Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ty Dolla $ign - Straight Up (Joy Guerrilla Cover)

Here's a cover of a track that's a sample of another track. LOOK^

This Mutha

Monday, August 17, 2015

New EP...is anyone out there?!


My group just released our first EP.

We recorded everything as analog as possible, tape hiss and all that.

It's some funky tunes, all that stuff, I hope you check it out and enjoy it.

Not really sure what else to say?

Here it is.

Much love,

This Mutha

Friday, April 12, 2013

RIP Don Blackman, 1953-2013

Many music worlds lost a man of great talent and unrecognized influence on Wednesday night when Donald Blackman passed away at the age of 59. I don't want to get into too much of a biography, because Google does a better job at that than I ever could anyway. "The Godfather", as he was called amongst his group in the GRP family, had his hand in the jazz-funk sound of Jamaica, Queens residents like Tom Browne, Marcus Miller and Bernard Wright. The blend of heavy groove based funk with the musical sensibility and harmonic style of jazz is one that was unmistakably his own, and his 1982 self-titled album has been so heavily sampled in modern hip-hop that it deserves as wide recognition as the other funk-break albums by people like Bob James and David Axelrod.

When I finally found his original self-titled album in an antique store in Pasadena, I wrote the email address listed on his website asking if he would ever play any shows in California (or the United States at all for that matter). To my surprise, it was actually his personal email address, and through a series of genuine and humble emails it was clear that Don Blackman was a kind and approachable human being who appreciated music and music lovers more than fame or popularity.

I will close this post with a few of my favorite songs of his (either performed or written by him):

Much love,

This Mutha

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vinil Brasileira

I guess the ongoing joke is that I'm Mr. Make-A-Mix-Once-A-Year. I was in Rio for about a month, and spent most of my time digging. Here's a mix of some of the coolest stuff that I found. All vinyl, recorded straight to tape. Download enabled.

Insane absence, but there will be more music to come. I'm changing my format - more frequently, but probably not entire albums.

Stay tuned.

Much love,

This Mutha

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Mutha's Valium-Times Day Mix

It's been a long time.

Here's a little something for download - a free Valentine's Day mix. Smooth and relaxing, just like Valium. All vinyl, straight to tape.

Download it mp3 (320 kbps) here.

Promo video:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Artist: Sakhile
Album: Sakhile
Label: Jive Afrika
Year: 1982

1. Sakhile (We Have Built)
2. Idayimane (Diamonds)
3. Ubuhkebakho (You're So Beautiful)
4.  Mantombi (No Literal Translation, A Girl's Name)
5. Isililo (A Mourning Song)
6. Beautiful Feeling (Isimo Esimnandi)
7. A Night To Remember (Ubusuku Obumnandi)
8. Kusinwa Kudedelwane (It's My Turn, Now)

Sipho Gumede: Bass and 8-string bass, vocals, percussion
Khaya Mahlangu: Tenor and Soprano saxophones, vocals, percussion
Themba Mkhize: Keyboards, vocals
Menyatso Mathole: Guitar, vocals
Madoda Mathunjwa: Drums, vocals
Mabi Thobejane: Percussion

I found this one at a book store up here in Berkeley, amongst a strangely good collection of other foreign vinyl. 

Sakhile ("We Have Built") was a South African band that gained notoriety in the early 1980's through their many live shows, for they never had wide commercial acclaim. "We Have Built" as a name was a strong cultural reaction to the oppressive Apartheid regime, a system that needed dismantling, and their music was "built" on a blend of South African traditional music and 70's era fusion and funk.  You can find more information on them here and here

This album was released in the US through Arista records, though as mentioned the band only had limited radio support. The Afro-fusion blend is prevalent throughout all the tracks, with one genre more dominant than the other in certain cases. A few of the tracks sound close to Weather Report fusion, others to Fela-esque afrobeat, and my favorites sound like American funk and soul with an African feel. "Sakhile" (the title track, and the band name...?) has a great drum beat and a hard, punchy bassline, and "Kusinwa Kudedelwane" has elements reminiscent of War, Cymande, and Bob James, all combined into something uniquely Sakhile.

Here's the title track for you check out:

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps (mp3). Download the album here.

Much love,

This Mutha

Monday, April 11, 2011

Eugene Blacknell

Artist: Eugene Blacknell
Album: I've Been (Down So Long) - Single
Label: Seaside Records
Year: ?

1. I've Been (Down So Long)
2. Holding On

I've been really busy lately, but here's a quick post just to keep things going. I found this single in a box outside of Rasputin's record store up here in Berkeley. Eugene Blacknell was a funk and soul guitarist from the Bay Area (Oakland, to be specific). You can read a short bio on him from AllMusic here. Not mentioned in this bio is that he died sometime in the 1980s, clearly much too young.

Apparently, he never released a full-length album, just various singles. With that in mind, it's a little sad to see "from the Forthcoming L.P." on the left-side of the label; I wonder why he never was able to release an entire album, and what it might have sounded like. If anything like the B-Side of this single in the video below, then we really missed out:

According to some info on him from a Ubiquity Records video, "[Eugene's] musical career stretched from the early 1960s to the end of the 1980s and during that time he established himself as an East Bay original, an entrepreneur, an activist, and a family man. With so many accomplishments it's an irony of fate that he died before releasing an album despite having recorded enough material for several."

Ubiquity Records released a compilation album of Eugene Blacknell's work, which you can purchase here. For now, I hope you enjoy the single.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps (mp3). Download the single here.

Much love,

This Mutha