Friday Music

Another week down, and the holidays rapidly approaching. Yeesh.

This week’s selections:

First up, a song that I hadn’t thought of in a while, until and I were singing it on her front porch last weekend. It’s the theme song from the late-80s TV miniseries “Shaka Zulu”: Margaret Singana – “We Are Growing (Theme from Shaka Zulu)” Bayete Inkosi!

While we’re on the subject of South African music, here’s a track by my favorite group from the region: Johnny Clegg & Savuka – “One (Hu)Man, One Vote.” Clegg is a white musician who performed with black musicians during Apartheid, in violation of the cultural separation laws of the time. This track is from his 1990 album, Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World.

Another track which has wormed its way into my ear and gets me moving on a regular basis is the new Madonna single. It appears that, like Cher, she (or her handlers) recognized that a huge portion of her remaining fanbase is in the die-hard club-going crowd (gay and straight)…so the new album, “Confessions on a Dance Floor” is straightforward thump-thump dance music. Given her roots, she’s essentially come full circle. The lead single: Madonna – “Hung Up (radio version)”

One of my favorite tracks from Kula Shaker (whom I’ve talked about before) — this is the lead-in track from their second (and final) album, Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts: Kula Shaker – “Great Hosannah.” The song takes a while to build (vocals don’t start until two minutes in), but with the organ, the soul choir backup vocals, and the revalatory lyrics, it plays like a hidden track from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Love it.

Here’s an odd mixture. Take chillout acid jazz mixed by a DJ, and blend it with hip-hop….in Japanese. DJ Mitsu The Beats – “Jazz” I have to admit that Japanese, being a language of discrete syllabic elements, heavy on the consonants, lends itself fairly well to the rythmic demands of hip-hop.

Staying on the Japanese stuff for a moment, here’s an interesting blending of future and past: Hifana – “Uchi-Nan-Champuru”…a blending of traditional Japanese music in the folk style with big-beat electronica and sampling.

Lastly….I picked up an album recently called Baadasss Cinema: The Sounds of Blaxploitation, which is a soundtrack to a documentary on the urban-crime-drama films of the early seventies. Lots of good stuff on it…Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, etc. This is a great track from the album, a lesser-known single by James Brown – “People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul.”

So, you heard the man: Get up and drive.

More next week.

4 Replies to “Friday Music”

  1. The lead single: Madonna – “Hung Up (radio version)”

    MY GOD. She’s sampling ABBA!!!! That’s the instrumental tag for Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight).

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