Tag: Isaac Hayes

Live Footage: The Midnight Hour and Black Thought Perform “Noir” at The Lodge Room

A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, a Los Angeles-based composer, arranger and producer teamed up with a 10 member ensemble, The Midnight Hour, which features vocalists Loren Oden and Angela Munoz and guitarist Jack Waterson to compose and record the score to the acclaimed Netflix series Luke Cage. Last year, the ensemble released their self-titled debut which further established their sound: jazz and orchestral-inspired hip-hop that recalls David Axelrod, Quincy Jones and Jazzmatazz-era Gang Starr. 

The act has been and will continue to be rather busy:  Linear Labs has already released Jack Waterson’s psych rock solo album Adrian Younge Presents Jack Waterson and albums from the act’s Oden and Munoz, as well as the act’s highly-anticipated sophomore album are slated to be released over the coming months.

The Midnight Hour will be embarking on an extensive fall tour across North America with  collaborative opening sets from Oden, Munoz and Waterson. The tour includes a stop tomorrow night at Brooklyn Bowl — and if you want to check out the rest of the tour dates, as well as ticket information, check out the following link:

http://www.artdontsleep.com/2019/07/20/tmhustour19/

In the meantime, Linear Labs and The Midnight Hour released live footage of the band performing “Noir” with The Roots’ Black Thought. The track originally appeared as part of Amazon Music’s Produced By series that Younge curated, produced and recorded to collectively celebrate the spectrum of Black Music — with the series appropriately being released during Black History Month. Interestingly, the live footage was filmed this past month at Los Angeles’ Lodge Room that featured collaborations with Estelle, Gallant, Georgia Anne Muldrow and a long list of others. 

Of course, the live footage will give you a great sense of what you should expect of the Brooklyn Bowl shows and onward. But just as important, it’s a reminder of a few things — if you’ve forgotten about them: 

Black Thought is fucking dope. 
All dope emcees should record an album with a live jazz or orchestral ensemble. 
When I rule the world, I’ll make sure that’s a law. 
As far as the track, it’s a gorgeous and crafted take on hip-hop that’s sophisticated and cinematic while still being gritty street shit that raises the proceedings to a transcendent, Curtis Mayfield/Issac Hayes soundtrack-level artistry. In an age where a lot of hip-hop is mass produced product, we need to be reminded that it can be a transcendent and powerful art form. 

New Video: Black Pumas Release a Darkly Sensual and Psychedelic Visual for “Black Moon Rising”

Black Pumas are a rising Austin, TX-based soul act, comprised of Grammy-winning producer, songwriter, composer, and guitarist Adrian Quesada,  27-year-old Los Angeles-born, Austin-based vocalist Eric Burton and a cast of collaborators and associates. And in a relatively short period of time, the band has received praise for their live shows from the likes of Pigeons and Planes and the Austin American-Statesman. 

The duo’s highly anticipated full-length debut was released last month through ATO Records and the album’s latest single is “Black Moon Rising,” a track that helped the band win Best New Band and Song of the Year at this year’s Austin Music Awards — and once you hear the track, you’ll immediately see why: Burton’s effortless, classic soul-like vocals glide over a gorgeous, Isaac Hayes-like production and arrangement — twinkling Rhodes piano, boom bap-like drumming, soaring strings and bluesy guitar licks, making it a slick synthesis of classic soul and contemporary hip-hop-inspired production. 

Written and directed by Amos David McKay, the recently released video for “Black Moon Rising” is one part Blaxploitation and one part Quentin Tarantino as it follows Burton and Quesada as they’re leaving a hotel and hitting the road in a gorgeous, classic car — at night. Of course, the night brings about dark psychedelic images and situations, creating a balance of sultry and murky. 

New Audio: Carlton Jumel Smith Releases a Swooning, Classic Soul-Inspired Declaration of Devotion

Last month, I wrote about Carlton Jumel Smith, a New York-based R&B/soul singer/songwriter, who emerged into the international soul scene with the release of his debut single “I Can’t Love You Anymore,” a 70s soul and R&B-inspired track that found him collaborating with the renowned Timmion Records production and house band team Cold Diamond & Mink. Building upon a rapidly growing profile within soul circles, Smith, who cites James Brown, Al Green, The Temptations, Sly Stone, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack and Tom Waits as influences on his own work will be releasing his full-length debut 1634 Lexington Avenue through Timmion Records and Daptone Records.

Slated for release later this week, 1634 Lexington Avenue reportedly finds Smith and the Timmion Records crew carrying on in the tradition and sounds of Curtom Records, the Chicago-based studio and label founded by Curtis Mayfield; Memphis soul; and of course, by default Motown for contemporary listeners.  Now, as you may recall, album single “This Is What Love Looks Like!” while centered around a shuffling, two-step groove, a sultry horn line and Smith’s soulful crooning thematically and sonically drew from the classic soul and pop songs of the late 60s and 70s with the song’s narrator expressing his devotion to his life with a sweetness and passion that you’ll rarely here in contemporary music. Continuing in a similar vein as its predecessor, 1634 Lexington Avenue’s latest single “Woman You Made Me” is triumphant declaration of the narrator’s appreciation of the woman in his life, complete with the tacit recognition that love is complicated and hard — and that finding that special someone is both lucky and rare. Sonically, the song seamlessly meshes the classic 60s Motown sound with Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield psych soul.

“I sing the type of R&B and soul that I grew up with and I present it in a fashion that is designed to make one thing of love and loyalty, which as DJ Rogers once said ‘are not for sale,'” Smith says in press notes. 

New Audio: Melbourne Australia’s The Putbacks Release a Blazing Western-tinged Bit of Psych Soul

Comprised of founding members Rory McDougall (drums), Tom Martin (guitar) and Mick Meager (bass), Simon Mavin (Hammond organ) with Justin Marshall, funk and soul, instrumental act The Putbacks feature some of Melbourne, Australia’s most accomplished musicians as members of the band have played with Hiatus Kaiyote, The Bombay Royale, D.D. Dumbo, Swooping Duck, The Meltdown and The Black Arm Band.   The band which can trace its formation back to the early 00s has long been the unofficial house band of Australian label  HopeStreet Recordings, taking cues from the legendary house bands of 60s and 70s soul and funk studios — in particular, The MGs, The Meters and The Wrecking Crew, as well as film composers of David Axelrod and Adrian Younge.

With the release of a handful of 7 inches through HopeStreet, the band received attention across their native Australia; however, it was Dawn, their 2014 collaboration with Australian Aboriginal soul singer/songwriter Emma Donovan that found the members of The Putbacks with a growing international profile, as the album received attention outside of their homeland. Since the release of Dawn, the individual members of the acclaimed band have bee busy with a number of projects while managing to find the time to write and record their soon-to-be released Paul Bender-produced self-titled debut, slated for a November 9, 2018 release Now, as you may recall, the album finds the band collaborating with a number of internationally renowned artists including singer/songwriter and neo-soul pioneer Bilal and violins and arrangements from Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. The album’s first single, the cinematic, film-noir-ish “The Ways” was a scorching bit of psych school featuring Bilal that recalled  The Roots and Hot Buttered Soul-era Isaac Hayes but with an improvised, free-flowing air.
“Oranges,” the self-titled album’s latest single sound as though Ennio Morricone managed to compose an unreleased psychedelic Western Sci Fi soundtrack — thanks in part to the composition being centered around a blistering Western-influenced riff that begins with the organ and a thumping backbeat, with the other instrumentations playing off the riff. Of course, the end result is a hypnotic and propulsive groove that also manages to nod at Tinariwen and others, complete with a larger-than-life vibe and sensibility. 

 

With the release of 1969’s Hot Buttered Soul, the legendary Isaac Hayes quickly developed a reputation as being one of Stax Records‘ boundary pushing, bleeding edge funk and soul stars. At a time when most soul, R&B, pop, and rock songs were an extremely radio-friendly three minutes or less,  Hayes crafted expansive, mind-altering and epic compositions that bridged psych rock, funk, soul, early disco, rock and jazz — and routinely captures him and his backing band catching and holding onto a groove and taking it as far the groove would take them. Just as a few examples for those not familiar, the aforementioned Hot Buttered Soul consists of only four tracks with album closer “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” clocking it at 18:42; “I Stand Accused” and “Something” off 1970’s The Isaac Hayes Movement clock in at just under 12 minutes; and “The Look Of Love” off 1970’s . . . To Be Continued clocks in at a little over 11 minutes.  And this was before Hayes accepted the unique assignment of writing the beloved soundtrack for the seminal and canonical Blaxploitation film, 1971’s Shaft.

However, “Do You Thing” off the two LP Shaft soundtrack may have arguably been the longest song he ever wrote, as it actually took up most of the second LP’s B side, as the expansive groove before ending with the overdubbed sound of a record player needle violently scratching across a vinyl; however, interestingly enough, Hayes and his backing band The Bar-Kays had recorded an additional improvisational 13 minutes that sonically possessed elements of free jazz, jazz fusion and psych rock that had been consigned to the vaults  . . . that is until the folks at Now-Aagin Records stumbled upon it and decided that they needed to release the full 33 minute version of the song, from the 2-inch tape masters on the greatest day of all for audiophiles — Record Store Day.

Including with the vinyl release is a booklet detailing the history of the never-heard-before version of one of Hayes’ most famous and beloved songs. To celebrate the upcoming release of the 33 minute vinyl check out a 22 minute version of “Do Your Thing” that ends with wild peals of discordant noise featuring feedback, strummed guitar chords eventually played through wah wah pedal, shimmering and soaring organ chords with musician studio chatter before a quick fade out.