Jack Herrera – Self-Titled/Retro Futuristo (1999) + 2 bonus non-album cuts

for anyone with their pulse on the sea of discarded unreleased gems, will no doubt have come across the dope Jack Herrera crew at some point. although most people think it’s one person (a natural conclusion to draw), the name represents a collective of like-minded artists and musicians spearheaded by its 3 core members: Jon B (aka Boogotti)., DominiQuinn & Silky Deluxe. the story goes that while touring for Jon’s album “Cool Relax” (1997) in Amsterdam with DominiQuinn & Silky Deluxe as Jon’s backup vocalists, the three of them basically composed most of the music on the tourbus (which came equpped with a fully built studio). i assume they hit the studio to polish up and finish off the complete album soon after, probly over the course of 1998/99 (information is so scant that all one can do is throw out educated guesses). for reasons guessed, assumed and somewhat unknown, the album never saw an official release. speculation ranges from “peeps weren’t ready” to a more-likely scenario involving the record label folding and subsequently not being able to release it.

despite this tragic setback, and having worn out my 50second samples of What U Feel & full version of City Lights, in the early 2000s i was finally able to procure the holy grail itself: the complete Jack Herrera studio album in its finished form. not only that, i also discovered two b-sides/non-album cuts: Déja Vu (which, according to the mp3 tag, was featured on the album sampler) and Jewel (which is a complete and total mystery, has no tags, and is (one assumes) just a really awesome bootleg track: awesome in song quality, but sadly lacking in CD audio quality). over the years i’ve seen the album pop up on random blogs and smiled, however more and more i’ve been seeing it in a truncated form. meaning, it’s being posted online minus 3 tracks: Revolution, Revolution (Interlude) & Jack Herrera For President. also, Déja Vu is listed as track 1 in these incarnations of the album, disrupting the natural order and flow of the original tracklist.

not only that, but ALL the copies i’ve ever found online had bits n pieces of the ends of tracks trimmed and cut. this is the most prominent version of the album on the net, but many moons ago a kind soul who actually had the original copy of the album on CD (i asked how, he said via the industry) ripped and sent me a gapless copy which flowed the way it was supposed to. as far as i know, the version i’m presenting to y’all today isn’t available anywhere else. the differences aren’t what you’d call major, but are definitely noticeable.

tracklist:

01. City Lights (5:13)
02. What U Feel (4:55)
03. Diamond In The Rough (4:57)
04. High Off You (4:59)
05. Say You Gotta Man (4:21)
06. Jack Shuffle (feat. Will.I.Am) (3:59)
07. Up Above My Head (5:19)
08. Jack Herrera For President (4:31)
09. Free To Believe (5:29)
10. For You (6:17)
11. Silver & Gold (feat. Black Thought) (5:16)
12. Revolution (Interlude) (1:18)
13. Revolution (5:14)
14. Be Free (5:40)

+ 2 non-album bonus tracks:

Déja Vu (3:38)
Jewel (5:39)

:::DOWNLOAD:::
zip | rar

(links updated as of 28/06/2015)

here’s the group’s bio which i managed to retrieve via Google cache from now-defunct site listen.fm, should help to shine more light on what they were all about:

“Who is Jack Herrera?” you ask. Well Jack isn’t one, but three: namely Silky Deluxe, DominiQuinn (One Word) and Boogotti aka Jon B, men with the spirit of Stevie, Roy Ayers, and Marvin coursing proudly through their veins, about to take their rightful place among their organically soulful contemporaries such as Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, The Roots, and A Tribe Called Quest. Although Jack Herrera features platinum selling solo artist Jon B and he played a pivotal role in the band’s formation and record deal with Yab Yum/Epic, he’s keen to stress that Jack Herrera is totally a group project, with no leaders. Silky Deluxe and DominiQuinn are as equally important in the group as himself.

“It’s all about the music,” he says. “The important thing I want people to know about me is that I’m a musician, so rather than the emphasis being on me and my voice, it’s on the band as a whole, the songwriting and production. Piano is my first instrument so when you see Jack Herrera play live, I’m more behind the keyboards. Although stylistically it’s different, conceptually it’s kind of the same as when Phil Collins did his solo things and then he did the albums with Genesis.”

Indeed, the vibey jazz-soul/hip-hop of Jack Herrera couldn’t be more in contrast with the polished R&B radio formatted appeal of Jon’s solo work. “Jack Herrera is the epitome of what soul music stands for which is originality and depth,” he claims proudly. “There’s also a lot more hip-hop coming with Jack Herrera than on my own albums.”
Jon can take his place behind the keyboards in Jack Herrera, safe in the knowledge that in Deluxe and DominiQuinn, he has two showmen and vocalists of the highest standing. Men, who to him are more than fellow group members, but best friends too, having traveled the world with him as background vocalists on his last solo tour. In fact, the band found it’s name while on the road in Amsterdam, Holland.

“The band actually formed on the back of Jon’s tour bus, where he had a full studio built,” explains DominiQuinn. “After a show we would go back there and start writing. This was before we even thought about a band; then when Jon suggested it, it made perfect sense.”

Jack Herrera + Will.I.Am (of The Black Eyed Peas) who features on the track “Jack Shuffle”

A native of Philadelphia, the charismatic DominiQuinn cut his teeth vocally singing on hip-hop records while hanging out with fellow “Illadelph” artists and friends such as The Roots, Boyz II Men, and Will Smith. Spending ample time in L.A. he became a noted fixture on the live circuit through his band Jazzmatix, encompassing some of the city’s finest session musicians. It was through the band’s trumpet plater, Tyrone Griffith, who also doubled up tour chores with Jon B, that the two “cats” met.

Thoughtful and laid back, Silky Deluxe hails from a large musical family in Dallas. He originally moved to L.A. at 18 as part of a male vocal R&B group. However, when the Hollywood shuffle proved too much for the other members, Deluxe diverted his attention to songwriting, eventually landing a publishing deal and through that a solo deal at Epic Records. Although his album was never released, he had firmly established himself as a gifted singer/songwriter, working in the studio with Jon B and on stage with DominiQuinn.
More than just a desire to create good music, Jack Herrera represents three conscious souls yearning to express a unified and heartfelt message.

“The song ‘Silver & Gold’ means a lot to me because of the lyrics,” states Deluxe. “It kind of sums up what Jack Herrera is about. It’s saying that materialistic things – cars, houses, or whatever shouldn’t be the priority. The focus should be on gaining the knowledge to deal with all the ill situations in the world. You should look towards yourself and if the wealth and riches are meant to come, they will.” Adds DominiQuinn, “‘Free To Believe’ is simply stating to young people that it’s not all about the establishment, it’s about understanding 360 degrees of who you are, taking the knowledge of self and manifesting that into who you want to be.”

Jon B concurs, “The lyrics on the album are very spiritual and relate to our philosophies about freedom to express yourself the way you want to. The new millenium’s here and a lot of kids out there are lost.”

Musically Jack Herrera more than matches it’s worthy words, and that’s word! Whether it be the mellifluous “U & I” that comes over like classic Stevie Wonder at his most mellow, the gentle reggae infused “Say U Gotta Man” or the ruff n’ rugged basement jam, “Jack Herrera For President,” this band has flava for days.

“The live show comes first for us,” emphasizes DominiQuinn. “We all come from a live music background, soldiers on the front line of organix. The video and things of that nature are cool, but secondary. There’s no substitute for seeing Jack Herrera in a live performance.”

had this album seen the light of day, i am certain it woulda made some major noise within the arena of contemporary soul of the late 90s/early 2000s. most of all i’m sad that the musicians and artists who played and sang on the record won’t ever get their due recognition, as there are no existing liner notes (that i know of). after almost a decade of championing this unreleased, unheralded record, i still play it like it was a fresh release. reason? it’s so well-made that it’s timeless. it lives up to its title/not-a-title “Retro Futuristo”, digging backwards in order to go forwards. and in the end synthesising THE sound which marked a musical transition in soul over the 1999/2000 period. a return to live music that had a groove and had something to say at the same time. it’s a crime that won’t ever be rectified, but that’s why aficionados the world over still push the importance of giving it a listen. i felt it was time to throw my (rapidly-gaining) weight behind the preservation of this album so that it doesn’t get consigned to the depths of Internet Purgatory. so download, kick back, spark up and learn a lil somethinsomethin.

V.

:::DOWNLOAD:::
zip | rar

10 Coolest Things I Found On YouTube: 11/01/2011 – 27/01/2011

read this blog or i'll get my buddy Dinky Dawson over there to come take a shit in YOUR aquarium. and if u don't HAVE an aquarium, one will be provided so Dawson can still take a shit in it

mo’ YouTube, mo BLAUGIN’. go forth and be entertained, y’all.

You Just Pulled Landscaping Duty

Ben Stiller‘s finest roles (imo) have always involved him rockin the handlebar ‘stache. this would be his finest in that mode.

NOW WE’RE FCKED

so not too long ago, a YouTube user with the name HighVoltageChrist came up with a video meme/fad vid that is quirky than the usual shit (think how viral the Antoine Dodson shit became, but on a smaller scale). anyways the basic premise is: use footage from the old Mario & Luigi cartoon show to shimmy the convo in a way that ends with one of the characters uttering an expletive. except the editing has to be precision in a way that makes someone SOUND like they’re saying “FUCK”, but in actuality is some jumbled up version that ranges from “FGLUP!” to “FWUACK!”. immediately after this comes a cut up clip of Luigi jauntily strolling singing the word “KOOP/COO” over and over to the melody of some random song (at the behest of the individual editor, there are many others). this one apparently is the original one that started this (sofar) underground YouTube fad/trend.

Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit

Nic Cage, i feel, is a somewhat misunderstood and slightly underrated actor, but definitely one of the best of our generation. and i think that’s the case cos it’s only when he chooses to play tweaked characters (some that are outright psychotic and possibly insane) when we see the depth of his talent. here, lovingly cut together, is a collection of just some of those special moments.

Dawson Leery – Asshole For Hire

i was a BIG Dawson’s Creek fan back when the show first started, and remained a loyal soldier throughout its entire 6-season run. yes everyone knows half the show’s appeal is the very epitome of cheese. however, the hook that differed this show from any kind of teen soap comparison were the characters themselves and how they communicated. long story short: they all talked like smartass psychology professors (and heavy on the sarcastic self-fladulation when it came to Pacey). i never, not once, while watching the show facepalmed or groaned at its lameness, cos it never really was. it was enjoyable, and should now be regarded as vintage television for ppl who grew up watching it. it’s got this nostalgic glow to it, is what i mean. but what happens when its star and namesake can’t shake being labeled as The Dawson? he goes on the offensive. this clip is but one of many that resulted when James Van Der Beek took over funnyordie.com for a week recently. another golden outcome from this takeover was: JamesVanDerMemes.com (if u love Der Beek you’d be a fool not to click).

SAD FORRR YOOOUUUUUU

i remember clicking onto random eps of Dragonball Z as a kid and witnessing those long extended-ass fights between Vegeta and Frieza, but it was all a bit too schizo for me to get into. i do, however, remember Vegeta‘s hectic-ass yelling and screaming of everything that comes out of his mouth.

Flynt Flossy & Whatchyamacallit – Not Your Professor, But Your Prosexxor (feat. Pretty Raheem)

as i had suspected, in a recent interview with Turquoise Jeep Records founder and artist Flynt Flossy (aka F Dot Floss), it was revealed that the earlier Jeep tracks were produced by fellow artist Whatchyamacallit. i call this the pre-Tummiscratch era. i only held that suspicion cos there was a notcieable increase in the recording quality of the vocals, the flow of the emcees and the overall production of the music. clearly Tummiscratch is the man with the magic touch, producing smangers like Slick Mahony‘s “Sex Syrup” & “Go Grab My Belt“, Flynt‘s “Cavities” (feat. Pretty Raheem & Watchyamacallit), Yung Humma‘s “Lemme Smang It” and a few other album-only cuts that aren’t on YouTube. but even Tummiscratchless, the Jeep does impress. this is an early rough cut of the song “Not Your Professor, But Your Prosexxor” which appears on the newly-released debut album “Keep The Jeep Ridin‘” in a more polished form. most, if not all the sounds i recognise as Fruity Loops/FL Studio presets, but it doesn’t matter cos the song is still smangin.

Kameron Corvet – Know These Things:Shouldn’t You

a decent acoustic cover of an underrated Maxwell song from his 2nd album “Embrya“.

Snuff Box – Boyfriend Scenes

yet another short-lived British sketch show that, judging from this clip, must be seen.

Cushion Muncher

when i was but a child, one of my aunties fed me a styrofoam cup. haven’t seen her since.

Stella – “Bar”

probly one of the most surreal comedy troupes around (i think anything with Michael Ian Black is fantastish anywho). oh ye, the bar owner (aka the guy who can’t cum) is H. Jon Benjamin, currently voicing the title character in the animated hit “Archer“.

V.

Lingus – Go Grab My Belt (Warm-Up Version)

this is strictly a warm-up version, first time we ever played it. we’re gonna record a proper live cover and send it to the dudes @ Turquoise Jeep. an acoustic version is also in the works.

the band:
Chris M. on vocals + percussion
Jeremy C. on guitar
Raffi K. on keys
Lou W. on bass
Vahé. K (dats me) on drums.

p.s. Lingus is just a placeholder name til we come up with sumthn else. but we were talking about cunnilingus on the night so it seemed appropriate.

V.

Anne Hathaway as “Catwoman/Selina Kyle” + Tom Hardy as “Bane” + 1 unknown female lead in Nolan’s 3rd Batflick, “The Dark Knight Rises”

in the 3rd film, Batman finally takes care of those pesky bats that keep frign following him around everywhere

so it looks like we finally got some confirmation to drown out the sea of rumours that have been circulating on the casting of this film for what seems like an eternity (Johnny Depp as The Riddler, for example). and after Heath Ledger‘s iconic performance as The Joker in the epic pop-culture behemoth known as The Dark Knight, i am reserving judgment on the possible outcome of casting Anne once i actually see the film. under Chris Nolan‘s direction, it should be another solid WIN for the Batman pantheon. Tom Hardy on the other hand, i must confess the only film i’ve seen of his was his role as Eames in Inception, but that was enough for me to dig the dude’s style. apparently he kicked ass in a film called Bronson too (which i will be seeing this weekend), so his ability to pull off the role of the back-breaking roided-up Bane isn’t really in question. what IS in question is the casting of an as-of-yet unnamed co-lead actress.

there is still speculation as to who the other female lead character will be, but as of this moment i have two distinct hunches:

1) Harley Quinn (aka Dr. Harleen Quinzell): a much beloved character that was born on the inimitable and definitive Batman: The Animated Series. her backstory is that she briefly worked at Arkham Asylum as a psychologist of sorts, until she eventually fell in love with The Joker and became the crafty, playful supervillainess Harley Quinn (and Joker’s girlfriend). she mostly gets treated like dirt, but is unendingly loyal to her “Mr. J”. however, introducing her would mean having to include scenes of The Joker, either re-cast or via old footage. either way it wouldn’t work as well without Mr. J being a constant presence.

2) Talia Al Ghul: the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul (who was one of the chief villains in Batman Begins), Talia has always been depicted as being divided in her love for Bruce Wayne/Batman and her loyalty to her father. although her actions are dodgy at best (usually at the behest of her more maniacal father), bringing her into the fold would take this current incarnation of the Batmovie franchise full circle, perhaps using Ra’s apparent “death” in Batman Begins as a catalyst for her to appear (and i’m not entirely convinced Ra’s perished in the train, he was known for being immortal via the Lazarus Pits, but since the films are trying to remain rooted in reality, perhaps Ra’s is just a master of escape and survival?). as for her story, it would be a complex one as Talia has great affection for Bruce. in the comics they even have a child together. i think her showing up in The Dark Knight Rises is highly more likely, and would interconnect the films quite nicely.

on a final note, after re-watching Batman: The Animated Series from its very beginning (im only halfway thru season 1), i can see a whole LOT of story and plot points that were straight up ripped for the films, which i don’t think is a bad thing at all. the toon is perhaps the best incarnation of the Batverse i’ve ever encountered, and also one of the most enduring (a testament to its quality legacy). my HOPE would be that character cues for Selina and a possible Talia are taken from the cartoon series, as the show portrayed a balanced view of both of these strong females as anti-heroins with a thing for Batman/Bruce. yes they get up to some shady stuff, but they’re also good people at heart. this would be a welcome dynamic from the whole Rachel Dawes thing (which i was never down with from the beginning).

and now? …we wait for July 2012 🙂

V.

why i ♥ “The Universe”

“In the beginning, there was darkness, and then, bang—giving birth to an endless, expanding existence of time, space and matter. Now, see further than we’ve ever imagined, beyond the limits of our existence, in a place we call The Universe.”

for those who have to put up with my shenanigans on Facebook, you know i have an intense hard-on for all things The Universe (which airs on the History Channel). my fascination for outer-space and the mechanics of how everything works started pretty early and has only really grown since childhood. so much so that there are times when i’ve felt that, in another version of my life, i should’ve ended up being a scientist. but instead i’m a fact-hound on all things bout the ‘verse coupled with my sometimes-soft musings about the interconnectedness of all things, from Earth-bound to space and beyond. mostly i just like having my wig flipped by the science this show drops, and in such an entertaining fashion too.

the narrator, Erik Thompson, is a character himself, presenting everything in that ‘dramatic movie trailer’ voice (“in a LAAANND not their OWWNN…” etc). the show also employs some pretty impressive sfx to educate oneself about all the latest developments relating to Earth and space. they’re especially fond of playing out multiple doomsday scenarios via computer graphics and real footage. i guess u could call it edu-tainment at its finest, instead this show (imo) has probly the most important things to say and report than anything else. the mix of professors, scientists, engineers, writers & thinkers who make regular appearances on the show basically are cosmic detectives who are constantly peeling back more and more of what makes our planet and our Universe exist and function. my utmost respect goes to these people who actively engage in critical thinking and are always searching for the truth that underpins our age-old superstitious knowledge.

two of the regular contributors to the show in particular have been added to my lengthening list of “heroes” that i look up to and am somewhat inspired by, simply for the glee with which they talk about the subject matter, and always ready to back up their findings and assertions by performing simple (and highly amusing) experiments. these are astrophysicist and professor of astronomy at The University Of California, Berkeley Alex Filippenko (always talks science with an eager smile on his face). the other is physicist, professor & best-selling author Dr. Michio Kaku (often waxes poetical about a universal discovery with a sly smile and tone of voice). these two arguably busy minds still find the time to frequent almost every episode of The Universe and talk shop with a child-like zeal, and have taught me more than any cursory class at school did and, as a result, made me constantly think about my place in the Universe and what that even means. the backbone of the show, hell of science in general, is a generally curious disposition that champions facts, and the constant searching for truth within a Universe filled with cosmic phenomena. the show has stated this many times:

“we can’t know everything

it’s that simple statement which allows someone to broaden their perspective and perhaps think about reality in ways they never imagined before. it doesn’t take much really, just a willingness to try a new or different point of view. i’m not saying this program is the most epiphanous in all of creation, it is however an easy and simply-presented gateway to grander thinking and fresher ways of looking at everyday things in your life.

 

one of many Extinction Level Event disaster scenarios the show has played out via CGI animation

now instead of just offering a taste of the show (if you are in fact unfamiliar with it), i’m posting an entire 44min episode (there’s more than a few full eps available to watch on YouTube). this is Season 3’s “The Edge Of Space“. kick back and take a look at the modern-day reality that is Earth from distant vantage points in outer-space. and if the irony of humanity polluting the stars the same way we’re polluting the Earth doesn’t hit you over the head with an obvious SHMACK, then perhaps this isn’t your sorta thing (no snark-o, just sayin).

V.

The UnFunkWitables (UFK) – Mix #001 (by BASSCLEF)

Mix #001

my older brother (aka BASSCLEF) and i (going by the general nom de plume Mista Vee, one which i’ve had before i knew there was a Mr. V on the scene) both share a passionate love of a genre of music we’ve dubbed, Obscure 80s Funk. France calls it boogie music, a genre that’s not quite disco and not quite JB funk, but a wonderful hybrid that is maybe only recently coming back in popularity, as is apparent by more and more neo-80s electro-funk acts on the scene. the more synth-tinged nature of the music could even be traced as the root of the current dominant electro-house. or perhaps ur just a fan of funky phat basslines, bangin drums, reverbed handclaps, spacey synth solos and 7min jams with a groovy breakdown around the 5min mark that consists of nothin but drums and poppin bass. simply put, the music is hard to resist. and we’ve found it hard to resist the pull of being the pushers of this sound. clearly we’re not the only ones, but we’d like to make a worthy addition to an oft-ignored genre that is simply littered with funky gems waiting to be heard.

tracklist:

01. liesette wilson – caveman boogie
02. leroy burgess – get down friday night
03. aurra – make up your mind
04. class action – weekend
05. fonda rae – over like a fat rat
06. aretha franklin – get it right
07. pure energy – spaced out
08. northend & michelle wallace – it’s right
09. earons – video baby
10. unlimited touch – searching to find the one
11. grace jones – la vie en rose
12. blair – nightlife
13. heatwave – the groove line
14. neney – candye lover boy
15. prince – extra lovable
16. mazarati – 100mph
17. madame x – just that type of girl
18. bobby nunn – she’s just a groupie
19. dolette mcdonald – xtra special
20. pleasure – give it up
21. pleasure – sending my love (synth solo by BASSCLEF)
22. the nick straker band – a little bit of jazz
23. steve shelto – don’t give your love away
24. inner life – moment of my life
25. invisible man’s band – all night thing
26. carl bean – i was born this way
27. komikko – feel alright
28. collage – do you like our music
29. high fashion – feelin lucky lately
30. total constrast – takes a little time
31. the time – get it up
32. donna washington – you can’t hide from the boogie
33. shalamar – don’t try to change me

:::DOWNLOAD:::

expect a new mix from myself mid-Feb. follow us on our Facebook page to recieve updates. new mixes will be posted there & here, as well as on the individual UFK page on the homepage of this blog. a website and pod-o-matic page are forthcoming. please spread the word 🙂

V.

J Dilla’s “Donuts” as performed by Stray Phrases

swiped from Metal Lungies:

Stray Phrases is a jazz trio consisting of Storm Siegel on drums, Dave Mainella on piano, and Evan Crane on bass. On Sunday October 17, 2010, they covered J Dilla’s classic instrumental album Donuts from beginning to end. Metal Lungies is proud to bring you a recording of the whole set.

:::DOWNLOAD:::

i gave this a spin last night and it was pretty damn good. they jump from track-to-track with precision and the right amount of Dilla swagger, all with a light jazz touch. everyone sounds talented on their respective instrument, and together they bring the legacy of Dilla to life with a performance that i’m sure the man himself woulda co-signed. nicely done.

V.