Monday, May 25, 2009

What's Playing On My Stereo? Week 6

I apologize for not revealing the artist from the last "Plain Brown Wrappers" sooner, but I have been utterly consumed with my job lately. There wasn't nearly the amount of feedback\comments on this one, but I guess it was a little too out there for you guys. The artist is ... drum roll please... Henry Jacobs Vortex and the album title is Electronic Kabuki Mambo. For those of you looking for this record, it was released on Folkways Records in 1959, so I imagine that you will be digging into the dusty crates for awhile in order to find this one.

Caustic Resin: Drive #47 and Keep on Truckin'
From: Keep on Truckin' [Up, 2003]

Caustin Resin's record Keep on Truckin' came out in 2003 and was almost instantaneously relegated to the cutout bins in record stores. Sometimes there is no accounting for taste, since this album was an underrated masterpiece of expansive psychedelia with anthemic choruses and guitar pyrotechnics courtesy of head axe-slinger Brett Netson. You might recognize the name and the signature guitar style, since Netson is also a member of the seminal indie-rock band Built to Spill.

The two songs I am featuring here today are lengthy songs for the open-road. This is perfect music for heading down a deserted highway at twilight with the accelerator pushed to the floor. On "Drive #47", the sludgy rhythms and unintelligible vocals give you the feeling that you are lost in the middle of the highway with nowhere to go. The only way to escape is by pushing the pedal to the metal, exiting this desolate town with a fervor. After you reach the other side, the triumphant, almost spiritual chorus of "Keep on Truckin" will lift your spirits and help you carry on through your adventures into the empty night. Rediscovering this album after almost six years is a revelation.

Miles Davis: Moja, Pt.1 and Moja Pt.2
From: Dark Magus [Sony, 1974]

Dark Magus is one of those records that I had tucked away in this little place in the back of my mind. I remember when I came across the record in a used buy at Music Millennium, and one of the jazz aficionados at the store proclaimed it as one of the best live recordings of jazz-fusion. From the opening strains of "Moja, Pt.1", the monster rhythm section of Henderson-Mtume-Foster rides a fantastically funky groove into the ground while the phrasing of Davis's trumpet blasts are perfectly spaced out.

On "Moja, Pt.2," the band lets the track breathe with more space inbetween the notes, and the pace is varied more with the deep, resonating tones of the bass controlling the tempo. Pete Cosey and Dominique Gaumont ably fill the shoes of John Mc Laughlin with insane bursts of cacophonous lead guitar with fuzzy wah-wah and screaming feedback. "Moja, Pt. 1" is an exercise in all-out intensity, whereas "Moja, Pt.2" starts off in a frenzy, only to slow the tempo down in the middle of the track, revealing a head-spinning sense of dynamics.

This album ranks up there as one of the most influential examples of funky, head-tripping jazz fusion in the lexicon of adventurous music. I hope you enjoyed this episode of What's Playing on My Stereo? Please let me know what you think, as my interest in posting is fueled by the energy I get from your comments.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Plain Brown Wrappers # 2

Well, its time again for another episode of Plain Brown Wrappers. This week I am featuring an artist so ahead of their time that they have both feet planted firmly into the future. If I listened to this album blindfolded, it would be virtually impossible to guess where the mysterious sounds originated. It features an intriguing mixture of voice manipulations, electronic oscillations and warped reverberations that sound like the kind of music you would hear if you were venturing through the depths of outer space while tripping on acid. Considering that I recently spent over twelve hours compiling a comprehensive space mix, it is fitting that this release would fall into my hands out of nowhere.

If you can guess who this artist is, I will grant you the highly esteemed title of "Most Esoteric Music Fanatic of All Time". I will be revealing the artist next Monday, so make sure to get your guesses in before that fateful day.

Here is the link to this week's mystery album.

Until next time...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Dusty Wax from the Vaults

Time and the powers that be are conspiring against me lately. Whenever I have time to work on the blog, there seems to be something of greater importance that takes precedence over it. I have a ton of great stuff that I want to share with you, but not enough free time to make it happen. In addition to the two newer series of posts- What's Playing On My Stereo and Plain Brown Wrappers- I am working on a new series of podcasts called Evolution of a Music Junkie. These podcasts will trace the evolution of the music that has influenced me throughout various stages of my life including hip-hop, electronic, jazz, blues, funk, etc. Until this comes to fruition, I hope you guys will continue to mine the archives here for some tasty gems.

With that being said, I have noticed that there are several posts in the archives that are in dire need of a re-up. I hope to be featuring at least one re-up from the vault every week.

This two-part live concert recording of Sonic Youth was first posted here on December 2, 2006. It didn't receive a great response the first time around, and it has since evaporated into the ether of broken downloads. For those of you who would like to read the original posts please go here and here.

Please click below on the title of the discs to download.