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Synth Pioneers Pt. 3: Synth Funk

Posted by Sam

Stevie Wonder

An good intro can really make the song. It can set the mood, erasing whatever else is around you and make you feel safe from the world.  These songs work because they are incredibly funky and use the impossible elasticity of the synth to great measure.

Another reason these songs still feel fresh is because they represent an era where music and technology had reached a new apex. Stevie Wonder’s synth work in the 70’s is considered by many to be the most influential of it’s era, thanks in part to his work with Tonto’s Expanding Headband and their TONTO synth (watch this little documentary), which allowed the funk to show through the machines.

These songs honor that legacy in different ways.

Carly Simon-Why

Produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of the all-time best disco band Chic, this was a UK chart hit but never on a US album save for a low-key soundtrack. Not as synthy as the rest, but about as good a pop-disco track as you’re likely to hear, skanking along at an easy clip.

The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23

A funky version of Shuggie Otis’ deathless original, this cut is synth and bass heaven and helped them reach platinum status. Produced by Quincy Jones no less.

Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars

Dexter Wansel was on Gamble And Huff’s famous Philly International label. Ann Arbor/Detroit legend DJ Carlos Souffront sold me this re-issue at Osborne’s record store in Ann Arbor years ago and it never sees the shelf. The cut breaks into some super funky disco heat, but that cosmic intro makes this one truly staggering.

Yarbrough and Peoples – Don’t Stop The Music

Greatest bassline awards #1 and sits between genres pretty niftily. 1980 was a MONSTER YEAR for synthy funk, the R+B charts were producing some great tracks, fast and slow. Boogie music is getting some love thanks to revivalists like Dam Funk, and with good reason. Feel this video.

Canyons+Lusine+Dark Party+Mountains

Posted by Jakub

The Canyons - The Lovemore EP
Australian’s like The Canyons have been putting out some great disco as of late, really good rhythm and guitar additions, really gives the songs this authentic non digital feel.

One of my favorite Lusine songs has to be Rushhour, its one of those songs that pays off if you listen to it from start to finish, no patience with the beginning will get you nowhere. Once you get to the 4 min mark you’ll know i’m talking about but the only way to truly enjoy it is listening to the detail in the build up to it, it literally sounds like the a thousand knifes being sharped by your ears while you try to run away from the highest quality low end that monsoons over your precious town.

Eliot Lipp and Leo123 collab again since their original material debut on Ghostly Swim and leak a cutup west coast indie club bomb for their North American tour, real solid work by the two.

Mountains sway the Thrill Jockey catalog up another step on the quality end by unleashing an absolutely phenomenal droned out LP, the real pleasure hear is having the whole LP and playing it start to finish, highly recommend atleast having the song Telescope.

The Canyons – Apples and Pears

Lusine lcl – Rushhour

Dark Party – Status

Mountains – Telescope

Dubstep Essential Mix by Guardian

Posted by Jakub

Guardian
Dubstep has been manhandling the electronic scene lately in the States and i’m sure in the UK its even more intense than that and has been for quite sometime now. I think its finally spreading into the “normal” listeners ears, I say it that way so I don’t get too much crap from the true dubstep heads that have been following dubstep since the 90’s or whatnot. Guardian also known as A Setting Sun did a nice job of with this mix by showing the range of how dark to poppy the sound gets plus really capturing a few of my personal favorites.

TRACKLIST
RamadanmanBidding War
SkreamBabylon
TRGMove Dis
HijakNightmares
RSDForward Youth
UntoldDante
2562Kontrol
BengaCrunked Up
Dizzee RascalRound We Go
Kode9Ping
LoefahBombay Squad
The Bug ft Killa P & FlowdanSkeng
BengaE Trips
Magnetic ManThe Cyberman
La RouxIn for the Kill (Skream Remix)
PinchPunisher (Loefah’s SE25 Remix)
SkreamTrapped in a Dark Bubble
Bar 9Midnight
BengaEvolution
Plastician ft SkeptaIntensive Snare
BoxcutterA Familiar Sound
D1Cocaine
Kode9Magnetic City
Flying LotusRobertaFlack (Martyn Remix)
MartynRight? Star!
LDWoodblock
ZombyTest Me for a Reason

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

Guardian – Guardian Battles the Space Invadaz

Dam Funk+Runaway+Michna+Stranglers

Posted by Jakub

Dam Funk on Stones Throw
We have more from Dam Funk, I just find it perfect for the summer sun. Look for his Toeachizown album on Stones Throw Records, it’ll be hard to miss since its 5xLP’s!

Posted the original of this Runaway single awhile back, definitely feeling this Brennan Green remix though, if you’re ever in Manhattan you should check out his night in Chinatown.

Michna is back from months of touring and turned out new digital EP which includes remixes from Star Eyes, Osborne, and Eliot Lipp. The Osborne grabbed me, also kind of loving the art on the egg.

I’m sure most of you have heard this Stranglers song when you watched Snatch with Brad Pitt, it came up randomly on iTunes shuffle and put me in a great mood especially the last 30 seconds of vocals.

Dam Funk – Toeachizown

Runaway – Brooklyn Club Jam (Brennan Green’s Version)

Michna – Triple Chrome Dipped (Osborne Remix)

The Stranglers – Golden Brown

Datasette vs. Jason Cawood

Posted by Scott

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Dusty was over tonight and we were listening to some Datasette. That along with Jakub’s mention of Jason Cawood’s excellent “Salvaged” set on Flickr got me thinking I need to do a post on both. So it is; most of the songs were cut from Datasette mixtapes by Dusty so they don’t really have official names that I know of.

Datasette – Business Funk 1

Datasette – Business Funk 2

Datasette – Business Funk 3

Datasette – Minus Fourteen

Clark+Throbbing Gristle+Avey Tare+STL

Posted by Jakub

Avey Tare
Clark comes off to me as someone thats passionate and confident every time I put one of his songs on. To be able to turn something in like this to Warp Records and asking them to put it out and it being so drastic and harsh at times is its own thing but making it sound this good on this other level is another.

Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx destroys this remix of Throbbing Gristle in the best way possible, such epic theatrical moments that remind me of the movie Bloodsport with Jean-Claude Van Damme when he’s fighting in the Kumite lol or this should of been the music to play along to when those drummers from the Chinese Olympics played in the opening ceremony, either or.

Avey Tare of Animal Collective put out solo project in 2007 and I found this piano experimental piece pretty enjoyable to say the least.

If I could be on a european label it would hands down be Smallville, its just a quality boutique label run by some of the guys from Dial Records. Smallville always puts out those songs that make me think what am I doing listening to anything else and thats usually just fueled purely on nostalgia of what got me hooked to deep melodic music.

Clark – Talis

Throbbing Gristle – Hot On The Heels Of Love (Ratcliffe Remix)

Avey Tare & Kría Brekkan – Was Onaip

STL – Silent State

Bodycode+Russell+Buckingham+Benga

Posted by Jakub

Bodycode - Immune
South Africa’s Alan Abrahams in my opinion makes the most authentic and unique tribal house, he takes you into the thickest brush on the back of a black panther and just drops you off to fend for yourself while being pretty much assaulted by pure body music, I really couldn’t ask for more of an intense musical experience.

Found these edits on this label called Galaxy at Turntable Lab, some great limited 12’s, recorded a few to MP3, enjoying this Arthur Russell one, i’ll post the Towa Tei one soon.

Saw Prince Language DJ a few weeks ago in Brooklyn with Tom Croose and he dropped an edit of this Lindsey Buckingham track as the last cut of the night, classic jam!

Alright here is some dubstep rowdiness, its on some other tip that my mind doesn’t understand but my ears love, maybe save it for the weekend? or just turn up your speakers as loud as possible. Woooooo the low end and that slow of a tempo just gets me everytime, just think submarine battles and helicopters indoors.

Bodycode – Meaning and Memory

Arthur Russell – In The Light (Edit)

Lindsey Buckingham – Trouble

Benga – Buzzin’

Radio Dept+Infiniti+Grand National+Lalo S.

Posted by Jakub

The Radio Dept.
When I first heard this Radio Dept. song I thought I was hearing the beginning of White Town – Your Woman but that definitely wasn’t the case because I check out that song on youtube and they sound nothing alike, I guess thats how long its been since i’ve heard White Town. I really like this David song, it doesn’t follow any trends, the panning on the harp going by at a certain part made me laugh a little, the catchiness and instrumentation might not start a dance party but i’m sure if you played it for friends they would ask who it was.

Some people might not be into Juan Atkins(aka Infiniti), like right now i’m trying to pretend i’m hearing this song for the first time and i’m not from the Detroit area, alright wait okay mind blown at 1:08 & 2:06, i’m sold.

Grand National came along and were overshadowed by The Rapture, Interpol, and The National but if you have even one ounce of excitement when a good slower Indie Dance Rock comes along then this song will definitely give you goosebumps when the bassline drops in and when he says “I blame it on myself ‘cos i can’t keep anything down”.

I think the horns at the beginning of Lalo Schifrin’s were stolen by Who Wants To Be A Millionaire so Mr. Schifrin please collect your royalties on that but other than that the horns in the rest of this song are magnifique

The Radio Dept. – David

Infiniti – Game One

Grand National – Talk Amongst Yourselves

Lalo Schifrin – Bullitt, Main Title