All posts by harry covert

Pillow Dance Rides Again

Here we are with the return of the Pillow Dance series (check this post if you want the background). Played at a wedding here in Oakland recently for folks that like the those Latin/Hip Hop beats so there’s definite inspiration here.

Also been playing around with Virtual DJ which has been a real joy. Think it works? Let me know!

Tracklisting

Finley Quaye – Even After All
Favela Chic – Batucada
The Fugees – Ready Or Not
Gang Starr – Check The Technique
Daljit Mattu & Ravi Bal – Captain Bhangre Da
Black Uhuru – Happiness
Shawn Chrystopher – One of My Homies
SunSoul – So Danco (Rough Version)
Sincere – MJ Cole
Carmen McRae – How Long Has This Been Going On (MJ Cole Remix)
Otis Redding & Carla Thomas – Tramp
Public Enemy – Welcome To The Terrordome (1990)
Jon Hopkins – Collider
John Lennon – Working Class Hero

Pillow Dance Volume 1: the first installment

Here it is.

Fueled by more than a fair share of Balearic and early rave (but not exclusively), Pillow Dance sprang out from a preschooler and his deranged dad’s desire to get the blood flowing towards the end of the day. Pillows are piled high in the middle of the living room, the beats cranked up and we charge tribal-like in a freestyle dance battle.

With the soundtrack, there’s nostalgia but hopefully something deeper, haling back to a time in the late 80’s when spotty white suburban (mainly European) kids discovered a link with disenfranchised urban gay African Americans. Together they set about building a global movement, discombobulated from any one culture, underpinned by beats and bass created by emergent electronic tools such as the Roland TR-808. Sonically, this magpie music was as happy plundering from punk as it was from disco. A particular strand that grabbed me in my Manchester dorm room at the time was the Balearic scene which prided itself on expanding its influences and actively juxtaposing the elements you’d least consider, with the tongue often placed firmly in cheek.

What emerged from this rich tapestry? House music, garage and just about every music genre which now gets labelled as ‘electronica’. It has indelibly impacted hip hop and has traces in most modern pop music.

Well pontificating aside, our pillow dancing sessions are living proof that this music can spark energy across generations. Give it a go and let me know how it works for you…

Tracklisting

Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored (LunaSol’s Acid Hacienda Mix)
Piano Fantasia – Song for Denise
Secchi – Flute On (Voice On)
Primal Scream – I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have
UVX – Bug Dub
KC Flightt – Planet E (House Mix)
Soul II Soul ft Caron Wheeler – Keep on Moving (Big Beat Acapella)-
Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed
Corporation Of One – The Real Life
Vangelis – One More Kiss Dear

Oddities and escapades vol 2

Latest selection of audio slices that are grabbing my goat right now. Some of these tracks have been around for a while (Alexandroid, RA the Rugged Man and Snowboy – actually one of the first albums I owned) mixed up with a bunch of newer numbers.

Given that US Thanksgiving has just passed, I might as well go ahead and say it: I give thanks for all these artists plugging away in their respective genres.

Hope you enjoy.

Tracklisting

Alexandroid – Untitled
Zola Jesus – Vessel
Summer Camp – I Want You
Washed Out – Amor Fati
Ra the Rugged Man – Chains
Shabazz Palaces – Swerve
She Said – Black Leather
Apparat – Ash Black Veil
Snowboy – Mambito
Suckers – A Mind I Knew
Zomby – Natalia’s Song

Oddities and escapades vol 1

here it is. after some time in the making and plenty of tweaking. some old, some new, some newly discovered.

Shiela Chandra – Ever So Lonely
‘the ocean refuses no river’ love the line, not quite sure what the hell sheila chandra is on about. too much time on the ashram munching space cakes, if you ask me.

Rockabye Baby – All Apologies
apparently, according to spin, it’s 20 years since nirvana’s nevermind burst on the scene making grunge accessible to accountants everywhere. with the rockabye project those accountants now have suitable ammunition to send their grand kids to slumberland.

Dan Deacon – Snookered
dan deacon set himself out on a trajectory which severly limited his chances of appearing on ‘idol’ (american or otherwise). thankfully the good ship deacon still sails close to that arc.

Santana – Jingo
santana hits up jingo. a more tribal rendetion regales the quaint new-colonial ‘the endless summer‘ documentary.

Tyler the Creator – Radicalz (NewFuture Remix)
jazz, jazz, jazz. gutteral sax strapped to a military beat as amp live takes on tyler.

The Smoking Time Jazz Club – Shake That Thing
next up new orlean’s smoking time jazz band school us on shaking our thing… lessons take place regularly on street corners across nola.

George Krantz – Din Daa Daa
din daa daa… one of the weirder things to come out of the disco era. man vs drum kit. recently graced the dancefloor at oakland’s layover.

Hollywood Holt, Million $ Mano – The Show
so, who want’s to see the show?

The Uma Uma Truth List – PEACE!!!
shouty, gangly.

Borgore – Sunsets (featuring Diplo)
Very deceptive: from shoegaze to spaz-out. some could say grating. i say addictive.

The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires
don’t let this one get in your head. featured on the excellent Merge sampler available from those nice folk at Amazon.

Memoryhouse – Lady Troisieme
delicate ambient balladry.

Another Green World – Another Green Waltz
i never got to whirl-y-gig. this strange slab of woodwind makes me want to chalk this up on my list of regrets.

Francois K at Cielo: refreshing in every way

It’s refreshing to know that the guy that remixed Chaka Khan and Prince to such great effect back in day is still around.
It’s refreshing to hear uplifting house music verging on disco still has a place in the world.
It’s refreshing to feel the glow of early-evening spring-time.
It’s refreshing to know that you can just dip into SoundCloud and end up with a smile on your face.

Feeling like some refreshments?

dark silky grooves from rich gilfedder

sultry and petulant: the bay area, brian wilson from the giants, fall season, half the candidates in the US gubernatorial contest, and to round it off, this classy slice of house music from bournemouth’s rich gilfedder.

i normally sit on the fence around the whole ‘producer as dj’ argument, but rich’s blending, which maintains cohesion yet a slow, steady sprinkling of drama, argues strongly in favor of letting sonic twiddlers venture behind the decks. a music closely related to the warehouse birth of house music (including classic quotes), but redefined through a twitchy, tribal lens.

tracklisting and more info on rich gilfedder on electronic groove

Jubilee throws down some serious jump-up jive

I’ve been sitting on this mix for a little while now. I just keep getting pulled back into it. I’d go as far as to say it’s redefining the music I follow and play.

Jubilee is a young turk from Brooklyn who is building up a reputation for serving up some of the rawest beats out there. Picking on producers as diverse as Bok Bok, Wiley, Roska, DJ Eastwood and Schlachthofbronx, the mix starts at pace and just keeps on sizzling.

I love the raw clanging of the French Fries’ Predator (Tomb Crew Remix) as it bleeds into the atonal warblings of WILDLIFE!’s Jumbie. I did start investigating French Fries and came across this stunner on Youtube from the Frenchman:

For more on Jubilee and the full tracklisting, check out XLR8R.

J Period Dancehall Soundclash Vol 2 Part 2 boyee

J Period Dancehall Soundclash Well, one day we’ll be back in the sizzling hot sun of summer – stoop parties, hoards at every ice cream parlor, hanging out in parks with boom boxes blaring a boisterous roughneck soundtrack. Well, here in SF we’re still not quite there yet, but let’s start getting in the mood.

I originally posted part 1 of this J Period Dancehall Soundclash mix last year, and due to demand am offering up part 2 here. There’s no let-up in intensity, and we find ourselves once more engulfed in a heady concoction of dancehall, reggaeton, ragga, hip-hop and a spattering of jump-up pop classics.

Here’s the track names:

Lil Jon Interlude
The Workout
Yeah Remix
Elephant Message Remix
Elephant Message
Galang Girl
Get Busy/Egyptian Interlude
Sweet To The Belly
Milkshake Remix
Jook Gal
Move Your Body
Pull Up
Tamale
Killing A Sound Boy
Sound Bwoie Buriell
Look Into My Eyes
Shake That Thing
Enemies Remix
Paid Not Played
Paid Not Played Exclusive
No No No
Oh Yeah
Bad Boys
Wine Up
Champion Lover
69
The Chronic
Like A Rock Remix
Neva Scared Remix
Neva Scared Remix
Outtro

Listen to part one of this mixtape

Jesus Christ, Har Mar Superstar

I’ve had this category called ‘all over the place’ on this blog for a while… finally I’ve found the perfect subject matter. Last night at Benders for the opening of Noisepop, our man Har Mar was not just ‘all over the place’, but quite simply all in our face (one of our friends narrowly missed a teabagging). This indie court jester/rock hobbit has a stage act nonpareil.

To be honest, I’ve sampled his recorded music before and have never been that enthused. For the same reason I’ve passed up tickets to his show in the past. But the music really isn’t the point. It’s a prop along with the spandex cloak, the African tunic and, erm, his underpants. Not one to blush at pretentious ideas like artistic integrity, there’s even a spell of ‘yelling at the soundman’ drama, where HMS makes it clear the music player dishing out the backing track (including vocals from the likes of Beth Ditto and Karen O) is his fourth band member. The other two floppy-haired fellas being a bassist and drummer, both play it relatively straight as Har Mar pounces and preens through his dance/funk R&B, undressing at will.

Finally, the crowd has what it wants – HMS sporting little more than the garb that brought him into the world. And there, within his ‘barefaced cheek’ lies the crux of my enjoyment: Har Mar exults and adores us humans at our basest, most sordid, most ironic. Like a 40-year old accountant fantasizing about winning gold at the 100 meter sprint and getting it on with a supermodel. Har Mar just brings this fantasy to the stage as an urban yank version of the laughing Buddha. One that gets the last laugh.

More on Har Mar Superstar

A selection of hits from the sleek Har Mar Superstar website (I guess we’re still awaiting his release of a clothing line):

Surprisingly downbeat whilst being interviewed in a launderette:

Dirty Laundry Presents: Har Mar Superstar from Dirty Laundry on Vimeo.

You’ll find a collection of his ‘works’ on YouTube and he’s not too prouo to Tweet.