Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The third one...

Right, with alarming regularity I bring you the third installment of the Naga selection. It's still not quite as good as the first one but probably a bit less messy than the second one. The tracklist is as follows;

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Richard Harris - The Hive (Stateside)
Os Mutantes - Bat Macumba (Universal)
The Silver Apples - You and I (Radioactive)
Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity - Indian Ropeman (Polydor)
Jimi Hendrix - Gotta Have It (Astan)
Muddy Waters - Tom Cat (Universal)
De La Soul ft. MF Doom - Rock Co. Cane Flow (Sanctuary)
Kool Keith and Motion Man - Ego '99 (Ground Level)
Raw Produce - Mister Dope America (Insomnia)
Sebi - Git down (Artifacts remix) (Gamm)
The Earlies - Wayward Song (WEA)
Pedro - This time last week (Melodic)
Theboylucas - There are great monsters going past (Output)
Tarwater - Noon (Kitty-Yo)
Six Organs of Admittance - Hollowed light severed sun (Holy Mountain)
Dorothy Ashby - Joyful grass and grape (Cadet)
Joanna Newsom - Sadie (Drag City)
Adem - Ringing in my ear (Domino)
Iron and Wine - Smokestack Lightning (BMI/Sub Pop)

And what better way to start than with a Richard Harris gem - 'The Hive'. It's a big Axelrodesque production - climatic strings and horns with gritty geetar funk - for best results ignore the dodgy lyrics altogether. From there I chose some spazzy psych-funk-rock numbers courtesy of Os Mutantes (a recently recommended South American psych rock band from the sixties and seventies - The Bees single 'Mienha Meina' (spelling?) is basically a cover of one of their songs), the moog dirge of the Silver Apples (banjos and moogs anyone? and yet it works) , the hammond funk classic that is 'Indian Rope Man' from London's very own Brian Auger, some obscure Jimi as sampled by the Beasties (very poor vinyl quality unfortunately) and into Muddy Waters filthy scratchity funk of 'Tom Cat'.

Next up some hip hop - the incredible new De La cut featuring MF Doom off the equally good 'Grind Date' lp (don't sleep on it...), a couple of gems from the indie hip hop golden era including the sooperb but slept on 'Mister Dope America' which has a great cut-up chorus (gets me everytime) before finishing off with the Sebi remix of the Artifacts 'Come on wid da get down' - I heard it a couple of months back and had to have it - basically the track is built around the same jazz samples used by DJ Vadim for the brilliant 'Next Shit' track which itself samples the Artifacts - confused - I was... I'm not entirely sure but I think the jazz track being sampled is 'Capricorn' possibly by Cannonball Adderley- I have it boxed away somewhere or other - need to dig it out to be sure.

From hip hop I then go for the lo-fi electronica - it's a bit of a jump but the best way to appreciate it is like a good old fashioned C90 whereby the first side is uptempo funk n' hip hop then you turn over for the electronica and folk...

The Earlies album is definitely one of my favorites of the year (but why no vinyl eh?) and the track Wayward Song does it for me almost solely for the nostalgic Noggin the Nog sounding introduction. I picked up the first Pedro ep on the wonderful Melodic label for 50p in a charity shop by chance having hunted high and low for it for a good year or so - I nearly shat myself when I found it in a British Heart Foundation charity shop in Croydon...

Theboylucas track is off the beautiful debut lp released on Output a couple of years back - it's all lush reversed guitars, quietly spoken lyrics and bleeps - why wasn't it massive?

I finish up with a mix n' match selection of oddball stuff including two songs from a loose collective of San Francisco based rising folk/pysch artists (including Six Organs..., Joanna Newsom, Devendra and the rest...) - Joanna Newsom's 'Sadie' is incredible - her voice is a bit of an acquired taste (I'm guessing a similar Marmite effect that Bjork's voice has, in that you either love it or hate it) but I think her album is stunning (released on the always dependable Drag City records) and she plays a mean harp as does Dorothy Ashby...

Adem's 'Homesongs' is another album of the year for me having charmed me with a slightly askew production and intimate vocals - I'm a sucker for the singer/songwriters. Which probably explains why Iron and Wine finish up the whole messy compilation with a live rendition of a track I've not been able to trace anywhere else - it's amazing - kinda pisses me off I was ill for the Iron and Wine/Sufjan Stevens tour a few months ago. Oh well maybe next time...

Enough rambling - if you want a copy send me your address to mr.naga@gmail.com


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