Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Phillipi & Rodrigo ‎– Paciencia (2019)

Style: New Beat, Tribal, Psychedelic
Format: Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Deewee

Tracklist
A1.   Magnetico
A2   Retrogrado
A3.   Minas
A4.   Karma
B1.   Barbarella
B2.   Rotina
B3.   Face
B4.   Paciencia

Credits:
Producer – David, Phillipi & Rodrigo, Stephen
Written-By – Arthur, David, Pablo, Phillipi & Rodrigo, Stephen

Depois de uma série de gigs e edits de disco music como Fatnotronic, as coisas começaram a mudar para Phillipi A. e Rodrigo Gorky em 2016, quando lançaram seu primeiro EP pela DEEWEE, selo dos irmãos belgas Dewale, também conhecidos como 2manydjs ou Soulwax. A partir dali, a dupla passou a assinar também como Phillipi & Rodrigo. 
“Os irmãos Dewale são conhecidos por gostar de várias coisas exclusivas e por fazer muito mind fuck. Faz parte da pira deles confundir, mexer com as cabeças das pessoas, e ‘Phillipi & Rodrigo’ é o Fatnotronic com os verdadeiros nomes, o que torna a historia mais única [risos]”, me contou o Phillipi na época. Desde então, todos os lançamentos da dupla pela DEEWEE passaram a levar a nova assinatura, limitando o Fatnotronic para os edits e as gigs. 
Agora, essa história atingiu seu ponto mais alto com o lançamento de Paciencia, o primeiro álbum do projeto. O disco traz nove faixas — entre elas, as já bem conhecidas “Karma” e “Mantra”, além dos dois singles mais recentes: “Retrogrado” e a faixa-título, “Paciencia”. 
O LP segue uma pegada similar durante todo seu percurso, com canções baleáricas em português, pitadas de acid house, jazz e música brasileira e letras lisérgicas, que tratam sobre temas metafísicos como o cosmos e os signos do zodíaco. Entre as mais pisteiras, estão “Karma” e “Barbarella” — que casam bem com sunsets e warmups — e “Paciencia”, a viagem mais dinâmica do pacote. Outro destaque é “Minas”, uma bonita ode ao estado de Minas Gerais.

Segundo o release de imprensa, o disco já vem contando com suporte de pesos pesados internacionais, como Disclosure, Mano Le Tough, Tiga, Joe Goddard, Black Coffee e Carl Craig. “Gosto de quem faz som fora da caixa, se não, acaba caindo naquela fórmula do sucesso e você fica na zona de conforto, não explora outras coisas”, declarou Phillipi. 
Já o Rodrigo [ex-Bonde do Rolê, e que tem atuado nos últimos anos como produtor da Pabllo Vittar] complementou: “Sempre tentamos fazer um disco que daqui a dez anos possa ouvir e não soar datado. E esses são sempre meus álbuns favoritos. Esse foi nosso desafio”. 
Flávio Lerner  / Phouse

Philip Glass ‎– Glass Box - A Nonesuch Retrospective (2008)


Style: Contemporary, Serial
Format: Box Set / CD
Label: Nonesuch

Early Works (1969-1970)

Tracklist:
01.   Music In Contrary Motion
02.   Music With Changing Parts
03.   Music In Similar Motion

From Music In Twelve Parts
Tracklist:
01.   Part VII
02.   Part VIII
03.   Part IX
04.   Part X


From Einstein On The Beach
Tracklist:
01.   Knee Play 1
02.   Train 1 (Edited)
03.   Knee Play 2
04.   Knee Play 3
05.   Trial 2/Prison: "Prematurely Air-Conditioned Supermarket" (Edited)
06.   Knee Play 4
07.   Bed/Prelude
08.   Spaceship
09.   Knee Play 5


Glassworks/Analog

Tracklist:
01.   Opening
02.   Façades
03.   Floe '87
04.   Closing (Live)
05.   Etoile Polaire
06.   River Run
07.   Are Years What? (For Marianne Moore)
08.   Ange Des Orages
09.   Ave
10.   Montage
11.   Dressed Like An Egg: Part IV
12.   Dressed Like An Egg: Part V
13.   Mad Rush For Organ



From Satyagraha

Tracklist:
01.   Act I: Tolstoj - Scene 1: The Kuru Field Of Justice
02.   Act I: Tolstoj - Scene 2:Tolstoj Farm (1910)
03.   Act II: Tagore - Scene 1: Confrontation And Rescue (1896)
04.   Act II: Tagore - Scene 3: Protest (1908)
05.   Act III King - Scene 1: Newcastle March (1913) - Part 3: Evening Song


From Koyaanisqatsi And Powaqqatsi

Tracklist:
01.   Koyaanisqatsi
02.   Organic
03.   Clouscape
04.   Resource
05.   Vessels
06.   The Grid
07.   Serra Pelada
08.   Train To Sao Paulo
09.   Video Dream
10.   New Cities In Ancient Lands, China
11.   New Cities In Ancient Lands, Africa
12.   New Cities In Ancient Lands, India
13.   Mr. Suso #2 With Reflection
14.   Powaqqatsi



String Quartets And Piano Etudes (1984-94)

01.   String Quartet No. 2 ("Company") - Movement I
02.   String Quartet No. 2 ("Company") - Movement II
03.   String Quartet No. 2 ("Company") - Movement III
04.   String Quartet No. 2 ("Company") - Movement IV
05.   Etude For Piano No.2 (1994)
06.   Etude For Piano No.9 (1994)
07.   String Quartet No. 5 - Movement I
08.   String Quartet No. 5 - Movement II
09.   String Quartet No. 5 - Movement III
10.   String Quartet No. 5 - Movement IV
11.   String Quartet No. 5 - Movement V
12.   Etude For Piano No.5
13.   Etude For Piano No.3
14.   String Quartet No.4 ("Buczak") - Movement I
15.   String Quartet No.4 ("Buczak") - Movement II
16.   String Quartet No.4 ("Buczak") - Movement III


From The Civil WarS, Hydrogen Jukebox, Symphony No. 5 And Akhnaten

Tracklist:
01.   Prologue
02.   Song#3: From Iron Horse
03.   Song#2: Jaweh And Allah Battle
04.   Song#11: From The Green Automobile
05.   Song#9: From Nagasaki Days (Numbers In Red Notebook)
06.   Song#10: Aunt Rose
07.   Song#6: From Wichita Vortex Sutra
08.   VII. Suffering (Edited)
09.   Act I, Scene 1: Funeral Of Amenhotep III
10.   Act I, Scene 3: The Window Of Appearances (Edited)
11.   Act III, Scene 4: Epilogue


Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8

Tracklist:
01.   Symphony No. 3 - Movement I
02.   Symphony No. 3 - Movement II
03.   Symphony No. 3 - Movement III
04.   Symphony No. 3 - Movement IV
05.   Symphony No. 8 - Movement I
06.   Symphony No. 8 - Movement II
07.   Symphony No. 8 - Movement III


Filmworks (1984-2002)

Tracklist:
01.   Mishima (1984)
02.   The Thin Blue Line (1988)
03.   Anima Mundi (1992)
04.   Candyman (1992)
05.   La Belle Et La Bete (1994)
06.   The Secret Agent (1996)
07.   Kundun (1997)
08.   The Truman Show (1998)
09.   Dracula (1999)
10.   The Fog Of War (2002)
11.   The Hours (2002)


Recent studies have proven that music is one of the few disciplines to utilize the entire brain—the left "analytical" side and the right "creative" side. There's no denying the creative aspect of music making, but equally there's a complexity inherent in certain aspects of composition—the determination, for example, that a rhythm in 5/4 and another in 7/4 will intersect every 35 beats—that require rational thinking—problem solving skills, even. The irrefutable logic of harmony makes it clear, even at its most subconscious, that there's an undeniable logic that coexists with the more intuitive and, at times, even random aspects of music.

The intersection of the creative and analytical may be harder to see in some cases, but the minimalism movement that emerged in the late 1960s to embody the music of divergent classical composers ranging from LaMont Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass made it crystal clear.  A movement that embraced the idea of working with repetition and the interaction of brief musical fragments to create often long-form works that evolved in ways counter to the more conventional compositional approach of theme-based music, what's been perhaps most notable abut the movement is how those who founded the genre, at least to popular conception, have disavowed it. Glass has apparently suggested that the term be stamped out, his own preference being to describe his work as "music with repetitive structures." It's certainly an apt way to depict the music on Glass Box - A Nonesuch Retrospective, a whopping ten-CD set that examines Glass' work of the past forty years, going right back to early compositions like 1969's "Music in Contrary Motion," and covering significant extended works like "Music in Twelve Parts" (1971-74), as well as operas including "Einstein on the Beach" (1976) and "Akhnaten" (1983), string quartets, symphonies, film music and more.

When comparing the three composers most often brought together under the minimalism umbrella—Reich, Riley and Glass—the comprehensive Glass Box goes a long way toward identifying the major differences between Glass and his companions. Perhaps most significant is the formal and rigorous nature of Glass' music, which contrasts with the more improvisational characteristic of some of Riley's most well-known works and the pulse-driven nature of Reich classics like "Music for 18 Musicians" (1974). Riley's classic "In C" (1964) is based on 52 musical fragments that the musicians in the ensemble must play sequentially, but by giving each player the freedom to choose how long he/she plays any given phrase before moving on to the next, each and every performance of the piece is by definition different than any other. Glass, on the other hand, is all about structure and the explicit and planned interaction of the various segments that coalesce to form any of his compositions.

Philip GlassWhat's perhaps most remarkable—and what has clearly differentiated Glass from his contemporaries—is how he has embraced existing forms and found ways to fit his own repetitive structures into them. From opera to symphony, string quartet to piano etude, Glass is the composer who has most fully integrated his own vision within existing stylistic conventions—and, consequently, become one of the most well-known composers of the past half century. Reich and Riley are undeniably composers of equal (or greater) influence amongst musicians—from Soft Machine in the 1970s to more contemporary artists including Swiss pianist Nik Bartsch's "Ritual Groove Music" and Pat Metheny Group's epic The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005). But by collaborating with everyone from Lou Reed and Paul Simon to creating a two-hour concert work based on the writings of Leonard Cohen, (Book of Longing (Orange Mountain Music, 2007)), Glass has generated the kind of visibility where he may not be a household name, but he's closer to it than any other contemporary classical composer, a clear indicator being a parody seen on the iconic The Simpsons television show.

Still, popularity does not a significant artist make. Glass has worked with the broadest possible sonic palette, writing music ranging from the small ensemble, multiple keyboard/sax/flute/trumpet/voice-based "Music With Changing Parts" (1970) to using all the instruments an orchestra has to offer on "Symphony No. 3" (1995) and "Symphony No. 8" (2005). Glass has also incorporated ethnic instruments from a variety of cultures, like the Australian didjeridoo, African kora and Indian tanpura on his soundtrack to Powaqqatsi (1987)—the second in director Godfrey Reggio's film trilogy, which included the ground-breaking Koyaanisqatsi (1982) and Naqoyqatsi (2003), all of which Glass scored, and which have collectively created the litmus test when it comes to seamless integration of sight and sound. He's worked with full opera choruses and orchestras on ambitious works like the opera "Satyagraha" (1980) and children's choirs on "Symphony No. 5" (1999), from which a brief edited movement, "Suffering" is included.

As diverse as the contexts within which Glass works are, and as much as he's clearly evolved over the past 40 years, there are characteristics that make his music immediately recognizable. Early works like "Music in Twelve Parts" might be considered hypnotic, except that the relentless nature of Glass' various musical fragments interacting is often too aggressive to lull anyone into a trance-like state. The genius of Glass' approach is how a single pattern might form the basis of a piece like the 20-minute "Part VII," from "Music in Twelve Parts," but it's the constant ebb and flow of other parts along with it, moving from background to foreground—in sometimes imperceptible ways—which create the dynamic and dramatic shifts that keep the piece compelling for over 20 minutes. The frenetic pulse that drives "Part VIII" contrasts with its melody—long, whole tones that rest above the frenzied foundation to create a strange kind of tension-and-release where, while the ear is often drawn to one or the other, the best way to try to listen to the music is to absorb it as a whole.

Philip Glass An entire disc devoted to Glass' "Glassworks/Analog" (1977-81) show a more beautiful side to Glass and, with "Opening," a clear reference to classical romanticism. It's an early reference to more conventional form, while still applying the use of iteration. "Facades" is even more lyrical, with saxophonist Jack Kripl, a one-time member of the shrinking and expanding Philip Glass Ensemble, soaring over a series of haunting changes given forward motion through Glass' use of constantly moving intervals.

Voice has been a significant part of Glass' palette from the very beginning, from wordless, purely choral works like the title section to "Etoile Polaire" (1977) to the scripted, operatic score to "Satyagraha," where text, adapted from the Bhagavad-Gita is layered as simple melody over a symphonic score that uses counterpoint and polyrhythm to create a complex underpinning that remains accessible throughout. Albert de Ruiter's bass vocal on the opening movement to "Koyaanisqatsi" has become almost iconic, as Glass evolves a lengthy suite where dark-hued simplicity juxtaposes with high velocity on "The Grid," where the meaning of "Koyaanisqatsi"—Life Out of Balance—is made vivid without a single word being uttered.

Glass' longstanding collaboration with Kronos Quartet occupies most of Disc Seven, which features three string quartets broken up by four piano etudes, performed by Glass himself. The entire disc demonstrates Glass' clear allegiance to melody, even as it's contrasted with contrapuntal complexity that should be a challenge to the ears, but isn't. If anything, Glass has become more approachable, with the two symphonies on Disc Nine filled with memorable themes. As the drama builds and dissolves throughout a series of climaxes and brooding passages of ethereal beauty, Glass' mathematical approach to repetition should be the antithesis of resonance, but isn't.

The final disc, which comprises excerpts from films spanning the years 1984 through 2003, is perhaps the most revealing disc of all. Glass composes for string quartet on his soundtrack to Tod Browning's classic Dracula (1931) and Paul Schrader's Mishima (1984); scores a larger symphonic rewrite of Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bete (1946); evokes a spare piano etude turned choral anthem for Bernard Rose's Candyman (1992); and turns melancholy on "The Poet Acts," from Stephen Daldry's The Hours (2002), which also features pianist and longtime musical cohort Michael Riesman. Regardless of the context, Glass shapes his personal musical aesthetic into whatever form best serves each film, creating a 70-minute suite that may not have originally been conceived together, but here becomes a cohesive and unified listen that, when compared to the raw materials of Disc One's early works, highlights just how Glass has evolved them into a distinct and unique shape all its own.

Philip Glass With a discography as large as Glass' even the ten CDs of Glass Box only scratch the surface. Still, for those unfamiliar with the breadth of Glass' work, Glass Box - A Nonesuch Retrospective is a perfect primer that will lead to the discovery of even greater diversification in a discography of over fifty albums dedicated to Glass' writing alone, and countless more featuring his work alongside many of his contemporaries. For those familiar with Glass, Glass Box collects some of his best work into individual, theme-based collections, that not only point to the value of the complete recordings, but stand alone as compelling, self-contained anthologies. 
John Kelman / All About Jazz

Art Konik ‎– Vendetta Society (2002)

Style: Acid Jazz, Future Jazz, Experimental
Format: CD
Label: Comet Records

Tracklist:
01.   Finger
02.   Mingpark
03.   La Miche
04.   PVC
05.   New York
06.   Clap
07.   Afro Monkey
08.   Vendetta Society
09.   Hum
10.   Dalang Otom

Credits:
Arranged By – Smadj
Recorded By, Mixed By, Producer – Smadj

VA ‎– Best Of Acid Jazz Volume 2 (1997)

Style: House, Acid Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Garage House
Format: CD, Cass.
Label: Global Television, Global Television

Tracklist:
Disc one
01.   Jamiroquai - Virtual insanuty
02.   The Brand New Heavies – Dream on dreamer
03.   The Blue Boy – Remember me
04.   Omar – There’s nothing like this
05.   Martine Girault – Revival
06.   The James Taylor Quartet – Love the life
07.   Corduroy – High havoc
08.   Mica Paris – My one temptation
09.   Incognito – Don’t you worry about a thing
10.   Drizabone – Brighter star
11.   Urban Species – Brother
12.   Working Week – Inner city blues
13.   Raw Stylus – Pushing against the flow
14.   Galliano – Long time gone
15.   Ronny Jordan – The jakcal
16.   Dream Warriors – My definition of a boombastic jazz style
17.   Definition of Sound – Pass the vibe
18.   A Tribe Called Quest – Can ‘ kick it?
19.   Jason Rebello – Summertime
20.   The Aposties – Mercy mercy me

Disc two
01.   Carleen Anderson – Apparently nothin’
02.   Count Basic – Jazz in the house
03.   Des’ree – You gotta be
04.   Omar – Outside
05.   The Brand New Heavies – Stay this way
06.   The New-Jersey Kings – Dream waves
07.   Jhelisa – Friendly pressure
08.   D’Note – The garden of eathly delights
09.   Mother Earth – Bad ass weed
10.   The James Taylor Quartet – Love will keep us together
11.   Greenfinger – Dr bong
12.   Milk – Beached
13.   High Steppers – Got to be
14.   Outside – Big city
15.   Night Train – A bad trip
16.   The Beaujolais Band – Ain’t no sunshine
17.   Corduroy – The corduroy orgasm club
18.   Society of soul – It only get better
19.   Will Downing – A love supreme
20.   Tuck & Patty – Time after time

Credits:
Compiled By – Nic Moran

Melon ‎– Deep Cut (1987)

Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop, Funk / Soul
Format: CDVinyl
Label: Epic

Tracklist:
01.   Quiet Village
02.   Uptown Downtown
03.   Hard Core Hawaiian
04.   Hawaiian Break
05.   Time Enough For Love
06.   Somewhere Faraway
07.   Farawa y
08.   Pleasue Before Your Breakfast
09.   Funkasia
10.   The Gate Of Japonesia
11.   Only Tonight

Credits:
Arranged By, Performer – Melon
Lyrics By – Chica, Toshi Nakanishi
Producer, Mixed By, Engineer – Nick Froome

Interview: Toshio Nakanishi on Hip Hop, New Wave, and Punk

The Plastics, Melon, and Major Force man on his multi-faceted career.

Toshio Nakanishi is one of the most well-known Japanese rock/pop musicians of all time. He appeared on the scene as the frontman of Plastics at a moment – the late ’70s and early ’80s – when the country’s artists were looking to make it in the West. He instead grounded the genre of technopop firmly in the tapestry of Japanese music, and subsequently drew attention from Island Records, who were strategically looking to explore and grow post-Bob-Marley. They released an album in 1981 and embarked on a world tour, but due to disagreements in the band, they quickly went their separate ways. After the group disbanded, Nakanishi went to New York, and found a new band together with Plastics member Chikako Sato called Melon. Their sound began as funk-influenced New Wave, but then turned into something else entirely. 
Playing music has only been a small part of Nakanishi’s career. Nakanishi was a graphic designer by trade, and he designed material for Talking Heads during his Plastics years. He also co-owned Pithecanthropus Erectus, one of the most important venues in the early days of the Tokyo club scene, and producing Melon Private Collection, an exclusive clothing line. 
At the end of the Melon era, Nakanishi then went to London and formed a hip hop act called Tycoon Tosh and Japan’s first-ever dance music-only imprint Major Force alongside former Melon members Gota Yashiki and Masayuki Kudo, and also Hiroshi Fujiwara and Kan Takagi. Nakanishi remained there throughout the ’90s, but this interview centers around his youth growing up in an upmarket area of Tokyo called Hiroo, up until the period when arrived in the UK capital. 
On how he started a bandI wanted to be an illustrator. I used to love Zeppelin as a child. But when Roxy Music appeared, and I started listening to Velvet Underground, Deaf School and Modern Lovers, I started to think that maybe I could also do this. Velvet Underground were around from 1967, but it was much later in the ’70s that it reached Japan. I had read in a fashion magazine an-an about them, but I couldn’t find a shop where they stocked them as an import. The first time I saw the real thing was when I passed by an old record store called “Scandal” near Shibuya. 
At first, I didn’t think it was good, and “Heroin” sounded like there were cats jumping around on it. I didn’t get it. I wanted them to have better sound quality. In the magazine it said, “Once you’ve heard Velvet Underground and start liking it, everything else you hear will start to sound old-fashioned.” If you’ve never heard them before, it might be good to start with “Sunday Morning.” You can get into that straight away. When I hear that track I think of early morning Harajuku. It fits perfectly.” I think New Wave started with the people listening to Velvet Underground. Brian Eno once said something like, “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.” We wouldn’t have done Plastics if it weren’t for bands like Velvet Underground, Roxy or the Pistols. 
Plastics and KraftwerkPlastics started out as a punk band, but Kraftwerk was another big influence in our style. I started listening from around Radioactivity, and by Trans-Europe Express, I was very much aware of their importance for me. Hajime [Tachibana, Plastics guitarist] also knew that Kraftwerk were going to be important. We had just started Plastics, and we were saying that we should go more in this direction rather than punk. I had also been exposed to Seditionaries or punks dressed in high fashion in London, and Hajime had seen the Screamers and the Germs in Los Angeles. But the most amazing thing Hajime saw, apparently, was the industrial and cold sound of Devo. Hajime and I thought we should steer the band in the direction of something between the Sex Pistols and Kraftwerk. Probably something like Can. I found out later that Johnny Rotten was also a Can fan, but there was nobody else doing it at the time, so it felt fresh to us. 
Around that time I was working as an illustrator at Peter Sato’s studio [a famous Japanese illustrator using airbrush techniques], so the people who would frankly suggest ideas or new directions to us were artists: Peter Sato himself or Toru Kogure, a photographer, who would also frequent the studio. What they used to say back then was, “It’s fine doing Plastics in English, but it ‘somehow’ should be related to home.” Toru and Peter were into Kayōkyoku and Enka [old-fashioned Japanese pop styles], and the studio was decorated with ’50s-style neon tubes on the walls, and the music that was played was hardcore Enka, so it was a really surreal, camp, and kitsch environment. To be camp was to be objective. Whenever I would go to Peter’s New York loft, he would be working and listening to Talking Heads and Enka simultaneously. So in discussing in which language to write lyrics with Hajime, at first he said we should write in Japanese, but in the end we agreed that if we can’t surpass Bowie or Bryan Ferry in English, then we might as well write in a mix of Japanese and English. 
The inspirations of Plastics song lyricsThe Plastics’ lyrics were never written beforehand, though I guess it depended on the song. Hajime always used to say, “How is it that you can write lyrics without any preparation?” There were times where the track was already done and I would write while listening to it. I was also influenced by David Byrne from Talking Heads. Normally, if you’re putting something down on paper, you go from top to bottom, right? In his case, he would have little islands on the bottom... or anywhere. And so the ideas would be put down in fragments and then strung together. So, in this sense, it wasn’t that every line was cut up, but it was still cut up. It’s a Dadaist way of writing. You can hear it on their song “I Zimbra.” When you write this way, you come up with some surprising elements for yourself. 
On groove: The influence of New York dance music sceneI didn’t know how Kraftwerk made their beats. They took apart their rhythm boxes and hit them. We never thought of that. But we started researching Kraftwerk, and Hajime bought a synthesizer and a sequencer. The first track we made was “Delicious,” and it was used for the Bigi fashion show. At that time, Ma-chan [Masahide Sakuma] was helping Hajime out a lot. 
After our first album release on Island, Plastics played in Central Park, opening for Talking Heads. By this point, Talking Heads had become an Afro band. I had listened to the album, Remain in Light, but there were so many things I only understood when I saw them live. David was using the word “trance” a lot, and it wasn’t just a four piece band – there were many more members, and something happened in terms of the groove. You got to this trance-like state. I think My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is trying to incorporate this invisible, magical element. Personally, at first, I didn’t understand black music. “Sex Machine,” I thought, was just a repetition of the words. But Hajime loved listening to R&B, soul, and people like James Brown or Marvin Gaye. And I learned a bit of funk during my period in New York. I don’t think we would have made dance music if we hadn’t gone to New York. 
Discovery of hip hop and foundation of Major ForceWe set up Major Force in 1988, but in 1981 we had a first taste of hip hop when we were recording Melon in New York. Shigeichi [Kuwahara] – producer and early Plastics manager – heard “Planet Rock” on the radio, and we both went to Peppermint Lounge to hear Afrika Bambaataa. We weren’t prepared for anything like it, and were shocked to see breakdancing. We thought, “What on earth is this?” 
We got the dancers to be in the Melon promotion video. I think the only people even aware of hip hop in Japan around this time were me and Hiroshi Fujiwara. In 1983 Fab Five Freddy came to Japan for the promotion of Wild Style. I knew about hip hop, but I was chasing a certain funk-ness with the band Melon. But maybe I was a little confused, having just come from New Wave. There were lots of bands like that back then: A Certain Ratio, Blue Rondo à la Turk, Pigbag, Level 42, and ABC amongst others. 
Blade Runner played a big part in Melon’s concepts and its path to hip hop. I saw Blade Runner for the first time in a cinema in New York, and I was amazed by it because it was something familiar, in a way. It was partly due to the fact that some friends were in the film, but I was overwhelmed by the cheap and dingy commercialized future that resembled Kabukicho [a district in Tokyo]. At the same time, I was heavily influenced by the Beats, like the cut-ups of William S. Burroughs or Brion Gysin
David Byrne got into Latin / Brazilian sounds after Afro, and continued to work with it for a good ten years, but I think the reason why I never got into that – and went for hip hop instead – was because I saw hip hop as a form of collage and cut-ups. Everyone around me got into those sounds, but I just got bored of it. David and Shigeichi were on the search for the ritualistic in Bahia, but I never had an interest in Batucada for instance. In collage, something happens where you never expected it to. I felt a much stronger, darker possibility in Burroughs’ cut-ups.
London in the ’90sIn London, where we spent the ’90s as Major Force West, there was a real psychedelic atmosphere, like in the ’60s. I was talking with Hosono-san [Haruomi Hosono] of Yellow Magic Orchestra, and he agreed. It wasn’t the acid of ecstasy like the Manchester bands, it was the real psychedelic acid. Due to this, we tried to make psychedelic hip hop. In terms of records, England is the origin of psychedelic rock, and so there were lots to be dug out. Though, there, it would be called trip-hop. 
At that time there were people like Oasis and the Verve… the ’90s were a really shit period. Music went downhill. I didn’t really get Primal Scream. I hate Liam from Oasis’ voice, plus he’s too full of himself. Roxy Music, on the other hand, knew their place and where they stood. I think that’s because they had really seen and experienced the Beatles and the Stones. There was no progress with them. You know Beck has a huge amount of talent, but it’s nothing that would take you by surprise. It must have started with Lenny Kravitz’s psychedelic interpretations. Of course, I think he knew what he was doing. In that sense, I think Keith Richards should punch all of them. 
If you go abroad, you cannot help but to rethink your identity. I’m sure, for instance, if you are a guitarist or a bassist, you might join a foreign band. If you are like me, you start thinking about your identity until you feel sick. “What on earth should I sing about in Melon?” I thought about that all the time. I was in New York for a while, and I saw lots of things. I was also based in London. But I am not American. Nor am I a British citizen. 
When you enter the pop music world, you’re forced to describe yourself as simply as possible by the record companies. As a Japanese person, a very accessible Orientalism is demanded of you. On top of that, I was a Japanese person making music influenced by hip hop. In a review of Melon’s Deep Cut, someone wrote that it was fundamentally wrong that Japanese people should be making music tinged with hip hop. But I would say I’m fundamentally right. During the Plastics period, this kind of easy-to-digest Japanese Kabuki-style stereotype was required of us. But we never did it. We don’t go around in everyday life in kimonos. That’s why we never casually threw around these typically Oriental-sounding phrases in our tracks. Hajime and I named this “pop life.” And that’s how David Byrne and the B-52’s got to know about Japanese New Wave.
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By Hiroshi Egaitsu on October 13, 2014

José Prates ‎– Tam... Tam... Tam...! (1958)

Style: Samba, Batucada, Afro-Cuban, MPB
Format: CDVinyl
Label: Trunk Records

Tracklist:
01.   Imbarabaô, macumba
02.   Imbaê-Sofá, macumba
03.   Nãnã Imborô, candomblé
04.   Fá Eû-Á, candomblé
05.   Onika, candomblé
06.   Ogum Olojô, macumba
07.   Maracatú Da D. Santa (J. Prates)
08.   De Luanda-Ô, batuque
09.   Maracatú Elegante (J. Prates)
10.   Nêga Zefinha, lamento (J. Prates)
11.   Tem Brabo No Samba (Cêna De Escola De Samba)

Credits:
Arranged By – José Prates
Directed By – José Prates
Producer – Miécio Askanasy
Recorded By – José Prates
Remastered By – Jon Brooks
Vocals – Ivan de Paul
Prates expectations
Tam… Tam… Tam…!
RC might claim a tiny bit of influence on this one. In summer 2014 Gilles Peterson spoke to us about Tam… Tam… Tam…!: the original 1958 Brazilian pressing has been atop his wants list for years, but he urged someone to reissue it so he could at least have a version “to play with”.

Enter Jonny Trunk, ever happy to engage his detective skills and bring exotic obscurities to the world. Less than six months later, Tam… Tam… Tam…! was loose, selling over 60 copies in two hours in London’s Sounds Of The Universe – a remarkable achievement for an indie release of an obscure little Brazilian LP.

Only it’s not just a Brazilian LP. Sure, it blueprints the bossa craze of the coming decade and, in Nanã Imborô, reveals Jorge Ben’s source for ubiquitous Latin party piece Mas Que Nada; but it’s also a vibrantly multicultural work the reach of which becomes more apparent with every listen. José Prates was in the cast of Brasiliana, a rolling performance troupe that toured the world, led by Polish producer Miécio Askanasy, who pulled in influences and musicians from each new territory he hit. Prates recorded their repertoire, heavy on the Latin, but with a tribal, African underpinning, and, arguably, an almost avant-garde European approach to flouting cultural boundaries. It’s unabashed in its bombast: the sort of thing that could only come from an ensemble with global ambitions.

With the best will in the world, a lot of bossa music has a shelf life, but, happily, Tam… Tam… Tam…!’s expiry date has just been renewed. And it closes with a thumping samba, which alone has been worth the wait.

Reviewed by Jason Drape
Bom, nem Gilles Peterson tinha o disco. “Tam…Tam… Tam…!” era uma peça exótica em 1958 e mais ainda agora. Gravado como parte de um show itinerante chamado “Brasiliana”, o álbum foi produzido por Miécio Askanasy e gravado pelos elementos do espectáculo. Polaco, Askanasy explica, com a melhor das intenções, a sua motivação. Tradicionalmente paternalista, esta abordagem em relação a culturas “exóticas” seria hoje provavelmente inaceitável, mas imaginamos que, na época, tenha suscitado genuína curiosidade. A este tipo de acções devemos, nós, pessoas normais que gostam de música, muitas descobertas. Ele escreveu: “De minha preocupação sociológica a respeito do negro, de sua vida, de sua arte, nasceu a ideia de organizar BRASILIANA, que não é apenas teatro: é uma obra social, em que se prova que a arte do negro pode e deve ser cuidada, para que, através dela, nós elevemos sua cultura e o tragamos para o nosso meio, efetivamente.” Em delírio, ouvimos a voz grossa de Ivan de Paula como um clássico crooner brasileiro, tom de Yma Sumac no masculino; ouvimos Martin Denny, ouvimos mestres cubanos, ouvimos santeria, costumes, samba, arranjos e direcção de José Prates, “jovem compositor pernambucano”. “Brasiliana” teve datas a começar em 1950 (Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo) e, em 1957, o espectáculo estava a ser apresentado em locais tão diversos como Israel (Tel Aviv, Jerusalém, Haifa, etc.) e Alemanha de Leste (berlim, Leipzig, Dresden). Este disco quase fugia. Garantimos exemplares para a família, que são vocês."
                                                                                                               Source: Flur

Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul With The Honeymoon Killers ‎– Ex-Futur Album (2014)

Style: Avantgarde, Europop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs 

Tracklist:
01.   Chez Les Aborigènes
02.   Afflux De Luxe
03.   Je Pleure Tout Le Temps
04.   Veronika Winken
05.   Réveillons-Nous
06.   I'm Always Crying
07.   My Kind Of Doll
08.   Luxurious Dub
09.   Le Troisième Personnage
10.   The Aboriginal Variations

Bonus Tracks
11.   Réveillons-Nous (Live)
12.   Mit Den Eingeborenen (Live)
13.   I'm Always Remixing

How unique, Véronique 
Over and above the rose tint imparted by cyclical fads, whereby the formerly derided music and moustaches of a given decade briefly become perceived as cool again, there’s a particular strain of early 80s pop which would appear to have weathered the years very robustly indeed. For a shining moment, anarchic avant-gardoids walked arm-in-arm with Smash Hits readers, and neither side found anything remotely remarkable about it. 
In just such a manner, Ex-Futur Album represents the time-capsule of a project that could – and should – have brought home plenty of bananas in 1983, but which instead was destined to languish, incomplete, on a studio shelf – until now. After making two coolly uncompromising, come-with- Zappa-to-the-casbah albums with his band Aksak Maboul, Crammed Discs founder Marc Hollander entered into fecund collaboration with coltish chanteuse Véronique Vincent and her band The Honeymoon Killers. The too-few results constitute electro-pop ambrosia, combining the scampering drum-machine textures and gamine charm of Young Marble Giants with sexy, supple, “ethnological forgery” rhythms. Afflux De Luxe and Veronika Winken are lighter than helium, Réveillons-Nous has a whirling groove you could draw out snake venom with – particularly the percussive live version – and the facetious English lyrics of My Kind Of Doll (“We make love in the back of his pram”) are adorably abstruse. 
Source:  recordcollectormag.com
 

Fertile Ground ‎– Perception (2011)

Style: Soul-Jazz, Fusion, Latin Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Counterpoint Records

Tracklist:
01.   Libations
02.   Spiritual War
03.   Broken Branches
04.   Be Natural
05.   Peace & Love
06.   Let The Wind Blow
07.   Colours Of The Night
08.   Soulmates
09.   Patches In The Shade (Stay Strong)
10.   Misguided Warrior
11.   Runaway Slave
12.   Homage (Yesterday)
13.   Sentimental Groove
14.   Black Sunshine
15.   Ghetto Butterflies
16.   My Friend The Moon

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Sunny Fuller
Drums – Marcus Asante
Percussion – Devin Walker, Ekendra Das
Piano, Trumpet – James Collins
Saxophone – Albert Helter, Craig Alston
Trumpet – Freddie Dunn
Vocals – Navasha Daya

Notes:
This compilation contains songs from previous albums "Field Songs" (1998) and "Spiritual War" (1999).

Juana Molina ‎– Halo (2017)

Style: Abstract, Art Rock, Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs

Tracklist:
01.   Paraguaya
02.   Sin Dones
03.   Lentísimo Halo
04.   In The Lassa
05.   Cosoco
06.   Cálculos y Oráculos
07.   Los Pies Helados
08.   A00 B01
09.   Cara de Espejo
10.   Andó
11.   Estalacticas
12.   Al Oeste

Credits:
Drums – Diego Lopez De Arcaute
Written-By, Arranged By, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Sampler, Keyboards, Synth, Programmed By, Recorded By, Mixed By – Juana Molina

Juana Molina is a quietly unsettling singer-songwriter from Argentina who specialises in experimental folktronica, mixing acoustic styles and electronica in songs that constantly switch between charming and quirky to downright spooky. On the album cover, her face appears to have morphed into a bone, like a witch from some ancient ceremony, while on the slow and doomy Lentísimo Halo there are references to an evil light which appears in Argentine folk tales. The daughter of a tango musician, Molina may sing in a trance-like whisper, but she understands the importance of rhythm; many of the songs are underpinned by a sturdy bass line, over which she adds guitar, bass or keyboards, playing all the instruments herself on several tracks. There are sturdy melodies on the quietly charming Cosoco or Cálculos Y Oráculos, but even an apparently conventional song is soon transformed by her edgy and intriguing off-kilter soundscapes.
Robin Denslow / The Guardian

The first songs Juana Molina wrote on her guitar as a young girl in Argentina were simple things, repetitive melodies comprised of a few notes and chords. She would play them over and over for weeks on end, lulling herself into a trance. Without the confidence to explore her droning ambient tendencies, she dressed them up with a chorus, verse, and bridge, a spoonful of sugar meant to disguise her kookier tendencies. 
Her 1996 debut LP Rara did much of the same, a folky pop record that only offered glimpses of the rhythmic experimentation she would later explore more fully. Her early career was marked by a slow shedding of her protective pop armor. And when she discovered the Boss RC-20 loop station for 2004’s Tres Cosas, she finally had the tool to take those trance-inducing loops she’d been drawn to since childhood and craft lush, layered compositions. With each record, as she’s shed layer after layer of constricting pop and folk structures, she seems to reveal more and more of herself. 
Halo is Molina’s seventh and strongest LP. She wields a sonic palette refined by two decades of experimentation to create a narrative defined not by words, but by mood. Loosely based on the folk legend of the “luz mala”—a halo of “evil light” that floats above the ground where bones are buried—the record evokes the occult in its music as much as in its Spanish lyrics. The fickle protagonist of “Paraguaya” feeds potions to a lover in order to manipulate his desires, but beyond the words, there’s clearly some brujería at work. The ominous strings and purring percussion make that clear, if the 1,000-yard stare peering at you from the femur on the album’s cover didn’t already. 
On 2008’s “Un Día,” Molina sung of a desire to deliver songs with no lyrics; in 2017, she’s perfected the form. Three tracks on Halo—“In the Lassa,” “A00 B01,” and “Andó”—feature her voice but no words. Her rhythmic vocals are looped and layered, blending in as another instrumental layer in the ambient compositions. Above each song hangs a looming specter, its characters in search of paranormal assistance in the physical realm to soothe their confusion and regret. Occasionally she even seems to speak with her synthesizer; its brooding warble on “Cálculos y Oráculos” is as expressive as any vocal. 
Much is made of Molina’s past as a comedic television performer in Argentina. Her decision to walk away from her show “Juana y Sus Hermanas” at the peak of its popularity is an alluring part of her mystique, but it also underscores her intention. Her acting career was a means to an end, a way to support her music, the art she cared about. Her early folk tendencies and pop structures served a similar purpose, a means to explore the off-kilter rhythms and ambient melodies that lulled her into a trance as a child, pulling us in along with her. 
Halo suggests a self-realization that is often breathtaking. On “Cara de espejo,” Molina sings of a woman looking in the mirror, shocked by the truth she finds in her own reflection. “Cuando uno sabe qué va a verse en un espejo/Pone la cara que espera ver en el reflejo,” she sings. Or, in English, “When you know you'll look at yourself in the mirror/You pull the face you hope to see in the reflection.” It seems Molina finally sees her true self staring back at her.
Matthew Ismael Ruiz / Pitchfork

Liu Sola ‎– Blues In The East (1994)

Genre: Blues, Classical, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD
Label: Axiom

Tracklist:
The Broken Zither
01.   Introduction
02.   Boya's Adventures
03.   Meeting With The Woodcutter Ziqi
04.   A Discourse On The Zither
05.   The Appointment With Ziqi
06.   Boya's Lament
07.   Breaking The Zither
Married To Exile (A Story Of Wang Zhaojun)
08.   Beyond The Great Wall
09.   The Goose
10.   Looking Back
11.   The Nation's Boundaries
12.   Oh Mother

Credits:
Bass – Fernando Saunders
Biwa – Wu Man
Drums – Jerome Brailey
Guitar – James Blood Ulmer
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Liu Sola
Narrator – Umar Bin Hassan
Organ, Piano, Vocals – Amina Claudine Myers
Percussion (African) – Aiyb Dieng
Percussion (Japanese) – Yukio Tsuji
Saxophone – Henry Threadgill
Shakuhachi – Ralph Samuelson
Shakuhachi, Woodwind – Ned Rothenberg
Violin – Jason Hwang
Lyrics By – Liu Sola, Umar Bin Hassan
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Mixed By – Robert Musso
Music By – Liu Sola
Producer – Bill Laswell

Magic Drum Orchestra ‎– In The Studio (2011)

Style: Genre: Jazz, Latin, Samba
Format: CD
Label: Lion Head Recordings

Tracklist:
1.   Raggasamba
2.   Serengeti
3.   Dynamic Africana
4.   Smelebele
5   Sofa / Gidamba
6.   Mozambique
7.   Drop It (Like A Funky Muppet)
8.   Tumbaiao

Credits:
Producer – Glyn Bush, Ralph Cree

The Magic Drum Orchestra began life over five years ago as a Brazilian-style bateria or street-percussion band led by Glyn Bush (Biggabush / Lightning Head) and Ralph Cree (www.magicdrum.org.uk), inspired by the carnival music of Rio, Salvadore and Pernambuco. Since then the group has gone through many changes of line up and has now settled on a steady membership of 12 people which has been together since 2007. The musical style has evolved during that time from strict samba and batucada rhythms to incorporate elements of afrobeat, traditional african and cuban rhythms, funk, hip hop and ragga beats. Every performance by the MDO is different, as the leaders use pre-set signals and cues to trigger different breaks, solos and arrangements from the other percussionists - also including elements of improvisation and freestyling - which are integrated with tightly-rehearsed grooves. A highlight of the band's live set is a medley of Snoop Dogg's Drop It Like It's Hot mixed with the theme from the Muppet Show and elements of James Brown's Funky Drummer. Other pieces are based on 70s afrobeat favourites such as Dr Victor Olaiya and Dynamic Africana from Strut's recent Nigeria 70 album as well as funk stalwarts the Whitefield Brothers. All are performed with verve and exuberance by the band on drums, percussion, shakers and bells at street parties, club venues and festivals. The Magic Drum Orchestra has been a regular fixture at the UK's Big Chill for the last three years and have proved hugely popular with every appearance.
Source: kudosrecords.co.uk

Two Banks Of Four ‎– Junkyard Gods (2008)

Style: Future Jazz, Downtempo
Format: CD
Label: Sonar Kollektiv

Tracklist:
01.   Junkyard Gods
02.   Queen Of Crows
03.   Go
04.   Shadowlands
05.   Summertime
06.   Flags & Words
07.   Wake Me
08.   Paper Planes
09.   Lights On A Satellite
10.   Ballad Of Oliver Law

Credits:
Bass – Robin Mullarkey
Drums – Tom Skinner
Piano, Keyboards – Ski Oakenfull
Saxophone, Flute, Flute – Finn Peters
Trombone – Trevor Mires
Trumpet – Byron Wallen
Voice – Bembe Segue, Valerie Etienne, Zinger
Harmonium, Synthesizer, Zither, Tin Whistle, Marimba, Finger Cymbals, Instrument – 2 Banks Of 4
Producer – 2 Banks Of 4