Musicophilia

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Monde du Funk ’85’ (1983-1985)

Posted in Mixes by Soundslike on March 14, 2017

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Last year’s ‘Le Monde du Funk Vol. 9‘ explored funk, jazz/fusion, R&B, pop and art rock in the mid to late 70s that paralleled disco, all linked by an emphasis on rhythm and warm, fuzzy synthesizers.  ‘Le Monde du Funk ’85‘ follows the trajectory into the middle of the next decade, as analogue synths gave way to solid state synths, Farlight samplers, and 808 drum machines, weaving together strands of 80’s Funk, R&B, Boogie, Electro, Hip-hop and even a bit of Post-Punk/New Wave.  Where ‘Vol. 9’ lead into the sounds of the Daft Punk tribute, ‘The Gold and the Silver Dream,’ ‘’85‘ picks up where it leaves off, with perhaps an even more pronounced sci-fi/robots/the-future-is-now emphasis.  This is the famous French compilation label Musique du Monde, moving into the digital era!

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Le Monde du Funk ’85‘ spreads across two roughly themed compact discs: Disc 1 focusing on the up-tempo evening; and Disc 2 getting into the late night, down-tempo hours.  The tracks are more than most Musique du Monde compilations by Americans, but the UK is well represented, and Japan makes a convincingly funky appearance, too.  Artists Musicophilia has traced from the late 60s, like Herbie Hancock, David Bowie, and Hamilton Bohannon adapt remarkably well to this new 80s world, along with others previously featured, like Lime, Zapp, The Cure (as The Glove), Cybotron, and Depeche Mode.  But most here for the first time, including D-Train, Change, Mantronix, Toshiki Kadomatsu, Afrika Bambaataa, Krystol, Human Body, Shalamar, Newcleus, Unlimited Touch, 52nd Street, Tones on Tail, Run-D.M.C., Gwen Guthrie, Mtume, Loose Ends, Kashif, Patrice Rushen, Andre Cymone, This Mortal Coil and S.O.S. Band.

Spending the last few months listening especially to this music (and its immediate precursors from the early 80s, to be featured on a forthcoming mix) has really buoyed my spirits in this new dark era.  These musicians were celebrating the human spirit in their own dark days of Reagan, Thatcher, the Cold and hot war, AIDs, etc.  This isn’t “protest song,” by most definitions; but the joy and creativity they express are a source of much-needed strength that runs counter to the dead-souled hate and myopic fears that plague so many (including most in power) today.  I hope you’ll enjoy, and find yourself similarly uplifted.

At the “more…” link below you can stream the mix, check the full tracklist, and download the mix. As always, if you like what you hear, please pass it along and support the artists and labels who made all this fantastic noise.

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[Year End Mix] – ‘Get Off My Lawn, 2008!’ (2008)

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on December 31, 2008

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Finally, the year-end mix nobody’s been waiting for!  It will probably come as no surprise to those who’ve downloaded any of Musicophilia’s mixes that I’m not particularly focused on the tiny sliver of all recorded music history that is now.  It’s not that I doubt there’s good stuff being made—I’m completely certain there’s a lot of it.  It’s just that sometime around 1999, I remember buying a Mogwai CD, puting it on, and suddenly having the realization: “I have no interest in this music whatsoever”.  (In fact specific to the disc, I hated it, and in a fairly rare act of dramatic symbolism I literally threw it away.)  It wasn’t that it was particularly surprising that another disc of generic post-rock would let me down—it’s just that it made me realise I never wanted to buy another disc full of music I wasn’t viscerally excited by, or that didn’t at least expanded my understanding of music.  And I also recognized that I’d been (denying) having a lot of similar let-downs whilst trying to “keep up” with “all that was going on,” because I was young and wanted to feel like I was where it was at; that in truth I often felt burned by what magazines and websites told me was cool; and that my resources were finite (not just money, but time and energy).  So I gave up the New Releases sections on Tuesdays or Mondays; and embraced the fact that where I’d really had most success for years, and the fewest empty let-down feelings, was deeper in the shops, in the old stuff, in the Jazz section, in the Funk sections, in the International sections.  And with that new sense of direction—which is to say, any direction, not bound by the false teleology of the passage of time ever forward—I came to find the lions share of the music I love most, from across a wide spectrum of times, places, sounds—almost everything you hear at Musicophilia.  (More rambling, full tracklist, and the download link after “more…”)

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