Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rock Progressif

Let me share some of the music that most notably contributed to my growing love for Music.

My encounter with Progressive rock happened in high school, when I first got exposed to British bands like King Crimson, Genesis ['Selling England by the Pound' album era, I used to be -and still is- obsessed with the track "Firth of Fifth"], Caravan, Yes etc.
I then found out about some really good progrock bands from France, and started digging into it.

Last summer, I came across an antique sell in the streets of Grenoble. People would sell old antiques, vinyls included. I found a LP by the band Ange, a famous progressive French band in the seventies.
Their unique fantastico medieval progressive sound got me hooked after the first listen.

A few days ago, in one of the many great record stores in Montreal, I found an album by the band Maneige when going through $2 vinyls crates.
Maneige is a progressive rock band from Canada, Quebec. Not so famous worldwide.

Both albums I am introducing here are therefore both progressive rock albums, released during the same year of 1977. One in France, the other one in Quebec.
You will therefore appreciate different styles within the same genre of music, produced in the same timeframe.

As a characteristic of progrock albums, both records are to be listened as a piece. Their cover, along with their content, make up a whole story. Your imagination is constantly stimulated. The melodies on the Maneige albums (entirely instrumental, and definitely a mine of samples) draw unknowns landscapes from a different time and space.

Ange 'Par les fils de Mandrin' [Progressive Rock, France, 1976]

Maneige 'Ni Vent Ni Nouvelle' [Progressive Rock, Quebec,Canada, 1977]

Check this greatness:

Ooo Record stores. Going through $2 crates. Starring at vinyl covers while flicking albums one after the other. Looking for something. Could be anything actually.
I like getting hooked by an album cover. Trying to anticipate what the record would sound like. A lot of prog rock albums are identifiable by their covers, often hand-drawn and depicting fantastic landscapes, imagined worlds, weird environments. This image that they convey contributes a lot to the listening experience of the sound. Giving their music a certain image, a depth, an identity.

Somehow,I have good intuition when it comes to cover. And it still have not fail me last week when I picked up that Maneige record.

Monday, November 21, 2011

David Crosby

David Crosby 'If I Could Only Remember My Name' [Rock, Folk, USA, 1971]

Crosby's best solo effort. Released a year after the amazing 'Deja Vu' by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Both of those albums sound similar, though this solo album has more of an atmospheric touch to it.

This track is amazing:

Here is the back cover of the album, and a good sleeveface opportunity :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lagos Shake

Lagos Shake: a Tony Allen Chop Up [Various artists, Afrobeat, electronic, 2008]

Tony Allen, or the beat master. For those of you unfamiliar with him, he was Fela Kuti's sideman in the seventies in Nigeria.

On this compilation he is revisited by various contemporary artists, giving his memorable drumming skills a new aspect. They give to his music a new, electronic based, freshness. Allen's rolling rhythms, laidback and propulsive persussions dictate those contemporary versions of what could be called as electronic afrobeat.

An interesting album that might also introduce you to Allen's unique rhythms.

I will post some Fela Kuti albums soon.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cut Chemist

Cut Chemist 'Sound of Police' (HipHop/ Remix/ DJ/ Afrobeats)

Cut Chemist was Jurassic 5's DJ on their first album, which is sick by the way.
Here, on 2 live sets of about 20 minutes each, he mashes up some afrobeat, Ethiopian and Brazilian records.

Using a single turntable, a mixer, a loop pedal, he propulses beats after beats with an efficiency and the ease of a master.

REally good performance for an epic journey through those exotic beats and swaying rhythms.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin "Di Doo Dah" [1973, Folk/Pop, France]

A great find here. I have had this for maybe two years now, and coming back to it the other day blew me away. Listening to those kind of albums on some good stereo system really gives them the full perspective of what the musicians want to share. The orchestrations and arrangements are really inspired and serve righteously Jane's graceful and sensual voice

Lastly, if this cover doesn't make you want to listen to it, you might be a lost cause.. !

A delicious album.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

San Francisco House Music

Rising to the Top: House Sound of San Francisco

I thought switching genres would be a wise thing to do as diversifying yourself is something that can only be beneficial. I did not force myself into electronic music in general, from which house music branched off it as a subgenre in the early nineties in Chicago. I have personally been hermetic to a lot of this kind of stuff until I got into it through live performances (DJ set is a live performance that I do appreciate a lot too), dancing scenes, under influence.. Burning Man definitely got me into a lot of that stuff as a lot of music played out there is electronic based.

Anyway,here is what we got here:
This CD was found in my new apartments basement by the owner himself (my roommate, accessorily), a retired DJ agent who used to know a lot about this kind of music.
(for the info he nows go back to college to finish a previously started bachelor). ANyway.
Studying in the kitchen, he was hearing from my room some STS9 tune playing. He walked down the basement and came back with this obscure "underground electronic scene from San Francisco" as he called it.
I actually just found out that there is quite a bit of information online about this mix.
It reminds me of some Mark Farina who was actually part of that San Francisco scene after he left Chicago.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My new friend.

Actually I lie I got the 2275 :P