Good Music We Can Know

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Flash Strap Presents: Exotiste•Control Car, The Jaws of the Pink Widow (Lalo Schifrin's Black Widow)


When I first heard Lalo Schifrin's 1976 disco-jazz LP, Black Widow, I was simultaneously excited and disappointed.  Schifrin's work is often amazing, and the idea that he might pack an album with exotica standards and tackle them with a heavy disco funkiness and complex jazzy interplay (replete with synths) is a potential promise of paradise indeed.  And it is a really cool album, in places-- depending on your taste for disco, it may well rank as a minor masterpiece-- but for my money, the disco was a little too far over that slick line, so polished and sleazy that it's hard to get a grip on that burnished and speeding surface.  It's not that the rhythms aren't deep and fat, nor that the musicians aren't doing interesting, invested work.  Maybe it's just me, but when I heard Black Widow I thought to myself, this pony needs to slow itself right on down.

So I did just that, as I have done before, both on the Exotiste series and Afrokraut•Control Car.  It may make for an interesting supplement to Lalo's own album, or just a great cruisin' soundtrack.  I like it a lot, myself.  The Exotica tracks (Quiet Village, Tabu, Frenesi, Flamingo, and two versions of Baia) were the draw for me, obviously, and they make up the bulk of the thing's runtime, but the biggest standout is "Jaws."  Lalo's own version is the jewel of the original as well (and a bit of a hit in '76), dark and funky and naturally very menacing.  The chopped-and-screwed version here is a lot of fun to my ears, stretched out to ten intense minutes of prowling danger: I picture an eyebrow-less Scwarzenegger from the first Terminator, on patrol in that cop car, on his way to meet up with that guy with the cowboy hat at the leather bar in CruisingAnd then a great pink shark collides explosively with a mack truck in an industrial setting ringed with palm trees underneath a nuclear sunset. This, I picture.

Allow me, then, to present The Jaws of the Pink Widow, the best tracks of Schifrin's album treated to the Exotiste•Control Car touch, a sludgy armageddon of exotica tracks retooled for Robocop funk and dangerous dancing.

PINK WIDOW


And here's the original.  It's not my favorite thing ever but it's still a hell of a something.  If you're really into disco and damn-it-all you like your disco a little slick, then this is a holy grail.  Definitely highly recommended.

BLACK WIDOW

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!

DonHo57 said...

It is more than just good cruising tunes...very nice! Thanks for sharing!!!

BOTW said...

Splendid!

Holly said...

Very, very cool, Flash - thank you!

Anonymous said...

what you have done here is WOW!

Anonymous said...

nice job!

Flash Strap said...

Thanks guys!

Anonymous said...

I'm really digging The Jaws of the Pink Widow. Thanks for sharing. Cheers.

the count said...

Cool stuff! I'm really diggin' the meat grinder funk the jaws track became! How do you do these slow downs? Do you play it at a lower speed on your turn table or is it through processing on the computer? Thanks!

the count said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doc Bronze said...

Any chance of a Pink Widow re-up, Flash?

Chin chin!

the count said...

https://mega.nz/#!y4t20ajS!nvDIZ0_FQJa-8avueRf25SCoq_C8n783zmX6ahQY9JM

Doc Bronze said...

You're a diamond, The Count. One thousand thank yous. I owe you one.

Doc

Flash Strap said...

Thanks for looking out, Count! link in post is fixed now. All the best to you and Bronze, glad you enjoy