Ten years ago someone sent me a radio broadcast of Red House Painters playing at Hultsfred Festival in Sweden the previous summer. At the time most of the set was new material, and it was another three years before studio versions of those songs surfaced on the Old Ramon album. In that time I got used to the live versions, and Old Ramon was a big disappointment when it was finally released in 2001. RHP were always a fairly mellow and somber band, but much of Old Ramon was downright lethargic, lacking momentum and direction when compared to the live set. "Michigan" in particular was completely reworked, retaining only the lyrics. The update tried to sound cheery but instead ended up lifeless (somewhere there exists a 23-minute studio version that must be either the pinnacle or nadir for the song). Excellent demo recordings of other songs follow suit, highlighting the disappointing nature of the album.
Since then I've come to appreciate Old Ramon a lot more for what it is, but after revisiting the Hultsfred set recently I was reminded of how those are still the definitive versions of the songs for me.
Red House Painters, live at Hultsfred Festival, Sweden (June 1997)
Three random joints that never fail to get me amped..
Somehow when I dove headfirst into house music a while back I didn't manage to do the same with techno. Despite the fact that defining a track as one instead of the other is often a matter of splitting hairs (nevermind geography more than musical difference), techno usually seems too esoteric for me, and sails right over my head. Maybe it was all the trips to Chicago that did it, I don't know. Anyway, one of a handful of Detroit tracks I do keep coming back to is Carl Craig's "Oscillator", 7+ minutes of tech bliss.
Paperclip People "Oscillator" (1991)
I've got so much love for Kelis (one day I will post some tracks from her first two excellent albums, back when she worked with the Neptunes exclusively) and this song in particular. After the hysteria surrounding "Milkshake", which I thought was the Neptunes' weak and late stab at that ubiquitous riddim whose name I can't even remember right now, I was certain this song was going to be massive. Ultimately I don't even know if it was an official single in North America (the UK and Australia got a video and 12", neither of which made it over here, though I did find dozens of $0.79 jukebox-style 45s for it at a Virgin Megastore once) but needless to say, "Trick Me" was not a hit. Would it have been one if it was pushed as a proper single? I'd like to think so, but who knows. I still think it's a gem though. Here's the Heatwave remix with TOK and Beenie Man..
Kelis "Trick Me Twice" (Heatwave remix feat. Beenie Man & TOK, 2004)
Still on the dancehall tip.. when it comes to bizarre lyrics, this song is up there. From what I gather, they're running down a list of illnesses and diseases God will inflict upon, for example, females who choose to commit such abominations as.. wearing pants instead of dresses? Sure. Can't argue with the song as a whole though - strictly bangin.
Papa Michigan & General Smiley "Diseases" (1981)
Hot on the heels of his Music For My Friends EP, Fred Falke has turned in an excellent remix for Erlend Øye's Whitest Boy Alive, reminiscent of his best work with Alan Braxe.
Or maybe you're unsure of whether Falke actually exists. Ignoring the cockamamie aspect of this theory for a moment, wouldn't it make more sense that "Fred Falke" is actually DJ Falcon rather than Thomas Bangalter? Doesn't anyone else find it odd that the Quême cousins (Braxe & Falcon) are both producers, yet have never collaborated? Plus the "Falke" surname could be a thinly-veiled allusion to "Falcon". Hmm.. maybe I'm onto something here..
Whitest Boy Alive "Golden Cage" (Fred Falke Remix)
Ever hear a song on a mix or in a club and spend years trying to figure out what it is? When you finally do, it's the greatest shit ever. After a bunch of dead ends, I took a wild guess and finally ID'd Soundmaster T's "2 Much Booty" as the most recent nameless mystery track I've been hunting. I've actually had it for years, just not this particular remix. Enjoy!
Soundmaster T "2 Much Booty (In The Pants)" (Boom Shaka Mix) 1994
SB- Mike Dunn was like the street hip house guy. He didn’t get the recognition that others got. I would have loved to see his records played in Chicago with Fast Eddie’s, but he stayed on his small labels. Mike Dunn was the shit.Great interview with Baltimore Club legends, Unruly founders and Chavy Boys Shawn Caesar and Scottie B over here.
I love a good challenge, along with switching things up from time to time, so I took a shot at remixing a new Joe Budden track a couple weeks ago. It certainly was a challenge (on the acapella, dude just rhymes for 4 minutes straight, no break, no hook, nothing..), and I haven't even attempted a straight up rap joint in years, but all things considered I'm happy with how it turned out.
Joe Budden "Secrets" (King Polo "minimal rap banger" remix)
If you have any feedback, hit me up.
I don't normally re-post content from the blog scene, but in case you missed it, someone recorded Alan Braxe & DJ Falcon's LA set last fall and tossed it up online, along with interviews from both.
Alan Braxe & DJ Falcon, Viper Room, LA, October 10 2007
From kidzbycolette, via Showtrotta, via Solid Goldberger (grab the VINYL FEVER EPS!).