VIDEO: Keke Wyatt & Ruben Studdard’s “Saturday Love”

For those who may be too young to know or remember, “Saturday Love” is a cover of a song by Cherrelle and Alexander O’Neal, who were signed to Tabu Records and produced by Jimmy Jam Harris and Terry Lewis. 26 years later, Keke Wyatt decided to cover the song and chose to bring in Ruben Studdard into the mix.

Some fans of the original are divided about this new version, with some discarding this completely. I think it has a nice feel. What do you think? In case you need a refresher, this is the original. The two never made a proper music video for it, Tabu/Columbia simply used a lip-sync from a British television show and went with it. It became a song they were both identified with.

VIDEO: Rel & J.Billion’s “Soul Clap”

Can you get it? Would you, could you, should you? Yes to all. This is a track by Rel & J.Billion, and together they recorded an album called MVMNT, which will be released on May 17th. Now will you go get the schultz? Do it.

VIDEO: Pulseprogramming’s “First They Fire”

First They Fire from marc hellner on Vimeo.

Pulseprogramming is a new synth-pop project from Marc Hellner, it looks and sounds good. The album will be called Charade Is Gold (Audraglint), and it will be released on May 3rd.

If you like the song, you can download the track for free by heading to

REVIEW: Burial’s “Street Halo” (single)

Photobucket It feels like it has been awhile since Burial came out with something new, but it’s great to have new music nonetheless. This time, it’s in the form of a 3-song 12″ single, with “Street Halo” as the lead track. “Street Halo” sounds like it would be perfect in a hot nightclub where one is about to get sexy, if not direct sex, and every beat, sound, echo, reverb, and click is a signal towards something. It’s sly and funky, and I can imagine how irresistible this would be. What I love is when you have certain beats and samples filtered to the point of being incomprehensible, or a click or snap turned inside out to sound like something else entirely. I love it.

“NYC” comes off like a reconstruction of what NYC music would sound like, taking hints of the coolness of the past but moving it into the future where even relevancy doesn’t want to be relevant, it just wants to be. There’s a slide to the stride, a groove that soothes, and a hip-hop touch that has to be intentional, it has to be.

“Stolen Dog” sounds like “Street Halo”‘s twin song, almost similar in feel but where one sounds optimistic and hopeful, “Stolen Dog” knows that it has to leave its surroundings. Either that, or I simply see its position and go “okay, it’s the last song, let’s see if it sounds and feels like a last song”.

I just hope this is quickly followed up by more singles, EP’s, and whatever “more” is in the trusting hands of Burial.

REVIEW: Ormo’s “Dice”

Photobucket Now this is the kind of music I’m into: electronic music that morphs into electronica which morphs into countless sub-genres. A part of it sounds like rhythmic radio dial turning and heavy tape editing, other parts sound like homemade digital sampling and triggering, where sound is battling with sound, that is having a kung fu battle with Janet Jackson, or is it Culture Club, or is it the intro to a children’s show? It’s unknown, and yet unknown. Those are some of the things that kept me listening to the twisted juggernaut of sound that is Dice (Laps), an album by Ormo.

It’s avant-garde to say the least, you could arguably dance to it but we’re talking in a very German experimental, free form fashion. Fans of IDM will love this, but this goes beyond the limits/boundaries of IDM. This will definitely irritate people who want their electronic music a bit more softer, more sane, more simple. This is about grabbing sounds, yanking it by its nunnies and just tying it around through the rectum. Go along the lines of what Jan Jelinek has done over the years, but then look in a mirror and say Biggie Smalls three times. Makes no sense? Find a way for this paragraph to make sense, and then you will find the tolerance to enjoy the insane digital sounds of Ormo. Thumbs up.

REVIEW: Golden Glow’s “Tender Is The Night”

Photobucket A revival of 80’s new wave and synth pop seems to be the rage in some circles, and that’s a good thing if the music is good. Golden Glow have recorded an album that sounds like it was dubbed from a 9th generation cassette, and sounds as distant as the era really is. Tender Is The Night (Mush) could be good and I like it for sounding almost like a rejected Ween parody, but I was waiting for something else to come into the mix. It never did.

I’ll be blunt, it’s the kind of music that may have been great as a demo tape for a local band to get club dates in down, but as a worldwide release? I think if that’s what people want from new wave and synth pop, it’s here in abundance, but with sounds that really don’t go too far, I found it hard to enjoy, even if it was a parody. It isn’t, and I was like “damn, this could’ve been good and sinister if it gave itself a chance and breathing room.” Maybe next time.

REVIEW: Dynas’ “The Apartment”/”It’s My Turn” (single)

Photobucket What Dynas did with this single is get a classic Dilla beat, have DJ Jazzy Jeff produce a track, and called it a day. Oh, but what a GOOD day this is.

“The Apartment” is the Dilla track and it makes one wish that Dilla’s influence was bigger than it is, but then a lot of songs and instrumentals would be watered down with people hearing sounds and samples one way, but not doing it quite right. “The Apartment” is a feel-right song.

“It’s My Turn” feels like the 90’s over again, with a horn-ridden sample and a drum machine layered over it, with heightened hi-hats and a deep bass that makes you want to dance, do a bit of jazz hands, and makes you feel and question why you feel so high. This is a high single, and I wish all hip-hop these days sounded like this. Fuck it, their loss.

REVIEW: Reynold D. Philipsek’s “Tales From The North Woods”

Photobucket Reynold D. Philipsek is a guitarist who plays jazz and has a healthy discography and sessionography if you know where to look. For his new CD, it’s simply Philipsek and his acoustic guitar, playing the kind of music you might expect to hear on albums by Neil Young, Donavon Frankenreiter, Jack Johnson, and maybe a bit of Steve Howe. There are occasional classical touches in his playing, and that may come from loving the fluidity of Django Reinhardt‘s playing, but one thing is certain: this guy knows how to play. It may be an acoustic CD, but I found myself returning to some of these songs more than once.

This CD is 10 songs running a little over 26 minutes, so statistically speaking this is actually an EP. Add on 5 or 10 more songs and you’d have a proper album, but no need, it holds up as is.

HAWAIIAN MUSIC CORNER: Patrick Landeza’s “Ku’u Honua Mele (My Music World)”

Photobucket Musician Patrick Landeza has been playing Hawaiian music for years, so it was great to see a new album from him come in the mail. Upon opening the CD, I saw an older photo of him with my uncle, the late Raymond Kane, considered a major influence for a generation of slack key (ki ho’alu) guitarists. It’s the old house out in Nanakuki, the dining room I spent many hours in, with the stereo to my uncle’s right with loads of religious records I had no interest in, but one of my cousins (either Faith or Moana had the first Janet Jackson album on 8-track. Aaah, good times, and that’s exactly what I hear on Ku’u Honua Mele (My Music World) (Addison Street), an album full of music that brings back my childhood, my hanabata days, what I grew up knowing as “da good kine” Hawaiian music. Landeza’s playing here comes from not only a love for the music, but from the countless musicians he has learned from throughout the years, some of which are displayed in the photo collage inside. This is the music you’d play when you made the long journey around the island, this was the music your mom would play as she cleaned house on Sunday, or the music your dad might play when he was fixing his car or bicycle underneath the house, which was really an excuse to get away from your mom for an hour or two, and this was that “relief” music. Songs like “No Keaha”, “Hanalei Moon”, “Nani Ko’olau”, and “Maori Brown Eyes” are sure to bring back memories for those who feel fondly for the originals, or for those who still feel a closeness to the places described in the titles and songs.

If you are a lover of Hawaiian songs, this is “chicken skin music”, at least to me it is. The guitars, the ‘ukulele, the bass, and the vocal harmonies just sound perfect, and I go back to a time when life felt like this, without worry or care. As an older man, I long for a time to be able to feel like that. At least in music form, I’m brought back to a much simpler time, or perhaps it’s a type of music that needs to dominate a much rougher world than it was in our hanabata days. Mahalo nui, Patrick Landeza.