Donnerstag, 23. März 2017

Lee Perry Presents Megaton Dub Vol. 1


Certainly eccentric, Lee "Scratch" Perry is reggae's most influential producer, with a career that spans the entire history of the music.
He started at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label, first as a talent scout, then as producer. Moving on to other labels, he recorded hit after hit for Jamaican artists, assembling the original Wailers and producing their earliest — some say best — tracks.

Perry has also done extensive solo work, composing, arranging and singing his own records. With the help of a studio band, the Upsetters (named for one of his aliases), Perry has forged a dub reggae style that's idiosyncratic and revolutionary — full of shifting, echoey rhythms and weird sound effects. His characteristic sound is unique — extended grooves layered like fog, with odd vocals and percussion shimmering in the dense mist.

This hard-to-find album collects 10 tracks of pure Scratch dub: Sometimes odd, sometimes wonderful and crucial.

Dem No Know Dub
Conscious Man Dub
Such Is Dub
Corn Picker Dub
Rasta Dub
Freedom Dub
Megaton Dub
Dreamer Dub
School Girl Dub
Simon The Sorcerer

Lee Perry Presents Megaton Dub Vol. 1
(192 kbps)

Sonntag, 19. März 2017

James Booker - Junco Partner (1976)

This solo disc by arguably the most brilliant of New Orleans' resplendent pianists shows off all the edge and genius he possessed. There may be moments on other discs of slightly more inspired playing (and this is arguable), but for a whole disc this one stands far from the crowd. You can hear some of the most awe-inspiring playing here that reflects the extremely broad background that he could, and did, draw from.

You can hear his classical training and the brilliance of his interpretive skills in "Black Minute Waltz." He follows this with a version of Leadbelly's "Good Night Irene," which shows off his raucous bordello style of playing and voice. The disc goes on showing off the eclectic variety of influences that make up this man's music.

This disc also displays the man's prodigious composing and arranging talents. Though he was regarded as eccentric and crazy, even by New Orleans' accepting standards (he was a flamboyant, black substance abuser, and a homosexual, who spent time both in Angola State Prison and a mental institution), he was considered a musical genius and thus given a certain amount of leeway.

An absolute must if you like New Orleans music.      


01. Black Minute Waltz
02. Good Night Irene
03. Pixie
04. On The Sunny Side of the Street
05. Make a Better World
06. Junco Partner
07. Put Out the Lights
08. Medley
09. Pop´s Dilemma
10. I´ll Be Seeing You

James Booker - Junco Partner (1976)     
(256 kbps, cover art included) 

Samstag, 18. März 2017

Mark Stewart - Jerusalem (On-U Sound, 1982, vinyl rip)

Originally posted in October 2010:

Tomorrow I will visit a screening of the documentary “On/Off: Mark Stewart from Pop Group to Maffia” with Mark as a special guest.

The film retraces Mark Stewart’s steps and paths from the early days of The Pop Group right up to the present. Director Toni Schifer followed the singer around for a full two years and the result is said to be a crafted and detailed, often intimate portrait of the artist, supplemented by interviews with Mark Stewart himself, Adrian Sherwood (On-U Sound), Daniel Miller (Mute), Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald, Keith LeBlanc, Gareth Sager (The Pop Group, Rip Rig and Panic) and many others, plus live recordings and music clips.

Celebrating this very special event we will post some of Mark Stewarts recordings, starting with a vinyl rip of the On-U Sound single "Jerusalem" from 1982.

Mark Stewart - Jerusalem (On-U Sound, 1982, vinyl rip)(320 kbps, front cover included)

VA - Gypsy Knights - Les Grandes Figures Du Jazz Manouche

Jazz manouche, or "traveler jazz", melds elements of traditional Roma (gypsy) music with early swing; this impassioned, rousing music relies mostly on the percussive playing of stringed instruments like the guitar and violin, sans drums. The uncontested master of the art form remains Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt, who joined with jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli in the 1930s to form the all-string Quintette de Hot Club de France, thus introducing jazz manouche to the world. Occasionally a jazz manouche band will use a horn player—American jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins played with Django when they toured Europe, and Django shared the bill with Duke Ellington's big band at Carnegie Hall in the 1940s. Such trans-Atlantic exchanges brought Django's musical leverage to the U.S.; American guitarists from Jimi Hendrix to Willie Nelson have cited Django's playing as a formative influence.

Paris-based record company Le Chant du Monde, which specializes in world music, offers a new releases that celebrate the legacy of Django Reinhardt: Gypsy Knights: Les Grandes Figures du Jazz Manouche is a compilation of songs by the greats among Django's disciples and includes three performances by the master himself. The CD explores the full range of jazz manouche expression, from Django and Grappelli on the classic "Djangology, to the moody tango "Davïdo of guitarist Mandino Reinhardt (Django's cousin), to the contemporary swing sound of guitarist Dorado Schmitt's "Balladorado, one of only two ballads on the disc. The CD isn't limited to gypsy guitar: Florin Niculescu turns out a formidable "Lady Is A Tramp" on the violin and accordionists Marcel Loeffler and David Rivière evoke a jazz-age musette on "Pont de Venise" and "A Saint Ouen", respectively. Rivière also performs with the well-known manouche group Les Pommes de Ma Douche on the blues tune "Saint Pierre Blues" and the spry "Fleure Bleue". Also of note: appearances by celebrated gypsy guitarists Angelo Debarre and Biréli Lagrène. -


       1. Djangologie - Django Reinhardt
2. Antsela - Tchavolo Schmitt
3. Entre Amis - Angelo Debarre, Ludovic Beler
4. B.L. - Biréli Lagrène
5. Choukar Gaiga - Mandino Reinhardt
6. Sinti Rhapsodie - Dorado Schmitt, Pierre Blanchard
7. Lady Is A Tramp - Florin Niculescu
8. Pont De Venise - Marcel Loeffler
9. Saint Pierre Blues - Les Pommes De Ma Douche
10. Swing 42 - Django Reinhardt
11. Valse A Dora - Tchavolo Schmitt
12. Come Into My Swing - Angelo Debarre, Ludovic Beler
13. Bireli Hi Gogoro - Biréli Lagrène
14. Davido - Mandino Reinhardt
15. Balladorado - Dorado Schmitt, Pierre Blanchard
16. Romantique Voyage - Raphael Fays
17. Fleur Bleue - Les Pommes De Ma Douche
18. A Saint Ouen - David Rivière
19. Valse A Tchavolo - Angelo Debarre, Tchavolo Schmitt
20. Blues Clair - Django Reinhardt

VA - Gypsy Knights - Les Grandes Figures Du Jazz Manouche
(256 kbps, small cover art included)

Freitag, 17. März 2017

VA - Original Jamaican Soundsystem Style - 21 R'n'B Scorchers

It'll take a while to explain this record to your friends, but what a concept. To be brief, Jamaican sound systems were once hungry for music (hard to imagine since rocksteady and reggae records would soon be issued as fast as newspapers), so the DJs turned to the world of American R&B.

"Original Jamaican Sound System Style" features many of the American tunes Jamaican DJs were spinning in the '50s, and it's evidence that they had excellent taste. The liner notes are fantastic, and you can't even pretend that every song on here isn't anything but jaunty and rollicking Friday night fish-fry fun. But don't forget that the sound systems overdrove these tracks through monolithic but cheap speakers; they mixed the tracks in with their own Jamaican R&B, and entranced audiences with shouts of babble. To hear it would be amazing but the ultraclean digital remasters here only hint at the experience. It's unfortunate that no one dug up a tape of the real deal, but this is evidence that someone should try.

       1. Safronia B - Calvin Boze
2. Monkey Speaks His Mind - Dave Bartholomew
3. Live It Up - Ernie Freeman
4. Let's Make A Whole Lot Of Love - Dodgers
5. I'm Gone - Shirley & Lee
6. I'm In The Mood For Love - Fats Domino
7. Little Bitty Pretty One - Thurston Harris
8. Tears On My Pillow - Little Anthony & The Imperials
9. Strator-Cruiser - Joe Lutchers
10. Secretly - Jimmie Rodgers
11. Someone Like You - Faye Adams
12. It's Over - James 'SugarBoy' Crawford
13. The Vow - Gene & Eunice
14. If You Don't Want Me Baby - Ray Johnson
15. Blue Moon - Lynn Hope
16. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer -Amos Milburn
17. Waiting & Drinking - Calvin Boze
18. One Night - Smiley Lewis
19. Be My Guest - Fats Domino
20. 3 x 7 = 21 - Jewel King
21. Return To Me - Ernie Freeman

VA - Original Jamaican Soundsystem Style - 21 R´n´B Scorchers
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 16. März 2017

Leadbelly - Bourgeois Blues - Lead Belly Legacy Vol. 2

This is volume 2 of a projected 3-volume set of Lead Belly's performances recorded by Moses Asch during the 1940s. The original masters now reside in the Folkways Archive at the Smithsonian Institution.
Completely remastered from the best sources in our collections, this recording contains the highest sound quality possible. The liner notes contain extensive annotation and reflections on Lead Belly's music as you've never heard it before. Compiled and annotated by Jeff Place. "The soul expressed is full-fledged and sublime." — New England Folk Almanac


Fannin Street3:01
Bourgeois Blues2:17
Easy Rider2:50
Alabama Bound2:16
Don't You Love Your Daddy No More?3:01
Gallis Pole2:44
Leavin' Blues1:29
Midnight Special2:01
T.B. Blues3:42
Linin' Track1:14
Julie Ann Johnson0:40
John Henry2:24
Jim Crow Blues3:29
Jim Crow #22:42
Good Morning Blues #22:08
Abraham Lincoln3:10
Army Life1:46
Hitler Song4:32
Careless Love2:56
Haul Away Joe2:48
How Do You Know?/Don't Mind The Weather2:17
Skip To My Lou2:10
Red Bird2:54
Out On The Western Plains1:30
Cowboy Song1:43
You Can't Mistreat Me3:13
Diggin' My Potatoes2:33
John Hardy2:42

Leadbelly - Bourgeois Blues - Lead Belly Legacy Vol. 2
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Opal - Happy Nightmare Baby (1987)

The neo-psychedelic group Opal formed in the mid-'80s, featuring former Rain Parade guitarist David Roback and former Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith. Initially, the group was called Clay Allison, but the group dropped the name after one single; Roback, Smith, and drummer Keith Mitchell released the remaining Clay Allison tracks under their own name in 1984 on the "Fell From the Sun" EP. After its release, the group adopted the name Opal and released an EP, "Northern Line", in 1985.

"Happy Nightmare Baby", their first full-length album, followed in 1987. Smith left the group during the "Happy Nightmare" tour, effectively putting an end to the band. Roback continued with vocalist Hope Sandoval; the group then metamorphosed into Mazzy Star.

At once drowsy, psychedelic, entrancing, and possessed of a sinuous spark, "Happy Nightmare Baby" may have been Opal's only album but deserves more attention than merely being a blueprint for Roback's later work in Mazzy Star. For one thing, Opal was very much its own band, with Kendra Smith's particular lyrical visions of mystic power and universe-scaling dreams and nightmares its own entity. As is her singing, though she's got less of Hope Sandoval's wistful drift and more focused control - check out the brief "A Falling Star," where the comparatively stripped-down arrangement places her singing in the foreground, notably without much in the way of echo. Roback's playing certainly won't surprise anyone per se who backtracks to this group from albums like "She Hangs Brightly", and the atmosphere of textured, moody power is evident right from the start with the wonderful early T. Rex tribute, "Rocket Machine." The compressed string swirl and steady stomp is pure Marc Bolan-via-Tony Visconti, though Smith avoids Bolan's style of warble for her own cool, something also quite evident on the slow-groove stomp of the great "She's a Diamond" and the concluding "Soul Giver." Meanwhile, other familiar elements Roback would later use are present aplenty - very Ray Manzarek-like organ lines on the mantra-chugs of "Magick Power" and "Siamese Trap," compressed acid rock solos and lots of reverb. The title track itself stands out a bit as being a bit more of a '60s Europop confection in a stripped-down 1968 setting - Roback's electric guitar adds some fire, but it's the slightly jazz-tinged rhythm and easy delivery from Smith that helps establish its own character. It's a release that stood out both in time and place (a 1987 release on SST Records, of all places!), but it stands up to future years and listens darn well.

A1Rocket Machine
A2Magick Power
A4A Falling Star
A5She's A Diamond
B2Siamese Trap
B3Happy Nightmare Baby
B4Soul Giver

Opal - Happy Nightmare Baby (1987)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 10. März 2017

Louis Killen, Jeff Warner, Gerret Warner, John Benson - Steady As She Goes (1976)

Steady as She Goes is an album dedicated to workers on the sea. During a time when a captain’s reign could be tyrannical, the work tough, and the sea unkind, the men maintained that "a song is as good as ten men." Often used in the manner of a work song in the fields, these shanties tell the tales of loneliness, families left behind, and the daily hardships of nautical life, but also about raising anchor with certain knowledge that you are heading home.

Excerpts from Sleeve Notes:
"LOUIS KILLEN was brought up in a singing family in the industrial and mining region of the river Tyne in Northeastern England. He arrived in the United States in 1966 with a bag full of hundreds of marvelous traditional British songs of sailors and fishermen, miners and milkmaids, farmers and weavers. Britain's loss has been America's gain. His subtle, full bodied interpretations, sometimes mournful, sometimes hilarious, have delighted audiences from coast to coast. He has recorded for Topic and Front Hall records."


A1Paddy Lay Back
A2Bold Riley
A3Rolling Down To Old Maui
A4Jolly Roving Tar
A5Topman And The Afterguard
A6Off To Sea Once More
B1Strike The Bell
B2Ship In Distress
B3Blow The Man Down
B4The Coast Of Peru
B5All For Me Grog
B6Shallow Brown
B7Bring 'Em Down
B8Away Rio

Louis Killen, Jeff Warner, Gerret Warner, John Benson - Steady As She Goes
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 9. März 2017

Paul Robeson - Sings Negro Spirituals (1962)

Paul Robeson excelled as an athlete, actor, singer, and activist, qualifying him as a contemporary renaissance man. His early accomplishments as a professional football player, Columbia law school graduate, and an actor on Broadway in the 1920s seemed but a prologue to even greater achievements to come. Involvement with the political left in the 1940s, however, led to a confrontation with the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the late 1940s. He was blacklisted, his passport was revoked, and his career came to a halt.              

"Sings Negro Spirituals" is an album showcasing Paul Robeson's inimitable baritone voice across a range of folksongs and spirituals with piano accompaniment from Alan Booth.

A1Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
A2Scandalize My Name
A3There Is A Balm I Giliead
A4No More Auction Block For Me
A5Bear The Burden In The Heat Of The Day
A6Amazing Grace
A7Who'll Be A Witnnes For Our Lord
A8We Are Climbing Jacobs's Ladder
B1There's A Man Goin' Round Takin' Names
B2Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?
B3On Our Knees
B4The End Of My Journey
B5I'm Gonna Let It Shine
B6Unchanging Grace
B7Stand Still, Jordan
B8Mount Zion

Paul Robeson - Sings Negro Spirituals (1962)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 5. März 2017

Dave Van Ronk - Songs For Ageing Children (1973)

Dave Van Ronk albums tend to be few and far between, but his profile in record stores may have been raised by the release of two reissues in 1972, both of them called "Van Ronk". (The one on Fantasy Records contained two LPs previously released by Prestige; the one on Polydor compiled material previously released by Mercury.)

So, here he is on Cadet Records, and he begins by revisiting the first song on his first album, "Duncan & Brady," which led off 1959's "Dave Van Ronk Sings Blues, Ballads & a Spiritual". But here it's given a folk-rock arrangement, with an electric guitar, electric bass, piano, and drums augmenting the acoustic guitar. Other arrangements are quieter (the next song, Len Chandler's "Green Rocky Road," has a bass thumping along beneath what sound like two fingerpicked guitars, but nothing else), but Van Ronk has made his point that this is not a folk-blues album.

He also deliberately mixes up the material, combining the songs of Joni Mitchell ("River," but not her "Songs for Aging Children," despite the album title) and Randy Newman ("Sail Away") with Brecht/Weill's "As You Make Your Bed"; folk-blues in his old manner (the Reverend Gary Davis' "Candy Man"); R&B ("Work with Me Annie"); novelties ("Teddy Bear's Picnic" and "My Little Grass Shack [In Kealakekua, Hawaii]"); and even a couple of originals that close either side of the LP. "Song for Joni" is a gently sung but desperate reflection on a world overrun by rats, while "Last Call" appropriately sounds like a song to be sung by a drunken man right before the bar closes. This is a varied set, as if Van Ronk were trying to cover a lot of bases against the chance that he might not get another opportunity to record again soon.                


  1. "Duncan & Brady" (Traditional) – 3:48
  2. "Green Rocky Road" (Len Chandler) – 4:08
  3. "As You Make Your Bed" (Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill) – 4:21
  4. "Teddy Bears' Picnic" (Bratton & Kennedy) – 2:22
  5. "Song for Joni" (Dave Van Ronk) – 2:02
  1. "Work with Me Annie" (Hank Ballard) – 2:30
  2. "River" (Joni Mitchell) – 2:45
  3. "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii" – 3:35
  4. "Sail Away" (Randy Newman) – 2:54
  5. "Candy Man" (Rev. Gary Davis) – 2:43
  6. "Last Call" (Van Ronk) – 3:07

Dave Van Ronk  - Songs For Ageing Children
(320 kbps, cover art included)