Sunday, 5 June 2011

Enter The Wu-Tang (The Clean Version)


Heya folks. Here's an exclusive for this blog (again) - something I've been piecing together over the last few days.

Basically, now I've got kids in my life, I'm a bit curtailed with what I can play and watch and all that sort of stuff, so I decided to start putting together my own clean versions of classic hip hop albums. After a bit o thought, I decided to start with "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 CHambers)".

Now, it sort of came about by the lack of an official version - don't get me wrong, there IS an official version of sorts, but you can't buy it anywhere and you can't download it from amazon in the UK, so that sort of left me stuck. I wanted to buy it but I couldn't.... what's a brother to do?

Well, it just so happens that I put my editing hat on, and pieced together a fully clean version of the album - an even more complete version than the official clean release: that one only had 9 tracks, and this one has ALL the tracks (I've even separated them up into skits and songs, rather than leave the skits tagged onto the start or the end of the proper songs).

You can see the state of the clean version here on Discogs.... it's not massively impressive.

I've also taken the liberty of re-editing a couple of the officially re-recorded clean versions, because to be quite honest they weren't very well done and I think mine are better (that's me, always full of myself!).

Anyway - here you go: tracklist after the link. Enjoy!

Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (Full Clean Version)

1. Bring Da Ruckus
2. Shame On A Nuh
3. Killa Bees Interlude
4. Clan In Da Front
5. Where My Killer Tape? (skit)
6. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber
7. Can It All Be So Simple Skit
8. Can It All Be So Simple
9. Protect Ya Neck
10. Intermission
11. Da Mystery Of Chessboxin
12. Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuttin Ta F' With
13. C.R.E.A.M.
14. Method Man
15. Tearz
16. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber Part II
17. Method Man Remix
18. Conclusion

Sunday, 1 May 2011

swiftfm!

It has been a LONG time since I posted anything up here.... I'm SO sorry! All change again this end. Moved for a second time in six months, and now living in a lovely house with the family, got a record room set up, and everything now much more settled than before.

Anyways.



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If you're at a loose end, I started a swiftfm account. If you don't know what they are, then here we go: you can link / upload any track you want onto there, one by one, and anyone can listen to them streaming. It's like making your own mixtape and posting it up on the net. You can skip tracks, re-click on them and repeat a couple if you want, and so on.

Check out my page: My Playlist!

Tracks included so far.....

Put Everything Together - Plus
It's Time To Breakdown - The Supremes
Do What You Gotta Do - Eddie Drennon
Walk On By - Cal Tjader
We All Got To Hep Each Other - Kenny Rogers

You get the general idea. :)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Smiley Culture RIP

...and you probably would have heard about Smiley Culture too. This death is slightly less clear cut than Nate Dogg's, as he died in unusual circumstances.

Metro account of Smiley's death

Let's re-look at a couple of his classics... I got his Tongue In Cheek album (from 86) and a couple of singles that I still play out now. :(


^ cuts out JUST before the end! :(
Full version here (no video) Police Officer







Rest In Peace Dave... You'll be sorely missed. :'(

Nate Dogg

By now you'll have heard the horrible news that Nate Dogg has died aged 41. I can't believe it... I knew he'd had a stroke but I didn't expect him to pass away this soon. Unbelievable. Let's reaquaint ourselves with some of his best.























And, for a bonus smile on the face on what has been a pretty shitty day for music (what with Smiley Culture's death reported in the media as well - see separate post), here's the legendary wikipedia entry for "Regulate". Enjoy, and Regulate In Peace, Nate. :)

On a cool, clear night (typical to Southern California) Warren G travels through his neighborhood, searching for women with whom he might initiate sexual intercourse. He has chosen to engage in this pursuit alone.

Nate Dogg, having just arrived in Long Beach, seeks Warren. Ironically, Nate passes a car full of women who are excited to see him. He insists to the women that there is no cause for excitement.

Warren makes a left at 21st Street and Lewis Ave, where he sees a group of young men enjoying a game of dice together. He parks his car and greets them. He is excited to find people to play with, but to his chagrin, he discovers they intend to relieve him of his material possessions. Once the hopeful thieves reveal their firearms, Warren realizes he is in a considerable predicament.

Meanwhile, Nate passes the women, as they are low on his list of priorities. His primary concern is locating Warren. After curtly casting away the strumpets (whose interest in Nate was such that they crashed their automobile), he serendipitously stumbles upon his friend, Warren G, being held up by the young miscreants.

Warren, unaware that Nate is surreptitiously observing the scene unfold, is in disbelief that he's being robbed. The perpetrators have taken jewelry and a name brand designer watch from Warren, who is so incredulous that he asks what else the robbers intend to steal. This is most likely a rhetorical question.

Observing these unfortunate proceedings, Nate realizes that he may have to use his firearm to deliver his friend from harm.

The tension crescendos as the robbers point their guns to Warren's head. Warren senses the gravity of his situation. He cannot believe the events unfolding could happen in his own neighborhood. As he imagines himself escaping in a surreal fashion, he catches a glimpse of his friend, Nate.

Nate has seventeen cartridges (sixteen residing in the pistol's magazine, with a solitary round placed in the chamber and ready to be fired) to expend on the group of robbers. Afterward, he generously shares the credit for neutralizing the situation with Warren, though it is clear that Nate did all of the difficult work. Putting congratulations aside, Nate quickly reminds himself that he has committed multiple homicides to save Warren before letting his friend know that there are females nearby if he wishes to fornicate with them.

Warren recalls that it was the promise of copulation that coaxed him away from his previous activities, and is thankful that Nate knows a way to satisfy these urges. Nate quickly finds the women who earlier crashed their car on Nate's account. He remarks to one that he is fond of her physical appeal. The woman, impressed by Nate's singing ability, asks that he and Warren allow her and her friends to share transportation. Soon, both friends are driving with automobiles full of women to the East Side Motel, presumably to consummate their flirtation in an orgy.

The third verse is more expository, with Warren and Nate explaining their G Funk musical style. Warren displays his bravado by daring anyone to approach the style. There follows a brief discussion of the genre's musicological features, with special care taken to point out that in said milieu the rhythm is not in fact the rhythm, as one might assume, but actually the bass. Similarly the bass serves a purpose closer to that which the treble would in more traditional musical forms. Nate displays his bravado by claiming that individuals with equivalent knowledge could not even attempt to approach his level of lyrical mastery. Nate goes on to note that if any third party smokes as he does, they would find themselves in a state of intoxication almost daily (from Nate's other works, it can be inferred that the substance referenced is marijuana). Nate concludes his delineation of the night by issuing a threat to "busters," suggesting that he and Warren will further "regulate" any potential incidents in the future (presumably by engaging their antagonists with small arms fire).

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Sesame Street Tribute

Man I love Sesame Street. It's one of the big things that helped me learn to read when I was a kid. It's SUCH a great show. Been watching the DVDs recently. Anyway, here's some of the best guest spots from the show over the years. :)

















Monday, 24 January 2011

FLASHBACK TIME!



............and, just for fun......

Monday, 17 January 2011

Shogun Assassin



"It's the tender tale of a mighty swordsman trying to balance his career as an assassin with the problems of being a single dad while being stalked by legions of extremely hypertensive ninjas." - AnimEigo (current official distributors)

Well, this is one of my top five movies of all time. The story of Daigoro and his dad, who have been targeted by the Shogun and his henchmen (and cheating sons), and who now works as a hired swordsman, this is an unbelievably dope film. The soundtrack is amazing, the sound effects are stunning, the dubbing is great, and overall it's one of the best exploitation films of the 80s.

Saying that, it's probably best that I explain its origins for those who may not know them.

Back in 1970, the characters of Ogami Ito (the dad) and Daigoro (the son) first appeared in a Manga written by Kazuo Koike (with art by Goseki Kojima). The basic story was this: Ogami Ittō was the Shogun's executioner. Disgraced by false accusations from the Yagyū clan, he is forced to take the path of the assassin. Along with his three-year-old son, Daigorō, they seek revenge on the Yagyū clan and are known as "Lone Wolf and Cub".



The story eventually stretched to 28 volumes. It was ridiculously successful in Japan (selling at least 8 mill) and the rest of the world when it was translated. (The English version eventually emerged 17 years later.)

Of course, something this popular and visual couldn't help but be made into a film. Well, six films, to be exact.
The first was released in 1972 as "Kozure Ōkami: Kowokashi udekashi tsukamatsuru", or - if your Japanese isn't up to scratch - "Wolf with Child in Tow: Child and Expertise for Rent". In the West, the film was titled "Lone Wolf and Cub - Sword Of Vengeance".
The second film - "Lone Wolf and Cub - Baby Cart at the River Styx" (aka "Kozure Ōkami: Sanzu no kawa no ubaguruma", or "Wolf with Child in Tow: Baby Cart of the River of Sanzu") emerged in the same year, along with the next two in the series ("Baby Cart To Hades" and "Baby Cart In Peril"). Number 5 ("Baby Cart In The Land Of Demons" followed in 1973, and the sixth film ("White Heaven In Hell") came out in 1974. All of the films starred Tomisaburo Wakayama as Ogami Ito and Akihiro Tomikawa as Daigoro, and were directed by Kenji Misumi.



All clear so far? Good, good. Because this is where it gets a bit confusing.

David Weisman, an underground filmmaker who had ties with Andy Warhol's Factory, obtained the rights for the original films for $50,000 from the American office of Toho Studios. Weisman was a fan of the movies, and together with Robert Houston (who played Bobby in Wes Craven's original The Hills Have Eyes) they pieced together a massively simplified version of the first two films that excised any reference to the clan wars - or anything particularly complex - and invented a whole new narrative. They had to restructure the two films so that three hours of film was edited down to just over 80 minutes.
Weisman and Houston hired deaf lip readers to match dialogue to the lip movements of the original Japanese actors. They filled in the narrative gaps left (after all, the film was two seperate stories added together) by adding voice-over narration by Daigoro, performed by 7-year-old Gibran Evans (son of the poster illustrator, Jim Evans). Rounding out the spoken word talent to create this Frankenstein's Monster of a film were Lamont Johnson and Sandra Bernhardt, who provided the voices for Ogami Ito and the Supreme Ninja respectively.

Finally, Houston and Weisman added an eerie, electronic-based score by Mark Lindsay (who was the lead singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders), although some of the original music from the OG Lone Wolf films remained.

"Shogun Assassin" emerged in 1980, released by Roger Corman's New World pictures.



The basic plot now goes like this:
Ogami Ito was the Shogun’s executioner after his many years serving as his master samurai. As the shogun becomes older and more senile, he becomes increasingly intimidated by Ito. The Shogun decides to assassinate him, but instead, the assassins he sends kill his wife.
Ito then escapes with his son Diagoro and is chased to the ends of Japan by a slew of would be killers. It is believed that when the Lone Wolf loses his son, he loses his power as well, and he is tested multiple times, up until his confrontation with the masters of death and the shogun himself. With his son and his cart armed with blades, and other assorted tricks up their sleeves, Itto seeks out justice, but will he find it?



You REALLY need this film in your life: if you haven't seen it, the two main cultural references that most people will know this film for are from Kill Bill Part II (where two of the main characters watch it on video) and from the Gza album "Liquid Swords", where the dialogue is ruthlessly pillaged.

Not convinced? Check this out.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Hong Kong Phooey



So, in the Jones household, me and the girls are watching Hong Kong Phooey. One of my favourite programmes from when I was a kid. :)

For the uninitiated, Hong Kong Phooey started in 1974, at the height of the blaxploitation / kung fu crazes in the US, which of course led to the great mixture of Scatman Crothers and the hellafied funky background music, and the kung-fu theme.

Here's the opening sequence.... "Who is this superhero? Sarge? Rosemary, the telephone operator? Penry, the mild-mannered janitor?"



Man I love this programme. It's not long enough to get boring, it's got stupid jokes in it, Spot is great, the villains are hissable, the soundtrack is amazing, and Scatman Crothers (as Jones family friend Guy pointed out) is the best cartoon voice ever.

Both volumes of the series are available in certain high street shops.... ah the hell with it, HMV sell it nice and cheap. All the episodes on two DVDs? Yes please.

For the younger viewers out there, this following clip is NOT Hong Kong Phooey.



WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? ^

*shakes head*

Anyway. Here's a proper bit of the PROPER TV show.

Ready To Die - The Premo Edition

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hi there folks..... life got in the way of me doing any music stuff for a while there.... and prevented me from posting anything up for you lovely people! What with a horribly emotional start to 2010, and a massive change in living style, I haven't been doing that much on the internet that I've been able to share, but I'm back (albeit a bit more periodically than before).

So, without further ado, here's my new mixtape: Biggie verses + DJ Premier beats!

Ready To Die - The Premo Edition



You can guess how it pans out... Biggie acapellas and Premo beats.
Not all the tracks are from Ready To Die, and I couldn't get all of the acapellas - not sure that ANYONE has got all of them, but I went for all acapellas from 94 and before, so the same era.



Let me know what you think.

Peace out!