Bastien Keb

These days, the best music (IMHO) either picks a single idea and just nails the fucking shit out of it, or, it draws upon many disparate and sometimes contradictory influences and melds them in a manner that seems so natural that you wonder why no one has yet thought to do this. The music of London-based multi-instrumentalist Bastian Keb falls neatly into the latter category, drawing on a cornucopia of influence from jazz and funk, to world music, a cappella music, boogie disco and hip-hop.

His debut Dinking in the Shadows of Zizou recently released via One-Handed Music is simply stunning debut. Keb plays all of the instruments on this record (and there are many—probably more than can be counted on two hands) and chops it all up with some deft MPC sampler skills to boot.

His multifarious compositions have grit, soul and striking originality, a combination of qualities that just seems to be in short supply these days—particularly in loop based music.

I’ve literally been listening to this record on repeat like what for the past two weeks or so.  Get it here (vinyl run sold out already unfortunately) or at his Bandcamp.

Mo Kolours

Joseph Deenmamode, who records as Mo Kolours, has been on the my radar for a little while due to his affiliation with London’s One-Handed Music camp. The half-British half-Mauritian percussionist/vocalist/producer has a free-hand minimalistic approach to production that feels effortless, and live even though it’s largely based around loops.

Deenmamode’s songs are framed by skeletal percussive-heavy outlines, and embedded with raw elements of soul, hip-hop, Afro-beat, dub and various tropical styles such as reggae and calypso. His background as a percussionist shines through in the deceptively simple less-is-more character of his rhythms, which ostensibly are crafted from his original recordings. Inventive sampling, breezy accoustic guitar licks, steel drums and Deenmamode’s own dusty croon add splashes of color to the mix.

The 18 tracks run together through various interludes and skits making the 30 minute album play like something of a mixtape. Excepting a couple of singles, most have a raw sketch-like feel, and rarely top 2 minutes. This is not in any way a slight though, as the “unfinished-ness” actually works strongly in Deenmamode’s favor. In a world of beatmakers where the norm is rigid, mechanical and constricted by anal retentive adherence to digital “production values,” this is a breath of fresh air– the ideas, partially formed, are alive with possibility.

“Mike Black” is the first single from the album

The whole thing is available on his Bandcamp page as a pay-what-you-want download

Here’s a lo-fi visual excursion for the album’s other single “Little Brown Dog”

In addition to his vocal, percussive and production talents, Deenmamode is a first selector. His recent Resident Advisor mix, probably one of their best this year, is full of unfamiliar sounds perfect for the summer months ahead.

Mo Kolours Resident Advisor Podcast RA408

Jeen Bassa – 19 call some
Jeen Bassa – Final Report
Jeen Bassa – Not a fighter
Reginal Omas Mamode – As we move (omas celesrial)
Paul White – Missin Love
Al Dobson Jr – Good good Juices
Mo Kolours – See your face
Mo Kolours /Jeen Bassa – Untitled (crisp eve)
Tenderlonius – Hold on
Tenderlonius – Big Bass
Jeen Bassa – Body talking
Reginald Omas Mamode – Interlude cungaz
Al Dobson Jr – Big bags
Al Dobson Jr – In the world
Mo Kolours – Mike Black
Legbah – Fire Jive
Henry WU – Fiascoedoh
Paul White – Follow it through
Reginald Omas Mamode – Skit Interlude 9
Al Dobson Jr – Chicken on the side
Jeen Bassa – Wailer
Jeen Bassa – Fari
Jeen Bassa – Bumpin
Al Dobson Jr – Rocker island
Mo Kolours – Afro Quarters
Paul White – Tap tap
Paul White – Sunshine studio
Mo Kolours – Brain like Rain (part 2)
Reginald Omas Mamode – Welcome all
Reginald Omas Mamode – Keep on Walking
Al Dobson Jr – Everybody (vers)
Jeen Bassa – Just as music

Ditto that for his recent Solid Steel Radio session.

George Clinton – “Cambodian Rock Mash”
Ebenezer Obey – “Tribute to the late chief Obafemi Awolowo”
Jafari – Nieves “Eternas”
Andy Bey – “The power of my Mind”
Unknown – “Unknown”
Taj Mahal – “Why did you have to desert me?”
Jose Manual & Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdez – “Guaguanco”
Edward brathwaite – “The Emigrants”
The last poets – “Black is”
Ras Micheal and the sons of Negus – “Rasta Man Chant”
Sugar Minott – “Oh Mr DC”
Ainu – “Upopo”
Phil Ranelin – “Vibes from the Tribe”
Bernard Purdie – “Where B’s At”
Bruce Haack – “Interlude 2”
Tony Allen – “Hustler”
Menwar – “Ras Dimunn”
Lindigo – “Tangaty”
Milford Graves – “Nothing”
Scott Colley – “Usual Illusion”
Donald Byrd – “The Black Disciple”
Archie Whitewater – “Cross country”
Sergio Mendes – “Promise of fisherman”
Danyel Waro – “Bayoun”
Francoise Guimbert – “Sak la Point”
Sun Ra – “Hidden Spheres”
Jeen Bassa – “Canibais Valle”
Jeen Bassa – “Bumpin”
Al Dobson Jr – “Lady Blue (welcome)”
Al Dobson Jr – “Maiysha (blues)”
Paul White – “Happy All Round”
Paul White – “The Horn Jump”
Tightface – “Something For”
Reginald Omas Mamode – “Hebru”
Tenderlonious – “Little D”
Henry Wu – “All over”
Mo Kolours – “Outro: Esoteric Deep House”


Rapping With Paul White

Yes, I am writing another post about Paul White/One-Handed Music/et. al. Criminally misunderestimated by the blogosphere these guys are; thus I’m on a mission of sorts to promote them when/wherever I can.

This promo for White’s latest album (of the same name, which is due Aug. 21.), is a proper mixtape full of odds and ends: cuts from the new album, unreleased tracks and remixes by Mr. White, along with the odd a cappella.

Life Is Flashing Intro
Trust featuring Guilty Simpson
A New Way
Get Down RMX* -Nas
One Of Life’s Pleasures RMX* featuring Danny Brown
Hype Strings*
In The Good RMX* not featuring The Visionaries
The Doldrums
Run Shit featuring Marv Won
Holla RMX* featuring Prince Po
Guitar Riff Pt. IIII*
What’s That Funny Smell?
Dirty Slang featuring Guilty Simpson
Classic RMX* featuring MED and Talib Kweli
Rotten Apples featuring Tranqill
Love To Japan*
Never Too Late*
Stressed Out RMX* featuring ATCQ
Guitar Racing*
Getting Lucky*
Wiltering Heat*
Up Close*

(*non-album exclusives)

White sleeps with his sampler.

If you like your left-field hip-hop way out in left-field, then you need this guy in your life. What Dilla was to soul or Madlib is to jazz, White is to prog rock.

Also, don’t forget to grab White’s excellent debut, The Strange Dreams of…, he’s giving it away now.

Paul White offering “Strange Dreams of…” for Free!

OMG OMG OMG!  You don’t won’t to miss this.  White is offering up his blindingly good debut long-player in high quality absolutely free!

Here’s part of a review I wrote for it back in June of ’09 when it was originally released:

“Armed with a formidable reservoir of raw material (his day job was working as a library producer for the BBC) and a deft touch with the MPC , he flexes more creativity in the less than 45 minutes of this debut than many “producers” could muster over a career of writing tracks. We’re talking Madlib amounts of ideas. Though if we’re going to continue the analogy, I’d have to say that what the Beat Konducta is to jazz, White is to progressive rock.

Strange Dreams… incorporates snippets of reggae, funk and hazy electronica along with vintage soul vocals and snatches of world music that coagulate with stiff, snapping rhythms; symphonic orchestrations and copious amounts of cheesed, arena-style synth organs and wanky guitar noodling. The resulting product is a fantastically quirky kind of prog-hop. The tracks are short, averaging less than 2 minutes long, and punctuated by various bizarre samples from arcane British film, television, and advertisements. They would almost leave one wanton for more but, like little haikus, are actually complete unto themselves; brief as they may be.”

The limited edition physical release sold out real quick, so it’s pretty rad that he’s doing this.

Bullion – “You Drive Me to Plastic”

I’m not sure if this West London-based producer/remixer’s moniker is a reference to gold, but it may as well be given the quality of music he’s been releasing over the past few years.

With a flare for asymmetrical rhythms and a penchant for genre-bending, Bullion’s track-record in the realm of left-field beats is near flawless, his kitchen-sink approach to composition yielding some of the most original-sounding stuff around.

While officially composed of nine tracks – seven tunes, an intro and an outro – this plays as a single continuous whole, like the soundtrack to some zany 20-minute stream-of-conscious daydream. It being dreamlike, in the way the listener is presented with familiar (archetypal even) sounds that are re-imagined in unfamiliar and occasionally jarring ways.

At its core, his music is a kind of off-kilter fusion of old-school hip-hop and garage rock with a healthy dose of lo-fi weirdness, but for this record he’s managed to turn his sound inside out, infusing it with a cornucopia of remarkably disparate influences from literally all over the map.

Here, bluegrass fiddles, African chanting and mariachi horns rub up against advertising jingles, filtered disco loops, spaghetti-western ambiance, and yes even some yodeling. And Bullion presides over this amalgam of noises with the deft precision of a b-boy executing a perfect head-spin to the beat of 1980s electro.

It’s nearly impossible to take in all of You Drive Me to Plastic the first time around. It can be overwhelming really, what with all these ideas whizzing by at ADHD-velocities.

At a point where hip-hop has all but abandoned samples (partially out of legal necessity), this stands as testament to why sampling is such a potent and uniquely open-ended sonic tool. Bravo!