Wednesday, July 22, 2009

REVELATION- "FEEL IT" 7" SINGLE- MODERN SOUL BOOGIE


Nice modern soul cut by the group Revelation. This LP is is pretty hard to find but this 7" single is not. "Feel It" is the b-side here but definitely the funkier cut. Had this for a while and felt like sharing it.

Peace.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

4SHADES UBIQUITY BEAT CD!



What up everybody. My production crew 4Shades, O-D, Katrah-Quey, G-Mo, M.anifest, (songwriting/vocals) has released our beat CD "Ubiquity" for free download. The CD features a bunch of instrumental tracks as well as some exclusive songs.

You can preview the tracks below on the imeem playlist and download them as well. Feel free to leave feedback. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD 4SHADES UBIQUITY HERE



4Shades - Ubiquity

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Horizons- Something New- LP- ROGER TROUTMAN!


Roger Troutman produced boogie goodness here. Their LP Something New was released in 1983, on Columbia Records. The featured song, "Your Thing (Rap)" is a boogie/rap tune (the emceeing isn't that impressive but the music is dope) which is the last track on the LP. Classic Troutman sound here: hard drums, heavy synths, but no talk box unfortunately.

Get it here

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

O-D, Katrah-Quey, and M.anifest In: CONTENT UNDER PRESSURE





This Thursday, June 25th, 3 of the 4Shades, my production crew, will be participating in Content Under Pressure, hosted by Red Bull Music Academy and Last of the Record Buyers at IPR (Institute of Production and Recording) in Minneapolis. The format for the event is discussed in the videos above. Should be a very dope event.

Shout outs to Kevin Beacham, and Brandon Allday of Big Quarters for inviting us!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CHALICE: STANDARD PROCEDURE- ROOTS REGGAE MODERN SOUL

CHALICE- STANDARD PROCEDURE- LP-PIPE MUSIC- 1983

It's been a while since my last entry, I know, but I promise I'm back and I'll be posting again on the regular. Anyways, I copped this nice roots reggae LP recently and was instantly captured by the joint featured below, "Funny Kinda Reggae". The track has a modern soul/boogie type of feel, namely due to the more standard soul/funk rhythm as well as some dope synth playing throughout as well. The rest of the album is mostly standard roots reggae material (nothing wrong with that at all) but features a similarly large helping of synthesizer work as well. Worth checking out.

FUNNY KINDA REGGAE


Get It Here

Monday, April 20, 2009

LEROY HUTSON-HUTSON-LP- 1975

LEROY HUTSON- SELF TITLED- LP- CURTOM RECORDS- 1975
Pretty much all of Leroy Hutson's work is worth tracking down, if you can these days, so I was ecstatic to pull this record from the store a week or so ago for a very cheap price. Put out by Curtom Records, Curtis Mayfield's Warner Brothers subsidiary label, this is exactly the type of record that reminded me why I got into the soul-funk-jazz record/beat digging world as it has quality sampling material, open drum break included, and just good, soulful music throughout. My personal favorite cut is "Lucky Fellow" sampled most famously for the Erykah Badu song "No Love" on her album Baduizm.

"Lucky Fellow"


Get it Here

Monday, April 13, 2009

GENERAL LEE- WE DID IT BABY- MODERN SOUL 7"

GENERAL LEE AND THE SPACE ARMY BAND- "WE DID IT BABY (Part 1 & 2)"- 7" SINGLE - LOST WEEKEND RECORDS- 1979
Really smooth modern soul 7" on the private label Lost Weekend, this isn't a very hard record to track down and well worth copping if you get the chance. This is the type of slightly funky, slightly spacey, modern soul joint that I find really dope. I'm not sure if General Lee ever put out an full length album, (somebody let me know if he did) but I would love to hear a whole LP of this type of material.

We Did It Baby Part 1

Monday, April 6, 2009

UNIVERSAL JONES- VOL. 1- LP- EUGENE MCDANIELS

UNIVERSAL JONES- VOL. 1- LP- MGM Records- 1972
When I found this record in the store and saw that Eugene McDaniels was part of the group and producer of the album I was sure that this would be a quality LP. Anyone familiar with Eugene McDaniels' hard-to-find solo work (Headless Heroes of The Apocalypse, Outlaw) knows the unique, eclectic, soul-funk-jazz-rock sound that has been tapped into by many hip-hop producers over the years. I certainly was not disappointed with the purchase. The song that really caught me first was the 10 minute long funky spiritual jazz workout "Hello To The Wind".

Hello To The Wind


Get It Here

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DON JULIAN-SHORTY THE PIMP-7"-BLAXPLOITATION FUNK


DON JULIAN and the LARKS- SHORTY THE PIMP Pt. 1 & 2- MONEY RECORDS- 1973
Not a super rare 45 at all, this is just quality blaxploitation era funk/soul music. The copy I recorded here is pretty crackly, but still well worth a listen.

SHORTY THE PIMP- PART 1


SHORTY THE PIMP- PART 2

Saturday, March 28, 2009

MOS DEF ON DOOM (MF DOOM)-VIDEO

Okay, so I'm officially being lazy by not putting up any new music in the past few days, but I'm back in Mecca (my ironic pet name for my hometown of Milwaukee) for a few days, diggin' for treats, making beats, and putting up some ebay heat. Don't worry, I'll be posting some of my recent finds in a few.
Anyways, I peeped this video yesterday and thought it was too funny not to share. Mos Def going over some of Doom's hottest lyrics. It's great to hear an emcee as dope as Mos gush about another rapper, plus he's a funny dude. He shouts out some quality jazz music; Miles Davis, Coltrane, Mingus, which is refreshing to hear as well.



This is ridiculously dope writing and hilarious:
"What up
To all rappers shut up with ya shuttin up
And keep your shirt on, at least a button up
Yuck, is they rhymers or strippin males?
Outta work jerks since they shut down Chippendales"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Me, D.A. From Chester French, and M.anifest After Concert


Chester French & M.anifest on tour bus from M.anifest on Vimeo.

That's me on the left with my guys D.A. from Chester French and M.anifest after the Chester French/Lady Gaga concert last night (3/23) in Minneapolis. Baraka and Max Drummey are also featured in the second part. Good times last night, all the members of the band and family were real cool, can't wait for the album.

Monday, March 16, 2009

GEORGE DUKE- A BRAZILIAN LOVE AFFAIR- LP: SUMMER MUSIC

GEORGE DUKE- A BRAZILIAN LOVE AFFAIR- LP- EPIC RECORDS- 1979
For the second straight day it's been 50 degrees plus in the Twin Cities, which for mid-March is a miracle, or a sure sign of global warming, depending on how you look at it. Anyways, the weather's got me thinking 'bout spring and summer and few tunes say "warm weather" like George Duke's brilliant "Brazilian Love Affair" off of this LP. George Duke's use of Brazilian percussion, (maned by the legendary percussionist Airto) guitars, and vocal harmonies, as well as his standard synth experimentation, give this joint a unique sound that makes you feel like you're at the beach in Rio, or at least somewhere warm. The LP features a great cast of Brazilian musicians who help create great jazz/funk/soul/Brazilian fusion, including Flora Purim, Raul De Souza, Milton Nascimento and the aforementioned Airto. Enjoy the song and the warm weather, those of you in MN.

A BRAZILIAN LOVE AFFAIR

Saturday, March 14, 2009

PHAROAH SANDERS- VILLAGE OF THE PHAROAHS-LP- SPIRITUAL JAZZ


PHAROAH SANDERS ft. SEDATRIUS BROWN- VILLAGE OF THE PHAROAHS- LP- IMPULSE RECORDS- 1973
Impulse Records is home to some of my favorite jazz LPs of the 1960s and 70s, right up there with CTI, Blue Note, and Black Jazz labels. Impulse is especially strong on the spiritual jazz tip (Pharoah, Alice and John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, etc.) and this record is no exception. The 15 minute long title track "Village of the Pharoahs", which actually broken up into 3 parts on the album but plays seamlessly, is spiritual-free jazz at it's best. All types of saxophone soloing from Pharoah, backed by a loose, funky rhythm section featuring some very exotic percussion instruments and well as the standard acoustic bass and grand piano. The track has a distinctly Southern Asian/Middle Eastern feel to it especially as Kylo Kylo (that's the musician's name) drops in with the tambura throughout the track. I could talk all day about the title track alone, much less the rest of the album, but it's probably best to check it out for yourself.

Get it here

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

OSCAR PERRY-WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT: PRIVATE MODERN SOUL 7"

OSCAR PERRY- WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT- 7" SINGLE- QUAZAR RECORDS- 1985
A nice recent find of mine, I bought this without listening to it off the hunch that a mid-eighties 7" on an obscure label, Quazar Records, would most likely have something interesting on it; plus it cost me only $2. My gamble was rewarded when I brought it home and flipped it to the b-side ("Snap Your Fingers" is the a-side, how they picked this as the b-side I'm not sure). "We're Gonna Make It" is a real slick uptempo, modern soul tune.


Monday, March 9, 2009

DAN BOADI-MONEY IS THE ROOT OF EVIL-LP- Ghanaian Afro Beat HEAT

DAN BOADI & THE AFRICAN INTERNATIONALS- MONEY IS THE ROOT OF EVIL- LP- NAAP PRODUCTIONS
One of the many benefits of kicking it with an international group of friends is getting access to music you otherwise wouldn't get the chance to hear or sometimes even hear about. When my guy M.anifest made a trip back to his native Ghana a few years ago, I made sure to let him know to grab any Ghanaian music he could come across, especially any Afro-beat/highlife, and especially on vinyl. He brought back a good number of LPs and singles, but this was hands down the find of the bunch. I had actually encountered Dan Boadi's music briefly through a re-issue 12" single of "Money Is the Root of Evil" on Turntable Lab's website back in the day, and the tune hit me so much that when I threw this LP on the turntable and heard the exact same bassline drop I almost lost bowel control in excitement. I never thought that I would be able to get my hands on an OG copy of such a dope, obscure Afro-beat LP. Turns out this record was recorded by Boadi and the African Internationals in Chicago, which makes me hopeful I might be able to find another copy at some point in time in my digging life, but in the mean time I'll enjoy what I got. Check out the title track and "Play That Funky Music" (not the Wild Cherry version) below.

MONEY IS THE ROOT OF EVIL


PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

GOSPEL BOOGIE: SAM DAVIS AND THE GOSPEL ENSEMBLE

SAM DAVIS AND THE GOSPEL ENSEMBLE- KEEP ON PRAISING HIM- LP- CADA RECORDS- 1981
Another genre of music I used to not check for was gospel. I was brought up Catholic, albeit very liberally, but it was a semi-traumatic experience nonetheless, so the idea that people could make good, or even funky music in a religious environment was entirely foreign to me. That is until I worked up the strength to check out a few gospel records that I was told were dope. It takes a little time getting used to hearing people sing about Jesus over some funky music, but I figured that I've been listening to obscenity laced hip-hop music for my entire life, so I can handle a little church talk in my music as well. The title track to this LP is dope enough to convert, no pun intended, even the most stubborn listener with a super funky bassline, some crispy claps, and nice piano chords. Check it out a slightly shortened version of "Keep On Praising Him" below. And by the way, I got a copy of this LP up on ebay this week (a little shameless self promotion).

Monday, March 2, 2009

BLUE EYED SOUL: ANDREW LEWIS BAND-THE BLUE ALBUM


ANDREW LEWIS BAND-THE BLUE ALBUM- LP- RICHMOND RECORDS- 1977
I found this record in the jazz section in a local record spot and threw it on the turntable expecting late-70's fusiony jazz/funk/rock. But I was surprised to hear more straight up soul/funk type tunes, certainly with a jazz/rock influence (hey it's an all white band with one brother on vocals) but definitely not the crazy fusion sound I was expecting. I wanted to post the whole LP up here, but upon further listening there were a couple of skips on my copy, so I picked my two favorite joints on here to share instead. "Midnite Man" is a very dope horn-heavy with some potential sample moments, while "A New Day" is a slice of some real nice mellow soul. And if anybody has a cleaner copy they'd like to share with me, please let me know (oduckworth@gmail.com).

"MIDNITE MAN"

"A NEW DAY"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

BOOGIE 7"-NEW GUYS ON THE BLOCK- THE GROOVE



NEW GUYS ON THE BLOCK- THE GROOVE- 7" Single- SUGARHILL RECORDS- 1984
Don't get it twisted the name of this group is New GUYS on the Block, not New Kids, very important difference; I doubt the "Kids" could ever make a track of this quality. "The Groove" is the B-side of this single with the A-Side being a semi-unimpressive, slow modern soul tune entitled "What I Wouldn't Give". "The Groove" is pretty much an instrumental cut with only minimal vocals, but the track evolves nicely with a couple of changes to keep it interesting. Make sure you listen past the 1:35 mark and peep the nasty rhythm created between the guitar, bass, drums, and somebody playing a funky ass triangle... yes the funky triangle.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

WALTER HEATH-YOU KNOW YOU'RE WRONG DON'T YOU BROTHER 7"

WALTER HEATH- "YOU KNOW YOU'RE WRONG DON'T YOU BROTHER"- 7" SINGLE- BUDDAH RECORDS- 1975
I honestly know very little about Walter Heath as a musician, and as is the case with 45's, there's not too much you can learn about an artist without liner notes (though an internet search can yield you some very informative results). What I do know is that this is a high quality track right here with a very positive, yet critical, social message. In Obama's America (Obamerica anyone?) social/political consciousness is on the rise, which is a good thing, as is personal responsibility, which as always a good thing as well. It's interesting how Walter Heath's message to drug dealers about "dealing death for a dollar" still rings true today 30 plus years after it was recorded. But let me stop sounding like a preacher. Now check the method...


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brazilian Jazz: Manfredo Fest-Brazilian Dorian Dream


MANFREDO FEST- BRAZILIAN DORIAN DREAM- LP- T&M PRODUCTIONS- 1976
Manfredo Fest was an internationally known Brazilian piano and keyboard player who made a name for when he first came to Minneapolis in 1967. He most famously played in Sergio Mendes Bossa Rio group and his sound reflects the influence that his Brazilian upbringing and American immigration had on him. This LP was recorded at the reknown Sound 80 studio in Minneapolis and features a local and internation group of musicians/singers: St. Paul, MN native Roberta Davis on vocals, New Zealander Thomas Kini on bass, Costa Rican Alejo Poveda on drums and percussion, and of course our boy Manfredo on the keys. The musicians combine to create a very dope mix of Latin/Brazilian percussion, jazz, funk, and rock, all with a very soulful vibe. Very much recomended.

Get it here

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

M.anifest and O-D (me) at Fifth Element Coppin' the new K'Naan LP!

M.anifest briefly talks with K'Naan after his MPLS show, followed by our trip to Fifth Element to cop his new album.



M.anifest Chats w/ K'naan & Cops Troubadour later from M.anifest on Vimeo.

80's Fusion Jazz: JAMES DALLAS- LIFE FORMS- LP


JAMES DALLAS- LIFE FORMS- LP- PRIVATE PRESS- 1982
Admittedly, it took me a while begin checking for jazz records from the 1980s. The sound is usually very different from classic jazz of the 50's and 60's and even the jazz-funk sound of 70's Blue Note and Mizell Bros. production that is beloved in the beat digging world. Sure there's some legitimately trash 80s jazz (see G., Kenny) but there's a ton of dope jazz material, especially in the more "underground" world of private pressings.
The James Dallas LP, recorded and pressed in my hometown Milwaukee, WI, is one such very dope jazz/funk/modern soul LP. I was put onto it at Lotus Land Records in Milwaukee and was not disapointed. The record has a good combination of tracks for DJ's, such as the title reack, and producers, such as "Sidetrack" and "Stormy".
Buy an OG copy here
Get the music here
James Dallas' Myspace Page

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spiritual Jazz: Doug & Jean Carn- Higher Ground LP


DOUG & JEAN CARN- HIGHER GROUND- LP- OVATION RECORDS- 1976
High quality vocal spiritual jazz LP by the husband-wife duo of Doug and Jean Carn. The players on the album are a who's who of rare groove soul-funk-jazz of the time and the near future: Doug Carn on keys and vocals, Ronnie Laws on sax, Calvin Keys on guitar, Big Black on percussion, Harvey Mason (called Harold on the record cover) on drums. Jean Carn would go on to a successful career in more mainstream soul/funk, but this shows you where she and Doug were at with there music in the mid-70s. The cover of Coltrane's "Naima" is my personal favorite track on the LP.

Get it here

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Random Rap 12" Single- Scott Lark The Sensei-Razzle Dazzle


SCOTT LARK THE SENSEI ft. JAGGID EDGE- RAZZLE DAZZLE 12"-
CONTRACT RECORDS- 1996

Very dope 12" I came across recently. Scott Lark has a super smoked out sounding voice and the smooth ass-beat for the track "Razzle Dazzle" works perfectly with his vocals. The B-Side has 3 other tracks, all quality. Classic mid-90's hip-hop. Download link below...

Get it here

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Milwaukee Record Finds: The Lost Generation LP

The Lost Generation: Young, Tough and Terrible
One of the best things about record digging is that you always seem to make the best finds when you least expect it.  A quick trip to the record store yesterday yielded a few nice finds, but the gem of the group was this Lost Generation LP, a tough-to-find soul LP produced by Eugene Record, of Chi-Lites fame. Heard about this group from the Soulman Mixtape, "Coolin'" which included the joint "This is The Lost Generation", which is the real burner on the album, plus the instrumental is included which is real nice for beat-making purposes...



























The Lost Generation- This Is the Lost Generation (Vocal)

This Is the Lost Generation (Instrumental)


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Random B-Ball Clip- Ray Allen

From July 1996 to Febuary 2003 (his tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks) my favorite ball player was Ray Allen. He would have remained my favorite player, but the pain of rooting for him on another team was too much, though I'm glad he finally got to win a title last year in Beantown. Below is a nice mix of Ray Ray highlights backed backed by Dead Prez's "Hip Hop" Remix.  

The dunk on Yinka Dare (at the Olympics) and the one on T-Mac are particularly nasty... 





Friday, January 9, 2009

Last of the Record Buyers- PC

Gotta shout out my boy PC, whose the special guest next week (Thursday, January 15th) at Last of the Record buyers. 
Check out the preview video below.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

4 Shades/CSC Jam Session

Couple of clips from a recent jam session featuring O-D, Katrah-Quey, G-Mo, Pee-C, and Eyecue.



video
And another one...

video