Nice Up the Function… (Something Else! on 6/11/09)

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Hey folks. Although there’s a new track on the show, I was still kind of digging in the crates this week.

Markus Enochson & E-Man’s “I Am The Road (Bugz In The Attic Remix)” is one of those tracks I always just dug. Good groove, marvelous vocals featuring E-Man (from Jon Cutler’s house anthem “It’s Yours“) and Rasiyah. Red Astaire’s “Follow Me” was probably the first track I bought on the GAMM label after hearing it on Benji B’s Deviation show on BBC’s 1Xtra. A lot of wonderful things have since come out on that label and I’ve been turned onto some great producers as well as hearing some interesting ideas from talents I was already familiar with. One of the few songs that ever got radio play by NWA was “Express Yourself” which is based on the funk & soul classic of the same name by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band — no relation to Eric “Eazy-E” Wright of NWA. I find it quite ironic that the MC on this cut (Dr. Dre) is speaking ill of smoking marijuana a few years before the release of his blockbuster album “The Chronic” (a reference to very strong “Mary Jane.”) Keeping things downtempo, Snowboy’s “Oya Ye Ye (UFO’s Tender Moments Mix)” is a chilled-out alternative to UFO’s other, dancefloor-oriented uptempo mix of the same song. From the Orlando, Florida scene Swamburger gives us his ode to the common man and woman “9 to 5 Poortrait.” Rather than the gritty hyper-realism associated with hardcore hiphop, this track is actually rather sweet–but it doesn’t shy away from the reality of poverty and its effect on families. DJ Venom is the son of Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick of Incognito. Both father and son have a love of Brazilian music and “Case Solved (12″ Remix)” is Venom’s track from Brazilian Love Affair Remixed 2. “Nice Up the Function (Remix)” by Mr Scruff feat Roots Manuva would be the aforementioned new track from Scruff’s Ninja Tuna album. Along with the music, Scruff also does his own artwork–I think he studied graphic design. Much sampled but still not trite, “I Can’t Help It” by Michael Jackson sets up a bit of a soul vibe leading into Rahsaan Patterson’s “The Day.” Back when Jill Scott was super-hot property she worked with a lot of artists, including 4Hero. “Gotta Get Up (Another Day)” is a classic soul meets live drum & bass track that came out on both artists albums — Jill’s Experience: Jill Scott 826+ and 4Hero’s Creating Patterns. Speaking of classic, Earth Wind & Fire wrote a song many years ago for leader Maurice White’s (sort of) mentor–Ramsey Lewis. “Sun Goddess (Live)” is their version with Larry Dunn (their regular keyboardist at the time) in place of Ramsey Lewis. This is from their great album 70s album Gratitude, which is mostly live plus a few studio songs. The closer this week is a track I played at my Brazelona Sessions gig: Up Bustle & Out’s “Lyrica Volcanica (T-Bird’s Barceloca Remix.)” Everyone seemed to enjoy it there and I hope that you do as well!

I’ve been sent a lot of new music since I put together this show, so there will be more new sounds next week!

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