Thursday, February 24, 2011

High Voltage

Not only are Metiqulas and No Fixed Abode (known together as Voltage Blues) great cats, they put out some funktacious tunes. Metiqulas is renowned for his unique beat crafting, amalgamating hip-hop, soul, jazz, blues, downtempo and whatever else he sees fit into a musical soup that tastes damn good. And although No Fixed Abode (N'fa) has garnered much of his fame from his work with 1200 Techniques, that is really just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the final project Heath Ledger ever worked on was directing N'fa's "Cause and Effect" video clip.

SoundCloud link, with more info about these two miscreants, below:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bossa Novawesome

Jorge Ben has always been one of my favourite Brazilian musicians. How he fuses musical styles together is simply incredible, and he has an incredibly haunting voice to match. 

On a side note, Ben later changed his name to Jorge Ben Jor, apparently because some of his royalties had gone to the legendary American jazz guitarist George Benson. 

I believe that Africa Brasil is his best album to date, but Soul Jazz Records has done a great job with this compilation that features him three times.

Whether you'd like an introduction to bossa nova or a refresher, this double CD is worth picking up.

Link to Jorge Ben's Carnaval Triste below:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Go! Team Review by Mac McNaughton

Let’s face it - the third album from Brighton punctuation challengers The Go! Team was never going to be a Kid A diversion from sophomore effort Proof Of Life, but it is the point where the often overcrowded kitchen of ideas finally comes up with a consistent winning recipe. On Rolling Blackouts, the sampladelica, high school chants and Motown grooves come in a kaleidoscopic torrent. 

At times - particularly during Apollo Throwdown and The Running Range -  I thought I was playing Wario Smooth Moves on Wii with my nephew. It’s a relentlessly ‘up’ album, completely non-stop in its energy. You’d half expect The Ebonettes, who Malcolm McLaren once championed in Double Dutch, to be exhausted by this exhilarating 40-minute set. Halfway through, you get Bust-Out Brigade, the most rousing trumpet lead cavalcade of marching drums and triangles. It’s arguably the most intoxicating three minutes on offer here.
But what stands out is how much better the ideas have come together, even more than their 2004 genre-busting debut, Thunder, Lightning, Strike. I hate to reuse superlatives here, but it’s just so damn rousing! Chuck in a splash of kitch Motown (Ready To Go Steady, Buy Nothing Day) and the swing is quite undeniable. Where 2007’s Proof Of Life was a deeply unsatisfying mess of too many ideas spray-canned on the walls, Rolling Blackouts is where the hypercolours finally take shape.
By the end, you’re faced with one of two desires. Do you flick back to the start and enjoy another sugar rush or do you need to come down? If the latter, perhaps Kid A should be kept handy - you might well need it!