Monday, February 04, 2008

Howlin' Magic The Dreaming CD
DJ Premiere Crooklyn Cuts (Tape A) mp3s
Wild Style soundtrack mp3s
Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Hour ("The Devil" episode)
Bach Brandenburg Concertos
Emeralds Allegory of Allergies mp3s
Dusted Destined 2008 mp3s
Sex/Vid live cassette mp3s
Don Cherry Tibet LP
DJ Afrika Bambaata Death Mix Live!!! 12-inch
Long Legged Woman Newtown Nights CDR

One last CD from the Lal Lal Lal batch, an act not from Finland but Santa Cruz, California, ladies and gentlemen, it's Howlin' Magic. I first heard Mr. Magic (it's a one-man band) a year or two ago via a couple self-released CDRs. They had nice crude psychedelic magik-marker artwork and the sounds were definitely blown-out psyched-out fuzz-drool, but I just couldn't get into the overall arc. There were riffs, and there was forward movement, but none of it seemed to interrelate to or interdepend on anything else. Seemed like another case of 'rad sounds/no songs'. Siltblog took him down harshly, but I never wanted to write him off completely, and it is kinda nice to see this new disc with more of the handmade psychedelic artwork, promising song titles like "Thanaton III", "The Oort Cloud", "Lord Jagannath", "Imagination is Power", and further elucidating that last one, a truly excellent "revolution" manifesto on the inside. (It's part of a longer post you can find on his blog.) I think I'm gonna keep the album for the artwork and the manifesto alone, but, although it is probably my fave of the (three?) Howlin' Magic that I've heard, the awesome sounds are still adding up to less than the sum of their parts.... I downloaded the DJ Premiere mix tape from a blog and it's hands down one of the best hip-hop mixes I've ever heard. So good... lots of names I've barely heard of, rugged NYC styles, and Premiere's mix is astounding, with the tracks blasted in the red, great intros, tricky segues... amazing... The Don Cherry LP was an impulse buy while at Dusty Groove because it was an $8.99 reissue and I'd always heard it was a good album. It certainly wasn't for the packaging - even though the album was recorded in 1973, the front cover of this edition features a photo of a suit-wearing Cherry during the early 1960s Ornette era, laid over a cheesy 'starry night' design, with a generic essay on the back about his entire career that DOES NOT MENTION THE ALBUM Tibet at all, let alone its personnel or dates! Then I listened to it, and uhhh... this thing could be packaged in a tupperware bowl with two lollipops and a Richard Marx poster and I would pay $8.99 for it.... this album is ASTOUNDING. They way it calmly dives right into such strange and rare "Universal Music" atmospheres via gongs, bells, plaintive and zoned thumb pianos, soft-noise crumple textures on rare percussion instruments, minimalist/maximalist piano exercises... Cherry doesn't even play horn on the whole thing. Now we'll just wait for someone to reissue this with the original cover art and title. (Because that cover art, a wild tapestry by Cherry's wife Moki, is well worth reissuing.) Also while at Dusty Groove on my already legendary Phil Cohran buying trip, I asked about Paul Winley Records and they had these weird Afrika Bambaata 12-inch singles for $5.98, in totally warped cardboard sleeves with super-crude paste-on covers on the front and back. Copyright 1983, does this mean Paul Winley is keeping all this stuff in print and cranking it out super-crude, or is this a bootleg? (Probably the latter.) Then again, it seems that it always was a bootleg, judging from the kinda hilarious liner notes by Winley: "I was the first to record Afrika Bambaata as a record artist, along with the Cosmic Force and the Soul Sonic Force. But I must admit I did not do my best in recording them, but I hope to make up for those mistakes by putting together this record of what I think are some of the best cuts and mixes by D.J. Afrika Bambaata himself." OK, so you're making amends for his bad experience with your label by putting out a live bootleg record of one of his DJ gigs? I don't know, I could have it wrong but that's what it sounds like - maybe this kind of thing explains why I didn't really know about Paul Winley until now - his business practices didn't get him any respect - either way, the meat of the matter is that this record is awesome and Bambaata was a bad-ass DJ. 19 minutes of music featuring all kinds of raw breaks, some live rapping, all apparently recorded live at "James Monroe High School, Bronx, NY." My favorite is when he loops the intro to "Fire It Up" by Rick James, the "we want Rick to funk us up!" part... I'll give Can't Stop Won't Stop author Jeff Chang the last word on this record because he nails it: "'Death Mix' features Bam, DJ Jazzy Jay and DJ Red Alert cutting up breaks and Sundance MCing sometime in late 1979 or early 1980. For all its hissy cassette-in-the-bassbin fidelity, it has the same real-deal urgency and immediacy of a Charley Patton or Robert Johnson recording." After Bambaata I pushed play on the 5-disc changer without knowing what was in there - Long Legged Woman came on and for at least five or six songs I was thinking it was Pocahaunted. Which is funny, because are LLW are two MEN and Pocahaunted are two WOMEN. They were using a lot of falsetto, what can I say, and there are some similarities in the way tracks are built out of repeating shoegazey strumming and floating vocals. Last track "We Learned To Survive (What Will Be)" is the one I would play on WBLSTD right now with its Velvetsy two-chord space-gospel organ part.

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