Archive for May, 2012

More Silent Voices….

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The loss of great talent continues.

Recently, we lost the Bassist from Booker T’s Band, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn. If you have any of their tracks he’s there riding that extraordinary groove only he could make.

I also recently learned that he also played on the original version of ‘respect’ by Otis Redding.

Only a day or so ago, dedicated funk man, & bandleader , Chuck Brown passed away.

Many of us will have jumped to a track (or 5) of his in our time, & although associated in the wider media as the the father of DC gogo music, many will know he has a long musical history crate diggers & b-boys of a certain vintage will have dropped moves to that well-know sample from Ashley’s Roachclip

Sampled by Run DMC to Eric B, LL Cool J & all those inbetween, despite Gog0 not scaling the heights of popularity like Dance music, house or hip hop, ironically, some of his heaviest tracks have formed the backbone of hip hop’s musical backstory.

The latest light to leave this world is Donna Summer

Undisputed talent, known more for helping to define Disco, more specifically, the Euro-sound of disco with Giorgio Moroder, it’s only now with her death we realise the influence & respect she garnered from the music industry’s heavy hitters.

To that end I thought it fitting to include a section from the BBC documentary ‘Queens of Disco’

Despite being know for her work in the 70’s Disco era, she’s had a diverse output.

 

The  upside to this will be that the incredible body of work these people leave behind will continue to be heard by & inspire others.

Step Into The Blue……………

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I’ve been trying various ways to bring my PC back to life, but it seems, in the words of an iconic sketch, it has ceased to be: it is a late PC. After weeks of searching online, testing, tweaking asking people, I must finally admit defeat.
I’ve been looking at barebones system, but I’ve not been able to find what I want. Circumstances, seem to be pointing in the direction of actually building the damn thing from scratch. It’s rather daunting, but I think I should be able to do it. I just need to get the confidence (& cash!) to get this started. That said, considering the expired machine was dished out of a skip & through trail, error & some help, I managed to get it working, so I should be able to do this.

On a more positive, if somewhat random note, I’ve been speaking to Riddimaster. His 80’s b-boy mashup mix finally got released by DMC & he heard of my computer woes. He has been looking out for deals online on my behalf, but has also been asking to collaborate. Obviously, distance & a lack of a working machine has been a bit of a pain, but he has solicited my opinion on some of his work & it seems the advice has been appreciated.

I’ve generally shied away from collaborative work. Partly because it involves spending even more time away from The Wife, long hours & losing your weekends, trying to catch up sleep.
There’s also the fact that traditionally, I’ve not derived huge benefits from working with others, but in retrospect, that was more down to inexperience & confidence issues. I’m older (& grumpier with a mortgage!), so really that’s something I need to get over, to an extent.

That said, any endeavour, artistic, personal or career, will at some point require a first step and/or a leap of faith – maybe I should just take a deep breath…………….

Yet ANOTHER Talented DJ…………

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Makes you sick really……..

…and That’s All…….

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

People of a certain age will have been saddened by the death of Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch of the Beastie Boys, after a long battle with cancer.

Whilst the group has an enviable back catalogue, stayed ahead of the game by re-invention & diversification (Grand Royal record label & magazine to name a few), I think their true legacy has been making legitimate for white kids (often, but no way exclusively middle class) to like & listen to rap music.

Now, before anyone starts having a go or making race-based accusations, let’s not forget, there has been previous precedent; there has long been a phenomenon those in the music industry have tried to exploit which I call ‘The Elvis Effect’, that is to say finding white artists that can make or front music that is or originates in the black community (some now call it ‘Urban’ for the sake of political correctness, but you get the point).

I call, it the ‘Elvis Effect’ after the often repeated story of a record producer prior to finding Elvis looking for a ‘White guy that sings like a Negro’.

Regardless of the accuracy of this anecdote, from Elvis, to Eminem & beyond, the juxtaposition, combining ‘white marketability with black credibility’ has been seen by certain industry bods as a bit of a ‘holy grail’ & when it happens, can be hugely profitable. Indeed, Eminem was well aware of the ‘Elvis Effect, often making reference to it on his early singles & parodying it in his videos.

Now like Elvis, The Beastie Boys were actually quite talented, their change to a raucous, ‘frat-boy’ image proving to be a shrewd move (although many Volkswagen owners at the time would disagree) They themselves have inspired many artists, black as well as white, notably Jay-Z as well as Eminiem citing the group as touchstone.

I still remember hearing ‘Hold It Now (Hit It)’ and trying to get hold of a copy for ages, only to pick it up years later.

Whether the remaining members choose to continue as a unit or decide to call it a day out of respect for Adam, they can be assured the legacy will continue to be a wealth of inspiration for a long time.

More Random Science Stuff..

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Just thought I’d share a couple of things I’d come across:

First up some things from BBC’s ‘ Bang Goes The Theory’;

I knew the answer to this as it turned up as a question on Qi ages ago:


Next up: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

 

Next: Autobots – ROLL OUT (to NASA….)

Peter ‘Optimus Prime’ Cullen shows NASA’s pioneering spirit:

David Attenborough finds nature’s best mimic:

I came across this last year (despite it being older), then promptly lost it – Take it away, DJ Short-e!!!!

(Okay, it’s not science, but still BLOODY GOOD)