Six Finger Satellite’s Influence on Daft Punk’s Homework?

Six Finger Satellite–Rabies (Baby’s Got the)

Six Finger Satellite’s 1995 album “Severe Exposure,” specifically the song “Rabies (Baby’s Got the)” may have influenced Daft Punk’s 1996 single Da Funk, which is also featured on their  Homework album from 1997.  How you may ask?  Check out the keyboard stabs in Da Funk–conceptually similar to this arpeggiated keyboard part/stab in Rabies–then especially, check out that high pitched keyboard sound in Rabies–the notes played are similar to that main winding keyboard riff in Da Funk, it’s just that the riff in Da Funk has a little more frills.  And notice how the keyboard sound in the first few seconds of Rabies (also used to echo the main bassline periodically after :50 seconds in the song) sounds alot like the keyboard sound used for the main melody/winding keyboard part of Da Funk and a sound used alot on Daft Punk’s Human After All album.  I’m not saying these parts sound exactly the same, but that both feature conceptually similar keyboard stabs and winding synth parts with very similar notes.  They also both feature steady beats–a little more rock in Rabies,  still dancey/disco-ish,  and a little bit more straightforward dance/funk in Da Funk.

Daft Punk obviously listened to lots of weird 70s music, disco, electronic, experimental music (see all the music they sampled for Discovery and Human After All and the songs they picked for their Electroma movie), and I would not be surprised if they may have heard about this weird American band Six Finger Satellite that was making weird 70s-ish punk-electronic hybrid punk dance music in 1995 through friends, the press, or college radio, and having eclectic experimental tastes, may have picked up the album and been impressed with Rabies, which may have consciously or subconsciously influenced Da Funk.  What do you think?  On first listen, you may think, “These sound nothing alike.”  But keep your ear open for the conceptual similarities of the keyboard stabs, and the conceptual similarity of the notes of the main winding keyboard parts/main melody and the steady drum beats–conceptually they’re pretty similar in structure and intent.  Interestingly, the soundman for Six Finger Satellite, James Murphy, would go on to start LCD Soundsystem, and would end up making a song “Daft Punk is Playing at My House,” so you can see that there are definitely some conceptual and music shared roots there.

Daft Punk–Da Funk

Awesome Analog Synth Library Music Prog Funk


Mannheim Steamroller–Four Rows of Jacks


Bee Gees–Nights on Broadway
Check out the awesome analog synth action at the beginning…

80s Aesthetics Mania Has Not Even Begun Yet

The finer points of 80s aesthetics are still just being mined and rediscovered…now people are picking out the best aspects of 80s aesthetics which also had traces of the best of 70s aesthetics in them as well. I think it probably goes way deeper than what has been brought to light so far, as much activity so far has just been picking out superficial signifiers of the 80s. Even though 80s revivalism started back in the mid/late 90s, it is still going strong and has probably the surface has only just been scratched. Here are some recent examples, notable for how mainstream and current everything 80s is beginning to seem…

houssederacket


Housse de Racket – ” Oh Yeah ”
Geez, everything from the Prince album to the NES cartridges to the tennis fashion…and look at all that wonderful 70s/80s gear in the photo above!!!


Evian commercial–Roller Babies

A lot of retro and current design/fashion/style can be seen on the The Cool Hunter (http://www.thecoolhunter.net) website, which has some pretty fantastic stuff.
treebarr

1treeskate
ecotarium

thouses
frank1(1)
cryptacize

By the way, speaking of aesthetics, this is like the first photo I’ve ever seen of a real band using/posing for photos with a Fender Squire guitar!!! I only ever played a Squire because it was the only guitar I could buy at the time!!! Now, that is quirky/art!

J Dilla–Dillanthology Vol. 1 and J Dilla–Jay Stay Paid–New Favorite Music

dillanthology
jay_stay_paid
I had always wondered what the big fuss was about J Dilla. I checked out Donuts at one point, and thought that while some of it was good (songs like Workinonit and Airworks), quite a lot of it was sketchy and uneven, including the handfuls of songs that basically just play some old soul tracks all the way through, not even really chopping them up or anything. However…

However, lucky for me, the powers that be just released two amazing J Dilla compilations, Dillanthology Vol 1 and Jay Stay Paid. Basically, the songs on these albums are like 1000 times better than on Donuts, and I can now see why people list J Dilla as like a top three producer. I think so too, he is now one of my favorite musicians ever.

The songs on Dillanthology Vol 1 and Jay Stay Paid will appeal to fans not just of hip hop but indie rock, electronic music, prog rock, psychadelic rock, etc (he loved the prog rock, psych rock, and moogy analog synth samples). The way he arranges his drums, samples, bass parts, synths, etc is totally creative and musically awesome–you can see what a far-reaching musician J Dilla really is/was, how many great ideas he had, his wide array of influences, how much he cared/how much work he put into his music. Really good stuff.

So, thanks record labels for giving J Dilla these great posthumous releases that give us a wide overview of the best of J Dilla’s vast creative output. They should put a footnote on albums like Donuts saying that they are just leftovers/filler/sketches (should have named it Ruff Draft 2?), and to look first to the real meat of his work on compilations like Dillanthology Vol 1
and Jay Stay Paid. Highly recommended.


J Dilla–Nothing Like This (off of the Ruff Draft album)

New Metro Area Album in 2009/2010?

Metro-Area-mix-for-Fabric_header_image
Metro Area–touches of classic disco and italo/prog-disco, classic 808 State (Utd State 90 era), some of the backing music from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Mr. Fingers, and Daft Punk (without vocals mostly)–they’re great, but the problem is, they had like one album in the 90s and that’s pretty much it. From their Twitter account (Environ Records): “metro area back in the lab, breaking for the weekend. 6:33 PM Apr 17th from web ” Now, I can only hope that means a new album in 2009/2010!


Metro Area–Soft Hoop


Metro Area–Strut


Metro Area–Miura

Photo credits

Can and Red Krayola/Red Crayola

Ah, the wonderful world of psychadelia and krautrock! These people did in the 1960s and 1970s what so many postpunk and new wave bands tried to do in the 1980s and indie bands tried to do in the 1990s and 2000s. Those musicians could all have gotten PhDs and cured cancer and brought world peace if they only knew the music they were trying to make had already been made 20, 30, 40 years earlier for them!


Can–One More Night
Awesome drums, harmonics, etc. Can’t beat trippy jazz dance drums with experimental guitar and bass and electronics and English-speaking native Japanese lead singer living in Germany. Can ends up sounding like trippy German Japanese experimental hippies channeling James Brown via Pink Floyd a lot of the time, the drums sometimes end up sounding like some Manchester songs from the 1990s but much better. There’s some Can song that’s quite like the Stone Roses’ Fools Gold.


Can–Halleluwah
I’ll bet Grateful Dead and Phish fans would really like Can. American Beauty is one of the best albums ever made BTW.


Can–Moonshake
Sounds like 1995 and 1981. Pretty sure Joy Division listened to a lot of Can–what’s that one Joy Division song that sounds like this?


Can–Paperhouse
God, this song is so beautiful!!! WTF??? Indie rockers gave up the term “post rock” after they discovered that Can and Brian Eno basically did all that stuff in the 60s/70s.


Can-Vitamin C
Yup, here it is: Pink Floyd meets James Brown. Hey you, you’re losing your vitamin C!!!!


Red Crayola-Hurricane Fighter Plane
What??? It’s new wave postpunk in 1967. That’s BEFORE Captain Beefheart’s Troutmask Replica!!! The same year as Pink Floyd’s Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

Ah, there aren’t really many YouTube videos of the Red Krayola/Red Crayola songs I’m looking for. You can preview them/download them on Amazon:

Red Crayola-Jewels of the Madonna
This really sounds like fucking PAVEMENT! Steve Malkmus!!! Jeez!!! It’s crazy that this was from the 1960s. What?????
Red Crayola-Green of My Pants
Red Crayola-Leejol
Red Crayola-Dairymaid’s Lament
Red Crayola-Sherlock Holmes
Red Crayola-Listen to This


Red Crayola-
Former Reflections Enduring Doubt
This is just a noisy freakout.

Mahavishnu Orchestra: Live at Montreux 1974/1984 DVD: Surprisingly Awesome!

mahavishnuorchestra_2

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Mahavishnu Orcehstra’s first two albums, Inner Mounting Flame and Birds of Fire, and just recently realized how amazing their third album is, Visions of the Emerald Beyond.  For more context, I think the track Devotion on John McLaughlin’s 1970s solo album Devotion is amazing, as are his When Fortune Smiles and Extrapolation albums, and the Tony Williams Lifetime albums on which he plays guitar.  I will now have to pull out the Apocalypse album to see if I like it as much as I like Visions of the Emerald Beyond (which I like better than the Lost Trident Sessions–they messed up on the mixing of the Trident Sessions big time, it sounds like too contemporary of a mix/too digital/fake, what’s with the weird drum placement in the mix, maybe the guitars stand out too much if I remember correctly, they should remix that album to sound more like the mix of all the other 70s Mahavishnu albums).

I could do without the sixth or seventh Mahavishnu Orchestra album Inner Worlds, which features lots of bland weird 70s hippie R&B cult ballads–he really should have dropped the name Mahavishnu Orchestra for that album.  John McLaughlin’s Electric Dreams album in the late 1970s is very bland to my ears (oh, actually I like some of it as I’m listening to it more!), and his early 80s album Mahavishnu really blows too.

The Mahavishnu 80s album is like Herbie Hancock’s Rockit mixed with the Main Street Electrical Parade mixed with muzak, which might sound good in concept, but here it’s totally devoid of any funk, hard edged rock touches,  or even any electric guitar solos (on an album with John McLaughlin???)–and filled with tons of terrible, awful bad 1980s synth sounds (as opposed to good 1980s synth sounds, which do exist elsewhere in the universe, just not on the 1980s Mahavishnu album).  There’s like 10 seconds of actual electric guitar on Radioactivity…the rest sounds like some bad Sega video game synth-guitar farting noises…in an elevator…in a Nordstroms…opening out into the section with the perfume counters and the lingerie section…in Moraga…bland, bland, bland, yuck, yuck, yuck.

But here’s the thing…the 1984 Mahavishnu band playing the Mahavishnu songs on the 1984 disc of the Live at Montreux DVD set rocks!  I mean, John does play the synth guitar, but he also pulls out his real electric guitar too (he will literally take one off and puts the other on all during the same song) in equal measure, and plays some of the best electric guitar solos he is capable of playing, all caught on great looking and sounding footage.  There’s awesome feedback on the first song, and he does this awesome hammer on hammer off stuff or something, it’s kind of like John McLaughlin meets Van Halen or something.

The band actually rocks, it’s weird, the Mahavishnu 80’s album is so bland, and there are some cheesy moments on the 1984 DVD too, but all of the musicians really shine.  The keyboardist breaks out his Rhodes sometimes, and plays this really amazing Rhodes solo.  The bassist plays this Jimi Hendrix song on his bass, the drummer and saxophonist do their thing.  Too bad they didn’t play like this for the album!!!  It kind of reminds me of a really good night at Yoshis or something…kind of cheesy, just edging into adult contemporary, but really good too.  ; )  Is this show the beginning of that kind of “Yoshis” rock?  Oh, and what’s that amazing low pitched sound John McLaughlin gets in that one part on his synth guitar, he should have used that more…

The 1974 show is awesome as well.  It’s MO II, with the lady, the other drummer, the other bassist (I should probably know all this, Narada Walden Smith or something, Ralph something maybe, Gayle Moran maybe, too lazy to look it up) and the awesome Jean Luc Ponty.  The playing is really fantastic.  Only maybe half of the show has video–but that’s still a good 74 minutes or so of great video!

I’m going to be seeing the John McLaughlin/Chick Corea Five Peace Band soon, and I really, really like John McLaughlin’s Floating Point album–it’s awesome, he plays synth guitar and killer electric guitar in equal measures here too, with awesome songs and solos, and the drums are crazy.  The drums are like real prog rock/jazz fusion drums in the style of Billy Cobham and Bill Bruford in their heydays, but there are two drummers, from India, and it’s cacophonous in a good way, almost like good drum and bass in parts–John McLaughlin and a keyboardist will be playing these relaxing synth parts but the drummers wil be making this incredible racket in the background, it makes for a great contrast and is kind of unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, drum-wise.  With all of this great material and touring coming out it’s a great time to be a John McLaughlin and Mahavishnu Orchestra fan, thanks John McLaughlin!

Screen cap from All About Jazz