Friday Music

Got some more goodies for you this week:

Isaac Hayes – “Walk On By”: If you’re only familiar with the sugary Dionne Warwick ballad version of this song, give this a listen and prepare to be surprised. A slower tempo, darker music (swelling strings and some truly nasty funk guitar), and Isaac “Shaft” Hayes backed by some Soul Girls make this feel like it’s not even the same song. Early 70s Soul at its finest.

Zap Mama – “Wadidyusay” : Zap Mama is an Afro-European group from Belgium. It’s difficult to describe their style…a mix of Afro-Cuban rhythms, Congolese vocals, American urban samples and mixing….give it a shot. I think you’ll like it.

Thomas Dolby – “Airhead”: I’m a big fan of Thomas Dolby. Most folks know him for the singles from his first album (“She Blinded Me With Science” and “Europa and the Pirate Twins”), and some know the single from this second album (“Hyperactive”). This was the attempted single (it didn’t really go anywhere) from his under-rated third album, Aliens Ate My Buick.

@nubis – “Big In Japan”: Our weekly dose of self-pimping — another of my @nubis tracks. Traditional instruments, move-your-butt dance grooves, Gojira’s roar and the Mothra Twins song. Gotta love it.

Here’s a confession: I don’t really mind disco, as long as it was good. I’m also a sucker for big orchestral arrangements, which a lot of good (well, and bad, to be fair) disco tracks featured. Here’s one that I like quite a bit: Andy Gibb – “Shadow Dancing”, a 1978 track from the younger brother of the Bee Gees.

Shifting decades now: The 80s were a great decade for movie music. The Prime Movers – “Strong As I Am” was a featured song in Michael Mann’s brilliant serial killer movie “Manhunter”, which was the first film to feature Hannibal Lecter (the film was later remade as “The Red Dragon”, the original title of the Harris novel, with Anthony Hopkins reprising his “Silence of the Lambs” role, and Edward Norton playing the lead character originally played by a Pre-CSI William Peterson). Michael Mann made great use of music in his 80s work (Miami Vice, for example), and this is a perfect example, which suited the scene (the killer sitting in his van, torn by an apparent betrayal, and struggling with a desire to return to killing) brilliantly.

And, to finish off the week, another example of international hip-hop, this time from Germany: Curse – “Feuer über Deutschland”. After a fairly standard intro-and-brag set that lasts maybe a bit too long, the main riff kicks in, and Curse tears it up, with a shout-out to Schweiz und Österreich as well.

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