May 18, 2010
More On-U, I’m afraid. I seem to be listening to a lot of this stuff at the moment. These two are from early in the On-U story, 1981, when the label was focused on reggae, albeit a twisted version thereof.
First up is Jah Woosh, from the ‘Wild Paarty Sounds vol1’ compilation. ‘The Woodpecker Sound’, one of a long line of Jamaican DJ records devoted to bird calls.
After that it’s the essential dub version: ‘Chemical Specialist’ from Creation Rebel & New Age Steppers. Killer dub effects on this one.
December 2, 2009
My fascination with all things Arthur Russell began in the mid 80s, spurred by David Toop’s championing of his work in The Face. Things like ‘Wax The Van’, ‘Schoolbell/Treehouse’ and ‘Let’s Go Swimming’ were current releases, but only gave a partial picture of the breadth of Arthur’s interests. In the background were not only his avant garde cello pieces – ‘World of Echo’ was the only easily available example – but also his short-lived career in a new wave band in 1981/82.
The Necessaries made one-and-a-bit LPs (two releases, but some tracks are common to both). You can hear how they would have fit with that almost-funky guitar sound current a the time – The Feelies, The Bongos, pre-Eno Talking Heads – the kind of thing Vampire Weekend lifted their style from.
This track is a favourite. There’s something both vulnerable and hopeful in Arthur’s lyrics and delivery which I love.
The Necessaries: More Real
Ned’s an interesting character, from a wealthy family, part of the David Geffen set in the early 70s. That’s him on the far right in the photo, next to Geffen and Joni Mitchell and (I think) Mama Cass. He then went on to make the classic Yacht Rock LP ‘Hardy Candy’ in 1976.
In 1979 he released ‘Prone’, and ‘To Prove My Love’ from that LP went on to become a soul weekender classic. It was all over pirate radio in the early 80s.
But for reasons lost in the mists of time, the version everyone knows only has vocals on the choruses – the lead vocal line is missing.This is the version with the full vocal, only released in Japan. Good song, great voice.
Ned Doheny – To Prove My Love
August 7, 2009
Head to the Numero Group site for info on this chap. They put this track out on their ‘Guitar Soli’ LP last year, and are threatening to release more of his stuff in the near future. It’s an amazing piece. I need to practice my guitar more…a lot more! Love the harmonics at the beginning.
George Cromarty – Flight
This is from the ‘Off The Beaten Track’ LP. Not only does it have a pile-driving groove, but the mix (by Adrian Sherwood) is phenomenal – everything is constantly shifting and shimmering as he drops the various elements in and out. One of many highlights from the On-U catalogue.
African Head Charge: Throw It All Away
This is one of the first Brazilian records I ever bought, and its still my favourite, nearly twenty years later. The credits on the back of the sleeve read like half a Brazilian football team – Joaozinho, Wagner, Dadi, Bidu, Gil, and Jorge. The flute arrangements are by the great Artur Verocai. A very special record.
Jorge Ben: Minha Estrella E Do Oriente
I know very little about this track. It’s from an early 90s CD called ‘Medicine Compilation from the Quiet Lodge.’ Wherever that is.
Nonetheless, it’s a lovely rolling track, some afrobeat touches and a flavour of New Orleans piano.
Haruomi Hosono: Aiwoiwaiaou