Layo & Bushwacka! - Love Story (Tim Deluxe Remix)
Memories can be crystallised indadvertedly by the conditions from which they were originally formed. For me, that means that when the weather starts to warm up, I am reminded of music that echoes past seasonal shifts in my own recollections.
Layo & Bushwacka! released their timeless classic Love Story in 2002. Admittedly, I only heard the song about 3 years later.
The song brings to mind late nights with good friends and warmer weather. The track has a simple chord progression looped, and this chilled melody is only heightened by the saxophone during the build up of the track about three quarters of the way in. Needless to say, the badass brass easily makes for a memorable listen.
Ben Khan - Eden
While continuing to hunt down clues leading to Jai Paul's mysterious identity, I came across another London resident musician Ben Khan. Looks like pretending to be a private ivestigator paid off for different reasons.
Rumour on the trolls of some random Kanye West fan blog, linked Jai Paul's identity to that of Ben Khan. Relatively little is known about both recording artists, and both tend to have a flair for psychedelic beats that sound like they have been mastered through a dirty distorted filter. (For other ridiculous descriptions of the song just check the excessive hashtagging below)
I am frankly shocked with the number of similarities these seemingly one of a kind musos have in common with one another. The only discernible difference between styles I can determine at this stage is that Jai Paul tends to opt for a higher octave in his singing and Ben Khan looks a little younger in his scarce internet pics. But who’s to say Paul isn’t just continuing to push the envelope on this track and develop a pseudonym to continue being able to veil his identity (which he has seemed fairly dead set on maintaining at this stage in his career).
Either I (and others) am/are becoming delusional with anticipation of an official album release, or there are some uncanny similarities between Paul and Ben Khan…
Naxxos - New Orleans
If first impressions are anything to go by, they can be deemed unreliable when it comes to New Orleans.
What starts out as a slow, descending piano-chord-driven melody, gradually morphs into a sultry pop diva, right before saxophones hijack the centre stage. Things begin to go crazy just before the two minute mark when Naxxos change the mood into a chopped up dance track.
There aren’t too many dance groups I can think of at the moment that are wiling to incorporate saxophones and given the saturation of garage, house and dubstep, it is really refreshing to hear a group that is prepared to use old methods for creating a memorable dance anthem reminiscent of the European trance movement of the 90s.
Follow the link below for a free download of New Orleans.
Download - New Orleans
La nuit mene une existence obscure
Nicolas Repac - La Nuit Méne Une Existence Obscure
This track is sizzling with French sensuality. I first came across La Nuit Méne Une Existence Obscurefrom the So Frenchy, So Chic albums seven years ago. I hold this compilation series responsible for introducing me to a plethora of French talents including Emilié Simon, Spleen, Camille and We Were Evergreen to name a few.
The Ting Tings - Soul Killing
The Ting Tings, who could have been easily dismissed as a pop throwaway group after releasing the irritating single That’s Not My Name in 2008. The British duo consists of Katie White and Jules De Martino and they have more skill than many casual listeners might have known. I admittedly had no idea who they were until I heard this track from their second album Sounds From Nowhereville which came out around this time last year.
To be perfectly honest, since downloading Soul Killing upon its release, I haven’t properly explored their other work together and I am dubious whether there will be a song I like better than this one. It has an upbeat reggae beat and enough variation to make it a worthy of plenty more listens one year on.
Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
Paul Simon - Diamonds on The Souls of Her Shoes (Live in New York, 2011)
You can’t help but let the uplifting vocal and instrumental expressions of this song pick you up and carry you away on a foot tapping frenzy. Written twenty-five years ago, this song still gets people of all ages dancing as was proven at the Paul Simon concert held last week in Melbourne.
Paul Simon has been a powerful force in influencing modern music today. Bands such as Vampire Weekend have drawn inspiration from the groundbreaking 1988 album Graceland, from which Diamonds on The Souls of Her Shoes appears. The album is noted for its African musical influences and genre-defying upbeat vibe.
Vampire Weekend received a lot of backlash by fans of Paul Simon's solo work for 'lifting' similar influences, such as afrobeat and eastern African folk music in the wake of their 2008 breakthrough album. However Paul Simon defended the group.
'I felt bad. I wanted to go and tell them that I didn’t think they were taking anything. So that’s what I told them. They said, “Do you think we are?” and I said, “No, I think you’re going to the same sources that I went to. You’re drawing from the same well. You’re trying to write interesting songs.” In a way, we were on the same pursuit, but I don’t think you’re lifting from me, and anyway, you’re welcome to it, because everybody’s lifting all the time. That’s the way music grows and is shaped.'
The 71 year old is still an excellent performer and musicians continue benefiting from his illustrious 50+ year musical career.
Vampire Weekend are due to release their third album in May this year.
RJD2 - Since ‘76
I might just be speculating here - but I’m a little bit confident that RJD2 has taken samba and South American music on this track and chopped them up to make Since ‘76.
The track was a single on RJD2's second album Since We Last Spoke and it has definitely retained playback value for me after all these years. Hopefully it will do the same for you. Enjoy.
Aceyalone - Grand Imperial
Freestyle Fellowship broke new ground in 90s west coast hip hop and since then, I truly can’t name another group that have blended the fludity of scat jazz in hip hop as successfully as them. Perhaps one of the more famous rappers in the crew would be Aceyalone.
He is not your average lyricist and listening to a few verses from Aceyalone will allow you to catch a glimpse of his unconventional style.
But style and wordplay aside, the beat on the title track of Aceyalone’s eighth solo album Grand Imperial is the true standout in this instance. I could easily listen to the laid back sample on repeat for hours.
Download - Grand Imperial
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