Smokercds weekly treats
Here's a selection of this week's treats for you all. First off, let's start on the local side. Wellington dub/funk favourites The Black Seeds return with the first release since their top selling debut album 'Keep On Pushing', a remix project titled 'Pushed'. Featuring standout tracks that have been remixed and remade into tasty new flavours ranging from deep dancefloor dubs to upbeat hip-hop, retro jazz, offbeat electronica, ambient soundscapes and storming drum & bass, the result is a fresh and funky makeover of one of last year's best local releases. Check it out. We also have the uncompromising debut from hip hop artist/producer Unique, out via Kog's Dirty imprint (home of the mega successful P-Money). And lastly from own fair shores we have a two-disc career retrospective from one of this country's unheralded yet more consistent singer/songwriters - Shona Laing. Since her first hit "1905" in 1972, at the tender age of seventeen, this folk influenced songstress has offered a slew of great songs, frequently based on her observations of international invents, yet written with a unique kiwi slant ("Soviet Snow", "(Glad I'm) Not A Kennedy", "Fear Of Falling"), while paving the way for current artists such as Bic Runga and Anika Moa. 'The Essential Shona Laing' is fine tribute to this endearing artist.
While we're on the singer/songwriter subject, we have the new album from critically acclaimed folk-based singer (and one time Richard Thompson partner) Linda Thompson. After having her career unfortunately curtailed due to illness in 1988 (a condition known as hysterical dysphonia - basically the vocal version of stage fright), she has at last returned with the help of son Teddy (a fine guitarist and singer in his own right), daughter Kamila, and other assorted folk-rock notables from both sides of the Atlantic (including Martin Carthy, the near-mythical Van Dyke Parks and estranged ex-husband Richard Thompson). And on this new album 'Fashionably Late' she truly shines. (Note this is an import so we have limited stock). Next up we've got a couple of deliciously exquisite downbeat releases - the newie from Nightmares On Wax called 'Mind Elevation', which finds Mr Wax (aka George Evelyn) moving away from the generic "chill out" tag and embracing a more "pop" approach courtesy of guest vocalists and his own considerable compositional skills - and the latest from Frenchman DJ Cam (or Cam as he now appears to be known), in which he ties his considerable production skills to the gently swinging masterpiece 'Soulshine' (along the lines of the first two Guru 'Jazzmatazz' albums). If you're looking for some sweet spring/summer sounds, don't go past these two smokin' delights. Now we get a little edgier, first via the latest in the genre-defining DJ Kicks series (responsible for expanding the perception of the DJ care of sets from the likes of Kruder & Dorfmeister, Kid Loco, Thievery Corporation and the above mentioned Nightmares On Wax). This time the series delivers Playgroup (aka sleeve designer, label owner, remixer, producer, recording artist and of course DJ Trevor Jackson) with his delicious and unique contemporary dance vision - a heady brew of electro, sleazy pop, white funk, freaky house and deconstructed disco. This is dance music you can really listen to.
Lastly, one for the indie fans out there, the New York produced debut from the Liars is a churning collection of jerky punk rock, funk grooves and computerized mayhem riding the wave resulting from bands such as The Strokes and the current "electroklash" sound of New York. An inspired release (especially if you like it a little noisy).
Well that's it Smokers - as always enjoy.