Tag Archives: review

Weekly Vinyl – Trance

3 Mar

The Decision is Yours
Chis Kain
(2001)

This is trance music.
How do I know?
There’s a sticky note with that word written on it. It might have migrated from a different album though.
I bought these in Toronto after coming home from some travels. The world was firmly in CD mode and even used “record shops” carried very little vinyl. I was stocking up on that stuff at garage sales. I bought this, and several other albums brand new at a record store that catered to EDM and rave type music. That was also the first time that I felt old as people in that small shop looked at me like I was an old homeless vagrant.
Nevertheless.
This is trance musicbecause listening to this music you do fall into atrance – what kind is up to your mood.
Yes, you can groove to it.
Yes, you can shimmy and shake.
Yes, you can dance wildly to it.
Yes, you can listen to this and slowly contemplate the meaning of life.

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Weekly Vinyl – Orff

24 Feb

Carl Orff: Carmina Burana
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
(1960)

This album has the devil music.
You know – that bombastic score that is used on occasion to signify evil on screen. Real and menacing evil.
It, more specifically the final movement is well known to all. It was used in Excalibur, The Doors, Capitalism: A love Story, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, and so on. It has been called the most overused piece of music
The text is not evil. Although it is in Latin – and the fact that I had to take a year of Latin is evil.
This disk has lyrics – so you can sing along in Latin. You can even sing along in olde English as the Latin text is translated into the Language of Shakespeare.
From the Famous O Fortuna:
“O Fortune,
Variable
As the moon,
always dost thou
Wax and wane.”
Evil indeed.
The music is bombastic and brilliant.
I’ll have to play it for my kids to scare them.

Weekly Vinyl – Dance Disco

17 Feb

T.K. Disco
Fern Inney
(1979)

This is a disappointing disk.
Not only is it disco, but it is bad disco.
It is formulaic.
It is bland.
It does not make me want to dance, dance, dance – like the cover promises.
One of the songs, Groove me, starts with a nice rhythm … but then it turns to shlock.
There are but two songs on this “Maxi-disk” so at least the listening regime is short.

Weekly Vinyl – Mar-Keys

10 Feb

The Great Memphis Sound
The Mar-Keys
(1966)

SONY DSC

What a sound.
What sweet, sweet silky sound.
Does it get any better than this?
Hardly.
The Mar-Keys were the house-band for Stax records – these are the guys that played backup to all the great music that came out in the late fifties and sixties. The band has Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn of Blues Brothers fame.
These are serious musicians that can play in a grove and make everything sound great.
How great?
My kids came in from school while this disc was playing and they started to groove and shimmy to the music. They liked the music. They did until I pointed out that this music was recorded around the time daddy was born.
Well that was a buzz-kill for the kids.
But what music, what joy. The songs here are all instrumental and you know that they were recorded life off the floor. No overdubs. No production correction. No digital enhancement.
This is a great band, in a groove, playing the music they love.
It is great.

Weekly Vinyl – Germans march

3 Feb

German Army Chorus
German Army Chorus and Brass Band
(1969)

SONY DSC

It is not easy to confess to fetishes.
But I have this thing for German marching music.
It started off as an iron expression of using my turntable and buying records at the Sally Ann or Goodwill.
But I got hooked.
I forget which album was the “gateway drug” but whichever one it was, it brought me to this.
You don’t really have to hear this album played to know more-or-less what the sonic experience will be.
It is all that and more.
If you are into this you will rejoice.
If not – you will run for the hills covering your ears and yelling … loudly.
This is great music to play when you want to do some stuff around the house, like cleaning or changing the kitchen faucet.
It motivates, elevates and invigorates.
As initial iron brought me to this disc, I must highlight the great irony that is in this disk. This album was released in 1969 by London Records, just about 29 short years from when the Nazi Germans were playing a different tune over London.

Weekly Vinyl – Murray

27 Jan

Let`s Keep it That Way
Anne Murray
(1978)

SONY DSC

There are some albums in my collection that I have to ask, “What is this doing here?”
This is one such album. But instead of mild curiosity, it is amazement and incredulity.
Anne Murray is a Canadian Icon from the 1970s. That decade she was everywhere with her middle of the road crooning. She had/has a great voice – but the music is rather milquetoast. The music presented on this disk has a little bit of country flavour – not real cowboy boot country music but a pastiche of melodrama and twanging guitars.
The music is limp and it leaves the listener, me, limp.
Looking for things to write about this album, I checked the Internet and found out that Anne Murray did not write any of the songs on this album. I found out she did not write her big hit Snowbird. – it was written by Gene Maclellan. I could not find, after a very brief search, that she wrote any of the songs she sings. I find that sad and strange.

Weekly Vinyl – Mariachi

20 Jan

Mariachi
Mariachi Guadalajara
(1965)
170114mari
This is authentic mariachi music.
How do I know? I don’t. But I feel that it is.
It was recorded in Mexico sometime before I was born by an mariachi ensemble that has existed since 1942.
So this was created before the wave od disillusioned Vietnam vets started their recovery in Mexico. This is still before the waves of tourists started hitting the coastal areas of Mexico. This was well before the narco-wars started to rip the country apart. This is way before there was talk of deportations and walls.
This was made when Mexico was still rather raw.
Mariachi is like the ceremonial sombreros that tourists lug home from their holidays. Sure, they are kitchy but they do have an authentic ceremonial purpose.
The mariachi music on this album is full of life and joy. It is wonderful to listen to this on a grey winter day – it lifts the spirit.