If you heard and enjoyed the last mixtape my friend Andrew and I did, here’s one of the previous volumes…and one of our favorites.
And its FREE!!!!
I’d like to take some time today to bring to your attention an issue of great importance. I’m speaking, of course, about men’s locker room etiquette.
Since joining the gym four years ago, the locker room has been my least favorite place to visit for one simple reason…male nudity. Now, I know that in a locker room where people are dressing, undressing and showering that nudity is pretty much a given…but the population at my gym seems to be split in to two sides: those who do their business and get out, and those who feel the need to parade around the room buck naked for as long as possible.
I’m speaking of the guy in his fifties who was sitting on a bench, both legs pulled up and spread as he talked on the cell phone. (I had to douse my eyes in boiling water after that one) The guy talking to his friend while violently scratching his balls. The dude who felt the need to take care of all his toiletry needs without any clothes on. I ask you why?
I can only assume some kind of sado-exhibitionism.
“Ha Ha world! Here’s my hairy balls! Take that!”
At least wrap a towel around yourselves. The rest of us aren’t that interested in scoping out your junk.
But now we move on to two men who won’t walk around naked for no reason, Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister and their classic 1993 EP “G-Stoned.”
It was the Austrian duo’s first offering to the music world, and they did come out with guns blazing…albeit a downtempo loungy blaze. Their album cover can be lauded for both it’s nod to the classic Simon and Garfunkle “Bookends” album as well as their own cheeky belief that they were destined to become classics in their own right.
But K&D weren’t kidding, and they have become classics. The thing that bothers me the most though is that they are better known for their remixes and DJ sets than they are for their skills at production. With “G-Stoned” they pretty much just threw those skills down on the table, much like the hairy old men at my gym, and said “Take that!”
It isn’t every day that someone makes an album that people refer to as genre defining,(God knows I wish it would happen more often) but K&D did it here with a collection of songs that are simple and timeless. This is an album for a rainy day, a quiet afternoon, or a good evening of getting busy.
Since the release of the EP, the duo have gone on to make some awesome albums including their installment of the DJ Kicks series as well as their anthology of remixes, “The K&D Sessions.” Also worth checking out are Dorfmeister’s incredible series of albums under the name Tosca, and Peter Kruders work as Peace Orchestra.
The other day my sister gave me a Sirius Satellite radio.
She got it for my brother in-law, but he already had it in his car, and as the technology clearing house for my family, I stepped in and took it over. I haven’t gotten around to setting it up yet, but it got me thinking about other radio options.
See, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about HD Radio and wondering if it really is better than Satellite radio…or even regular radio. The big pro over Satellite is that you have no monthly fees. The con is you have to buy a whole new radio to hear it…although it’s not really a con, but more of a tie because Satellite has that issue too.
So what it really come down to is content. Satellite obviously rules here because they have better content and no commercials, whereas regular radio just sucks. And being that HD radio is run by regular radio, I have to figure it’s gonna suck too.
Suck whale balls, that is.
I have no idea when radio decided to suck. Obviously it was before my time, or during a portion of my time when I was busy with other things, but I wish I was at the meeting where all the radio bosses sat down and decided:
“What everyone wants is to hear the same 50-100 songs on loop all day!” They would all loudly agree..or make agreeable grunting noises at least. Then the discussion would turn to the DJs, and the bosses would all agree that they didn’t really need to be a part of the equation anymore.
“Why bother having a passionate and educated person choosing what songs people should hear? We’ll choose the music, or at least let the record companies pay us to choose what they want, and all our DJs have to do it be mildly entertaining!” they’d say, clapping each other on the back and lighting cigars. Congratulating themselves for inventing ‘crap radio.’
I think we’ve only tolerated it for so long because it’s free. But, free or not, regular radio will most likely never return to the old format of making hits or breaking new talent.
That task is now left to the people…and the internet.
One such discovery was DJ Frane and his fantastic 2003 sophmore effort “Electric Garden of Delights: Beats to Blaze To Volume 2.” I have to give credit where credit is due here and bow to whomever used to do the Vice Magazine music page. A few years back, they were doing their year-end music round up and all the dude could talk about was how awesome this album was. I decided to take him at his word, and was glad I did.
If you like DJ Shadow or DJ Krush…or any kind of downtempo beatmaking (Blockhead, old Nightmares on Wax, Jon Kennedy) then this is for you. See, for the genre, one has to wade through a lot of poseurs and fuck sticks before you come across anything of worth.
And DJ Frane is worth it. The best part of writing this blog and researching the artists is that you learn new things. I learned that DJ Frane lives here in jolly old Los Angeles and sometime plays at Carbon in Culver City. Good to know since it’s near my house. He started mixing and DJing in his teens and dropped his first album “Frane’s Fantastic Boat Ride: Beats to Blaze To Volume 1″ in 1999. Apparently someone at Good Vibe records heard his work and suggested me make a whole album of it.
In a world where sample based music has mostly drifted away on currents of legal woes, Frane keeps it going with real artistry and a lot of live intrumentalization (He plays guitar and keys as well.) He likes his stuff to be less samples and more sound collage and there fore gives your ears a nice workout. It’s really good chill out and smoking music as the title implies…with lots of jazzy, psychedelic touches. Try out my favorite ‘Synethisia’ to see what I mean.
After that, try the Black Sabbath sampling opening track…if you’re not hooked by then, then I can’t help you in this post. But be on the lookout for his newest album “Journey to the Planet of the Birds.”
What the hell is wrong with people these days?
I went to an Obama fundraiser event the other day. It was the first political event I’ve ever been too, but I mostly went because DJ Z-Trip was playing and they were giving away Sheperd Fairey prints. The big Obama “Hope” prints that you’ve probably seen around.
The first hundred folk to show up got one that was signed by the artist, and since I like Sheperd’s work I was down.
Problem was, so were a lot of other folk.
Turns out said posters were already fetching upwards of $500 on Ebay, so instead of a bunch of stoked music fans/ political supporters, you got a shitload of poseurs who showed up at noon to stand in line (I would have done the same, but I have a job.) These leeches got their posters and promptly left.
They didn’t stay for the show, they didn’t come to support, they came to make a buck…and something about that really pissed me off.
I might have been less annoyed if they had some extra posters about for the real fans, or even if they had some for sale. But they didn’t…and all through the night I saw people walk up with their pre-appointed wrist bands grab their posters and then immediately walk off.
Or maybe I’m just jealous.
Back to the topic at hand, I give you the eclectic awesomeness that is Backini…and if you haven’t heard of him, then you aren’t alone.
The Brighton native’s real name is Rob Quickenden, and he’s a sound engineer as well as a crate digger of much renown. While most sample based artists hunt for snippets of funk (Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow,) and others go for obscure dance music (The Avalanches,) Backini seems drawn towards the records that no one wants.
The kind of albums that even thrift stores tend to stuff into cardboard boxes and write “Free” on the side.
Backini’s creations are not meant as deep messages or strong statements, according to Rob, but rather what he calls “shallow, throw-away music.” This is due to his fascination with the world of pop music. And pop is kind of what it is, if pop was constructed from old 78rpm swing music, kids records and other assorted jazz and easy listening records, but what the listener is left with is nothing short of wonderful. With his engineering background, Rob deftly manages to bring all the sound together in ways that please and amaze.
After releasing a hand-full of acclaimed singles on the newly formed Lumenessence label (most of which can be found as a collection called Backini “Lumenessence” on some P2P networks), Backini released his first full length album in 2003 called “Threads.”
And it’s a really great little album. The big hit that ended up on a lot of DJ playlists was the war time sampling ’Company B-Boy,’ which at first listen will explain it’s appeal. Then you get the moody, interweaving noir of ‘Go Go Killer’ and the spaced “Close Encounters” sampling on ‘Dreamer.’ But you know what? The rest of the album is pretty damn satisfying as well.
Will Backini ”Threads” change your life? No, but it will live in your iPod, car stereo, or office computer for many days.
And you’ll look back and thank me.
For the life of me I’ve never understood why more people aren’t into Thievery Corporation. It’s not like their music isn’t good, accessible or easily enjoyable to people with only a hint of taste…or none at all. Yet there are still folks out there who have never heard of them, and don’t own one of their albums. These poor, out of touch losers walk around this planet in a state of complete apathy.
But there is hope.
Simply buy/burn them a copy of Thievery Corp’s 2005 album “The Cosmic Game” or keep it for yourself.
“But, why DJ Tim?”
Simple. Because, like all the other albums featured on this blog, it’s awesome.
Born of two like minded music freaks from Washington DC, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton met and began collaborating at the famous Eighteenth Street Lounge back in 1995. They found that they liked the same collections of dub, lounge, jazz, bossa nova and hip hop…so they brought their styles to the studio and Thievery Corp was born.
They released a couple of ear catching singles that put them on a lot of underground DJ’s radar ( a groovy radar to be on, if you make cool shit) with their newly formed ESL label, and soon released “Sounds from the Theivery Hi Fi.” A lot of people have tried to categorize them with labels like “leftfield” or “downtempo,” but categories aside (who needs em?) they just enjoy making great music that I love.
One of their only albums I own on wax, “The Cosmic Game” is darker than the previous album, with a lot more rock flourishes than before. this is maily thanks to a stellar line up of guest stars like David Byrne on ‘The Heart’s A Lonely Hunter’ of The Flaming Lips on ‘Marching The Hate Machines…’
If you like your beats chilled and your ambiance cool, this is the stuff for you.
Even if you don’t, chances are you will at some point in the future, so it’s best to be prepared!