A weekly dig through the crates for overlooked musical marvels.
The second volume of the French Follow Me label's Chicano Spirit compilation series delivers another amazing load of heavy Latin funk and rock 70s-era artifacts from around the globe. Leading the pack is Hawaii's Kalapana with the fusion burner Mana, a Colombian-style cooker, Cumbia from Spain's Columna de Fuego and the tasty Number One from Germany's Messengers. The real discovery here is the little-known Willie Bobo non-album basher A Koko. www.followme.fr.
When I came across this TODD disc, it looked harmless enough in its simple white envelope with a weeping debutant panel from a 60s romance comic screened on the front. You could easily mistake it for some sensitive emocore drivel -- particularly with innocuous-sounding song titles like Good Neighbourhood, Shepherd's Eyes and The Sedan. But put on the five-track EP and the analog-synth-pounding TODD rips like a rusty buzz saw, recalling the savage glory of early Suicide.
Too dark and dangerously twisted to be confused with current weedy electro throwbacks, it's closer to the tormented tone and tempos of amphetamine-addled death metal, rife with massive riffing and derranged howls. Send praise to email@example.com.
Long Beach anti-bling crew Halfway House MCees -- boasting seriously skilled lyricists Swiss Precise (from Community Service), Compound and the White Shadow -- have just dropped an ultra-limited clear vinyl Trilateral Commision (8th & Dawson) single to preview their St. Valentine's Massacre 12-inch EP. Fans of A Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic Five will dig the old-school b-boy vibe of tracks like Trilateral Conspiracy and Forty-Five Degrees, featuring the sick 1200 technique of DJ Dubs One from the Turntable Addicts. Grab it quick.
Meanwhile, Toronto microphone maniac Mr. Roam of Da Grassroots' Price Of Livin' fame recently released Tom Strokes Presents: The Classix (Choice Cut), a six-track taster disc of typically jazzy joints arranged and mixed by Mr. Attic and Swiff LaRoc to preview his forthcoming full-length. Six songs might seem stingy until you get to the 25-minute mega-mix. Watch for Mr. Roam's Mean Food album -- featuring a hiphop/rock collabo with the Grasshopper Sound Clash -- due soon through Outside.