Friday, 27 August 2010

Yaam man!

Things started out great for Blanche, but unfortunately for the last few days it has been pouring here in Berlin. And with the rain our plans for doing all these
guerrilla DJ gigs were flushed away.. So we decided to try our luck with some clubs and bars (read: places with roofs). And at Yaam we got lucky! They loved the look of Blanche as well as our Coconut Mix, so they asked us to roll by on Saturday afternoon. We're so thrilled; the place looks like a beach, they've got great cocktails and jerk chicken. So Berliners, drop by from +/- 17.00 till 19.00 at Stralauer Platz 35!!!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

You're too Görli Görli

Yesterday was a very special day. Because, despite of our first Becks-and-Hefeweizen-hangover, we decided to get up 'early' and take our lovely lady Blanche for a short stroll through Görlitzer Park in Berlin. Just to see how loud she can get. We were so hung over that we forgot half the equipment (we even forgot the music!). We went back twice and we still didn't have everything... But nevertheless Blanche's first walk in the park was a delight. We made one enemy but lots of friends. The local drug dealers were a fan. They want to book us at their next "party"!

We also met a musician called Wynton Kelly Stevenson. It turns out he has a very original way of playing the harmonica. Check it out on his MySpace!! It's a nice blend of dub, blues and hip hop. "That's the shit right there!", to speak in the man's own words.

Sometimes Blanche gets stuck in the cobbled stones. As we were jerking her we ran into another awesome musician. Yarah Bravo is MC/singer/beat maker and apparently she has a weak spot for sound systems. Her voice reminds us a bit of Lisa „Left Eye“ Lopes, and she's opening up for Freeway tomorrow. Who is very scary looking, like a black version of Matisyahu, but with less hair on top. So we might go and check her out live! You can watch her in this video...

Here's our ode to yesterday. A song we didn't play because we forgot to
bring it.

Sophia George - Girlie Girlie. Get it
here (YSI).

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Reggae for Reggaehaters

Once upon a time I was a one, a
Reggaehater. Until I went on holiday to Jamaica. To keep me occupied while lying on those white beaches sipping fruit shakes I bought the book Bass Culture - When Reggae Was King by Lloyd Bradley. This fist thick book tells the story of reggae in the context of the island's sociological and political history, which is a turbulent one. I bought a Studio One box set and started listening to all the old stuff. And after seeing the dancehall queens on telly in our hotel room I was SOLD. I was no longer a Reggaehater.

So when a friend of mine declared she hated reggae with a passion I strongly felt the urge to try to convert her. Sadly she's returning to her heimat today, so as a goodbye present I made her a compilation of my favorite reggae tunes. I guess technically speaking it's not all pure reggae, there's some ska and early dancehall in there as well, but pff.. Bob Marley is not on there, but his son Damien is, along with a.o. Dawn Penn, Horace Andy, Toots & The Maytals, Yellowman, Chacka Demus & Pliers, Mr. Vegas and Tanya Stephens. These names don't ring a bell? Download the zip file and give 'm a listen. Maybe you'll see the light as well? And if you're already a Reggaelover I'm sure you will enjoy this string of hits.

Get it here (128 kb MP3s + tracklisting)(YSI).

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Dedication to the max

Love love loved that tacky record cover my Dollegue put up here a couple of days ago! Well last week I found quite a unique sleeve myself while I was charity shopping in London (in a completely different genre though):Being a big Morrissey and The Smiths fan myself, my heart started to melt when I spotted this embodiment of pure Mozzer dedication. This fan just couldn't stand having this great single sitting in a dull, plain white sleeve! I love the back cover even more. The His Masters Voice dog is there (twice), plus production and photo credits ("Smash Hits" - haha). Too bad there are no credits for the artwork!

I already own a copy of the 7", but I was happy to pay 50p for this amazing piece of teenage cut-and-past-work. Plus it is a truly great single. Suedehead is nothing short of brilliant, but I Know Very Well How I Got My Name on the flip side is so beautiful it makes me cry.

A. Morrissey - Suedehead. Get it here (YSI).

B. Morrissey - I Know Very Well How I Got My Name.
Get it here (YSI).

Monday, 16 August 2010

Tacky to the max

It has been yeeaars since I've been to a festival. But last weekend was my first in about six years: Reggae Geel in Belgium.

White folks with dreads, hippies, stoners, red-yellow-black and green, it was all there. Including my heroes Busy Signal and Mavado, the ones who were supposed to rock my world. Apart from the backspins that drove me absolutely BONKERS, they really did rock my world.

But crazy enough, something else rocked my world even more. For a musicfanatic, finding a rare record might have the same effect as going to a concert. And it was just sitting there, in a box, waiting to be found: Dancehall Daughters, a compilation of female dancehall from the eighties. The best thing about this record is the cover, obviously. Which must be the tackiest thing I ever saw. Take a look at it above (and please click to enlarge). I have tried to find this record on discogs, and I have tried to find mp3's from the artists that are on it. But no such luck (I don't know if it's that rare, or that bad), so for now you'll have to settle for a similar sound by Yami Bolo. Who isn't a daughter, but sure sounds like one!

Yami Bolo - When a man's in love -get it here(ysi)

Friday, 13 August 2010

When it's raining cats and dogs listen to Best Coast

In my January post about The Drums I wondered if their shoegazy surfpop would turn out to be the sound of 2010. I can now say YES. Just listen to Best Coast. Their single Boyfriend has been stuck on repeat here and is rapidly becoming the soundtrack to my summer. Or at least what's left of it...

Best Coast - Boyfriend.
Get it, and a couple of other songs, here at

Friday, 6 August 2010

An ear for an ear

My apologies dear readers for being off the radar for so long. Holiday in France, working on our rollator-soundsystem Blanche, tight deadlines, a course at Central Saint Martins in London and friends visiting were to blame. But now I’m catsitting in London for a week so for once I’ve got loads of interesting stuff to blog about!

In between work I’m planning to go to lots of museums and exhibitions, a musical, the Hackney carnival, do shopping (of course), go to Brighton and see lots of live music. I’m not doing too bad on the latter with Field Day festival, Jens Lekman, the Blow and the Evan Parker Trio already under my belt.

Funnily enough balding men were the stars at Field Day. Caribou was great live, playing songs of his EXCELLENT album Swim. Max Tundra could play schlagers for all I care ‘cause his dance moves are the best and make his sets always enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised by a very techno-oriented set by experimentalist Matthew Herbert, partly created from the top of a ladder and in a little dome tent on stage.

Then on Tuesday we went to see Jens Lekman and The Blow in the beautiful Union Chapel in London’s East End. My friend Kate was spot on when she described The Blow as “the female Max Tundra”; her dancing was a bit like a spastic tapdance. Very nice, just like the songs (with lots of finger snapping and hand clapping sound effects). It was a bit of a pitty her lyrics were inaudible due to the enormous natural reverb of the church. Then again, it's a real church with pews and a pulpit and candles, so what are you gonna do. Jens Lekman's performance was a joy, as always. I never listen to his albums (his “tram number seven to heaven, did you eat your banana from Seven Eleven”- lyrics tend to get on my nerves), but when he’s in the neighborhood I can’t resist seeing him. He's just too charming! And from the balcony where I was sitting I noticed Jens is balding

Last night my beau tried to push my musical boundaries by taking me to The Vortex Jazz Club to see Evan Parker, an apparently very famous free jazz improvising saxophone player. This music needs trained ears to be fully appreciated, I think. So I just took a pen and doodled away on the reservation card that was lying on the table. In return for enduring this my boy promised me to join me to ANY show of my choice. So tonight I’m dragging him along to a African house club night at Notting Hill Arts Club. Ngagna, sweet revenge.

Caribou - Sun. Get it
here (YSI).

Max Tundra - What Time is Love (KLF cover). Get it
here (YSI).

The Blow - Hey Boy. Get it here (YSI).

Jens Lekman - A Postcard to Nina. Get it
here (YSI).

Evan Parker - Dark Interior (extract - just to give you an idea...)