Tag Archives: Madvillain

End of Year Approaches

My website is under reconstruction at the moment so while that’s happening here’s the latest news:

After several month’s intensive studio work I finished my new album, “Music By The Yard” in early December and plan to release it as a download in January 2012, hopefully with a CD version following. It’s quite a departure from the previous stuff I’ve done – part beat-tape, part library resource, part abstract breaks/prog rock sampler. The album was created in a flurry of activity between February and December 2011 and features 23 tracks designed to be played in any order.

This is “6 Figure Some”

The album reflects a lot of the stuff I was getting into through 2011, starting with the huge effect Suite For Ma Dukes – an orchestral tribute to J Dilla:

had on me, which then took me back to the hip hop and gave me an appreciation I’d never really had before. I hope I’ve done this justice on the new album…here’s another tune, “The Karaoke Sauron”, named after Marina Hyde‘s acerbic take on the evil mastermind behind the X-Factor.

You can check out my latest Mixcloud session to get more of an idea where I’m coming from.

Another big influence – not only for hairy funk grooves, and prog stompers – but also for brevity of tracks – were Andy Votel’s epic mixes, especially Vertigo Mixed,

Music To Watch Girls Cry

and Songs in The Key Of Death on Fat City

….the fuzzed up guitars, leaden drumbeats and wonky time-signatures really took me back to my youth, obsessively staring at the Vertigo spiral as it span on my parent’s radiogram and seemed to go into 3-D (without taking any drugs, honest)

on albums such as Black Sabbath and Gentle Giant’s first eponymous releases, the latter featuring this one:

…so it was quite buzz to hear that Madlib and MF Doom had sampled this track “Funny Ways” on their excellent Madvillainy album:

So the template for this record was essentially short tracks, textures, beat-heavy and with elements of prog rock, library music and LOTS of strings…and plenty of non 4/4 rhythms.

Above all 2011 has been the year I’ve started buying records (as opposed to CDs and mp3s) again, not only from carboots (although these have been particularly fruitful) but also seeking out second vinyl shops, which have been on the up this year. Like the fantastic Disc-O-Box shops in Weymouth and Blandford, Dorset.  If you’re in the area, give them your support, they are an invaluable public service, with tons of great vinyl plus CDs and DVDs!

Early in the new year I’ll be posting a special mix of the album, interspersed with lots of spoken word snippets.

Meanwhile here’s another track – Horizontal Hold – with film shot on my Digital Harinezumi.

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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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