My latest iTunes giftcard turned into a pair of albums, one classically funky, the other an unusual combination of pop rock and interesting alternative ideas. It always feels good to expand the music library, and both of these picks have slotted nicely into my randomized rotation.
Dumpstaphunk, Listen Hear (2007): There will always be a seat at my table for funk, the more bass-heavy the better. And Dumpstaphunk lays the bass on thick (two at once!), not to mention soulful vocals, tight horns, slick rock guitars, and slippery keyboards. This five-tune EP supplies about half an hour of intricate, tricky beats and infectious grooving. “Living in a World Gone Mad” is probably the standout for me, but every track connects. Great energy and classic funk sensibility. Looking forward to tracking down more of their stuff.
Marco Minnemann, Contraire de la Chanson (2006): I’ve never bought an album strictly from sampling a single song, but that’s damn close to what happened with this album. Track five, “what have the romans ever done for us,” takes a classic scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian and sets its rhythms, impossibly, to a brilliant alternative prog-metal accompaniment. Minnemann, a German drummer, has also collaborated with Mike Keneally; those two selling points were more than enough to get me to take a flyer on Contraire de la Chanson, and it turned out to be a great pick. Minnemann’s music on this album reminds me of Keneally’s: there’s a certain pop sensibility to it, but it often veers into more avant-garde jazz, rock, and progressive veins. Minnemann’s drumming is impressive, and he’s an interesting, inventive composer. Definitely recommended, one-of-a-kind stuff.