Sunday, July 31, 2016

back.

I'm back. Well, for now, it's more like... I'll be back.
I don't really know why I left/stopped writing. Probably lack of time, too much time spent away. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because no one cares.
I'm back because the golden age of blogging faded away. I won't revive it by myself, no, and I don't intend/want to. I just want to go up against the stream, resuming posting stuff like I used to. Because who does share anything nowadays ? All we basically want is to take possession, to strip the neighbour of the possibility to enjoy. We're selfish.
Fuck it, I don't know what I'm saying. Tea talks. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Googoosh.


For French-speaking readers, here's an extensive article by the major French newspaper Le Monde about Iran's own Googoosh, the pop diva who used to reign on the music scene before the Revolution. 

A must read.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

more Ethiopiques.

After Mississippi Records, Buda Music sealed a partnership with the Parisian label Heavenly Sweetness to release records from the now very famous "Ethiopiques" series. 

While Mississippi Records re-released albums and a few compilations of Ethiopian artists undigged by Buda Music, Heavenly Sweetness signed up for a "best of" of the original series, which was initially released on CD's, as a double LP. 

If you need to listen to extracts, which I strongly advise, head to the website of Light In The Attic Records

Illmatic XX.

Nas really can't get away from the shadow of his masterpiece "Illmatic". The gift and the curse, so to speak. 

So, since its release in 1994, Sony jumps on every chance to commemorate this record, without Nas even complaining about it. I still remember purchasing the 2004 reedition. Time flies so fast, and now we're celebrating the 20th anniversary (damn, we're getting old) of "Illmatic" and once again, Sony made it a special occasion by releasing "Illmatic XX", with the actual cover art you can see in this post. 

Pitchfork dropped the tracklisting, which includes demos, promos, edits and remixes, splitted in two CD's. On my side, I only need that second record, I already have the first one in 4 or 5 copies on various formats... By the way, only Sony thinks most of these are previously unreleased tracks. Serious fans already own bootlegs featuring most of these songs. 

Anyway, I'm more excited about the video project "Time Is Illmatic". Can't wait for this one.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Radio Vinyle.

While I was away, Radio Vinyle posted some interesting videos with some interesting people hosting them. Look : Madlib, Jarvis Cocker, Jacques Higelin, Jay-Jay Johanson, and more. 

Just pay them a visit. For those who don't know yet, Radio Vinyle takes you to (probably) the biggest record collection in France.  

Quack.

Back with some sugar for your tea.


Fool's Gold just announced the release of the long overdue Duck Sauce album, simply titled "Quack", scheduled for April. Sure, after many singles, much of it won't be a surprise, but it'll get rotation in any party for the few next months or so. 
And of course, promotion is on going, with Armand and Alain doing interviews, like this one with Pitchfork.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

legen... dary.

March of 2014 will see a 83-year old legend performing on the US soil, in Los Angeles and in Brooklyn, NYC. The legend I'm talking about is Ennio Morricone, il maestro, the undisputed king of movie scoring (I'll pass on the rumours - some of them being probably true - of ghostproducing from peers like Bruno Nicolai and others). 

If you live in these cities, this could be your very last chance to catch him live on stage. 

Be quick, be there. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

things you may have missed.


Egon, from Now-Again Records, proves to you that children can relate to psychedelic music. Well, I guess if "Wu-Tang is for the children", then Egon is right. 

J Dilla is already part of history. I mean, he made it to the top of a lot of lists as a modern prophet of music. Vice proves it by documenting the evolution of James Yancey's style, from Jay Dee to Dilla. By the way, check the Noisey website ; it may be corporate, but it's still pretty good. They have some good stuff about The Neptunes, Clipse, Knxwledge, MF DOOM... Oh, and Gary Numan has some new stuff coming

Is the Record Store Day's becoming a fraud ? Although, this release of the Doors might have me hyped.

Wow, a very good question : are we sitting on a vinyl bubble ? Probably : too many reissues, limited editions, crappy stuff etc. And of course, this resurgence also increase the demand for turntables. It's getting impossible to get cheap vintage turntable like it used to be. Sighs...

Some people are sick with the resurgence of vinyl. So they fight back with arguments in favor of CDs. Fair enough. Same goes with the resurgence of cassette tape. Could this sound comparison study ease down the vibe ?

Music in Indonesia is not only about Benny Soebardja and his multiple bands. And vinyl is getting big again over there also. Get smart by knowing about the latest Indonesian hype. And India feels the same trend. And Czech Republic too. Oh well, there won't be any heaven (meaning : places where marvelous unknown records are sold for cheap) for collectors soon...

If you live in London, did you pick your free 7" from HMV ?

Record collectors, if you have big bucks available, you can start your hunt by the records listed here. We've known for years that The Quarrymen (Lennon & McCartney's first band) and Sex Pistols have the most expensive records on Earth, but there are some surprises also. I mean, Leonid Kogan, anyone ? Okay, hate me, I'm an ignorant. For Australian people, your specific list is here

For those who wonder how big is ?uestlove's record collection, here's the figure : 72 000.

I've talked many times about Radio Vinyle, the TV program by Radio France. Now it's Radio World's turn to talk about it. 

Bad move from the NY Public Library : the institution is selling its records. Well, bad move for culture, good move for collectors. The hunt will be mercyless I guess.

Knxwledge.


We know so few of Knxwledge that it's nice to finally have some info, thanks to XLR8R. Moreover, it comes in support of his newest project, titled "Kauliflowr". I remember listening to Knxwledge's project off Bandcamp a few years ago, and frankly, it turned out that I didn't have enough time to follow his delivery. I mean, it feels like he was posting 3 projects per week. Sure, they weren't LP's but still, it's a lot of stuff for one listener. 
Hailing from the West Coast, this guy is clearly walking in the footsteps of the Oxnard click (Madlib, Oh No, Kankick...) and the Brainfeeder guys (FlyLo, Samiyam, The Gaslamp Killer, etc.). A pretty prospect.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sketches Of Ethiopia.


The immortal Mulatu Astatke has a new album out on the label Jazz Village, and it's simply called "Sketches Of Ethiopia". Enjoying a well-deserved fame since Jim Jarmusch's movie "Broken Flowers", Mulatu tours all over the world almost restlessly (okay, mainly North America and Europe). When he doesn't, he plays in his newly opened club in Addis Abeba.



Obviously sampling a title from Miles Davis' discography for this new album, Mulatu casted a variety of musicians to accompany him. If you follow the evolution of ethio-jazz, you may know that a big part of this scene is made of Western musicians nowadays. Following this trend, Mulatu hired a lot of Westerners for this album, mainly from London.

One thing I want to complain about this album is the very limited distribution I witnessed while I wanted to purchase it recently. You might want to hit the internet to get it easily. Oh well, maybe I should have checked directly at the nearest Harmonia Mundi (which is the official distribution company) store...

About the great musician that is Mulatu Astatke, chech this good article by Dylan Valley and also this very cool interview of the maestro by The Stimuleye

Monday, September 30, 2013

Danny Bruh Bruh.


Is there anything more refresing, entertaining, crazy and psychedelic than Danny Brown nowadays ? I seriously doubt it. This guy always come with the unexpected. so, yeah, die-hard fans rant about his evolution. He doesn't care and keeps moving forward. You don't like him rapping over electronic beats ? Beat it. Or him. You can't ? Because he's that good. 
Danny Brown dropped his first proper album ("The Hybrid" was an album to me, "XXX" as well, but "OLD" is marketed as his first true album so...) today, and it's supposed to be bananas. At least that's what A-Trak says. A-Trak usually has great taste. Wait, A-Trak is Danny's boss. Whatever. Danny's the shit. I just feel sorry they didn't include the banger "Hottest MC's" in the tracklist. Damn, what a track. 



Another banger is apparently not on the album : "Molly Ringwald".



And of course, Pitchfork did a paper about him. So did Complex Mag, which did the coolest visual shit I've seen lately. 

CHECK !

Edit : bad news, the track "ODB", which was supposed to act as some kind of a single and benefited from a psychedelic video, is not featured in the final tracklisting, due to an uncleared sample in Paul White's production. That's an issue. And more news, if like myself you were waiting for a vinyl edition, it's supposed to come out... later.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bob James.

Bob James is an official member of the unofficial list of the most-sampled artits, sitting on top of it with someone like James Brown. So, reading about how he feels about sampling, a musical phenomenon which took off several decades ago, is always interesting. Among other stories, he tells about sueing Jeff & Will and then discovering how to properly license samples. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Innervisions.

This classic album by Stevie Wonder is 40 year old. You may know the hits, you may know the vibe, the cover art, etc. But do you know the stories behind the recording and production of this seminal album, Stevie's best one ? If not, Wax Poetics fills the gap, by interviewing one of the man who's responsible for the particular sound of "Innervisions", Malcolm Cecil. A career musician on his own, Cecil provided Stevie Wonder with his unique TANTO synthetizer system to create the sound which revolutionized R&B in the mid 70's. 

Shigeto.

As I remembered the episode of "In The Studio" by the good guys at XLR8R with Toro Y Moi, I just browsed again through what they had to offer recently. And well, they had just posted an episode with another talented beatmaker/producer, Shigeto. And I gotta say I'm impressed by the interior design the dude built around his gear. Pretty impressive and neat, especially considering it's located in the city of Detroit, which is sadly kinda devastated by the crisis right now. Also, watch out for Shigeto's new album. 

While you're there, get a glimpse on other episodes of "In The Studio", with acts like Mr. G (actually not hosted by XLR8R), Jon Hopkins, Laurel Halo, Kingdom, Silent Servant etc. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jeff Gold.


As usual Dust & Grooves serves the perfect interview, this time with Jeff Gold, a record collector (what else ?), and record/memorabilia dealer. 
Some nice records displayed. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Afrika Bambaataa's record collection.

The co-founder of hip hop is having a second youth nowadays. As a lecturer at the Cornell University, he apparently decided to donate his huge record collection to the Cornell University Library. This collection is huge by its volume but also by the influence it got on the birth of hip hop. One can easily imagine that all the music Bambaataa embraced until the early 80's contributed to the sound(s) we hear today. 

But before being donated, the collection is exhibited at the Gavin Brown Gallery, Manhattan, NYC. There have been lots of articles about it on the web lately, so here's a selection : Wax Poetics, Egotrip Land, Village Voice, Dust & Grooves.

Friday, August 2, 2013

the ultimate largest collection.

This time it seems it's for good. Following what I stated yesterday about Mr. Kallman's record collection, a bigger collection does exist, and it seems it's really the biggest collection in the world. 
This collection sits in Pittsburgh and was built record after record by Paul Mawhinney. It is made of 1 million albums and 1,5 million singles. It is huge. 
A short documentary was shot about it, and notably about Paul's failure to sell his collection, which is officially worth $50 million. If you have $3 million to spend, and a lot of room for storage, the collection could be yours.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

vinyl, an investment ?

These days, people are trying to find new values to invest in. And it seems vinyl records are becoming one of these assets people collect in order to speculate. Well, there's a huge matter in this business, which is time (today's records might be valuable only in a decade or more), not to mention the relatively small market (high bidders are not so numerous). 
Anyway, Channel4 posted an article about this investing trend, as well as the very serious Wall Street Journal. You might be interested in the story of Craig Kallman, CEO of Atlantic Records, who owns nothing less than 750,000 records. Yeah, that much. Probably one of the world biggest private collections. 

another Beatles rarity.


This album is the world famous "Sgt. Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band" album by the Beatles. What makes it rare is the altered cover : it looks like Xeroxed pictures replaced the heads of the Beatles and other genuine features of the cover. These faces belong to former Capitol employees, who printed a very limited edition to celebrate a successful year. 
Now, this piece has never seen the light of an auction. So, for the first time ever, people will battle over the ownership of this true collector item. Auction is up until August 10th. Needless to say, you will need to be wealthy to get your hand on this record. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

another dope Kickstarter campaign.

A quiet man with a long resume, Syl Johnson could have had a greater career, the kind James Brown or Stevie Wonder enjoyed. But, with a few classics tunes under his belt, he's still unknown to some people. What a shame... a heavily sampled soul artist (probably among the most sampled singers of all time), Syl Johnson's footprint can be heard under acts like the Wu-Tang Clan, Kanye West, De La Soul, Cypress Hill, Jay-Z etc. 
Lately, he's been reissued by the label Numero Group, with an impressive boxset which sums up his career.

Still, some people think Syl doesn't enjoy the success and fame he deserves. That's why a movie titled "Any Way The Wind Blows" is in the making to tell the story of the man who released classic albums like "Is It Because I'm Black ?" and "Dresses Too Short".

And you can all contribute to the funding of the movie, through the Kickstarter platform. The more you give, the more you get rewarded. Plus gratitude.



MF Doom.


Noisey/Vice published an article about the evolution of the man we now know as MF Doom (among other aliases and collabos). He evolved from being Zev Love X, a hip hop wonderkid with Kausing Much Damage, to disappearing only to resurface as the highly critically acclaimed metal face. 
An essential read for hip hop fans, especially those who missed the adventure of KMD. Doom was funky fresh back then. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Yorke vs. Spotify.





Thom Yorke recently lifted the middle finger to Spotify and withdrew his most recent projects from the website catalog. 

And of course, in that era of communication we're living in, Spotify had to respond to the accusations

vinyl lovers.


I can't resist, I gotta share that with you : "36 Things Vinyl Collectors Love". I don't suscribe to everything, but it's a fun thing to browse.

UVinyl.

This is not a joke : Universal is launching a crowdfunding campaign to finance the reissuing of out-of-print vinyl albums. Yes, Universal, the major company is asking for money to offset the mistake it did somewhere around 20 years ago : abandoning the vinyl plate. 
Not long ago, I mentioned the example of Beat Delete, the crowdfunding platform of Ninja Tune. Well, UVinyl is the same for Universal. 
The Vinyl Project starts oddly : they initially stated that albums like "MTV Unplugged" by Nirvana and "Goo" by Sonic Youth would be part of the project, well, they won't, as they will be reissued through "regular channels". With announcements like this one, what can we expect ? For now, the service is not launched yet, but it should be soon. 
On another side, UVinyl allows you to order vinyl boxsets, for those who like that kind of bundles. It also showcases the existing "Back To Black" series, which has been running for a few years already.

Monday, July 15, 2013

the search for vinyl in Pakistan.

This is an editorial gem. Most of the (web) press articles I find about the vinyl revival come from the western countries, mainly Europe, North America and a bit of Australia/New-Zealand. But this one come from Pakistan
Sure, you'll come to the conclusion the passion for vinyl is shared all over the world, or almost. But in this article, you'll also find some poetry, particularly in the first story told. They should even make a film about it : a guy travels miles and miles just to listen to a record at a stranger's house. To me, that's a good pitch. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Egon's new home.


For his Funk Archeology series, a collection of web articles about digging deeper and deeper into obscure world sounds, Egon relocated from NPR to Red Bull Music Academy. 
The two latest episodes focus on corporate-funded music (Jingle Funk) and Australian music (Digging Down Under).

This guy is obsessed.

Beat Delete.

How many times did you feel awful when acknowledging that you had missed an opportunity to purchase a record, only to see this : "out-of-print" ? 
Well, what if you could suggest labels to reprint that same record ? 

That's the brilliant idea behind Beat Delete, a Ninja Tune-backed website. Of course, suggestions will work better for Ninja Tune and its affiliates, but there are other records in line, such as Mr. Bongo, Celluloid, Motion Audio or Brainfeeder. 

The website works a bit like a crowd-funding platform, so it's not very complicated. A good idea that needs to be extended to much more labels. 

Daft story.

Here's the complete story about Daft Punk from the issue #47 of The Fader. A good read, concluded with the YouTube video of "Electroma", the duo's movie. A weird movie, in the same vibe as Quentin Dupieux (aka Mr. Oizo)'s films. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

diggin guide - Porto (Portugal).

My first time in Porto, and I had everything planned, down to the printed Google map of the interesting record stores. Well, by "interesting" I mean : all the record stores, as I only had three listed. And it seemed it would be it. But for a city this size, it's enough if the quality is met. Once there, the list happened to be extended.

The first stop I did was at CD&GO. CD... well, bad start. But right when you enter the store, there are vinyl records displayed. That's the vinyl trash bin, as well as a few accessories to clean your records. The staff use them before putting the second-hand records into the crates for sale. On the ground floor, you can find a few records, announced as discounted, even if the discount is not as big as you could expect (like 15€ instead of 20€ or so). These are mostly new records. Upstairs is where you wanna be and dig. Both new and second-hand records are waiting for you. The selection is nice. Prices range from affordable to very expensive (for example, a limited edition of "In Utero" by Nirvana, labelled at 100 euros). There's a bit for everyone. All the records, even the second-hand ones, are sealed, but you can ask for a listening session or to look at them. Normally, the condition should be ok.
The place is architecturally quite modern, very lofty, very nicely decorated. The kind of place you would like to live at. The staff is friendly, speak English and will accept your foreign credit card. 
When looking for the place, look up at the end of the Rua Ceidofeita, when you see four Beatles in the sky, you hit the right location.  

Then I headed to Louie Louie, which stands as a reference in Portugal, as they have a store in Lisbon and another one in Porto. The main difference with CD&GO is that they won't take your foreign credit card, so be sure you have enough cash before digging. The shop is not far from the City Hall. Very simply laid down, two lines of crates in the middle and here you go. Some interesting stuff but maybe too much of that 80's sound for my taste. Once again, if you're looking for old Portuguese rock, you'll be disappointed, as these are rarities and as such, rarely hit such public crates. So, maybe you'll have to be satisfied with a couple of compilations (which they have) or reissues (which they have also). 
The listening station is not the most comfortable I've experienced, but still, they will let you listen to whatever you want, as that's good enough. 

As I was walking back to my hotel with my Louie Louie bag, I passed by a shop with no visible sign, but I saw records inside. So I got in. Actually, it was in my list, but I was expecting at least a sign outside, but nothing. This is Muzak. Awesome place. It's actually a space filled with several stands, the records occupying most of the space, but there is also some art and handicraft displayed and for sale, as well as vintage clothes. All this combined gives a nice vibe to the place. 
But, back to the records. Lots of rock and pop, a bit of jazz, a bit of Portuguesa, some classical, some Brazilian stuff, well a bit of everything. And on top of that, below the crates, more crates and more mess with non-organized records, most of them being discounted. And, what makes it probably the best record stores of all, beside the kind and helpful owner, is the listening station. Damn, that seat is comfortable, the turntable is just there, waiting for anyone willing to listen to some record. To be honest, I bought about a dozen records and must have listened to three to four times this amount of records. This place is really Porto's best kept secret in terms of record shopping, as there was nobody waiting in line to push me out of the listening seat.
While talking about record stores with the owner, he even gave me the name of a last one : Porto Calling.

The next day, I went to Porto Calling. It's located Rua Conceiçao, behind the City Hall. When you see the big sign "Hotel Malaposta", you got the right location.
The first impression was bad. I explain : the sign on the door and information on the web state an opening hour at 11am. It was nearly 11:30am, and the shop was closed, with the lights out. Bad. I told myself "alright, let's get back at 2pm, after the lunch break, indicated once again on the front door". So, I came back at 2:15pm. Closed again, but this time with the lights on. "Those guys really have a problem with opening hours"... alright, I went for a walk, with the intent to let the guy take his leak, and found another record store just two streets away.

This one is called Materia Prima, but you won't find any sign saying that. It's written in really small characters (I guess that must be a trendy thing, leaving no trace of your existence, some kind of anti-conformism... or maybe not) on the front but looking at the shop, all you'll see is an art gallery. That's because the space is divided in two : an art exhibition at the front, and a record store/book store at the back, behind the back-door (I hope you still follow). These are two different businesses.
Somehow, Materia Prima reminded me of Flur, the record store located on the docks, in Lisbon (and which happened to be a competitor, as Materia Prima has a shop in Lisbon also) : same kind of selection, made of new labels, modern obscure stuff, brand new records, genres that I don't know (folktronica ?). You'll find some used records, mainly useless, under the main crates. The guy behind the counter is really nice, speaks French and English. You can listen to the records you want (even sealed) on a Stanton turntable. Materia Prima is the store you wanna shop at if you're into new concrete music, and stuff from small labels. They also have CD's. I wasn't sure about payment by foreign credit card, so I just handed cash. Fair prices, most new stuff being tagged at 20€.

After I bought one record from Materia Prima, I tried again Porto Calling, and the loud music told me it was open. Indeed it was. One thing record stores owners should know is that very loud music inside the store is not a good thing... anyway...
Porto Calling is mainly about rock. No stuff from nowadays, but only vintage music, either used or reissued. Actually, it's kind of the perfect fit with Materia Prima. Porto Calling have a strange way of organizing records, so you may have to go over all the crates. For example, artists are organized by first names : Neil Young is in the "N" section. You just have to know it, as it seems to almost be the same in other shops. A Technics turntable is available to listen to your selection in order to make sure you don't purchase shitty stuff.
Considering Portugal is home of quite a few labels specialized in reissues (Groovie Records, Golden Pavilion, etc.) and with Spain and its own labels close-by (Vinilissimo, Wah Wah, etc.), Porto Calling manages to get some interesting reissues at good prices (between 15€ and 20€ generally). They have some interesting Italian psychedelic/progressive records that I saw for the first time. Overall, the shop is a good spot. In a chat with the guy behind the cashier (he was not the owner), I learned that the guy from Muzak can be considered an expert at mixing old school 7" records in parties.
By the way, once again, cash is the better option.

Porto met my expectations, that I didn't place too high anyway. But it's a nice place for record shopping. Records are not overpriced, and for a city this size, having around 5 good stores is a good ratio. Plus, all the staff I met were nice, helpful, and took good care of their respective places.
Maybe the city is missing a few flea markets and/or impromptu locations, at least I haven't seen any. But again, if there had been one, it would probably had been filled with traditional folk, probably not the kind you're looking for.

Have a good dig in Porto !