Much respect to the familia over at the local Digger’s Union who I’m genuinely fans of. I only recently just started this blog, so the lack of coverage on other sites here are zilch, but def. look for future episodes of their Enjoy & Be Educated podcast shows here. I support these brothas (Unexpected & Hevehitta) and salute them. For today’s episode, they showcase and give the drummer some. And the fact that they got some Idris, Olatunji (!!!!) and Hiro Tsunoda in the mix is enough proof for you that they know their shit and are deep diggers. Tracklist below. Download it here.
Funky likkle reggae chune by The Crown Prince of Reggae (Bob Marley’s words ), Dennis Brown. Sorry, no photo of the 45. This cut was produced by Herman Chin-Loy and was recently repressed on his Aquarius label in 2004.
You all know about the legendary Blind Alley break by The Emotions. But do you know about this bootlegged version of the Volt classic? This dub-esque version features the reworked Blind Alley on the A-side, with an extended cut of Isaac Hayes’ Bumpy’s Lament on the flip. Both were culled from the original master tapes from the Stax/Volt sessions, which in turn blesses us with a version of Blind Alley (written by David Porter) that features an extended break intro with that heavy bassline, those notorious keys that get the head nodding (pause) and dubbed out vocals. So ill. Now excuse me while I browse through the profiles of blossoming Tiger Mom MILFS on Asian Avenue for a good laugh.
Listen, I don’t know jack about Intimate Strangers, this song’s history or who else chopped this break, so instead I’ll leave you with a random, yet important science fact:
The Sun is approximately 93 million miles from Earth, and the speed at which Light travels is approximately 186,000 miles per second, yet it takes the Light from the Sun about 8 minutes and some change to reach us here on Earth. Which ultimately means the Sunlight we are seeing is 8 minutes old, or about the same time it takes Jim Jones to catch a new case.
Footage of Marvin performing his 8 minute interstellar funk opus, featured on his 1978 release, Here, My Dear which is considered his most personal album ever written, mostly due to the events that unfolded prior-to and during the recording process. At the time, Marvin’s relationship with Anna Gordy reached a tipping point of no return, and began to disintegrate drastically. Throughout the entire album, Marvin vividly paints the ups and downs of his relationship with the daughter of Berry Gordy, especially on Is That Enough? (does that intro sound familiar?) where he declares:
“The judge said she got to keep on living the way she accustomed to / She trying to break a man / I don’t understand / Somebody tell me please, tell me please / Why do I have to pay attorney fees?”
Goosebumps! A Funky Space Reincarnation however, tells a romantic tale of leaving Earth on a love-triggered journey into interstellar space, and is this writer’s favorite off the entire fourteen-track deep LP, and definitely one of the funkiest cuts.
Music won’t have no race. Only space, Peaceful space!
In my humblest opinion, Zap Pow’s 1972 hit This Is Reggae Music epitomizes the perfect coalescence of the bouncy rhythm of Reggae, the impassioned sounds of Soul and the unrestrained spirit of Funk. It hits the right notes, at the right times amidst a superlatively balanced blend of wah-wah guitar licks that drive the track, a filthy bassline, a string section arranged by Harry Robinson (which is usually unheard of in reggae music) and the vocal mastering of Dwight Pinkney. Although I’d love to have heard this exact song with Beres Hammond on the vocals, Dwight really does his thing, complimented with those amazing strings. God damn. Did I mention the strings? This is reggae music.
Wade Marcus is a beast on the low though. The brother caught his break producing and arranging for an assortment of Motown as well as a few noteworthy Blue Note artists that include Donald Byrd, The Dramatics, Marlena Shaw, Lou Donaldson, Eddie Kendricks, The Emotions and so much more. He also scored the soundtrack to the 1972 blaxploitation film The Final Comedown which was released on Blue Note. Until recently, I didn’t know much on his exceptional musical career until I blindly purchased his album, A New Era from ’71.
Boy does this album have some gems on it. Two standouts are the obvious cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears’ Spinning Wheel which was also famously covered by Dr. Lonnie Smith, which in turn gave birth to mad Hip-Hop samples. Wade’s version features a heavy break, but for me, it’s all about the title track, A New Era (up top) which features the brilliant Hubert Laws on flute for the first half of the song. The second half breaks down into a dark cinematic library funk leviathan, full of strings, rattles, gloomy brass sections and of course a monster drum break. Mood musik is the word.