24 October 2010

George FM Playlist 24th October 2010

Even though I was only way from the airwaves for a week, I missed it like crazy. Does that mean love the limelight? I reckon I simply enjoy sharing my Sundays with you, good listener.

And what a Sunday it has been! The long Labour Weekend here in NZ has been kind to us. We've had gorgeous sunshine here in the AK, and my veges have been responding exceptionally. Fret not, I shall keep you posted with all my exciting gardening news...

Being a long weekend, I (mistakenly, as it turns out) didn't play any ads during the show today, so it's a little longer than the usual. Huzzah!

Freddie Cruger with Desmond Foster | Something Good (12") [Raw Fusion]
Jaylib | The Red (inst.) (12") [Stones Throw]
Amp Fiddler | I Believe In You (Jaylib remix) (12") [Genuine]
Collen & Webb | Golden (Tighten Jill Up) (12") [GAMM]
Eddie Harris with Carole Kaye | Bold & Black (remix) (12") [Up Above]
Lumidee | Uh Oh (Bollywood remix) (12") [Mister Tibbs]
Oscar Sharp with Melo | Runaway (LP Inside Scandinavia) [Raw Fusion]
Macadamia Cuts | Little Space Odyssey (12") [White]
Andy Gibb | Shadow Dancing (7") [Interfusion]
Jermaine Jackson | Little Girl Don't You Worry (7") [Motown]
Speak Low | Thriller (7") [Marula Soulfood]
The Lions | Think (About It) (12") [Ubiquity]
Butch Cassidy Sound System | Cissy Strut (12") [Fenetik]
Patchworks & Mr Day | Brothers On The Slide (7") [Favourite]
Marvin Gaye | What's Goin' On? (Truth & Rights remix) (7") [Al Fingers]
Nostalgia 77 with Alice Russell | Seven Nation Army (12") [Tru Thoughts]
Son Of Dave | Low Rider (7") [Kartel]
This Kid Named Miles | Ring Of Fire (7") [Alatac]
Sugar Pie Desanto | Git Back (7") [Luv n' Haight]
L.A. Carnival | Blind Man (7") [Now Again]
The Bamboos | Tighten Up (7") [Kay-Dee]
The Bamboos with Megan Washington | King Of The Rodeo (7") [Tru Thoughts]
Sunlightsquare Latin Combo | I Believe In Miracles (7") [Sunlightsquare]
Aiff | Akwaaba (7") [Unique]
Quantic & His Combo Barbaro | Linda Morena (7") [Tru Thoughts]
Linda Lyndell | What A Man (LP Soul Sides) [Zealous]
Lowrell | Overdose Of Love (7") [AVI]
Syl Johnson | Goodie Goodie Good Times (7") [EPI]
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings | How Long Do I Have To Wait For You? (7") [Daptone]
Beat Assailant | Hard Twelve (LP Good Times 5) [Resist]

23 October 2010

Radio Ponsonby Record Review: Belleruche '270 Stories'

270 Stories
[Tru Thoughts]

"Beautiful Beehive". That's the literal French translation of the word "Belleruche".

It's also a pretty apt description of the left-of-centre blend of scratchy hip hop beats, bluesy guitar licks & soulful, honeycomb vocals found on London, UK trio Belleruche's new album, 270 Stories.

While their critically acclaimed debut album Turntable Soul Music (2007) & its equally well received follow up The Express (2008) both sound "...like Sarah Vaughan, Django Reinhardt & Cut Chemist stuck in a lift with Russian beer & a sampler..." (as their very well-written press release/bio so snazzily & succinctly states it); the "difficult" 3rd album sees the group's sound changing, at times quite considerably.

Belleruche have genuinely hit their stride with 270 Stories, tying together all that is so appealingly fresh & distinctive about their sound. It is a far more layered & textured listen than either of their previous albums, while also being tougher, more aggressive & certainly more introspective. The beats from turntablist DJ Modest are harder-edged, with a nod to darker contemporary influences; while guitarist Ricky Fabulous (a relation of Mike from The Black Seeds perhaps...!?) also adds bass guitar to many of the tracks here, creating an exciting dynamic interplay between guitar & bass.

Singer Kathrin deBoer has already marked herself as a serious talent to seriously watch, appearing on (seriously good!) albums from DJ Vadim, Bonobo & Aaron Jerome. With 270 Stories she lives up to the hype: while others still rely on vocal preening & strutting with little of real substance to back it up, deBoer kicks it right in the guts, Trev; looping her voice, tweaking it with guitar effects pedals & layering harmonies atop one another, adding depth to an already rather thick, yet sophisticated, musical stew.

To be perfectly frank - and if you can't be frank when writing your own blog, please tell me when you can - it does take a couple of listens to really "get" 270 Stories. I admit I didn't warm to it immediately. Start with Clockwatching, or maybe even with one of their other records altogether. That'll help to illustrate m point: that this album is the sound of a band pushing forward, ignoring the supposed limitations of a vocals-guitar-turntable trio & letting their ideas roam free.

In A Nutshell: tough hip hop-styled beats, deep bluesy guitar licks & honeycomb vocals reward repeat listens
Nyntee's Rating: SEVEN beautiful beehives out of TEN

Listen to Sweetpants & 90 "talking about music" every Wenerei morning at 8.30am on Radio Ponsonby 107.7FM. Big thanks to Longroom.

Hit It & Quit It "Fright Night" Halloween Special

That's right ghouls and girls... Hit It & Quit It in association with Sick Disco are proud to present "Fright Night": A Halloween Throwdown! Prepare yourself for a night of dancefloor mayhem and boo-bonic funk of monster mash proportions...

Fright Night will be helmed by the ever dependable Counts of the bounce - Recloose and Frank Booker, along with dastardly duo Uncle (Fester) Barnie & Shock-lectah Sam and the party rocking mad scientist Jellphonic!

Your (Un)Trusted Friends Sweetpants & 90 will be hosting the backroom...

Dark disco and haunted house all night long!!!
All DJs will be wearing costumes - and we've PRIZES for the best costumes we see!!!

Sat 30 Oct
Cassette #9
$10 on the door
Undead from 10pm

13 October 2010

Radio Ponsonby Record Review: Coming Home - Boozoo Bajou

Boozoo Bajou
[Stereo Deluxe]

"Chillout" pretty much became a dirty word in compilation CDs for me early in the '00s, after a steady flow of Cafe del Buddha Bar collections dumbed the genre down to elevator muzak.

Thankfully there were still a few plump, peachy downtempo delights ripe for the picking, if the listener cared to reach a little higher - step up the likes of Austrian duo Kruder & Dorfmeister, UK-born Spanish-resident George Evelyn aka Nightmares On Wax & the German production duo known as Boozoo Bajou.

Much like the aforementioned elusive Austrians across the border, Nurembergers Florian Syberth & Peter Heider, aka Boozoo Bajou, have hardly been prolific, with three artist albums in the past10yrs - Satta (2001), Dust My Broom (2005) & Grains (2009), yet theirs is a signature sound instantly recognisable by it's smooth, buttery instrumentation & deep, dubby tempos.

Joe Dukie from the uber-languid Fat Freddy' Drop sings what is probably Boozoo Bajou's best-known song here in NZ - and it's called Take It Slow. Furter proof required...?

Their acclaimed Juke Joint compilations have only enhanced their reputation as dons of downbeat, with immaculately eclectic programming a notable feature. This is something sadly lacking in many compilations nowadays, regardless of genre, so it's a great pleasure to wrap my listening gear around the new Coming Home compilation CD, selected & mixed by BoozBaj themselves.

As the opening minutes of Linkwood Family's gorgeous Miles Away (nicely ref. Mr Davis) slid from my stereo speakers, that familiar lush, laidback BoozBaj vibe washed over me - but then the hi hats start, the keys kick in, the beat drops & it becomes clear that here at least, Boozoo Bajou are dancing to the beat of a different drummer. They've lifted the tempo, considerably in places, while retaining those deep space echoes & distinctly dubby details, and as such, the compilation seems as suitably styled for late night dancefoor shuffling as it is for lounging sipping cocktails.

There are three excellent Boozoo Bajou tracks here - including the dancehall smash Killer, featuring the legendary Top Cat on vocals - alongside a compelling lineup featuring Soulphiction, Henrik Schwarz, Motor City Drum Ensemble & Move D, among others.

These ears particularly enjoy the Elvis P-meets-Farda P vocals laid down by Ski over an insistent shuffle & big ol' bendy bassline courtesy of Tontelas. Icasoul also makes an appearance with the semi-instrumental banger Givin' It Up. (I mention this mostly as the version of this track with the full vocal from Capitol A is a stone cold killer well worth the search, trust me.)

Standouts aside, it's the measured way Boozoo Bajou have woven these tracks into a stunning tailormade musical fabric that makes this particular "chillout" compilation stand out on the hanger.

In A Nutshell: Boozoo Bajou do uptempo dancefloor shuffling mix & it's as good as their slow stuff!
Nyntee's Rating: EIGHT smudged mirrors out of TEN

Check out the Radio Ponsonby Record Review with 90, on Murry Sweetpants' Breakfast Show every Wednesday around 8.30am, on 107.7FM. Big thanks to the Longroom!

11 October 2010

George FM Playlist 10th October 2010

J Dilla | Crushin' [Stones Throw]
Nostalgia 77 Trio | My Name Is... [Tru Thoughts]
DJ Rootz | Rocking Rock [Wellred Records]
Max Romeo | War Inna Babylon [Charmax]
Bob Marley & The Wailers | Buffalo Soldier (dub) [Tuff Gong]
Timothy McNealy | Sagitarius Black [Now Again]
Restless Soul with Zanzibar | Everytime [Raw Fusion]
The Isley Brothers | Love The One You're With [T-Neck]
Belleruche | Drum At Dusk [Rebtuz]
Sunshine Anderson | Heard It All Before (QSO version) [Rebtuz]
Quantic Soul Orchestra | San Sebastian Strut [Tru Thoughts]
The Tornadoes | Huihui [From The Crates]
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings | Keep On Looking (Kenny Dope remix) [Soulplex]
Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators | Feeling Free (Aaron Jerome remix) [ATC]
Otis Clay | The Only Way Is Up [Echo]
Harvey Mason | Groovin' You [Arista]
Prince | Party Up (Gay Marvine edit) [Gay Marvine]
7 Samurai | Muzic [GAMM]
Don Ray | Got To Have Loving [Malligator]
Chocolate | Syrup [Compost]

06 October 2010

Radio Ponsonby Record Review: Chromeo 'Business Casual'

Business Casual

The world is a serious place. Just like the world, music can be a serious place, too. Some musicians who seem to be trying to have fun even manage to take that a little too seriously. Hair metal, anyone...?

Nobody could accuse Montreal duo Chromeo of taking themselves too seriously.

Nor of playing hair metal, as these guys peddle a brand of shiny, party-starting plastic-funk & electro-pop that's been tearing up indie dancefloors worldwide since their debut album She's In Control - or more correctly, the huge single Needy Girl - through their "mainstream breakthrough" follow up Fancy Footwork.

Now some 6yrs since that debut album & with some seriously fun globe-trotting (Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, Fujirock, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo, etc.) under their designer belts, P-Thugg & Dave 1, aka Chromeo, return with an album that shows the pair are far more than a loving (& rockin') homage/tribute/rip-off of Hall & Oates, Klymaxx, Zapp & Sylvester.

Business Casual still has moments that deeply pierce the dancefloor jugular, but many of the songs here have been carefully stripped back, allowing the pair's growing songwriting abilities room to breathe. Sure, there's plenty of dazzling fretwork from guitarist Dave 1 (French Literature PhD & brother of DJ wunderkind A-Trak) & P-Thugg's talkbox is still prominent, but somehow the cheese gets soaked up amongst the songwriting: the lyrics here are simple, efficient & clean, much like the music itself.

Perhaps Chromeo have chosen to slow down a little with Business Casual. That's not to say they won't be flashing their fancy footwork all over the floor this NYE at Rhythm & Vines, as they undoubtedly will; but these ears will be listening long after they've left our shores.

Scratch the surface of Business Casual & you'll expose bodywork with a little more substance than first appearances would suggest. A grow-er AND a show-er.

In A Nutshell: seriously fun plastic-funk-pop with more than a side of sophisticated songwriting
Nyntee's Rating: SEVEN & A HALF leggy mannequins out of TEN

Watch Chromeo performing live on Letterman here...

Check out the Radio Ponsonby Record Review with 90, on Murry Sweetpants' Breakfast Show every Wednesday around 8.25am, on 107.7FM. Thanks to the Longroom!

04 October 2010

George FM Playlist 3rd October 2010

Felt like a proper Spring day today, as the sun had been shining since Friday afternoon & all was good with the world.

Propers to everyone tending their own patch of earth & growing whatever's clever in their garden! We've been enjoying brocolli, cabbage, spinach, lettuce & a bunch of herbs out of ours - and I'm only weeks away from beetroot & carrots! But I digress...

Stonephace | Wedgehead Gets Lucky [Tru Thoughts]
House Shoes | The Makings [Do-Over]
Dam-Funk | Burgundy City [Stones Throw]
Fat Freddy's Drop | Cays Crays (Blood & Fire vs Deep Sounds remix) [The Drop]
King Kapisi | Reverse Resistance [Urale/FMR]
Tha Feelstyle | Break It To Pieces [Can't Stop/FMR]
Flash Harry | Alright [Capital]
Salmonella Dub | Slide [Salmonella Dub/Virgin]
Carl Douglas | Kung Fu Fighting (Karl Moestl remix) [Select Cuts]
The Black Seeds | Rotten Apples (Lowman's Block Rockin' Bass remix) [White]
Sola Rosa with Iva Lamkum | Turn Around (TM Juke remix) [Way Up/Rosa Recordings]
Prince | 1999 (Pepe '99 edit) [Mashed Up Funk]
K.W. Griff | Respect (Mooqee & Russ Cuban edit) [Bomb Strikes]
Afrodisiac Soundsystem | Italo Nitro [Afrodisiac]
Me&You | Sneaker Thief [Tru Thoughts]
Michael Jackson | Billie Jean (Jackson Torpedo edit) [Mashed Up Funk]
Louis La Roche with Ad-Apt | Missing You [ ? ]
Zeb | Revolutionary Dreams [Wonderwheel]
Sandboy | Lua Nua (Smiles Ahead Three Trees remix) [Hinterland]
Up Hygh | Compatible (PTH Projects remix) [Tru Thoughts]
Quantic | Only A Little While Here [Tru Thoughts]
Prince Fatty | Insane In The Brain [ ? ]

Check one of my favourite labels out right here:
Tru Thoughts website

01 October 2010

Radio Ponsonby Record Review: Aloe Blacc 'Good Things'

Good Things
[Stones Throw]

There's this style of music which has been around for a minute or two, but which is currently being referred to as "throwback", "vintage", "retro", or some other dismissive term loosely, lazily applied by someone who really should - but probably doesn't - know better.

The intention is to belittle the target because it's not "moving music forward". Hello? Is dubstep really some amazing evolutionary advance...?

Don't get me wrong, I ilke a jolly good sub-bass wobble as much as the next degenerate, but I'm pretty sure I'm not just being old-fashioned when I opine that two of the most basic human musical needs in song are "good rhythm" & "catchy melody". If you can combine the two, in any genre of music, I'll wager you're onto a winner.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Good Things, the 2nd album from Californian native, Aloe Blacc, which has both of those aforementioned qualities in spades - and just so happens to sound as though it could've been recorded in some smoky lil, late-at-night backstreet studio during the early '70s.

Vintage? 2010. Region? Straight West Coastin', USA. On the palate? A big soul & a whole lotta heart...

With thoughtfully arranged & exceptionally executed musicianship courtesy of Truth & Soul Records' main men Jeff Silverman & Leon Michels; and Aloe's captivating voice delivering deep lyricism advocating positive social change, while never shying from the reality of America right now; Good Things has all the hallmarks of a lasting classic like What's Going On, or Innervisions.

I'm going to mention names like Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Sharon Jones & Lee Fields, just to give you a peg to hang your jacket on while you're shaking your backyard on the dancefloor to the sleeper hit of the summer, I Need A Dollar.

Never mind which vintage Aloe Blacc occupies. Some Good Things are timeless. Here's one.

In A Nutshell: imagine Bill, Curtis & Marvin making moves with Gnarls Barkley
Nyntee's Rating: NINE smooth operators out of TEN

Check out the Radio Ponsonby Record Review with 90, on Murry Sweetpants' Breakfast Show every Wednesday around 8.25am, on 107.7FM. Thanks to the Longroom!