George Clinton’s Extended Beef

May 28th, 2017

Me: I’m going to buy an old VCR this week.

Literally everyone I know: Of course you are.

In case you’re wondering, I’m looking for an old VCR/DVD dubbing machine and if I score one then expect maybe the very first Lost Turntable video feature.

Yes I know I could buy a video capture unit for my PC but have you tried to do that shit? It’s hard. My A/V expertise begins and ends with phono.

George Clinton
Bullet Proof (Extended Version)
Do Fries Go With That Shake (Extended Remix)
Scratch Medley: Do Fries Go With That Shake/Pleasures Of Exhaustion (Do It Till I Drop)
Double Oh-Oh (For Your Ears Only Mashed Mix)
Some of these tracks have been on my Lost Turntable playlist for nearly five years. I have no idea why I’ve never gotten around to uploading them here. I’m such a slacker sometimes.

I definitely need more 80s George Clinton in my life. I’ve said before that “Atomic Dog” is a perfect song that I could listen to all day, and while these tracks aren’t perfect, they’re sure fucking close. “Bullet Proof” might have some of the illest drums of all time. Just a monster track for sure.

This sound is making a comeback of sorts, is it not? Or is it just Bruno Mars dipping into that nostalgia well and no one else? More people need to get on that shit. Hell, more people need to mine vintage R&B sounds. Modern R&B is just boring as all hell. When Dumptruck got elected a lot of idiots were saying that it would be good for music because we would see the return of vicious and revolutionary protest music. Well, it’s been nearly six months now and I’m still waiting for that. Secondly, while I’ve long been clamoring for the return of politically insightful music (especially in R&B and hip-hop), I would also settle for the return fun and upbeat pop music.

The pop charts are a dour disaster zone right now. It’s like everyone is depressed, but not woke enough to write socially conscious songs, so instead they’re just writing mopey-dopey songs about how much partying sucks. Partying is dope. Write about how dope partying can be while how shitty the world is. And try to have fun doing it.

What I’m saying is, more songwriters need to listen to Maggot Brain.

Additionally, I would a top ten hit single akin to “Do Fries Go With That Shake” but gay. It’s not fair to the gay community that the only super-popular openly gay singer in the world right now is Sam Smith. We’ve been through enough.

Thank you for listening.

Bass In Yo’ Face

May 22nd, 2017

I’ve been having a hard time of late figuring out what to write in this space right here. One thing that I’ve always taken pride in is that my site is…different, I guess? Any asshole can put up a bunch of MP3s ripped from vinyl, steal some copy from Wikipedia and give themselves a blog post (*cough* burning the ground *cough*). I’ve always aimed to be a bit more than that, not only in terms of music writing, but in terms of just sharing my thoughts. It’s always been important to me that this is as much a blog as it is MP3s.

But yo, life has been a real motherfucker as of late. And as much as I want to contribute to the current political discussion and showcase my utter contempt and hatred for Trump at every possible moment, I really don’t know what to say aside from “fuck that guy I hope he gets cancer and dies.” And while that feels good for me to get off my chest every now and then, it’s not really all that constructive, is it?

Maybe I’ll recommend some lesser-known non-profits to donate to? Dedicate a blog post to areas where you can contribute your resources to help those who need it? Or just provide a thesaurus of swear words so you can find more ways to describe Trump aside from “motherfucking cocksucker.”

Although, if it ain’t broke…

Towa Tei
Sound Museum (Haruomi Hosono Remix)
Time After Time (Blaze Remix)
GBI (Latin Narrow Light) (Lisa Carbon Remix)
Higher (Appaloosa Remix)
Happy (DJ Die Remix)
BMT (Bizzy B & Pugwash Remix)
It took me a while, but I’m finally falling headfirst into a Towa Tei hole (ew, that came out wrong). I think me and him got off on the wrong foot. I started out with his first album, and it just wasn’t my thing. Since then, I jumped forward about 15 years to his more recent stuff and really fell in love with it. I can’t recommend his newest record, Emo, enough. It’s a fantastic collection of dance-pop, picking up where Metafive left off in some really fun and exciting ways. I also highly recommend his 2013 album Lucky, which features the amazing title track and “Radio,” the latter of which was remade as a Metafive track a few years later. Really fantastic, upbeat super-fun pop music that just doesn’t get old.

These tracks are from the mid-90s, and very much sound like it. This is the Towa Tei who was in Deee-Lite, not the Towa Tei who crafts perfect pop songs today. That’s certainly not a knock against these tracks, it’s just to say that they sound dramatically different than his new stuff.

Of this bunch, my hands-down favorite is the last one. Got that Biz Markie, that Mos Def and an amazing rolling drum and bass backdrop that just kicks my ass all over the place. Dopest jam.

Prince
Purple Medley
Purple Medley (Edit)
Kirk J’s B Sides Remix
We’re just one month away from the release of the massive 3CD+DVD super deluxe edition of Purple Rain, and I’m hella stoked. I was reading impressions when it was first announced and was surprised by the negative response. Sure, it could have more, but that goes without saying; Prince was an insanely prolific artist who never stopped recording. I’m sure Warner Bros. could fill a 10CD box set of recordings made during the Purple Rain sessions, but that doesn’t mean they should. I’m happy for an abridged 3 disc set featuring a handful of unreleased material alongside hard-to-find classics like the “God” instrumental and extended versions of the album tracks. And the concert video (and it’s a video, hence no HD so don’t complain) should be incredible. I’m negative about enough stuff right now, I refuse to be negative about this. Now, if Warner Bros. never gets around to re-releasing the Prince side-projects like Madhouse and The Family, then I’ll get pissy.

“Purple Medley” was originally released in 1995. It was a single release only, it did not appear on any proper album. The B-side, entitled the “B Side Remix,” has no actual B-sides on it. So you explain that one to me.

I originally posted this track nearly seven years ago (holy hell) but that was taken from an very scratchy vinyl.  This is from the CD. So even if you downloaded it back in the day, you’ll probably want to download this one to replace it.

Black Days

May 19th, 2017

I had the immense privilege of seeing Cornell with both Audioslave and Soundgarden. And he was probably one of the greatest vocalists I ever saw perform in person. The world has lost an amazing talent and person. And I am heartbroken as I realize that my generation will be sorely lacking in old rock stars.

Soundgarden
Gun (Live ’90)
Get On The Snake (Live ’90)
Superunknown was one of the first albums I bought with my own money to listen to on my own. I didn’t have to buy a lot of music with my own money when I was a kid, mostly because my mom and I had very similar musical tastes. Having a mom who was way into Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana really saved me a lot of money at the time. Thanks mom! My mom is dope.

Anyways, for some reason I can clearly recall buying Superunknown used at a CD Warehouse and playing the shit out of that album. I would listen to it when I played Doom, read comics or mowed the lawn. I honestly think the main reason that album became my default background music was simply because it’s so damn long. That album is 15 tracks and 71 minutes long. And it doesn’t have a single piece of filler on it. That just never fucking happens.  How many classic, amazing tracks are on that album? Six? Seven? Eight? I mean, shit, “Black Hole Sun” might be the worst song on that album, and it’ s one of the greatest rock singles of the 90s. But it can’t hold a candle to “Spoonman” or “Kickstand” or even the title track. It’s downright criminal that Superunknown isn’t spoken with the same reference as Nevermind and Ten. It’s the Thriller or Hysteria of grunge; every song could’ve been a single. And again, at 15 tracks long that’s a holy shit statement.

For the longest time there were countless Soundgarden rarities. Unlike Pearl Jam or Nirvana, there didn’t seem to be anyone keeping track of the Soundgarden archives. Thankfully, that started to come to an end a few years back. Between the deluxe editions of Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, and the 3CD rarities compilation Echo Of Miles, a good portion of the rare Soundgarden tracks worth a listen are now easy to score, and I suggest you do that. Be sure to check out their oddly sedate-but-great cover of Devo’s “Girl U Want” and the amazing Moby remix of “Dusty,” which I prefer to the original.

These live tracks are from the CD single to “Blow Up The Outside World.” To the best of my knowledge, they were never included on any of the various re-issues, but if I’m wrong please let me know.

FYI: the “movie no one saw” that Cornell references in the beginning of “Get On the Snake” is Lost Angels. He’s certainly right, no one saw that movie, but the soundtrack, which included The Pogues, Toni Childs, Soul Asylum and Apollo Smile, was hella dope.

Audioslave
Show Me How To Live (T Ray Remix)
Set It Off (Live From Letterman)
Gasoline (Live From Letterman)
I’ve always felt that Audioslave is an underrated band. At the very least, their first album certainly is. It is such a great record, a fantastic hard rock album that came out at a time when those were few and far between. I got to see Audioslave live three times, and each time they delivered a stand out show. If you’ve never given the band a proper chance, I really recommend that first self-titled record. And while those second two albums don’t hold up when compared to that stellar debut, they both have some solid tracks. Scope them out on iTunes, each have some buried gems. I’m a big fan of “Man Or Animal” and “Somedays,” myself.

Audioslave doesn’t have many rarities to speak of. I think their only commercially released B-side was “We Got The Whip” and you can get that on iTunes no problem. These three tracks were the only ones in my collection that I couldn’t find commercially available.  They’re all from various singles from the first album. The two “live” tracks don’t sound very live. You get zero crowd noise on these. I suspect that they’re rehearsal recordings. They still sound good though. The remix of “Show Me How To Live” is the highlight of the group though. It’s a good remix of a great song that adds some layers of electronic and psychedelic effects. Simple, but it works.

Sigh. Why does everything have to suck so much?

I have nothing of value to add to the current discourse so here’s some ZZ Top.

May 12th, 2017

Geez.

ZZ Top
Gimme All Your Lovin’ (live)
Sharp Dressed Man (live)
I Got the Six (live)
TV Dinners (live)
Got Me Under Pressure (live)
Legs (dance mix)
Legs (Album Version)
All of these tracks are from the 2008 Collector’s Edition of Eliminator, which was released in 2008 and has been seemingly out-of-print ever since. For some reason (and whatever the reason is, it’s a bad one) all digital versions currently being sold only have the single edit of “Legs.” Some CD versions have the album version still, while others use the single edit. It’s pretty hard to tell which has which just from looking though. Both are perfectly fine versions, I don’t prefer one over the other, but it would be nice to have the album version on the album (duh).

Completely exclusive to this release is the dope as fuck super extended “Dance Mix” which really jacks up the sequencers. It’s basically “I Feel Love” with blues riffs. A great concept that I’m really bummed more people didn’t get behind in the 80s. The live tracks are decent, but let’s be honest, this is an album that was never made to be played live. It’s a studio creation through and through.

I recently bought the remastered vinyl of Eliminator. It came on cherry red vinyl to match the Eliminator car and it sounded great. That is, until it got to “Legs” and it just suddenly cut out near the end of the song. No fade, no breakdown, it just cuts out entirely. What I suspect happened was that they pressed the original album version on a groove that was allocated for the single edit, which is over a minute shorter.  Whatever the reason, it’s pathetic that Rhino, who released the disc, never issued any sort of public recall for the LP. I emailed them twice, with neither message getting a response. I eventually had to return it to my local record store.

Anyways, between the error-riddled vinyl and the out-of-print 2 CD edition, Rhino/Warner Bros. really need to get their shit together on this one. Eliminator is one of the greatest albums of the 80s. They should teach it in music school and the class should be called “how to sell out for cash and still make a kick-ass record.” Because, let’s face it, a Texas blues band adopting a synth-heavy sound in 1984 was about as hard a sell-out as humanly possible. But they made it work.

Ruth White’s Short Circuits

May 5th, 2017

Hey do you like old synthesizers that look more like telephone switchboards than proper musical instruments? Then check out my other blog for a picture gallery/write-up on an amazing exhibition of vintage equipment (much of it used by YMO) that I got the pleasure of seeing last week.

And then listen to this Moog album after that.

Ruth White – Short Circuits

I’d never heard of Ruth White until I bought this album last year. A fact that is rather embarrassing as she is A: an early electronic pioneer whose work rivals Wendy Carlos and B: from Pittsburgh, a city I called home for a decade.

Her discography is rather impressive, predating electronic music with her earliest releases in the mid-50s, and continuing well into the 1980s with countless children’s releases. I wonder if I heard any of those albums when I was a kid. Sometimes I wish I could take a peek back at my elementary school teacher’s music collection. She played all kinds of oddball shit. I wish I remembered more of it.

Anyways, like I said, Ruth’s career started out well before electronic music. Her earliest releases were traditional recordings of lullabies and folk music. But in 1969 she took a hard turn into the avant-garde with  7 Trumps From the Tarot Card and Pinions, a highly experimental record that made great use of the Moog. She followed that up with Flowers Of Evil in the same year, an album that is so bizarre and utterly alien that it might give you nightmares.

Two years later she released the record I’m sharing tonight, Short Circuits. Unlike her previous albums, which featured some out-there and highly experimental original music, there’s no original music to be found here. Instead it’s all covers of classical compositions. I would suspect she released this as a response to Wendy Carlos’ runaway success with Switched-On Bach, which came out a few years prior.

It lacks the insanity of her early releases, but the album is still haunting in its own way. Her arrangements are often minimal, and even occasionally employ some atonal effects to give them a somewhat off-kilter vibe. Even when it’s cheerful and fun, the album is much less “mellow” than Carlos’ Switched-On album, and features a much more diverse selection of tracks from a wide variety of composers.

 

It’s a real shame that this album, and her other work for that matter, has never been released digitally. In doing some quick research for this post, I discovered that Flowers of Evil has been re-issued several times, once relatively recently, but always only on LP. The growing prevalence of vinyl-only re-issues (especially of exceedingly rare releases) is really starting to irk me. I get the appeal of owning a vintage release on a vintage format, but why not give a digital download or CD option as well? These kinds of records deserve to be heard by more people, and keeping them on what remains a niche format certainly isn’t going to help make that happen. Maybe I should add “start a boutique record label dedicated to early electronic music and other stupid shit no one really cares about” to my to-do list.

Funky Jazz From Space

April 23rd, 2017

I hope you all had a good Record Store Day and were able to find what you wanted without getting gauged. I scored the two big Bowie releases and even managed to bang out a review of them over on my other site. Sorry to say, if you’re going on the second-hand market to grab them, you might want to pass.

Now who wants some Japanese space funk/jazz fusion!

Wait, don’t go, it’ll be cool I promise!

Jun Fukamachi
Quark
Perpetual (Movement)
Desillusion
Insight
I shared a Fukamachi track about a year ago, when I uploaded his jazz fusion take on the Star Wars theme, which was pretty dope. Tonight, I thought I would share the album of his that I think fans of my blog would dig the most, his 1980 release Quark.

As I mentioned in my previous post featuring him, Fukamachi is kind of a jack of all trades, dabbling in many different genres of music throughout his long career. Most of it is jazz, and not just fusion, but traditional piano jazz music. He also dives into funk on occasion. Those are some of my favorite records of his. Second Phase, his 1977 album, is a great record featuring his funky side, complete with a rad cover of “Ava Maria.” I’ll probably post some stuff from that at some point.

But Quark is a bit different, at least it’s different than the other Fukamachi album’s I’ve bought. This one is much spacier, with a heavy emphasis on ambient and electronic textures. Each track is ten minutes long, and they all take you on a journey, man, going between Tangerine Dream, quiet piano-driven segues that wouldn’t be out of place on a Pink Floyd record, and crazy purely electronic experimental pieces reminiscent of Wendy Carlos.

It’s a crazy record that I can’t really describe, so if you’re in the mood for something different, check it.

Fretting over the remote possibility of nuclear war with help from The KLF

April 16th, 2017

Okay, look.

I appreciate concern, I really do. I like that people out there are looking out for me and care for my well-being, I really do. But if one more motherfucker out there asks me if I’m worried/going to do anything about the increasingly heated conflict brewing between China, North Korea and the United States (with Japan, and by extension me, stuck in the middle) then I’m going to go nuclear and vaporize someone.

Allow me to nip your concerns and questions in the bud right now. No, I’m not worried about the possibility of any kind of military strike against Japan. This is mostly because I have enough, far more tangible things, to worry about. But I also just don’t think it’s going to happen. While I’m rarely the kind of person who says things like “the media is hyping this new story too much,” well, guess what; the media is hyping this story too much. Calm the fuck down.

Additionally, even if I had some inkling that something (whatever that might be) might happen. No, I’m not leaving Japan. This is my home and my boyfriend’s home.

Besides, there are enough dope record stores here to make the distant threat of thermonuclear war worth it. Seriously, look what I found today.

The KLF
It’s Grim Up North (radio edit)

It’s Grim Up North (Part 1)
It’s Grim Up North (Part 2)
Jerusalem on the Moors
America: What Time Is Love? (radio edit)
America No More
America: What Time Is Love? (Uncensored)
America No More (Just the Pipe Band)
Justified & Ancient (Make Mine a “99”)
Justified & Ancient (Let Them Eat Ice Cream)
Justified & Ancient (“The White Room” Version)
Justified & Ancient (All Bound for Mu Mu Land)
Justified & Ancient (Stand by the Jams)
Maybe I’ve said this before (it feels like something I would’ve said before), but one of the best things about living in Japan is walking into a random record store and seeing an “import” that you first heard about on the internet 15 years ago and never thought you’d buy. And seeing it on clearance for less than $20. I just hope I can find part one for a similarly cheap price someday. Because this thing is fucking dope.

I have probably shared many of these tracks over the years here at Lost Turntable. In fact, I’m positive that I have. However, those were all vinyl rips and many were done back when I was still learning how to rip my vinyl, so a lot of them sound like garbage. If you’ve ever downloaded these tracks from me before, you should probably download these too, they sound a hell of a lot better.

Okay, change of plans. If the possibility of a nuclear conflict does increase, then I’m gonna put my boyfriend in a suitcase (he’s tiny) and hop on a plane for Mu Mu Land. Dope beats, acid house and Tammy Wynette await me.

Dance remixes to rip your jaw off to

April 9th, 2017

I updated the Tokyo record store guide over at Mostly-Retro to add information on the excellent General Record Store and the new HMV in Kichijoji. I’ll try to update it again next week for another new store I found that was exceptionally odd. I’m also working on an abridged “best of” guide to record stores in Tokyo that might be a bit more practical than the 22,000 word opus I have up there right now. Other projects in the works include the next part of the YMO guide. That’s about halfway done, but it’s still going to take some time because it covers the proteges and associate acts, and there are a ton of those. Hopefully I’ll have another edition of the Game Music Revue up in the meantime. I really want to put something up about a stupid album I recently bought.

Here are random remixes of dance tunes.

Grace Jones
Amado Mio (The 28th Street Crew Club Mix)
Amado Mio (The 28th Street Crew Dub Mix)
This is a cover of a song from the film Gilda, which I hear is great but I have not yet seen. I know it’s a film noir classic of sorts, I just haven’t gotten around to it.

Right now the boyfriend and I have been devouring British horror and sci-fi. We’ve made our way through nearly every single Hammer flick and are now exploring the wonderful world of Amicus and other lesser-known studios. It’s been a fun ride. You know who’s dope as fuck? Peter Fucking Cushing. I’d watch that dude read a phone book. I’m sure he’d do it with the same foppish outrage he brought to every role in his career. For those looking to dive into the wonderful world of the Peter Cushing filmography, I highly recommend Corruption, The Skull, Captain Klegg (AKA Night Creatures) and the Dracula sequel Brides of Dracula, which features far more of Cushing being dope as fuck than the original Dracula does. But really, you can’t go wrong with any of his work at Hammer. From Dracula to Frankenstein to the lesser-known stuff in between. It’s all great.

Basically what I’m saying is that I don’t have much to say about this song, despite liking it quite a bit.

Shelia E.
Sex Cymbal (12″ Mix)
Sex Cymbal (Jungle Groove)
Sex Cymbal (4 On The Floor)
Bass Base (Instrumental)
I can’t decide if this is the worst pun or the best pun. I’m edging toward worst.

I mean, yikes.

Sure, it’s kind of clever. Shelia E. is sexy, she plays drums, ergo…”sex cymbal.” But it’s just so fucking stupid. And when I hear “sex cymbal” I don’t think, “hey there sexy drummer,” I think “hey there sexy drum kit.” Because let’s be real here, there ain’t no such thing as a sexy drummer. Don’t get me wrong, I have mad respect for anyone who can play drums at even a halfway decent level, but it’s not an inherently sexy act. If someone looks sexy while playing the drums, it’s in spite of that, not because of it. Shelia E. aside, can anyone out there name a sexy drummer of either sex? I sure as hell can’t.

The song “Sex Cymbal” is good enough I suppose, but the instrumental b-side “Bass Base” is the real highlight. Some crazy electro-funk.

Hawkwind for Giving Up

March 31st, 2017

I was silly enough to have hope last week! Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! That sure was funny and stupid of me! Silly me! We’re all doomed.

Hawkwind
Silver Machine (12 Inch Remix)
Silver Machine (New Remix)
Silver Machine (Reconstructed By Utah Saints)
I got it guys. Let’s build a spaceship, call it the Silver Machine and blast the fuck out of here. That’s the only way. What else are we going to? I’m serious. At this point it’ll be easier to build an interstellar spacecraft than it would be to convince the people of our dying planet not to treat each other like the fecal matter of subhuman parasites. I know a guy who can get us some steel (I’m from Pittsburgh after all) and I know some good artists who can paint the thing all rad. Anyone know any quantum physicists on the verge of cracking faster-than-light travel? You’d really be doing me a solid.

These remixes are from two different records I picked up relatively recently. The first two are from a 12″ single called Silver Machine – Infected By The Scourge Of The Earth. Do not ask me who The Scourge Of The Earth is. I don’t know. I mean, I know who 2017’s literal actual scourge of the earth is, but I do not know anything about the artist who called himself that in 1999, which is when this single came out. The 12 Inch Remix is, quite honestly, hot garbage, but the New Remix is pretty great.

The last version, remixed by the immortal Utah Saints, is from a 1996 remix compilation entitled Future Reconstructions – Ritual Of The Solstice. The majority of that album is not very good. However, it shouldn’t be surprising that when you give an amazing group an amazing song to work on, the results end up being pretty good. Actually, I’ve heard enough lousy remixes by The Orb and Aphex Twin to know that’s not always the case, but in this instance it’s 100% true. Their remix is dope as fuck.

 

Japanese Acid House Disco Funk And Pet Shop Boys

March 26th, 2017

How’s everyone living? Everyone still living? Guess that’s good enough for now, right?

Been a rough week or so, but I’m glad that the forces of non-evil out there can at least chalk up one win for the increasingly marginalized masses out there. I had severe anxiety that Trump and his shitball league of fuckfaces was actually going to dismantle the least worst American health care act passed in my lifetime. So color me surprised that they actually managed to fall on their collective shit-eating faces for no other reason other than the fact that they couldn’t agree on how evil their revised bill had to be.

It’s been said by others, but I feel the need to say it myself; this was a big deal. If the people of America hadn’t been so outspoken against the evils of Trump(no)Care, then it probably would’ve passed. So while it is easy to be depressed and feel utterly hopeless all the time about the current state of affairs that our world is facing, this should give you some hope. Don’t give up. If we all work together as a team then we can achieve some victories.

So get out there and raise hell in whatever way you see best. Here’s some dance music to help you do it.

Denki Groove
A.C.I.D.I.S.C.O.
I’ve been writing about Japanese electronic dance music for a long time now, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned Denki Groove once. But if name recognition is anything to go on, they’re probably the biggest electronic dance group in Japan. Every Japanese person I talk to knows of them, and most like them. They’ve seemingly been around forever, and have released what feels like countless singles and albums. This summer they’ll be playing Summer Sonic, Japan’s equivalent of Lollapalooza, and will also be opening for the J-Pop megastars Perfume at their own Perfume Fes (that’s not a typo, don’t ask me why the “t” is absent). They’re a big deal.

Here’s the thing; I don’t like them very much.

I’ve really tried. Honestly I have. I have a greatest hits CD and a couple of other albums, but I just can’t get into them. They have plenty of decent tracks, no doubt about that, but something about them always rubs me the wrong way. I think its their vocals. Whenever they use vocals I just zone right out. But whatever, I’m sure they have dozens of amazing songs I just haven’t heard yet. They have to be big for a reason.

While I don’t like much of what I’ve heard, I can vouch for this track, my favorite off their 25 EP that they released a few years back. It combines two of my favorite things, 90s acid house with 70s disco. It’s ridiculous, but pretty amazing.

Pet Shop Boys
I’m With Stupid (PSB Maxi Mix)
I’m With Stupid (Abe Duque Mix)
I’m With Stupid (Melnyk Heavy Petting Mix)
I’m With Stupid (Max Tundra Mix)
Let’s Kickstart a Trump/Pence/Putin porno and make this the title track. I’m sure the Pet Shop Boys would be down.