Daniel Radcliffe Rapping A Rapid Fire Blackalicious Tune

This is a video of Harry potter rapping a Blackalicious tune on Jimmy Fallon.

It’s called Alphabet Aerobics, and yes, it takes a snowballing speed run through the alphabet. There’s really not much else to explain. He kind of nails it. Enjoy.

Robert Hood’s Dancer, An Ass Shaking Classic

I’ve been a fan of Robert Hood‘s brand of sensually minimal techno since hearing a reissue of his classic Minimal Nation double 12″ in 2009, falling in love with the beyond-lush Motor: Nighttime World 3 a few years later. Somehow I’d never dug through his vast collection of singles until last Friday. I was working at my desk when Dancer queued up, and immediately had to stomp my feet along, slapping the desk with my open palms.

This track is a 4/4 monster, piling grand piano and a hairy sax groove on top of a throbbing beat, with just the slightest hint of guitar sprinkled around. The mixture of pure electronics and live instrumentation works in a way most hybrids could only dream of. It’s the kind of song Daft Punk would kill to make; the sound feels like peeling their recent album Random Access Memories down to its beating heart.

roberthoodspinning

Only a handful of Detroit masters craft techno with such soul, such a playful jazz sensibility, as Robert Hood. I’m thinking of Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin, and of course Underground Resistance, where Hood began his musical odyssey. While this tune is obviously more of a house thumper, I’m happy to share it as another example of the playful, jazzy core of what makes Detroit techno one of my favorite sounds of all time.

Andy Stott’s Brilliant Boiler Room Set

Here’s Andy Stott spinning dark techno brilliance for almost an hour. I’m totally unsure of how I managed to miss this. Dropping two years ago – just before his stunning full length Luxury Problems – this live set mixes in a whole lot of his signature abrasive 4/4 monstrosities and searing vocal colors from Alison Skidmore. It’s a dark, sinewy construction, shambling its way through the back caves of your mind.

Basically, it sounds exactly how you’d expect Andy Stott to sound like live. Fans of Luxury Problems will be especially pleased around the 19 minute mark.

In typical Boiler Room fashion, the crowd consists of listless hipster types sipping on beers and occasionally tilting their hips. The real draw is the sound. Turn your volume up, and read something interesting while you listen. I suggest this illuminating treatise on the philosophy behind invisible prisons that shape our lives. It’s called The Black Iron Prison, a term birthed by Philip K. Dick in his final novel, VALIS. You should probably read that at some point in your life. It’s a transcendent (and partially autobiographical) dissection of sanity itself.

andystott1

I don’t have much else to say about this. Just listen. Or watch, too, if you’re in the mood to see people looking miraculously bored at one of the most intimate, brilliant techno sets I’ve ever heard.

Underworld – Thing In A Book [strange fan video]

U_UnderEmers

Languishing for two decades in the rare original Dark & Long single, Underworld’s Thing In A Book is finally seeing the light of modern day this month. Courtesy of the 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe edition of legendary dance album, Dubnobasswithmyheadman, the wider world can appreciate what has been one of my favorite hidden gems for years now. It’s a 20 minute minimal techno monster, an otherworldly take on Dark &Long that jettisons our solar system, hitting light speed on the way to stars beyond.

Continue reading

Alice Coltrane – Divine Songs

alicecoltrane1

This is a glowing gem known only to those who have burrowed deep enough into the inimitable catalog of jazz legend Alice Coltrane.

“Divine music is the sound of true life, wisdom, and bliss.  This music transcends geographical boundaries, language barriers, age factors; and whether educated or uneducated, it reaches deep into the heart and soul, sacred and holy…” – Alice Coltrane

Continue reading

Flying Lotus – Never Catch Me [heart stopping music video]

I’m seeing two children hop out of their caskets at a funeral and dance, running for the door. They’re grinning as they look back. I’m grinning as I watch. This is one of the most beautiful moments I’ve experienced in a while, and it’s the best music video I’ve seen in years.

nevercatchmeCROP

My heart is full and I’m beaming. This is the definition of life affirming cinema. Flying Lotus (aka Steven Ellison) and director Hiro Murai have rendered the joy of life on a grand scale, as only those who have lost it may experience.

As someone who’s recently lost his parents, Ellison is probably more interested in the subject of death than most folks. As someone in the same place, I can relate. We want to wrap our heads around what happens, where our loved ones have gone. We want to imagine new ways of being, new channels of experience, that might follow our journey on this plane. We try to picture what it’s like to realize you’re dead. Will I be confused? Will I be happy? Afraid? Will there be any subjective “me” at all?

None of these questions are new or original, but the music poses a cascading meteor shower of fresh replies.

The music on Flying Lotus’ upcoming album, You’re Dead!, evokes existential puzzling and euphoria without accompaniment. This video adds a gut punch that sends me reeling. Watch it now if you haven’t already. If you don’t feel at least a spark of joy, you might already be dead.

Check the album on amazon or itunes or probably spotify or just order the LP at Warp like I did.

PS: I’ve got friends who can relate all too well. I want them to know I’m thinking about ’em.