new friend to the Confessions BLAUG, Squareone (and his rather dope Chi-City Blog), recently alerted me to the latest podcast of his own B-Side Radio program, which features none other than The Jeep’s founding fathers in a chill, informative & funny phone chat. wanna put a regular speaking voice to F Dot Floss & Whatchya? ur in luck. click below to download the mp3.
The UFK return for another round of nonstop 80s funk, boogie, r&b and soul gems. after first round heat from BASSCLEF on Mix #001, Mista Vee turns it up a notch with 38 of the phattest jams ever recorded but seldom heard.
01. the night people – night person 02. keith & darrell – work that body 03. ltd – kickin back 04. armenta & majik – you’re my one 05. barbara jeyne – i like the way you move 06. cheryl lynn – if you’ll be true to me 07. the horne section – ladyshine 08. celena duncan – shine on 09. collage – in the mix 10. marshall titus – take a chance 11. junko ohashi – dancing 12. katie kissoon – you’re the one 13. blue feather – let’s funk tonight (instrumental) 14. brothers ii – you 15. young and company – i like (what you’re doing to me) 16. ritchie family – alright on the night 17. cameron – magic of you 18. jimmy ross – first true love affair 19. ndugu & the chocolate jam co. – send you my love 20. sinnamon – thanks to you 21. active force – cold blooded lover 22. maurice massiah – we can go to your house 23. dynasty – day and night 24. kashif – stone love 25. masayoshi takanaka – chill me out 26. james otis jr. – baby come on 27. klymaxx – don’t hide your love 28. francois feldman & yellowhand – you want every night 29. enchantment – i know you’re hot 30. empress – give in to love 31. zafra bros. – will you see me tonight 32. evan rogers – secret love 33. mighty fire – sixth street 34. phillys st. james – candelight afternoon 35. stephanie – funky school 36. wendell morrison – what it be like 37. street angels – dressing up 38. stephen washington – please don’t go
please spread the word, help the funk ease the suffering of the masses, send people to our Facebook page 🙂 an official website is currently in the works. for now, we’d appreciate a ‘like’ on FB and any re-blogging or tweeting of our stuff. peace & may the spirit of the funk be with u.
in the interest of broadcasting nothing but quality audio gems, i present to you the sexiest incarnation of Maxwell‘s debut single as an artist back in 1996: …Til The Cops Come Knockin’. as was the case with all of Maxwell’s singles from Urban Hang Suite & Embrya, this CD single features an extended cut of the song (in 3 parts) and a companion b-side (i say “companion” cos the sound and subject matter of Lock U Up N’ Luv Fa Days stays close to the narrative of TTCCK). over the coming weeks i will be sporadically chucking up most of Max’s singles under the title The Maxwell Files, simply because the time and dedication he had to craft his singles as ‘expansion packs’, almost always containing one or two remixed versions of the song (and a sweet b-side), should be revered and remembered. the thought that went into them really shows Max’s dedication to maintaining the overall story that’s being told (over the course of his first two studio albums) and a dedication to further mythologising his artistic persona.
that and tracks 02-04 is some of the sexiest music u will ever hear in ur lifetimes (track 01 is merely the radio edit of the original album version and can be skipped, the real fun starts at track 02).
01. cut (4:13) 02. pt. 01 (6:53) 03. pt. 02 (5:42) 04. pt. 3 (uncut) (6:02) 05. lock u up n’ love fa days (p+4) (5:25)
i have always loved Maxwell‘s aesthetic from the get-go, cos in an era when everything was incorporating more and more hip hop, Max reached further back to reignite & present anew the sound of 80s soul, r&b and funk. he seemingly debuted as a complete ‘artiste’, carving his own lane in the supposed musical resurgence known as “neo-soul” (a simple but effective title, & one i never saw as a point of derision). but he always stood out, he had a little extra x factor that couldn’t be easily duplicated. it ranges from his appearance to the badass musicians he’s surrounded himself with over the years, all the way to picking his debut single from his debut album (which, at his behest, features his face on the back cover instead of the front: Max’s way of putting the focus on the music & the narrative). …Til The Cops, as the story goes, was his personal choice for 1st single, whereas the label were more comfortable with sure bets like Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder) & Sumthin’ Sumthin’ (hits-in-the-making). the video, which is at times derided by fans for being too simplistic, is among my favourite Maxwell music videos. the concept? Max takes a young lady into a hotel/motel (room 508 to be exact) and proceeds to seduce her by crawling and slithering all over the place. oh and hey, that’s some nice frign wallpaper!
the song itself (after a bit of reflection), funnily enough, is not Maxwell‘s signature sound, which makes it yet another intriguing choice for 1st single. the music is (if anything) a heavy nod to R. Kelly’s 12 Play era of sexy slow-jams, cept jazzed up to the hilt. M’s true sound lay in clean crisp drums, live slapped basslines & keyboard melodies n riffs that are nothing short of instant vintage, not to mention timeless. again, this single is an interesting choice to lead off with cos we’re thrown right into the middle of the story, narrative-wise. but dammit, it WORKS. …Til The Cops may not have been the song that sent Maxwell rocketing to stardom, it IS however one of the coolest n sexiest (and ballsiest, to some extent) debuts for an artist i’ve ever heard.
& finally here’s a preview of the extended cut via YouTube, where some kind soul has mixed in tracks 02 & 03 (pt. 01 + 02) to form one luscious piece of ‘jazzsexy’ (c).
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.
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)
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.”
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.
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.
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
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 🙂
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.
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.
Saadiq returns with a slightly harder sound than his previous set “The Way I See It“. from the early reviews the new album is supposed to stick with the retro Motownish sound he delved into on the last project, but with a noticeably rawer edge to it. there’s some debate on this point as to whether or not Raph is now on the verge of shark-jumping and sticking to this sound only because it’s currently popular, and has given him more exposure than he’s ever recieved in his career for a long while. HOWEVER, i’ve been a lifelong Raph Saadiq fan since childhood. and the man is nothing if consistently dope in pretty much everything he does. the new single Radio, is no exception.