Sunday, March 06, 2005

Evigan gets a new lease of life at Ear Fuzz

So, first off thanks for all the feedback, nice to know people appreciated what I was doing.

Let start with the bad news, Evigan Funk is being closed down for good, I just don't have the time anymore to update this site often enough to make it worthwhile for you guys to read.

Now the good news, I've joined the excellent writing staff at the really rather good Ear Fuzz. It's a blog with similar tastes to mine plus they cover a wider range of music than my blinkered vision. Go check out the quality stuff they've got up there and I look forward to posting my first music sometime this week.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Is this the end for Evigan?


Well maybe, maybe not. Basically I'm looking around for a good cheap deal on webhosting as even I'm sick of Rapidshare and I only have to use it to upload tracks. Add to this the fact that I'm having trouble juggling work, a relationship, a social life and posting here so at the very least I think I'll have to reduce the number of posts.

If I can discover an easy solution to hosting and get some new music on my pc that is not already being covered by one of the many excellent mp3 blogs out there then I may return in the future............

Anyway, I leave you with another great funk classic, Tony Alvon & The Belaris' Sexy Coffee Pot, an awesome, awesome record.

Tony Alvon - Sexy Coffee Pot

This song is M4A again which means you can play it in realplayer or, alternatively, transfer it to Mp3 using one of the many free services out there (Google it).

I'm also going to leave you with the Beach Boy's original version of Surfs Up just because it's a truly beautiful song and it's my blog so I can post what I want.

Beach Boys - Surf's Up

Anyway, drop me an email if you ever want to chat and maybe, just maybe, I'll be back in the future..............In the meantime check out all the links on my righthand side as they're excellent sites. Apart from the obvious blog legends like Soul Sides and Number One Songs In Heaven make sure to check out all the newer sites as well such as Xanax Taxi, Ear Fuzz etc.
who are busy slogging away for your benefit too.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Gals and Pals vs. Royksopp

Gals and Pals

Gals and Pals - Blue On Blue

Royksopp - So Easy

A real quickie today from Swedish vocal group Gals and Pals. I've been unable to find out anything about them apart from that they were most prominent in the sixties and apparently did a mean cover of Sandie Shaw's Always Something There To Remind Me.

This track, a cover of the Bobby Vinton classic, first came to my attention thanks to the Royksopp track So Easy of their album Melody AM which uses a large sample from it in it's chorus. I love the incredibly mellow backing track with these beautiful harmonies laid over the top. The separation of the male and female (or pals and gals) is excellently choreographed and listen out for the tinkling piano that comes in half way through. Definitely a cover version that to my mind blows away the original.

I've also included Royksopp's So Easy so you can compare. Its a funky little electronic number which uses the sample well and sparingly. However, maybe it's just me, but it kind of pales next to the original.

You can get a copy of Gals and Pals greatest hits HERE

Or alternatively get the superb album I got my version off, Sampled Vol 4, which I'm loath to reveal as the series is a goldmine for obscure tunes.

If you haven't already got a copy, the Royksopp album is worth checking out and can be bought HERE.

In other news, new PC came last night, getting internet connected tonight, so sometime next week I should finally be able to put up some of my obscure and deeply funky vinyl on here, sort out proper song hosting and also improve the quality of the Mp3s.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Richard "Groove" Holmes hammering the funk

Richard Holmes

Richard "Groove" Holmes - Flyjack

When you've been labeled with a nickname like "groove" then you had better be extremely funky and this man more than satisfies all requirements.

A Hammond organist like Dr. Lonnie Smith, Holmes was less interested in the jazzy side and much more concerned with making records that were insanely funky. "Groove" started his career as a jazz bassist and apparently switched his talents to the organ without any training. While influenced by the late great Jimmy Smith, Holmes music is there specifically to groove to. Unfortunately Holmes passed away in 1991 aged just 60. You can read much more about him here.

The track I'm sharing with you is from his classic 1973 album Night Glider and is 3 and a half minutes of funk goodness. I love the way Holmes uses the saxophones to contrast with the Hammond tune. A slow builder this track really takes off half way through where the percussion steps up a gear with wooshing high hats making the urge to nod your head almost irresistible.

You can get a copy of Night Glider HERE. Though have a look around and you should be able to get it cheaper.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Gravediggaz - Niggamortis / 6 Feet Deep


Gravediggaz - 1-800 Suicide

Gravediggaz - Pass The Shovel

So back to 1994 and the supergroup The Gravediggaz. The brainchild of the godlike Prince Paul, the group was made up of the Prince, RZA (then known as Prince Rakeem), Frukwan (from Stetasonic) and Too Poetic (now sadly passed away). They released their debut album 6 Feet Deep which was amazingly mainly slept on by the public before being reappraised and rightly raised to classic status when they released their second album, The Pick, The Sickle And The Shovel, in 1997, as RZA rose to the height of his fame. If you need more info there's a reasonably complete biography here.

A not widely known fact is that there are two versions circulating of their debut album 6 Feet Deep, the standard version and the original version released in Europe which included extra tracks and was superbly titled Niggamortis.

The first tune for your expectant ears today, 1-800 Suicide, is from the standard released version and was probably their biggest hit off the album. I love the bass and organ carrying the track before the guitar riff kicks in for the KRS One sampling chorus. On top of all that it's got a Ferris Bueller sample thrown in there as well - what more could you ask for? I always thought the Too Poetic verse stood out as the lyrical highlight of the track more for his delivery than the lyrics themselves.

The second track for your listening pleasure is the Niggamortis exclusive track, Pass The Shovel. Why this wasn't included on the 6 Feet Deep version is beyond me as it's a sweee-eet little track. A pounding beat and chorus of building horns with occasional whoops give the track a real vital energy. Once again the bass is funky to the extreme and I love the way Paul plays around with the basic backing, scratching it, throwing in a choir for one part - absolutely brilliant.

While the second album is decent and I certainly don't have a problem with RZA's talent behind the production desk I do feel it misses the fun of this debut release.

You can get a copy of 6 Feet Deep HERE.

Or you can get a copy of Niggamortis HERE.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Defecating On The Microphone With Nina Simone


Nina Simone - Sinner Man

Talib Kweli - Just To Get By

Nina Simone - Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter

Some music from the great lady herself today. Nina Simone first came to light in the music business in the mid 50's when, having trained as a classical pianist, she was told she had to sing as well as play. This introduced the world to one of the most unique voices in Jazz, a voice that has got better and better throughout the years until her death in 2003. I'm sure you already know all about her so I won't waste precious time though you can read a full biography of the great woman here.

Although I'm a big fan of much of her early work, it really gets interesting for me in the mid to late 60's period. Always a force to be reckoned with, Simone's increasingly husky and powerful voice was put to good use with a range of epic songs.

The first track I have for you her today is from the 1965 album Pastel Blues and is without doubt an epic track in every sense of the word, coming in at just over 10 minutes long. About the struggle to stay on the right path in life the song is carried forward by the relentless piano rhythm. As the rhythm builds up and the drums and backing singers come into the mix it builds up a gospel power to the track. However, what always sold this track to me was the breakdown around 4 and a half minutes in when it breaks down to nothing more than handclaps and the piano - absolutely brilliant.

While remaining firmly on the fence about the talents of Kanye West I have to admit his use of the piano and handclaps in Talib Kweli's Just To Get By is a stroke of genius. I've posted it up here as well so you can judge for yourself.

The third track today is that perennial favorite, Nina's cover of Ike and Tina Turner's Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter from her superb live album Is It Finished. This track is rightly regarded as a true classic, from the bongo intro onwards this track is all about the brilliant use of percussion and you really can't get much funkier than this.

You can buy Pastel Blues HERE
You can buy Is It Finished HERE

Monday, February 21, 2005

Dr. Lonnie Smith - Spinning Wheel

Lonnie Smith

Spinning Wheel - Lonnie Smith

So, mixing it up again a bit this week as I dip my toe in the waters of Jazz/Funk fusion. What better way to start it off than with an absolute classic and a song that's had it's beats sampled so many times you'd think it was in the hiphop producers starter pack.

First things first, this is not the legendary Lonnie Liston Smith despite the similarity in names. Dr Lonnie Smith was also a keyboardist but of the Hammond organ variety. Making a name for himself in George Benson's quartet in the 60's he went on to release a couple of funk/jazz fusion albums in the 70's on the ever reliable Blue Note. Surprisingly enough, Mr Smith isn't actually a qualified MD, legend has it that the moniker "Dr" came from his reputation of being able to doctor up fellow musicians music. You can read a full biography here.

The track I have for you today is taken from his 1970 album Drives and is nearer the funk end of the spectrum of fusion. I've always loved the playfulness of this track set in motion brilliantly by the combination of Smith's organ playing and the lively horn playing of, I think, Dave Hubbard and Ronnie Cuber. The track swings back and forth throughout and is a rare example of how to keep a piece of music fun and extremely cool at the same time. Check out the change of pace 6 minutes in as well, great example of how to keep jazzy improv from getting lost up it's own ass.

Spinning wheel is available on lots of Blue Note compilations but if you're feeling wealthy you could always pick up a copy of the original album HERE.

Oh yeah, the ongoing saga of downloads on this site is coming to an end. My new computer's being delivered monday and I should have a working site to directly link tracks by the end of next week at the latest.