As digital sampling becomes more and more pervasive as a recording technique, the belief that anything is possible in a studio nowadays is also on the rise. But in 1981 "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash and the Wheels of Steel" took the cut-and-paste-sound approach used covertly on many records today (when they're not abusing Auto-Tune) and the scavenging of other songs as its very subject. The number asks: How smart can you steal? How slick can you mix? This technical apex of one of rap's leading disc-spinners is tremendously influential; many of today's dance-music and rock productions are unimaginable without it. Flash started as a South Bronx dance-hall disc jockey whose trademark was taking his favorite rock and rap songs and repeating their hottest elements for heightened effect. Although credited to the full vocal group he supported, "Wheels of Steel" was a solo shot by Flash designed to show off the wizardry that knocked 'em out live. After a stuttering intro, Flash lets Blondie's "Rapture," Chic's "Good Times," and Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust," as well as snippets from earlier Flash/Five singles glide in and slam out of the unwavering beat. These songs of different tempos all fit without being forced. Spoken sections, boasts, and song apexes are finely woven into an amazingly seamless whole. Before the serrated-edged righteousness of "The Message" and "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" turned attention to rapper and writer Melle Mel, the group was a showcase for Flash. This is why.
Thanks to my son, there's been something of a "Weird Al" Yankovic revival at our house. Above is a selection of Weird Al's home movies that were included in his Poodle Hat Enhanced CD (2003). READ THE REST
The musician Remute specializes in albums released on classic game console cartridges, and the latest is Electronic Lifestyle, available in physical form on PC Engine HuCard only. I'm a techno musician from Germany and I just released the first music album on a PC Engine gameconsole HuCard. Oh, my previous albums came as cartridges for… READ THE REST
I've been a fan of REM since the early 1980s, and Lifes Rich Pageant (1986) is my favorite of their albums. That's why I'm surprised that somehow I slept on the fact that "Superman" is actually a cover of a 1969 song by Houston pop-psych band The Clique! I learned about this last night reading… READ THE REST
If you want to work, you need to know where people need talents like yours. That means if you've got a talent for writing in 2021, you should seriously consider launching yourself as a full-service copywriter. While you might think 2020 was a calamity for businesses, it was also a starting point for just as… READ THE REST
Historians say chess likely started in India all the way back in the 7th century. And while it's never really been absent over those hundreds of years since, it's certainly experienced waxes and wanes in its public acclaim over the centuries. Even among all those ebbs and flows of history, chess is having a bit… READ THE REST
When they asked staffers at culinary website, The Kitchn, to name the single most important food prep tool, those cooking experts shockingly did not fall in behind the ever trusty chef's knife. No, for their money, no kitchen is actually complete without a quality set of tongs. Versatility is why those foodies can't get by… READ THE REST