Yer Mam!'s Guide To Essential Summer Listening Part III: Barbecue Hits!
I know that not all of us are going to be looking at a view like the one above this summer (those who will be can bite my arse) but we can at least dream. Music helps that reverie bloom most of the time, so here, in no order, are my big tunes for the summer, all with individual links. Throw them together and you've got some kind of summer mixtape, I guess.
Hip-hop and sunshine go hand-in-hand for me, so I was eagerly anticipating the new Lil' Wayne album to be his masterwork. Tha Carter III is not that, but it is highly entertaining and features some really cracking stuff. Best of the bunch, in my opinion, is 'Dr. Carter', which has Weezy basically just freestyling over my favourite David Axelrod tune, 'Holy Thursday'. Rappers have been sampling Axelrod since the dawn of time, but none so obvious as this. I guess it was an easy payday for producer Swizz Beatz.
Lil' Wayne - Dr. Carter (mp3)
David Axelrod - Holy Thursday (mp3)
Now, try as I might to go against the grain, I just can't not like The Cool Kids. Their debut EP, The Bake Sale, is nothing new. It's basically an exercise in stripped-down, minimalistic hip-hop that nods to the likes of Schoolly D, Run-D.M.C. and Beastie Boys' early stuff. There are even more recent touchstones like The Pack, but there's something brilliantly charming and retro about the ten tracks that keeps me coming back. Count me out of the backlash then.
The Cool Kids - What Up Man (mp3)
The Pack - Vans (mp3)
I think I did a little shrug when I heard N*E*R*D were releasing a new album. I wasn't expecting much after Fly Or Die, but Seeing Sounds just about surpasses my low expectations. It's no In Search Of... (not much is), but there are a few diamonds amongst the rough. I still think 'Everyone Nose' is hell of obnoxious, but the penultimate track, 'You Know What' with its easy, laidback, 80s r'n'b groove could have sat easily on their stellar debut. See what you think. Also, it gives me an excuse to post my favourite song of theirs, 'Run To The Sun' and that's no bad thing.
N*E*R*D - You Know What (mp3)
N*E*R*D - Run To The Sun (mp3)
My apologies to the Five20East crew, I should have posted about their latest batch of edits CDs ages ago but never got around to it. Anyway, the 6th Burrough Project (their spelling, not mine) CD, On The Rinse is still available from the Five20East shop, a snip at £4.99 for five superbly funky edits. Here's a little taster for y'all...
6th Burrough Project - 7 Grams Of Funk (mp3)
Hot Chip seem to have commissioned more remixes for 'One Pure Thought' than they did for 'Over And Over'. Not all of them are great, although the Dominik Eulberg one is pretty tasty, but this do-over from Sheffield bassline peddler Toddla T ticks all the boxes for pure soundsystem nuttiness. Enjoy...
Hot Chip - One Pure Thought (Toddla T Remix) (mp3)
Dissident keep pumping out the vinyls at a rate of knots and this is one of their latest from current hot property, Photonz. They've also just released a 12" on D-I-R-T-Y, called 'Trembler', backed with a top-notch Discodeine remix, but this one's better, in my opinion. Some timely Balearic grooves on this one.
Photonz - Shaboo (Andy's Edit) (mp3)
Speaking of Balearic, the new Air France EP/mini-album/whatever you want to call it, No Way Down is another brilliant addition to the burgeoning Scandolearic canon and this is its dizzying high-water mark...
Air France - Collapsing At Your Doorstep (mp3)
Strut are also keeping up their prolific streak with the excellent forthcoming Disco Italia compilation of, you guessed it, Italo Disco classics, compiled by Bear Entertainment's Steve Kotey. More about that soon, but here's a track from the vinyl sampler that didn't make the cut. If this is the kind of stuff they're throwing away, then you know that the album's going to be swell.
Gepy & Gepy - African Love Song (Kotey Edit) (mp3)
You wouldn't normally associate the dark bass vibrations of dubstep with the summer months but recently there's been a steady stream of releases by producers more than willing to brighten the dank corners of the genre with something approaching a summery vibe. Ramadanman's 'Carla' is all dubby melodica and ravey synth stabs, coupled with some (naturally) heavy bass drops that should lighten up the carnival soundsystems. Then there's 'Suburbia' by Martyn, the flip-side to his new 12" on Appleblim's Apple Pips label which wouldn't sound out of place on a terrace somewhere in Ibiza. Finally, Benga's 'Someone 20' from the marvellous Diary Of An Afro Warrior LP is a spacey, hazy breaks-like affair. It's not all urban despair from this genre, you know?
Ramadanman - Carla (mp3)
Martyn - Suburbia (mp3)
Benga - Someone 20 (mp3)
Still getting lots of play around these parts is the Numero Group's compilation Don't Stop: Recording Tap, which tells the story of the forgotten disco label Tap Records and whose sleevenotes tell a story almost as interesting as the music. You want an instant summer feeling? Play this as loud as you can at all possible intervals...
Arnie Love & The Lovettes - We've Had Enough (mp3)
If huge, rippling acid-disco epics are your thing, then look no further than Roland Appel's 'Inner Soul'. The Truby Trio man has come up trumps with something that should work in both big and back rooms alike. Reach for the lasers...
Roland Appel - Inner Soul (mp3)
On to the rock now and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was way too late onto the Jay Reatard bandwagon. I discovered Blood Visions towards the end of last year but it hasn't been far from my stereo ever since. It takes a warped genius to start a bubblegum fuzz-punk gem like this with the couplet "Time will heal wounds/But I will kill you slowly" and make it sound like the feel good hit of the summer but that's what he is.
Jay Reatard - Fading All Away (mp3)
Jon The Beef and I went to see The Dirtbombs in Manchester the other night. He had 'Underdog' dedicated to him by Mick Collins. It was emotional. For me though, the highlight of the night was this little number from back in the day...
The Dirtbombs - Candyass (mp3)
Thomas Function's album Celebration hasn't quite grabbed me yet in the way it has others, but this, the second track on the album is damned near-perfect. Power-pop par excellence.
Thomas Function - Can't Say No (mp3)
Wolf Parade's new album, At Mount Zoomer doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Again, they'll be more about that soon, but for now, be sure to pump this one out on your next road trip. Dan Boeckner ftw!
Wolf Parade - The Grey Estates (mp3)
It's after much deliberation that I hereby proclaim Steel An' Skin's 'Reggae Is Here Once Again' the song of the summer. Originally released in 1979 but given a new lease of life by Honest Jon's Records recently, everyone seems to be going batshit over the dub, which is great, but I prefer the original. Calypso-dub-disco anyone?
Steel An' Skin - Reggae Is Here Once Again (mp3)
Phew! That's yer lot for today. More later in the week though...