Mixnotes 2: Neil Kulkarni's Spare Hours Volume 1
Here's the mix.
I'm gonna alternate hip-hop mixes with these more general/wide ones. Should stress that these were made purely for my own purposes so I could listen to music at work without bringing my precious precious hard-drive in - happy though to exploit the opportunity to share with you and also waffle on. Enjoy.
1. Fela Kuti - Let's Start
Always loathed Cream and consequently had my doubts about Ginger Baker. Until I heard Masters Of Reality's ace 'Sunrise On The Sufferbus' LP that is - his drumming's just beautiful throughout, the way he can hold a roll before swinging back in and ON it is just sublime (and his chucklesome song about the TRUFACT that you can't get a cup of tea for SHIT in America). Suspect the audience for this Fela show were there to see the smelly-looking goon rather than Mr Expensive Shit himself, but s'clear, after the sniggers when Mr. Kuti starts talking, that they've never heard anything quite as unearthily funky as this. Tony Allen's measuredness & Ginger's flamboyance dovetail a treat with a bassline Mr James Brown himself would approve for minimal maximalness. Great album tho not m'fave Fela (that's gotta be 'Confusion/Gentleman' or 'Shakara').
2. T.Rex - Planet Queen
Drum sounds drum sounds drum sounds. They're what get you hooked as a kid. My sister's mate nicked 'Electric Warrior' on vinyl from Coventry HMV in about 1984 and ever since I first heard it I was totally addicted. One of thee greatest sleeves ever helped but so did 'Mambo Sun', 'Cosmic Dancer', the astonishing coda to 'Rip Off' that blew my teenage mind 7 ways from Sundays and how fucking heavy does Tony Visconti get thing's sounding here? Second only to Ken Scott in the fab 70s boombap stakes.
3. Spoon - Waiting For The Kid To Come Out
A band who absolutely bore the piss out of me for the entire rest of their career but something happened on this EP, particularly on this track and 'Mountain Of Sound' that grabbed me - perhaps the fact that on both the grooves are massive and (again) the drums hit with a hip-hop hardness. If they'd have come out with these 2 songs on a 7" and then split I'd be hailing them as great lost heroes. As it is, this is nearly all you need of 'em.
4. Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
Always a handy tune for playing out, but also in-class when trying to teach a bunch of 17 year olds exactly what dub means. I get 'em to listen to the snare and answer me this: 'did a human being play that?'
5. Oneida - Each One Teach One
Actually feel that after the tres magnifique 'Enemy Hogs' and 'Anthem Of The Moon' the EOTO album was the last moment I needed to hear Oneida, the last time they got that fuzzy freakbeat fucked-up funkiness exactly right. Shortly after this, impressed with 20 minute songs with only one lyric, giggling hipsters moved in, and I moved out.
6. Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Clearly a theme's emerging here. No, not title tracks - FUCKOFFBIGBEATS.
7. Meat Puppets - Up On The Sun
8. Bill Withers - Railroad Man
What a weird little masterpiece '+Justments' is, first time Mr Punchline to several bad jokes actually stops being righteous and starts admitting to some pretty nasty failings, seek out 'You' for some rancour and reflection deeper than anything he'd given us up till then: love 'Railroad Man' cos the basswalk and wah-hypnosis is pure Can circa 'Babaluma'.
9. Gang Starr - Game Plan
'Step In The Arena' & 'Daily Operation' = perhaps the most all-killer-no-filler hip-hop albums of their age - even the interludes (like this one) were all kindsa frabjous.
10. Neu - Hero
Pete Tweedie, legendary ex-Primitives drummer and all round herculean loon (sit in a room and watch him drum and you are, without any doubt, a lucky witness to the true holy spirit of rock n roll) gave me Neu75 on a tape ten years ago and told me it was 'PUNK ROCK TWO YEARS EARLY' (everything the Tweed says is in Block Capitals). As ever, he was right.
11. Scientist - Blood On The Lips
From the FRIGHTY MIGHTY 'Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires' and we're back to drum-sounds again - Hopeton Brown has never been bettered when it comes to just fucking caving your head in with the way he slices into sound, the way he suddenly makes shards take on mountainous impact and teases out tendrils all the way from the hole in a kickdrum to a blackhole somewhere out in the cosmos. Oh - also read this fantastic, raging, rancourous interview with the twisted genius himself.
12. Mercury Rev - Chasing A Bee
I remember reading the God Chris Roberts' review of 'Yerself Is Steam' and HAVING to buy it. I remember loving the marble/blue vinyl and 'Coney Island Cyclone' and 'Frittering' and 'Syringe Mouth'. I remember getting 'Carwash Hair' on 12" and being delighted that it had the Coventry Jaguar logo on the centre-circle. I remember seeing them live, and them being a fantastic mess. I remember meeting David Baker weaving around on his tod in clubs in London and wondering whether the band was falling apart. I remember the 7" version of Sly Stone's 'If You Want Me To Stay'. I remember them ditching Baker and becoming suddenly deeply deeply tedious, just like Flaming Lips did after 'Transmissions' & 'Clouds'. 'Steam' and 'Boces' is all the Rev you need.
13. Miles Davis - Shhh/Peaceful
I blame the conspiratorial forces of Cov Central Library & A.R. Kane & Talk Talk & Melody Maker for dragging this into my life and starting an obsession that still shows no sign of dimming (I don't download bootlegs EVER, apart from Miles ones). First time you hear this you want to live in it forever. Second time you hear it you wonder why no-one ever told you sound could be this liquid, jazz could be this immediate, editing could be this obvious and yet so very very mindblowing. Sorry did I say 'blame'? I mean 'bow down and worship'.
14. Roxy Music - 2.H.B
Always considered this possible funeral music, as my box trundles down the conveyor to the flames. Only if they can't find 'Bring Me Sunshine' that is.