If you are at least a semi-regular user of Youtube you’ve probably noticed by now that its best feature is its ability to recommend videos based on your regular viewing habits.
Over the years from daily use, my Youtube account has continually recommended some absolute gems out of nowhere.
So this is the first of a new series within the ever growing, ever changing plethora of A Study in Audiosynthesis, paying homage to those absolute gems that come out of nowhere and make my head bop, inspire me to make music and inspire me to share them with others.
Youtube Recommender Gems (14/09/2017)
Charles Bradley – Why is it so hard?
Backed by a 6 piece band in this KEXP video, Charles Bradley gives a moving, soulful and emotive performance of ‘Why is it so Hard?’ in the kitsch setting of Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Houston Texas.
This is pretty much how Marvin Gaye or Al Green would have sounded in 1972 if you were in the same room as them in 1972.
Or bike shop.
DJ Premier – NPR Tiny Desk Concert
I first discovered DJ Premier in the Production documentary Re:Generation. It’s an amazing documentary if ever you wanted to check it out. It shows a different side to the roster of producers; Mark Ronson shows his genius, Premier conducts the berklee symphony orchestra and some Country musicians behave like grumpy old assholes.
Premier’s tiny desk concert is nothing short of spectacular. Everything is raw and untouched, fluid and loose. The Badder Band are glued together with Brady Watt forever being a staple of how to use a low B 5 String Bass.
25 minutes of Analog integrity and Soulful Funky Hip Hop.
Black Pistol Fire – Speak of the Devil
I discovered this band only today and they’re already in the run in to be my new favourite Post-blues/alternative band. Black Pistol Fire have however been on the go for 8 years and are due to release their 5th studio album Deadbeat Graffiti on the 29th of September this year.
This performance of Speak of the Devil from their upcoming album is electric and captivating, even more so once I realised the synth bass wasn’t a loop, and the drummer was multitasking.
Killer sound, killer set, will be keeping an ear out from now on.
Ron Minis – Moonlight Particles
This interesting take on Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (Piano Sonata No. 14) uses Natural piano paired with an experimental use of Distortion and Modulation effects which adds airiness to the performance. It’s an unusual take for sure, and it will probably bring a lot of divided opinion with it. I feel some of my old college professors would dismiss it pretty quickly but the Sci-fi sounding elements of it really add something for me.
Also, Ron uses the same Sennheiser HD205 Headphones as me.
And has a Savage Blue Beard.
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – Tacoma Black Party
You know things are about to get incredibly spicy when the Organ player is wearing a Tabasco sauce tshirt, right? Tacoma Black Party by Delvon Lamarr Trio is packed with those Booker T meets Medeski Martin & Wood vibes, complete with Jimmy James’ Shred-tastic Hendrix mode activated guitar work.
Coupling the white Fender Stratocaster and Hammond B3 really shows off the true United states tonality embedded in American music.
Although right now I feel like Jimmy James was robbed when Andre 3000 starred in All is by my side.
Debra Laws – On My Own
This song is from 1981, yet it completely escaped me until this week in 2017. A whole 36 years later. I’m not much of a slap bass fan but this one’s beautifully measured. Punchy, yet doesn’t dominate the mix or sound like a tiny person kicking your eardrum.
The intro has some savage fluttering brass, and then the Bassist swaps to finger bass playing. It’s gnarly and stanky.
Well done Youtube.
Debra Laws is also the younger sister of producer and Jazz Flutist Hubert Laws (who features on the track). Check out Hubert in action here.
Thank you for reading and as always, if there is anything you want me to talk about or if you have a music related question please get in touch with me in the comments section or on the contacts page.
Or if you have discovered any recommender gems from Youtube that you want to share with me I’m always down for that.
I got a whole bunch of Questions , some theory related, which I’ll hopefully get to this week but I just want to thank you all for your feedback and participation.
That’s what A Study in Audiosynthesis is all about after all.
I also got a request to write about my favourite or most important album, so I’m really looking forward to digging my hands into that.
There’s a free Pirate copy of the album in it for whoever can guess what it is!!
Until next time.
That’s all folks.