hogg Outlawz - Intro (from Boyz N Blue 2004)

This is way better than Slim's new attempt to make Flock of Seagulls hood. That said, I like the new record enough, especially the 9 minute Welcome 2 Houston. One of those everyone from Texas tracks with one of those Miami Vice beats.

I would have used that awesome picture of Mr Boss of all Bosses out fishing but I already used it for his CCR cover.

Red and White Walls

Can someone out there hook me up with the mp3?!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mouth Noises and Aqua Duppies

The Ring Craft Posse - Waterford (from St Catherine in Dub 1972-1984 released 2004)

Felt the need to throw up the strangest track from Sly and Robby's great underwater Dub group. You know how Timbaland does that beat boxing thing to find a rhythm, and leaves it in the track? That stuff happens here too, with plenty of tape delay. The weed smoke wasn't able to reach these duppies crawling through the Caribbean Sea.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chicago Cumbia Spot #1

Gina y Lost Fieles - Vuelve, Velve Amorcito (from Dinastia Perea Cumbias Chilenas 1997)

Went for a little stroll around the neighborhood the other night and it turns out I have lived right next to a Latin record store for almost a year now. It's a little joint called Jalisco Discoteca Electronicas located about 4 blocks west of Ashland on Chicago ave, and it's jam packed with an insane selection of Cumbia mixtapes. I almost grabbed some Merengue CDs with crazy naked girl covers but ended up just checking out some Sonidero stuff. Really been digging this track that has pretty similar production to a CD I bought from Kumbala in Brooklyn (includes the intro track on DJ/Rupture's great new K-K-Kumbia mix). It's got this decaying quality to it, like the guitar mics were fucked up. I got to get off my ass and find more places like this here in Second City, and get a Cumbia map going like this NYC one. Apologies for being such a lazy record digger.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Trip The Fucking Club Out

Blastto - Your Gonna Miss Me Baltimore House Remix (from the internet 2009?)

Roky Erickson ran away from the nursing home and ended up at Club Choices on the west side of Baltimore where he was warmly welcomed with a permanent DJ residency. After a few weeks he was kicked out for freaking everyone out with his prolonged TV static staring and frequent acid flashbacks. Here are the results.

Friday, March 27, 2009

All This House Music Fuss

Magebz - What Do You Say (from The Passion 2008)

Interesting contrast to the Kwaito going on right now, here's some South African Rap. Magebz was birthed with a Doggystyle tape in his hands, and has been performing since he was in primary school. Interesting life story, he was displaced as a child to Pretoria after his mother was hijacked from their home in Soweto. He's got an NWA point of view with somewhat of a Hypnotized Minds kind of grit to his voice. More free Kwaito and South African rap over at this place.

Dolamite Does Deals with the Devil

Nat Dove and the Devils - Ghetto St U.S.A. (from Petey Wheatstraw OST 1977)

Some ghetto funk from the evilest flick in the Dolamite series. Record players get smashed, an entire church gets gunned down (twice), and Rudy Ray Moore shoots explosions at Lucifer with his own pimp cane. On some Kenneth Anger in Compton type shit. Scorpio Rising in furs.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tilapia and Shark

Young Dro - Clean With It (from The Young and the Restless ? 2009)

Amazing how Dro goes off the way he does over this slowly creeping beat. It's kind of one of those worms crawling through synths productions a la Play but with one leg knee-deep in some Willy Wonka world. So far one of the best rap tracks to come out of 2009 if I was to be asked.

Thanks Noz.

ZZK Tour 2009

If your in Chicago and don't come out to Sonotheque for this, I'm not your friend anymore. Same goes for Portland and everywhere else for that matter.


Some Notable Mixes

Taliesin - Virtual Light 2008

An old one I missed from last summer. NYC native now ex-pat in Budapest somehow gets away with having Merce Cunningham introduce Bone Crusher in his homage to the low end. A short but sweet collection of left field bangers with the politics toned down a notch from his election week Apricity Mix, but with the signature Taliesin painterly like Basshead collage steeze. I've scratched my head so much its started to hurt.

Douster - ZZK Mixtape vol 6 2009

The sixth in ZZK Records' wonderful(and free!) series of mixtapes, this time around from Frenchman now in Argentina Douster. Starts things off with a Cumbia lazer bass version of Clipse's Zen and keeps consistant with the Club Zizek sound. I even like the nintendoness of his own remixes. Be sure to catch this guy in your city on the ZZK North American Tour that starts next friday.

DJ Fantasma (of NGUZUNGUZU) - Chicago House Mix 2009

My favorite Ghetto Acid Club DJs passed this mix of West side record digging my way that has provided me with some good times during rush hour on the EL Train. Fantasma rummaged through the likes of Barney's Records and Tapes to create this wonderful overview of forgotten warehouse joints from the Percolator era. Pioneers of left field club music, these guys graduated with a MFA in Ghetto House.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Witch Trials and Pyrex Pots

DJ Nate Da Trak Genious - Bring Yo Best Crack (from Crack Legends vol 1 ?)

The fact that this dude picked out a huge burning cross for the backdrop of his myspace page kind of justifies why his music is so damn evil. The parking lot is ignited with flames and 15 year old kids perform a satanic footwork mass to summon the beast of Ghetto House. Thanks to Pinglewood for adding another real mp3 in my Nate collection and for the love of God, please answer my emails youngin'.

Spend My Money on You

JIM - Big Time Baller (from Long Time Coming 2007)

Tampa's JIM adds a little shine to the Talk Box and carries the torch Roger Troutman left behind. A one man band making it rain on a room full of keyboards and rack effects, make note of his constant reminder that he did EVERYTHING on the album, including starting a label to release it. It's Computer Love in a strip club, but also rather appropriate and well crafted funk that's perfect for foreplay between you and your synth knobs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

They Juke out in Africa too!

Check out the footwork from these Angolan fellas in Os BF's new Sony video. Notice how much more cautiousness they are out there with their knee pads. They get all Ruff Ryders with their motorcycles too but with more dust flying everywhere and less dog fighting than Earl.

Thanks to the great Kuduro Files for putting me up on this one.

Brooklyn to Somalia

Knaan - ABCs (Gnawledge remix) (from Gnawledge Records 2009) direct download

The boys over at Gnawledge get all Mariachi band on street educated Somalian ex-pat Knaan and place a giant cloud of bass over his poor head. Makes me real excited for the Flamenco-Rap Granada Doaba album in the works. Mad thank yous to the people behind this project for sending this my way, I'm big Spain fan.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stuck in Chicago

Syl Johnson - Concrete Reservation (from Is it Because I'm Black? 1969)

Duckin' low in the concrete lined walls of a Project apartment, sharing electricity by means of extension cords strung out of connecting windows. Shady elevator shafts traveling to the tops of high rise sniper towers adjacent to rooms full of families and dope fiends. The story of Chicago's failed housing authority.

"I used to let Curtis practice his music in my house when I lived down on Hudson. I knowed all of them, Jerry Butler too. I had to finally take Curtis over to Seward Park, and got the park to give him a room because my house wasn't conductive for him to practice in".

-Lillian Davis Swope from Cabrini Green in Words + Pictures

Everytime I walk through the park now across the street from Blockbuster Video and a Jewel Osco, I think about The Impressions, Sugar Ray Dinky's Cabrini Green Rap and Brother Bill walking into gunfire with efforts to spread faith amoungst the youth. A Lambrogini dealer now touches the southside of the gates that block the low rises from the rest of the world on Chicago street. 50 feet away, one of the remaining red buildings sports the words "Fuck D Block" and "Cream Team $$$" in red spraypaint as a backdrop to the remaining squatters. I once saw a man in the back of cop car shit his pants while a crowd of CPD officers laughed and and patrolled the boarded up said to be inhabited apartments.

A conversation with a former Stateway Gardens resident in the park today about the death of Dantrell Davis and Girl X sparked the idea that I should listen to Syl Johnson's classic tale of the worst Housing Projects in the nation. Writen at the end of the 60s, this song still rings true to the situation today. While not Chicago born, like much of the black population here in the Windy City Syl moved north from Mississippi in the 1950s. Recording with Howlin' Wolf and Twinight Records, you know his music most likely in the crevises between the Wu-Tang Clan and the Geto Boys. His ghetto blues was overshadowed by the likes of the reverend, though at times he even out Al-Greens the man himself.

The high rises in every coridor of the city may be demolished or well on their way, but the displaced still remain. Johnson reminds us in his classic tale of the struggle.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lucy in the Sky with a DVS Necklace

Status Quo ft B.O.B. - My Ride Double Bubble remix (from VA - Welcome to the Show pt 4

My roommate who sifts through mix tapes even more than me put me up on this Beach Boys inna Chevy Impala bit of bubblegum crunk about hollering out the window. Some feyness has commeth in the rap game that has been real hit-or-miss, this track sitting on the opposite end of Weezy's goofy rock project.

"Fresh like Tic Tacs/Paint look like Kit-Kats"

What's up with these Atlanta dudes talking about peanut butter?

Mix, a Lot

The great Wayne and Wax has been downloading DJ mixes like a madman, and has compiled the shitload of them that he has been enjoying lately, including my I Ride on Guilded Spinners Screwed Oddities mix. Happy someone out there has taken the time to catalog something like this, and am glad to be a part of such a collection.

Got some more mixes comin' real soon, Cumbia, Madagascar, and have been doing the Abelton thing sorta.


Vince the Prince - I Eat Ants (from generationbass.blogspot.com 2009)

My boy from Amsterdam over at Generation Bass made this strange tribute to his favorite animal that I have been seriously scratching my head to lately. It's like Rusko locking himself in a room and listening to the Smithsonian Animals of Africa LP for a month straight while smoking himself retarded. Keep close tabs on the music he throws up on the page, he's a large source of my transnational bass education.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Speaking of Slow Music...

DJ Buttafingerz - Screwing Up the Oldies 1982

I stumbled upon this strange mix of screwed music when I was trying to find info on some SUC mixtape. Hungry Like the Wolf, The Message, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, they are all here and are named after baseball players for some reason. Definitely on the retarded side. Not sure what his next mixtape titled Screwedfellas is all about, but it has potential to make you go get your fucking shine box.

The Music-Hating Archipelagos

Ras Natty Baby - Let it Be Love (from Seggae Time 1999)

My Madagascar music obsession wandered east once and I ended up on the islands home to both the Dodo bird and the strange French-speaking rastafarian sound of Seggae. One of the originators of the sound, Mauritian musician Ras Natty Baby was accused of trafficking Heroin into the islands in 2003, most likely a setup for the singer who always spoke his mind about the local government. He spent 42 months behind bars, only to be released free of all charges in 2006 due to a main witness claiming his deposition was signed under threat. The officials of the islands over there really don't like Seggae music, as coiner of said genre Kaya was found dead in prison back in 1999, starting riots by the local music fans that resulted in more deaths. Ras Natty Baby took a vacation to his home island of Rodrigues for a minute after he was released from prison in 2006, and still lives in Mauritius with his 8 children. This track is from the album prior to his imprisonment, Seggae Time. Odd twittery synths that warn off duppies and the music hating government. For more info check out these articles over at Freemuse here and here.

Strange happenings in a place with one of the highest GDPs per capita in Africa.

Also, I have just added a Sound Cloud box on the right hand side of the site, so send me more music! Been loving the stuff I have received so far, much appreciated.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shoulda Been a Fireman

Cam'ron - I Hate My Job (from the internet 2009)

"Workin on my future why you need to know my history?"

While I'm not sure if Killa ever actually had a "real" job, he's back with a vengeance for the boss with this addition to the ever-growing genre of Recession Raps. I'm excited, and almost reached for my purple wax copy of Purple Haze (the worst sounding vinyl I have ever heard, fuck you Koch!) to remember Cam'ron before he put out that really bad album. Glad the goof is back with the ghetto blues again.

Dodge City or Not

VA - DJ Singh Presents: The Go Go Experience 2009

It's been tough to find any recent Go Go for this non-Washingtonian. Sure, I grab whatever Backyard Band and TCB bootlegs I can on Soulseek and have found some CDs on Amazon, but I can't go into a record store here in Chicago and ask the clerk "where the XO mixtapes at? This stuff is mainly a live experience anyways, and without any of that I'm left with about as much of an outsiders perspective as possible. Would love to get my foot in the door, but looks like I'm gonna have to travel to Maryland or Virginia for that. That said, The Fader were nice enough to point out DJ Singh's new mixtape, packed with newer tracks, Go Go mashups, and providing me with the opportunity to hear a few bands I've been wanting to check out for years. Maybe I'm lazy as a train ride to the east coast could be a weekend commitment, but this is a start. People need to pay more attention to the music of Chocolate City, and I feel that this is finally starting to happen. A must hear for Reaction Band's weird "Gucci Bandana" cover.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Canada Stand Up!

Fiberglass Pants - Dub Sept Mix 2009 (direct download)

A northern homie sent me this short but sweet mix from a Montrealan responding to the Grievous Angel Devotional Dubz project I talked about a few weeks ago. Non-Dubstep songs forced into loops that seem to decay into infinity for about 45 seconds until the next one begins. Really creative use of a strange selection of tracks, he even rocks a Paul wall and Chamillionaire song! What he says about it:

"oh point of interest on the mix i just sent: if you think it's all rolling by a little fast well it is, i played my first 15 tracks and looked at the time on the recorder and it was 18min something! so yeah if not for serato i don't think it would be physically possible to change records that fast..."

Much appreciated my friend, and those of you out there with mixes or tracks, send em to me!

There Goes My Shirt

Hudmo - Oops (Oh My) (from the internet 2008?)

Glasgow's Hudson Mohawke raverdubstep version of Tweet and Missy's classic narcissism joint. This time around your looking at yourself naked in a mirror, high as fuck off pills with house music blaring from downstairs, feeling rather uncomfortable with yourself than turned on. From the few mixes of his I have got a hold of, this dude is kind of on some other shit, a dark UK sound for the A.D.D. generation but on the Late Night Tip. I imagine I will be coming back to this guy in the future.

No Fabulous on this one ether which is a plus, because he sucks.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

$100,000 Bed Sets

Messy Marv - The Shootin' Range (from Best of the Bay 2008)

While brazenness is obviously a large factor in Bay Area Hip-Hop (and well Rap music in general), your boy Young Mess is the king of leisure raps. In a Super Nintendos and Sega Genesises vein, he likes to speak his mind about what he does in his free time. Marv starts things off with a glass of orange juice and a blunt for breakfast, and ends his day fucking bitches on his 100,000 dollar bed set. Definitely my favorite Filmore native at the moment, be sure to check out "Prices on my Head, Thug Money on your Family" when it drops in about a week

Z-Ro > Music

Over at the wonderful site I get all my Goodie Mob rarities and left behind Bay Area treasures from, there is a strange new feature that has been providing my week with good entertainment and a reminder of my love for Missouri City's finest. Some strange cat under the name MAYNHOLDUP has been invited to rant about "Bullshit ass sixties music", "sum Tom Breihan lookin mafucka wit lenseless glasses", and his favorite Z-Ro songs. Sometimes they are "on some Cloverfield shit", and sometimes he's so off that Miller Lite and 151 that I don't know what the fuck he's talking about, but he's somewhat of a Screwston internet version of Lester Bangs. No matter how much of a raving lunatic he might be, he knows his Rother well, and you can't hate on his selections. Keep close tabs on this series of classic Houston rap.

Willing to Pull us Through

Milton Henry - Easy (Im in Love with You) (from Babylon Loot 1987)

As the snow melts and the smells both good and bad of the city seep through my nose I am always reminded of this song that I first remember hearing on the day where it was finally ok to open my window to let the sun shine in my miserably small grim Logan Square apartment room almost 3 years ago. Not a goddamn care in the world enters my mind as I listen to Milton Henry's crooning over somewhat corny production, making this track very dear to me. Maybe my favorite 1980s reggae track for reasons a bit too personal to actually mean a damn. Ether way, Milton's two Wackies albums bring fire to the table that seats synth-based romantic Jamaican songs. Music for being in love walking around in sunny weather with sun glasses on.

Sabo XLR8R Podcast

Sabo - XLR8R Podcast

I had been subscribed to the XLR8R podcast for a minute now, but it took Vamanos to wake me up from sleepin on this amazing mix from NYC's Sabo, full of banging South American house joints that scream Brazil among other countries down under me. The first time I heard this I was walking around at 2am in my westside neighborhood with cop cars everywhere due to a drive-by shooting that occured about 3 blocks from my house at Ashland and Ohio street. On some west coast shit! I was sure to get questioned, but they must have sensed the funky ass vibes I had as I roamed the streets blaring favela raver music. "That guys alright, he's just feelin the Ghetto Bassquake". Highly recommended stuff right here.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Inna Beerhall Style

Schlachthofbronx - Fatthing Remix (from the internet 2009?)

Once again these cats confuse me. German DJs Schlachofbronx have rehashed the classic "Under Me Sleng Teng" into some slow moving duppy that creeps through the Bavarian Beerhalls. So much better than any attempt to cash in on Wayne Smith and Prince Jammy's groundbreaking digital riddim that moves around like a human mudslide rather than a flood. As if the Casio killer were about sipping lean rather than an anti-cocaine, pot smoking anthem. Definitely a contender for my favorite Schlachthofbronx song, right up next to their Polka-Juke joint.

What in the fuck do these guys have to do with the Bronx though?!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Funkadelic were Bassheads

Hilarious video that starts out at DJ Slugo's pad and ends with a car full of juke DJs talking about Drugs, Jimi Hendrix and Funkadelic. The Violator Juke Squad is no more, from here on out call them the Block Club DJs.

Better Quit Takin' them Downers

I Ride on Guilded Spinners: The Screwed Oddities Mixtape vol 1 2009

Comedown discotheques, styrafoam cups, and analog tape magic: these are a few of my favorite things. From quaaludes to cough syrup, the drowsy effect of what we now call screwed has created movements in music by something as simple as pitch change and maybe a bit of delay. The art of slowing down music has never been limited to just the Screwstonians of our time, but is usually the creation of individuals who like to take downers. Italians playing disco records at the wrong speed to the 4am crowd, rock bands taking hints from Music Concret, dudes selling mixtapes out of garages, and Cumbia with the batteries low, here is a little chunk of oddities in the world Robert Davis claimed would one day be Screwed Up. It dates back to 1970 and ends in the present, interwoven with bits and pieces of slow music among Houston classics, and I don't recommend listening to it while driving.


S.L.A.B. - Intro (Screwed and Chopped)
Big Moe - Sippin Codeine (Screwed and Chopped)
Tommy James and the Shondells - Crimson and Clovers (Screwed and Chopped)
Rita Marley - One Draw (Screwed)
Mack 10 - Fo Life (Screwed and Chopped)
Daniele Baldelli - Funky Tambourine (Cosmic Disco)
Sonido Martinez - Do You Think I'm Sexy Cumbia Cover (Cumbia Rebajada)
Prince - Purple Rain (Screwed and Chopped)
Teddy Pendergrass - TKO (Screwed and Chopped)
Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight (Screwed and Chopped)
Big Moe - Codeine Fiend Flow (Screwed)
Cheech and Chong - Basketball Jones (Screwed and Chopped)
Neu! - Super 16
Unknown Artist - Monterrey Marquillos Colombia (Cumbia Rebajada)
UGK - One Day (Screwed and Chopped)


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Green Cloud Over the Hood

Jadakiss and Barrington Levy - Times Hard (from The Last Kiss 2009)

Been sittin on this track for a bit now and as I listened to it about 20 times today I figured I'd become the 20th blog to post it. All these newer Jadakiss tracks are on some "Got the block lookin like dawn of the dead" grim-rap thing that's got me smiling while walking around pretending I'm in a Yonkers zombie movie.

In addition to this, the good folks at Dutty Artz have been keepin tabs on the Recession Rap tracks pouring out right now, something not to be missed. The revolution will not be televised, but the recession sure is.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Amphetamine Juke

DJ Milton - JR Funeral (from Ghetto Crazy 12" 1997)

This has got to be the most wacked out single on Dance Mania. While I'm not willing to give it the official title of such just yet, the bar has been raised. I can't find much info on Milton, who seems to been inactive since the late 90s. Did he go the way of Farley and find Jehovah? If thats the case there is always a chance of a Xian Ghetto House comeback. Bizarre buzzy synths with no vocals aside from some whimpering. It is an earlier one from the juke camp and a lot less human than DJ Funk and friends. Some real techy shit.

Song and Sound Suriname

Wilfred Caïro Winti Ens - Pikin de njan f'a goron (from Suriname OST 1960)

Great soundtrack to the documentary Suriname by Netherlands filmmaker Herman van der Horst from 1960. Shit has been making me so happy walking around town in the snow not givin a fuck that I'm freezing because of this straight fire.

After I found this banging shit I stumbled upon this great Suriname music blog, which includes info on this album along with some other fantastic music.

Fromage is an Indian

Don Armando Band - I'm an Indian too (Fromage Disco Edit) (from Fromage Disco Edits vol 3 2008)

The Australian edit crew revamp the classic very offensive Ethel Merman mutant disco track.

ZZK Crazy Art

Scary. The dude that does art for these guys is awesome.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

10 Questions With Salem



Nguzunguzu - Nzzustamix

Been loving the fuck out of this great mix that the people behind Nguzunguzu were kind enough to send me. Based out of Los Angeles and named after statues from the Soloman Islands, these cats don't fuck around. Some ass backward version of Ghetto House meets Baltimore meets Cumbia meets weird. I'm loving the direction this kind of stuff is going, though I couldn't tell you which way that is. Play this from the tallest Favela when you wanna make people cause problems. Be on the lookout for more mixes and tracks real soon.