Archive for November, 2009

Monday chilled track : Jazzanova takes jazz, soul and funk into the future

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Jazzanova is German outfit started as a DJ team in 1995 that moved on to production in 1996. In 1998, they founded a collective (a formless group of musicians, producers and DJ’s) as well as running and operating a label, both under the name Sonar Kollektiv. On their remix album entitled Remixes 1997-2000, They literally transform jazzy and downtempo tracks into futuristic anthems with an organic touch almost mesmerizing. The remixes are outstanding and in most of the cases far better than the originals with sweet and subdued sounds. Especially, Ursula Rucker’s “Circe” which is a moody siren song with a smooth funky groove full of complex rhythms that twist and weave with a two step beat : the beats and breaks are very technical, giving a kind of “striving for the future, whilst not forgetting your roots” feel. And miss Rucker is a true poet & a fine spokenword artist. Rucker is known for a diverse repertoire, and for utilizing techniques that catch her listeners attention, both of which have brought her critical acclaim and widespread praise from fans. Rucker has also performed her work at an array of venues such as The Montreal Jazz festival. A smooth languid and sultry voice not to be missed !

King Britt & Ursula Rucker – Circe [Jazzanova remix : The remixes 1997-2000 : Compost]


Art shocking value or getting too close to the boundaries of taboo?

November 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Our relation to art is mostly an ambiguous one. There are those of us expecting a casual relation with music and movies or any other art form wanting only to be entertained. Some others look for merely daring stuff with an edge of craziness just enough to maintain your mental balance. Whereas Shock value is the potential of an image, text or other form of communication to provoke a reaction of disgust, shock, anger, fear or similar negative emotion. Shock value is often used in the world of TV commercials in order to gain attention for the product or service in offer. For example, the Benetton Group is infamously known for using shocking material in their ads such as two horses, one black, one white, having sex as if to say sex is blind, and so should we. Such shock value can be seen in Gaspar Noé’s movie Irréversible. It is not an easy movie to watch but as an examination of what people are capable and how violence can come from nowhere and from the unexpected. The backward structure takes what is essentially a dull revenge story and turns it on its ear as we are forced to really examine how things get out of hand very quickly and what people will do when pushed to the limit. Gaspar Noe uses low frequency sound to create nausea, headaches, and disorientation in the beginning and uses it again here to make the viewer feel sick after the mood changes dramatically. Such effects are amplified by Daft punk’s frontman Thomas Bangalter who made the score of Irréversible. That soundtrack for Irreversible is a serious, moody and broody piece of work. Bangalter does an absolutely incredible job with this soundtrack in conveying the starkly contrasting emotions and realities portrayed in the film. This record runs the gamut from dark, deeply disturbing ambient tracks, to fast-driving, funky french house beats. My favorite is Rectum a sparse piece of eerie ambiant and sparse music that is quitte effective with is dark climax. I might be alone in my clan but I actually liked Irréversible, I found it to be obnoxious for some moments but also very challenging and daring. After all, isn’t what art is somewhat supposed to do ?

Thomas Bangalter – Rectum [OST Irréversible – 2003]

A bit of funk with…James Brown & Sex Machine Today !

November 26, 2009 1 comment

Great album by The Godfather — one that takes the core James Brown sound of the “Sex Machine” generation, and serves it up with a tighter mid 70s twist! Fred Wesley is still very firmly at the helm of the band — and there’s a power here that’s equal to the later JBs work on the Breakin Bread album. The grooves are nicely free of the “fast funk” syndrome that crept into James’ work a few years later as his answer to disco and are super tight all the way through! The LP includes a 12 minute remake of “Sex Machine” that’s worth the price alone — plus the funk cuts “Dead On It”, that here has been remixed by U-Tern, in a funked ass James Brown edit from : some impeccable grooves 🙂 Maybe less grittier than the older JB’s sound, but still pretty good, and a good funky track for DJ’s looking for a funk track to begin their sets.

James Brown : Dead on it [Sex machine : 1975 : U-tern disco edit]

Categories: Disco, Funk Tags:
%d bloggers like this: