Quick note to self: Must not store records in bathtub, fridge, and oven (even when off). The old saying "At least I'm not buying crack" is no longer valid. Admitting you have a problem with buying music is half the battle ... awww, to hell with it. Here's some hot music you need to pick up and toss in the oven right away.
Your girl Alice Russell has finally released her debut full-length, Under the Munka Moon, on the always-reliable UK label Tru Thoughts. Remember when she did those songs with labelmates Quantic and TM Juke? Those were tight, eh? Well, this amazing vocalist delivers in a big way with an album that starts off sounding like a cross between Stax and gospel before making way for other styles such as broken beat, downtempo, and the like. The only wack thing: Several tunes here already showed up on other artists' records, but as of now, this is a diva in the making, and you can expect big things from this homegirl. Available on CD and double wax.
On the "This album is so heavy, I'm sweating gravy" tip is the new long-player from your man Terry Hall and Mushtaq, The Hour of Two Lights (Honest Jon's). Yes, this is the same Terry Hall who was in the Specials, but this sounds absolutely nothing like that: It's a fantastic mix of traditional Middle Eastern melodies and downtempo beats, with Terry crooning throughout like a mystic sage. Think I'm lying? Check the cut "Sticks and Stones" and then get back to me -- that is, if you can even raise up off your couch afterward. I played this track recently at a club and got bum-rushed by slightly buzzed patrons, the owner, and even Grandma Dynamite, talkin' 'bout "What is that?!" This too is on CD and (expensive) double vinyl.
Record freaks, go seek out the latest twelve-inch from Salome de Bahia, titled "Taj Mahal," a cover of the Jorge Ben 1973 classic. The money shot, however, is the b-side, a blistering Brazilian-samba-drums-meets-house ditty entitled "Batucada Fantastica." As for reissues, go peep the once extremely rare LP by South American funk band Combo Xingu. This is once of those mythical records some have heard of but no one has owned until now. Very very raw, gritty funk you'd swear was from Georgia or something, but with a nice Latino touch. The original LP goes for your rent times two.
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