Moodymann has two modes: lusty and haunting. His new album Taken Away retains some of his signature erotic funk, but ache come to the fore.
At the start of 2019 Moodymann (Kenny Dixon Jr.) was involved in a pretty terrifying incident with the police – a reality that people of colour face in America on a shockingly frequent basis. Famously enigmatic, he does his talking through his sampling, and his message comes across loud and clear, especially in the title track. It’s house music, it’s foot-stomping, but it is filled with pain and anger.
My take on some more upbeat Moodymann here and here, or you can read an excellent review of the album on Pitchfork here. Shout out to Ben Gomori’s Turned On for the tip.
Today I present to you my favourite track of the Summer so far.
It’s US three-piece Khruangbin doing what they do best. The track drips with a simple, understated beauty. Magic.
I’m headed to the inaugral Maiden Voyage Festival today on Three Mills Island. It’s a one-stage Jazz Cafe creation with a solid gold line-up spanning jazz, hip-hop, afrobeat and funk. So solid in fact that I’m not even going to pick out an artist – instead you can listen to a selection of tracks below. Whack it on shuffle and soak it in.
This is mental. This two-track EP was released in Lebanon 1978 and copies of the vinyl go for half a grand. HALF A GRAND! How lucky are we that all it takes is £9.99 Spotify subscription these days. The music industry eh?
Anyway it’s the kind of music that you’ll probably find in the ‘World Music’ section. It’s jazz, it’s classical, it’s funk, it’s hella exotic. Ziad Rahbani you enigmatic genius, take a bow.
Fun fact: his mum is the famous Arabic singer Fairuz – they released a load of tacks together. Cute right?
Been busy all week earning that cash to get by? I know how it is. Relax, unwind, and chuck this funky beauty on the player. Perfectly paired with some sunshine on a Friday afternoon and a crisp drink.
Highlight is the second track Je Vulesse – no idea what it means, but I like it.
“I don’t think you realise how successful I am. I’m like a shipping tycoon, full of promise and cum.”
Lyrics that alternate between the disturbing and the surreal. A funky base line that forces you into a swagger. Baxter Dury is onto something here.
Shout to Winston and Alo for the tip.
If you’ve had the good fortune to see a Krywald & Farrer set you’ll know what they are all about. As Percolate front-men Jack Farrer and Edward Krywald-Sanders have had it pretty good over the last few years, and it’s not hard to see why when they release re-rubs of this quality. Souped up afro-goodness. Upbeat, funky, disco-laced good times.
And here is the original by Burkina Faso’s own Amadou Balaké.
Is it January? Is it? Really? Get this hour long mix of divine afro magic down your earholes and transport yourself the hell outta here.* It is mixed by Orange Tree Edits label boss Jimmy Rouge, so if you like I highly recommend checking out their Soundcloud page.
* I’m doing okay, honestly.
Likelihood is that a few of you might be feeling a little blue right about now, so, in the spirit of getting through January, check out this fella from Mali, Boncana Maïga, who’s been a big deal in the latin-soul scene for c. 40 years. This EP is more on the afro-funk end of things, so, stick it on and bounce your way through the opening salvos of 2019. Weirdly the final track, Petroci, was written as the soundtrack for an oil company of the same name from the Ivory Coast. We hate oil companies, but, boy do we love afro-funk eh.
It’s no longer November! The freedom! The joy! Here’s some Afro house from 2002 to heat up your Winter.
Like what you hear? Well crank up the thermostat and get your teeth into this playlist of like-minded tunes