Sunday, 20 November 2011

Innerspace volume 2: Journeys To Other Space

"Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be...Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before.”  Erich Fromm

Why hello there music lovers, disco deviants, rockers, punks... whatever your tastes, it means nothing. As long as you love the music you love, who am I or anyone else to judge? It's that time again. It's time for Innerspace volume 2. Before I start the post I want to thank each and everyone of you out there who took time to read the post and of course to download the compilation. I hope at the very least you found at least one song that you enjoyed. I would also like to thank Daniel once again for selecting some fantastic tracks and for the passion in the descriptions. I would also like to thank you again sir for helping me in this compilation.

Today we actually have a theme for this compilation. If you haven't guessed by the now the theme is journeys. From a journey on your way to work to a cosmic journey. From a journey with friends to a personal journey in your life. Hopefully the tracks will resonate with you, take you back to times long gone or for times ahead. The brief was simple yet complicated but I am pretty sure that each song picked fits perfectly. Like I said, no matter how trivial or meaningful. Literal or metaphorical, life is full of journeys, life itself is a journey and hopefully these 10 tracks hand picked by myself and the fantastic Mr. Harvey (who is making me real proud due to his DJing) will resonate with you or at least make you tap your feet.

1. COS/MES- From Other Space
Pete: To start off this compilation I thought I would showcase one of my favourite tracks from a personal favourite group of musicians by the name of COS.MES from Tokyo. There have been so many great artists emerging from Asia such as these guys and KZA (who you should look up if you haven't) to name a few. This song is taken from the album "Gozmez Land Chaosexotica" on the fantastic ESP Institute label. Mixing mystical with the exotic, this track is perfect for those early hours after a great party where you close your eyes, sit back and just wind down. I can't remember how I came across these guys but I'm glad that I did. I feel this songs really sets the mood for the compilation.

2. Ozo- Anambra
Pete: Now this is one hell of a track. Talk about having a cosmic, mystical journey to the unknown. The first time I heard this, I was in a car with some friends, driving through the dark. Images of coloured smoke and tribal dancing flooding my mind. This was included on Beats In Space on probably my favourite BiS show... other tracks played by Tim Sweeney that night where Fleetwood Mac's Hypnotized and Goblin's fantastic Suspiria. You have to check out that episode, I believe it was episode 552. Another memory I have with this track was when I was in the Lake District in Cumbria. Sat in the back of the car with family on a cold, wet, misty day. Driving past hills and through forests. Even though there is a clear tribal sound to this, images of local townsfolk slowly walking through the forest in ceremonial style. I hope this track has as much of an effect it had on you as it had on me. The chanting still gives me shivers.

3. Matata:- Wanna Do My Thing
Daniel: No it isn't James Brown, but it sounds very similar to it, the intro specifically with the whole crescendo of soulful screaming almost mirrors his mad man habits. In fact this group I talk of is Matata. The strange musical sensation that conjured some of east Africa's finest funk in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1969 they toured with Miles Davis in Germany, and Davis was impressed enough to invite them to America. In 1971, the BBC World Service crowned them Best Band in Africa. So what made them different to any other band around that time and area? It was due to the sheer musicianship each one of the ten band members possessed, they are all incredible players and each one of them allowed a pause for the instruments to talk for themselves. I didn't feel this record was specifically written to make sales, it's a record to illustrate a love and a fusion for sound experimentation. In terms of a journey, Wanna Do My Thing explores the cultural roots of community and values and Matata alone is a living proof of that.

4. Gong- Shamal
If there was any track to procrastinate to, it would be this one, I like to dance around my bedroom thinking I was some kind of shaman but in all reality, I look like a dad at a wedding. This record has everything and everything to make it shine a purple awe. I was introduced to Gong by my Auntie's partner, a fellow revolutionary and ex hippie from the glory days. He allowed me to borrow a few cds from his collection, Ozric Tentacles, Peter Green, Yes and Shamal. I listened to them all when I got in, all offering different experiences but this one particularly got to me. It has such a vast range and considering the year it was recorded in, I was pretty shocked by it all. There are tracks that would test different areas all over the world, pieces of music crafted around entities and ideas. It is a universe within itself. Shamal which is the leading track on the album is probably my favourite from the line up, so many different influences, so many different sounds. If there was a drink to describe it would have to be a Mai Tai, dark, sunny and bitter-sweet.

5. America- Horse With No Shame (Wade Nichols Edit)
Now here is a treat. Combining one of my favourite songs of all time with one of my favourtie producers doing one of his great re-edits. I was first introduced to this song thanks to Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Yep, a lot of you guys out there partial to gaming can happily admit that some of your favourite songs have been discovered by the GTA series. I adore this song, it is one of the many songs I wish I wrote. I shall have to learn this on my guitar sometime! Anyway, this song? Fantastic and I personally think what Todd Terje has done is absolutely fantastic. The intro has been extended and the fading out at the end... words don't come close to how much magic this production has. Taken from the amazing (again, you should look out for this) Rvng of the Nrds series of 12"s put out by the amazing RVNG label. You can picture sat by a fire in the desert, with friends. Burning the midnight oil and singing. Simple yet effective in every sense of the word... well, words!

6. Sammy Barbot- New Mexico (Lovefinger's Barrio Edit)

Peter: Sticking with a somewhat desert theme we move on to another gem of a re-edit. This time courtesy of Lovefingers who funnily enough run ESP Institute. Where do I start with this one? Maybe after your night round the fire? Waking up to the sound of silence, heat on your face and sun beaming in the sky. Off to make a break from the sheriff. This a genuinely jolly little number which makes me smile every time I hear it. Listen ut for the fantastic little orchestra session. Oh boy this was a joy to put on this compilation. I don't know much about Sammy Barbot but thanks to modern producers playing around with the classics... I think I will have to. If not, there may be a bounty on my head and I ain't gonna stand up to Clint Eastwood!

7. Phyllis Dillion- The Love That A Woman Should Give To A Man
This woman got me into rocksteady, she was born and raised in St Catherine, Jamaica, Phyllis was influenced by the cool blues and jazz singers in America, the ones who sang emphatically under a pale spotlight which would be choked in the smoke of cigarettes and cigars from the folk that watched. If you listen to this song, you travel with her words, the flicks within her musty vocal tone as well as her inability to make you feel vulnerable is a difficult thing to do. Phyllis Dillion recorded for the Duke Reid record label ''Treasure Isle'' and Duke Reid's passion for American blues and jazz music was also very evidential too so the matching was pretty much perfect. During her career, Phyllis circled in and out of New York to perform and would frequently fly back to Kingston to record singles with some of the other stars on Treasure Isle. After 4 energetic years, Phyllis Dillion ended her career at 23 in the year 1971 however that was revived in 1991 when she was approached by Michael Bonnet, the entertainment director for the Oceanea Hotel in Kingston. She refused the opportunity however that was later rescinded and Phyllis continued to tour countries and record until illness took hold of her. She passed away in 2004 at the of 56 after a 2 year battle with cancer and now remains a emerald in the lucrative crown of ska and reggae.

8. Cela- I'm In Love (Joey Negro Edit)
I'm in Love produced by M.Celay and R.Drake is one of the rarest disco joints to escape the 70's Italian scene of flares and fros. It is one of my guilty pleasures, not exactly the most masculine song there is but it's a great track, the bass line, the backing vocal that melts into the lead is amazing. I've always found with Italian disco hits, there is a stronger sense of production, you can tell that it's been fomented with many different orchestral layers due to the reverb that haunts the chorus. It's a song that is punched with hooks and surprises and as you listen more deeply, you will get a understanding and a sense of appreciation of how technically driven it is.

9. Jacques Renault- In The City
So we have one power house of the re-edit, now let's move on to another fantastic producer, Jacques Renault. I was lucky enough to interview Jacques for Seven Shades Of Black which was an honour for me as I adore this guy. This is a re- edit of Cousin Ice's Catch Your Glow (which strangely enough I am only just listening to the original song as I type.. thank you Youtube!) which I first heard a couple of years back on a DFA Radio Mix from Jacques himself. I loved the song so much I ripped it from the set. Imagine my joy when I found out that Jacques released this as a re-edit. The smile on my face has never faded, no matter how many times I hear this song. This is perfect for a train ride, especially on a nice summers day. You will love this, I know I did. I consider this one of my favourite songs of all time. It feels amazing that I can share it with you guys. Jacques, you are amazing!

10. Weldon Irvine- Music Is The Key
I remember listening to this track when I was really young, it has now found a place within my mind and every time I hear it, the feeling is rejuvenated. I always have a need to travel somewhere, it's a voyeuristic piece that expresses a key element, music. I love the lyrics and the way Weldon Irvine has supplemented the words with these futuristic synths. His style and vision was so innovative for its time and it's wonderful that I have the chance to share it with you within this compilation... gold dust.

Well there you have it people, another selection some great songs. Thanks again to Daniel for being there to make these compilations possible and introducing me to great songs, artists and labels. Hopefully, you will all feel that the tracks blend together well. If not, then I suppose I could argue that not every journey is smooth sailing. As long as you guys get a kick from one of the song, that's mine and Daniel's job done. Thanks in advance to everyone who downloads and supports this. I hope your journeys no matter how long, short, trivial, important or personal are as good as they can be... and most of all, enjoy the music.

Pete and Daniel

Innerspace Volume 2

Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey. Alex Noble