Hot MP3s: Digable Planets and more
Originally Published: August 4, 2007 9:59 a.m.
Recommendations from Sports Editor, Steve Stockmar: "Pacifics" Artist: Digable Planets Released: 1993 Rating: 4 out of 4 stars Best known for their splendid symphony of translucence -- "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" -- Digable Planets dug much deeper than their FM radio signature song. Their album, "Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)", is an exercise in pure early-90s heaviness. The rainbow of albums coloring 1993 featured the hip square of Weezer, the orchestral rage of In Utero, the progressive pop of Siamese Dream, as well as chicks like The Breeders and Hole .. enough for America to cast a shadow (ahem ...) over Oasis for another year. It was also the year we met Beck and Digable Planets, two musical visions from different ends of the same neighborhood. The Planets came from inner New Your City but pronounced the good days on the streets more than the bad ("The baseball hats are on and the projects is calm"). They helped define "street cred" as a new term, had more style than the Mod Squad, and brought more jazz essence than an ashtray. Surf the endless bass line of "Pacifics" and its dueling male-vs-female vocal. There's magnificent sampling, but only where it counts. The Planets bring together a wide audience, crossing familiar pop-culture references like the Knicks and Hawaii 5-0; consistent with both neighborhoods."Pacifics" is red hot. As singer, Butterfly, grins -- "The good vibes, they snowing." PS -- Also check out "La Femme F Tal" off the same album. It's decidedly more political, thus it's No. 2 on my list of all things groovable. Check out track samples on Amazon.com by clicking here. "Monterey" The Animals Released: 1968 Rating 3 ½ out of 4 stars OK, you caught me going back even further. I was in one of those moods this week. "Monterey" is easy to overlook among the great marriages of soul, rock and psychedlia, not to mention a bass line from hippie 60s London even Digable Planets would dig. It's pretty much a 60s classic and wholly unique. I'm also using the song's subject matter -- a recount of 1967's Monterey Pop festival -- to salute a good old-fashioned all-star musical festival held expressly to celebrate our right to groove. No causes linked to minor gestures like making the world a better place or raising awareness and charity. Yeah yeah. Can't we just have one music festival only for the music of it? As maestro Lennon said, "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." Anyway, think back on all things hippie with “Monterey”; a song that, as the lyric admits, "is black as night." Recommendations from Scene reporter, Lorin McLain: A little bit Guns 'N Roses, a little bit Stone Temple Pilots – yep, Velvet Revolver. Scott Weiland and the G 'N R leftovers return with their second effort that still measures up as greater than the sum of their former parts. "Libertad" is 13 quality tracks, except for the weird country thing at the end. The album includes an excellent cover of ELO's "Can't Get It Out of My Head." Weiland channels Bowie in this one, "The Last Fight."Click here for Velvet Revolver samples at Amazon.com. If ethereal electronic music is your bag, check out these guys – duo Arms and Sleepers hails from Boston and plays at The Raven Cafe Saturday night in support of "bliss was it in that dawn to be alive," from Fake Chapter Records. "Beneath Bricks and Bones" is the first track. Recommendations from Online Editor, John Kamin: Tracks from The Chemical Brothers' new album, "We are the Night". Click here for samples from this album at Amazon.com. It seems that the Chemical Brothers hit a hole-in-one with every other album. Unfortunately, half the tracks on this album are solid. I simply don't think the others are that great. Just to avoid any confusion, "All Rights Reversed" and "Burst Generator" are the best songs on this album. So, what's worth downloading? Check out the following tracks: "All Rights Reversed" - I think this is the best track on the album, only because I'm a production dork. As someone who plays with my own samples, I can tell you that it sounds like ever single sample on this track is actually reversed, thus the name. The only thing that isn't reversed is the main lyrical verses. The other cool thing about this song is that it has some tremendous bass, if you've got a system that can handle it. "Burst Generator" - I love this song. It's got a kickin' bass line, driving guitars, and gives a feeling of energy. The huge buildup and crescendo during the first two minutes of the song is flawless. I'm willing to bet that this song will be one of the most popular ones on their current tour. "We are the Night" - A strong, 1980s-ish track about four minutes long. A great song for the road, in my opinion. "Do it Again" - This is the single from the new album, and it also has got some bumps. It's kind of cheesy, but still has some cool samples and DJ-type stuff in here. Definitely a song that your average club DJ would use to liven up a monotonous dance floor. "Das Spiegel" - This track reminds me of some of Beck's weirder techno songs. It starts off with a really cheesy 1980s synthesizer, but the Chem Bros take that initial theme and twist it 100 different ways in this six-minute song. By the end of the song, you're humming that initial theme from the beginning. "The Salmon Dance" - This is the worst track on the album. I'm not sure what drugs these dudes were doing when they decided to put this on the album, but it's too stupid for me. Maybe I'm losing my sense of humor.