Saturday, 30 June 2007

Only A Stones Throw (Part 2)...

Following on from yesterdays post I wanted to post a handful of tracks from J Dilla which in my head I always thought Hip-Hop should sound like. I love the fact that when you stumble across an artist you can tap into the whole back catalogue without having to wait 12 months before you get the latest tunes. Luckily, Hip Hop wasn't openly loved in West Yorkshire so I have a whole genre to explore and post.

When I was younger one of the main albums that was on constantly in my house which was Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' and the soul that I hear on J Dilla's tracks probably makes me think of that album which is pretty much the benchmark for anyone attempting to release music nowadays. Or should be.

Short and sweet - beats that keep you wanting more. God bless J Dilla - truly talented in every sense on the word...

Two Can Win
Dilla Says Go


Thursday, 28 June 2007

Only a Stones Throw...

Having to shoot to Brighton at the last minute and back again gave me 550 miles to get through a pile of the Stone's Throw back catalogue. As sheer innovation goes I can't think of another label that define it's own sound as clear as Stones Throw in terms of aural identity, most probably due to the fact that a majority of the artists are either the same people or simply Otis Jackson, Jnr - or Madlib (Mind Altering Dimensions Lessons In Beats). In conjunction with with the late, great J Dilla and other ST stable mates, quality always ensues.

Clever samples and the MPC - thank the lord that heroes are still out there...

The Red - Jaylib

The Payback - Madlib


Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Disco Volante

"Take me to the limit. Far, far away from Earth. I want to dance in outer-space. I want to dance across the universe."

Johnny Harris - Odyssey [Part 2]

Zodiac - Pasifik

Level 42 - Starchild [Long Version]

Shirley Lites - Heat You Up, Melt You Down [Instrumental]

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Tropical Gangster

August Darnell - singer, songwriter, producer and icon. You wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of him though.

Kid Creole and The Coconuts - I'm a Wonderful Thing Baby [Greg Wilson Ze-edit]

Machine - Marisa

Coati Mundi - Me No Pop I

Monday, 25 June 2007

I like your bike...

Two tracks I though were interesting here tonight. The first is from Datarock (cool tracksuits) who offered a bit disco funk at the Wireless festival and this track stood out the most from afar. A decent remix too. Well worth checking out the full album 'Datarock Datarock'.

The second is a Bangalter remix of DJ Medhi's 'Signature' mixing up some French electro/hip-hop out of the Ed Banger stable which in fairness is a little over-rated with some of the artists on the label although I think DJ Medhi is one of the standout producers.

Fa-Fa-Fa (Rion Turbo Disco Remix) - Datarock

Signature (Thomas Bangalter Edit) - DJ Medhi


Sunday, 24 June 2007

Daft Hands

Three of my favourite boogie tunes...

"Can't Get Away From Your Love" by Carol Williams (will post the Larry Levan 12" dub soon!)

"Feel Alright" by Komiko

"Over Like a Fat Rat" by Fonda Rae

Short and sweet

A short post tonight - when I heard this I was shocked by how modern it still sounds whilst also taking me back to getting home from school and for some unexplained reason really enjoying watching the Tour De France solidly every day for each week it was on. Channel 4 would show it at 6:00pm each week night and I bloody loved it and developed a pre Big Brother addiction, secretly hoping the peloton would collapse on a particularly nasty stretch of the alps 

Either way the theme tune for the Tour de France wasn't actually used by Channel 4 at all (I think) although it has had so many reworking's that even the band are slightly unsure of the which is the original - certainly Francois K got to work his magic on a remix. This one is taken from the live shows released on the Minimum/Maximum album.

Kraftwerk - Tour De France.mp3


Friday, 22 June 2007

What about Pete Bellotte?

As a Friday treat I've chosen to showcase one of the most prolific producers of all time.

What can I say about Giorgio Moroder that hasn't already been said? Not much really - he is clearly an innovator, a master of electronica who has released hits across pop, rock, dance, musicals and soundtracks. Everyone knows that Giorgio became world famous for his work with Donna Summer, Blondie, Munich Machine and his dedication to facial hair.

Here are three tunes from the seventies:

"Tears" - Giorgio donated his organ(!) to DJ Shadow from this track which is off his first album, Son of My Father, released in 1972.

"Utopia - Me Giorgio" is from his popular 1977 album From Here to Eternity.

"Evolution" is an epic dancer that takes up the entire B-side of the Battlestar Galactica album from 1978.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Just go for a stroll in the trees...

I always felt that the Stranglers didn't really have any peers musically in their genre which I guess you would say was punk. They never really sounded like your average punk band to me with the organs and funky bass/guitar riffs, especially on 'Peaches', where the tune rumbles along with a lazy half arsed menace and I guess that what's defined them. Never living through punk myself this observation could be way out but they do seem to occupy their own space, slightly isolated.

The second track is also a stranglers tune but a cover. Since we started the blog I have wanted to post quite a few covers and held back for whatever reason (apart from the Talking Heads cover of Take Me To The River). I really warm to a band that can give a different angle on a tune, especially a classic, and in this case (and I'm going to go Simon Cowell on you here) they '...make it there own.' Shit. I would have thought of something better there but time is of the essence and I need to shoot off to work.

'Walk on By' has to be one of the most inventive efforts around for a Burt Bacharach tune - you really get the pain from lyrics plus the organ and guitar solos are something else. Overlong and gratuitous? No way...

The Stranglers - Walk On By
The Stranglers - Peaches


Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Tuesdays are the new Mondays...

Pharoahe Monch is due a new album at the end of this month and this track made me smile this morning which is an achievement for a Tuesday (Mondays are universally hated but usually pass in a blur - Tuesday is the real Monday of the week). After a seven year hiatus and various label swapping the new album should be quality if 'Push' and this next track is anything to go by, helped along by Optimo and some space echo...

Body Baby [An Optimo (Espacio) Dub]

For all his cosmic ramblings and space travel he was born Herman Poole Blount, one of the first musicians to receive a Minimoog from Bob himself. Many have sampled Sun Ra from Madlib and Yo La Tengo, covered by MC5 and in a way Frank Zappa, too. I'd never heard of him until last week when I heard 'Nuclear War' and had to post it. Prodigiously talented as space travel hasn't been mastered by many...

Sun Ra Arkestra - Nuclear War


Monday, 18 June 2007

The Sound of Philadelphia

We're mining the Philadelphia International Records archives today with two tracks from opposite ends of this classic label's timeline.

First up we've got a request in the form of Bobby Taylor's "I Can't Quit Your Love" - a thumping slice of R&B from the former Motown man who also produced some of Jackson 5's greatest moments.

Bobby Taylor - I Can't Quit Your Love

Next up is an atypical track from Leon Huff who, together with Kenny Gamble, defined the Philly sound. "Your Body Won't Move, If You Don't Feel The Groove" eschews the usual orchestral sound for a drum machine, skittery hats and (yet more) squelchy synths. This comes from one of the last albums from the PIR stable, "Here to Create Music", which was a bit of a swansong featuring many classic Philly artists including Teddy Pendergrass, The O'Jays and The Jones Girls.

Leon Huff - Your Body Won't Move, If You Don't Feel The Groove

Gourmet burgers and singapore noodles...

After returning from Wireless in Leeds (which was a great day out) I felt I would keep the theme going from Haydn's lead and post a handful of tunes from the bands that stood out on the day.

The dance tent was rocking when Digitalism took to the stage in the early afternoon armed only with a laptop, a drum pad and the abiding throng of sweaty northerners. I really thought their album was a good effort and was surprised at how much they they got the crowd going - the beats in the sunshine went down very well indeed. Idealism is definitely worth getting hold of - you can find the original mix of the track below on that LP.

Digitalism - Zdarlight (Discodrome Mix)

You've got to love CSS - I missed getting tickets for them at the Ritz a few months ago and really regretted it. Any purple cat-suited Bjork-like madness from Lovefoxx and Co. in the heat (neck slightly burnt this morning) can only be good.

Other incidents of note - Jo acting quite cool for once in front of famous people as the lead singer of the Klaxons bummed a cig, Daft Punk delivering an exceptional set complete with pyramid light show and the fuzzy heads driving back to Manchester from all the second hand poppers.

The food was good though in case you are all wondering...

CSS - Alala (Bondo Do Role Remix)

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Harder, Better, Faster, Sampler

Ugly Talented will be descending on Leeds tomorrow for the Wireless Festival which should be a great day out. It's a pretty focused line-up with Daft Punk headlining and LCD Soundsystem, New Young Pony Club and, erm, Mark Ronson in support. I'm not sure what to make of the Daft Punk live act though, are they playing records, using Ableton on a laptop or just two blokes in Battlestar Galactica costumes standing in front of an incredibly loud tape player?

Anyway, in anticipation I've picked out two tracks - one is an Eighties funk track which was taken wholesale creatively sampled by Daft Punk on "Robot Rock" and the other is a remix that I think totally eclipses the original (although I'm sure Sarra and Jo will disagree!).

Breakwater - Release the Beast

Mark Ronson - Stop Me [A Chicken Lips Malfunction]

Friday, 15 June 2007

May God Bless Your Roadtrip

In a late effort to try and get an interesting theme on todays blog I am having to resort to the last 3 tracks played on my iPod shuffle from a quick dash to Glasgow and back today. I simply cannot conjure up anything better in my drained state so as an offering I'm putting up three tunes to counter act my lazy posting.

'Worst comes to Worst' is a a track that I happened upon back in my uni days by stumbling out of bed and catching the end of the video on a now probably defunct, snide cable TV channel which I missed the credits to and didn't find out what the name of the song was for nearly two years. After singing the tune to most of my friends, the majority of whom couldn't be labeled the most enthusiastic hip-hop fans, I happened across Dilated Peoples and rejoiced. A great sample if nothing else.

Second is Lupe Fiasco's 'Hurt Me Soul', which kept me awake as I joined the M60 god bless him and lastly a track from the Nouvelle Vague Presents... compilation reworking Curtis which amused me all the way to my front door.

Dilated Peoples - Worst Comes to Worst

Lupe Fiasco - Hurt Me Soul

The Flying Lizards - Move On Up

Thursday, 14 June 2007


With Amerie's "Take Control" inadvertently bringing Tropicália back into the public consciousness it seems like a good opportunity to go a bit psychedelic.

Tropicália was a brief musical and visual arts movement in Brazil lead by Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Rogério Duprat, Os Mutantes, Gal Costa, Nara Leão and Tom Zé which ended almost as soon as it began with Veloso and Gil’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment by the military government in 1968.

The eclectic musical spirit of Tropicália captured the hearts and minds of a generation in Brazil but never really saw any success elsewhere although many have cited its influence since. A mix of pop-psyche, prog rock, bossa and poetry Tropicália songs were aesthetically daring and sporadically brilliant and include well known songs like "Baby" by Tropicalia ou Panis Et Circensis and "Alfômega" by Caetano Veloso.

For this posting we will visit Tom Zé's "Jimmy, Renda-se" which will be instantly recognisable to many and Os Mutantes' "Jardim Elétrico" which is probably less so but is just as awesome.

Jardim Elétrico

Jimmy, Renda-se

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

If you really loved me you wouldn't take a million dollars, baby...

In keeping with the tone of squelchy synthy goodness set by Haydn I just had to post my favorite Marvin track from the Here, My Dear album, which was used as his opener in his late 70’s/early 80’s performances.

My illustrious co conspirator makes up the knowledge base of Ugly Talented when it comes to the history behind these tunes which is something I take full advantage of through the abridged versions of that I glean from Haydn’s memory.

Any album that contains ‘Time To Get It Together’ can never be considered throw away regardless of the divorce settlement/alimony payment going through at the time this was made (which raised questions about the quality of the album, especially as his missus was getting the cash from it).

Blows me away every time...

Marvin Gaye – Time To Get It Together

Monday, 11 June 2007

Grinning from ear to ear

I suppose this is a bit of a departure from art rock (see previous post) but I can't hide my disco heritage. I'm actually treating this post as an attempted exorcism because this tune has been burrowing around my brain for weeks like some low-slung funky worm!

You may recognise the dude above as the crooner who crapped on about tying some bow around a tree but, make no mistake, in his one shot at dancefloor glory Tony Orlando struck gold. Don't Let Go is a mid-tempo grinder with all of our favourite disco elements in place - the skippy beats, insistent bass, classy strings and that analogue synth - it just falls on the right side of cheese.


Tony Orlando - Don't Let Go

What a dilemma…

Picking the first track was never going to be easy so after a weekend of mulling it over I decided to go for something that I simply liked and happened to come on the iPod in the car on Sunday.

I love Talking Heads – a truly awesome band, as idiosyncratic as they come and represent a time in New York that I seem to love more and more without actually knowing too much about compared to some of the other bands I have loved in the past.

A great cover too…

Talking Heads - Take Me to the River.mp3

Saturday, 9 June 2007

And so it begins...

Hello all and welcome to the inaugural post from myself and Haydn from Ugly Talented. The purpose of this blog is to make material available from artists that we feel have influenced the current music scene, have relevance to a theme that we will be exploring or form simple indulgences for when the mood takes us.

Is it not our intention to financially impede any of the artists on this blog in any way and in order to do this we will be specific in the tunes we post, concentrating on classic or current remix material if at all possible.

We hope you enjoy Ugly Talented and we look forward to posting quality tunes on a daily basis, solely for your aural pleasure!


Tom and Haydn