Archive for November, 2009

Record of the Week — FORGE YOUR OWN CHAINS: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads and Dirges, 1968-1974

STOP SMILING presents the weekly mp3 blog, in which we showcase one new release each Tuesday, along with a track from the albumforge-cover +++ This week’s record is Forge Your Own Chains: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads and Dirges, 1968-1974 by Various Artists (Now-Again) +++ Now-Again Records, a Stones Throw subsidiary, presents a compendium of tracks that charts the spread of psychedelic music from the United States out into the world and back, in an effort to help hip hop heads, funk aficionados and vinyl diggers in general connect the dots between the superficially disparate genres that all similarly make us want to groove; the album’s thick and gorgeous liner notes contain an introduction by Egon that provides context for the reissue’s creation — a conversation with DJ Shadow, and J Rocc’s piqued curiosity upon overhearing Forge Your Own Chains‘ title track — plus artwork from the original albums, and thorough background on the artists, who come from all over the world, including Iran, Sweden, Korea, Columbia and Nigeria, the origin of this jam +++ Audio - “Two to Make a Pair” by The Strangers. - Post by Nate Martin

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Record of the Week — GHANA SPECIAL

STOP SMILING presents the weekly mp3 blog, in which we showcase one new release each Tuesday, along with a track from the albumghana-cover +++ This week’s record is Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues, 1968-81 by Various Artists (Soundway Records) +++ Weaving big-band jazz, Caribbean calypso, and traditional West African rhythms, early Ghanaian Highlife resonates the playfulness, joy, and optimism of a nation transitioning from colonial rule to self-reliance and independence; Soundway Records cherry-picked two discs worth of the choicest Highlife gems that capture the golden years of the Blackstar nation’s youthful sound; the two-CD hardback package comes with a meticulously designed 44-page book filled with original photographs and album cover art — a trademark of Soundway’s research and special attention to detail +++ Audio - “You Monopolise Me” by The Ogyatanna Show Band. - Post by Kris Rios

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Record of the Week — BRILLIANT COLORS

STOP SMILING presents the weekly mp3 blog, in which we showcase one new release each Tuesday, along with a track from the albumintroducing-cover +++ This week’s record is Introducing by Brilliant Colors (Slumberland) +++ Brilliant Colors’ releases to date exhibit the excellence a group can achieve with smallness — their first full-length, Introducing, is barely that, clocking in at less than half an hour, and it’s a follow up to two singles (on Make a Mess and Captured Tracks) that promptly sold out; still, their catchy brand of punk-laced pop has been passed around the Web with enough reach to make Introducing an anticipated release, and the album succeeds in carving out a niche of grittiness and prettiness that fulfills the promise of another small step forward +++ Audio - “Absolutely Anthing” by Brilliant Colors. - Post by Nate Martin

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