segunda-feira, abril 21, 2008

sexta-feira, abril 11, 2008

Hey, up until now I haven’t spoken much about politics but this one goes out to all my beloved Italians out there: please don’t ruin my birthday on Sunday! Don’t make me use my puppy eyes.
A while back that cavalieri with the big plastic colgate smile and a bad Danny Devito impersonation looked pretty funny and confirmed us all in the stereotypes we had about Italians but the joke’s wearing thin now. So, instead just go for Veltroni, would you now? I know you can do a lot better, but you have to start somewhere.

Meanwhile in the states …

quinta-feira, abril 10, 2008

Don't Kick the Kid

A quick news-flash in between. You can watch all episodes of South Park for free on the site of The South Park Studios. I just saw the very first episode about Cartman’s anal probe again, which goes back all the way to august 1997.
Back then, I was surprised to see and hear Isaac Hayes in a cartoon bringing silly lines about space aliens but now, looking back, it all makes sense given the fact that he’s into Scientology. I never understood how a sci-fi writer’s fan club could get so much out of hand. Maybe those guys of South Park should start their own church. I wonder what that would be like?

segunda-feira, abril 07, 2008

No Parking On The Dancefloor

I’ve got some music for ya that I’ve been planning to share for a long time. A lot of great instrumental breaks, melodies and grooves but also Midnight Star, Klein & MBO, The Biddu Orchestra, Shalamar, Whispers and Gaznevada. I had a couple of cheap compilation albums on vinyl but they had some nasty cracks. That’s no problem you might say, it adds to the charm but these were major cuts that skipped more than just a (heart)beat. I found me some digital ones instead and I also found a couple tracks on the net for free. That really made my day.

I simply adore most of this stuff. Just take for instance Midnight Star. You might know them from their hit Midas Touch – covered a couple of times – but their electro output is really somethin’ else. Freak-a-zoid and Electricity are among my most favorite electro tracks while No Parking On The Dancefloor is easily my most favorite party-anthem. Or rather the one I take the most at heart. People who know me can state that I hardly ever use foal language and that I seldom get mad – I don’t see the use of it, it’s like taking poison and wanting someone else to die from it – but there are a few exceptions. After all those years I still haven’t figured out why some people mind going to a dance club or disco in order to spend the night there, drinking highly overprized beer, badly aged wine and cocktails with too much sugar if they hardly make even’t (is this a proper word?) the slightest intention to reproduce something that’s vaguely similar to what is commonly known as dancing. Just a little twist, a temporarily circular or lateral motion to replace ones bud or a simple node of the head, that’s all I’m asking. They just stand there in the middle of the dancefloor acting cool or is it that they’re contemplating on what might be the only true way to eternal enlightment or the final utter consequences of the second law of entropy? Do people think these things through, what kind of moves they should make, who knows? Because if you have to think about it first, you’re lost. Fact is that they often block the way. I’m seriously thinking about making a t-shirt with the line No Parking on the Dancefloor to bring it to them gently, in a funny way. I wonder if that might do the trick and make them see the light.
Anyway, these guys and girls have touched a soft spot and in a just world Midnight Star would be as big as for instance Prince, for that matter.

Midnight Star – Freak-a-zoid
Midnight Star – Electricity
Midnight Star – No Parking on the Dance Floor
Midnight Star – The Midas Touch (extended version)
Midnight Star – The Midas Touch
Midnight Star – Operator (album version)

I’ve got two albums by The Biddu Orchestra. Rainforest and Eastern Man from the mid seventies. I don’t play them often, hardly ever actually, but when I do, I always remember why I bought them in the first place. I’m really addicted to this type of richly orchestrated symphonic disco music. Does anyone remember the Love Boat, and it’s theme? That type of stuff. The Biddu orchestra is more than just boat soap operas, the albums are more diverse with a couple of excursions to the Caribbean islands, Cuba and Rio. Again, great instrumental tracks with breaks that are craving to be sampled. Anyone for tennis?

The Biddu Orchestra – Rock Me With Your Love
The Biddu Orchestra – Rain Forest
The Biddu Orchestra – Funky Tropical
The Biddu Orchestra – Blue Eyed Soul

Shalamar – This Is For The Lover In You
Shalamar – Over and Over 1983
Shalamar – I Can Make You Feel Good 1982
The Whispers – Keep On Lovin Me
The Whispers – And The Beat Goes On Heavily sampled.

D.D. Sound – Disco Bass 1977
D.D. Sound – Café (long vocal version) 1978
D.D. Sound – Café 1978

Gaznevada is probably my favourite Italian new wave band. I think they still exist and play live. Special Agent Man is a classic but so are the others. Simply a great groove, a real slow jam. I know for sure that the guys from Metro Area have some records of Gaznevada in their collection or they ought to.

Gaznevada – Special Agent Man
Gaznevada – I.C. Love Affair
Gaznevada – Living In The Jungle 1985

The Mike Theodore Orchestra – Moon Trek I already posted this guy a couple of times. I don’t know much about it but I got to learn about it the same way as I did with The Biddu Orchestra, I used to buy anything that featured the two magic words: Orchestra and disco :). You should give it a try just like Caravan. Any record that features the Ellington classic is probably ok. If you like exotica and Incredibly Strange Music that is, off course.

Double Dee – Found Love (maxi version)
Cari Lekebusch – Shaded (Compuphonic and Kolombo dub)
A.I.M. – Thailand Seeds (Maskio Vision 48 Remix)
Confusional Quartet – Guerra In Africa (Scuola Furano Remix)
Roisín Murphy – You Know Me Better (Nightmoves Mix) even more fit for the dance floor than the original
Caroline Crawford – Coming On Slow (Floorman dub) Also heavily sampled and mixed.

Klein & MBO - Dirty Talk (dirty vocal)
Klein & MBO – The MBO Theme 1983
Klein & MBO - I Love You 1983

And their alterego
N.O.I.A. – Night is made for Love
N.O.I.A. – Do You Wanna Dance 1984
N.O.I.A. – Stranger In A Strange Land
N.O.I.A. – True Love 1984

Logic System – Clash Something similar from Japan, early proto techno. YMO was not the only original sound coming from Japan.

Convertion – Let's Do It 1980
Starflight – Dance to the Beat
Gift of Dreams – Mandroid
Gift of Dreams – Moonwalk
I got these from a mix tape someone gave me once. I think it’s pretty rare. I couldn’t find information about any of these after a quick check.

Koxo – Step By Step (maxi version) I thought I posted this one already but apparently I didn’t, so here it is. Don’t ask me. I don’t know anything about this one apart from the fact that it’s great for late night chilling. That chorus line just gets under yer skin… step by step

A lot more Italo Euro trash this time that was lying around but I warn you I’m almost getting to the bottom of this. Who says Italians don’t have a sense of humour? That is, if this bunch are actually Italians or not.

JD Jaber – Don't Stop Loving
Hotline – Fantasy 1982
Dharma – Plastic Doll (extended version 1982)
My Mine – Hypnotic Tango For me this IS Italo. No question it is. It has it all and even a bit of New Beat almost. It's way better than New BEat but just to show the link.
Answering Service – Call Me Mr. Telephone
Cariocas – Batida 1983
Daydream – Crazy
Time – Shaker Shake
Doctor's Cat – Watch Out
Datalife – Disco Connection 1985
Plastic Mode – Mi Amor 1985

Vivien Vee – Destiny
Vicki Benson – Easy Love
Cyndi Phillips – Sacrifice (long version)
Roni Griffith – Desire (extended version 1982)

Back to disco.
Bang Gang – Street Music
Arabesque – Friday Night 1978
Carol Shinnette – Love Cyanide
John Davis & The Monster Orchestra – Bourgie Bourgie 1979
Sister Power – Gimme Back My Love Affair
Frisky – You Got Me Dancing

Former jazz section. A couple of Jazz cats doing something wonderful with popular tunes.
Brian Auger – Night Train
Hank Crawford – I Hear A Symphony
George Duke – A Brazilian Love Affair

Jean Jacques Perrey and Luke Vibert – Analog Generique 1 genius + 1 genius makes…

The Apples – Killing (In The Name Of) I heard this on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide show just the other night. It’s a pretty nifty cover of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name Of. I don’t like the original, I acknowledge the fact that it’s a great song but that Zach guy always spoils it for me. I like this version.

National Bank

I’ve been to a live show a couple of weeks ago by an all-star band from Norway. The National Bank has a line-up feat. Thomas Dybdahl, Lars & Martin Horntveth from Jagga Jazzist, Morten Qvelild from Suzanna & The magical orchestra, Nikolai Eilertsen from Big Bang.
They brought with them a singer songwriter called Erlend Ropstad who delivered the pre program. A nice introspective fella with a good sense of humour and above all a great voice. He sold CD’s but I didn’t have enough money to buy one. I tend to buy CD’s and records at live gigs but sometimes it doesn’t work out that well. When hearing a former unknown band that gives a great liveshow it’s usually not a good idea to buy the CD because there’s much chance that the studio versions lack the live spirit you just witnessed. It recently bought a CD by The Willowz after a great live performance with groovy Southern AOR Rock just before the show of The Sons & Daughters. Hearing it back at home the CD’s just stinks, big time. It’s hard to hear those tunes in the same way as on that night because of the lousy sound and production. A real piety because they have potential.

But back to the National Bank. I loved this band from the first moment I heard them. I didn’t realize right away that the singer was Thomas Dybdahl even though I have practically all his records. It sounded familiar but slightly different. To me The National Bank sounds like a wonderful marriage between Dybdahl’s voice and songs and the Jagga sound, especially a song like Styrofoam. It’s very sophisticated pop music as it should sound today.
Before the show I wondered how they would reproduce it live? Everything was there. Every sound, every twist, note, accent. It only grooved more than on record. The drums were very prominent, at your face, but that was not a problem. I wonder now if anyone has made any remixes of their songs because they’re really up to it.

The National Bank – Home
The National Bank – Family
The National Bank – Styrofoam
The National Bank – Tolerate

Goldfrapp - Hapiness

Goldfrapp's back with a new album. Hapiness is finaly Felt Mountain revisited and that's pretty fine by me.

But you might as wel check out an alternative Muppet version of this tune over at Meckermeckermecker starring an edgy Miss Allison Piggly Wiggly and Rexxie the dog.