Special K's: Kelela & Kindness
There hasn’t been as much noise as we’d have expected around Kelela this year. Its seemed after all the hype around her mixtape Cut 4 Me and the Radio 1 faces to watch listing that she’d be everywhere. It didn’t turn out like that. Maybe the hype burst bright a little before she was quite ready. Which makes her showing up on the new Kindness album a “small k” kindness of a type. We were fans of his first Modular recording (with the exception of the odd reworking of the Eastenders theme) And this one already sounds good with it’s dreamy jazz funkiness. And this track With You featuring Kelela feels a bit like a keeper -  Ripping sax break too. -TH
Believe The Hype
Not long ago we talked about Hyperdub as a label that deserves more attention and gushed about their latest release by Cooly G. Wanting to do our bit in spreading some further love for the 'dub we thought it’d be a good idea to put together a playlist of 10 essential tracks, but narrowing their back cat down to just 10 cuts is no easy feat so we had to phone a friend, calling in the biggest Hyperdub fan boy we know. Enter Louis Papantos, you might remember him from classic playlists such as 21 under 21 and… well… that’s it for now but he’s about to add another classic to his archive with this, his Believe The Hype - 10 Hyperdub Essentials selection of jams. Take it away LP! Kode9 & Spaceape – Kingstown One of the most intoxicating pieces of dubstep, Kode9 takes you into his dark world with his heavy subs, dark leads and dub rhythms, while Spaceape spits poetry that fully immerses you in their manufactured ghostly domain. The way he drops “is it true what you say as you lick your tongue upon honey lust?” still gives me goose bumps. Rip to one of the greatest. Burial – LonerIt isn’t a Hyperdub playlist without a Burial tune, but I thought I’d pick a track that was more suitable to this playlist so it didn’t bum all you listeners out. Loner has to be one of Burial’s greatest tunes and I’m surprised I haven’t seen this ever played out. It starts off sounding very Burial-ish, Reese bass lines, vocals drenched in delays, then that arp drops out of no-where and you remember why Burial is one of the most acclaimed producers of all time. That beautiful ending is a very rewarding too. Cooly G – Hold MeDangerous sounds that result in a track that can’t be pinned to one genre. Filled with throbbing basslines, dub pads, acid leads and punchy drums that consistently push the track to new boundaries, just when you think it’s at its peak it defies your expectation again. DJ Rashad – I Don’t Give a FuckIf I ever needed an entrance song, this would be my pick. Nothing can boil my blood quicker than this DJ Rashad gem. Those bleeps are criminal, and when the drums finally drop into the trademark footwork sound, I lose my shit every time, guaranteed. Not for the faint hearted. RIP.  Jesse Lanza – Against the WallThis track is difficult to put into words, it would be easy to pigeonhole it as R&B & pop, but it’s just so much more than that. There is a careful intimacy between the production and Jesse’s sparse vocals resulting in each sound bouncing off each other, resulting in melodies working together harmoniously and not dominancy. It’s very hard to balance that intricacy and Jesse & Junior Boys maintain this perfectly throughout the album. DVA: Where I BelongPowerful melodies run through the entirety of this track, heavy analogue pads and leads accompanied by huge 808 rhythms. Almost like a futuristic hymn when that choir comes in. Kyle Hall – Girl You So StrongThis song is outrageously fresh, pulsing basslines and shuffling syncopated drums create this broken rhythmic jam that continuously builds with new dynamics through its entirety. LV feat Okmalumkoolkat – Sebenza“Se-Sebenza, Se-Sebenza, only rest in December!” Nuff said. Ikonika – Mr.CakePeople often associate Ikonika with the dubstep scene with her very influential earlier works, but Mr.Cake from Aerotropolis is an 80’s synth-pop like jam and is one of my favorites from her.   Zomby – SpacemanClassic Zomby sounds, 8-bit pulsing rhythms, broken drums, dubstep motifs, and of course, air horns.
How Chic Dealt With The Death Of Disco
via Redbull’s Music Academy The headline of Paul Grein’s interview with Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers in the December 15, 1979 issue of Billboard said it all: “New Chic Game Plan: No Disco.” Bassist Edwards and guitarist Rodgers were partners in songwriting, arranging, and leading the band that had spent three years apotheosizing the disco style. They planned to “get back to writing heavier ballads, rock, and R&B,” said Edwards. They’d already been working on their next single for a while; at one point a Bette Midler collaboration was on the table. “We wanted to work with a white artist so people could stop tagging us as black producers or disco producers,” Rodgers said. “You can’t make any money with that label.” Edwards added: “The public puts you in a category and decides that you’re a disco group, so obviously if disco dies you have to be concerned.” The idea that disco “died” has undergone a lot of revisionism over the years; 35 years later we take for granted the acceleration of the pop-culture timeline, and the idea that trend cycles moved much more slowly then. But this wasn’t a case of Chic reinventing themselves after several years dormant – the band was ditching disco a mere four months past their most recent number one U.S. pop hit “Good Times” (from the comparably successful album Risqué). Yet the need to push past public perception was paramount – the record’s week at the top had come a mere month after the infamous Disco Demolition Night at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. That event was the first domino in the U.S. music biz’s wholesale divestment of “disco” – never mind that many of its biggest successes over the next few years, from Flashdance to Thriller, were disco in all but name. In fact, many chart-topping tracks were direct byproducts of the Chic Organization (Rodgers’ and Edwards’ production umbrella), from “Rapper’s Delight” (a Top 40 U.S. hit and number one elsewhere) to David Bowie and Madonna’s mid-’80s smashes. But things completely cooled off – fell off, if you prefer – for the Chic Organization in 1980. That year they helmed four albums – including Sheila & B. Devotion’s King of the World, Sister Sledge’s Love Somebody Today, and Chic’s own Real People – but the only hit was Diana Ross’s Diana, and even that one had been taken out of their hands and remixed by Motown. Edwards and Rodgers’ original mix was finally released as part of Diana’s “Deluxe Edition” in 2003, and no wonder Motown balked: It’s a defiant left turn for both artist and producers, Ross sounding husky and defiant, the instrumental tracks heavy on solos, the whole thing weirdly aggressive. If anything, Motown’s official version – Diana’s singing metronomic, the arrangements streamlined – sounds more like classic Chic than the record Chic actually made, which sounded as if Bernard and Nile had elected not to release “Le Freak” but its original draft, “Ahh, Fuck Off!” (See part one of Rodgers’ RBMA lecture, beginning at 2:04:00.) So call the four band albums that followed Risqué, Chic’s “wilderness period.” That’s certainly the way Rodgers seems to think of them. (Edwards died of pneumonia in 1996; drummer Thompson of cancer in 2003.) “Chic soon lost its footing and we broke one of our promises to each other: Never use our music for direct protest,” writes Rodgers in his 2011 autobiography. “We couldn’t do that very well, because it wasn’t what Chic stood for… We were angry. It didn’t matter. Our band was over commercially.” Rodgers takes clear pride in his role as a hitmaker, and he should; from “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” to “Get Lucky,” few have put their names on as many truly great pop records. If anyone deserves a triumphant narrative it’s Nile, but he does himself and his listeners a disservice by leaving Chic’s early ’80s work out of his canon. If anything, those four albums aren’t an anomaly, but a major part of what made Chic great – a body of work equal to the band’s ’70s records, with a crucial difference: Disco Chic promised transcendence, even when they were being tongue-in-cheek. Post-disco Chic made no such promises. It mocked the very concept. What better way to flee “disco” than by taking a torch to it? Real People has no characters, no overarching narrative, yet it sounds like a concept album. Betrayal was already key to earlier Chic songs – see Risqué’s “My Forbidden Lover” (“And the lies – whew! – those alibis”) and “Will You Cry?” (“The camel’s back broke tonight / It’s too late to try”) – but on Real People, it’s front and center. Moreover, even when the narrators are seduced by that two-facedness, they call it bullshit more plainly than ever. “They receive you readily and will deceive you dreadfully / Oh yes, it’s a reality,” Alfa Anderson sings on the title track, vowing to “Make all these phony relationships dissolve.” On “I’ve Got Protection,” Luci Martin chides a would-be lothario: “You’ve fooled them all / But that won’t last forever,” then demands he go to the doctor (“You’ve got to pass my inspection”). It’s about disco-era VD, but it also looks ahead to AIDS, the horror headed down the hedonist block. The album’s leadoff, “Open Up,” is a paradox – it’s rhythmically snappy as always, but rather than expansive it’s as sealed as a boil-in-the-bag dinner. The strings are savory, not sweet; on the bridge they saw away alongside Nile’s guitar, whose jazzy filigrees, sophisticated and fist-tight, bring the section to a piquant close. It’s not so much a duet as a duel – and it establishes that Rodgers’ instrument is in fighting mode, something that carries over to much of Chic’s ’80s catalog. Instead of riffing off chords until they take flight (see Norma Jean’s “I Like Love” from 1978, the greatest Chic breakdown not named “Good Times”), Rodgers steps out while Edwards holds down the bottom; only on “Open Up” (clean and jazzy) and the closer “You Can’t Do It Alone” (flamenco-inflected acoustic outro) are the tone of his solos not dirtied up, their grit showing through the finery. Real People’s ballads, “You Can’t Do It Alone” and “I Loved You More,” are the album’s twin anchors – understated, devastated, not an eyebrow cocked – laying bare the dark side of disco’s dream of nonstop leisure and pleasure. “Seems like we all live all alone, for ourselves,” Martin sings tremulously on “I Loved You More”; “You Can’t Do It Alone” answers with its opening line, crooned by longtime Chic backing singer Fonzi Thornton: “The Me Decade is gone.” Real People is about the sensation of waking up after the party’s over and realizing that just about everyone there is somebody you dislike. It’s about owning up to the truth, as on the most classically Chic-sounding track “26,” with the smoky-voiced Edwards stepping to the microphone to admit: “I haven’t known too many women / Throughout my less-than-industrious career.” Those lines point to another reason for Chic’s commercial downfall: Edwards and Rodgers’ new lyrical communitarianism may have been anti-’70s, but it was also definitively post-’60s. The ’80s rejected ’70s fashions, including the social progressivism that flowered under JFK, LBJ, and even Nixon. Ronald Reagan’s election pointed the way to an even more selfish time to come, and the humility Nile and Bernard were now in favor of was so not ’80s. Besides, no one needed to advertise that the party was over. America hated disco so much by the time Real People came out that it didn’t even want to hear disco’s greatest band rebuke the genre. As it turned out, Chic never risked another album as bold, under their names or anybody else’s. Besides, the big-band funk that was the other side of disco’s coin was also falling from favor. Young bloods like Prince and Rick James were making rawer-sounding records, a sound dubbed “naked funk” by R&B historian Rickey Vincent. Strings were out, synthesizers were in, and from the title on down, 1981’s Take It Off followed suit. It pretty much had to: Brilliant as it was (and in their catalog, only Risqué equals it), Real People was a dead end. Disco’s nonstop party had to end, and simpler pleasures beckoned. If the touch on Take It Off is light, Edwards, Rodgers, and Thompson’s playing is still meaty, particularly on the straight funk of “Stage Fright” and “Burn Hard,” a showpiece whose vocals are there to cheer the band on (“Slap your bass, burn hard”). That restraint also buoyed the album’s more overt melancholy. Though the Anderson and Martin-led refrain on “Flash Back” asserts that “The reason for the pleasing was the teasing” (translation to discophobes: “It’s the grooves, dummy”), Edwards’ husky opening lines are outright wistful: “Making love and dance was all we’d do,” he croons, the backlash’s wounds still fresh. The ballad “Just Out of Reach” lives up to its title with Rodgers’ near-gossamer plucking (not counting the swooping sax solo) and a lyric to match: “I want a love that’s / Mine all mine, all the time / You keep it just out of reach.” It sounds less like Chic than something from their onetime backing singer Luther Vandross, only warier. Only the ultra-arch “Your Love Is Canceled,” with its art-rocky start-stop structure and Rodgers nasal intonation could have made it onto Real People, though it’s closer in tone to early Talking Heads. Edwards had told Grein that he and Rodgers were ready to compose for the movies as well as other bands. The latter proved a stumbling block in 1981, the year their album projects with Aretha Franklin and Johnny Mathis were both shelved. A few Mathis tracks surfaced decades later, proving them an intriguingly off-center match: both sides are plush, but the singer’s too plummy for the music’s citrus bite. One album that did see release was the Rodgers-helmed KooKoo, Deborah Harry’s unsatisfying first album away from Blondie. They got their chance at a soundtrack after Take It Off, for the slight 1982 comedy Soup for One – half previously released tracks (Sister Sledge among them) and half new ones. Chic producing Teddy Pendergrass sounds more combustible than it actually is: “Dream Girl” is a meandering mid-tempo ballad, and while Pendergrass is his usual intense self, there’s not enough for him to tense against. Fonzi Thornton’s “I Work for a Living” is a likeable showcase but not much more. The one collaboration that takes off is the least likely: Carly Simon’s “Why” is an arresting détente between a Caribbean-tinged beatbox-sounding rhythm and Simon’s surprisingly raw nerves; her voice seems to freeze in the air. Synthesizers are at the fore of Chic’s title track, one of their most stylishly off-kilter songs – later the source for Modjo’s pop-house smash “Lady (Give Me Tonight),” and one of the only post-Risqué songs Rodgers has performed live with Chic’s post-Edwards roadshow configuration. (“It’s no ‘Good Times,’” wrote Billboard, “but then you try writing a song for a movie called Soup for One.”) Even more lovely is “Tavern on the Green.” It’s Rodgers solo acoustic, unobtrusively embellished by what sounds like synth-woodwinds – they’re playing in circles, like he’d been woodshedding with the self-titled Penguin Café Orchestra album. If Take It Off consciously strips the Chic sound down, 1982’s Tongue in Chic is where the new model loosens up. The B-side sounds like a grab bag: “Sharing Love” is a pleasant sigh, “Chic (Everybody Say)” an in-concert update of C’est Chic’s “Chic Cheer.” But the first three songs may constitute the band’s most powerful vinyl Side A, each track building richly on the last. “Hangin’” features Nile’s tautest lead riff since “Good Times” and his most swinging since “Est-Ce Que C’est Chic,” from the band’s debut; his understated and jazzy solo rubs nicely against tart synth-horns. “I Feel Your Love Comin’ On” features a show-stopping start, an a cappella chorus leading into Thompson’s most thunderous drum intro ever – a DJ weapon par excellence, as James Murphy and Pat Mahoney demonstrated in 2007 on their FabricLive 36 mix. (For some unfathomable reason, Rodgers put Dimitri from Paris’s remix of this track – which cuts Thompson’s stark paradiddles – on The Chic Organization Vol. 1 box set instead of the original.) And “When You Love Someone” might be the greatest of all Chic ballads: Martin at her most tremulous, the band at its most carefully paced, switching over to sharp funk for the last two minutes while maintaining the mood, well-crafted to its last note. Around the time of Tongue in Chic’s November 1982 release, Rodgers met David Bowie at an underground bar and they spent the whole night gabbing about music; within a few months they camped out at New York’s Power Station studio and cut Bowie’s Let’s Dance in less than three weeks. The album’s booming sound, particularly the boxy drums – which, as Rodgers told an audience at the 2010 Pop Conference in Seattle, was inspired by the third Peter Gabriel album – defined mid-’80s pop much the way “Dance, Dance, Dance” did the late ’70s, and gave Rodgers his long-awaited entrée to the rock & roll big time. Let’s Dance came out in April 1983; that September, Rodgers went back to the Power Station to cut “Original Sin” with Australian rockers INXS. A year later, he produced Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” – six weeks at #1 in the States, just like “Le Freak” six years before. Edwards didn’t produce Let’s Dance or Like a Virgin, but he played sessions for them, and would soon be making hits for others as well – notably Diana Ross’s “Swept Away” and Robert Palmer’s “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On.” The Chic Organization duo were going their separate ways, so it’s little wonder that the final Chic album, 1983’s Believer, sounds so flat. It’s their synth album, with the same processed sound as Let’s Dance, and like much of Soup for One they adapt awkwardly to the new technology – too often the drum machine percussion sounds pasted on. Still, the title song and the soulful “Give Me the Lovin’” rouse some of the band’s old fire. “Believer,” in fact, is more overtly combative than anything they’d done since Real People, albeit far more playful: “Stand back-to-back, believer / Meet head-to-head / Fight toe-to-toe, believer / Dance cheek-to-cheek.” The last line had some of the old DHM (deep hidden meaning) that Rodgers and Edwards had vowed to inject into Chic’s songs when they started the band – kernels of meaning or intention that later creators might dub “Easter eggs.” “By [1983] ‘dance’ was a loaded word for me,” says Rodgers in Le Freak. “The Disco Sucks backlash had given me a post-traumatic-stress-like disorder, and I’d vowed not to write any songs with that word in them for a long time.” Or at least not in a celebratory way. “I thought maybe now was a good time to reclaim a word that was already mine as much as anyone else’s,” he wrote. “Still, I was nervous about the ‘D’ word, because while I didn’t want to leave the word around for someone to steal, I didn’t want to be seen as a one-trick pony either. It helped that my name wasn’t on the album cover: As a well-regarded white rocker, David [Bowie] had the freedom to use the word if he wanted. And when David said, ‘Let’s dance,’ no one ran into the streets to set records on fire.” By Michaelangelo Matos
Catch The Vibe/s
Just when we thought we’d finalised our fave albums of 2014 list, the always stylin’ Theophilus London has dropped a newie that has got us reaching for the liquid paper. Vibes, which was executive produced by some dude called Kanye West has jumped the queue and just like 2011’s seriously underrated Timez Are Weird These Days it has quickly become an instant favourite. You can stream it in full ahead of tomorrow’s release below and if you like what you’re hearing it’s available to pre-order on iTunes now so you don’t forget.
Jack Ü Got Dem Beats Steady Knockin
WOMEN & CHILDREN TO THE LIFEBOATS CUZ SH!T’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN. Seriously though, prepare yourself for a total assault on your earholes courtesy of Jack Ü’s killer combo - Diplo & Skrillex. The pair recently put together a HEAVY set for Diplo’s Diplo & Friends show on BBC Radio 1Xtra. The duo have crammed an insane amount of bangers (63 for those playing at home) into two hours of power including more exclusive Jack Ü material than you can poke a stick at and of course there’s more drops than Phil Tufnell provided on the cricket field. Stream it below and throw your eyes over the complete tracklist that follows… Damn. 01 Jack U – Beat Steady Knockin (ATLANTIC (WARNER)) 02 BrEaCh – Jack (Jauz Remix) (DIRTYBIRD) 03 Party Favor – Bap U (MAD DECENT) 04 Mr. Vegas – Heads High (Mozes & Kid Kobra Twerk Remix) (FREE) 05 Hot Damage – Old Faithful (FREE) 06 Diplo & DJ Snake – Drop (Boxinbox & Lionsize Remix) (BIG DADA) 07 Migos – Fight Night (QUALITY CONTROL) 08 Raylo And His Dawgs – Peanut Butter Jelly Time (SLIP N SLIDE) 09 Big Dope P – Trinaz Geto Trak (MOVELTRAXX) 10 Jack Ü feat. 2 Chainz – Febreze 11 Wuki – Same Damn Sound (K1K0 Remix) (MAIN COURSE) 12 Abe – Mr. PostMan (AMG Remix) 13 SpydaT.E.K – Si Me Dices (MADTECH) 14 M.A.N.D.Y. vs. Booka Shade – Body Language (GET PHYSICAL) 15 Jesse Slayter – Thick (Happy Colors & G-Buck Remix) (MAIN COURSE) 16 Skrillex – ID 17 A$AP Ferg – Work (A$AP) 18 David Heartbreak feat. Chooky – Armageddon 19 YOGI feat. Pusha T – Burial (TrollPhace Remix) (OWSLA) 20 Flosstradamus feat. Casino – Mosh Pit (ULTRA) 21 Dream – This Isn’t House (OWSLA) 22 Katy B – Katy On A Mission (RINSE) 23 Eiffel 65 – Blue (SKOOBY (BLISSCO)) 24 Jack Ü – Jungle Bae 25 Jesse Slayter & Wuki – That’s Right (JEFFREE’S (MAD DECENT)) 26 Jauz – Feel The Volume (FREE) 27 Wuki – FRONT2BACK2FRONT 28 DJ Hedo – C’mon Y’all (MAIN COURSE) 29 Leftside – Monkey Biznizz (Wiwek Remix) (MAD DECENT) 30 Diplo & Angger Dimas feat. Travis Porter – Biggie Bounce (Tony Romera Remix) (MAD DECENT) 31 Torro Torro – Can’t Get Enough 32 4Tezian – Scorpion (ONES TO WATCH (MIXMASH)) 33 Boddika & Joy Orbison – Mercy (Boddika VIP) (SUNKLO) 34 DJ Fresh – Warp Dub 35 OG Maco feat. 2 Chainz – U Guessed It (Planet Raux Remix) (QUALITY CONTROL) 36 Rae Sremmurd – No Type (INTERSCOPE) 37 Far East Movement feat. Riff Raff – The Illest (INTERSCOPE) 38 What So Not – Jaguar (OWSLA) 39 David Heartbreak – Rebel (TrollPhace Remix) (OWSLA) 40 Skrillex feat. Niki & The Dove – Ease My Mind (Jai Wolf Remix) (OWSLA) 41 ZHU & NYMZ – Faded Bingbong (Diplo Mashup) (FREE) 42 Jack Ü – Cumbia Maluca 43 Getter – Headsplitter 44 Snails & Jack Ü – ID 45 Sleigh Bells – Kids 46 Dej Loaf – Try Me 47 Jack U feat. Aluna George – To U (ATLANTIC (WARNER)) 48 Carmada – Maybe 49 Knife Party – Boss Mode (EARSTORM) 50 Diplo feat. Faustix & ImanoS & Kai – Revolution (Choppa Dunks Remix) (MAD DECENT) 51 Jack Ü feat. Kiesza – Take U There (ATLANTIC (WARNER)) 52 Happy Colors – Earthquake 53 Omulu & DJ Comrade – Bagulho Doido 54 Skrillex & Kill The Noise feat. Fatman Scoop & Michael Angelakos – Recess (JumoDaddy Remix) (OWSLA/BIG BEAT (ATLANTIC)) 55 Rell The Soundbender & Twine – Dome Shot (OWSLA) 56 Skrillex feat. Diplo & G-Dragon & CL – Dirty Vibe (OWSLA) 57 Skrillex feat. Diplo & G-Dragon & CL – Dirty Vibe (DJ Snake & Aazar Remix) (OWSLA) 58 Mavado – Weh Dem Ah Do (VP) 59 A$AP Rocky ft. Skrillex & Birdy Nam Nam – Wild For The Night (RCA (SONY)) 60 Daft Punk – One More Time (MVXXA Trap Remix) (VIRGIN) 61 Kendrick Lamar – M.A.A.D City (AFTERMATH (INTERSCOPE)) 62 RL Grime feat. What So Not – Tell Me (FREE) 63 Major Lazer & Skrillex – Get Cinema
(When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton - Review
via The Guardian It’s more than fitting that, as Australia mourns the passing of one of its most culturally progressive leaders, an album borne of the same revolutionary era is released. The cultural shift that helped sweep Gough Whitlam to power in 1972 was not so much stirring in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Carlton as bursting from its seams, in a brash counterculture of music, art, theatre and fashion. The febrile and creative rumblings from Trades Hall, Melbourne University, La Mama theatre and the Pram Factory fed into the many bands playing live music venues of the neighbourhood, such as the TF Ballroom, the Tiger Lounge and Martini’s. Some band names have become part of the Australian vernacular. Others might have remained pharmaceutically-fogged memories were it not for this new double-CD release (When the Sun Sets Over) Carlton: Melbourne’s Countercultural Inner City Rock Scene of the ’70s. Those of us not yet old enough to frequent the haunts of the time experienced the tip of this 1970s musical iceberg through Countdown, 3XY, 2SM and the occasional (where this writer grew up, anyway) all-ages show. The stars of the scene were Skyhooks, the Sports, Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons, and Ross Wilson’s bands Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock. The beauty of (When the Sun Sets Over) Carlton is that it also celebrates the lesser-known acts of the time, while giving a broader context to the scene the big names sprang from. In Carlton, the underground and mainstream existed as one, voraciously feeding into and off each others’ often theatre-inspired (or drug-induced) creativity. There are so many jewels here that may otherwise have been lost to history: Eric Gradman Man & Machine’s ceiling-lifting Crime of Passion; Spare Change’s cool British folk-influenced Let’s Get Rich Together. There’s rarities too, including Daddy Cool doing a version of Skyhooks’ Saturday Night and a demo of Skyhooks, pre-Shirley Strachan, doing Hey, What’s the Matter? featuring the bluesy yowl of original singer Steve Hill. For all the highlights of this 45-track treasure trove, equally spectacular is the comprehensive booklet accompanying it – a 52-page, 15,000-word book of pictures, biographies on every act, and liner notes from many of the players and spectators of the time, including Martin Armiger and Andrew Pendlebury (Sports), Jane Clifton (Stiletto), Paul Kelly (the Dots) and Dave Laing, who conceived and compiled this release for Warner’s Festival Records label. It was a wild time in pre-gentrified Carlton. The pervasiveness of drugs in the scene is writ large here in songs such as Mark Gillespie’s masterful Suicide Sister” and, of course, Skyhooks’ Carlton (Lygon St Limbo), the song that opens this collection, with a lyric that also give the CD its title. As a song, Carlton gives a vivid snapshot of the suburb’s colourful characters and lifestyles – “grey-haired writers, drunken fighters”, “night-time junkies, long-haired monkeys” – that made it an eclectic, exciting but sometimes dangerous place to live. “When the sun sets over Carlton and you’re out to make a deal/check out who you’re talking to and make sure they are real.” Despite the differing musical leanings across these 45 tracks, what resonates is the powerful sense of identity and feistiness. In the liners notes, Greig Pickhaver observes that Carlton “was more a state of mind than merely a patch of dirt”. And that state of mind was a can-do one, recalls Jane Clifton, “where the gap between wanting to do something creative and actually doing it simply did not exist”. Despite its perils and pitfalls (or perhaps because of them), Carlton was a world-class musical goldmine, a unique place in a unique time that we’ll unlikely see the likes of again. For those seeking a deeper insight into this spectacular era, the definitive compilation has arrived. It’s time, in fact. ★ ★ ★ ★ (When the Sun Sets Over) Carlton is available now where all good records are sold | streamed
Remember When DJs Used To Scratch Records?
Well according to djsscratchingtheirheads.tumblr.com it now appears they’re all busier scratching their heads. However there is at least one exception to this rule… Checkout DJ Craze’s absolutely insane New Slaves routine for proof that #REALDJING still exists, it’ll no doubt leave a lot of these so called ‘DJs’ scratching their heads… oh wait.
A (Better) Better Tomorrow
Wu-Tang Clan have unveiled the cover art for their forthcoming album A Better Tomorrow and despite it looking pretty bloody great (especially in .gif format) we can’t help but think the lack of an Australian landmark must’ve been an accidental oversight by the Clan…But instead of letting it get us down we took matters into our own hands and rejigged it to include a little bit of a ‘down under’ vibe… There, that’s better. We didn’t overdo it at all. A Better Tomorrow drops on November 28 via Warner Music.
Nerd Figures Out Ice Cube's 'Good Day' To Be The 20th Of January 1992
via Lime Wedge Believe it or not, there are individuals in this world that don’t just take take life at the surface, but dig deeper in search of the truth. Donovan Strain is one of these people, he’s discovered Ice Cube’s Official “Good Day”. CLUE 1: “went to short dogs house, they was watching Yo MTV RAPS” Yo MTV RAPS first aired: Aug 6th 1988 CLUE 2: Ice Cubes single “Today Was a Good Day” released on: Feb 23 1993 CLUE 3: ”The Lakers beat the Super Sonics” Dates between Yo MTV Raps air date AUGUST 6 1988 and the release of the single FEBRUARY 23 1993 where the Lakers beat the Super Sonics: Nov 11 1988    114-103 Nov 30 1988    110-106 Apr    4 1989    115-97 Apr  23 1989    121-117 Jan  17 1990    100-90 Feb  28 1990    112-107 Mar  25 1990    116-94 Apr  17  1990    102-101 Jan  18  1991    105-96 Mar  24  1991    113-96 Apr  21  1991    103-100 Jan  20  1992    116-110 CLUE 4: Dates of those Laker wins over SuperSonics where it was a clear day with no Smog: Nov 30 1988 Apr   4  1989 Jan 18  1991 Jan 20  1992 CLUE 5: “Got a beep from Kim, and she can fuck all night” beepers weren’t adopted by mobile phone companies until the 1990s. Dates left where mobile beepers were available to public: Jan 18 1991 Jan 20 1992 CLUE 6: Ice Cube starred in the film “Boyz In The Hood” that was released late Summer of 1991, but was being filmed mid-late 1990 early 1991 and Ice Cube was busy on set filming the movie Jan 18 1991 too busy to be lounging around the streets with no plans. Ladies and Gentlemen.. The ONLY day where: Yo MTV Raps was on air It was a clear and smogless day Beepers were commercially sold Lakers beat the SuperSonics and Ice Cube had no events to attend was… JANUARY 20 1992: National Good Day Day
Choice Cuts
Feature track
Jack Ü - Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza)
Feature video
Craft with Kit (Ep 1) starring GROUPLOVE