Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Electronic System - Skylab (1974)

On May 14, 1973, Skylab was launched. And apparently, inspired this epic, spaced out Moog joint by Electronic System, aka Dan Lacksman, who later formed the Belgian avant garde synthpop group Telex.

America's first space station orbited the planet until falling back to Earth in 1979. In the pre-internet, pre-cable news era, it was still a global media event.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Jean-Pierre Mirouze - Sexopolis (1968)

A long-forgotten original soundtrack from a 1968 French exploitation flick yielded this funky cut. The whole soundtrack would have been lost to the ages if an acetate copy hadn't been rescued from a landfill in Paris a few years back.

If you can decipher Google's slightly twisted translation, or speak French, you'll dig this page, which drops some knowledge about the strange career of Jean-Pierre Mirouze, including how he was hired in the late 60s to create the music for a never-completed political film called Farewell America, after a book of the same name. The entire project was supposedly a creation of the French intelligence service, embarked on with the knowledge and/or encouragement of Bobby Kennedy. It was to have featured the full-length Zapruder film (then unseen by the American public), and like the book, explored the possibility that multiple gunmen killed JFK, with backing from a cabal of U.S. oil interests, rogue elements of the CIA, and Kennedy's domestic political enemies.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, August 15, 2016

Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra - Soul Power (2009)

Also known just as Kokolo. Formed in NYC circa 2001, by now these cats have over 50 releases to their credit and apparently are one of the reasons there's been a global Afrobeat revival in recent years.

From their 2009 LP Heavy Hustling, with a sexy assist from Sheree, doing her original tiger dance! Of course, a reworking of the 1971 James Brown classic.

As certain fiends and denizens may recall, the version redone by Maceo and the Macks as Soul Power '74 was a Pink House standard back in the day.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Chakachas - Stories (1972)

The Chakachas were a group of studio musicians from Belgium (including Tito Puente's wife, the singer Kari Kenton) who laid down some seriously funky Latin soul tracks. They were best known for their sex funk hit Jungle Fever, which went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 after being released in late 1971, and undoubtedly resulted in the birth of many a Gen Xer. It sold over a million copies in the U.S., and was a seminal track of the early disco era, heating up the then-underground dance floor scene.

But this cut right here, Stories, was also a killer.

Off the follow-up to Jungle Fever, 1972's Los Chakachas, it's a playful groove with lots of giggles and silly background noises, and clearly a song that a lot of folks enjoyed while getting stoned. With recreational marijuana use on the ballot this November in five more states (California, Nevada, Arizona, Maine, and Massachusetts), it's high time to revisit some classic smoking tracks!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, August 13, 2016

King Floyd - Groove Me (1970)

Went to a wedding today, and this was one of the only decent tracks the DJ threw down.

Turns out there's a romantic story behind it. King Floyd wrote Groove Me as a poem that he planned to give to a coed he was crushing on who worked with him at a box factory in East L.A., since he was too shy to ask her out. But after he wrote it, she never came back to work. "Man, I'd sure like to meet her one day just to thank her," Floyd said in 1999. The track was a #1 hit on the Billboard Soul chart over four non-consecutive weeks in early 1971, and crossed over to the white pop charts, making it to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. He was working at a New Orleans post office when the song blew up, and Groove Me's success allowed him to quit his job and tour the U.S., pursuing his musical career full time. R.I.P King Floyd (1945-2006).

- Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Skobie Won - Burn (2015)

While hanging out at the new gelato spot today, I ran into a CT-based rapper and producer named Skobie Won. It intrigued me to learn he's out of New London, since I recently relieved the the New London Sal's of all their decent vinyl, and found another large used record stash at a nearby antique mall that yielded some goodies, too. Skobie said he had a big collection, and I bet he does...those producer cats stockpile up all the good crate-dug shit. He just dropped his third album, Drive, and checking out his website led me to this very dope electro-flavored track right here, Burn:

which was the first single off his last album, Bedlam and Squalor. Burn to the ground, baby! Just keep the flames away from the gelato.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kool & The Gang - I Remember John W. Coltrane (1973)

Thinking about Kool & The Gang today, I stumbled onto this rare groove. One of the most beautiful tributes to Coltrane I've ever heard.

From their 1973 LP Kool Jazz, produced by De-Lite Records owner Gene Redd. I was aware their jazz lineage ran deep. But I never knew that Thelonious Monk was Robert "Kool" Bell's godfather. They were originally known as the Jazziacs, formed in Jersey City back in 1964. Even though Kool was only thirteen years old at the time, over the next few years they occasionally played with McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jermaine Jackson - Erucu (1976)

One of the records in the small stack I picked up last weekend at the Pitman Street Sal's was the soundtrack to Mahogany.

Starring Diana Ross and released in 1975, the film sat on the Black Cinema shelf at the Lost City for years, but I haven't seen it yet. The Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) is a Diana classic.

But it was one of the tracks on Side Two that caught my ear. Erucu only clocked in at 1:23 on the record, yet it was a funky little Afro-Caribbean flavored breakdown, co-written by Jermaine Jackson and Don Daniels, and arranged by Gil Askey. Don Daniels had an extensive career as a writer/arranger and producer, and is probably best known for co-writing The Originals' biggest hit, Down To Love Town.

It was properly released the following year as a Jermaine Jackson single, and elevated to legendary status when it became one of Larry Levan's early Paradise Garage re-edits. On Live At The Paradise Garage, an amazing set from 1979 released by UK label Strut in 2000, it was his closing cut.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thelma Houston - Ride To The Rainbow (1979)

We can thank Studio Larry for today's joint.

His car re-materialized, and he was so thrilled, he lost me in traffic before we could go out for lunch to celebrate. I ended up at the Pitman Street Sal's, where I picked through the leftovers from a stash I'd discovered earlier in the week. It was the first chance I'd had in several days to get back over there. After I'd looked through every piece of vinyl in their overflowing stacks, I stumbled onto this, peeking out of a pile of classical box sets. Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is the more celebrated dancefloor number from this record, but the title track blasts off to a rainbow disco in the sky.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Friday, July 25, 2014

B.T. Express - Does It Feel Good (1980)

About a year ago, I made a pilgrimage out to the Barden Family Orchard in northwestern Rhode Island, a spot from my childhood memories. And on the way back, late in the afternoon, found a nearby yard sale in full swing. It was Scituate Art Festival weekend, so there was a ton of traffic going by their house, and these cats had been slinging stuff all day. When I asked them if they had any records, they took me around the side of the house to reveal boxes and boxes of them. And more in an outside storage shed. I didn't ask any questions right then, just started digging.

Later, after I'd been there for a couple hours, I got the back story. One of the dudes who lived there had recently cleaned out a building in Pawtucket where somebody had been trying to start a resale business, but it hadn't panned out, so they left all the used furniture, books, records, everything just sitting there, destined for the dumpsters. This guy salvaged as much as he could and trucked it back to his house. So who knows where all the vinyl came from originally.

All I knew was that there was a whole bunch of crazy stuff, and I ended up with at least a hundred pieces. Probably more. And there were a ton of 12" promos in great shape, circa '79 and '80. Which I promptly shelved and forgot about for a while. Until this morning, when I pulled this one outta the stacks.

Only 500 copies originally pressed, and immediately blew up in Italy, so the promo was subsequently counterfeited. But this is an original U.S. promo copy. What a great track. Roller disco friendly and very Chic-esque. Produced by Morrie Brown for Mighty M Productions, the partnership formed in 1979 by Brown, Paul Lawrence Jones III (aka Paul Laurence) and Kashif Saleem, who was previously the keyboardist for B.T. Express. In 1981, Mighty M would helm Evelyn King's classic LP I'm In Love. Later in the 80s, Saleem and Laurence would play key roles in creating the so-called HUSH Sound through their work on many HUSH/Orpheus productions released by Orpheus Music. In 1999, "Does It Feel Good" was re-worked by British duo Phats and Small as "Feel Good," which was a #7 hit for them in the U.K.

Even if Randy Muller had long since moved on from his involvement with B.T. Express to leading Brass Construction and producing Skyy and Cameron, this track shows the late-era Express were still funksters to be reckoned with.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Don't Take My Coconuts (1983)

I think I found this Kid Creole single at the Swansea Sal's.

And then dug up this amazing live version. This performance reminds me of everything I used to dig about BOP (harvey) shows back in the day, and makes me realize I need more Coconuts vinyl in my tree.

- Dyn-O-Mite

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