“Peace On Earth”
This week, good ol’ reliable Strut released a two-disc retrospective for Ghana’s Ebo Taylor, titled Life Stories: Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1975-80. The album focuses on solo albums and obscure side projects, including his work with the Apagya Show Band, Assase Ase, Super Sounds Namba, and The Pelikans. According to the man himself: “I was trying to fuse rock and jazz together with highlife. This kind of music was ahead of its time — not very popular when we recorded it!” Amen.
Stream “Peace on Earth” above, and seek out last year’s Love and Death, which features new Taylor material.
“Try to Sleep” [feat. John Stamos]
Low have a new video for “Try To Sleep,” and it features John Stamos. (FYI: People tell me I look exactly like John Stamos. I also tell people I look exactly like John Stamos.) Here’s what Stamos had to say about the video:
I’m actually good friends with their producer Matt Beckley, and he had played me some of the record while they we’re making it, which I loved. Ironically it turns out I was a big fan of one of their older songs “Cue the Strings”… I’m a sucker for a well written song with great harmonies, and when it came time for them to cast the video, they asked if I’d like to be involved, I liked the concept I was happy to be a part of it. The new record is on all the time at my place. One of my favorite indie bands.
Low’s new album, C’mon, is due April 12 on Sub Pop. Check out Low on tour (dates at Sub Pop).
Roll The Dice
Got 15 minutes to spare? Good, then check out Roll The Dice’s 15-minute-long live performance of “Undertow,” which will be featured on a two-track, limited-edition 12-inch EP, Live In Gothenburg - August 7 2010, due on Record Store Day (April 16). The group is composed of two Swedish gentlemen: Malcolm Pardon and Peder Mannerfelt. One of them is in Fever Ray. Can you guess which one?
“Like You Mean It”
Flying Lotus’ influence is interesting; I’ve read him claim that many producers think they’re legit just by shifting the kick and snare off beat a little. Such a “trick” (like the auto-tune trend, but way more subtle) is testament to electronic music’s shift towards some hazy organic quality, though a bizarre melding of sound and style might be a more appropriate description. This track from Matthewdavid, on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint, is a fair example of how certain trends crystallize over time until they simply become different colors on an artists musical palette. Which is to say that nothing feels forced here.
“Soft Epic, or: Savages of the Pacific West”
Ben Vida has just released a limited-edition tape on Root Strata called Soft Epic. What an apt album title. Buy it, listen to it, don’t forget to pay your taxes.
• Root Strata: http://rootstrata.com
Colin L. Orchestra
Shedding the noise and turning to a more classic rock- and country folk-driven sound, USAISAMONSTER’s Colin Langenus has formed the Colin L. Orchestra (a counterpoint, in some ways, to his afrobeat group CSC Funk Band — yes, he does it all). The group will release Infinite Ease/Good God May 10 on Northern-Spy. You can find “Best Thing” on the album, but it’s also featured in the Steve Blair-directed film I Do & I Don’t.