Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Smegma - Beauty School (from Smell the Remains 1988)
In an effort to make sense of my love for all things bent, I can't go on without dropping a little knowledge on one of the most important bands that ever existed. Those that came to this page for booty jams might want to ignore this one, but if you like DJ Milton, Mannie Fresh, Gucci Mane, and slowed down Rap music you got to face the facts, you like weird music.
Smegma, along with the man that named this website pretty much decided my direction in life early on. Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy and the above album Smell the Remains basically destroyed music for me at age 15 and lead me on my search for the most fucked up music I could find throughout high school. It took a minute to realize that I could find much of what I was looking for in the Hip-Hop cassettes I had stolen from my art teacher prior to these discoveries, so for a good chunk of that time I was filling my head with a lot of for lack of a better word experimental and more notably improvised music, and still do today. iI might not show within the music I post about here, but I have spent a lot of time listening to mic feedback and tape loops, and I don't mean King Tubby.
Originally from Pasadena, relocated to Portland in the mid 70s, Smegma are both underground legend and another band the Wire was 30 years late to cover. Comprised of various members throughout their 36 year (!) span, the band has put out a huge discography, sometimes with gaps of over 10 years in between releases. For many, DIY means an impulse to release everything, for Smegma it means an impulse to play music with each other everyday for three decades. Contemporaries of the Butthole Surfers when they were good, and once lead by "the first rock critic"/the guy that wrote "Burnin for You" Richard Meltzer, the band members are in their 60's and still smoking tons of weed and playing shows with Portland kids 1/4th their age. They're like a Surf Rock band, if Duane Eddy had a love child with one of the Manson girls and recorded said offspring on a broken reel-to-reel. Not even Lee Perry could expell the Duppies from their tapes.
The above track is the B side 20 minute track from Smell the Remains that still sounds as fucked as it did when I first heard it.
Oh yeah did I mention one of the members plays the dental tape with almost an alto saxophone range of notes?
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
This video has been blogged the fuck out of within the last week since it came out, and rightfully so. It's one of the rawest Rap videos I've ever seen, all shot on location in an Atlanta hood probably schedualed to be bulldozed. The statement from the creators:
"We hope that this video shocks your conscience. If it does, we have succeeded in our goal. The fact that this video is nearly terrifying in its graphic nature means that it is doing exactly what it is supposed to do – terrify. These conditions that our people live in are terrifying, and we seek to expose what so many have forgotten.
We are essentially reporting live from neighborhoods and communities long forgotten, and, in Atlanta, recently torn down. It seems as though our city and our people place no importance on our community any longer. These are the places you never visit. These are the places that hip-hop claims to care about. These are the people that most of gangsta rap music fraudulently portrays. This video is one hundred percent real and unstaged.
You can try to chock this up as exploitation – it will not work. Nobody was put up to any scene in this video. As a matter of fact, everybody in the video volunteered themselves, for the sake of our mission.
The song has an upbeat and happy tone. When you’re in these situations, you do not feel as though what you are doing is wrong. When you are making money in the underground economy, it does not feel wrong. Our goal is to reflect the psychology of someone who turned to drug dealing as a means of survival, and got caught up with the addiction of making money in the underworld.
Pill still lives in this situation, and we will continue to kick, scream, and make music until we can provide a better way. Until then, we will continue to expose our truths.
Our mission is to bring REALITY back to street music. I hope this a first step towards accomplishing our goal".
The Educated Villains
This is definitely a much needed manifesto for Hip-Hop in 2009. The track gives me goosebumps not unlike that of the "Never Made 20" kind.
Maurice Garland has provided a photo essay to compliment your thoughts as well.
New Gangland episode last night, NYC and Jersey based Dominican gang Trinitarios. Lots of lime green bandannas wearing dudes welding machetes and screwdrivers. Lame of me that this is my first DR post and it has to be a violent one, promises of positive music posts very soon.
It's a pretty great episode though.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I think I can speak for most people born in the 80s, Michael Jackson was the first music I remember hearing. RIP buddy, and shame on all those that keep bringing up all the later drama. The man made some fucking music, and money does mean things to people.
No mp3s, putting up music by one of the best selling artists ever is not a smart way to keep a blog running. I am most fond of this album.
(Picture from Brooklyn homebody Linden's Remikks collection)
Genres are annoying. Making up genre names on the other hand, is a lot of fun. It turns out that one of the names I had made up in my head just came true, sort of. Mad Decent's Nick the V threw up a short little mix of Dubstep and Juke, appropriately titled Jukestep. While it isn't made up of hoe shout outs over rediculous amounts of bass, it's a pretty great meshing of two different worlds that together could produce some adorable babies. Some of the wubbliest Dub tracks are fuzed together by the always creepy DJ Nate's "Maybe Sum Day" stuck right in the middle. It makes sense to me because A) I couldn't footwork to save my life, and B) because I don't even understand how one is supposed to dance to Dubstep, not that I haven't tried. I usually just nod my head or something. Obviously people do it, but I'd be pretty impressed if someone tried to cut up a rug with Nick's mix, and I'd imagine it happening only if a Chicago dance crew and one weeks lineup at London's FWD club crash landed on Navy Island and had some crazy party at Errol Flynn's old estate.
In other Juke Hybrid news, Gavin over at Unfashionably Late provided a great little re-cap of the annual Chicago Puerto Rican Pride Festival up in Humboldt Park. I went too, but kind of just walked around in a daze and didn't do a good job of picking up any mixtapes and rather just scoped the park for fine PR girls. The park was so packed that I missed the Violator Juke Squad tent, but Gavin didn't and talked a little about the Ghetto House meshes with Reggaeton that are not out of the ordinary in a city filled with cars blasting both genres equally. He threw up an excellent remix of Jowel Y Randy by DJ Cholo that is a good example of both current Reggaeton trends, and these two forms meeting.
It's obvious enough that I listen to a lot of slow music, and the mixtapes of Screwed and Chopped Reggaeton and Cumbia by Houston's Choppaholix have been getting a lot of play around here. An interesting contrast to the Cumbia Rebajada from elsewhere, the batteries in their equipment are fine. Everything is slowed down in city of syrup fashion. Slow Cumbia is cool, slow Reggaeton is just kind of weird. Decide for yourself.
Tego Calderon -Punto y Aparte (screwed and chopped by Choppaholix from Choppaton)
Choppaholix - Track 17 from Choppacumbia vol 1)
Now I would like the following genres to be made or at least thought about: Crack House, Screwstep, Screwed and Chopped Merengue, Socastep, Dubtech, Mornana, Tsapika Funk, and Nyambingi Bounce.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Although I'm not really smart enough to add anything, I can't help but mimic the Gucci Mane talk. Gucciologists over at So Many Shrimp have provided some of the lyrics and great verbal delivery dissection to his recent string of adjectives that mean something is "good". These include "Gorgeous", "Wonderful", "Awesome", and I'm just waiting on "Brazen" to complete the series. Some of my favorite lines:
Lambourghini bright yella
ya know its awesome
police try to pull me over
ya know i lost em
just bought a flyin saucer*
ya never saw one
shineys on the flyin saucer
now aint it awful??
red bezel on my jacob looking like a sliced tomato
fuck a hater i blow acres of jamaica in decatur
im so extraordinary while my bracelet so canary
choppers that my niggas carry probably scare the military
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Os Tubarões - Djonsinho Cabral (from Djonsinho Cabral 1979)
When Lldo Lobo, lead singer of Cape Verde's' most popular band died, everyone got the day off work. Os Tubarões' (the Sharks) music is sorta Morna, sorta old school Funana. This is a lot slower than what people on the islands in 2009 are doing. I'm not so big on the saxophone, but it's a nice tune overall that I figured I'd throw up due to the attention that island has been getting.
Radioclit's recent Fu Na Na mix is pretty good by the way, though absolutely not strictly Funana. Gant Man Puerto Rican Juke and stuff.
A lover not a hater, what a good guy. Not my favorite Gucci track but he still kind of kills it. Why is he playing a giant game of chess?! I guess if he can name drop Jeru the Damaja he's allowed to be influenced by other New Yorkers as well.
"I started playing chess early, probably at the age of 11. The girl who took my virginity taught me how to play chess, so it was a good hook up."
-The Rza in Michael Gonzales' interview in Stop Smiling issue 28
Damn, too many videos lately, sorry I've been lazy. Got some treats in the works.
Oh yeah I am now on Twitter for whatever reason.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
"THE FIRST IN A SERIES CELEBRATING AND HONORING THE HOTTEST STYLE OF MUSIC THIS CITY HAS EVER HEARD!SAD TO SAY THE MOST HATED ON STYLE IN OUR OWN CITY.
ONE THURSDAY EVERY MONTH I PRESENT TO YOU A COLLECTIVE OF THE HOTTEST DJS AND PRODUCERS TO EVER TO GRACE THE INFAMOUS DANCEMANIA RECORDS LABEL,TOGETHER ON THIS NITE,THEY ARE TRENDSETTERS AND PIONEERS,TO SAY THE LEAST.THE PARTIES UP NORTH ARE PRETTY MUCH ALL THE SAME,FUNNY ACTIN INDIVIDUALS IN A CLICK OF SORTS,WHO DONT FUCK WIT US,DONT BE SCARED BITCHES CUZ WE CLIKIN UP TOO! ITS A DANCE MANIA REUNION !DJ DEEON! DJFUNK! JAMMIN GERALD! DJSLUGO! GANTMAN WILSON! DJ LILTAL!
I'm hitting this up every time. Time to party like its 1994 and everybody still put out vinyl!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
"I hate that Go-Go shit"
Backyard Band - Keep it Thoro (from 501 Club Bootleg with Juvenile 1999)
While I have titled this (my version is untagged) after Prodigy's track of the same name, it's more like 5 different songs. The piano loop and trumpet hook from Keep it Thoro vibrate throughout the entire 15 minutes, during which the members cover some pretty Wu-Tang-like area as well as Mos Def and Pharaoh Monch's Oh No. The rapping from all members is brazen, just read the title of this post. No Juve on this one, but on the same bootleg they bring him out for another great version of Project Bitch. I'm gonna go ahead and name this my 3rd favorite BYB recording.
Did anyone know Datpiff has Go Go on it?!
Cory O - Dubstep Mix 2009
Wandering through Jamaica above is Portland's own Cory O, longtime friend and king of the Crown Room in the cities mini Chinatown. You can catch the man spinning records pretty much every week if your in the Rose City, doing the House thing, the Rap thing, and in this case the Dubstep thing. He tried to teach me how to DJ once but I don't really get beat matching. We also got in this huge fight outside of the ridiculously stupid club the Tube one time, after some dude called me a douchebag for riding around in a shopping cart I found(?). Portland has a lot of shit going on, sometimes this involves breaking someone wearing a Keffiyah in the face (damn that sounds bad out of context!). Back to the mix; it's definitely devoid of any of the recent UK Funky/2 Step thing, definitely for the hard dudes who like BASS and smoke tons of weed. So like, Portlanders. This kid is moving on up, opening up for A-Trak in July! Go see him play, atleast show up and play a game of pool and bob your head.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Harari - Party (LeBaron Edit) (from the internet orig 1980)
There is this dumpster by my house that reads "Disco Sucks" next to "Joan Jett and the Blackhearts" both written with a paint pen. Fuck that noise, along all those record burning White Sox fans in July of 1979. I live on the Southside so I of course have no problem with the baseball team, but I think Harari would agree with me that partying to Disco>hating Disco. This group was from Johannesburg, and LeBaron I believe is the dude behind the great Beat Electric, the site I stole this great track from.
Maybe someday I'll actually put more effort to have more of a focus on this blog, but this summer has been full of Bounce, Go Go, Reggada and Disco so far, in no particular order.
Untitled Mannie Fresh Beat #1 (from Baby - I Need a Bag of Dope EP 1993)
Untitled Mannie Fresh Beat #2 (from Baby - I Need a Bag of Dope EP 1993)
Two super weird Mannie in the studio alone after hours joints I pulled from the great Nola Bounce blog. These remind me a good deal of the B.G and 12 year old Lil Wayne track I posted a while back, produced by the same 808 nerd. Really out there samples tied together in a messy Triggerman collage. Also, a little Sissy love at the end of #2, "All the guys grab a girl and all the girls grab a guy and all the gays grab a gay". Definitely gets me thinking about Mannie explaining how early New Orleans parties consisted of the DJ rocking only an 808 and a Moog.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Suttle Thoughts - Arab Money (from Unknown 2009 Bootleg)
Backyard Band - Arab Money ( from Live at the Icon 2-11-2009 Bootleg)
Two Go Go covers of Busta's single that runs parallel with all the North African Auto-Tuned business. Something like this never really crossed my mind, but Anwan's troupe and new found (for me) Suttle Thoughts get it done in true Washington fashion. The emulation is really weird on both sides, both with samples and synths.
Now where is a conga funk Cumbia version of Rich Boy's Get to Poppin'?!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Salem Mix for 20 Jazz Funk Greats 2009
A crunk industrial soundtrack for a basketball court footwork show-and-tell way past bedtime. DJ Nate in a sandwich between Salem's own white bread Juke side project Young Cream and other goth kids jamming synths alone. Wiggers with warpaint on listening to the Satanic Rituals book on tape in a fucked up Camry. Probably.
1-PEARL - Pearl’s Dream
2-NEOPHYTE - I will have that power
3-DJ NATE - I’m a Burn
4-DJ NATE - Ghostmix
5-YOUNG CREAM - Angie Juke
6-AiDS 3D - Back Once Again (Forever)
7-THA POPE - Track 41
8-UNKNOWN - Track 20 Chicago Juke
9-NEOPHYTE - Catastrophe
10-THREAT MISSES - Juke that Girl *
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Pretty solid modern Reggada video from Cheb Kader that unfortunately cuts off at the end. No Auto Tune but some crazy synth are thrown down.
Would love to be pointed in the direction to more of this stuff, will trade for Ghetto House.
Monday, June 08, 2009
The Mighty Diamonds - Pass the Kouchie (from Pass the Kouchie 1982)
On paper, Musical Youth's infamous cover of the Mighty Diamonds' pipe passing song was actually about passing a dutch oven, a common cooking pot used by poor Jamaicans. Realistically dutchie, the word the 10 year olds swapped from the original can easily refer to weed filled cigars, namely those of the Dutch Masters brand. Pre-teens making stoner songs isn't so PC, even in Jamaica.
This isn't the cover to match the track, I threw it up due to its brazenness.
Also, expect tons of random reggae this summer.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Buraka Som Sistema - IC19 (Nguzunguzu Remix) 2009
Not 8-bit, but a super weird Nintendo in the bathtub remix of everyone's favorite Portuguese from my favorite Los Angelese. Their production has that vocal murmuring thing that makes me think their MPCs double as Ghostbuster traps. Hamsterdance-Ghetto House riddim.
Thanks to Mad Decent for the freebie, the EP with other remixes of the same Sistema track is out now on itunes.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Freddie Gibbs - GI Pride (from The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs 2009)
Good to have something else to look to when thinking about Gary, Indiana. This image of the 30 year old Jackson Five ad was getting old, and basically became a postcard for the poor city after 1000 people took the same picture. Don't be fooled though, this Freddie Gibbs mixtape is an equally depressing story of the Midwest ghost town. However, there are some good raps and even a guest appearance from Devin the Dude! I think his homie/Gary expat Finger Roll might be someone to look forward to in the future.
Download the whole thing over at The Smoking Section.
Some folks out there have brought Funana, the accordion driven Soca-like sound of Cape Verde to my attention lately. Schlachthofbronx dig it, and the Ghetto Bassquake dudes were kind enough to throw up a short but great mix by DJ Velo the other day. Been looking at all the music videos on youtube, this one by Duda is pretty hot. Hopefully more of this stuff can be made available abroad.
Tung Twista (Twista) - No Peace Sign (from Runnin' Off at da Mouth 1991)
I remember the first time I heard "Adrenaline Rush" back in probably 7th grade. I was visiting my cousins in Milwaukee, the same cousins who got me into things like Nirvana when I was a wee 7 years old. Car rides usually consisted of all of us with headphones on, and this particular car ride I think I forgot mine at home. I heard that bizarre flat line bass blaring from one pair of headphones with this dude rapping way faster than any coastal Hip-Hop I had been exposed to while in middle school. They had a CD burner before I did too, and when we got home I stole all the Twista and Do or Die they had on their computer. "Adrenaline Rush" is still one of the scariest Rap songs I know, and remains the Chicago west side Traxster anthem to me some 12 years later.
Tung Twista dropped the Tung after this first album from 91 and before Kayne came around was pretty far and above the biggest rapper from Chicago. Even so, dudes got a world record under his belt if that means anything. Twista comes from the same side of town as Do or Die, Crucial Conflict, and the Legendary Traxter, the group of artists responsible for the grimey west side sound. This neighborhood, know as North Lawndale or "K-Town" was also home to the founding of the imfamous Vice Lords gang. Most of the north-south streets (Karlov Ave., Kedvale Ave., Keeler Ave., Kenneth Ave., Keystone Ave., Kilbourn Ave., Kildare Ave., Knox Ave., Kolin Ave., Kolmar Ave., Komensky Ave. Kostner Ave., Kilpatrick Ave.) start with the letter "K", part of an early failed city plan to organize the streets by their distance in miles from the Illinois-Indiana border (K being the 11th letter). A grimey neighborhood that birthed the heart stopping bass in opposition to the No I.D. and Kayne side of Chicago Hip-Hop.
Here is Twista at age 18 speaking on "fake blackness", riding his Guiness Book of World Records speed that in later years proved to be more than just a novelty.
Monday, June 01, 2009
So I think it's about time for me to elaborate on the mysterious Duppy, something I've been rambling about on this here blog. This is only the start of your education, a continuing guide to Duppy awareness so you too can warn off the restless spirits, or if needed hone them to do your own evil bidding.
Dennis Alcapone - Duppy Serenade 1971
"According to Lee "Scratch" Perry, Bob Marley wrote the song "My Cup," Marley was complaining to Lee that he was too "successful" and was being plagued by hangers-on and leeches, referring to them as duppies in the context of 'human vampires' (as in scroungers). Lee apparently consoled him by saying, "Look, we'll sort this out- we are duppy conquerors."
-from the Wikipedia entry for Duppy
From drinking the alcohol used to clean the tape machines, to both burning down and flooding the remains of the studio, tales of a young Lee Perry at the Black Art are always full of strange bouts of eclecticism. Not so out of the ordinary were the times when Perry would blow weed smoke on the reels to expel the demons from the recordings. Duppies are of great importance to Jamaican folklore, the original source steaming from the West African Bantu language. Duppies are thought to the the restless spirits of the dead, who remain unhappy and unnamed in the afterlife. These aren't the ghosts of relatives coming back to visit their living loved ones, just restless spirits capable of doing harm. An Obeah man or woman may summon a Duppy with bribes of food or drink, specifically rum, and some claim methods of expelling these spirits from peoples lives.
Ernie Smith - Duppy or Gunman 1974
Joseph (pictured above), an Obeah man of Manchester is one of those that claim to possess powers strong enough to expel a Duppy. "Well you know I will take out duppy and demon out anybody because I am also an exorcist. Well, one day dem tell me that a duppy was in a young boy up the road so I take up my crystal ball and go up there. Well, when I reach I see about 70 people gather around and tell them to move. I look at the boy with the demon and realise that is the duppy of a Indian stillborn baby was in him. Anyway, I chant it out of him and when the people who gather around see what I do dem nearly faint! Dem know dat anybody who conquer a coolie duppy must powerful!"
Yellowman - Duppy or a Gunman 1982
There are several kinds of Duppies, including the Ol' Higue (a witch of sorts) and the Rollin Calf, a demon in animal form...
Me deh pon has’e me kean tap now,
For Tahta John a-dead,
De oda nite one rolllin’-calf
Lick him eena him head.
It is a long story me chile,
Me really kean tap now.
Yuh musa hear sey Tahta los’
Him black an wite bull cow?
T’ree nite an day him sarch fe it,
Couldn’ fine it noan tall,
Soh tell nite-afore-las’ him sey
Him hear one cow a-bawl.
Him meck fe Figgins’ open-lan;
Doah him an dem noh gree,
An see de bull dah-lie dung under-
Neat’ one gwangu tree.
Him teck a rope an tie de bull,
An dem him bruck a stick
An him layba de po’ cow back, me
Tan a-yard an hear de lick.
Him start fe lead i home, but wen
Him tun roun fe goh call,
Him see de sinting two y’eye dem
A roll like tunda-ball
Him goh fe halla, but same time
Him feel a funny pain,
An wen him look eena him han,
De rope tun eena chain
Massa, him fling i wey an run,
Him hear de sinting laugh,
It wasn’ fe him cow at all,
It was a rollin’ calf!
Him jump Bra Caleb wire fence,
Him faint as him ketch home,
An since him come back to himself
Him dis a-twis an foam.
Mek kean tap, is a obeah man
Dem sen’ me fe goh ketch,
Me feel me y’eye a-jump him mighta
Dead long before me ketch.
-Louise Bennett "Rollin Calf"
Demarco - Duppy Know Who Fi Frighten 2008
There are warning signs to be aware of the presence of a Duppy. If your dog howls at night for no apparent reason, a spirit could be lurking. Getting a spiderweb across the face while walking though a forest is a general sign of Duppies, so be careful wandering around at night. Nailing a horseshoe to ones house is one way to warn them off, as is cursing "Jesus Christ!" when these signs occur.
Do not go wandering around the graveyard with a bottle of Captain Morgans looking for Duppies, leave that up to the professionals. It is very easy to be injured by a Duppy.
Go here for more info on Duppies and Jamaican folklore