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Hilton Royale "Dr. Funk Alligatooor" (Norway)

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True Soul Vol.2
True Soul Vol.2
Price: £21.33

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Wrong Track, 29 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: True Soul Vol.2 (Audio CD)
The standard had to drop on volume 2, as the first one came loaded to
the brim with smoking grooves, and hit like thunder in a barrel of
dust. True Soul was a small label and their output limited, so it's
a bit unreasonable to compare it to the incredible high standard of
the first volume, but that's the natural thing to do, and this time around
the music is not as inventive or infectious and a lot of the songs doesn't
make much of an impression.
You get two dustkickers on volume 2. One is the instrumental version of
"Sister Funk", with a bassline that kicks cans without dropping sweat.
The other is YWPS's cover version of The Meters "Thank You", a reeeal
nice slice of sertified, dirtified funk.
The last part of the album goes disco. As I would charge you an immense
amount of money to put on disco pants, there is not much for me to get
carried away with on the last five songs.
If funk is the eagle of rhythm music, then disco is the fly.

Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People
Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People
Offered by Smaller World Future
Price: £26.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection Of Their First EPs, 21 July 2011
This is a collection of Califone's first EPs. It holds two of the most beautiful
songs Rutili has written; "Silvermine Pictures" and "Electric Fence".
"Electric Fence" features booming drums accompanied by different sound fragments,
and it works to wonderful effect. These two are worth the purchase alone, but
you'll find other very good songs on it.

If you're into some of these artists; Sparklehorse, Kingsbury Manx, Deerhunter,
Jim White, Grandaddy or Lambchop, then this should go down like a cold one after
a hard days work eating peanuts in the desert.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts Your Golden Ass In The Quicksand!, 20 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Quicksand/Cradlesnakes (Audio CD)
I thought I had a pretty good overview on alternative country, americana and related
genres, where this belong, but somehow Califone have slipped under my radar.
With the exception of the hard to get "Deceleration One" I have bought everything they
have released the last couple of months, and I'm amazed I haven't picked up on them
earlier, as all their albums hold a lot of truly fantastic songs.

On "Quicksand/Cradlesnakes" you get "Michigan Girls", a real stunner with guitar,
cello swells and careful percussion. Another is "Your Golden Ass", a rattling guitar
romp that has a resemblance to some of Beck's first recordings and Sebadoh's shiniest
moments. Other good songs include "Red", the slow bluesgroove of "When Leon Spinx
Moved To Town", "Horoscopic. Amputation. Honey" and "Vampiring Again", the latter
show Califone at their catchiest and most accessible side, but even in such a sweet
song, there's the odd burst of jangle to splinter the harmonies.

A highly original outfit. Comparisons are pretty futile, but I will be surprised if this
doesn't go down well with fans of Sparklehorse. I think Califone, on occasions, sound
like Sparklehorse combined with the best elements of post-rock(experimental and
quirky, but not too self-indulgent)and a small dose of trip-hop.

"Roots And Crowns" and "Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People" are also
magnificent albums, and if you get hooked on Califone, it's easy to hit the order button
to get their entire production. Regardless of your personal economy. Food is important,
but great music, espresso and tobacco will always be the preferred breakfast of champions.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 30, 2011 9:02 AM BST

True Soul Vol.1
True Soul Vol.1
Offered by discover.store
Price: £18.30

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Funky As You Wanna Be!, 7 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: True Soul Vol.1 (Audio CD)
In the liner notes there is a picture of Lee Anthony, the True Soul label
owner, standing next to his "treasure chest", containing hundreds of
seven-inches, and that is exactly what has been picked from it, treasures
in the shape of fat funky nuggets.

It's almost pointless to choose highlites, because there is not much to
omit. Thomas East gets the main attention with four songs. Deservedly so,
as three of them are great ones, but with the exception of 3-4 songs, the
rest is just as good as East.
The James Brown influence is discernible, but the musicians on True Soul
still had a flavor of their own, and the rhythm and horn sections really
knew how to lay down a mean, mean groove. Fan-Foonkin-Tastic!!!

Ren Smith's "Smog" is the funniest joint on it, written after a trip to
Los Angeles; "SMOOOOG...Makes Me Feel Like A Dirty Dog". Heh heh heh!
"Psychedelic Hot Pants" is another find. It sounds like a twisted James
Bond theme, with a highly charged groove and a killer horn section.
Other OUTSTANDING tracks from John Craig, Classic Funk, Albert Smith and
The Right Track makes this a no brainer, all gainer.

Now-Again and Eothen Alapatt have done a raw, raw number with "True Soul".
It's equal to the phattest funk and afrobeat compilations around, such as
"African Scream Contest", "New Orleans Funk", "Ghana Soundz" and "King Funk".
The whole package is very impressive; exeptional music, great sound quality,
a bonus DVD, and extensive, well written liner notes with lots of interviews
and background stories.

Downloads and music libraries my ass! Nothing compares to the real thing
when it's done so thorough as this.
A sensational release. Reissue of the year by a stones throw!

The 1st Album (1973)
The 1st Album (1973)
Price: £14.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Their Vodoun Workin'!, 22 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The 1st Album (1973) (Audio CD)
Another great release from The Amazing Analog Africa Label, and the fourth album
where Orchestre Poly Rythmo takes centre stage.
A lot of the fattest tunes on the classic "African Scream Contest" compilation
were driven by musicians from The Poly Rythmo, and the two releases presenting
their own work, "The Vodoun Effect" and "Echos Hypnotiques", are essential
albums for afrobeat heads.
This release holds an exclusive first-time release of two tracks, "Yeye We Nou
Mi" and "Egni Miton", versions they originally rejected in 1973, when they
recorded the album.
Both songs are great, especially "Yeye" with that raw organ solo. Faaantastic!
On "Ou C'est Lui Ou C'est Moi" the groove drifts off a bit, and I prefer the
version on "African Scream Contest". "La La La La" clocks in at over 12 minutes,
and is a magnificently constructed song.

The album was recorded during a single afternoon, and the result holds 33
minutes of Poly Rythmo at their funkiest.

Life Stories
Life Stories
Price: £18.21

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Groove Of His Own, 21 April 2011
This review is from: Life Stories (Audio CD)
Ebo Taylor studied music in London at the same time as Fela, and spent most
weekends at his house. Last year's "Love & Death" was a straightforward
afrobeat affair, and smoking proof that the man hasn't lost the spark.
The title track and "Victory" were reworkings of old material, with
supersolid backing by members of The Afrobeat Academy in Berlin, from
musicians that for the most part have cut their teeth on Fela.
Parts of "Love & Death" sounded like Ebo was paying homage to Fela, but as
these earlier recordings show, Ebo Taylor is no copycat.

"Sometimes people would say - your music sound like Fela, is it imitation?"
And I say no. We are coming from the same source, so naturally there will
be similarities. I'm not abandoning highlife. I'm trying to follow up the
development of the extraction of afrorock and funk or afrobeat, or whatever
you call it, to perpetuate its existence"

Ebo Taylor(From the liner notes by Jon Lusk)

Ebo has a distinct groove of his own, and is a more mellow fellow than Fela,
both musically and lyrically. The groove is not that highly charged, and the
highlife sounds more significant.

As there have been a lot of great Ebo tracks on the Ghana Soundz and Afrobeat
Airways compilations, I was hoping that someone would reissue more of his
recordings, and Strut have really done a kick-ass number with "Life Stories",
highlighting both his solo albums and collaborations with others.

Disc One opens with "Heaven", "Atwer Abroba" and "Victory", three classics
in a row. When I saw the tracklisting for the first time I wondered if they
intended to blow all the explosives at the start, but the whole compilation is
an even affair, and the quality runs through both discs.

Highlites include "Heaven", "Atwer Abroba", "Victory", "Tamfo Nyi Ekyir",
"Love And Death", "Ohye Atar Gyan", "Etuei" and "Egya Edu". And the some.

Nateef Know De Road Of Teef
Nateef Know De Road Of Teef
Price: £13.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Title Track, 10 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pax Nicholas became a member of Fela's fantastic band in
1971 as a conga player and background singer, and he
appeared on all his albums from 71 to 78. He released two
solo LPs, and Na Teef, the second one, was made with Africa
70 musicians and singers.

Fela wasn't too cheerful abot it, and reportedly said;
"Don't you ever, EVER play it again", when he heard how
strong it was.
I don't think the Na Teef album is that strong, and can't
imagine it got Fela sweating, but the title track is 11
minutes and 48 seconds of blissful, slow burning afrobeat.
At first I thought it was too repeating, but the groove
they got going really is something else.

3 stars is maybe a bit harsh, they are definitely on to
something, but it sounds somewhat sloppy at times.

Pax Nicholas also handles vocals on the truly amazing "Mind
Your Business" from the "Nigeria Afrobeat Special" collection.
What a song! It struts along with a walking rhythm that could
make hippos swing their giant yash with ease, and brings a
groove that is related to reggae. Everything comes up smoking;
the rhythm section, the horns, the scratchy guitar.
As funky as it gets!

If Fela had heard that track, he would have turned up the
air-condition and burned one down!

Alligator Boogaloo
Alligator Boogaloo

4.0 out of 5 stars THE GODFATHER OF SOULJAZZ, 7 April 2011
This review is from: Alligator Boogaloo (Audio CD)
Lou Donaldson was responsible for introducing a lot of
talented young musicians in the sixties and seventies,
and his bands held an impressive list of great ones:
Lonnie Smith - King of the B3, Idris Muhammad, a
seriously funky drummer, and other first class acts
like Grant Green, Blue Mitchell, George Benson,
Melvin Sparks and Charles Earland.

"Alligator Boogaloo" is maybe the most recognized song
on here, but for me, "Aw Shucks!" and especially "One
Cylinder" stands out the most.
On "One Cylinder" the organ and the drums lay down a
wicked, slow beat with the horns and the guitar
coming in togheter, followed by some great solos.

One of the best descriptions of this kind of music comes
from the man himself:

"I don`t care what kind of style a group plays", Donaldson stated,
"as long as they settle into a groove where the rhythm keeps building
instead of changing around. It`s like the way an african hits a drum.
He hits it a certain way, and after a period of time, you feel it more
than you did when he first started. He is playing the same thing, but
the quality is different - it is settled into a groove. It`s like
settin`tobacco in a pipe. You put some heat on and make it expand.
After a while it`s there, it`s tight."

... Ain't It Funky Now!
... Ain't It Funky Now!
Price: £14.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, It Is, 7 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: ... Ain't It Funky Now! (Audio CD)
I've bought a fair amount of souljazz albums over the years.
All of Lou Donaldson's stuff, Lonnie Smith, Grant Green,
Reuben Wilson, Jimmy Smith, Billy Larkin & The Delegates,
a lot of the Blue Note series such as Blue Break Beats,
Blue Juice and Blue n' Groovy.

As jazzcompilations with a bit heavier funk influence go,
this is one of the phattest, with cover versions of Sly Stone
(Thank You & Sing A Simple Song), Jackson 5(I Want You Back),
The Meters(Message From The Meters), Charles Wright(Express
Yourself) and James Brown(Super Bad).

Lou Donaldson, the godfather of souljazz, put togheter some
incredible bands in the sixties and seventies, and the list of
players involved with him holds an insane amount of kick-ass
musicians; Idris Muhammad, Lonnie Smith, Blue Mitchell, George
Benson, Charles Earland, Leon Spencer, Grant Green and Melvin
Sparks. A few of these names are represented here, and
responsible for some of the highlights with "Thank you pt.1",
"Message from The Meters", Black Talk pt.1", "Express Yourself"
and "Don't Knock My Love".

You can add a classic track by Boogaloo Joe Jones("Right On"
is maybe the funkiest chicken of them all), and Harold Mabern's
version of "I Want You Back", with personnel including Lee Morgan
on trumpet, Boogaloo Joe Jones, guitar and Idris Muhammad.

Price: £12.35

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange beauty, 5 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Apocalypse (Audio CD)
In some ways "Apocalypse" is less accessible than a few of his other
albums. For most parts it's a stripped down affair, it's occasionally
distorted, and the arrangements are not as gorgeous as those on his
last release "Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle" or "A River Ain't
Much To Love", but after a few listens it grows on you, and I think
this holds togheter really well as an album.

A couple of the songs are jazzier than anything he has done before,
for instance "Universal Applicant" and "Bee's", with the flute parts.
Others have those surprising and unusual transitions that Callahan
handles so well; a small change of tempo, an unexpected twist,
a sigh, a whisper,"a couple of hoots, a hello and a f##k all y'all"!
He is one of very few artists that can make something quiet hit
hard, and make sparse arrangements sound like a full orchestra.

"Drover" is one of the standouts, it's the sound of the west
with an acoustic strum and climbing strings. This is a terrain
Calexico has visited a few times, but the prairie has never felt
this close. Nature, as on many of his greatest albums and songs,
is a felt presence on "Apocalypse"; rivers, deserts, horses,
cattle, valleys and mountains.
And as usual he delivers some incredibly clever and funny one
liners, among the grievous parts and the poetry.

The album closer, "One Fine Morning", is a STUNNING song.
One of the most hypnotic and beautiful things he has done.
Togheter with "Baby's Breath", "Riding For The Feeling", "America!"
and "Drover", it stands as the albums finest moment, and if there
ever was a funeral song, you won't find better opening lines than

"One fine morning I'm going to ride out,
just me and the skeleton crew..."
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 6, 2011 8:17 AM BST

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