April 26, 2010

V4YS Ep/Album Review - LTJ X-Perience - 3 Nudisco Ep's

Bologna-based Dj/Producer LTJ X-Perience (Luca Trevisi) is well-known to most nudisco/slow-motion deephouse lovers for his multiple productions and great re-edits on various labels like Irma or the absolutely stunning Super Value (you can check lots of his works on his soundcloud page).
I wanted to highlight 3 of his recent productions all released these last couple of months which I find symbolic of the current high-quality nudisco/re-edits musical space

Trip To Your Mind Ep (Arision Records)

The first Ep, released on Arision Records is a case in point in the "art" of re-edit. LTJ X-PERIENCE reworked of one of my favorite disco-funk anthem : "Trip To Your Mind" from Hudson People.
To me the result is what a good re-edit is all about : keeping the spirit of the original song intact and adding a groovy contemporary feel to it. Below you'll find a youtube player of the original song and a soundcloud player of LTJ X-Perience version to make your own opinion :
LTJ X-Perience re-edit :

Original track from Hudson People :

Secret Service Ep (Slazy Beats Recordings)

The second Ep deals with the other part of this musical space i.e. nudisco/slo-motion house.
"Secret Service" is a 2-track Ep released by LTJ X-Perience under the pseudonym of "The Beatdown Soundmachine" on the relatively new Slazy Beats Recordings label run by 4 passionate guys from Australia, Netherlands, Usa and Denmark. I actually urge you to check their blog where you'll find lots of  infos on what's goin on in this mid-tempo electro scene.
Back to this record : deep groovy tempos, short & heady vocals, funky basslines and guitars samples : my definition of this type of house!
Below a soundcloud player of the second track, "Groove Is On My Mind" (I bet it is!) :

Super Value Special Edits 09 Ep (Super Value)
Last but not least his last production for his amazing Super Value label.
Super Value Special Edits 09  lies in between groove and slo-mo house. I did not identify the several samples (especially the cool jazzy vibes on the first track) he used in these tracks but all I can say is that this Ep is another brilliant production from the Super Value crew.

Juno player with extracts below :

April 22, 2010

V4YS Mixes#6 - Feel That Groove?

Starting and closing with 2 classic groove jewels (Ben E King's "Street Tough" and Howard Johnson's "Keepin' Love New"), this 6th part or our mixes serie is mostly filled with great re-edits from several gifted remixers expert in giving a second youth to timeless funky vibes!

So will you "feel that groove"?

Soundcloud player and tracklisting below (click on the arrow for dwld).
Vibes4YourSoul Mixes#6 - Feel That Groove! by JmSelector

Tracklisting :
Ben E. King - Street Tough (Written By Willie Hutch) (Start to 4mn10s)
World's Famous Supreme Team - Hey Dj (4mn11s to 6mn35s)
Ackryte - Wouldn't Do(Instr.)(Rework of Bobby Caldwell's What You Won't Do For Love)(6mn36s to 8mn19s)
Bee Gees + Guitar (Rayko Edit)(8mn20s to 13mn10s)
George McRae & Gwen McRae - Mechanical Body (Super Value Edit)(13mn11s to 17mn25s)
The Geisha Boys - The Bose (17mn26s to 22mmn20s)
Mr Beatnick - What's Goin On Reconstruction (22mn21s to 24mn15s)
Darondo - Didn't I (Trishes Edit)(24mn16s to 28mn05s)
Jimi Hendrix - Foxy Lady (Rob Tex Mix)(28mn06s to 31mn20s)
Tiger & Woods - Gin Nation(Edit Of Imagination's Music & Lights)(31mn21s to 36mn40s)
Roberta Flack & Donnie Hathaway - Back Together Again (Super Value Edit)(36mn41s to 44mn 24s)
Howard Johnson - Keepin' Love New (44mn25s to end)

April 21, 2010

V4YS Ep/Album Review - Ramadanman - Ramadanman Ep (Hessle Audio) (Dubstep)

While reviewing on the blog "Triangulations", the fantastic latest album from Scuba, I mentionned that the experimental Uk dubstep space was one of my favorite electro area at the moment alongside nudisco.
Well, this new release from Marl Kennedy, aka Ramadanman (and Pearson Sound) brings more fuel to this already hot fire.

Only 22 years-old, Mark Kennedy has not only already released several innovative experimental dubsteb Ep's but is also one of the three creators of the Hessle Audio  label alongside fellow producers Pangaea and Ben UFO.
Halfway between an album and a simple Ep, this 6-tracker release is a great digest of the multiple outcomes offered by current experimental dubstep productions.
Dark minimal sound & complex percussions in "I Beg You", puzzling drums and melodic synths in "No Swing", weird bubbling bass and avant-garde rhythm in "Tumble". But to me the icing on the cake is the beautiful "Don't Change For Me" closing the record. Deepness with a big "D"! an amzing deep synth line and vocal sample supported by a heavy drum&bass rythm. What a pearl!

Short extracts below  (my favorite track "Don't Change For Me" is the 6th one) :

April 16, 2010

V4YS Concert Review - The Souljazz Orchestra & Fanga - Paris, Cabaret Sauvage (15/04/10)

What a week on the afrobeat front in Paris!
After Femi Kuti earlier this week (review and full live video here), I went to see Canadian band The Souljazz Orchestra and French combo Fanga at the Cabaret Sauvage, which is one of my favourite venue in Paris (a cosy antique circus tent inviting to exotic cultural journeys).

Fanga's Martal Reverdy & Korbo
Fanga opened the show with a 1-hour energetic set of "rough" afrobeat.
The band, originating from south of France (Montpellier), is well-known by fans of the french underground afro-scene. They have already been releasing 3 great albums since 2003 but are first and foremost famous for their remarkable live acts. And I guarantee yesterday's gig did not depart from these good principles!
They were 7 members on stage (singer, guitar, bass, baritone sax, percussions, drums, keyboards) and focused on tracks from their latest Lp (Sira Ba), released in November 09.
Fanga's Rajaneesh Dwivedi & Korbo
Their authentic afrobeat sound, spiced up by Korbo's enthusiastic vocal flow and the powerful playing of their baritone sax player, Martal Reverdy, quickly set fire to the audience.
Alternating groovy hypnotic moments with classic explosive afrobeat vocal chorus, Fanga left me with no doubt : they clearly are playing in the big league alongside afro-scene reference bands like Antibalas!
Please check their site for more infos, albums extracts and tour dates.

Souljazz Orchestra's Ray Murray
In an ebullient room came the turn of canadian band The Souljazz Orchestra to spread its afro-funk message.

 We mentionned this brilliant group recently as we reviewed their latest album, Rising Sun.

Souljazz Orchestra's Marielle Rivard, Steve Patterson, Ray Murray & Zakari Frantz
Alternating between funk, afrobeat and spiritual jazz the band has made a name for himself these last few years for the quality and diversity of their productions and their remarkable live performances.

They were 6 on stage (keyboards (Rhodes/Nord), baritone sax, tenor sax, alto sax, chorus singer/percussion, drummer).
Souljazz Orchestra's Pierre Chrétien
One of the originality of the band is their explosive sax trio and the absence of bass and guitar which are somehow replaced by Pierre Chrétien's mesmerizing Nord keyboard's playing.

Yesterday they let aside the spiritual jazz part of their most recent Lp to focus on their dancefloor-oriented afrobeat and funk tracks.

On the afrobeat side they played some of their classic cuts like "Mista President" or "Freedom No Go Die", but also surprised the audience with truly creative covers from Fela's "Rofoforo Fight" and "Odoo".
Souljazz Orchestra's Philippe Lafrenière
On the funk side they made a great tribute to James Brown and also played several tracks that (correct me if I'm wrong guys) were new like the cool "Stand Up And Be Counted", sung by Marielle Rivard.

The musical excellence of each of the band musicians is truly outstanding,  a special note to Philippe Lafrenière drumming performance and funky vocals! Loved it!

After almost 3hours of really high-quality afro grooves, as everyone was preparing to head home and probably dream of a feet-massage, the 2 bands decided to extend the musical feast by starting a refreshing jam session!
Starting with Manu Di Bango's classic "African Battle", the half-an-hour jam went on with Fela's eternal "Water No Get Enemy" and "I.T.T."
Thanks a lot to both bands for this truly special moment!

No need to add that you should check out each of these band next live dates!

Below two quick videos of "Mista President" and jamsession of "Water No Get Enemy" :

P.S. : you can also check our recent afrobeat playlist called "Long Live Afrobeat" highlighting the vitality of this musical scene!

April 13, 2010

V4YS Concert Review - Femi Kuti & The Positive Force - Casino de Paris (12/04/10)

 Femi Kuti and his band were playing yesterday night at the Casino de Paris, which is a beautiful classical mid-sized theather in central Paris.
A long-time fan of Femi's work, I had not been attending one of his gig for at least 3 or 4 years, so I could not resist the temptation!

Femi and his Positive Force band were 14 on stage. Most band members were rather young, probably coming from a new generation of musicians that Femi, true to the tradition of his father, keeps nurturing in his legendary homebase, "The Shrine" in Lagos, Nigeria.
The band  focused on tunes from their latest release "Day By Day" but also played tracks from previous albums.
They alternated between some of their killer afrobeat classics such as "Sorry Sorry", "Beng Beng Beng" or "Shotan" and lighter west-african grooves, typical of Femi's style and omnipresent in the "Day By Day" album. For instance please check in the live video below like the wonderful version of "They Will Run", which was my favorite song in the show.

French slam artist Abd-Al-Malik also joined the band as a guest to add his fresh and spontaneous lyrics flow on the track "Do You Know".

As usual with Femi, his stage presence, charisma and powerful voice were outstanding. His unique alto-sax and clarinette sound and the sincerity of his humanist and fraternal message also made of this concert a great moment.

There is only a small hitch to me : I've always found that Femi's concerts lack a bit of improvisation. His band is mostly "supporting" him, they do it very well for sure but I would enjoy a bit more "crazyness", which you often find in many contemporary afrobeat bands shows. This was the case again this time, apart from 3 or 4 planned solos from his guitarist, trombone and tenor sax players, there were no moment of improvisation.

This small remark apart, the man confirmed again yesterday that he is a cornerstone of the current musical afro scene.

And good news for you! If you were not there you can still enjoy this evening as the always tasteful french-german tv network Arte had the good idea to make a video recording of the gig and broadcast it for free on its website, (or player below) :

Attempt of tracklisting (I need help at the end! Use the comment section) :
- Do Your Best (start to 10mn31s)
- They Will Run (splendid version) (10mn32s to 16mn44s)
- Do You Know Feat. Abd Al Malik (16mn45s to 29mn10s)
- You Better Ask Yourself (29mn11s to 35mn31s)
- Eh Oh (35mn32s to 38mn52s)
- Oyimbo (38mn53s to 42mn32s)
- If Them Want To Hear (with long intro speach) (42mn33s to 50mn10s)
- Can't Buy Me (50m11s to 56mn04s)
- Shotan (56mn05s to 62mn50s)
- Inside Religion (62mn51s to 73mn01s)
- Sorry Sorry (73mn02s to 81mn59s)
- Beng Beng Beng (with long funny speach inside) (82mn00s to 92mn00s)

Encore part :(need some help to identfy the tracks here, they may be new actually) :
-Beng Beng Beng Break (92mn08s to 95mn01s)
-Did not recognize this one! (95mn02s to 98mn54s)
-This one neither (98mn55s to 102mn23s)
-This one neither (102mn24s to 106mn04s)
-Final Instrumental break : (106mn05s to end)

April 12, 2010

V4YS Album Review - Sylvain Beuf Sextet - Joy (Such Prod/Harmonia Mundi) (Jazz)

"Joy" is a well-titled groovy hard-bob jazz album recorded live by french saxophonist Sylvain Beuf and his new sextet band.

Sylvain is a veteran musician of the Parisian underground jazz scene, having sided over the years with many big names, he has been releasing several great records in a trio mode with his two inseparable friends Diego Imbert (contrebass) and Franck Agulhon (drums).
For this new project he decided to change the rules, moving on to a more ambitious sextet format.
Experienced trombone Denis Leloup and alto-sax player Pierrick Pédron joined the trio alongside pianist Jean-Yves Jung, to give life to Sylvain' 10 brand-new composing written under the (always!) powerful creative forces of Love.
The album was then recorded live during 4 nights at Dunkerke's Jazz Club (in northern France) and is now out on independent labels "Such prod/Harmonia Mundi".

This record is really well balanced, alternating between really funky-bop" tunes like "Sushi", "Trouble In My Glass", "Smile" or "Spatio Temporis" and more relaxed melodic gems like "Joy" or "Baikal Lake".
The quality of composings and arrangements gives an almost perfect breathing space to the talent of each of these 6 outstanding musicians. In a word this is contemporary nu-bop as I love, melodic, spontaneous and funky!
I did not see their recent show in Paris, I'm really looking forward to the next one. All their concert dates here.

Below a deezer streaming of two of my favorite tracks from the album, "Smile" and "Trouble In My Glass" :

Découvrez la playlist Sylvain Beuf avec Sylvain Beuf

April 5, 2010

V4YS Selection#8 - I Need (More) Reggae

Spring is here (at least supposed to) and I thought it was a good excuse to make another reggae selection.

Listening to "I Need (More) Reggae" you'll find several beautiful songs at the twilight zone between soul and reggae, like this eternal cover of "Ill be around" by Otis Gayle, Joh Holt's "For the Love Of You", Marcia Griffiths' "Mark My Word", Tomorrow's Children's "Sister Big Stuff" or Cedric Im Brooks' "Chicken".
But that's not all! there are classic sunny reggae pearls like The Ethiopians' "Train To Ska-ville" or Zap Pow's "Sunshine People" and you may also enjoy relatively more classic spiritual riddims as Black Uhuru's "Satan Army Band" or The Gladiators' "No Wrong Idea".
Finally a couple of groovy dancehall/dub-like tracks, Frankie Paul's "What About Us" and one of my favorite song from Gregory Isaacs, "Temptation", close the trip. Actually not entirely as I could not resist to add this wonderful acoustic version of Gilberto Gil's "A Novidade", where brazilian music meets Jamaican rythms.
Enjoy! (and if you liked it you may also enjoy our first reggae playlist here)

Playlist streaming below (44mn long) or through the 8-track player :

Tracklisting :
Otis Gayle - I'll Be Around
John Holt - For The Love Of You
Derrick Harriott - Go Away Dream
Tomorrow's Children - Sister Big Stuff
Nicky Thomas - Lonely Feeling
Cedric Im Brooks - Chicken
Zap Pow - Sunshine People
Marcia Griffiths - Mark My Word
The Ethiopians - Train To Ska-Ville
Black Uhuru - Satan Army Band
The Gladiators - No Wrong Idea
Gregory Isaacs - Temptation
Frankie Paul - How About Us
Gilberto Gil - A Novidade (Live Accoustic)