Podcastery & a nudge & a wink on recommendulatory tip

The Stinky Grooves podcastery has been a long awaited, wonderful addition, and naturally 95bFM is the firstest spot to go, and they are also upping the full playlist with links there now which is hopefully leading to some linkage to the poche and a bit of support and succor to the fine folk whose creations get crammed into 3 hours every Tuesday night. Cultivating the cruciality and amping up the accessibility you can also find Stinky Grooves on iTunes ( Pocasts > Music > 95bFM     to be precise) on the weekly, alongside so much toppest of the notchest radio from bFM you could practically give up eating and drinking.. or something. This week’s is here – a frankly very messy show that revelled in being live and loose in all the (deadly aired) suspect ways, especially at the beginning….. but there’s some tunes.

Talking of which – here’s a couple of rekids & a book that have been taking me places of late….

melt

MELT YOURSELF DOWN – MELT YOURSELF DOWN (THE LEAF LABEL)
This album featuring a drummer/producer I really rate Tom Skinner (check his Residents inspired alias Hello Skinny for a dose of that) and several others who have grazed my listening orbit more slightly (Polar Bear, Acoustic Ladyland, Heliocentrics etc etc), is some fierce and unapologetic, messed up jazz shit that grows with every listen. Apparently the name comes from a Japanese only James Chance release (didn’t realise that was him on the new Primal Scream album til just now) – that really should be all you need to know. Personally still acclimatising to the ahem uninhibited vocal content – which may polarise listeners, but you can’t quibble about the grooves and the generally excellent and adventurous hoo-ha-lyness of it all.
Check it all formats bandcampery

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KID CONGO & THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS – HAUNTED HEAD (IN THE RED)
Little should need to be said of the great Kid Congo formerly of the Gun Club, Cramps, Bad Seeds etc etc but if an introduction is needed Haunted Head his new album alongside longtime amigo Jack Martin as Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds is on some triumphant victory lap type fandangle. Genuinely sleazy listening that never descends into kitsch schlockorama or panto pastiche this album, is produced in glorious grime-o-scope and about as classic as a pair of 501’s draped over a 1200.
Keep your ‘lectric eye on this one and get to it direct from the label
Purchase locally

blludd

BLLUDD RELATIONS – SELF TITLED (DEEK)
Bullion and Jesse Hacket (Gorillaz/Owiny Sigoma Band etc) combine to make a glorious Wyatt-esque, soft funk/hard groove racket that comes with super sturdy songs and some gorgeously understated production. One of those records that won’t be served well by breaking down its component parts and individual elements you just need to hear it..links below…. no argument.
bandcamp
vinyl@Boomkat

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PETER McLENNAN – I BELIEVE YOU ARE A STAR (DUNBAR NOON PUBLISHING)
Been meaning to spout something about this for a hot Sandringham minute, but it’s taken this long to get round to it. Full disclosure demands that I state that I consider Peter a mate, and sometimes colleague on the decks or typewriters or suchlike, and this tome has a couple of interviews/features with me and RTM associates, so – y’know unreliable witness! However, as much as I have protested in the past that there really is no need for anymore books on recent NZ music (and generally maintain so) I think Peter’s is well worthwhile, and the exception that just kind of proves that rule. Lots of interviews and features, decently written by someone who knows the score – what more could you wish for? The price is nice too, stupidly nice, follow the links and school up.
Buy locally
globally kindley babylonianly

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On the subject of books and writing and all that kerffuffle the recent loss of Iain Banks (with or without the M) has left an unfillable void on the literevolutionary landscape . For me there are a handful, at best, of writers whose every release is bought unquestioningly – Banks has been at or near the top of that pile ever since I first read the Wasp Factory, reasonably fresh out of the blocks, in essentially a single (somewhat… ahem assisted) sitting in a flat in Stoke Newington many many years ago. I’ve got The Quarry sitting on my KKKindle now but like many others under his spell (and under the interview in comments) I don’t really want to start it because that will only make finishing it come sooner. This last interview with the great man is unspeakably sad yet also uplifiting, inspiring and even humorous – life/death is so severely fucked up sometimes.

Revieweration – T-Rock & Squashy Nice, Menahan Street Band & Dean Blunt

DJ T-Rock & Squashy Nice – Getting Through (Why Records)

Following the maxim of ‘stick to doing what you do best ‘album #3 from this cut crusading, deadly duo is hitting stores today and doesn’t fuck around in any way, shape or form… apart from where it should be fucking around – which it done excellently, most everywhere. So there’s some cock-a-doodle-don’t rooster scratching on the titular introductory track, a veritable panorama of not altogether super serious slices, scratches and snatches elsewhere and even some quite ‘full song type behaviour’ going on in a couple of places. Like their previous two albums there’s a balance between the instantaneous comfort of beats like NYC used to make ’em, and the kind of loops that only people who have an intimate and committed relationship with their turntables come up with, – and on the other side – the need for a few plays to settle in and find your way around their detailed audio architecture. Either way the end result is a gas, and those vapours are more connected with the foolish finery of their Rock & Squash Techniques debut (though further down the track, as it were) than it’s successor – and that sits just fine with me. Perfectly timed, and musically in line, with this rather delightful start to summer that we’ve been having, Getting Through will see you right guvnor.
BUY!!!!

Menahan Street Band – The Crossing (Truth & Soul)

That this is one of the, if not the, finest instrumental releases in its class this year should come as no surprise. Menahan Street Band gear has always had its own distinctive tang, and that’s still there, but this time it’s taken significantly further composition wise. The difference with these guys is when they take on some Ethiopian airs (as they do on Ivory And Blue and Sleight Of Hand) – compared to the multitudes of fonk bands who cop some Mulatu or Mahmoud Ahmed tackle and rote note-for-note it – is that they fold it into their sound, and it becomes an absorption rather than an appropriation, it’s a whole different buzz. Fans of their irredeemably sturdy, smouldering soul scorchers and funk sophitications won’t be dissapointed, but they are taking steps outside of the traditional pastures, with band leader Tom Brenneck’s guitar coming more to the fore, and spectacularly so. The kind of album you can happily listen to on repeat for a long time to come – in a world of fleeting fancies purporting to be the real thing – this is so much a keeper, you might as well give it a pair of gloves and tell it to defend the net.
CONCH say ‘on the way’ Jobsville has it

Dean Blunt – The Narcisist II (World Music / Hippos In Tanks)

Dare I say this is the best yet from one half of Hyperdub/Hippos In Tanks/prettymuchanyone act Hype Williams, and that’s after only a couple of days listening . Even though plenty of these tracks have appeared before on things like the ii mixtape and presumably other HW/DB ephemera, having them all together somehow makes for a really coherent and consistent listening experience, so long as you’re up for some delicately handled, atonality and vocals that sound like they were recorded into a dictaphone without wanting to wake someone up in the next room. Though there’s nothing to match the jaw dropping giganticness of The Throning, there is plenty that could do battle with it in the ‘oh my good gosh’ stakes. Caught Feelings, CORONER and the Inga Copeland featuring title track are as good as anything that has come out this year encompassing completely natural, 100% loose ..erm rapping, washed out & distorted urban neon soul and early Portishead scruffed & duffed up. In short, it’s wicked. There’s a really strong similarity to King Krule in some of the vocals, but that can only be adjudged a good thing round these parts, and it feels more like a case of a converging tangents arriving at the same point than anything else. Should you require more they have just made a 20 minute tour mix available that has some proper gems on it too as well as a crucial intro – check it out & dl wetransfer style here.
BUY……….

bye

Swift Review Action – Keb Darge & Little Edith, Meridian Brothers & Moon Duo

Keb Darge & Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 2 (BBE)

Subtitled ‘a collection of rare rockabilly and surf from the 50s and early 60s’ – that, and the name Keb Darge should be all you need to know to go, Go GO! and get yourself a copy of this 21 gun salute to righteously rocking material. Have to be honest and say I wasn’t even aware of Vol 1 of this series, but it’s on the list now because this selection is tighter than a Scotsman’s wallet passing through a gnat’s chuff. A whole bunch of new favourites, a few I could swear I’ve rubbed up against before (but you can’t always tell in these musically overloaded times) and really nothing that doesn’t meet the high bar of that wee man Darge and his companion Little Edith. Come on now, dig out the drape and Catalina push PUSH! Yes indeed!
Highly recommendulated!!!

 

Meridian Brothers – Dessperanza (Soundway)

I only copped onto The Meridian Brothers and their excellent Escuchen el Grito single recently which probably means there’s been a boat and I’ve been missing it … such is life. Still it’s never really a race; but if it was Eblis Álvarez, who plays the whole damn thing himself, would be up at the front smoking big cigars and pooh poohing the rabble lagging behind. There’s a Frente Cumbiero connect here, which is rapidly becoming a portent of exceptionally exceptional things – especially given gear like Ondatropicas straight out stunning album, or the Rompermayo tracks we’ve been running on Stinky Grooves of late. The mood is delightfully woozy with deep chicha (Eblis is a guitarist by trade) and cumbia currents and a 60s/70 meets right about now sound that is simultaneously old, fantastically fusty and evocative as well as feeling bang up to the minute. How does he do that? No se senor, pero me gusto mucho. Great songs, wicked treatments, wobbly wheels – what’s not to love??
Investigate, capitulate and don’t be late (….. and props to the Aorha Av audio artisans for the alert).

 

Moon Duo – Circles (Sacred Bones)

It’s fair to say that I’m a straight out sucker for pretty much anything on the Wooden Shjips/Moon Duo axis, and have been for some time. If that wasn’t a cold hard fact originally (it probably was), their show at the Kings Arms removed any doubt whatsoever. As much as Ripley could mumble the phonebook over an A-B-C- simple riff, as deep as the Romanche Trench, and I’d be happy – that doesn’t mean a little progression, diversification and experimentation isn’t worth putting the welcome mat out for. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and credit the other half of Moon Duo, Sanae Yamada, with the groovy influences that make Trails a big bowed up bundle of Spector-esque wonderfulness, Dance Pt 3 a boogieing behemoth and Free Action a rock’n’roll refinery explosion. It’s not like they’ve dispensed with that poifect, well honed formula or anything, but it is darned pleasant to see them taking a step or two away from their comfort zone anyways. Not a duff track on there and it all washes over you like deeply rocking duvet of delight, extra points for having a cover that reminds me of a felt tip picture my brother did as a yoof many decades ago.
Pretty as pi, Circles is all round awesome!

Reviews – Stratus, Adrian Sherwood.

Stratus – As The Crow Flies (bandcamp)

With a fairly anonymous (certainly not attention grabbing) name, album title and artwork it would be far too easy to go past the sophomore shot from Stratus… that would be a mistake. There’s something a bit special about As The Crow Flies, which really reveals after a few plays, and lifts it above what I’d heard of their gear before. That shouldn’t really come as a surprise as one half of Stratus is Martin Jenkins whose excellent industrialesque synth excursions as Pye Corner Audio have found much favour round these gates. Continue reading