A nice simple and smooth track to ease you into the week. It’s from Mary Wells who is one of my favourite Soul vocalists.It has that classic early Motown sound – pure, almost naive and full of perfect harmonies.
I had been racking my brain trying to work out where I recognised the Fela Kuti track I posted last week from. It finally struck me that it was this gem from InI. It was produced by Pete Rock who, along with DJ Premier and J.Dilla, is one of my very favourite hip hop producers.
I love how languid it sounds and also can’t help but admire his imagination managing to take the Afrobeat classic Water no get enemy and end up with this is quite a leap!
This summer, The Knife will tour for the first time in 7 years. And even then, they only ever toured once in that incarnation. I missed out on tickets for the London show this May, which would have been handiest for me as I live there, but managed to get tickets to see them in Berlin instead. It appears I’m going on holidays.
Anyway, ticket-bragging aside, I want to talk about Pass This On from their 2003 album Deep Cuts. This album became popular after Jose Gonzales covered its opening track Heartbeats and it was featured in a Sony ad. Their follow-up, 2006’s Silent Shout is one of the best albums of that decade.
What I like most about Pass This On is those calypso drums. They’re so mesmerising. The song is poppier than anything else The Knife have done and it would be easy to bop along to this without getting too deeply involved. The lyrics are on the playful side too – I’m in love with your brother/ What’s his name/ I thought I’d come by to see him again. There’s no escaping a dark undertone that always exists when Karin Dreijer sings and that lurks on the edges here.
I rediscovered this song a couple of years ago through Jamie XX’s BBC Radio 1 Mix, which I played relentlessly for months and features Pass This On mixed seamlessly with Jamie’s own Far Nearer. I rediscovered lots of tracks off the back of that mix actually, most of which deserve their own posts. In fact, that mix deserves its own post.
Over the years, I’ve been a fan of other tangential Knife projects, such as Olof Dreijer’s Oni Ayhun EPs. OAR003-B is a particularly enjoyable 10 minutes of minimal techno.
This post has veered off on many tangents, but I suppose that’s the nature of writing about The Knife. Everything they touch is gold.
Posting Oasis last week got me to thinking about Britpop. Those happy 90’s! Supergrass were a band who knew how to make a radio friendly pop song and this is a perfect example. A pretty good video too here, is the intro a little homage to Queen?
Have a great weekend. This is something to help it come a little quicker and help run out the clock this afternoon.
Can you hear us pumping on your stereo?…
I have often found myself surprised by the journeys that writing this blog has taken me upon. Perhaps the most surprising (and most fruitful) has been the exploration of World Music. I have found so much music that is joyous and pure and that I couldn’t have conceived of two years ago.
Speaking of which, if you had told me that I find myself listening to (and enjoying) a Radio 3 program called World Routes I probably would have laughed. But this is the situation I find myself in.
It was through this avenue that I discovered Malian musician Vieux Farka Touré. His music is so striking and I like how it sounds so timeless. Even though this track is taken from his 2008 album Fondo, it sounds like it could easily be centuries old.
I was talking to a friend and fellow blogger on Saturday about some potential improvements to 365 days in 2013 (look out for the fruits of our labour in the coming weeks).
While we were talking he played Tom Vek’s 2011 album Leisure Seizure. I really liked the album at the time but never got around to posting anything from it. It’s release was rather exciting given that it came after and six year hiatus and that 2005’s We Have Sound featured C-C (You set the fire in me) which was abd remains a massive favourite of mine and which I posted much earlier on in my blogging journey.
The thing that strikes me about both tracks is the sense of urgency. I really like that quality in a song.
You’re not really listening to me…
Reggae music is something I keep meaning to explore. It is one of several genres (along with maybe Bluegrass, Jazz and Blues) I feel like with some concerted effort I could really get into. To date I have hardly posted anything but that is something I intend to fix in 2013 if possible. If only there were more hours in the day to listen to music!
This is taken from a compilation on Soul Jazz records called Studio One Roots (in this case volume three). I stumbled across it on YouTube a while ago and have been enjoying it since. I have found it’s laid back charm to be a particularly good way of calming a racing mind.
I spent all weekend listening to this track from Gardens and Villa, a bunch of five college friends hailing from Santa Barbara, CA. Their name is taken from the street on which they reside and the washed out, lo-fi music they make also reflects this setting. It reminds me a little of a long, sunny day at the beach (not that I get to enjoy many of those in Dublin).
Gardens and Villa:
This track was released a couple of years ago by Californian singer Aloe Blacc. I liked it at the time but had forgotten about it until I heard it played in a bar while socialising over Christmas.
My choices have taken a rather esoteric turn of late so I wanted to return to something slightly more recognisable, for a day anyway!
I was reminded of this track after stumbling across a YouTube playlist compiled by 6music (the best radio station ever). It celebrates their 10th birthday by compiling “100 of the greatest tracks to have been released in their lifetime”. It still has an all time great intro and such a catchy guitar riff, it’s a dancefloor classic and the stuff that indie dreams are made of…