A weekly dig through the crates for overlooked musical marvels.
I've never been big on comedy records, but the Twat Farm (HMM) single, the latest missive from the Pitman -- Britain's favourite rapping miner -- has moments of stoopid hilarity. Over a minimal funk bump, the black-lunged badass tears into backpack-equipped hiphop poseurs and club trendies, cursing up a storm with a deadpan northern drawl. It's even better than his Witness The Pitness dis-fest on which our cranky coal man lets fly with his characteristic scattershot piss-takes on Adam F, the Streets and others. Currently getting serious spin support from Gilles Peterson. Check the MP3s at www.sonrecords.com.
Quiet is the new quiet
Kings of Convenience frontman Erlend Øye has just released his electro-enhanced solo debut, Unrest (Source/EMI), with guest producers Morgan Geist (Metro Area), Soviet, Kompis, SchneiderTM and Prefuse 73. Yet despite the high-profile help on Øye's Air-inspired gambit, his best track is actually the acoustic demo of the album's lead single, Sudden Rush, that appears on the B-side of the Source UK 7-inch. The gently strummed Nick Drake vibe of the alternate take will definitely appeal to Kings of Convience fans.
Classy UK reissue label Soul Jazz strikes again with Miami Sound, which unearths guitar-heavy Floridian floor-fillers from the pre-disco era, 1968-74. The pre-release 12-inch vinyl sports Helene Smith's You Got To Be A Man, which has more of a James Brown-style bump than a typical Miami feel. But, damn, James Knight & the Butlers' pyched-up crack at Aretha's Save Me is right where it's at. The full-length due next week and also includes George McCrae's soulful take on KC and the Sunshine Band's I Get Lifted and Cadillac Annie by Blowfly's alter-ego, Clarence Reid. Get up and boogie!
Makers of smooth music
The song-poem scheme was ingeniously simple: send your twisted scribblings and some cash to a Hollywood post office box and studio hacks turn it into an even stranger song pressed on vinyl. Some of the finest (i.e., most outlandish) examples of these often hilariously bizarre vanity are collected on The American Song-Poem Anthology (Bar/None). Norm Burns's epic Human Breakdown Of Absurdity, the nutty I Lost My Girl To An Argentinian Cowboy and the evergreen fave Blind Man's Penis will each confound and delight in their own special way. For more song-poem info, check out www.aspma.com.