Composed in 2014 in Paris, lifting and re-mastered in 2017 in LA.
Composed in 2014 in Paris, lifting and re-mastered in 2017 in LA.
“Today, small, easily hidden speaker systems are the mainstays of home listening. But how did we get from full cabinetry to speakers not much bigger than a tin can?”
Because TVs took over, changing so fast that people kept their money to buy a new one every three years instead of buying speakers. Music was well, everywhere and portable. We started sharing albums more than ever digitally but we didn’t share the listening experience anymore.
I use headphones a good 6 hours a day at least and it’s nice but there’s nothing like listening to music on a nice set of speakers, both pointing to each ear, without clutter in front of one or some weird angle on the other. It’s just a lot more exciting, natural sounding experience. Bass frequencies have to be felt physically. Sound fills the room.
Maybe nice stereo or 5.1 setups will be back once an entire generation gets fed up with screens, pictures, videos and all that visual noise 24/7.
Closing your eyes and listening to left and right nuances is a magical feeling.
Prince, live from a 1992 Super Nintendo System. Real Music 4 Real Music Lover.
MUSIC BY ME, NO FEAT 4 BUCKS LESS THAN A MUHFUCKIN PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE YO COmE ON NOW
Bandcamp is the shit. Just when I’m cleaning up my account, they announce that you can pay with any credit/debit card now. Yup (probably because they didn’t want to get in bed with banks but hey, that was a big issue).
So cancel your Spotify sub and get on that Bandcamp goodness. This is how music should have been sold online since 2000.
July 2016, LA.
I don’t know where to start. It’s ridiculous what playing someone’s music on your instrument almost daily for 15 years can do to you. Sometimes, skipping songs to jam on I would be like “man not Prince again, although I like that little intro” and I would play the song anyway. I don’t know how many times I did that with Lady Cab Driver.
57 makes me feel so vulnerable. If I had to go like him that’s 20 years left, 4 times 5 tiny years that’s not much. Not much at all.
One of my favorite memory is waking up in the last 80s for school at 630am in winter in Paris East suburbs, listening to Sign O The Times introduction with the singing percussions and the cold ass bass/synth riff while his monotone voice circulates in between. Then the Stratocaster takes over.
I didn’t love it, I just really liked it. It was and is completely unique.
Prince was all over the radio in the 80s and 90s. I liked Purple Rain but I was still a kid in France, couldn’t relate that much with it and what it meant. Sexy MF was the jam, I was old enough to understand the controversy and how he didn’t give a damn with his pistol-mic.
Then he started rapping and kind of disappeared from my life.
He reappeared in a weird way when he had a blog in 2000 way before anyone known. He was talking about how labels are bad and he was letting other artists write their points of view about Napster and that digital revolution. And then he released The Rainbow Children in 2001 which is an excellent album. At that time I was absorbing anything and everything I could about music production, musicianship, etc. I read a lot of musician interviews saying how important Prince had been to them even if they were not playing guitar and R&B funk at all.
So his trademark “produced, arranged composed and performed by Prince” line note got be amped up. That dude became some kind of mentor, in a way. I started to listen to his old stuff for real this time, reading everything I could find about him. Met with Prince fans, some of the most hardcore fans I have ever seen. I know why.
And I finally understood why he was such a corner stone for music from his respect and collaboration with the past, present and future of music to his finger skills and humor.
And so I spent pretty much every day of the past 15 years playing at least one song from the purple genius on my bass, from the most simple bass lines to the most exhausting ones. Played over his 1987 New Year’s Eve concert in Paisley Park I don’t know how many times, crying over his Purple Rain intro or how he controls his band when Miles Davis shows up on stage like a black hole in the middle of a funk galaxy.
His parkour on the edge of blackness and whiteness, masculinity and femininity, old and new will always be remembered as an act of freedom that we are all still scared to go through even though he showed us a path where all of those labels, boxes, are just prisons.
Just play, put it out there. Let’s go crazy. I can’t believe it happened.
Produced in LA and tested at night on the 5 and 405. Enjoy.
NWA story is not so great when you look at it without the Hollywood glitter:
A bunch of black dudes create a band that barely existed for 5 years –Ice Cube, the biggest star, left 3 years in-, promoted by a Jewish music executive who had $250,000 personal money to play with and start Ruthless Records.
They wrote lyrics of stories from the hood they were listening to. Stories. They get better each time. Crazier. In the end, those lyrics are as much fantasy than reality. NWA members didn’t fuck with real Gs, only Eazy was. NWA really wanted to not have to gangbang and it’s a part that everyone forgets. When I hear them boasting about the hood on wax I feel more desperation than pride.
They played with that. They were sitting on a huge pile of C4 with millions of $ in it. “Y’all motherfuckers, media, FBI, young white dudes want more crazy stories? We’ll tell them to you and we’ll get bigger. We don’t give a fuck. We hustlin dawg.”
And they did, all moved really fast from NWA –barely five years!- to their personal brands, relocated in nicer suburbs.
We knew about police brutality. We knew about poor black neighborhoods. In retrospect I don’t think those extreme lyrics helped in any way.
I’ve never understood how they could get away with how misogynists those lyrics are, really showing how society is sexist as a whole. In the last Dr Dre Compton album that just came out, they fake-kill a woman and it made me so fucking uncomfortable like just stop this shit, stop this shit black people are dying in the streets too often stop this shit. Fuck.
Once again it’s about a narrative –keeping it real??- but the world doesn’t work this way, you’re supposed to grow up. You can’t be doing a fake murder of a black woman on a 2015 record when black women are getting killed by police or boyfriends. You’re fucking 50 Dre and you have a terrible past on that subject. You need to act on this. Be Real, Get Responsible.
Even this album cover is kind of a disgrace. For people outside the LA county, if you live in Compton you don’t go to fucking Hollywood, ever. You don’t see that sign, you don’t see those downtown skyscrapers. You just drive around unlimited suburbs with palm trees around, under a close sun that doesn’t give a damn about you and your broke ass.
The beats are good though.