Archive for January, 2010

The Lowdown on Lisbon: Supafly Records

If you’ve ever been to Lisbon, you might have already come across this shop. It’s in a cobbled side street in the Bairro Alto, worth checking if you’re on the look out for some quality wax. But here we go: the owner, Chico Fly, explains it all and gives the lowdown on what music is big in Lisbon right now…

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Please introduce yourself: how long have you been in Bairro Alto and who opened the shop?

Ok..my name is Chico, the record store first opened in July 2003, but I’ve been involved in record stores since ’97. The store is purley vinyl based – we don’t touch CDs. And we specialise in black / urban music.  Rap, funk, Dubstep, headz, beats, scratch tools, drum and bass. Having lived in London most of my life, I obviously have a strong UK flavour in my musical taste, and so constantly try to show my customers new styles, wheter it be dubstep, grime, funky House…

What are some of your best-selling records at the moment, any recommendations?

Dubstep is strong for us right now, drum ‘n bass has died over the past year but the same people are moving to dubstep.

Artists? Anything by Joker is flying out of the shop, the whole Bristol sound, Pinch, Guido etc.. A lot of the UK Funky House stuff is doing good: Roska, Donaeo, Crazy Cousins. Also the “mash-ups” always do good, anything on labels like GoodGroove, Bomb Strikes.

…and your all-time favourites, any old school classics (any style of music)?

Gwen McRae . “All this love I’m giving”, Run-DMC. “Peter Piper”, Shut Up & Dance . “20Pounds to get in”,  Bob James . “Nautilus”,  Lenny De Ice . “we are i.e”

What musicians are big in Lisboa at the moment, any home-grown talent that people should look out for?

Lisbon is booming with talent!!! in all styles of music, so let me give you a lil rundown: we start obviously with Buraka Sound System. These kids with their fusion on Africa vibes over the crazy dubstep/electronica/dancehall kinda mash-ups have been running the world over the past couple of years. Releasing material with M.I.A, Diplo, Kano, and remixing for everyone and their mum. Check out the Fabric CD from december. BIG BIG

Hip Hop, we have “SamThe Kid”, first real underground Hip Hop artist to break to the festival/concert scene. Top producer, top rapper, for me the best complete hip hop artist to ever come from these shores. Dubstep:  check out “OctaPush”, 2 kids who won the RedBull Music Academy in Portugal last year. They have already released an EP on Steak House records, and have a new track featured on the new SoulJazz compilation “Steppas delight”

Mash-Ups, check out my bro, “DedyDread” has already released 2 tracks on UK labels. The first on J-Star, the 2nd ( just released) on WACK records . Just nice reggae style mashups perfect for the sun. I could go on for days, I really believe that Lisbon is boiling right now with talent, and I believe that the hardest thing has been done, which is for 1 artist to open the door, now watch the others start to appear.

What’s your view on digital downloads and the so-called death of vinyl?

Well, as a vinyl store I am obviously not the biggest fan of MP3, as a DJ I understand that Serrato makes your life much easier. I think the situation becomes a problem in countries like Portugal more than Germany or the UK. Here the whole clubbing, DJing cultures are still quite new, so we don’t have so many DJs who have a large musical culture. So if we don’t start with culture, then the computer/MP3 cannot help us. What happens here is that kids who have Serrato or play Mp3 make music fashion and not culture, this then makes music recyclable. It’s too easy to download DJ Premier’s top 10 of the week, and then delete the files and download 10 new tracks the next week. When you dig for the tracks, and when you pay for the tracks it makes your love just a bit more special.

Again I could go on for days about this subject, but I will shut up now.

I know there are always good gigs and DJs at Paradise Garage, any other venues and nights that are worth checking out?

Well, I think Bairro Alto, is the best area to hang out. There are so many bars in the area that you always find something you like. Also the drinks are much cheaper than in the clubs. Clubs, check out LUX Club, nº1 club in Lisbon, also varied international and nactional DJs. “ LX Factory” is a new spot which has been open for about a year. This is actually a road full of warehouses which have been transformed into clubs and bars etc.. and Music Box, for live bands

Any last words?

Anyone who comes to Lisbon come should check us at the shop, we are opened Tuesday-Saturday 13-21hrs. Address: Rua do Norte, 54 . Bairro Alto. Lisbon. God bless the vinyl DJ, Peace and Love to All.

Thanks;


January 28, 2010 at 11:12 1 comment

…and another mix: more from J-Live

January 27, 2010 at 08:38 Leave a comment

It’s cold out there…Winter mixtape by Oddisee

January 26, 2010 at 11:23 1 comment

Lagos mashed up: Débruit track

January 22, 2010 at 23:03 Leave a comment

All samples cleared? Copyright Criminals documentary

This looks like a promising documentary, not just because of the people that feature in it: Copyright Criminals takes a fresh look at performers and producers who have sampled other people’s music in their own original pieces. It also deals with the creative and legal ramifications you have to deal with as a musician, writer etc.

The film was done by Benjamin Franzen who interviewed many of hip hop’s originators, including De La Soul, Chuck D and Digital Underground, as well as newer artists from record labels such as Def Jux and Ninja Tune. It’ll also give you more background on musicians who have been sampled, such as ‘Dr Funkenstein’ George Clinton and  James Brown’s drummer Clyde Stubblefield, the world’s most sampled performer.

Things have changed drastically in the past two decades, especially what publishing of music, pictures and words  is concerned. The underlying question of the film is:  how did a musical style get turned into a billion-dollar industry? Expect plenty of insight from industry figures, musicians/DJs who explain why every recording artist has to stay up on the dos and dont’s of copyright infringement.

From the official page: “Copyright Criminals examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and (of course) money.”

January 21, 2010 at 10:08 Leave a comment

Another classic: El da Sensei / The Creators

January 21, 2010 at 08:30 Leave a comment

The Last Poet – Mister Gil Scott-Heron is back

The man who hasn’t released an album for 13 years is back with a very interesting project: he has joined forces with producer and XL label owner Richard Russell on this one. ‘I’m New Here’ is a fusion of Heron’s unique spoken word poetry and electronic beats, sometimes mellow, sometimes dark. This is not just your average one-trick pony-comeback record. It’s a big deal, especially if you think about his rollercoaster life.

‘Me and the Devil’ is the first single – a lyrical a nod to Robert Johnson’s blues and maybe a personal reflection. There’s no doubt he had a huge influence on rapping and soul music. Kanye West used his ‘Home is Where The Hatred Is’, a song about addiction and solitude.  Masters at Work and many others have used his music and made their own versions of it, but they won’t compare to what’s still to come from the master poet.

There won’t be another track like ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ or his album with Brian Jackson, but don’t worry, you may find a future classic on the new one

January 19, 2010 at 10:15 Leave a comment

“What’s in that trunk?” DJ Prestige on fleamarketfunk & the art of digging

DJ Prestige has been around a few decades and has sifted through some of the  rarest records known to humankind. His collection is a few thousand strong, although he’s very modest about it. Hailing from New Jersey’s Asbury Park, he’s not just been searching out vinyl gems in his neighbourhood but has also travelled the globe to blow dust off hidden vinyl treasures. He’s been a DJ since the 1980s, grew up with music from the Golden Age of hip hop, reggae, funk and soul and anything else he could get his fingers on.  If you’re ever in New Jersey, pop in to see him spin in an old bowling alley at the Asbury Park 45 Sessions or visit his blog fleamarketfunk, fresh indeed and excellent mixes on download.  Enough said, read more about what makes Pres tick: including Turkish funk and Liverpool FC…

What’s your age?

I’ve just got into my 4th decade.  That’s 40 years young.

Which part of New York are you from, where do you live? Are there any good record spots for digging in your neighbourhood?

I’m actually from New Jersey.  I live in Asbury Park, NJ, a city that is about an hour out of NYC.  It’s rich with music history, dating from the 1940s to present.  One section of the town boasted up to 40 Jazz clubs during the 1940s and 1950s.  All the big Jazz cats played there: I wish I could have been around for that.  You might also have heard of some singer/ guitar player, Bruce Springsteen? Right now we have a great music scene, and I do my part by keeping the Funk and Soul music alive one 45 at a time.  As far as digging spots, there are a few, but I have one main spot that I go to.  The bulk of the records I review and make mixes with on Flea Market Funk are from that very spot.

There’s an art to finding out rare records, but what’s your personal tactics – have you got a special mode of operation?

I’m not an expert on records, and I’m sure I’ve passed up on some gems, however, I do know what I know.  I have become familiar with labels, producers, and the like, and sometimes I get a little intuition about certain records.  Most of the time I’m right, but sometimes I’m way off base.  My portable Fisher Price record player I’ve had for over 10 years has been a great help, that’s for sure.  My special mode of operation is this: Get up early.  Get there before the next guy and get to those records.  Also, I don’t pay a lot of money for records, hence the Flea Market Funk philosophy.

What are some of your recent vinyl finds that you’re especially proud of?

My biggest score this past year was a copy of Lou Courtney’s “Hey Joyce” on Popside for a dollar.  I’ve been searching for that record for years, and got it finally.

How big is your collection, have you had to rent an extra apartment to store all your vinyl?

My collection is a few thousand LPs and 12”s, plus around 750 to 1000 assorted 45s.  Not a huge collection by any means, but it’s meaty.

Any greatest misses? Has someone ever snapped away a record that had your name written on it?

Oh the records I’ve missed.  It’s funny because at the moment, due to DJing on Friday and Saturday nights, I don’t dig as much as I used to (also the weather plays a big part because it’s winter here).  I’ll see some of my digging buddies and they’ll be like: “So and So got a record they sold for 2 grand on E Bay, or there was some private press Jazz found.  I can’t have all the records, ya dig?  If I’m at the place at the right time, I find the records.  If not, well, the next guy gets them.  Such is life.

What was it like DJing when you first started at college, any funny moments/memories?

College radio was great.  It was cool to be around so many other music people, and I was able to learn so much about different types of music.  There was one show called Sure-Rock Holmes and the Detectives of Dance Music.  His DJ was this cat Marc Asbury.  These guys were playing all the Golden Age Hip Hop and original samples, just killing it.  I used to listen to them, but I wasn’t allowed to sit in on their show.  They were secretive about the records.  I did eventually find a lot of those records they played.  Unfortunately, Sure-Rock passed away a few years ago.  He was a great guy.
Your most recent party, the Asbury Park 45 Sessions, has been around for close to two years. How’s that going?

Actually, this is our third year, and it’s going great.   The Sessions the other night (January 15th) was the 3 year party.  I have a really cool crew of DJs: Larry Grogan from Funky16Corners.com, producer M.Fasis, DJ Bluewater, DJ Prime Mundo and DJ Jack the Ripper.  Plus we have had some great guests over the years: Cool Hands Luke, Dave Withers, DJ Save1, Vincent the Soul Chef, 45 Killer, Conn Shawnery, Connie T. Empress, Jay Boxcar, and Primitive Sound System.  Forgive me if I have forgotten anyone.  It’s really the only party of it’s kind in New Jersey.  The only thing closer is in NYC.  The venue we hold it in is unique: an old bowling alley converted into a music venue, the Asbury Lanes.  People can bowl, drink, eat, dance and do whatever they want while we’re spinning Funk and Soul 45s.  I’d say it’s one of my most favorite nights to do.

Do you record music or play an instrument?

The only instruments I play are the turntables.  I actually used to be in a band as a DJ on Atlantic Records a few years back.  I aspire to learn to play the Hammond organ though, or maybe the bass.

You’ve been spinning at live shows for G Love & Special Sauce and The Goats from Philly, eventually doing your own Soul, Funk & Hip Hop nights. What’s the audience like in New York, are most people very open-minded when it comes to DJs and live music, has NY still got a thriving 45s scene?

I’m actually fortunate to have opened up for some really great bands.  This past Summer I opened up for Joss Stone here in Asbury Park, and I got to do an opening all Reggae set when the Bad Brains were in town.  That band is a band I really look up to and respect.  I also opened up for the Budos Band for the third time in Brooklyn.  That was a night put on by Truth and Soul Records.  I’ll do a night like that any night.  People were really open to the stuff I was playing.  It’s great to see younger people dancing and getting down to this kind of music.  I’ve always had good experiences in NYC and Brooklyn spinning my music.  People just open their mind a bit more to things.  It’s great because you can sneak some unknown stuff you dug up and they will be receptive to it.  I’d say NYC has a thriving 45 scene, but I’m not really a part of it.  I do a few gigs a year in NYC/Brooklyn, but the guys at Bumpshop at APT had that locked down.  That party is over unfortunately.  They would always have the best DJs coming through: Kenny Dope, Cut Chemist, etc.  The guys from Dig Deeper in Brooklyn also have a tremendous party going.  They get the older Funk and Soul artists to come perform.  Everyone from Reynaldo Domino to Lee Fields.  I have a lot of respect for what they do.

You’ve probably been digging in shops across the globe, is that right? Are there any obscure finds that you can remember, some Afghan goat shepherd music with a kick-ass break on maybe?

I have been digging in a lot of places: all over the US, Canada, England, Ireland, and Scotland.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), the best records I’ve found have always been here in New Jersey.  We are known as the Garden State, but I’d like to think of it as the Vinyl State.  A lot of music was made in New York City and Philadelphia, and I’m equidistant to both.  Everything from Gritty Funk to Jazz, Soul, JA Reggae pressings, and early Hip Hop has turned up at my spots.  The jukebox companies were always unloading their records, so when you get into a load of those records, say from Newark or Philly, it’s always a good time.  I wish I knew more about Turkish Funk and that would turn up here.

What else do you get up to when you’re not behind the decks or digging?

When I’m not DJing or doing DJ related stuff, I do enjoy writing for FleaMarketFunk.com.  I’m big into graphic design, and I’m self taught, so I love to mess with Photoshop designing flyers, posters, t-shirts, stickers, etc.  I learn something new every day.  I’m big into English football too, so I’m mad about following my team, the mighty Liverpool FC.  Besides that I love to relax with a good book.  This is sounding like a dating ad: Bearded Soul Lover is looking for Liverpool Supporter who enjoys graphic design, books, and Photoshop.

And finally: why are you a Liverpool FC supporter, have you got any connection to the UK?

I am a Liverpool supporter because I had an old roommate in the mid 90’s who got me into football and LFC.  It’s the team I was introduced to so I stuck with it.  We’re having a rough season this year, riddled with injuries and some confusion on whether to sack Rafa or not, but that’s football.  You take the good with the bad.  I have given up on American sports and only follow football.  I’m that mad about it.  When I visited London in November, I went to most of the football grounds, and saw a live match at the Valley.  Charlton v. MK Dons.  So much fun.  I hope to get to Anfield this year to see LFC play.    

Any last words, shouts?

I’d like to shout out all the DJs from the 45 Sessions Crew, my man DJ Andy Smith from the UK, DJ Skills, DJ Un-G from LA, photographer Eilon Paz, my family, and all the people who have supported the DJ nights I’ve done over the past 15+ years.  It is much appreciated.  As for last words, here’s some from Thelonious Monk that have always stuck with me: “I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public want — you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing — even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years”.  Words to live by.  Keep Diggin’.

Thanks;

January 18, 2010 at 14:00 1 comment

Danger Mouse has beef with EMI

Danger Mouse is known for his industry tricks and recently released his new project with Sparklehorse and film maker David Lynch. It was never officialy released and now comes out as a book with a blank CD-R. Interesting. That’s why the atmospheric album ‘Dark Night of The Soul’ has been available as a download for weeks, all because of  a copyright wrangle with EMI. True independent spirit, that’s how we like it…

Download ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ here.

January 13, 2010 at 11:52 Leave a comment

R.I.P. Papa Willie Mitchell

Record producer Willie Mitchell was known for his work with Al Green, Syl Johnson and other soul and R&B greats. The sounds he created at Royal Studios in Memphis were truly amazing. He’s died aged 81 in Tennessee. His funeral service will include performances by some of the artists he worked with: Solomon Burke, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, Shirley Brown and J. Blackfoot, among others. His track Groovin was sampled on GZA’s Liquid Swords .

The statement on his website reads: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Willie Mitchell…His impact on Memphis and music is immeasurable. There will probably never be another one like him.”

Indeed. Thanks for the great music.

January 11, 2010 at 10:11 Leave a comment

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