Checking the label

This is a special review segment, as I’ve got the three latest releases from Eighteenth Street Lounge in my hot little hands. Now, as I’ve stated before, this stuff isn’t my primary musical focus. However, I love pretty much everything that comes in the mail from this lovely DC company and feel the need to share how awesome their product is with you, my loyal few readers. I probably read a bit like I’m giving them a verbal handjob, but there are few labels I feel about in this way, so fucking deal.

Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada – “El Niño y El Sol
El Niño y El Sol is a soundtrack to a movie that has never been made, isn’t in production, and (for that matter) will never be made. An imaginary film score, basically. It’s a collaboration between Ocote Soul Sounds and Adrian Quesada of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. It’s cool, laid-back jaazy lounge with a touch of Latin flavor. Unfortunately, there’s an element that makes about half the tracks a bit Jethro Tull-ish. Yep- a flute. It’s not an accent piece- it’s featured prominently. It mars what is an otherwise very relaxing and hip recording.

Thunderball – “Cinescope”
You hear the name Thunderball and think “James Bond.” I was looking at the album cover, looking at the band name, looking at the logo font, and thinking “Sweet! Spy music!” No. Not unless James Bond started smoking massive amounts of ganja and listening to King Tubby records… which might be kinda cool. The record is a collection of the first three 12″ Cinescope EPs put out by Thunderball. Think of Cinescope as a modern soundtrack to something like The Harder They Come. Fuck… it’s got Afrika Bambaataa. On two songs, no less. Seriously danceable dub, for the most part. Not slow and low dub: think of this album as a dub record with the record player bumped from 33 to 45.

ESL Remixed: The 100th release of ESL Music
It’s the 100th release from Eighteenth Street Lounge. New remixes, old songs, new songs… fucking awesome. Seriously, this is the intro to the label you need if you’ve yet to hear anything ESL has put out. All of their major artists get a track, and the remixes range from amazingly cool due to the people involved (Thievery Corporation and David Byrne on the same track? Yes, please) to just cool in the results (Calexico remixing Argentinian guitarist Federico Aubele). It’s a fantastic exercise, and a better celebration, I can’t imagine.