¡Música Nueva! (Something Else! on www.WtnrRadio.com 6/18/09)

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I should have known with a name like Illa J that there was good reason to be reminded of J Dilla (aka Jay Dee or James Yancey.) Turns out the legendary producer has a younger brother… According to Amazon.com Jay’s “little brother” John (Illa J) is using beats made by his late brother for his debut album “Yancey Boys.” What I start out with is a remix of the lead single “Sounds Like Love (Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s In Space Remix.)” Carlos Niño is a name that should be familiar to folks from Los Angeles — he’s a music writer, radio host (“Spaceways” on KPFK 90.7 FM,) was (is?) part of the crew at Silverlake’s Little Temple and a recording artist in his own right. Carlos has worked with people sometimes associated with the avant-garde (his radio show takes its name from a work of Sun Ra and take a look at some of Carlos’ albums) but on this track his approach reminds us that experimental doesn’t have to mean “difficult to listen to.” “Morey Pya Bassey (The Arch Cupcake Remix)” by Cheb I Sabbah is from a world-music sampler called Revolution Rising: Ethnotechno.com Vol.1 presented by dimmSummer. I love the fusion of music with ancient roots mixed with modern beat production. On a similar theme “Onda (Album Mix)” by The Latin Project and “Didibina (feat. Falu, produced with Quantic)” by Nickodemus combine afro-latin and middle-eastern roots with current sounds, respectively. Going for a bit more of the African vibe, Ashley Beedle’s “Jump Up (Massai)” also brings up the tempo a bit, setting us up for “I Have A Vision [feat. Erin Martin] (The Juan MacLean Remix)” by legendary Chicago house producer Roy Davis Jr. Although Chicago is associated with the more “jacking” house sound (current examples being Joey Youngman and Sound Republic) no place is untouched by the influence of techno music. Techno’s “official home” is Detroit, which is quite close to Chicago… “Ravin A” by Seiji is a TB-303 led track and is a bit of a throwback to acid-house (which preceded techno,) which was hugely influential in the UK (where Seiji is from) and is yet another sound associated with Chicago. The European pantheon of techno (and electronic music in general) includes without a doubt the French DJ icon Laurent Garnier who’s “The Man with the Red Face” managed to successfully bridge jazz — another loved music in Europe — and electronic dance music in an anthemic, yet musical fashion. Although I love the original, for this set I used the Funk D’Void remix. “UFO in Brazil” by Weisz (aka Megablast,) “Dave’s Sex Bits” by Toby Tobias and “Kumquat” by Zwicker close us out. While there is definitely an electronic sound to these tracks, there’s also a bit of “funk” to them as well. Machine funk, if you will, but funk nonetheless…

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