Good Music We Can Know

Friday, July 29, 2011

Human Music In A State of Rapturous Perfection: Duo Ouro Negro (com Sivuca)- Africanissimo (1959)

I just want everyone to know: This is probably the best shit you could be doing with your ears. Utterly phenomenal Angolan vocal pop group, courtesy of the immeasurably valuable blog Ghostcapital. I know this group is one of his pet favorites, and it's some of the best stuff I've ever heard, so I just feel the need to jump on this little bandwagon and steer anybody uninitiated to the ways of Duo Ouro Negro towards the light. I know a lot of you have probably grabbed this by now (either from the Ghost or over at Holy warbles), but for those who haven't, get on over to Ghostcapital and grab his dazzling 320 rip. There's more of the Duo there, too, if you want it. Highest possible recommendation.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Opium Dreams of Latter-Day Exotica: Piero Piccioni- Bora Bora (1968), Les Baxter- Bora Bora (1968)

Here's a wonderful jewel of Italian soundtrack Exotica from Mr. Piccioni, a prolific legend of the craft. I'd previously enjoyed the man's work on various Spaghetti Westerns and the like, and first became aware of him through the many excellent selections of his on the Beat at Cinecitta comp, but this is a one-of-kind treat, because it is so firmly Exotic.

It's from '68, and it's an Italian film soundtrack, so it's not standard fare Exotica. It's more similar to Roger Roger and Nino Nardini's Jungle Obsession or Piero Umiliani's Le Isole Dell'Amore than anything by Les Baxter (although his own soundtrack to another 1968 film by the name of Bora Bora isn't far off). These more extreme derivations from-- and later-era interpretations of-- a typical Exotica format are always a treat.

Anyway, this record is great. Lush vocals, borderline-trippy, dreamy orchestration, and a few really excellent compositions make this a must-have. I have to say, I don't much care for the fuzz-funk library-style jam on "Blue Festival," but that's the only stinker in my book. I'm sorry to say I haven't seen the film, but if anyone out there has, I'd love to know what you thought.

(Sleepy Lagoon link is dead, so I've re-upped it)

And speaking of Mr. Baxter's 1968 soundtrack to Bora Bora, here it is. Not his best work, but certainly some of his best later work. After spending some time away from the Exotica sound he helped create (and sounding fairly lost in the process), this record is something of a return to form, although the aesthetic here is not quite classic. There's a more modern drum sound, and a bit of a sense of the influence of someone like Burt Bacharach. The lush strings playing against the drum kit/ heavier percussion-and-bass lends it an interesting coolness, an almost contemporary sound, at its best moments (and at its worst, something of an unremarkable sub-Bacharach B-movie soundtrack-- thankfully, these moments are more rare).

I believe I got this rip from Xtabay's World, and while it's at a mere 128, it's a very respectable vinyl rip. Eclectic Synthetic seems to think he's improved on the Xtabay rip, so you might give it a try (I haven't heard it myself), but for now here's the original. If you have a better copy, consider sharing it, if such a share is your cup of tea.


Monday, July 11, 2011

To Carry You Through The Muggy Daze: Flash Strap Presents- DUB HOT DUBS

My friend Jacob once remarked, about the heat on an early summer day, "It's hot. But it's not dub hot." By which he meant, while it was a warm day indeed, it simply had not yet reached the sweltering temperature which is best augmented by the hazy, nauseous, intoxicating directness of the repetition and deceptive simplicity of dub. When you are so hot and high you can hardly stand up - brother, dub is there for you to lean on. It is there to provide a bass-based roadmap through the wall of wet-hot air, combating the waves of haze with layers of phase.

It is hot now. In North Carolina the air is so damn humid you could spread it on toast. I miss the blistering dryness of Old Mex, but it's rainy season there so I ain't missing much besides horrendous torrents of rain and hail. Torrid Rain.

In recognition of the way things are, I put together this mix of hot dubs. How hot, you ask? Dub Hot. These are the Dub Hot Dubs. This is a monstrous slab of hand-picked dub treasures- nearly two hours worth. That should get you through the smoking experience and the first few waves of fear, incoherence, pleasure, and confusion. Once you're on the other side of this, you'll be breathing heat like a lizard and smelling skunks decomposing pleasantly in the distance.

At once lurid and sophisticated, the best dubs exist brilliantly at a stoned, black-as-hell intersection between pulpy low art comic pops and the primitive-conscious avant-garde. These are some of my favorite black magic echo chambers so please enjoy- and don't forget to pull one for the ancients. If that's your cup of tea.

This god damn thing is ripped in two parts- so please get both and reassemble.

1. Population Dub- Tappa Zukie
2. Playing It Right Dub- Keith Hudson
3. Bradsta Dub- Carlton And Family Man Barrett
4. Prophet A Come- Black Magic Dub
5. Addis Ababa Rock- Inner Circle
6. Asibiso Jungle- Vulcans
7. Jungle Dub- Black Magic Dub
8. Nice Up The Yard (Feat. U Brown)- Trinity
9. Walk Like A Dragon- I-Roy
10. Nations Liquidator- Twinkle Brothers
11. The Creepy Crawl- Tradition
12. Untitled E-E Saw Dub- Inner Circle / Fatman Riddim Section
13. Black Cinderella- Tapper Zukie
14. Memories Of The Ghetto- Augustus Pablo
15. Formula Dub- Keith Hudson
16. African Dub- King Tubby
17. Sealing Dub- The Skatalites & King Tubby
18. Drum Song- Jackie Mittoo
19. Untitled E-E Saw Dub- Inner Circle / Fatman Riddim Section
20. Magnetic Enforcer- Twinkle Brothers
21. Star Trek- Vulcans
22. Marching To Zion- Tappa Zukie
23. Back To Africa- Jimmy Radway
24. Marry Me- Winston Riley
25. Capo Dub- Carlton And Family Man Barrett
26. War Is Over- Dillinger
27. Lightning Dub- Revolutionaries
28. Dread Out Deh- Joy White
29. Murderer- Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke
30. Master Mantrol- Mikey Dread
31. Why Am I Treated So Bad- Prince Buster
32. Addis-A-Baba- Augustus Pablo


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sven Libaek For Safari Addicts and Discoverers of Hidden Worlds- To Be Used Wisely This Holiday Weekend

I am fully in summertime explorer mode- a total Safari addict. And with July 4th comin' round the bend (a holiday I've always celebrated with maximum verve, especially now that I'm back in these rotten old glorious States), it's only liable to get worse. Make your own summer-time safaris absolutely pitch perfect with Sven Libaek. Flawless and gorgeous, roaring with innocence and adventure. Excellent for both desert and aquatic excursions- get your Jacques Cousteau or Walkabout fantasy going.

Most of this has been posted here (or elsewhere) in the past, but I'm throwing it up again in hopes of spreading even further the righteous word. Because I care about your summer. New additions include an improved 320 rip of Inner Space courtesy of Owl at Holy Warbles (otherwise available at his blog, offered here with a slightly tidied up tracklisting and sequencing) and a copy of the excellent Boney, courtesy of commenter CBlack.

Put this on a tape. Put the tape in a waterproofed portable cassette player. Take a small boat or aquatic car out upon the water- and the adventure shall unfold, with delight and discovery, from there. Good luck to you.

Surfing and nature documentary soundtracks, respectively. Full of discovery. Two of the consistently best, most necessary records in his ouvre- masterpieces, really.

Shark documentary soundtrack, and a giant masterpiece. Some tracks from here notably used for The Life Aquatic. This is the King of underwater music records. (It should be noted that this is not the retrospective comp of the same name- this is the original soundtrack album. Also, this is not the version with the Shatner narration, which is cool too-- you can grab it here.)


An audacious symphonic concept piece on his adopted home. Longer tracks, grander ideas- but still the same glorious composer. Sven is a god damn secret genius.


Soundtrack to an Australian television series. A little MacGyver-style action horns, but still mostly Sven's signature sound, contemplating the outback, exploring with good intentions. Hard to find, this one.


Perhaps not his most consistent record, it nonetheless contains some of his best & coolest tracks, including the superb "Misty Canyon."


Ostensibly a space-themed Library record, the mood here is just as underwater-y as his best work. Includes "Meteoric Rain," one of his all-time greatest tracks (it's the sample at the top of this post).



Friday, July 1, 2011

Penetrating the Black Continent: Piero Umiliani- Continente Nero, Genti e Paesi Del Mondo, Le Isole Dell'Amore

Umiliani is a true Library King, and Continente Nero is one of my very favorite of his works. Full of urgent, tension-building strings, percussion, and the rush of adventure and discovery, this is a documentary in your head, somewhere between Cousteau and the Italian Mondo variety. Very thin and serious stuff. Almost spooky, like an expedition that lost a member to the fog.

As a side note, Continente Nero is the name of my boat, and all these downloads are 320.

CONTINENTE NERO (The Black Continent)

I don't know the whole story behind this record, but it serves as a perfect companion piece to Continente Nero. The two share essentially the same sound, although something about this one feels more nebulous and ambient. The high points are the two versions of "Viaggio Nel Tempo", a composition which can also be found on Nero, by the name of "Preparativi"-- in all its forms, this is one of my favorite tracks.

GENTI E PAESI DEL MONDO (Peoples and Countries of the World)

This one is a change of pace from the previous two, with the serious explorer, heart of darkness stuff. Here we have total paradise music, 70's exploitation-documentary Exotica with Cinecitta-style female vocals. It's really exquisite. Don't pass this up, fools. You'll need this for when you're done exploring and you need to relax with a Colada and an island gal, hopefully while doing some kind of floating.

LE ISOLE DELL'AMORE (The Island of Love)