Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
You may be aware that WFMU is currently in the middle of a month-long fundraiser. Or maybe you're not. You see, the appeal is taking place silently. That is, nary a peep about the event is twitching our on-air VU meters. For a struggling independent non-profit radio station with the capacity to pump up the volume, this may seem a bit counterintuitive. But hey, WFMU has never done things in a conventional manner. We'd prefer to broadcast just one fund drive a year and leave it at that. It is times like this that we put our faith in our listeners and blog readers to value and support our creative approach to running our little corner of the countercultural planet.
To those who enjoy these weekly Motherlodes, I ask that you drop a little something in the virtual tip jar, below, as a way of saying thanks WFMU for all the hard work and great music.
My way of saying thanks to you...
Joe Harriott ~ "Free Form"
"This is rare music, and great music. Joe Harriott and his group were making confident steps in the area called "free jazz" at a time when that was a daring, even a dangerous undertaking. As with the almost contemporary music of Ornette Coleman, however, these many years later it is the beauty and the lyrical invention of their playing which is most striking. The group has long since passed into legend; the records, in their original vinyl form, have become almost impossibly rare; and with both Harriott and his front-line partner Shake Keane now both gone, there is also a poignancy in rediscovering this wonderful jazz." (Richard Cook, from the liner notes)
"The Ogyatanaa (or "burning torch") Show Band was founded in 1971 by Kwadwo Donkoh, a former diplomat turned highlife musician and record producer. I don't have much information about Donkoh, yet I consider him one of the big names in Ghanaian highlife, a behind-the-scenes figure and master arranger/composer. In addition to his work with Ogyatanaa, Donkoh founded Agoro records in the early 1970s. Agoro released diverse popular and traditional records, and later it would introduce the first albums by Ga cultural groups like Wulomei. On this first album by the Ogyatanaa Show Band, we have classic tracks like "Mmobrowa" and a funky "Yaa Amponsah," yet my absolute favorite here is the "Yerefrefre" medley on side one, a twenty minute long track which pays tribute to Ghana's highlife greats." (Commentary by Osibisaba, at Osibisaba)
Ustad Ahmed Jan Thirakwa & Ustad Amir Hussain Khan ~ "Rhythms of India: Tabla Recital"
(Blog: Oriental Traditional Music from LPs & Cassettes)
This Is Your Brain, on Tablas
"Rhythm is man's primal impulse: it comes naturally to him. And to the Indian mind, everything in creation moves to rhythm. As the celebrated Sanskrit work on Indian music, the "Raga Kalpadruma" says: "The emergence, sustenance and dissolution of the three worlds come from rhythm. All living beings from the smallest worm onwards, move by rhythm. Even the movement of the sun, the moon and the planets depends on rhythm." (From the liner notes)
Hackamore Brick ~ "One Kiss Leads to Another"
(Blog: Creep Scanner)
Princes of Park Slope
"Hackamore Brick got their sound together by playing their music all day almost every day in a 4th floor apartment on Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn near the corner of 4th street. The people who lived on the 2nd and 3rd floors had steady jobs so there were relatively few complaints to the landlord. The band took breaks now and then to play stickball in the schoolyard on 2nd street and every once in a while went up to Prospect Park to do the things that people did there. When they were almost ready, they went to Manhattan to record an album of ten songs that were truer than fiction. While doing this, the band met Paul Anka who offered to buy them lunch. The boys thanked him but refused. Then they went back to Brooklyn." (From the bio on the band's website)
Various ~ "Major Force: The Original Art-Form"
(Blog: Thirty Six Records)
Everything But the Kitschy Sink
"Recorded through the late eighties and early nineties, these sample-collage grooves from the Japanese Major Force label indicate both the oddly timeless nature of sampling and its status as a truly international musical language. Most of the 32 tracks compiled on these two discs could have been made last week, and their use of mainly occidental elements renders them free of any discernible Japanese characteristics. Formed by Toshio Nakanishi and Masayuki Kudo out of the ashes of Japanese new-wave outfits The Plastics and Melon, the label's general tone is similar to that of the UK acid jazz style, with plenty of electric piano fills and familiar breakbeats but the oh-so-cool funk-jazz surfaces are more pleasingly disturbed by the range of samples stirred into the mix. This is a world where not even old Blood, Sweat & Tears horn fanfares or Troggs expostulations are considered beyond the pale. The results are, in places, as slickly inventive as The Dust Brothers' best work. Well worth investigating." (Review by Andy Gill, in The Independent)
Listen to my radio show Give the Drummer Some—Tuesdays 6-7pm, on WFMU and Fridays 9 to noon—on WFMU's web stream Give the Drummer Radio.
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