Showing posts from October, 2016

Soul Covered: Chilled Out Eighties Edition

A jazzy Latin and, most of all, a soulful and chilled out look on classics from the 1980s. Do you know the originals of them?

One of the tracks is “Skin Trade”, originally by Duran Duran. The music for the song was written long before Simon LeBon finally finished the lyrics. The title for the song was derived from the Dylan Thomas book Adventures in the Skin Trade, which Duran Duran’s John Taylor had read. It was shortened to "Skin Trade" and LeBon eventually wrote the melody and lyrics for the track while spending an evening in Taylor's Upper West Side Manhattan apartment. The lyrics reflect on how everyone is selling themselves, and "there's a little hooker in each of us". In a retrospective review of the single, Allmusic journalist Donald A. Guarisco praised the song. He wrote:

"The music lends contrast to the angry tone of the lyrics by creating a sultry, mellow melody that juxtaposes verses with a soft, hypnotic ebb and flow with an ever-ascending…

Best Of 70s Soul: The Sound Of Philadelphia

New York may have been ground zero during the disco generation, but as most folks know, lots of the best sounds came from Philadelphia. In fact, the first disco records were made there and they kept on coming even in the years after the flames had died down at Studio 54. When the sound eventually disappeared, Marshall Jefferson ('Move your body') and others built their Chicago house sound on the foundations of Philly soul. The track by Arthur Prysock is from the album ‘The Other Philadelphia Disco Delights’. This compilation is a great tribute to the long legacy of disco sounds from Philly. It moves past the hits from bigger labels like Philadelphia International and Salsoul, to include some overlooked gems and the kinds of cuts that show that the best disco elements were always handled best in the City Of Brotherly Love.

'When will I see you again' by The Three Degrees was one of the most successful recordings of the Philly Soul era. In the US, the song reached numbe…

Funking Up The Dance Floor Part 3

I try to catch the same vibe as in Funking Up The Dance Floor part 1, which has reached over 15,000 plays on Mixcloud.

One of the tracks is ‘Do or die’ by The Human League. Unfortunately the song is not on their new compilation album ‘A Very British Synthesizer Group’, which will be out on Friday 18th November. It is a four-disc sound and vision anthology featuring all the hits and previously unreleased demos and edits. It covers the entire history of the group from the earliest incarnation to the phenomenon that was Dare (which features ‘Do or die’) and all that happened in its wake. When attempting to describe The Human League their one-time manager, Bob Last, puts it best:

“Pop music is a kind of lightning conductor for what’s going on, when it’s at its most exciting it beats everything else; it beats film, beats books and beats TV. These magical moments when it pulls something out of the ether, out of what’s going on in everyone’s head and everyone’s lives and focuses it. That’s w…

Best Of 70s Soul: Nice & Slow

It's time to do it nicely and slowly this time with quite a few big soul names, like Minnie Riperton and Marlena Shaw. The latter sang the title track for the movie ‘Looking for Mr. Goodbar’ with Diane Keaton. The movie inspired Allee Willis to write ‘Boogie Wonderland’:

“An amazing film. You should see it. She's this very lost woman who would go to these clubs every night and dance to completely lose herself and forget how miserable she was. But she would end up literally bringing home serial killers. And my main thing with every song I write, especially in my later years, I'm really obsessed with music being the carrier of this whole self-esteem message. So if you look at any of my hits, like ‘Neutron Dance’ that's basically: If your life isn't working, get up off your ass and change it. Because it's really up to you.”

In the mid-seventies some glam rock artists started to cross-over to more soulful music on a few occasions. For 'Hobo with a grin' Eng…

Smooth Sailing: Cool Winds & Fresh Vibes

A new season, a new sound! This Smooth Sailing part is more or less an eclectic experiment. I selected quite a few new tracks, some fresh vibes, so to speak.

One of them is NYC-based indie dance duo Sofi Tukker, Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern. They first made waves with the release of their guitar-driven dance cut 'Drinkee' last year. After earning a synch in an Apple Watch ad, and with the help of follow-up singles like 'Matadora', 'Déjà Vu Affair' and 'Hey Lion', the buzzing pair have become one of the hotly tipped new acts this year, netting over 8 million Spotify streams to date since their debut. Their song ‘Awoo’ has vibes similar to ‘Slippery people’ from the Talking Heads.

Enjoy this Cool Winds & Fresh Vibes episode of Smooth Sailing! I'm not sure yet what I'm going to upload next week.

Gene Page - She's My Main Squeeze (1974)
Mayer Hawthorne – Breakfast In Bed (2016)
Seek – Some All Night Dancing (2003)
Hifi Sean…