Talib's Toronto Tail
What, you missed Talib Kweli 's limited-run The Beautiful Mixtape, Vol. 2? That's rough, but fortunately, some enterprising sharpie has put the killer Kardinal Offishal collabo Murderous on a white-label 12-inch EP so we can all enjoy Kweli's boasts about the seductive powers of his rhymes: "I get more chicks in Toronto than a Little X video." Impressive. It'll be interesting to check the accuracy of Kweli's claims when he joins Black Eyed Peas at the Molson Amphitheatre Sunday (July 10).
First Days, last word
Illegitimate funk comps can be a useful tool to discover insanely rare regional singles you might've missed, but the sound quality on CDs mastered from scratchy singles doesn't always make for an enjoyable home listening experience. That's why the first two double-disc volumes of Electrostatic's First Days Of Funk series are such a welcome surprise. Not only are the transfers crisp and clean-sounding, but the stylistically broad selection of tracks ranging from funky sophisticated soul to gutbucket R&B groovers is largely unavailable on other compilations. So unless you've already got mint copies of Kount Funkular by the Conspiracy and Appetite by the Burps , I'd suggest you grab these quick.
Can do it - again!
The second set of four hybrid SACD remastered recordings in the Mute label's Can reissue program are on the street, and the albums Future Days, Soon Over Babaluma, Landed and the fascinating odds 'n' sods collection Unlimited Edition from the krautrock kings' mystical middle period (1973-76) documents some of their most adventurous and beautifully realized work. If you're only after one, go with 1974's triumphant Soon Over Babaluma, which finds the original foursome - singer Damo Suzuki had left the group after a religious conversion - deftly synthesizing the avant-funk concepts from Ege Bamyasi into something entirely new. Thirty years on, it still sounds remarkably fresh.
The second sampler from Alex Attias 's Visions Inc . label didn't look that promising, and listening to the cleverly titled Visions Sampler Vol. 2 (Goya Music), the opening bit of ho-hum electro twaddle from the boss, recorded under his Xela Saitta alias, likely to avoid embarrassment, was hardly encouragement to check the other tracks. But after some lame triphop from Slovenia's Kresho , there on the flip was the track Effi, produced and sung by broken beat diva Bembé Segué . Happily, there's nothing broken about the gently swinging Effi. In fact, it sounds more like the sound of jazz to come. So where's the album?