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Friday 29 April 2016

Straight Outta Ulaanbaatar

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you what I confidently predict will be the future of music - Mongolian Hip Hop. Here are a couple of tracks from a groundbreaking compilation titled simply "Hip Hop 2016" which I picked up for 3500 tugruk (just over £1) at a garage on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar. I'm not entirely sure it was legit, so I can't promise you'll find it on Amazon.

"Buhydeere" - Saryuna x Dze

"Oroolon" - Desant (featuring Solo)

I could be wrong about this being the future of music, of course. I have been before. I spent several hours in 1980 convinced this lot were going to be massive.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

A Little More Love

I was going to do another RIP post today, but its getting out of hand - Prince, Papa Wemba, Billy Paul and Lonnie Mack in the last week alone. So instead let's try and cheer ourselves up with some Zulu chirpiness courtesy of Mr Lovemore Majaivana.

"Amagwala" - Lovemore Majaivana

"Guga Mzimba" - Lovemore Majaivana

On the subject of love more, I was underwhelmed by the Daily Star's "exclusive" revelation that Prince had a "secret sex dungeon". Of course he did, he's Prince! The existence of his sex dungeon is surely no more of a secret than the identity of the celebrity with the super-injunction.

Friday 15 April 2016

Ulaanbaatar Beckons

Sorry about the lack of service round here lately, folks. I've been a bit preoccupied with real life this past week, including getting ready to fly out early tomorrow morning for two days' work... in Mongolia.

Unfortunately I am only able to stay on for a few days extra so won't get the chance to explore the country. But I will be making a special trip to the largest equestrian statue in the world. And you can be sure I will be clearing an afternoon in my schedule to make my way round the charity shops of Ulaanbaatar in search of vintage Mongolian reggae albums. Watch this space.

I haven't had time to prepare any music, so you will have to make do with two videos. The first is a tribute to the great Mongol leader. The second - I discovered while researching my trip - is an interpretation of an old Mongol folk tune. The original tells the story of a nomadic herdsman mourning the loss of his beast of burden in a snowstorm on the mighty Mongolian steppe. His sadness turns to delight when the beast finds its way back to him, and the song celebrates the return of the yak. Some of this got lost in translation I feel.

Sunday 10 April 2016

Sunday Riddle

Q: What do you get if you take "Wolverton Mountain", "Patches" and "Big Iron", then mash them up (in both senses of the phrase)?

A: Josey Wales, of course

"Wolverton Mountain" - Claude King

"Patches" - Clarence Carter

"Big Iron" - Marty Robbins

"Cowboy Style" - Josey Wales

Josey (real name: Joseph Sterling) obviously got his nom de plume from the Clint Eastwood character of the same name. So here is a bit of Clint.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Sing Merle Back Home

My God, when is this going to end. We've lost the Hag now. RIP Merle, and thanks for everything.

"Sing Me Back Home" - Merle Haggard

"If I Could Only Fly" - Merle Haggard

"Silver Wings" - Merle Haggard

"I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am" - Merle Haggard

Sunday 3 April 2016

First Class Sounds

For Record Store Day next Saturday, VP Records will be releasing a limited edition box of vinyl singles called "First Class Rocksteady" which contains what they rightly describe as "14 classic rocksteady gems". Apparently this is being done to mark 50 years of rocksteady, which sounds like an entirely spurious anniversary to me. But never mind, it provides an excuse to reissue some fantastic tunes.

It is not entirely clear from the blurb I have been sent whether the box set will be available anywhere other than VP's own stores in New York and Miami. Fortunately they kindly sent me a few samples to share with you, just in case it can't be found in your local record store. Here are the sweet, sweet sounds of the Melodians, followed by some tough talking from a very young Errol Dunkley.

And if you happen to find yourself in Miami next Saturday, you really ought to pop into VP Records. As well as picking up a copy of "First Class Rocksteady", you can enjoy a DJ set by none other than the legendary King Jammy.

"Last Train To Ecstasy" - The Melodians

"You're Gonna Need Me" - Errol Dunkley

And here is some more first class music.