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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I stumbled upon this unique DJ and musician while wandering the endless streets of the blogosphere megalopolis.
This compilation is the best introduction you can get to this crazy sound seeker. Travelling the worlds for unique tunes that he mashes up, overlays with instrumentions and guest appearances.
Brilliant shit.
Read up if you like him.

Quantic by PYITE-1

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield "There is no place like America Today" [1975, Soul, USA]

Let's diversify the genres while staying in the same timeframe.
A superb soul album by Curtis Mayfield.
Not his most representative album but definitely a unique one in his already rich discography.

The song "Blue Monday People" still reminds me my old roomies, in love with that song :)
Great cover too.

Below, the opening song, "Billy Jack":


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ash Ra Tempel

Ash Ra Tempel "Starring Rosi" [1973, Rock/Psych., Germany]

One of my krautrock nuggets.
Mostly instrumental, the album displays Manuel Göttsching's unique guitar playing.
A great album.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Jacno - Self Titled [1979, Rock, France]

An other surprising album by this French musician who recently died from cancer, in november of 2009.
Born Denis Quillard, he picked his professional name from the graphic artist who conceived the logo on the french Gauloises cigarettes pack [which makes me guess he died from lung cancer since I couldn't find this information].
He used to belong to the french punk rock band The Stinky Toys.
This solo album, short in length, is a interesting rock album built on several hypnotic melodies with a pop resonance. Five out of the six songs are instrumental.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Demon Fuzz

Demon Fuzz - Afreaka! [1971, UK, Afrobeat]

Here is one of my favorite find over the past year. After multiple reissues, this nugget has finally reached us, devoted music lovers.
There is hardly nothing that we can know about this band since it has been forgotten for so long.
All I can say is that this album, which is a fine blend of jazz, funk, afrobeat, soul and progressive rock, sounds extremely fresh.
Mostly instrumental, the eight tracks that compose the album are all great and the album keeps a consistency throughout.
We can note a really good cover of "I put a spell on you" (can't beat the authenticity of the original by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, but definitely delivers a great version).
I couldn't transcribe my excitement when I found a vinyl copy (reissued obviously) for $10 when browsing a record store in NewYork city. The cover, as mysterious as this band is, contributes to its uniqueness.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Roots Of Chicha 2: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru

After a couple months of online inexistence, Im back.
For anyone whose musical apetite isn't diversified enough.
Also for anyone who took a ride in my 97' Chevy all over the Little Biggest City :)
Amazing tunes compiled by Barbes Records.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bill Holt

I highly recommend reading this review to fully understand the context and birth of that ovni album:

"For one year in the early 70s, Bill Holt lived the real American dream: quitting your job to do something you love. In his late twenties and supporting his Delaware family with a disheartening 9-to-5 gig, he decided to make a go of a career in music, in spite of having next to no first-hand musical experience. He holed up in his basement with an acoustic guitar, a few chords, a Moog synthesizer, and assorted electronic devices and created what would prove to be his only opus: Dreamies.

The album is a triumph. It’s difficult to even place it in context because it’s such an oddball little record, on the one hand probing whatever corners of his mind Holt felt were worthy of exploration, and on the other deftly preserving a sense of popular songcraft. Holt structured his album in two side-long suites, “Program Ten” and “Program Eleven.” The numbers he chose were not random: He saw his work as a direct continuation of what the Beatles did on “Revolution 9,” packing it with found sound, including a couple of boldly snatched samples of “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Oh! Darling,” and “All You Need Is Love.”

Not that sampling other peoples’ records got him into trouble. The simple fact is that almost no one heard the album upon its initial release, and the situation has barely improved since. In fact, until Gear Fab records resurrected Dreamies back in 2000 for a limited release, the album was completely unavailable outside of collectors’ circles, qualifying it for genuine Lost Classic status. This most recent reissue sounds absolutely fantastic, presenting Holt’s hi-fi vision with brilliant clarity, subdivided into tracks of more manageable lengths.

As the album opens, President John Kennedy mingles with a field of insects, making his famous payload/payroll gaff in a speech about the space program. This gives way to Holt’s acoustic guitar, slowly descending through some basic chords and his mellow, double-tracked vocal. This trippy little song becomes the backbone of a 26-minute odyssey that teeters on chaos at points as radio transmissions, snippets of title fight broadcasts and recordings of shattering glass interrupt and fade, all the while dappled with Moog overdubs. Holt hands the melody to the Moog on occasion, but mostly uses it to create the album’s weird, buzzing ambience.

On the flip side, “Program Eleven” is more aggressive and downcast, featuring a loop of Holt’s whispered exhortation to “just dream” used as a rhythm, along with numerous samples of gunfire and TV commercials. Holt also appears to have made some of his own field recordings, as apparent subway announcements and dinner conversation leak into the texture, fighting with simple psychedelic pop for the listener’s attention while Moogs climb and descend scales. Eventually, the suite veers into jarring passages of noise and overlapping voices.

The overall effect is something like a primordial Olivia Tremor Control, and easily as wild and unfettered as anything the Residents were doing in the 70s. Dreamies has its obvious and acknowledged influences — the Beatles and John Cage chief among them — but it’s also clearly the work of an untutored auteur dissecting his own mind in the basement on reel-to-reel. Holt never recorded again, as the financial losses he suffered making the album forced him back into the workaday world, but more than 30 years later, his one moment on tape still sounds incredible."

Joe Tangari

Definitely an interesting album.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tunes to get Blunted to

Here is a mix that I put together for the homies.
2CDs stuffed with Downtempo/Hip-Hop/Electronic music