[x] Obscure name
[x] weird album cover
[ ] rock and roll
[x] beautiful music
I know very little about King of Woolworths except that his music is beautiful and life-affirming. Firmly in the electronica end of chillout this album is none-the-less definitely worth checking out. Lovely calming beats underpin sweeping orchestral music which will carry you away into day-dreams faster than you can say whatthefuckisgoingonwithtrackfive? Which is the album’s only downfall – a weirdly atmospheric monologue about some woman explaining to the police why how she was attacked by her husband (if I remember correctly – something like that anyway). Still, that aside the album is awesome and highly recommended.
Shake everything you’ve got. The title of the opening track on Maceo Parker’s ‘Life on Planet Groove’ and also a command line interface to your inner funk. Having once played saxaphone for James Brown Maceo knows a thing or two about funk and in this live recording it’s all preserved for the comfort of your own home. The building momentum of the opening track is so infectious that it’s almost guaranteed to get people dancing no matter what their mood.
As it happens my first listening of ‘Life on Planet Groove’ came via a friend’s headphones about 6 mins into the opening track when he forced me to listen to the epic drum solo which turns into the drummer and Maceo (on sax) free-styling in tandem. While it’s not the most technical of solos the music is right up there in my favourite drum solos ever simply because of it’s infectious and funky nature – every time I listen to it it makes me shake everything I’ve got. Enough said.
Oh – and Maceo is still kicking around as well, I saw him live at the Pigalle club in London not too long ago and he was magical. Highly recommended – he’s a real entertainer on stage!
If you ever meet someone who doesn’t like chillout music or who decides that all chillout music is ‘the same’ then you should first poke them in the eye. You should then force them to listen to Contact Note by Jon Hopkins. This is chilled music but it’s richly textured, it’s varied, it’s funky and it’s beautiful. The opening two tracks are truly beautiful music which will calm even the hardest soul (and you they might need calming after being stabbed in the eye) but before long the music starts to shift and take on a more sinister edge with some bass and low tones coming in to scare you. And that’s when this album starts to come into it’s own – the beats start to drift in amongst the chilled music and what develops is a richly textured shifting pattern of head nodding beats inbetween the graceful and beautiful melodies.
If you ever get the chance to see Jon Hopkins live then do so at all costs. He’s so, so much more than ‘just a man and a laptop’ – prepare yourself for dancing though! He’s also got a new album out sometime soon which I’m very excited about.
What. An. Amazing. Voice. When I first heard this album the alluring voice coupled with attention-grabbing lyrics just made me sit up and take note. And this kind of music isn’t usually my kind of thing – this is probably the last time you’ll see an ‘indie’ album on this blog. But my – what an incredible album. Songs that will transport you away, lure you into a world of modern day film-noir. Progressive tunes with melodies that sweep you away and build to magnificent crescendos I really love this album.
Oh sure, stick an Air album on there why don’t you – go all mainstream on me. Listen you little fucker, Air are cool and I’m not going to hear otherwise from you. Yeah I agree, moon safari has been played to death and ruined by the advertising industry as a whole (though the elevator music people are to blame too – I’ve got my eye on you people. Mark my words) but Air did some amazing stuff outside of Moon Safari. Case in point? Premiers Symptomes. Just exquisite chilled music which will transport you to a land of funk but where everyone moves at 1/3 the normal speed. The only thing I would say – don’t both listening to the last two tracks. I’ve deleted them from my library and just listen to the album as a 5-track album.
Continuing my love of all things Ninja here’s another stonking album. Listening to Amon Tobin is like listening to big magnets grinding against each other. Powerful, cool and metallic. I just made that up but really you should listen to the tunes to get a real feel for him. Four Ton Mantis in particular is an amazing tune full of bass and oozing class. Murderous class, but class none the less. If normal electronica music is like Roger Moore then Amon Tobin is like Daniel Craig. Still cool but edgy as well.
PS – I actually like permutations more than supermodified but 7digital didn’t have it
Let me say this first and foremost. If you like your GEEE-tar then you’ll like ol’ JJ Cale. Bluesy guitar tunes without that melancholy edge, just wonderful music with catchy rhythms, wonderful lyrics and a wholesome feel. You’ll probably recognise a lot of the tunes of his as they’ve been covered a lot of times by various people including the famous cover of cocaine by Eric Clapton. Really though, don’t listen to Eric. Eric Schmeric. J.J. Cale is where it’s at. Take a listen and see for yourself.
Dr Rubberfunk. Does what it says on the tin really, only I don’t know about him being a Dr. He’s certainly funky though and what the hell for all I know he’s made of rubber as well. Funky produced tunes that will get your head nodding AND your feet tapping (that’s considered upbeat in my music collection – trust me). I actually prefer his album ‘the first cut’ but 7digital didn’t have that for download so I went with this one instead. Seriously, if you’re looking for some modern day dancefloor friendly funk then look no further.
The boswell sisters were introduced to me on a work-related road-trip back in 2006 (thanks Sam!) and I instantly fell in love with them. They’re a 1920s trio of sisters who sing the most heart-warming swing and jazz you’ve ever heard. I possibly only like them because of the ‘antique’ sound they have but actually the harmonies and tunes are incredibly catchy and get stuck in your head for days to come so I think they deserve to be respected in their own right.
So in the spirit of blogging more regularly (there’s another album review launching at 5 tonight!) I thought I’d let you know that I’ve been accepted into Courvoisier Future 500 which is pretty awesome! Of course, the main reason I’m writing this blog post is to link to my Distilled post as I think it’d be amusing for it to out-rank the Courvoisier website so if any of you fancy joining in at home and linking as well then please point your links at the distilled post and don’t forget the anchor text!