Tag Archives: Lightning Head

New BiggaBush website is live

The new, much-improved BiggaBush website is now online and also features all previous posts from this blog as well as a fully-featured shop with the full Lion Head Recordings catalogue, preview audio, video clips and instant downloads on purchase.

I’ll be posting all my future blogs there from now on so why not head on over and have a look.

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End of Summer grooves

This is a track called “Smack” by Perez Prado from the Contour album “Now”.  Note the very weird mangled vocals.  Something definitely gained in the translation.  I confess to slightly mangling up the video too.

Also floating my gondolier recently is the very wonderful Letta Mbulu – she grew up in Soweto and ended up working in the US with the god-like genius that is David Axelrod, who produced this track:

which is on his album “The Edge” and also on a great comp called “Letta Mbulu sings Free Soul”.  Sort of Northern soul with an African tinge…love it.

On a recent trip to Brighton I had a good trawl through some second hand record shops and unearthed a comp from 1995 called The Beat Route on Safe and Sound Recordings, kicking off with a beautiful track from Lorez Alexander, “Baltimore Oriole”:

Once I started searching for this track I immediately found the 4Hero version, which interestingly does away with the D & B breakbeat of the original:

and from there it was a short step to their Life:Styles comp on Harmless which is equally worth a listen.

There’s also the classic Nicos Jaritz percussion work out Otao E Eu

which definitely had an influence on my Studio Don album (see earlier post)…

So as summer tails out and we cross our fingers for a mellow and sunny September I’ve also been back in the lab churning out new tunes with a distinctly hip (trip?) hop, beats-go-orchestral, proggy, library-ey flavour.  I have around 30 on the go and will be posting some on Soundcloud very soon.

In the meantime here’s the latest BiggaBush Mixcloud session, not a new mix I’m afraid but some easy-cheesy classics from my carboot faves.

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Method and Madness

Method poster
My band, the Magic Drum Orchestra’s music is featured in a new short film – Method – written by and starring Alexandra Barretto as an aspiring actress who goes to extraordinary lengths to inhabit a role in her bid for stardom.  The film is being shown at the opening of the Palm Springs International ShortFest and making waves on the US indie film fest circuit as I write this.  Nice to hear our stuff in a film soundtrack too – you can check out more of our tunes on Soundcloud or Myspace.  We’re just gearing up for our busiest time of the year with appearances at Larmer Tree, Festinho and Cloud Cuckoo Land Festivals plus various parades, parties and street events this summer.

Currently rocking the pod is the new album from 6th Borough Project, a lovely blend of deep house and disco all the way from Glasgow.  Highly recommended (and thanks to DJ Dick for the tip).

Also on a deep tip some nice work by Andre Lodermann on Bestworks

run by Daniel Best, part of the Sonar Kollektiv/Jazzanova crew who released my first Lightning Head album “Studio Don”

on the Best Seven label back in 2002.

Here‘s a link to a great little documentary about Jazzanova.

More visual treats can be found at Network Awesome, a kind of cool filtered version of Youtube without all the hateful/spiteful/pointless comments you try not to read but just can’t help reading.

Here’s a 1994 doc on Captain Beefheart narrated by John Peel. It’s in 9m chunks and the joins are a bit creaky, but nice to see again.
http://networkawesome.com/embed_clip/75000/

Finally here’s another link to my May Mix on Mixcloud as the one in my last post went a bit weird.

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Brass frolics and gnarly knobs

In London at the weekend for a rival wedding and a highlight of the day was parading from Sutton House to Chat’s Palace in Hackney, led by the Hackney Colliery Band – an eight-piece drum n brass outfit with a real ear for rousing tunes with bubbling bottom end, funky sousaphone and rampant snare.

Here’s them covering Toto’s Africa: don’t worry, it’s way more palatable than the original.

I was later delighted when they launched into one of my favourite brass tracks, “Brooklyn” by Youngblood Brass Band who can be seen here doing it at the Big Chill (R.I.P.) in 2005:

On the subject of funky sousaphone, or Sousaphunk as I like to call it, here’s the Diesler/BiggaBush remix of that track from the last Lightning Head album.  I have a whole album’s worth of remixes from that period that for one reason or another never saw the light of day, so watch this space for more links and release info.

Other stuff that’s been floating my boat this week has been the amazing Madlib/MF Doom collab on Stones Throw from 2004, “Madvillainy”, and wouldn’t you know it, here’s the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble playing one of my top tunes from the album, called Rainbows:

Here’s Madvillain’s version:

Love that Sun Ra sample.

Going further into Stones Throw territory today I stumbled across an interesting sound from artist Dam Funk, with a track called Mirrors:

WORK that keytar, Damien…

Finally for some reason Hudson Mohawke came into my consciousness over the weekend, someone I originally heard on the excellent first Beat Dimensions comp.  Here’s a typically crazy track, sort of Todd Rundgren on helium with gas mark 10 beats and full-on DX7s:

Hope you enjoy.

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The Music Library and other reading

This is my first post on WordPress, so hello to both my readers!  I was previously posting on blogspot so if you’re interested you can catch up on my sporadic bits there, here (here, there, everywhere).

Here’s my latest mix on Mixcloud featuring Luke Vibert, J Dilla, Ebo Taylor, Okayplayer’s Bollywood/hip hop mashup, a reggae cover of the Dr. Who theme, and more.

Thanks to my old mucker DJ Dick for the heads up on Radio 4’s recent programme on Library music, which reminded me a) to check out what presenter Jonny Trunk is up to with his fascinating website and label, Trunk Records, b) what a lovely book and CD he put together with help from Jerry Dammers, the Music Library

– always a source of inspiration, especially the artwork.

Oh, and c) – what a genius was Basil Kirchin, composer of albums such as Abstractions of the Industrial North

Basil Kirchin album cover

from which this is a nice track…..

and Primitive London

Basil Kirchin soundtrack album cover

also out on DVD which I’m looking forward to seeing, described as a 1965 Mondo film, complete with teddy boys, strippers, chicken processors and deviants of many types.

Apparently Kirchin, originally a jazz drummer, was way ahead of the curve having spent five months at a temple in India during the early 60s before moving to Sydney. Tragically all the master tapes of his band were lost when his belongings fell into the sea whilst being unloaded at the docks.

Nevertheless he produced some incredible library and soundtrack music which had an obvious influence on bands such as Stereolab and Broadcast (whose singer Trish Keenan sadly died earlier this year.  The last mixtape she made for a close friend is well worth checking out) I can even hear an influence on Soft Machine in some of his stuff.

One last plug for a book I’m reading at the moment

ostensibly a story of how an appreciation all modern music can be bookended by Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting In A Room (no me neither) it is in fact a masterful piece of rock journalism, a history of how and why Paul Morley became the greatest rock writer in the world (his words – but he’s probably right) but much more importantly it lists virtually all of the important musical, technological, cultural events of the modern age.  All in his own very readable style.

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