New Year’s Slice Of Soul – ‘All Because Of You’
December 31, 2008, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Slice Of Soul

Barry White – ‘All Because Of You’
taken from Just Another Way To Say I Love You (20th Century, 1975)

So the turkey’s digested but I’m still hungover, and despite all the best intentions my year end ‘bonanza’ is going to have to wait until the very early stages of 2009.  Until then, soothe your ears with the delectable arrangements offered up by Mr White on the staggeringly brilliant ‘All Because Of You’, a song that has had me enraptured for days now and marks the end of my year’s listening habits.

Here’s wishing all of you a fantastic new year: big tings a gwan in ‘09…

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Top 50 Albums @ The Passion
December 24, 2008, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Lists

Okay, so no ‘proper’ content as of yet, but eff it, it’s Christmas.  Once I’ve digested my turkey and got over the hangover you’ll get something a little more from my itchy fingers.

Until then go and check out the top 50 albums of the year over at Passion of the Weiss.  Once again Mr Weiss has been generous enough to open up the doors for Team Passion to drop the knowledge and although I may be a little biased (yours truly contributed a few blurbs) for my money it’s a fine overview of the year’s musical offerings. The linked post will be gradually updated to contain the whole 50, so check back in over the next few days for the complete picture.

Eat, drink and be merry people.  Opportunities for this level of self-indulgence are reserved solely for this time of year, so don’t waste it: I know I won’t be. Enjoy the festive frivolities and I’ll catch ya in a few days with some – gasp – fresh content.  Merry Christmas!

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Officially Back Up In It
December 18, 2008, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Lists

After much anticipation I’m now back in the driving seat of my digital game.  It’s a relief.  However, the timing’s off in terms of posting as obviously we’re about to hit Christmas, so I wouldn’t hold your breath for content over the next few days: you should be drinking heavily and rampantly consuming anyway.

You can however check out my contributions to Passion of the Weiss’s Top 25 hip hop cuts of the year and marvel at the combined strength of Team Passion.  A rather good job by all contributors if I do say so myself.  You should read the whole thing, but if you’re keeping an eye out especially for me (you know I love you too) then check out my write-ups for Q-Tip’s ‘Move’, Elzhi’s ‘Motown 25′ and Luda’s ‘MVP’.

More to come from me shortly…

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Beat To Tide You Over
December 9, 2008, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

Yaggfu Front – ‘Hold ‘Em Back’
taken from Action Packed Adventure (Mercury, 1994)

The laptop issues are yet to be concluded. I’m hating it. Revisiting Yaggfu Front’s Action Packed Adventure has cured the blues on numerous occasions over the last week, so savour my favourite cut from the album whether you’re familiar with it or not. Ah, ‘Sing A Simple Song’ drums make everything better… kind of.

Regular programming still a week or so off.

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K-Def Drop @ Vapors Magazine
December 9, 2008, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Producers

K-Def piece @ Vapors Magazine

A couple of months back I was enlisted to write a short bio of K-Def for Vapors Magazine (I’m avoiding the temptation to make some sort of lame Biz Markie reference here). Not one to turn down the opportunity to wax lyrical about one of my favourite producers of all time, I jumped on the task with the quickness. Shouts to JNOTA for sending it my way: much appreciated mate.

I actually found the piece more taxing than I thought it would be: it’s kinda hard to find the balance between overt geekiness and something that would appeal to a broader range of people when you’re bordering on obsessive with the subject matter. Still, the result is now up, ready and waiting for you to digest. Drop a comment and make me feel good why don’t ya?

If you’re yet to peep the unreleased Tragedy jam produced by K-Def himself then head on over to Robbie’s spot and check it out immediately. ‘Tidal Wave’ hasn’t sounded this good since 1993…

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Random Reflections On The Roots @ Bristol Academy
December 4, 2008, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

The music blogger in me wanted to attend last night’s performance by the legendary Roots crew, make a mental note of all the finer nuances of their set and put together a comprehensive, analytical review that would do the Philly boys justice on what might be their last tour ever (I’m not convinced they’re gonna be able to stay away from it after all these years on the road).  Alas, I was enjoying myself far too much to indulge in such anal nitpickery, so here are some of my scattered, somewhat chronological thoughts and memories of a truly exceptional performance.

– Seeing a sousaphone resting behind one of the speakers and feeling the inital glimmers of what was to come.

– Reflecting on why promoters in Bristol make such bad programming choices on nights like this.  In short, the support acts sucked gonads.

– Hearing said sousaphone play out a three note riff from behind stage, the lights drop and seeing Black Thought, ?uest et al making their first appearance.

– Pondering after 20 minutes or so whilst on my way to the bar whether the show was necessarily going to be all that.  Realising after 40 minutes that it was.

– Obligatory rendition of ‘Proceed’ breaking down into a five minute percussive extravaganza with the question and answer format executed to an astonishing level of musicianship with some reverb effects thrown in for good measure.

– Hearing ‘Long Time’ after listening to it almost non-stop for the last two days.

– Admiring the adaptability of the saxophonist/guitarist/vocalist who switched effortlessly between all three roles.

– Thinking how much fun it must be to play a sousaphone and hop around on one leg doing 360 spins in front of a live audience.

– The blazing bass solo during a fantastic rendition of ‘You Got Me’.  Reptilian looking bassist in argyle sweater done good.

– Realising that for the first time in years I was at a hip hop gig without feeling constantly annoyed by those around me who were younger or resent for those of my age and above who look to be taking it all too seriously, man.  The Roots cure overt self-awareness!

– A ten minute Fela Kuti tribute that hit the ball out of the park.  I see you Jeff.

– Stamping my feet as the group made their way off stage in anticipation of the encore.  Apologies to the man stood behind me whose toe I may have broken.

– The band reappearing on stage, performing a cover of ‘Love Lockdown’ and ?uest goofing around on the mic.  Auto-tuned laughter sounds similar to children overdosing on helium and yet manages to be even more bizarre and infinitely more disturbing.

– Rocking out to a final barrage of classic funk breaks with Black Thought still runnin’ tings on the mic.

– Leaving with the knowledge that I may never see this group perform again but feeling fine about it given that this was one of the most awe-inspiring, faultless sets I’ve ever seen in my life.

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