Showing posts from September, 2017

Journey into the World of Mdou Moctar

I'm sure that most of you will notice that some cosmetic changes were applied to the layout of Eclectic Grooves last week. These changes were mostly necessary due to the blog taking almost a minute to load in the past few weeks. I tested the site with the layout changes before finalizing everything, and was happily pleased that it now opens immediately. There are some things that I still need to tweak like getting the podcast player to work properly again, but it's mostly ready for prime time. I would love to hear what you guys think of it, as well as if you have any thoughts on making it even better.

Onto the music...

Mdou Moctar- Chet Boghassa and Maheyega Assouf Igan
From: Afelan [Sahel Sounds, 2013]

I first became aware of Mdou Moctar's music when I heard "Tahoultine" from the compilation called Music From Saharan Cellphones, released on Sahel Sounds in 2011.  This track was dominated by drum machines and Moctar's specially treated vocals sounded like auto-…

Rediscoveries of Lost Gems: Desert Heat

Desert Heat- Cat Mask at Huggie Temple
[MIE Records, 2013]

With a new Gunn- Truscinski Duo album on the horizon, I figured it would be fitting to explore one of Gunn-Truscinski's other projects called Desert Heatthat was released in 2013. Admittedly, this post would have made more sense earlier in the summer when the blistering heat in Portland was almost akin to a desert heat.

While most of Gunn's output of late has been of the laid-back variety, this record really kicks up the dust with two side-long epic jams filled with vitriolic guitar solos cranked to eleven and tempo changes that turn on a dime. Also along for the ride on this one is the equally talented guitar virtuoso Cian Nugent, who combines with Gunn for a dynamic one-two punch that never quits. The first track "Cat Mask at Huggie Temple" starts out with a transcendent guitar melody that slowly but surely kicks into a frenzy with Truscinski's drums serving as a sturdy backbeat to the mesmerizing interp…

Sweltering Hot Rats

Frank Zappa-Willie the Pimp and The Gumbo Variations
From: Hot Rats [Bizarre Records, 1969]

With the sweltering heat wave coming through the Pacific Northwest region as of late, temperatures are set to average between 95-100 over the next several days in Portland. With that said, I plan on writing this post as quickly as possible while not sacrificing the quality of the review.

I have never been the biggest Frank Zappa fan, mostly because the material I had heard up to that point was of the hokey parody variety, and it didn't sit quite right with my tastes at the time. Over the past couple years, I've grown an appreciation for the skilled musicianship and innovative ideas contained in much of Zappa's recording output from '66 to'72, especially Chunga's Revenge and Freak Out. Considering this, it's odd that I had yet to give Hot Rats, one of the most critically acclaimed records in Zappa's discography, a true listen until this past week.

Obviously I knew…