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Brownout: Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II

Read "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Brownout bandleader and guitarist Adrian Quesada listened to a lot of different music, including blood-curdling heavy metal monsters Black Sabbath, while growing up in South Texas. Even while creating original music more reflective of their Mexican and American funk, blues and rock roots, he and his bandmates never lost their taste for Britain's Sabbath. Their first ...

The Electric Peanut Butter Company: Trans-Atlantic Psych Classics Vol 1

Read "Trans-Atlantic Psych Classics Vol 1" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Helping to establish the progressive Latin-salsa Grupo Fantastico and Latin funk legends Brownout is apparently not enough for Adrian Quesada, a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in guitars and production. So he teamed up and began working with one of Ubiquity Records' most unique compositional and instrumental wizards, Shawn Lee, who leads the Ping-Pong Orchestra and specializes in ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra: Pulsion

Read "Pulsion" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

A musician friend whose opinion I greatly respect shared with me that he enjoys listening to Pulsion, the fourth release by the Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra (ALVO), in two layers: The frothy jazz-influenced horn, brass and string arrangements on top and, like a musical parfait, the churning Latin, AfroCuban and other funk rhythms underneath.

Clutchy Hopkins: The Story Teller

Read "The Story Teller" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Clutchy Hopkins is one of the most inscrutable musical characters you'll ever meet, if you could meet him. No one seems to know who he is, including and especially his record label, or even if Clutchy Hopkins is a singular him or a collective them. Complicating the matter, The Story Teller has vocals but not one ...

NOMO: Invisible Cities

Read "Invisible Cities" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Having started out in clubs around the University of Michigan as an octet (sometimes larger), enchanted by the Afrobeat of Fela (seasoned with a bit of avant jazz), on Ghost Rock (Ubiquity, 2008), NOMO emerged as much more inspired by the clanging junkyard percussion of Congolese Konono No. 1 and German eccentrics such as Can and ...

NOMO: Invisible Cities

Read "Invisible Cities" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Invisible Cities is NOMO's companion piece to Ghost Rock, comprising music recorded during Ghost's recording sessions and subsequent, supporting live performances. Cities uses many of the same musicians, structures, and approaches, but Bergman and NOMO seem to focus more on pulling traditional jazz sounds into, and pushing the boundaries of electronic rock out of, its swirling ...

NOMO: Ghost Rock

Read "Ghost Rock" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

The initial sound heard on the opening “Brainwave" offers a first insight into the music of NOMO--the sound of composer, multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Elliot Bergman “playing" an actual brainwave monitor. It's an important clue: NOMO finds music where other people find noise.

Ghost Rock is not an easy listen. It is inventive, challenging, and ...

Orgone: The Killion Floor

Read "The Killion Floor" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

If there's something/ANYthing that you've liked in funk, soul or hip-hop during the last four decades, you'll find something you like on The Killion Floor, the first full-length release from this LA-based funk hip-hop ensemble. This is Orgone's rhythm and blues encyclopedia, an expansive (17 songs, 76 minutes) funk survey refracted through the hip-hop perspective that ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Spanky Wilson & The Quantic Soul Orchestra: I'm Thankful

Read "I'm Thankful" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

In previous musical lives, Spanky Wilson recorded more than half a dozen albums and performed and recorded with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Marvin Gaye, Jimmy Smith and Sammy Davis Jr. The Philadelphia-born and bred musician moved to Los Angeles then in the early 1980s relocated to France, where she spent more than a decade as a ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Radio Citizen: Berlin Serengeti

Read "Berlin Serengeti" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Berlin's Niko Schabel knows what German techno-music pioneers Kraftwerk began demonstrating all those years ago: if people program them right, even machines got soul.

A multi-instrumentalist and producer who leads a jazz quartet and plays with The Last Poets and other groups, Schabel weaves together the electronic jungle of Berlin Serengeti from samples, loops ...