Monday, May 25, 2009

your undies are showing

The people over at circlesquaretriangle put up a radio thing with post-Presets Sydney duo Ted & Francis a few days back. Now the EP has landed, through etcetc and hipster French label Kitsune, who have their undies showing and have to lie down to put their jeans on. 
This is a lovely track from Ted & Francis, so of the moment, so melancholy and eyelined and sure. I like it a lot.

Meanwhile in a bizarre convergence, Kitsune (which is also the Japanese word for fox) will soon do their 7th compile of hipster anthems. The Classixx remix of Pheonix from the new Phoenix album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (which itself is really, really great, especially that Love Like A Sunset two part epic in the middle) is awesome: it's boogie, it's '83, it's ELO.  Classixx are from LA. Here's a funky amateur video of them DJing...and what the hell is that first track? Heartsrevolution do an interlude style runout groove which steals deliciously from The Beatles' Across The Universe but they're allowed to do things like that because they're impossibly young and feted and from New York and don't yet use their real names. And Lindstrom's mate Prins Thomas' re-reub of James Yuill is perfect barefoot space-pop. No need for slip-ons if you wear no shoes while walking on the moon.

Monday, May 18, 2009


  Ashley Beedle is one of my favourite music people. Black Science Orchestra are totally the bomb; the Soul Power Music EP is one of my treasures; his remixes of Beng Beng Beng by Femi Kuti and Weak Become Heroes by The Streets are jewels in The Crate; the Grass Roots compile of lost disco and lush Philly changed my ears, as did The Ballistic Brothers and at least some of X-Press 2. He's also, in some way, behind Black Jazz Chronicles and Delta House of Funk, East Village Loft Society and Disco Evangelists. On killer labels like Junior Boys Own, Strut, Nuphonic and ffrr. A great producer.

So it was with some delight I re-found the Afro-Art Greatest Hits Volume 1 double disc submerged in the archive. Afro-Art is the label he co-founded in the late 90's at the crest of the broken beat/Phil Asher wave to release a lot of that kind of music (where breakbeat fused with deep house and jazz) but also swags of backroom breakbeat, afro-house, garage, the beginnings of 2-step/dubstep and even some drum 'n' bass. Here's 3 of 18.

Headspace Lullaby (mp3) by Black Science Orchestra is from 2001: moody, time-shifting, lush early dubstep.  

Ghetto: New Yorkshire (mp3) by Supafix is from the year 2000: a funky breakbeat with old acid noise alerts.

Question? (The Phillysophical Soul mix) (mp3) by The Man feat Ashley Slater is also from 2000: superdeep and righteous jazzy house with a preacherman vibration and Rhodes.

Ashley Beedle has just recently done a thing with Horace Andy: they talk it through here

Monday, May 11, 2009

john juan

Juan Maclean's real name is John but he changed it to Juan and also added a 'The' so that he became The Juan Maclean which is totally cooler than just John.
He's from New York and he was one of the first to release music on DFA; that's because he knew DFA boss James Murphy from a 90's post-grunge band called Six Finger Satellite. In fact the first song on the first DFA compile was the basic electro sinewave By The Time I Get to Venus, the title alone a play on musicological history. So in many ways Juan created the template for the majestic DFA sound. Apart from, that is, James Murphy's own DJing as Death From Above around about the year 2000 when he would play Krautrock to club kids. Juan's just done his second album The Future Will Come. He's the new Gary Numan, the sad robot. Juan told the Village Voice that the cult in modern life of being "above average" and the quest to be in the "99th percentile" was deep and entrenched would stay -- yet somehow the idea of being automatic or from a factory which you'd think would go down quite well if you want to be better/faster/stronger than everyone else would be was something that didn't compute. I heard Who Made Who as well, from Denmark. They're the same. Sad, sad robots drinking cognac on tragic, lonely planes and wanting to be punished. It's odd, all this. Kraftwerk never said robots should be sad.

Here's four from Juan.

These first two are from The Future Will Come.

This one's a brand new remix of Montreal band Duchess Says
Lots more synthy nu-wave biz on this Canadian blog here.

And this is from 2003, from the second DFA compile.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

remaining in light

Author Christos Tsiolkas selects a top ten for Cyclic Defrost magazine.
Great writing about great music.
Seems he feels the same way about Remain in Light by Talking Heads as I do. Greatest Album Ever Made and all that. His early novel Loaded inadvertently contained some of the best music journalism I've read: the feeling of being young and fucked up and doomed but about to be saved, and about to have your life rescued by a song.
In the novel the narrator listens to cassettes on a Sony Walkman. Here, Paul Kelly writes about mixtapes. It's down the bottom of the forum thread, spread over two posts, titled C90.
It's all happening.