On Halloween 1976, a spaceship descended on the stage of a Houston sports arena in front of 15,000 people. When the smoke and sparks cleared, a figure calling himself Dr Funkenstein – dressed all in fur with a pair of shades – stepped out to the sound of P-Funk: a psychedelic mix of rock and soul played by incredible musicians in ridiculous costumes.
Dr Funkenstein and the Mothership (a stage prop constructed from a blockbuster budget) sprang from the otherworldly imagination of bandleader, songwriter and producer George Clinton.
P-Funk was conceived as “pirate radio from outer space” but its blend of all-out partying and social empowerment evolved into a way of life. Through elaborate artwork, sci-fi mythology and slang that sounded like a cosmic Dr Seuss, … Read the rest
Chinedu Okeke and Oriteme Banigo started Gidi Culture Fest back in 2014, after feeling increasingly frustrated by the lack of community spaces available for young, culturally savvy Nigerians.
Now, five years later, the annual one-day festival has established itself as one of the biggest music events in the country: doubling in size with each outing, and shifting the world’s perceptions of young African culture.
“Gidi Fest started out of frustration of there not being enough outdoor events that brought the youth together,” explains Okeke. “We wanted to create a safe place that would allow the youth to channel their energy towards something positive. More than a festival, it was about a movement.”
The multi-sensory art, music and cultural experience took place in Lagos at the … Read the rest
For the latest Monday Mix, Stockholm-based musician boerd shares his selection of sonic influences; fusing downtempo electronica with euphoric synth soundscapes.
boerd, real name Bård Ericson, has become known for his introspective, meticulously made compositions. The 26-year-old has been making music for over a decade – cutting his teeth on chiptune and 16-bit video game consoles, before moving onto a stint as a professional double bass player with the Swedish Royal Opera and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestras.
His latest album Static, released earlier this month, sees Ericson return to the role of bedroom producer – a move encouraged by his love for artists like Bibio, Aphex Twin and Burial.
“I went with a quite chilled out downtempo feel, since I listen a lot to this kind … Read the rest
Last month, the fast-food chain Wendy’s released a mixtape. Titled We Beefin?, it includes five relatively concise songs, lasting a total duration of ten minutes. Song titles include “4 for 4$” and “Rest in Grease.” Streaming services list the artist as “at Wendy’s”; the identity of the actual creators has been deliberately kept anonymous, although Metro Boomin and WondaGurl have confirmed production credits on “Holding it Back.” Over voguish trap beats, an embodiment of the corporation’s mascot, Queen Wendy, holds forth on subjects of great importance, including the excellence of the Baconator, the mediocrity of McDonald’s, and — how meta, — the brilliance of the Wendy’s marketing team. Whether one finds the songs engaging or the lyrics entertaining, the project’s totality is hilarious because it’s … Read the rest
Classic new wave / funk / breakbeat from 1981 at 33 1/3 RPM
ESG (Emerald, Sapphire & Gold) from the South Bronx: sisters Maria Scroggins (congas, vocals), Renee Scroggins (vocals), and Valerie Scroggins (drums), and friends David Miles (guitar) and Leroy Glover (bass).
You can hear the influence on The Beastie Boys and other 80s NYC bands.… Read the rest
I don’t think I’ve had a favorite band in 20 years, but I do now.
Part of the appeal is the singer’s (Victoria Legrand’s) voice, which is deep and reminds me a bit of Karen Carpenter, although the style is very different, more like that of male singers in 70’s pop and rock bands. Another part of the appeal is the songwriting, the chords and the melody and how the pieces are put together – the kinds of songs I would like to write. The songs are written by Legrand and Alex Scally. And the third part of the appeal is the dreamy, droning style of constant arpeggios, like if Philip Glass were to have written pop songs. This … Read the rest
Radiohead fans like to debate exactly what the song ‘Videotape’ is about. Its wistful, trembling sound concludes 2007’s In Rainbows, slowly peeling apart until all that’s really left is a series of indelible piano chords and Thom Yorke’s near-isolated falsetto. It’s one of their finest moments, even if its meaning is somewhat opaque.
Some argue that it’s written from the perspective of a dying man saying goodbye to his family. Others believe that it’s a lover contemplating the end of a relationship. But one of the more intriguing takes on the song is that it’s about a memory; a brief section of time so inexpressibly perfect that the speaker, whoever they may be, wants to capture it forever: a ‘videotape moment’.
One of the most memorable TV theme melodies. The ‘B’ section in particular has a quality that is very sweet and very British-sounding.
“The Doctor Who theme music is a piece of music written by Australian composer Ron Grainer and realised by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Created in 1963, it was one of the first electronic music signature tunes for television.”