Monday, September 22, 2008

Fly Away

This is not in my vinyl collection but I'm looking for it. Because it's so good. This is the b-side to the 1983 White Horse 12" by the Danish group Laid Back.

Download Fly Away/Walking in the Sunshine

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Computer Game

So I went to nvision2008 today where a Guiness Book world record was set for longest continuous LAN party: 203 gamers for 36 hours. When I got home I ripped in this 45. Then I went to Smile Sushi with Vao. Now I'm home posting this and realizing that it all pretty much works out.

This is Yellow Magic Orchestra's single from their first album in 1978. The A and B side.
Download Computer Game (Theme From the Circus)
Download Yellow Fever (Tong Poo)

Monday, August 18, 2008

el jefe mixes redux, Part Deuce

Here's another. Recorded for the EOM Sessions on Pulse Radio, which was hosted by my friend Paul Leath. You will hear his golden voice at the end of the set. My set came right after my then-black-door-partner-in-crime Cole, who recently shaved off his handlebar mustache.

Download el jefe on Pulse Radio

Related: Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century

el jefe mixes redux, Part 1

In May 1998 I took a trip out to New York to meet up with my friend Anthony. We started out in NYC for a couple days, passed through Saratoga Springs and Hector, to finally arrive in Mecklenburg, where Anthony was moving into a little farm house. Mecklenburg is almost directly in between Ithaca on Cayuga Lake and Watkins Glen on Seneca Lake. We set up the turntables and I recorded a mix tape. It was the only mix that I actually made copies of (maybe 30) and sold or gave away. People seemed to like it and I would hear stories about it for a years afterwards. Here it is in it's original cassette format. No playlist is available right now, but eventually (this could be an understatement) I will post it.

Download Side A
Download Side B

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I first heard the track Konk Party on a DJ Thomas mix tape that was probably made around 1990ish. Never knew who the band was but years later I was out in NYC with my friend Manny and we spent a day or two with Thomas. I asked him about this track. He told me he had just seen a Konk album the day before at a street market and he'd see if it was there the next time he went by. Well, sure enough, he comes back with the album Jams.

Fast forward a year or two. I'm in Brussels cruising around and come across one of those antique-type shops that has comic books and records in a little upstairs room. Digging through a box I come across the Konk album Yo!. Then a few minutes later come across the original Konk Party 12". Both were a couple dollars. I held on to those things with my life for the next week until I came back home. Yo! is an amazing album. Released about five years before Jams, it's not quite as electronic and much more of a complete album. I wanted to play tracks from this album all the time at the bars and clubs, but tried to exercise some discretion, knowing what a needle can do to a record. The track "Baby Dee" turned up on some compilations, but the two I've included here are my favorites.

So I have to thank Thomas for, once again, turning me on to some great music. And for teaching me some invaluable DJ lessons. The most important: once you learn to beat-match and mix, the party really starts when you don't feel the need to do it all the time. Many DJs become stuck in that black vinyl prison of beat-matching and mixing every single track every single time. And boring us all to death. It's fine to get into a groove for a while, but it seems more fun to get out of a groove and get into another one, often and at the right time.

Download Suave y Caliente
Download Cool Out Gar

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Magic Flute Smurf

By far one of the strangest records I have. Smurfing Beer is a favorite, The Smurf Song went to #1 in 16 countries, and Do Smurfs Cry is something I still ask myself to this very day, but The Magic Flute Smurf will make you crazy within two minutes.

Related: Another great beard: Lysander Spooner.

Download The Magic Flute Smurf



Thursday, May 1, 2008

Muy Diferente

Imagine Perez Prado going to the laundromat to wash his clothes and the static-electrified lint caught in the lint trap start a group. This may have been what happened in the mind of Atom™ (Uwe Schmidt) when he created Los Sampler's and their 1999 album Descargas. These tracks are alternate versions from the album released on 7" vinyl from UK label Hot Air in 2000.

Download Demasiado Funcional (Version Diferente)
Download Descarga Mecano (Version Muy Diferente)

If you're interested in VERY electronic latin music, nobody comes close to the inventiveness and musicality of Atom™. I recommend you hunt down and purchase these releases to start with, most on the Rather Interesting label:
Los Sampler's - Descargas
Midisport - 14 Footballers in Milkchocolate
SeƱor Coconut - El Gran Baile
Erik Satin - Light Music
Lisa Carbon - Trio de Janeiro
Atom™ feat. Tea Time - XXX

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

huff gas

Picked up this 45 around 95 when Gas Huffer played in San Jose at one of the last nights of the Red Light District, a live music night which inhabited the hideous-but-fun mauve-colored-but-fun cockroach-infested-but-fun Dimensions building on First Street for about a year (yes it was eventually demolished). Opening for them was San Jose's own Odd Numbers and Clay Wheels, and the Garlic Boys from Osaka, Japan. For some reason I always liked the b-side track Boot Check from this 1994 EP more than any other. Not sure why.

Download Boot Check

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sharon & Musarrat

This album is from 1981 and somehow involves famous Hindi music director Bappi Lahiri, who is said to have introduced disco to the Bollywood film industry. I think one of the vocalists is Sharon Prabhakar, who got her start in the industry with Lahiri. I read that Diwana Hai Ye Dil is a cover song, but don't know any details. The title track Chal Disco Chal is floating around, but I was drawn more to these two tracks. Recorded from the LP a while ago and I can't seem to find the album right now to get more info. It will turn up someday.

Download Diwana Hai Ye Dil
Download Maf Karo

Very Related: As I was flipping thru the bin I found Chal Disco Chal and Runa Laila's SuperRuna next to each other, obviously sold to the record store by the same person. SuperRuna also involved Bappi Lahiri.

Download Romance

Friday, April 25, 2008

San Jose, where the seasons do not interfere

Sometime in the mid 1980s a local contractor restoring the Germania Hall on North Second Street discovered a large framed photograph of the 27-member San Jose Orchestral Society in the corner of the basement. It was taken by Milton and Archie Loryea in 1892, or rather, it was assembled in 1892. According to the late Clyde Arbuckle, San Jose's great historian, when the time came to take the picture, the only tuxedo available was owned by Leopold Hart (of Hart Department Store fame, whose grandson Brooke's murderers would be hung in Saint James park in 1933, the last public lynching in California, which was promoted on radio four days prior to the event). The Loryea brothers had each orchestra member put on the tux and have their photo taken. Allegedly one member (in the front row) was sick at home and the picture was taken as he was sitting on the edge of his bed. The brothers then clipped out the portraits and assembled the image. The image was restored in 1998 and is now owned by the San Jose Museum.

When I discovered this story I felt some connection to what these guys were doing over a hundred years ago. I've spent about 17 years or so working with Photoshop, manipulating images to either sweeten or trick our perceptions of realities. People are becoming more aware of the role Photoshop plays in their everyday lives. And hopefully that awareness makes us think twice. The more we learn to not believe what we see, or hear, or even think, the more optimistic I feel towards the success of life on the planet (yes that includes the success of those pesky critters that walk upright). From my window I can see the spot where the Loryea Brother's photography studio once stood and where they composited this image. One day I'd like to see it in person.

Related: I have about 15 versions of Do You Know the Way to San Jose. Besides the original Dionne Warwick version, these are two of my favorites. One by the heavyweight champion of the organ, Richard "Groove" Holmes. The other by Avalanches, which I like because it almost destroys the composition with a wonderful use of samples. What's the worst version I have? The Neil Diamond version, for sure.

Semi-related: "Follow Me To San Jose" by Erik Satin (from Atom™'s album Light Music, a tribute to Erik Satie's furniture music philosophy). I know he's probably referring to San Jose, Costa Rica, but I don't care. They're our sister city and I've sometimes found the melody and words repeating in my head... for hours.

Download Richard "Groove" Holmes
Download Avalanches
Download Erik Satin

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Breakwater. Breakwater?

The first thing to catch my eye was the really odd name for a band. It seems to have something to do with either giving birth or flatuence, both of which are funky, but I don't think I'd name my band after it. The second thing to catch my eye about this album was their yellow moon boots and silver suits. And the fact that they hang out in the largest bathroom I've ever seen. So I bought it. Turns out these guys are legitimate funk. A few dogging slow jams, but also a few gems. The obvious "hit" track "Release the Beast" was sampled by Murs and Daft Punk, probably because of the wicked synth sounds. The track posted here is less obvious but probably the best track. And I've partied to it. It works.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Billie Jean

Another great MJ dub. This instrumental take on Shinehead's version is from 1984, produced by Sly & Robbie for Island Records. Ripped in from the original 12".