Monthly Archives: May 2011

Raekwon – Heaven and hell

I am at home in Ireland this weekend. The purpose of the trip, other than to catch up with family and friends, was to help an old pal prepare for his wedding which is coming up in a couple of weeks. This particularly buddy and I bonded over a shared appreciation of hip hop many years ago and this was one of the first tracks we both loved. I am also glad to post it as being at home always puts me in a nostalgic mood and this strongly reminds me of being 19 and completely clueless. Happy times.

It is taken from the excellent album, Only built 4 Cuban linx… The album’s main conceit is that of Italian mobsters, and this song serves as a final refrain, a cry for redemption.

Another interesting note about Raekwon is that I saw him play live on March 17th in Dublin one year (with said buddy), it was certainly an interesting way to spend St.Paddies night….



Jill Scott – Family Reunion

I love this song’s warmth. It is languid and full of rich imagery. Every time I hear it I feel like I am at the barbeque, eating the green potatoe salad, listening to uncle Jerome and watching Cousin Ruby shaking her good hip and body.

It is taken from the excellent album Beautifully Human, which has a paricularly good cover (the backdrop of this video).


Owiny Sigoma Band – Wires

This track fits with my recent world music motif. They have an interesting back story and I kind of think the London meets Nairobi sound works quite well. The vocal has a hushed quality that serves as a nice contrast with it’s energetic and hypnotic backing.


Joy Division – Love will tear us apart

Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division died this day 31 years ago. They are a little too relentlessly bleak for me to listen to too much of them but this is a stupendous track. Clips in the video are taken from Control, a biopic of his life, which is enjoyable despite being as melancholy as you would imagine.


Manix – Feel real good

Classic early 90’s raver. I imagine it was a fun and interesting time to be young.

The Isley Brothers – Shout

People ask me why I love soul music so much. If I wanted to answer succinctly (not likely) I might just play them this song. It is amazing, boisterous and fun, it makes me want to MOVE. You might be more familiar with Lulu’s more recent cover version, but for me this is far superior. I can’t believe it was released in 1959!

Also, they employ a classic soul technique here of call and response. A little bit louder now



15th May

Brian Wilson – Good Vibrations

I am slightly cheating on my rule of only one song per artist today, having already posted The Beach Boys. But this version is taken from Brian Wilson’s amazing solo album smile so I am just about okay.

The reason I had to post it is that Brian Wilson played on Later with Jools Holland on Friday night and his version of this was so amazingly good it has left me incapable of thinking about anything else. The melody and harmonies are so rich and it manages to pull off the neat trick of sounding both sunny and wistful. I imagine when it was first released this blew some people’s minds.

Tricky – Hell is round the corner

Posting Massive Attack a few days ago made me think of this, by fellow Bristollian Tricky. It is taken from the album Maxinquaye which, when I first heard it, left me completely transfixed. It was so dark and brooding, sounding like it had come from another planet. I loved the fact that something sounding so stark and otherworldly could come from somewhere that seemed so real and tangible to me.

The sample used in the song is from another Stax hero, Issac Hayes.


Pete Heller – Big Love

What is it about summer and good weather that draws you to classic house music? This is one of my very favourites of the genre. I am sure I will post a few others before autumn rolls around.