Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The Budos Band ‎– The Budos Band II (2007)

Style: Afrobeat, Funk
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Daptone Records

01.   Chicago Falcon
02.   Budos Rising
03.   Ride Or Die
04.   Mas O Menos
05.   Adeniji
06.   King Cobra
07.   My Girl
08.   Origin Of Man
09.   Scorpion
10.   Deep In The Sand

Bass – Daniel Foder
Bongos, Congas – Rob Lombardo
Congas – John Carbonella Jr.
Cowbell, Claves, Tambourine – Dame Rodriguez
Drums – Brian Profilio
Flute – Daisy Sugerman
Guitar – Thomas Brenneck
Organ [Farfisa Electric] – Mike Deller
Saxophone [Baritone] – Jared Tankel
Saxophone [Tenor] – Cochemea Gastelum
Shekere, Tambourine – Vincent Balestrino
Trumpet – Andrew Greene, David Guy
Mastered By – Steve Berson
Mixed By – Gabriel Roth, Thomas Brenneck
Recorded By – Gabriel Roth
Executive Producer – Gabriel Roth, Neal Sugarman

The Budos Band's second album, much like their first one, is practically an archeological dig. They've broken down through all the strata of the post-punk/post-disco era to uncover the fertile soil of late 1960s and early 70s Afrofunk and soul-jazz, not to mention funky 70s blaxploitation soundtracks, 60s Now Sound LPs, Ethio-jazz and plain old superbad funk. The end result is something so hip it could kill you in large doses-in the right doses it just plain kills.
The Budos crew hails from Brooklyn, but their outlook is definitely global-- they somewhat restrictively term what they do "Afro-soul," which works well as a basic distillation of what they do and probably at least tells the right people to listen. It's strictly instrumental, but never showy, and they avoid protracted compositions-- there are no twenty-minute Fela-inspired burners on here, just a ton of memorable, concise tracks stuffed with compact solos and big themes played by a big horn section.
The band's rhythm section is truly fantastic. The bass is right in the pocket, the drums keep everything steady and driving, the judiciously employed hand percussion adds a gritty texture, and the guitar does everything from wah'd-out scratching to playing snaky, surfy leads. Checking over the songwriting credits, I was initially surprised to see Smokey Robinson's name in the credit for "His Girl", but listening closely, it is, in fact, based very loosely on "My Girl". It's so thoroughly altered that they could have gotten away with calling it an original, especially at this breakneck tempo, but either way, I'd be willing to bet Smokey never imagined his tune being blasted out by a smoking horn section over a chunky Afrobeat groove.
The band gets into Mulatu Astatke's Ethio-jazz territory on "Origin of Man", which cleverly references Mulatu's homeland of Ethiopia in its title. The dark, deliberate rhythm track is offset by a squealing organ and horns that have just a slight Latin tinge to them. There's not a bad track here, but my favorite might be "King Cobra", which opens with a cool, minor-key passage of film-noir guitar and busts into a crazed horror organ solo after the horns say their part. Opener "Chicago Falcon" has a wicked groove and excellent horn arrangement that pits legato passages against bursts of staccato. It's like the greatest library track DeWolfe never released in the 70s.
This is a supremely entertaining record, perfect for dancing, driving or just providing a soundtrack when you want to nod your head in time to something. The true secret to the Budos Band's success is that they keep it short and to the point. Only a few songs even make it past four minutes, and those are that long because they're able to sustain it. When your whole sound is based on the groove, keeping your listener wanting more is essential, and this does that. While it doesn't really represent a change from their first album, II is proof that the Budos Band's formula is good for a lot of mileage. I know I'll be listening a lot.                                                                              
Joe Tangari / Pictchfork

Hieroglyphic Being, Sarathy Korwar, Shabaka Hutchings ‎– A.R.E Project (2017)

Style: Electronic, Experimental
Format: Vinyl
Label: Technicolour ‎– TCLR 023

1.   The Doctrines Of Swedenborg
2.   Calling The Loas
3.   Dimensions Of Frequency & Vibrations
4.   Ashrams

Jamal Moss AKA Hieroglyphic Being - Electronics
Shabaka Hutchings - Saxophone
Sarathy Korwar - Drums

Ok so anyone with their ear to the ground may be aware of this. Last year Chicago's alt demi-god Hieroglyphic Being joined forces with percussionist / producer Sarathy Korwar (who fused traditional folk music of the Sidi community in India with jazz and electronics on his debut album “Day To Day”) and Shabaka Hutchings (the highly respected British saxophonist and co-founder of Sons Of Kemet, Mercury-nominated The Comet Is Coming and Shabaka & The Ancestors). They recorded a 100% live improvised session at the iconic Lightship95 studio moored at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. They recorded over 2.5 hours of music across 2 sessions, with 90 minutes streamed live via NTS. Here we get some choice selections from the session, handily split across four tracks (vexaciously I struggle with naming improv sessions, posthumously, after the session has 'died', but hey that's just me - ed). "The Doctrines Of Swedenborg" gallops in on gentle percussion while sine tones beam down from the outer galaxies amid a gust of solar winds and squalls of space dust. Hutchings' sax weaves a delicate but evocative passage through the melee, elevating the track even further out of our Earthly reach. Very heavenly, and thus achieving its allegiance with the cosmos. "Call The Loas" continues the theme, with Jovian elements mixed with the typical, jarred rhythms we associate with Hieroglyphic Being and further embellished with that epic freestyle sax work. "Dimensions Of Frequency & Vibrations" sees the trio plummet into cavernous, pitch-black realms, rotating percussion patterns grinding and whirring against abrasive, caustic elements until a winding, mystic lead line comes darting in straight from Hieroglyphic's Maths+++ catalogue. "Ashrams" concludes in suitably spiritual form, a tribal mantra that calls to the gods. Featuring tough tabla fighting hard drum machine usage while an aggressive, staccato sax line fires up a storm. Excellent stuff here from three unchampioned kings of the leftfield - voodoo tech-jazz for the freaks, gremlins and cyborgs.
Fonte / Piccadilly Records