Daptone Records. If you’re reading this blog you probably have heard of them and may even have some of their records. If you’re familiar with Daptone Records you are more than likely familiar with their biggest act Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, but have you heard of Saun & Starr? Well you probably have but haven’t. Saundra Williams and Star Duncan Lowe have been steadily paying their dues by singing backup vocals on most of Sharon Jones recordings and live performances for the past 5 years. Now it’s their turn to shine with their debut album “Look Closer” which was released recently on May 19th. Fans of good old fashioned soul music will not be disappointed.
The production on the album, like the usual Daptone production, is solid. Their website says, “We at Daptone earnestly strive to serve only the finest music analog tape can offer.” Good old fashioned analog production at its finest. The album was recorded with The Dap-Kings at Daptone Records’ House of Soul studio in Brooklyn and features production from Daptone mastermind and co-founder Gabriel Roth aka Bosco Mann.
Look Closer is a very smooth, laid back album. It is perfect to listen to on a nice summer day or night while sipping on some brews, hanging out with friends, and blazing it up. It doesn’t have the vocal fierceness or super uptempo tracks that is usually found in most Sharon Jones recordings. The opening/title track “Look Closer” sets the tone of the album perfectly. It is a smooth, soulful track that has really nice horns, drums, and dual vocals. “Gonna Make Time” is a soulful ballad that with laidback horns and bongos with amazing harmonizing vocals. Like most songs, it’s about love and relationships. “Big Wheel” is another great midtempo track that has funky guitar riffs and horns. “Your Face Before My Eyes” is the funkiest, uptempo track on the album. Really nice organs, horns, and drums with a hint of afro beat. Any b-boy or girl can easily get down to this. My only complaint is that it’s barely over 2 minutes. My personal favorite song on the album is probably “Another Love Like Mine.” The opening 16 bar break is what dj’s dream of. The song itself is a very laid back track about heartbreak. The vocals are fierce. If you heard it for the first time without knowing anything about the artist you would have thought it was recorded in the 70’s. It’s one of those songs that would be perfect to go on the Dead Presidents soundtrack.
Overall the album is great. It’s got some great soulful ballads and midtempo tracks. It’s a nice balance. Saun and Starr are really coming into their own, and it’s nice to seem them in the spotlight. They definitely have earned it. Once again Daptone Records is doing it right. For more info on Saun & Starr and the purchase their music check out their website. For more information about other Daptone artists click here. If you are going to be in the Los Angeles area be sure to check out Saun and Starr at La Cita on Wedensday June 10th for the official Daptones after party. You wont’ regret it.
-DJ 671[jwplayer mediaid=”2974″]
I came across this article today and as a vinyl lover was pretty impressed. “The Korean capital of Seoul has been treated to a massive public library of records courtesy of the HyundaiCard credit card company. Located in the Hannam-dong area of Seoul, the beautiful building contains over 10,000 records which are available for the public to play, and it is also said to have every single copy of Rolling Stone published since 1967.” Nice. Not sure what kind of music they have, but hopefully they have some original korean funk records, which if you have not heard are AMAZING. Check out the video below as an example..
Came across this recently and totally agree. Everybody and their momma is now a DJ. It’s so easy! According the new movie coming out where Zac Efron is on a mission to be a super cool dj he says, “All you need is a laptop, some talent, and one track.” Put a pair of technics in front of most new school DJ’s and they would have no idea what to do with it.
– DJ 671
NON SATIRE ALERT: Zac Efron has a movie coming out this summer about his quest to be an awesome DJ. Picture the Holocaust but worse. Picture the worse Michael Bay movie times 1000. The Rodney King beating is more watchable. It’s visual waterboarding. You get the point. It’s bad.
Out of all the elements of hip hop I think that DJing has become the most bastardized and exploited. Wanna breakdance? Well for the most part you need some rhythm, coordination, strength, and dedication. It’s takes a long time to get good. You can’t have power moves or sick up rocks overnight. Wanna be a graffiti artist? Well for the most part you need to know how to draw, use visual mediums, not be afraid to get arrested, etc. You need to put in work, and it will take years to find your style. Wanna be an MC? Key word MC and not rapper. You gotta be intelligent, witty, passionate, etc. You gotta master the English language. You gotta battle people to hone your skills. Anybody can spit out a shitty rap, but not everybody can rhyme.
Wanna be a DJ? Well now all you need is a laptop and a shitty playlist. That’s it. That’s how people perceive DJs now. “Anybody can do it. You’re just playing other people’s music. ANYBODY can do it.” In the trailer Zac Efron literally says, “If you’re a DJ all you need is a laptop, some talent, and one track.” That’s it! I understand technology is inevitable, blah blah blah but this movie totally misses the point. It’s about the other DJ scene, and by that I mean the EDM scene primarily. Button pushers spinning shitty electronic music who have no passion for the craft, any concept of digging, love the music, and who just want to look cool. I’ve seen amazing sets on CDJ’s and Serato, but the difference is the people behind the decks have an actual love of music and do it because they love it.
These new school DJ’s could give two fucks about the music. And some of these cats are getting PAID. Want to get pissed off? Google how much Paris Hilton makes for a “DJ set”. This is how society now views the art of DJing. It’s insulting. The trailer is sooooo bad. At one point Zac Efron says he likes to start the crowd out at 125 bpms. Once he gets them going he cranks it up to a mindblowing 128 bpms! 128! That’s a 3 BPM difference for those bad in math. Okay I’m down now. I gotta go smoke a spliff and try to repress any memories I have of this movie trailer. So there you have it kids. Knock yourself out and become a superstar DJ. Anbody can do it. Even Zac Efron. If you need a good laugh check out the trailer below, but be warned: you can’t unsee it..
Ever wonder whats a needle and stylus looks like up close? Realllly close like 1000x magnified? Where here it is. Pretty cool huh? You can see each individual groove up close and personal, as well as the waves of the right and left channels. Thanks science!
Hipsters. Oh hipsters. So ironic. So cool. It takes a lot of work to look so cool but at the same time giving out the vibe like you don’t give a fuck. Kudos kids. So I read this article a while about how they now have beard combs made out of vinyl. Vinyl! Now hipsters can go to the record store on their fixie bikes to pick up an overpriced reissue, and then go back home to listen to the record while sipping on a PBR and combing their beards with these new vinyl combs while contemplating about something ironic or trying on ugly sweaters. Cool beans. So now in addition to vinyl coasters, bowls, card holders, etc. you can add combs to the list. The company who makes them is called Upstairs shop. You can check out their site with all sorts of hip stuff here.
The world’s only traveling record show returns to Downtown Orange County this June. More info coming soon.
Have you heard of the Sure Fire Soul Ensemble? If not you are sleeping. According to their bio, “The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble is a heavy, original, instrumental soul band based in San Diego. They draw influence from the masters of the style from the past and modern day, including: The Meters, Isaac Hayes, El Michels Affair, Mulatu Astatke, Budos Band, The Nite Liters, Menahan Street Band, Fela Kuti, and The Poets of Rhythm.” This describes them perfectly. If you have never heard of any the masters of style they mentioned then you seriously need to get off this blog and google them and get some funk in your life.
We were blessed to have them perform last June at the Los Angeles Beat Swap Meet. If you saw them perform then you saw them absolutely murder it. Their newest 45 “Rise of the East” b/w “Sunny Santa Ana is another sure shot. It’s their 3rd 45rpm release an 2nd on Timeless Takeover and their ringleader Tim Felten was gracious enough to bless me with a copy.
‘Rise of the East” is a funky horn driven track with a laid back feel. You can easily play it at a breakdancing jam for any b-boy or b-girl to get down to, or while you cruise down the highway. The horns are nice, the keys are smooth, and the drums are killer. If you are a fan of the Budos Band then you will absolutely love this track. Funky with a small hint of afrobeat and psych.
“Sunny Santa Ana” is a mellower guitar driven track, yet still has a funky, tropical vibe to it. This is the track you play at that backyard bbq on a beautiful summer day while hanging out with your friends, or at the beach bonfire. Surf funk for sure. The guitar has that 60’s feel to it, and the subtle horns add nicely to it. Again the drums are killer.
If you like instrumental funk, soul, afrobeat, rare grooves, and psych then you should definitely check out the Sure Fire Soul Ensemble. They perform regularly in their hometown of San Diego, and will be performing on April 17th at the Good Foot in Long Beach. Don’t sleep and be sure to pick up a copy right here.
– DJ 671
The world’s only traveling record show hits the road again this April 2015.
Beat Swap Meet Dallas,
SATURDAY AFTERNOON <> APRIL 4TH
Join us for an afternoon with your family & friends … and a bunch of music you can touch.
Beat Swap Meet is a celebration of vinyl culture – records, and everything inspired by them.
B E A T
S W A P
M E E T
D A L L A S
A handful of Invited Record Collectors & Dealers from all over Dallas,
Buy Sell & Trade:
Blues, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Metal, Psych, Punk, Reggae, Rock, Soul, and World 12’s LP’s & 45’s on VINYL.
DJ’s spin selections from their record collections:
+ Artists selling their own clothing, art, music & more
alllll going down…
Entrance: $3 w/ Canned Good
All Ages | Casual Drinking for the 21+
Saturday April 4th 2015
2105 S. State St. #2109
Chicago, IL 60616
Hosted by Beat Swap Meet. It’s the World’s only traveling Record Show. Featuring invited record collectors from all Genres. Come on out and listen to some music and find some gems!
DJ Sets by:
David Yow of Jesus Lizard
Spencer Moody of Murder City Devils
Martin Atkins of Invisible Records/Pigface/Ministry/
The WOWO DJs
These Old Men
Free record fair entry with proof of purchase to the evening Negative Approach show or $3.
For all you vinyl fanatics out there: Reggies will be showing the movie Records Collecing Dust at 6:30pm in the Rock Club. David Yow will be hosting!