Friday, May 04, 2007

Mixtape Week: Friday

The weekend starts here...


  1. Battles - Atlas (Lead-off cut from Battles' superb upcoming debut full-length proper, Mirrored and former Single Of The Week on these very pages, 'Atlas' as most of you will know by now, is probably the strangest song since 'Windowlicker' to ever be considered 'catchy'. You'll be singing along, even if you don't know the words and, apart from Tyondai Braxton, who does?)
  2. Bad Brains - Pay To Cum! (Probably one of the most enduring songs from the hardcore punk scene of the early-80s, this still has the power to get people slam-dancing from fifty paces.)
  3. Flipper - Way Of The World (A slack, loose groove keeps this one plodding along evilly. A precursor to the grunge movement that plaid-clad throwbacks would do well not to forget.)
  4. The Afghan Whigs - John The Baptist (The forthcoming Afghan Whigs retrospective, Unbreakable made me dig out my old copy of 1965, only to find that it still stood up pretty well. This soul-flecked slice of sex-rock is libido writ large and no-one writes rock music as pervy as Greg Dulli used to anymore. Might be a good thing.)
  5. Magazine - Definitive Gaze (This, the opening track from Magazine's debut, Real Life sounds like a wrestling match between John McGeoch's scratchy, ratty guitar, Bob Dickinson's ornate, semi-futuristic keyboard swathes and Barry Adamson's fluid, restless bassline, with Devoto acting as passive, self-serving, sneering referee. Thrilling stuff, thirty years on.)
  6. David Bowie - Black Country Rock (Largely forgotten footnote of Bowie's career, 'Black Country Rock' is often passed over as a bit of an anomaly on the weighty The Man Who Sold The World album. It's breezy blues-rock is hard not to like though.)
  7. The Zombies - Care Of Cell 44 (Flower-power pop about a lover coming back from prison. Not standard lyrical concerns for this time in musical history really. All the better for it too.)
  8. April March - Chick Habit (From the soundtrack to Tarantino's half of Grindhouse, Death Proof, this is a surf-y, campy take on Gainsbourg's 'Laisse Tomber Les Filles', only with, like, English lyrics and stuff. Kewl!)
  9. Os Mutantes - Trem Fantasma (Queasy, psychedelic tropicalia from one of those bands you feel would be a hell of a lot more revered had they been British or American. Having said that, they probably wouldn't have been this good if they weren't from Brazil.)
  10. Map Of Africa - Black Skin Blue-Eyed Boys (It's been nearly two years since this was released, but I still manage to hear it pretty much every time I go to a club. Tells you just how great it is, really.)
  11. Baby Huey - Hard Times (When James Ramey sings about the hard times, you believe it as Baby Huey is probably one of the most tragic figures in the history of soul music. Dead at 26, with only one album under his belt, he was snatched away before he could really get going.)
  12. Jeru Tha Damaja - D. Original (Still one of DJ Premier's oddest, most off-kilter production jobs is this cut from Jeru's superb debut, The Sun Rises In The East. It's the creepy, off-key piano sample that gets me every time.)
  13. Nas - It Ain't Hard To Tell (If there was ever any doubt of Illmatic's influence and enduring popularity, you should check out the album's Wikipedia entry. Ten tracks, including this, the closer, and out. All killer, no filler.)
  14. A Tribe Called Quest - Award Tour (Midnight Marauders was always my favourite Quest album. Just a stone-cold classic.)
  15. Ta-raach & The Lovelution - Merci Me Lord (I should have put this after the Jeru track, as it shares a similarly herky-jerky piano lick, this time on an electric one. Highly impressive, none-more-Detroit hip-hop from one of this year's best hip-hop albums so far.)
  16. Devin The Dude - Almighty Dollar (Aside from Devin's irrepressible, addictive flow, it's just nice to hear a rapper bemoaning his lack of money, rather than bragging about how much he has.)
  17. Prodigy - Mac 10 Handle (I've never been a massive fan of Prodigy's style. He always seems to be clumsily struggling for the next rhyme, but his new album, Return Of The Mac is all about the production. Crystal clear, smoking funk samples are the order of the day, so you can overlook the pimp-ish lyrics.)
  18. Dr. Dre - Nuthin' But A G Thang (feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg) ("It's like this and like that and like this and-uh". I don't know why it says featuring, when this is clearly Snoop's song. The sound of a talent announcing his arrival to the world. If only he could recapture the brilliance he essays here.)
  19. Domino - Sweet Potatoe Pie (Despite taking the Dan Quayle spelling class, Domino could really hit it when he wanted to. His first album wasn't exactly a West Coast classic, but it had some really great stuff on it, like this. I still think of the video everytime I hear it, with Domino walking down a line of booty-bouncing babes and gin-glugging homies while singing to the camera. Can't find it on YouTube though. If anyone can find it, please let me know, I need a nostalgia hit.)
  20. Eric B & Rakim - Juice (I Know The Ledge) (Talking of nostalgia, this always brings to mind the hyper-kinetic opening credits sequence from the film it's named for. One of the most-overlooked films of the 90s, by everyone other than 2pac and Omar Epps fans. "You got the juice now man!")
  21. O.C. - Time's Up (Ending our all-nostalgia triple-header, I've actually found the video to this one though. What the hell was with all those guys sat on the floor in the dark, nodding their heads? Looks like a samurai meeting or something.)
Friday's Mixtape, Ripped, Zipped And Sent Into Space (new link!)

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