Sun Ra Flies Deep Into the Void - 1962-1978

Once Sun Ra and the band left Chicago for New York in 1961 they also left behind many musical conventions...from here on in it was outer space or no place! The records from this era are full of unexpected wonders. The one thing i've found getting lost in all this music is that once you start wandering inside Ra's cosmos you don't ever want to leave...and many of the band never did, still playing in the Arkestra aged 90.

All the tracks on here are ones that standout for me, but want to mention a few things... Love the main melody and mood of Images, but it seems to me its also a great example of the Arkestra expertly playing just a little out on everything (check the bassline!), something by all accounts Ra drilled the band on. The way Neo-project #2 starts with a straight up groove and then demolishes it shows how in control of this they were.

Love the lofi crunch of Mu, Solar Drums and Moon Dance - Moon Dance has the most incredible snare sound - what a drum work out - think Lee Perry would have dug these three tracks...Black Ark-estra style!

Some people say John Gilmore is the greatest saxophonist of them all - i couldnt say anything about that, but the version of My Favorite Things he plays on here is incredible and trumps Coltrane's version for me.

Prophesy and Interstellar Low-ways are a chance to hear Sun's keyboard playing more clearly... the chords he drops on that beefy organ at the start of The Sky is a Sea of Darkness are heaven to me...could listen to him jamming on that organ all day...darkness!!

Sun Ra Flies Deep Into The Void - 1962-1978

Calling Planet Earth [When The Sun Comes Out 1963]
Solar Symbols [Secrets of the Sun 1962]
Moonship Journey [Cosmos 1975]
Images [Space is the Place 1972]
Mu [Atlantis 1967-69]
Solar Drums [Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow 1962]
Neo-project #2 [Cosmos 1975]
We Travel The Spaceways *edit [Disco 3000 1978]
On Jupiter [On Jupiter 1979]
Moon Dance [Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy 1963 ]
My Favorite Things [Some Blues, But Not The Kind That's Blue 1977]
Prophesy feat. Walt Dickerson on vibes [Visions 1978]
Interstellar Low-ways [Cosmos 1975]
Door Squeak [Strange Strings 1966]
Space is the Place *edit [Space is the Place 1972]
The Sky is a Sea of Darkness [Disco 3000 1978]

Sun Ra's World - Chicago 1955-61

In celebration of the centenary of the coming of Sun Ra, heres a mix of standout boundary breaking tracks from early days of the Arkestra, while they were based in Chicago. By 1962 they had decamped to New York and went all out on their mission to conquer inner and outer space. The albums recorded in Chicago are unusual in that material on them was often recorded at different times/years and so there's a mix of ideas and forms on them. This mix leaves out the relatively more traditional swing and big band numbers for the more experimental tracks from the period. Maybe thats unfair to do, as it seems their sets did include a mixture of both styles, but so be it.

Worth remembering how early in the evolution of jazz this material is, so far ahead of its time, and so perhaps its not surprising that most of these albums were pressed in print runs of no more than 75 copies at the time (or so I have read). The world caught up in the end...

Looking through the titles of the tracks picked out for this, it happens that this selection seem to relate to the planet earth more than the full on space odysseys which are trademark to Sun Ra, hence calling this mix Sun Ra's World. So yeah, keeping it earthy, with lots of drum and percussion heavy tracks, including the unorthodox  inclusion of timpani in the line-up from Jim Herndon.

Anecdote about the opening track: Sun was breaking away from steady work in clubs etc and getting random gigs with the early incarnation of the Arkestra...a medical friend got him work playing for a group of patients at a Chicago mental hospital. "The group of patients assembled for this early experiment in musical therapy including catatonic and sever schizophrenics, but Sonny approached the job like any other, making no concessions in his music. While he was playing a woman, who it was said had not moved or spoken for years, got up from the floor, walked directly to his piano and cried out "Do you call that music?"

Sonny was delighted with the response and told the story for years afterwards as evidence of the healing powers of music. Advice for Medics commemorates this experience. Seems like a good way to start and break the spell of slumber........ and thought Id finish the trip by bringing it back to Realville on the last track, with an early more grounded and swinging tune from 1955.

Sun Ra's World - Chicago 1955-61

Advice to Medics [Super-Sonic Jazz 1956]
India [Super-Sonic Jazz 1956]
China Gates [The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra 1961]
Overtones of China [The Sound of Joy 1956]
El is a Sound of Joy [Super-Sonic Jazz 1956]
Paradise [The Sound of Joy 1956]
Planet Earth [...Visits Planet Earth 1956-58]
Africa [The Nubians of Plutonia 1958-59]
Watusa [The Nubians of Plutonia 1958-59]
Kingdom of Thunder [Fate in a Pleasent Mood 1960]
Tiny Pyramids [Angels and Deamons at Play 1960]
Ancient Aiethopia [Jazz in Silhouette 1959]
Lullaby for Realville [Jazz by Sun Ra 1955]

Spring Sun Soul

For the fifth year running its the annual Spring Sun Soul mix - music to welcome the new solar year in and reset the spirit to. As ever, the mix takes in everything from spiritual funk, deep dnb, soulful techno, organic dub and anything else that fits the mood. The whole collection of Spring Sun Soul mixes are now here: Spring Sun Soul Collection.

I'll be getting a lot busier on the blog in the near future, with lots of new mixes already lined-up - have been distracted with the album I've been working on - more info on that to come. Meantime, fling open the windows and turn it up....

Wishing everyone much warmth and happiness under the sun....

Spring Sun Soul 

Love From The Sun - Norman Connors
Sunwalk - Modlee and Vlooper
Astral Travelling - Pharoah Sanders
Rings Around Saturn - Photek
Meltdown - Marcus Intalex
So This is Love - Mental Cube
Feathers - Automation
Jungle Fantasy - Sam Most
360@1 29on696 - Theo Parrish
Kawai Dub - The Breadwinners

Bubble in the Struggle - 1990s Conscious JA 7inch Selection

The 1990s in JA were dominated by dancehall and slackness, but there was still plenty of great conscious reggae being produced. This mix throws together some lesser-known tracks alongside a few classics, all 7 inch, all conscious lyrics, all produced in JA. There's a couple of tracks from the 2000s in there too, but on the whole its a 90s affair. Always a pleasure to hear the killer voices of the likes of Beenie Man, Shabba and  Terror Fabulous on a conscious lyric. 

Bubble in the Struggle - 1990s Conscious JA 7inch Selection

Bubble in the Struggle - Morgan Heritage [Xterminator]
Know Yourself - Terror Fabulous [Spragga Roots]
War Inna Di City - Ginja [Harmony House]
Craven - Cocoa Tea [Star Trail]
Jah Calling - Sanchez [Awful Music]
Conquer the Dragon - Beenie Man [Penthouse]
Mash Down Babylon - Utan Green [John John]
Retreat Wicked Man - Garnett Silk [Living Room]
Rat Race - Busy Signal [Juke Boxx]
Rolling Down a One Way Street - Pagu T [White Label]
Run Away - Bushman [Militant Muzik]
Poor People - Admiral Tibet [Henfield]
Poor People - Shabba Ranks [Brick Wall]
Complaint - Garnett Silk [Penthouse]
Bad Vibes - Derrick Lara [Zola & Zola]
No More Walls - Dennis Brown [Two Friends]
Build Some Bridges Instead - Shabba Ranks [Two Friends]
Walls Dub - Two Friends Crew [Two Friends]

Spring Sun Soul

The tradition of the annual Spring Sun Soul mix continues - a soundtrack to capture the change in seasons and the return of new life. As ever it's a cross-section of styles: jazz to deep house to drum & bass to soul - even a touch of Congolese rhumba, all with a spring-soul breeze blowing through them. Open your windows and play!

I always love putting mixes together but these spring ones always feel a little extra special.. Really hitting the spot after a long hard winter. This is the fourth episode, previous year's Spring Sun Souls can be found >>here<<


Spring Sun Soul

Lazer Sword - Sky Burial
Bennie Maupin - Quasar
Betty Carter - Sounds (Movin' On)
Erro - Don't Change
Mr Fingers - Children at Play
Lopez Walker - Jah Jah New Garden
Alpha and Omega - Jah is Calling
Alpha Omega - Envy
The Detroit Experiment - Think Twice
OK Jazz - Bolingo Ya Bouge
Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal - Wo Ye N'Gnougobine

Right click and save it

Guest Mix: Django Apocalypse Forever

Django lives. Django kills. Django plays on. In true Django style the music never ends - Django always rides again. Three final rounds of Django selection from the south-side six-shooter they call Nanker Phelge....In case you missed them, the first three shots can be heard ringing out here.

Apocalypse Django Vol IV - A Pistol, a Sword and Five Fingers of Death

Voiceover Man - Lo Lieh and Lee Van Cleef
Shades of Joy – Desert is a Circle
Voiceover Man – Two Fantastic Fighting Machines
Luis Bacalov – His Name is King (Reprise)
Voiceover Man – The Ultimate Samurai
Joseph Koo – Fist of Fury (End Titles)
Lee Scratch Perry - Flames of The Dragon
Pannona Allstars Ska Orchestra - Django’s Revenge
David Sardy - Estasi Dell Anima
Elisa Toffoli - Ancora Qui
Big Audio Dynamite – Medicine Show
Masaru Satoh – Streetfight
Circle of Tyrants – The Four Horsemen
Dale Cooper – Mexican Stand off
RZA – Tears of a Samurai
Hans Zimmer – Parlay
Alan Vega – Kung Fu Cowboy
John Murphy – 28 Theme
Ennio Morricone – La Resa Dei Conti

Apocalypse Django Vol V - Killing For Vengeance Not Honour

The Stranger – The Stranger
Gian Piero-Reverberi – Colt in the Fist of the Devil Seq 2
The Assassin – The Assassin
Francois De Roubaix – Le Samourai
Roberta Flack – Angelitos Negros
Hiroshi Kamayatsu – Lone Wolf and Cub 3 Ending Theme Song
Gianfranco Di Stefano – Jeff Bloom
Shigeru Umebayashi – Kids
Gnarls Barkley – Who’s Gonna Save my Soul
Mikis Theodorakis – Theme from Serpico
Seijun Suzuki – Tokyo Drigter Instrumental
The Tindersticks – Night Train
The Indian – The Indian
Keoma (Instrumental)/Infront of My Desperation – Guido and Maurizio De Angeles
Timbre Timbre – Magic Arrow
Jody Jenkins – The Empty Streets of London
Ennio Morriconne – Dal Mare
Pusha T & Raekwon & Joell Ortiz & Danny Brown – Tick, Tock
Pino Donaggio – Temi Di Clayton
Riz Ortolani – La Notte Dei Serpenti
Jim Croce – I Got a Name

Apocalypse Django Vol VI - And God Called Unto Django

A Look that Means You’re Dead – Voiceover
The Lonely Shepherd – Danielle Licari
The Bandit and The Gringo – Voiceover
WOR – Django Django
The Holy One and The Woman – Voiceover
Bullet for the Stranger Seq 3 – Bruno Nicolai
Challenge of the McKenna’s Seq 10 – Francesco De Masi
1977 – Anita Tijoux
Toho Mark – Toshiaki Tsushima
Barquero: Big Chase – Dominic Frontiere
Professionisti Per Un Massacro – Carlos Pes
Canto Di Morte – Gian Franco & Gian Piero Reverberi
The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
Django Shoots First Seq 16 – Bruno Nicolai
Truth – Alexander
Grave Digger – The Aggrolites
Desperados – Two Tone Club
Change – Coolio Vs Morricone
Carambola – Franco Bixio and Vince Tempera
Crying (Main Theme) – Roberto Pregardio
Beautiful Hair – Broadcast
The Four Horsemen of Pater Noster M33 – Luis Bacalov
I’m the one… - Django
Addio a Fratelli Jeffrey – Ennio Morricone
Triggernometry – Bill Elm & Woody Jackson
We are Born When We Die – Apollo Sunshine
Addio Colonnello – Ennio Morricone
Faccia a Faccia – Ennio Morricone
Love… - Django
10,000 Dollari Per Un Massacre – Nora Orlandi
L’Arena – Ennio Morricone
Django – Koji Endo

Guest Mix: Django Apocalypse - Nanker Phelge

Django is an amorphous character who has given his name to over 30 Italian Westerns, most likely the best of these being Corbuci's original 'Django' and also Questi's 'Django Kill'. The original Django movie set the tone for the rest - sufferation, injustice, and extreme operatic violence. Adding to the Django tradition is the new film from Tarintino, 'Django Unchained', and it is certain that Tarantino is keeping that tradition of rough justice alive...have to say I'm really excited about seeing this.

A key ingredient in creating the magic of Italian Westerns are the soundtracks, most famously those of Ennio Morricone, but there are plenty more killer scores beyond Morricone, and there is also a world of music inspired by the genre, from Upsetter instrumentals to Metallica cuts.

To celebrate the new Django movie, here's 3 feature-length episodes, recorded in glorious Panavision, expertly mixing up Italian Western inspired music. The man behind these is fellow South Londoner Nanker Phelge, who can be caught at the regular Brixton session The Time Tunnel, always playing the finest mod, ska, soul, r&b and 60s beat - check them out here.

Get three coffins ready....

In the Beginning/Titoli - Spindrift
An Audacious Man of Love - Voiceover Man
Django - Luis Bacalov
Di Fronte Ai Killers - Franco Micalizzi
Il Grande Silenzio - Ennio Morricone
Morning Fog - Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi
A Town With No Name - Madness
Lee Van Cleef - King Stitt
Clint Eastwood - Lee Perry and The Upsetters
Pastures of Plenty - Peter Tevis
The Ballad of Hank McCain - John Zorn
Pistole Che Scottano (Shango) - Gianfranco Di Stefano
A Professional Gun - Ennio Morricone
Bullet For a Stranger (Sequence 1) - Bruno Nicolai
Canis Lupus - Alexandre Desplat
The Grand Duel - Luis Bacalov
Joe Buck Rides Again - John Barry
The D is Silent - Jamie Foxx & Franco Nero

Are You Sam Hawkins - From 'A Stranger's Gundown'
A Time For Miracles - Ennio Morricone
Seq 13: Dio Perdoni La Mia Pistola - Vasco Vassil Kojucharov
She Rode Me Down - Tindersticks
Final Theme - Bob Dylan
Film Makers Bleed - Tokyo Paradise Ska Orchestra
Horse Riding (Tears of the Black Tiger) - Wisit Sasanattieng
Rose Len - Lennie Hibbert
Reel Ten - The Plugz
La Cancion De Gurb - Migala
Last Request - From 'Django'
Ricordi - Luis Bacalov
Sukiyaki Trumpet/Django - Koji Endo
Johnny's Theme - Michele Lacerenza
Ecstasy of Gold - Metallica
The Wind is in My Face - Nico Fidenco & Stephen Boyd
Countdown Showdown Finale

Intro - Excerpt from Cjamango
Animal Kingdom - Anthony Partos
Calvalcata - Piero Umiliani
So You'll Aim Towards The Sky - The Bootleggers feat Emmylou Harris
Son of a Thousand Fathers - Prince Fatty meets Mutant Hi FI
Black Widows Theme Vs Rivers of Blood - RZA & Howard Drossin & The Wu Tang Clan & Kool G Rap
Angel Face - Marizio Graf
Lucas - Gianfranco & Gian Piero Reverberi
Dog Pound Theme - Balmorhea
We Used to Do Things - Linda Manz
Lo Chiamavano - Luis Balacalov with Edda Dell 'Orso
Baseball Furies Chase - Barry De Vorzon
Blueprint 2 - Jay Z
Cemetry without Crosses - Andrei Hossein with Scott Walker
The Loser's Bar - The Sidewalk Sounds
Hang 'em High - Booker T and the MGs
The Trio - Ennio Morricone
The Lettera - Alberto Pomeranz

Angels Fell - The Vangelis Extension - Dillinja

Offering up a little deep and unofficial remix i did of Dillinja's classic Angels Fell - dubplate style!If anyone has an objection to this please leave a comment below and it will be removed.This post may not be up for long so grab one while you can! Enjoy...

Right click here to download

Good Vibes: 1978-1984 Roots

Pulling out some 10s and 12s I picked up this year, including plenty of reissues of rarities and previously unreleased dubplates, recordings spanning from about 1978 to 1984.

First up two Lee Perry productions, sounds of justice coming from Kiddus I followed by a great George Faith cut, both fantastic examples of the last highest-height days at the Black Ark. Following on nicely is Good Vibes, a state-side rarity from Wackies - should've played the dub too, but rushed to get two killer Channel One's on, the previously unreleased Love and Understanding on the Mr. Bassie rhythm, and a tune I just can't get enough of, Can't Stop Righteousness by the Gladiators - love the message on that one.

Moving on from there into four firing tunes: first the previously unreleased dubplate mix of Jughead, UK roots at its best, next the deep dub mix of an exceptional Augustus Pablo track, storming in next the previously unreleased Tubby dubplate mix of  Leggo Jah Jah Children, followed by what i think is one of the most powerful of all roots tunes, Al Campbell's Jah Love, great vocal cut first, blazing Scientist mix following, and an eye watering Tubbys mix to finish.

80s twelves up next, the heavy Flabba Holt production Warmonger followed by a track I've been after for a while, Confusion, Horace Andy never sounding better in my opinion - unbeatable music. The Lacksley Castell track Government Man was reworked a few times in recent years but this is the mighty original, and winding up the selection on an uplifting note is Mikey Dread's  Break Down the Walls followed with some version excursioning on the Rougher Yet rhythm with the Roots Radics. So much good vibes this year....

Good Vibes: 1978-1984 Roots

Too Fat - Kiddus I
Guide Line - George Faith
Guide Dub - The Upsetters
Conscious Guide - Dougie Wandrop on the mix
Good Vibes - Steve Reynolds
Love and Understanding - John Holt
Can't Stop Righteousness - Gladiators
Jughead Dubplate Mix - Dennis Bovell
No Exit Dub - Gussie Clarke
Leggo Jah Jah Children Dubplate - King Tubby
Jah Love - Al Campbell
Jah Love Dub - Scientist
Jah Love Dub - King Tubby
Warmonger - Barry Brown
Confusion + Version - Horace Andy
Government Man -  Lacksley Castell 
Break Down the Walls -  Mikey Dread
Rock With Roots Radics - Jah Thomas & The Radics

Right click for vibes

Anti-Social / Gangsta Boogie

Out of the dubstep scene in London its the Anti-Social camp that really do it for me (not forgetting Deep Medi, but its all family there). First came across them after hearing a track by West London producer Silkie, most often coming with a jazz inflected style, picking up where the broken beat scene left off. The two albums out on Deep Medi to date are both essential purchases (not to mention the 12s).

Although the sound tends towards the jazzy and musical, in fact thats a bit of a pigeon holing exercise, as they collectively push a lot of barriers and go in all kinds of directions. Dubstep as a term has long failed to contain whats going on out there, but theres even more new ground getting covered here....

Anti-Social had a show on Rinse FM, but are currently holding the fort over at Flex FM. Here are a couple of recordings showcasing whats going on:

Jay5 alongside G Double on their first ever show on Flex - coming dark

Heny G has just launched a new album, a very Bukemesque take on dubstep called Child Hood - this is a recording from the launch night

0.00 - 15.44: Syte - dark dubstep
15.45 - 75.48: Jazzy Jazzy aka J Tijn - playing all kinds a crazy dark new electro, acid techno, god knows, plus a couple of Silkies
75.49 - 135.31: Heny G - Showcasing the new album Child Hood

G Double was on the mic that night, but the recording comes straight from the decks so his voice is missing.

And last up here's Silkie in the mix showcasing the City Limits Vol 2 LP

Great music, support it, buy it, go catch them live, and tune in on Flex FM - Heny G's Gangsta Boogie show in on Thursdays 2-4pm, Jay 5 is currently on a monthly show on a Thursday night, 10pm-Midnight - but that may all change by the time you read this

JA50 Countdown - 500 more nuggets

Followers of this blog will know that to celebrate 50 years of Jamaican independence we had a countdown over 50 days of favourite Jamaican tunes from the last 50 years, with people adding their own favourites as we went along – there’s a nice record of that countdown to be found here for prosperity: 

The excellent Record Collector magazine has just published its own list along similar lines - 10 tracks from each year. I've scanned and posted this list here in the spirit of Fair Use - to celebrate and create greater awareness and appreciation of the music. I think the list when put alongside the community produced list we created makes for a wonderful resource. If anyone from RC has a problem with this please contact me directly - just leave a comment in the post.

Hopefully clicking on the scans below will zoom in on it and bring it to a readable size. If that doesn't work for you then click on the image once, then right click>open image, and from there if still too small to read try pressing the plus + key to zoom in (depending on your browser).

If all else fails follow these links:

JA50 Dub Meditations

The celebration of 50 years of Jamaican independence and 50 years of musical innovation concludes with this mix of beautiful, spiritual, meditative, experimental and straight out there productions, from across the eras and across the oceans, with a sprinkling of percussion laid over the top...

Dub Meditations

Wareika Hill Sounds - Coconut Head Version
Badawi - Cyborg Stepper
African Head Charge - Dinosaur's Lament
Jah Bast & The Shades - Jah Irror + Dub
Ras Michael - Where is Your Goldmine
Paul Blackman - Earth Wind and Fire
Messenjah - Thunder Dub
Jah Warrior – Dub From The Heart / Heartical Dub
Nairobi - Storm Dub
Rhythm & Sound – Mash Down (Version)
African Head Charge - Primal One Drop
Mikus - Dub Mirror
Black Uhuru – Apocalypse
The Silvertones - Rejoicing Skank