PTP peoples. Pardon my absence. I’ve been creating new material to post…but a very shoddy Internet connection (thank you Time Warner Cable) has slowed things up a good bit around here. I promise to get the handful of this week’s updates on their correct days (i.e. “Brutal Tuesday”) by tomorrow, if not earlier (I definitely have some shit on deck).
I now bring to you a special treat. Listen carefully…very carefully (esp. around the 0:37 mark). I told you Thursday was going to epitomize all things Golden Age. I think this goes a long way with that sentiment.
What is the one most noteworthy thing the U.S. cities of Chandler, Arizona and Camden, New Jersey share? The answer to that lies within one name: Unruh.
On September 6, 1949, war veteran Howard Unruh made the decision to roam his neighborhood of Camden, with German Luger pistol in hand, and engage in what would be known as the “Walk of Death”, the first single-episode of mass murder in U.S. history. In what only lasted 12 minutes, Unruh had ruthlessly acquired a bodycount of 13 with 14 shots fired, not excluding women and children. He eventually surrendered, but not after wounding several more in a frontdoor standoff with 60-police officers.
Unruh was eventually seen as insane, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and sentenced to New Jersey Hospital for the Insane (now known as Trenton Psychiatric Hospital). In an interview with a psychologist, he left the public with a final quote, “I’d have killed a thousand if I had bullets enough.”
He then became known as “Father of Mass Murder”.
Now that the scene has been set…(jeez)
Cut to 1995. By this time, “extreme music” had developed into a monstrous, winding tree with proud, interwoven branches, fostering the growth of numerous mutant subgenres. This hybridization, starting in the mid to late 80′s with the styles of Crossover and Crust, truly blurred the dividing line between Hardcore and Metal. Bands like Neurosis and Rorschach stood as exceptional proof and became the blueprint to many of their successors; Chandler, Arizona’s Unruh made for an extraordinary progeny, further pushing this cross-pollination into something of gold. What makes up Unruh’s sonic assault? Imagine a pot. Smear the entire inside of said pot with a molasses-thick coating of Hardcore-minded energy; this will soon cook into a hardened shell, tightly encasing the filling ingredients. Throw in a generous spoonful of Thrash. Combine equal parts blasts and technical riffage (Grindcore and Death Metal brand recommended), whisk in a metal bowl, and add once well blended. Seal with one part Remain Sedate-era Charles Maggio, two parts Exorcist-era possessed Linda Blair. Finally, take the sealed pot into Death Valley in the dead of summer, douse with jet fuel and ignite to cook. Commence ritualistic dance of choice. Once complete, extinguish the blaze by hosing down with a concoction of unrelenting angst, torment, and fury.
Voila! Your almighty “metallic hardcore” band of previous mention is ready for consumption.
Seemingly enigmatic, not only did these cats leave practically no stone unturned across the landscape of audio brutality, and then some, but the words, as harshly ejected by Mike Edwards, fell into the form of sincere prose; brandishing an elegant balance between unguarded, self-examination and social commentary of the most livid kind. No useless banter about “scene” politics or being tough, nor any tired discourse about saving the whales or suicide …just the bludgeoning violence of the music coupled with refined lyricism, thus making them even more impossible to box in for classification.
Click the image (left) to see the lyrics insert from their first album, Misery Strengthened Faith. Click the link to d/l it as ripped from vinyl (not me). It has been re-released on CD by King Of The Monsters with many bonus tracks included…so scour the Internet and BUY it (I’m pretty sure Interpunk has it).
BRUTAL. A band who efficiently discharges the energy of their recordings directly into live form. Super rare to see any footage of them…so mucho propers to homey who uploaded this to the ‘tube.
PTP would like to drop a Rest In Power shout out to Queensbridge vet Killa Sha (aka Sha Lumi, fka Prince A.D.), who passed away this weekend after a long bout with diabetes.
I remember first hearing him on Pete Rock and Marley Marl’s Future Flavas radio show back around ’96. Sha was in a group, by whom Marley would drop many a joint, called Killa Kidz. Every track heard was tough and immediately had me drawing comparison to Harlem’s legendary Children Of The Corn crew (who also received a fair share of airplay on said radio show), except that the collective Sha belonged to was reppin’ Queensbridge in every respect. The sound was unpolished, darkly hypnotic in production, and harnessed a tumultuous energy. Sha easily stuck out with a dominating presence and wordplay backed by his uniquely nasal and raspy vocal approach and, at times, off-kilter cadence.
Whether with his Killa Kidz fam, by the side of Tragedy Khadafi, as DJ for Mobb Deep, or solo, Sha will always be remembered as among that first tidal wave of mid-90′s talent to solidify Queensbridge as a breeding ground for an exceptionally sincere brand of NYC street Hip Hop (starting in 1996…stating that Q.B. came equipped with a “distinct sound” was almost an understatement of felonious proportions). Although the Killa Kidz or Sha never gained the widespread exposure as had by a handful of their Q.B. peers, he remained a presence throughout this time, and kept bubbling after many had faded into obscurity by ’03. Most recently, he was rumored to have been working on a full-length album with the legendary Large Professor.
Here are some favorites from the past.
Killa Kidz “’96 Phenomenon” (Produced by Prince A.D. aka Killa Sha)
Killa Kidz “Lyrical Flava” (Produced by Chuck Chillout)
Killa Kidz “United” (one of my favorite joints…straight tape dub status)
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Hope all is well with you and yours.
I know I posted it a while back in the Gunday Monday post…but this holiday, along with the absurdity that is still being perpetuated through the framework of this body called America, beckons a repeat showing.
On the quick, overtly political, not-so-positive vibe, I’d like to give a special FUCK YOU shout out to Senator John McCain and former Arizona Governors Evan Mecham and Fife Symington III for their long-time opposition to the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday. It took Arizona (and New Hampshire) about 9 years to get it through their thick skulls. No applause needed…
Public Enemy “By The Time I Get To Arizona”
Kids, I’m sad to say that most of your beloved gun-wielding Hip Hop DVD heroes wouldn’t dare make a video this tough and confrontational. For some, it would be for fear of industry/media backlash…for most, it would be more about a general lack of intelligence to conjure up anything that isn’t downright insulting to human senses.
The man who made history by revolutionizing the art of “sampling” interviewing the man who played the most sampled drum beat in history.
It’s truly fresh to hear Clyde Stubblefield break down a bit of the creative process associated with playing under James Brown. Marley gets on some tech shit with his questions, thus summoning a synopsis on the “ghost note” and Stubblefield’s drumming technique.
More questions for Stubblefield about his iconic style of groove building. Marley chimes in too (all of my producer and beat heads…if you don’t appreciate this, hand over your equipment and record collection to me…straight up).
Coincidentally, in the clip above, there’s also mention of how James Brown (and band) was asked to alleviate the tension in Boston through performance, at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.s’ assassination. The timing of this clip’s discovery could not be any more on point as this is MLK weekend.
Oh yeah…and imagine the Funky Drummer performing whilst under the influence of LSD…also happened to be Stubblefield’s first live drum solo…bonkers.
Dope stories. There are 4 clips on Youtube of Q&A with Stubblefield (and 1 Q&A with Marley).
Plus the conclusion with Marley and Stubblefield, in which Marley drops heavy historic gems on producing the first joints for Eric B. & Freddie Foxxx…uh…I mean, Rakim.
BONUS: Just what is sampling and how did Marley Marl become known as a pioneer of this production technique as something practically everyone would go on to utilize after him (no matter the genre)? Check this trailer for Beat Kings, a documentary on beat-making/production in Hip Hop (he’s right after Prince Paul in the clip).
One of my favorite albums of ’93. Surprising how many heads got caught sleepin’ on the refreshingly genuine Contemporary Jeep Music. Do yourself a favor and find this album. Listen to it and then listen to it again.
It is Brutal Tuesday, and what better way to set things off than to go in blasting the band who influenced the likes of Slayer and Metallica (and a sea of countless others)…The Misfits. What better album than the unrelenting force known as Earth A.D. This was the masterpiece that saw the band in their tightest, fastest form, much to do with Glenn Danzig’s maturation as a songwriter and the recruitment of former Black Flag drummer Robo (easily the most talented one-man percussion machine they’ve ever had).
Earth A.D. stepped away from the melodic, Buddy Holly-meets-Punk-Rock-at-a-campy-horror-movie-set approach of their earlier material to greet listeners on new terms: sonic violence. Blast beats, Black-Sabbath-on-speed riffs (that means “robust, evil…and fast”), Glenn Danzig tearing practically all remnants of his “singing voice” into a forceful yell, and the most overtly sadistic and discordant lyrical content of the band’s existence (from the disjointed prose of the album’s title track, the bloodthirsty narrative of “Death Comes Ripping”, to the horrific self-examination of “Wolfsblood”…it’s all pretty fucked up).
It doesn’t matter what side of the punk/metal fence you fall on, the fact is, you know and love this album for its sheer viciousness.
Back then, Danzig was a fuckin’ frontman, especially live…constantly losing his shit whether in the form of testing the limits of his vocal chords or by slamming himself about the stage…he appeared as the same unhinged character as heard on the songs. Example? The following live ’83 performance of (the above-posted) “Earth A.D.” in Detroit (I don’t think the shitty sound quality even makes a difference). Watch the room explode, the kids lose it, the band lose it, bodies fly…chaos.
Dear PTP readers… you lucky, fortunate people are now going to witness an attempt to maintain a steady weekly update frequency (not just on Mondays). Not only will there be more gems dropped within each 128-hour time block, but since PTP prides itself in its eclectic tastes, a theme will be assigned to certain days…
Why divide the flow of material when it is all kept on the same hunk of land? Well, it’s not that serious. It’s purely a thing of convenience, so as to give our followers something particular to look forward to at acertain time.
So if you feel like you need a dose of aggro…like say, discovering the decorative potential of a .50 caliber attached to a chainsaw…or need a reason to be reminded why old school Thrash Metal is something every household needs a little bit of…tune in to “Brutal Tuesdays”. If you miss having your closet filled with a daily rotation of Helly Hansen, Columbia, Cahartt, Army fatigues, ‘Lo, and Guess…if your rugged ass feet only knew A-Solo’s, Vasques, and 40-Below Timberland boots…tune in to “Nervous Thursdays”…(yes, always paying homage to Uncle Ralph). Get it? Got it…good.
Last Sunday, I stumbled upon DJ Funktual and the below listed video in a failed attempt to find this one 80′s synth’y rock song I’ve heard used in a semi-recent Nick-At-Nite/TV Land ad, as well as being flipped on some Hip Hop joints, also semi-recently (the shit is on the tip of my tongue, pause…and no it isn’t Journey or Eddie Money…nor is it The Cars’ “Hello Again”…but very close to that).
Since then, I’ve been watching a couple of his videos per day (just started from the very beginning of his Youtube channel yesterday…). In general, I’m not a fan of the standard “video blog” aesthetic, but this cat is one of the few who win in my book. What really hits home for me is his rather extensive knowledge of music (not just that which falls under the category of “funk”) coupled with the Hip Hop aspect of putting things into a “check this sample” perspective.
Most of his stuff is just like that…sans Joey Ramone wigpiece. Think of it as a video version of the-breaks.com, except far more entertaining due to the concept of instant fulfillment by audio (the whole “oh shit!” drop-mix element is alive and well in practically every video I’ve peeped)…not to mention the heap of character this cat constantly exhibits (not to take anything away from the aforementioned Internet sample database staple). True, he can be pretty loud with his antics…but it’s simply part of his modus operandi. He’s not affraid to let loose whilst at the helm. Take it as the charming appetizer that which precedes the toothsome main course medley of slow-cooked, tender groove goodness (you know, the stuff that falls right off of the bone of each record to leave an indelible mark on our collective aural palates). He’s like that one really, really cool teacher you had in high school/college, whose casual nature was presumed suspect and case enough for you to dismiss him/her until he/she delivered a boulder of a gem with deathly serious scholarly demeanor (which, in effect, wins over your respect and attention…then you get good grades because you care and the cool free-spirited teacher gets rewarded for having a positive influence on the kids…and everyone wins). Either way, kids, Funktual makes learning fun!
Yo…he pulled “Lucas With The Lid Off” out of the infinite abyss…and apparently, he’s also cool with Jimmy Castor (see his Jimmy Castor tribute videos…very milky).
Not only should you support Funktual based off of general principle…that is, if you care at all about music with at least an ounce of soul to it…but also acknowledge the full scope of his situation as a real-life human adult (the Internet has its magical ways of leading one to easily overlook such details). Yesterday, he posted the following video. A proposal of sorts, though it goes a bit deeper and puts things into a new perspective, almost treading on cathartic soil. Reality check.
The man makes a good point, and I agree. Although he chose to relinquish some personal information, no begging was done nor were any pathetic sob stories told.
Basically, you’ve gotta respect a person who’s doing it strictly for, in this case, the love of the music and the culture. Not only is Funktual spreading the type of knowledge that I find to be vital for the younger generations of listeners and aspiring artists who have mostly gone unchallenged and drained of any motivation to dig deeper (due to the Information Age’s bold emphasis on split-second gratification…and so on)…practically for free…but it is key to note that this information is delivered without a dollop of art school pretentiousness or P.C. self-righteousness.
Furthermore, I give him props for introducing an entrepreneurial attitude to the program. Any of you claiming “D.I.Y.” or “anti-corporate” should certainly applaud the fact that he is attempting to capitalize off of something he is obviously passionate about. Some may argue that his plan fails to observe the “realistic” ideals of maintaining a safe, long-term career (which is as full of bullshit as any other point about guaranteed lasting employment in today’s ever-so-flourishing economy), but at least it can satisfy his household’s immediate needs (for some time) and potentially serve as a springboard to other opportunities in a field that my man is genuinely interested in.
PTP fully supports and endorses DJ Funktual’s decision to hit cats up for a little scratch. It’s dumb to get mad at him, for what, 5 beans?! Get mad at the 18 year-old who’s flippin’ $2 packs of Peanut M&M’s on the 6 at rush hour because he fucked up his re-up money (c’mon, son has on a fresh pair of $100+ whatever’s on his feet and a new leather on his back…AND the “fitted to match”…). Or get mad at yourself not only for paying $10+ to see a shitty movie, but you had to buy the pseudo-butter coated slowdeath in a paper bag and a carbonated, syrupy liquid accompaniment, instead of having the presence of mind to sneak in your own food and beverage (alcholic or not)…all for more than the cost of a year’s worth of videos from this cat. Shame.
Let’s hope for a bullet in the head to some of the bullshit we’ve had to endure (mentally, audibly, visually, socially, emotionally, etc.)…not just in ’09…but for the last handful of years, at least.
Generally speaking, I have nothing against a guy/gal making his/her money…but c’mon b…some of the shit I get passed over to me is just way too suspect (since when was it cool for a rapper of any sex to adopt and utilize the same Internet vernacular bi-product as a 13 year-old girl would in a “text” to her fellow mall venturing, equally xenophobic “BFF”…”OMG”…”LOL”…damn anyone who says that shit in a rhyme…I don’t care how elitist and embittered this sounds…DAMN all of that)!
Anyone remember PM Dawn? Remember what happened to them for being on some cornball shit and disrespecting some noteworthy Hip Hop cats (namely KRS-One, Public Enemy, and Ice Cube) in an interview that was then slathered across the pages of a larger scale publication? Dres of Black Sheep revisits and explains…
Let’s also hear what Public Enemy had to say in ’92…Milli Vanilli caught some verbal beats as well…but take note on how Chuck and the gang then flip it by shouting out the names of their fellow rap compatriots to elevate it to a stance of unity (a strong focus of theirs throughout the years…about the only group/band I could stomach and actually believe when on that topic)…
Trust me, listen to the whole thing…the speech is followed by an incredible medley of joints at the laser-guided hands of Terminator-X. Even for just audio, the energy is bonkers in this…I lost it when “She Watch Channel Zero” dropped. Please someone find me an original recording of the show so that I can throw it on a mix and front like I was there with a video camera in hand.
To finish…can someone tough or, better yet (maybe), someone in an undeniable position of power, get off of the couch/yacht and start PM Dawning some of these happy-go-lucky trash acts out there?!