Post-punk time warp
Listening to the raucously great collection of angular no wave and jerky post-punk scorchers on the New York Noise, Volume 2 (Soul Jazz) collection, I'm amazed at how much of the stuff sounds like it was recorded in 2004 rather than 1984. You could easily drop Back Downtown, by Danceteria house band Certain General , in a DJ set with the Rapture and LCD Soundsytem for a seamless mix.
In fact, most of this stuff is primo party-rockin' material. Whereas the first volume of the series focused on better-known scenesters, this second set uncovers great but little-known work by Lower East Side combos whose members would go on to bigger and better things, like Felix (aka Arthur Russell and Nicky Siano ), Ann Magnussun 's all-female big band, Pulsallama , Wharton Tiers 's Glorious Strangers , Arto and Duncan Lindsay 's Don King and the wiry Del-Byzanteens , featuring a young boufy-haired Jim Jarmusch . Can't wait for the companion DVD.
Long before the flower shops fill up with red roses, record labels quietly ship their latest ballad-heavy jazz comps to stores in hopes of a Valentine's Day cash-in. This year's crop is led by new additions in Verve 's popular For Lovers series, namely a delightful collection of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong duets. As well, there are eight more single-artist Plays For Lovers comps newly packaged with rose petals on the sleeve (geddit?) from Concord , Fantasy , Prestige , Pablo and Riverside , the best-assembled of which are the discs by Chet Baker (with the 1952 version of his signature vocal tune, My Funny Valentine, naturally), Bill Evans and John Coltrane , a re-release of his 2004 For Lovers set.
Nina Simone fans should skip the disappointing For Lovers disc and instead check out the new Columbia-Legacy Forever Young, Gifted & Black - a mostly live comp focusing on her spirited and inspiring performances. Backlash Blues and Mississippi Goddam may be too intense for mood-setting purposes, but it's a far better representation of what this courageous artist was all about.
Cookin' with Moonstarr
If you didn't know Kevin Moon lives in Toronto, you'd swear from the samba- snapping percussive tweaks of his Moonstarr remixes that he's from Brazil, which may account for the popularity of his handiwork in Europe and Japan. For those who haven't kept up with his 12-inch ventures, Public Transit Recordings has compiled some of his finest makeovers as Moonstarr Remixes, which includes his improvements on Povo 's Uam Uam, Ivana Santilli 's Breathe Inn, Pase Rock 's It's About Time along with some even better unreleased shit like Feidrehstar 's jazzy Dance Track and MC Collizhun 's bangin' Tough Dumplin'.