The Magic Drum Orchestra is a 20+ piece percussion group led by Glyn “Bigga” Bush and Ralph Cree. After nearly 10 years and 100 different drummers the band have recently signed to Brighton-based label Tru Thoughts, on which their first EP “MDO Sessions 1” is released on 10 March.
The EP features their ultra-heavy version of Benga’s dubstep anthem “Crunked Up” along with live showstopper “Drop It Like A Funky Muppet” (based on Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams’ hip hop classic) along with stunning original material.
This is inevitably something of a snapshot of some of the tunes that have floated my boat during the past 12 months (regardless of when they were released). I have intentionally left out tracks that I’ve included on previous mixes – many of which could have qualified for this end of year round-up.
Here’s the tracklist followed by some background info:
1. Scrimshire – Sonolo 2. Super Hi Fi – March of the Frogs (Myles Boisen Mix) 3. Fid Mella – Marling 4. Little Brother – Lovin It (instrumental) 5. Prince Fatty – Shimmy Shimmy 6. Hot 8 Brass Band – Ghost Town 7. Jneiro Janel – Lock Down 8. Brenk – Concrete Jungle 9. Soul Sugar – Bon Esprit (alt mix) 10. Deerhoof – Flower 11. Paper Plane – What You Want 12. Andres – Step To The Side 13. Al Hirt – Senteries Charge (DJ Buzz & Preddy Edit) 14. Broadcast & The Focus Group – The Be Colony 15. Alice Russell – Got the Hunger (Ticklah remix) 16. dZihan & Kamien – Rockit 17. James Beige – 7 Brides 18. Paulo Zavallone – Papillon Rouge 19. James Johnston – Faces & Traces of Home 20. Scrimshire – All I Do (feat. Stac) 21. Brims – Anti Gandja 22. Cosmin TRG – Negligee 23. Lee Fields – Steam Train 24. Shark Move – Evil War 25. Ilaiyaraaja : S.P. Sailaja & Malaysia Vasudevan – Nettrikan – Raja Rani Jaaki 26. Bappi Lahiri – He Met Me In The Guest House 27. Wendy & Bonnie – It’s What’s Really Happening 28. Ennio Morricone – Adonai 29. Andres – Set U Free 30. Cosmin TRG – Broken Heart (Martyns DCM remix) 31. Ruff Sqwad – Xtra
(Hover over text for links)
Scrimshire is a name I’d noticed here and there but not really checked out his stuff till I stumbled across his very lovely re-edit of Stevie Wonder’s Golden Lady. He’s recently released a free mini-album of tracks that didn’t make it onto his “The Hollow” album. He’s also part of the Wah Wah 45 label which in itself is a recommendation.
The Everlasting Mountain is an interesting blog he’s written about aspects of the creative and recording process, well worth a look.
I’ve included two tracks from this ep, Sonolo for it’s widescreen production and shimmering strings, and All I Do, more of which later.
Super Hi Fi – March of the Frogs (Myles Boisen Mix)/Soul Sugar Bon Esprit (Alternate Mix)
“Dis s Good For You” is a nice new afro-flavoured comp from the Paris DJs with some excellent full live afrobeat, funk and reggae tracks.
Fid Mella – Marling/Brenk – Concrete Jungle
Vienna beat-smiths Fid Mella and Brenk Sinatra have been among my most-played this year, hence this track and Concrete Jungle. Fid Mella’s album “Tatas Plottn” (“Daddy’s Discs”) melds his characteristic beat-chopping with a whole bunch of early 70s prog rock, soul and reggae samples, an irresistible combination to these ears.
DJing in Turkey recently I heard these amazing 9th Wonder beats for the first time, sampling The Stylistics heart-rending “One Night Affair”.
Prince Fatty – Shimmy Shimmy Ya
This HAS to be in the playlist a) because it was on Breaking Bad, TV’s own version of crystal meth for straight up addictive qualities and b) because I’ve only just come across Prince Fatty, contemporary dub-meister, in the spirit of the true Jamaican originals. Also just found out it’s an Old Dirty Bastard cover – who’da thunk it?
Hot 8 Brass Band – Ghost Town
Blaring brass and a classic Specials song – nuff said.
Jneiro Janel – Lock Down
Still haven’t got to grips with his collab with Doom, which on paper should be amazing but hasn’t quite hit the spot yet, but here he is on his own doing the biz.
Deerhoof – Flower
Deerhoof still get frequent plays in my day to day travels and their new album Breakup Song is a fine return to form.
Paper Plane Project – What You Want
Feelgood beats and hip hop from Sydney, Australia,
Andres is a producer with a large body of work behind him on both a beats and a house tip. Couldn’t resist his Step to the Side track which samples Roundabout by Yes nor the more uptempo Set U Free.
Al Hirt – Senteries Charge (DJ Buzz & Preddy Edit)
Another tune I picked up in Turkey played by our wonderful host Ahmet Gunes.
Al Hirt was an American trumpet playerwho was nicknamed ‘Jumbo’ and ‘The Round Mound of Sound’. This cut is an edit by Dj Buzz & Preddy, yet more Viennese taste-makers who form part of the Waxolutionistscrew.
Two great friends of mine who are based in Basel, Switzerland and this is a track from their new mini-album Return of Make Believe. Look out for their DJ sets as Golightly and the Duke of Tunes.
Paulo Zavallone – Papillon Rouge
Hard-pressed to choose a favourite library track from the vast amount out there but 2012 was the year I finally got all three of the excellent Music For Dancefloors series on Strut, of which this was the latest.
James Johnston – Faces & Traces of Home
Nice slow burner from the Boogie Originals geezer, see also 6th Borough Project, The Revenge and OOFT!
Scrimshire – All I Do (feat. Stac)
Had to include this as it appears to be a faithful cover of Tammi Terrell’s “All I Do Is Think About You”, as sampled by Medlar on his exquisite Terrell tune, which really should be in this playlist too.
Brims – Anti Gandja/Shark Move – Evil War
Another superb release from Now Again, this time a collection of proggy rock and raw funk from Indonesia, called Those Shocking Shaking Days. Love the extreme Ozzy soundalike on Evil War.
Cosmin TRG – Negligee/Broken Heart (Martyn’s DCM remix)
Another new find, Romanian producer Cosmin Nicolae started out doing dubstep as TRG then moved into D&B and is now heading more into techno and deep house.
Everything he produces seems to have a really fresh sound….the remix of his Broken Heart is a particular favourite.
Lee Fields – Steam Train
Thanks to Alex Cooper (Southsound radio) for this and quite a few other tunes I’ve got into this year. On the excellent Desco (now Daptone) label.
Ilaiyaraaja : S.P. Sailaja & Malaysia Vasudevan – Nettrikan – Raja Rani Jaaki/Bappi Lahiri – He Met Me In The Guest House
A short foray into Bolly-and Kollywood sounds courtesy Andy Votel’s ever-dependable Finders Keepers label. This music never fails to astonish and delight in equal measure. Maybe it’s because it’s composed as a movie score, I just love the way the tunes mutate and switch gear in such a seamless way.
Wendy & Bonnie – It’s What’s Really Happening
Another Andy Votel connection as he picked one of their tracks for his Folk Is Not A Four Letter Word comps. This sees the estranged 60s duo rocking out in a way that clearly was a major influence on Stereolab and Broadcast.
Ennio Morricone – Adonai
….speaking of whom this is the opening track on James Broadcast’s Mix for Outer Church, well worth checking for a diverse range of crazy Italian horror-related music.
Ruff Sqwad – Xtra
A late final addition of instrumental grime from an album perhaps surprising in it’s diversity and historical perspective on the evolution of 00s music…..thanks to these dedicated Fruity Loopers we now have the likes of Hudson Mohawke.
Just accidentally (thank you James) re-discovered the wondrous Max Tundra, who I saw live at a crazy factory-based event that I was DJing at in Warsaw in around 2006. Here he is playing “Will Get Fooled Again”:
On a more topical note, if anyone has ANY doubts about where the current UK government is taking us (straight to hell) – and even if you don’t doubt it – read this incisive article by Stuart Hall. It made my blood run cold.
And as we still try to comprehend the political and social fall-out of the recent riots, check this great new tune from Rodney P and associates on Tru Thoughts. Nice sample of Johnny Osbourne’s Truth and Rights too.
“Render your hearts and not your garments” – LYRICS!
Still loving the new Hudson Mohawke EP Satin Panthers, particularly this one:
On the film front, caught the excellent “My Best Fiend” doc about Werner Herzog’s incredibly fraught yet amazingly creative relationship with Klaus Kinski. Kinski was undoubtedly a nightmare to work with, and there are lots of clips which show this side of his personality. What really struck me though was the end sequence, where he shows a much gentler side:
Music by Popol Vuh, who also soundtracked Aguirre Wrath of God – featuring Kinski at his most compelling as a doomed conquistador.
Finally a plug for my man Spread who is producing some breathtakingly good photos lately:
LION HEAD RECORDINGS OF BIGGABUSH/LIGHTNING HEAD/ROCKERS HI FI etc. ARE NOW AVAILABLE FROM JUNO
This is my first post on WordPress, so hello to both my readers! I was previously posting on blogspot so if you’re interested you can catch up on my sporadic bits there, here (here, there, everywhere).
Here’s my latest mix on Mixcloud featuring Luke Vibert, J Dilla, Ebo Taylor, Okayplayer’s Bollywood/hip hop mashup, a reggae cover of the Dr. Who theme, and more.
Thanks to my old mucker DJ Dick for the heads up on Radio 4’s recent programme on Library music, which reminded me a) to check out what presenter Jonny Trunk is up to with his fascinating website and label, Trunk Records, b) what a lovely book and CD he put together with help from Jerry Dammers, the Music Library
– always a source of inspiration, especially the artwork.
Oh, and c) – what a genius was Basil Kirchin, composer of albums such as Abstractions of the Industrial North
also out on DVD which I’m looking forward to seeing, described as a 1965 Mondo film, complete with teddy boys, strippers, chicken processors and deviants of many types.
Apparently Kirchin, originally a jazz drummer, was way ahead of the curve having spent five months at a temple in India during the early 60s before moving to Sydney. Tragically all the master tapes of his band were lost when his belongings fell into the sea whilst being unloaded at the docks.
Nevertheless he produced some incredible library and soundtrack music which had an obvious influence on bands such as Stereolab and Broadcast (whose singer Trish Keenan sadly died earlier this year. The last mixtape she made for a close friend is well worth checking out) I can even hear an influence on Soft Machine in some of his stuff.
One last plug for a book I’m reading at the moment
ostensibly a story of how an appreciation all modern music can be bookended by Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting In A Room (no me neither) it is in fact a masterful piece of rock journalism, a history of how and why Paul Morley became the greatest rock writer in the world (his words – but he’s probably right) but much more importantly it lists virtually all of the important musical, technological, cultural events of the modern age. All in his own very readable style.