Sharon Jones, the Grammy-nominated soul and funk singer With Dap-Kings, died following her "heroic battle against pancreatic cancer" at the age of 60.
Jones recorded six albums with the Dap-Kings, but it was her exhilarating live shows, which functioned as equal parts Baptist church revival, Saturday night juke joint and raucous 1970s Las Vegas revue, that showcased the singer's unparalleled energy. In venues filled with people half her age, Jones was the most dynamic person in the room, bolting onstage and commanding the crowd like her idol James Brown. It was homage without mimicry; respecting the soul and funk elders that defined the genres while displaying seemingly boundless vitality.Sharon Jones, previously. [more inside]
Ken Downie, Ed Handley and Andy Turner were mates back in the day, digging into b-boy stuff as it came into England, mixing in sounds from Chicago and Detroit, acid and techno, and making it their own. They released three EPs on their own, and joined Warp Records in 1993 with the iconic album, Bytes, which already showed a fractured nature to the group, with eight different entities attributed for the album and individual tracks, but they wouldn't formally fracture for a few more years. Ken Downie kept The Black Dog, which he named in part for his battle with depression, while Ed and Andy became Plaid. With Plaid's newest album, The Digging Remedy, each now with 11 albums to their names. Read on for more history and tunes. [more inside]
Mo'Wax is a British record label that was formed in 1992 by teenage school friends James Lavelle and Tim Goldsworthy. The label quickly gained renown for trip-hop, turntablism and other odd beat hip-hop, from the likes of Japanese DJ Krush, Americans Money Mark, Dr. Octagon and DJ Shadow, British Luke Vibert, and their own UNKLE project. The label lasted a solid decade, then petered out as the 2000s wore on. James Lavelle looked back on 21 years of the label (a year late), and is now restarting the label. This effort is being kicked off with releases by a West London artist, Elliot Power. More waxing below the break. [more inside]
Discograph generates an interactive visualization of relationships between nearly 5 million artists, bands and labels, based on data from the Discogs.com database.
Examples: The Beatles | The Fall | Neil Young
Examples: The Beatles | The Fall | Neil Young
Scaled in Miles is an interactive visualization that "... is a look at the history of Miles Davis' career and collaborations according to his recording sessions as documented by the Jazz Discography Project. Over four hundred recording sessions are shown in a timeline across the middle of the screen. The circles above it represent the nearly six hundred people who played those sessions; larger circles indicate more sessions with Miles. Scrub and click over the timeline to highlight the people who played with Miles on each date. You can also find specific artists and highlight their sessions by clicking on the circles, or by entering different names in the search box. And if your browser plays audio, you can listen to samples from iTunes in the upper left." [more inside]
Best Ever Albums aggregates 17,000 "greatest album" charts to establish a statistical consensus on popular music rankings. [more inside]
From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
In the late 1990s, Portland-based programmer Kevin Lewandowski shifted his musical discography efforts from a manually maintained drum'n'bass website to a community-built effort, and named the effort Discogs. The site grew, slowly at first, focusing on documenting any and all details of electronic records, then hip hop, rock and jazz, and eventually any sort of recorded audio, more or less. Other key changes include the 2005 addition of the Discogs Marketplace, and the contentious Version Four update, which changed the way submissions are moderated, making all pending submissions publicly visible. The latter change resulted in "the oggercide," but it was the former that brought about a vinyl revolution, uniting a world of record sellers small and large in one well-visited vinyl (and CD, cassette, DVD, etc.) record store. Last month, Discogs held its first in-person record sale, in Portland, Oregon.
808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
On February 2, 1981, an experimental New Romantic band from Birmingham released their first single. It was the beginning of the still-continuing, at times tumultuous, hugely successful tenure of Duran Duran. From 33 years ago: Planet Earth. B-side for the single was Late Bar, or in the US was To The Shore. Plus the Planet Earth (Night Version) extended remake.
This was the first of many, many singles from Duran Duran. [more inside]
This was the first of many, many singles from Duran Duran. [more inside]
Marc Glasser started making electronic music when he was a teenager, and now produces music under the name Dubbel Dutch and releasing it most often on the eclectic Mixpak label, whose general sound often leans towards weird takes on reggae riddims. But as Glasser mentioned in a 2010 interview, he has been "opening up to music from everywhere. Cumbia, dancehall, kuduro, South African house, Dutch bubbling, Bmore club, Chicago juke and footwork*, old skool jungle and hardcore, garage, UK Funky and all that mingles with, or shares influences with, these sounds." What does this "schizophrenic" collage of musical styles sound like? Start with Self Help Riddims and the title track video, Self Help Riddim, then go from there. [more inside]
Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings is a discographic website charting the recording of Sephardic secular and liturgical songs. It includes great sections on 78 rpm recordings, early repertory, and modern recordings. Samples of songs are littered throughout, but many can be found in the Appendix section on 78 labels (at the bottom of the page) and the Songs section of the Appendix. There are many other parts of the site to explore, but the Bibiliography deserves a special mention, as does this page providing samples of 125! different recordings of the popular song A la una over the past 100 years.
They're best known for one song: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), as featured in Benny and Joon in 1993, and though the identical twin brothers faded from the public eye in the US, 500 Miles was lovingly parodied by Homer Simpson in 2001, and the brothers appeared on Family Guy in 2006. That song was featured in Comic Relief 2007, and that rendition was the number 1 song in the UK for three weeks. Given this focus on a single song that was first released in 1988, you might want mark The Proclaimers as a one-hit wonder and leave it at that. But David Pollock, writing for The Guardian, wants you to reconsider: The Proclaimers are a lot better than you probably remember. [more inside]
Born in the border city of Tijuana, Nortec is an audio and visual style that digitally alters the local music and images to make something unique. The sound of Nortec takes the acoustic sounds of norteño (sample) and banda (sample), cut up and re-arranged into something new, with influences from electronic music broadcast by San Diego radio stations. Before too long, the Nortec sound would leak back north, and create divergent paths. More sounds and stories below the break. [more inside]
Happy belated 39th birthday, Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin, or as most folks call you, simply Amon Tobin. The Brazilian-born producer first released music as Cujo, and has since moved on to his own name, with five albums and a slew of EPs and singles released since 1997, plus two video game soundtracks, and a film soundtrack. He also has an EP of collaborations, side projects with Joe "Doubleclick" Chapman as 60hz and Two Fingers. And that's the overview ... (music samples a-plenty inside, or you could skip the chatter and listen to much of Amon Tobin's discography streaming on his website). [more inside]
September 2010 marked 20 years of Ninja Tune, the independent label formed by the duo known as Coldcut. Starting with an album by the duo that they released under a different group name, the small UK label has since spiraled out to include three separate imprints (plus an artist-specific mini-label), with an extensive collection of singles, EPs and albums from an ever-growing list of artists. More history in words, music and video awaiting inside... [more inside]
The story starts in 1992 or so, when the 14 year old Brit, Dominic Stanton, bought turntables and started spinning early drum'n'bass. He transitioned from DJ to producer, made demo tracks, and got signed by age 17. He went on to produce broken beat* and jazzy downtempo*, even into the realm of disco edits. Then about two weeks ago, the 31 year old musician called it quits.
The point is that I am no longer Domu. He is a character, always has been, and as of Friday 13th November 2009, he no longer exists. Neither does Umod, Sonar Circle, Bakura, Yotoko, Rima, Zoltar, Blue Monkeys, Realside or any of the other names I put out music under. I am cancelling all my gigs and not taking any more. My hotmail is closed, my Twitter is closed and my Facebook is closed.Furthermore, his website is closed and the original post of his farewell message is lost, though you can still view the cached version or find it copied elsewhere. Domu's website now simply states This really is The End . . . Step inside for an abbreviated journey. [more inside]
Shane MacGowan is the face and name most often associated with The Pogues. Unraveling Shane's psyche would require a book-length study but the crux of his identity lies somewhere in that conflict between English experience and Irish heritage. The abbreviated story of his life starts with his birth in England, but he was raised in Ireland, and moved back to England some years later. He won a scholarship to the renowned Westminster School, where he was possibly enrolled alongside Thomas Dolby and other notable people. MacGowan was involved with drugs and publicized hooliganery before being in a band, the first of which was The Nipple Erectors in 1977. [more inside]
John Coltrane. Thelonious Monk. Hank Mobley. Lennie Tristano. Blue Note. Impulse. Riverside... In other words: jazz. Now three fans in Japan -- a country that has always appreciated America's gift to music even more than the US itself -- have created The Jazz Discography Project, a bare-bones, open-source, astonishingly exhaustive database of the hippest sounds on the planet. For aficionados, just reading an ASCII entry for long out-of-print stuff like A Message from Garcia, featuring a young and then-unknown musician named Bill Evans who would later reinvent his instrument, is thrilling.
clarinet databases - what has 2691 composers under 2725 names, 6564 titles under 6684 names, comprised of 7669 publications and representing 8022 sets of instrumentation? the clarinet composition database. the site also features a searchable discography of important clarinet recordings.