Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Spank Rock and Old Time Relijun.
Listed: Spank Rock + Old Time Relijun
With Diplo as its torch-holder, and other Hollertronix cronies following not far behind, Philadelphia's star is glowing considerably brighter than it has in quite some time. One group destined to add fuel to the fire is Philadelphia producer-mc duo Spank Rock, whose debut 12" was recently released by Money Studies, and whose full-length is due out early next year. Spank Rock's genius comes not primarily from the foul-mouthed, semi-nasal rhymes of the MC Naeem Juwan, but from behind-the-scenes player Alex XXXChange, whose chops and cuts help Spank Rock's work stand out in a crowded field. Spank Rock's debut full-length, still untitled, will be out in 2006 on Big Dada. Alex XXXChange contributed this week's list.
1. Delta 5 - "Anticipation" 7"
This band is one of my favorites. They are a lot like that band the "Bush Tetras." Similar sound, same time period (late 70's early 80's), similar mix of guys and girls, except, they have two bass players instead of just one. The Delta 5 album Anticipation is grossly over-produced. If you can find their two 7"s they are way better (usually $30-50). It's way raw. Modern day disco punks eat your hearts out.
2. Rod Lee - The Official (Morphius, 2005)
The Baltimore Club king's latest effort. This is really hard to listen to the whole way through. There are a couple of outstanding tracks on here though. The remixed version of Dj 'Lil' Jay's "Down the Hill" is first class Baltimore minimalism. For some reason K.W. Griff produced the best track on the whole thing: "I'm A Good Mnn."
3. Plastic Little - "Foil" (aNYthing, 2004)
This group is one of the more interesting things coming out of Philly. Good funny lyrics with awesome art/punk/rap production. It's really inspiring to hear good rappers who are brave enough to do something different.
4. Gloria Jones - "Tainted Love" (Disque D'or)
The original version of the song Soft Cell made popular. I love how her voice breaks up when she overloads the mic. This record is so intense it's hard to believe that anybody plays the other version.
5. SuperMilkChan - "End Theme" (from the US version of the show on Cartoon Network)
If for some reason you are watching Cartoon Network at 3am this song will really freak you out. It's like if Baile Funk and Japanese Shibuya pop (a la, yukari fresh/escalator) had a kid who was all up in your face going, "sushi! sushi!" all chopped up and on coke.
6. Neutral Mute (Run-Roc, 2005)
My friend DJDJ (another ex-DFA intern) made this record all on Pro-Tools free. This album rocks like shit. I don't think there's a single song under 180 bpm on the whole record. Also check 'em out live, they slay.
7. The Monks - Monk Time
This band was together from like 1964-67. Those were prime Beatles years! god how fucking punk is this! I swear this was the first punk record ever. Check out the banjo basically used as percussion on the first track. Other good songs on this record are "Shut Up" and "Drunken Maria."
8. TTC (Big Dada 2004) instrumental version of Batardes Sensibles
The production on this is off the motherfuckin' chain. I wish every rap record sounded this good.
9. DJ Techniques - "Mr. Postman (remix)" (Baltimore Club Tracks, 2004)
There's this whole trend in Baltimore Club right now where the Dj's remake old 50's and 60's for the club. I think this is one of the better ones. Also check out me and Chris Rockwell’s mixtape "Voila!" out this summer on turntable lab for more oldies / club hijinx.
10. Piramide - Rap De Parada De Lucas (Piramide, 1996)
My roommate brought this baile funk record back from Brazil. One of our mutual friends who speaks Portugese says that this song is about the best soccer players of that particular year (1996?). This record was put out by the Piramide Sound System. there's a different MC on each track and the whole thing appears to be funded by a surf shop.
11. The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale - "Batman Theme" (Tifton 1966)
Apparently Sun Ra plays organ on this 1966 version of the Batman theme. I like it because of the girl singers mostly. They sound soooo psyched to be singing about Batman. Seriously, they fucking love Batman. Listen to Sun Ra try and keep it together.
Old Time Relijun
Arrington de Dionyso is the singer/guitar/bass/clarinet of Olympia, Washington's Old Time Relijun. As with many K Records recording artists (of which Old Time Relijun is one), de Dionyso is quite prolific, and has released over seven records since 1997. His latest record, 2012, was released earlier this year, also on K Records.
Hello everyone. It was fun to write this all out. I don't know if these are like all time and forever favorites, but definitely a good reflection of both my musical education, and what I continue to listen to day after day, on tour and at home when I have one.
1. Tuva: Voices from the Center of Asia (Smithsonian Folkways)
This was the first compilation of Tuvan music compiled and released by an American label (recorded by Ted Levin), and consequently was many people's first introduction to Tuvan music in general, and of course the various forms of traditional throat-singing in particular. A lot of albums have come since, and there are several groups of Tuvan musicians that regularly tour the folk festival circuits in the US and Europe, but when I first heard selections from this album on a late night program of the Spokane local NPR affiliate, was it 1991 I guess, I was astounded that the weird guttural growling tones that I had been making since I was four years old were the basis to an entire musical culture exactly half way on the other side of the planet Earth. This album lead me to enroll in ethnomusicology courses in college, and had me forever converted to the cause of throat singing to end all wars. Later on, in 1995, I met Hunn Hurr Tu at a show in Seattle and interviewed them for a radio program I worked for. They're great and all, but the records they put out are all recorded by hippies and I'm not into those kind of production values at all. Voices From the Center of Asia is more, uh, authentic, recorded like most releases of the Folkways catalog, in the environment where these musical traditions take place- outside on the steppe, in yurts, or while singing to flocks of sheep. There's very little "world music" performance pretense on this album - most of the singers are in their 70's, they're just laying it down on the mic like they see fit and have seen fit for however many hundred thousand years.
2. Eus Komariah & Yus Wiradiredja - The Sound of Sunda
The first track on this album, "Sorban Palid" is supposedly about the symbol of a turban floating down the river- meaning a husband who has left his family. So it\'s a lament of sorts, but damn, I tell you, this one song makes this album the best lovemaking music I have ever heard (besides Trout Mask Replica) and the whole album has this wistful, soul-filling vibe - love lost in flooding rice fields and staring at the moon with the chirping of cicadas behind you and in front of you. The music is "Jaipongan", a very unique hybridization of ancient gamelan degung styles with more modern urban sounds. There's a quite interesting story behind the development of this style of indigenous pop music but it would take too long to explain right now.
3. Kadri Gopalnath - Popular Krithis on Saxophone
Oh my god, I put this in and no matter what, it makes me happy. His playing here is fast and exhuberant, it is the sun on a not too extremely hot day. The air is fresh and everything is beautiful. It\'s not just the incredible twisting of the alto saxophone to coincide with Indian microtonality that makes this record so blisteringly amazing, his back up band fucking rocks - tablas pounding elephant shit into fairy dust and some fucking insane jawharp backbeats...also some kind of viola or something droning on making emotions and colors.
Be warned, music lovers! I have bought some other discs by Kadri only to discover they were complete and utter shit, India\'s answer to smooth jazz with the most unenthused lowlifey crap you can imagine. Also watch out for his "collaborations" with Western New Age musicians, that sucks even worse. But "Popular Krithis on Saxophone is still at the top of my list.
4. Getatchew Mekurya - Ethiopiques Vol. 14
Whereas Kadri Gopalnath's alto is the brightness of the day on fresh green grass, the aggressively mournful snarling of Getatchew Mekurya's tenor is full moon in all its calamity and rage on the desert-swept city night.
Called the "Negus of Ethiopian Sax", the brutal monotony of these multiphonic war chants is not accidental. This is in fact also a hybrid music, only derived directly from the melodies of ancient Ethiopian battle-cries- lyrics sung or shouted on the war front as demonstrations of bravery facing enemy spears and guns; only this time adapted for urbanity in the jazz consciousness stream. This is Ayler, this is Coltrane, this is Arthur Doyle, and a million times more interesting that this guy has still to this day never heard any of those demigods, nary a lick. And he plays five nights a week at some dingy club in Addis Ababa. He performs wearing an actual lion's mane.
5. Ramnad Krishnan - Vidwan Music of South India; Songs of the Carnatic Tradition
This was Ramnad Krishna's only recording? Why? Why? His voice is novels, and dances, and warbling birds, rotting leaves, crying babies born into rivers of life and crocodiles. Pulsating heart chakra music. These are all love songs to gods that dance and speak.
6. Jon Gavanti
Sometime in '81 or '82 or '83, some of the musicians from the (No) New York groups DNA and Mars got together with strings, pots and pans, and a couple of bass clarinets and frog voices to produce this amazingly twisted tribute or adaptation or perhaps puppet show somehow based on Don Giovanni. It sounds a little bit like Sesame Street hijacked by radical Tibetan Monks, except totally and completely sexed up beyond what you can imagine on the first fleeting glimpse. I have many favorite lines from the libretto that I chant to myself in secret, from time to time, on a subway, or a car, or in an airport. "Now I'm taking a boat to Argentina, to give the natives a taste of my samba!!!" also, "Chair, door, and sofa, couch, tooth and comb. Always and forever, I am Gavanti!!!" This is also a great secret lovemaking album, because it bubbles over with an intoxicating unbridled joy, it is its own enjoyment and also a diamond-lined gateway to the larger mysteries of the universe.
7. Demetrio Stratos - Metrodora
I still have only met two other people in North America who have ever heard of this guy, but everywhere you go in Italy, people will come up to you out of nowhere and ask you if you have heard of Demetrio Stratos. Demetrio this, Demetrio that. So I had to just go out and get the box set. Superb, sexy, and scandalizing vocal gymnastics and actual sound EXPERIMENTS taking place on these recordings of solo voice. And this was in the '70's, way before anybody had ever gotten a hold of those aforementioned Tuvan records.
8. Spiridon Spiridonovich (Shushingen)- Any recording...
I had some of his stuff before, it was all stolen from my car. Imagine some fucking idiot at the pawn shop, trying to sell off three hours of solo, unadorned Yakutian/Siberian Jew's harp albums. Please, guys, get a clue: if you're gonna come break my window and steal shit from my van, you just go on ahead and do it. But why not just take all my Stooges albums or something, because nobody is going to give a shit about this kind of music except for me!
He makes bird sounds with the jawharps...he makes the sound of drops of water landing into underground lakes from the tips of stalactites. Fuck.
9. Becky Stark/Lavender Diamond Band
Just CDR's so far, folks. But why not go ahead and ingrain the name in your memory now, so that when you wake up tommorrow morning and she's the Next Big Thing, you at least have a little clue, and you aren't surprised that you are wanting to listen to her voice over and over and over again. When these songs get the radio play they deserve, there will be no more wars on Earth again, ever.
Honorable Mention in this category goes to: Larkin Grimm.
10. Reggae Confusion Unlabeled cassette my mom brought back from Belize in 1991. Totally crazy and trashy casiotone dancehall reggae hijinks - "Grannie Walk and Rock" is outstanding - a conversation between the loafer and his grandma, she's got a lot to say about the rising price of chicken and rice, and her grandson's cussing, which has got to stop, along with all his "hollerin' out me name, you callin' me name in vain!"
By Dusted Magazine