New Random Blurbs/Reviews

Christopher M. Kelly (
Sat, 16 Mar 1996 19:01:58 -0800

In regards to the shit about La Funk Mob, I heard a white label track
at Radio Nova when I was in Paris two weeks ago. I think it was called
"L'homme qui vaulent trois millards" which is the French transaltion
for the U.S. TV show called "The Six Million Dollar Man". Anyhow, it
was relly amazing - intense build-up to a crazy, rolling bass heavy,
dirty funk thing. But with some drum & bass overriding throughout.
Heavy shit...Don't remember the title of the song. But I think it's La
Funk Mob.

Also check out a few reviews I've done for the next Straight No Chaser.
I'd like to know if anyone has seen the new issue #35 in the U.S. and
what some of your thoughts on that issue were. Hope you can check out
the story on The Church of John Coltrane, The African Orthodox Church
in San Francisco I did. That place is amazing and I enjoyed going
there every Sunday. I also did some reviews, that I'll also attach,
and a story on the original Dust Brothers who have a new album coming
out on their own label, Nikel Bag Records and on Mo'Wax in Europe.

There's some great music coming out soon...The Roots/Krush remixed by
DJ Shadow, DJ Crystal, Roni Size, Courtney Pine's new single (and
album), The Fugees, new Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Jungle
Brothers by summer, Peanut Butter Wolf, Chop Shop records, Adam f,
Better Daze, Tortoise...and on and on.

peace to all
ck smart

Peanut Butter Wolf - Step On Our Ego’s? (South Paw Records)(Straight No
Chaser #36)
The third underground hip-hop release from Orlando Aguillen’s label
comes from San Jose’s finest up-and-coming producer/DJ, Peanut Butter
Wolf. Packed with some of the area’s dopest MCs (including the late
and great Charizma) this is one of those amazing records in line with
the classic wax Marly Marl In Control Of Things where flourishing MC
toast lyrics over tight production. Will PB go the way of the Bronx’s
mad one? The Source Magazine has already proclaimed his tracks as
“simply incredible”. Note: He was also signed to Hollywood Basic with
DJ Shadow and Organized Konfusion in the early 1990s. Check the EP’s
best cut, “Max Mode” featuring 50 Grand of the Homliss Derilex. Zest
Da Smoker’s “My Old Nasty Habit” gets props for being cleverly warped
in addressing his addiction to smoking emcees. Nasty!!
(ck smart)

Better Daze - Better Daze (Ubiquity)(SNC #36)
This is the record that will launch Ubiquity into the last few years of
the century. Forget what you may know them for (except for their love
of great music), Better Daze goes all over the board of musical
possibilities - and succeeds. DJ Andrew Jervis and multi-talented
musician Paul Scriver have amassed some of the best experimental minds
in the West (Vijay Iyer, Karl Denson, Squantch and Ramone Lazo) to
explore the branches of funk, jazz, drum & bass, house and other
beat-heavy styles. The Strangler’s universal hit “Golden Brown” by
Better Daze could parallel Natural Calamity’s rework of “The
Creator...” last year - bringing a modernist rethink to a legendary
track. Look out for the Filla Brazilla remix...

Reaching into their bag of knowledge, the duo came up with Digeridoo,
Berimbau, flutes, turntables and the audacious interlude, “I Dreamed My
Dentist Was Yusef Lateef”. Next required shit on Ubiquity: Slide Five
and Dan The Automator.
(ck smart)

Dr. Octagon - (Bulk Recordings) (SNC #36)
Change is not a thing that flows by itself, but a plant to be
cultivated and watered with the care of a wailing soul. This is the
freshest, most creative, forward-thinking hip-hop adventure to emerge
from the bowls of U.S. minds in years. One the mic is the
psychologically unstable Kool Keith (“armed with seven rounds of
space-doo-doo crystals”) of the Ultramagnetic MCs, while the seemingly
poisoned beats come from various underground producers and DMC Battle
Champs, like Q-Bert and the Automator. This is one of those albums
that takes a long time, open ears and a full pull on a big bong to
understand. Who said he could go ahead and break every rule ever
written on lyrical delivery? And where has Keith been hiding these
last three years? Kool Keith at his most off-the-deep-end state in
recording history, but like Poppa Large says on “Earth People”, “I’m
from Jupiter, New York and California” - so is this fucking record!
Intense, creepy, exhilarating and brilliant. A lyrical first in the
history of hip-hop. Warning: A frontal lobotomy may be necessary after
your first listening. See if you can follow it...
(ck smart)

Wavelength and Infinity - a Sun Ra Tribute, Various (Rastascan)(SNC
Sun Ra was an individual who believed he had descended from another
planet (probably Saturn), migrating from Alabama to Chicago to play
with Fletcher Henderson in the 1940s. He described his music as
“really outside the realms of the future, on the turning points of the
impossible.” His mind seemed infinite. If one could achieve only a
minor synthesis of his astounding outpour of musical creativity, you
might look here.

A double CD of 32 obscure groups from a small Bay Area label with the
proceeds going to the remaining members of Sun Ra’s Arkestra? Yes sir.
Brilliant, experimental tributes to the master of scary music. Some
artists include NRBQ, Thurston Moore, Eugene Chadborne, John Tchicai,
Vacuum Tree Head and the BKCP String Quartet. Some instruments include
a galactic sampler, doubleneck guitar, electric baritone sax, 21-string
koto, membrane reeds and contrabass violin. Harmut Geerken plays a Sun
Harp originally given to him by Sun Ra in Egypt. Spoken word, poetry
recital and lobster bells also show up in various capacities, all to
help the remaining members of the Arkestra, most who have all lived for
years in the same Philadelphia house.

This is what happens when very talented musicians unleash their
creative juices to support and pay homage to one of the worlds most
innovative groups. Every music lover should own a copy! Period. Sun
Ra may have left us behind, but his music will still burn hundreds of
years after him. His radiance and resonance and obvious influence over
so many differing muscians will never be disputed. Climb into your
favorite spaceship and blast off. Borrow or steal money and call DJ
Sep @ (415) 252-9397.

Return of the DJ, Various (Bomb Records) (as submitted to Straight No
Chaser #35)
To any b-boy in America, Dave Paul’s independent Bomb Magazine has been
staple food for years now. An enthusiastic supporter of all hip-hop
culture, he has compiled the first ever “all scratch” DJ battle record
from some of the best known names in the DMC trophy case. Twelve
headspinning tracks from 12 different battle crews and DJs bless these
vinyl crevasses. Long-time champ Q-Bert comes with his latest group,
the Invisible Scratch Pickles, as does Rob Swift, DJ Peanut Butter
Wolf, the Cut Chemist, DJ Babu and Mixmaster Mike. Japanese DJ champs
Honda and Yutaka also represent lovely. More breaks, turntable
trickery, bizarre loops and proper beats than you can shake a stick at.
This rocks!

Since the days of Kool Herc, who began to “jockey” records instead of
simply playing them, the DJ has been the cornerstone of hip-hop,
breaking, and graffiti culture. Just as every writer should own A
Portrait of An Artist, every DJ should own this record. It’s also
handy for restructuring acappellas on the dance floor. Volume II is in
the works. Inquire within: Dave Paul (415)821-7965

Encounters of the Fourth World - Live in Amsterdam, (B&W Music) (as
submitted to Urb, Feb issue)

comes a wonderful live recording of sonic madness and spontaneous
development in Amsterdam. The great Brazilian drummer Airto Moreira,
his wife and extra-terrestrial vocalist Flora Purim and guitarist José
Neto are in top form, on this album, having just concluded an extensive
European Tour and 4-week spark at London's legendary Ronnie Scott's in
SoHo. They are at the height of their creativity - driving and
reaching with lyrical intuition to areas yet discovered, much less
concerned with melodic structure than freedom and flight. Sweeping,
pulsating and fluid.

The opening tune, "Burning Money" leaves no wonder of their intent -
exploration of the musical spectrum. The percussion solo toward the
end of that song ups the ante even further by providing a haunting
descent down several long staircases. Giovanni Hidalgo lends a couple
prolific hands to the congas and other percussion instruments, and
compliments the great rhythm of Airto, who kicks ass himself and is a
true master on drums. This is wonderful music being played by great

The energy of Fourth World springs forth from your deck like a
benevolent messenger, slicing open your head and stuffing in a bag of
music snacks. For outward minds, artistic inspiration and adventurous
escapades. Seconds, please!