Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Silver Daggers and The Shining Path.
Listed: Silver Daggers + The Shining Path
Anyone familiar with 99 or Ze Records is familiar with Silver Daggers. This Los Angeles five-piece sounds as if you talk every song on the three New York Noise compilations and ran them through Babel Fish 10 times. They started out about four years ago when William Kai Strangeland Manchaca ( a.k.a. WKSM) and Jackson Baugh got together. Eventually they netted Jenna Thornhill (also of Mika Miko and co-star with Becky Stark and No Age's Dean Spunt in the film High School Record), Marcus Savino and Steven Kim. The five of them all bust their ass in the Los Angeles music community and are involved with The Smell, the best venue in town. (We'd consider bestowing that honor to the Echo, but they beat up WKSM.) They've released a shitload of 7"s on Not Not Fun and recently hit the bigtime with an LP on Load called New High & Ord (named after an intersection in Chinatown). WKSM coordinated this week's Listed.
1. Crass - The Feeding of the 5000 (Small Wonder)
Christ on the cross, warfare, whoredom, anarchy, punk narcissism, the mystic revelation of CRASStafari.
2. Getatchew Mekuria
A mystical Sax player. There is an Ethiopiques volume devoted to him and he's on the recent album by The Ex. They have some tour dates with him lined up this year. Seems unlikely that they will make their way out to the States.
3. Huggy Bear - "Long Distance Lovers" 7" (Gravity)
Having found this record at an impressionable age it has remained one of my favorites. It exemplifies what a band and a record label with few resources and a lot of passion can do. An artful and political glimpse of Punk Rock from the era of Grunge Rock.
4. The Need - S/T 7" (KRS)
This band turned music on it's head for me when i was 17. That was nice of them. This is their first record. They had a ferocious, intense live set and warm, charismatic personalities. When my car broke down in Olympia they let me park at their practice space and use their car until I could get mine fixed.
5. Robert Fripp
Fripp is special for so many reasons. He is a rock star who won't play any of his old hits at shows. When King Crimson was at its peak, he broke up the band to invent modern ambient music with Brian Eno. When everyone clamored for a King Crimson reunion, he instead chose to do a tour of coffee houses and pizza places looping his guitar through a reel to reel tape delay set-up. Only then did he re-imagine King Crimson as a gamelan, new wave pop band. He keeps on reinventing himself and essentially turning his back on whatever will make money for him.
6. Egg - The Polite Force (Deram)
A hugely important record even though most people have never heard it. Egg were a progressive rock band from England. They were broke all of the time and their equipment barely worked. They played a grand total of about 100 live shows. Yet they managed to put out three brilliant records. Their music was way too radical for its time and The Polite Force illustrates everything they were about musically. It is delightfully intricate and complicated, yet totally unpretentious. Long stretches of the record are essentially atonal freak-outs that predate every noise rock band to cause a racket since. There are also beautiful melodic passages, with lovely organ playing and nice jazzy drums. Then at times there are very awkward sounding vocals. It's an imperfect record because the band was imperfect. They were a hodgepodge and seemingly just tried to play every different weird idea they could get their minds around. It was so brave of them to try and play this music that people really didn't want to hear that much. But I love that this record exists, because there are so many bands that rule so hard and can/will never be heard by more than 20 or 30 people.
7. Gang Starr - Moment of Truth (Noo Trybe)
Hip Hop is nowhere near my area of expertise but i love this record. It reminds me of the edge of time when Hip Hop was still kind of collages and not straight pop format. Premier's beats are tight and remind me of walking the block in New York. Guru's rhymes are super positive. Even when he is talking about God i can relate. I love when he calls people out for naming the hooks they scratched and letting the industry write the rules.
8. Outkast - Aquemini (LaFace)
I remember when i first saw "Rosa Parks" on MTV and Andre 3000 was wearing football shoulder pads or something with feathers on and I was recovering from appendicitis and everyone was swimming and I was bummed because I was still in stitches. Then I heard the record and it blew me away. Reminds me of when i was a kid and I saw the music video for "Dirty Boots" and I didn't know rock music could sound like that and then I heard an actual record and things fell apart. It was the Hip Hop version of that.
9. Uphill Gardeners - The Uphill Gardeners (WIN)
Pretty much everything I write for the Uphill Gardeners is ditto for Godzik Pink. This is a fantastic release by a truly forward thinking band on an equally progressive record label. For me this record moves me just as powerfully as it did when I first heard it ten years ago. Isn't that saying something? Such lasting semblance of permanence is rare these days and I think it's not a bad thing to strive for.
10. Godzik Pink - Es Em Ekel Em (KRS)
If you can call anything a classic anymore, for me it would be this record. Godzik Pink's music is hard to describe. You can try but it would only make you look kind of silly. Whatever it is, you can tell it's coming from a deeply personal and profoundly heartfelt place and that's all I really need to know. I wish these mainstays of the hyper-creative LA music underground of the near past never broke up.
The Shining Path
The Shining Path is the 'rock unit' formation of psych-minimalist duo Monosov Swirnoff. Ilya Monosov and Preston Swirnoff have released four highly acclaimed LP's of wide-ranging music on Eclipse Records and have just released The Shining Path debut self-titled full length LP/CD on Holy Mountain this month. The record oozes with damaged rock songs, disorienting feedback, pulsing unsettling rhythms, and beautiful sheets of white noise. Their sound has been compared to a mix of Les Rallizes Denudes, Suicide, and no wave groups like Mars with the free outbursts of Abe Kaoru or Takayanagi. The group will be releasing a cassette later this year on Brooklyn's T.B.T.D. label, a crushing live ep to follow, and will be recording a new studio record with a live dvd this Fall.
Monosov and Swirnoff are also releasing respective solo records later this year on Language of Stone and Last Visible Dog. They also collaborate in Habitat Sound System, a hard-hitting dub/dancehall project in association with Mad Professor and others. (Photo credit: Chris Woo)
We chose to write about rappers and hip-hop producers because from our record you can already guess that we love Suicide, Takayanagi, Rallizes, Velvets, and etc, etc… I almost wrote on Russian underground bard singers, but that would be, I feel, less related to what the Shining Path is. We play a music that is inspired by American musical traditions from old blues of Tommy Johnson, to Suicide, to LaMonte Young, to The Velvet Underground. We wanted to tell you about music you probably would not think we listen too, but that has influenced both Preston and I on our musical journey. - Ilya Monosov.
Ilya chooses 5 rappers:
1. Big L
One of Harlem's greatest, and probably one of the best free style poets from the NYC hip hop scene. The music he rapped over is funky, full of great samples of various winds, and up-tempo beats. His lyrics were lean, and mean. An American original, like Suicide, Velvet Underground, and the Stooges. RIP.
2. Too Short
People misunderstand the importance of this East Oakland singer-songwriter. Todd Shaw (aka Too $hort) has pioneered the Oakland rap style and was around way before e-40, Mac Dre, and Rbl Posse. His musical style is deeply rooted in 70's funk and full of catchy synth lines, great bass lines, and amazing lyrics that don't seem to stop popping out of his mouth.
3. Public Enemy (Chuck D)
The only mistake Chuck D has made in his career is collaborating with the Anthrax (a horrible example of hair metal, but wait, the lead singer did not have hair anyway, but he sure loved to head bang). So brushing that aside, Chuck D is to be considered one of the pioneers of rap music and as the other's on this list has contributed greatly to American traditions of poetry and minimalism.
4. Dr. Dre
Hands down The Chronic is one of the best produced funk rap records of all time. Just listen to Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain" LP and than flip on the Chronic. More psychedelic than the CD-r you just purchased in the 'file under psych drone genre"!!!
One of NYC's greatest. As much as we love Big L and Gangstarr, Rakim stands on top. Simply the best rapper on this list.
Preston chooses 5 producers:
1. J Dilla
Brought the rough gritty sound of Detroit to the masses and became the new gold standard in beats and production. His early death was tragic and has propelled him to mythical status. The new king.
Yes, he's gotten pretty cheezy lately but you can't mess with his innovative, incredible beats that he laid down for Missy, Aaliyah, and Magoo.
3. Kool DJ Red Alert
One of the pioneers of modern beatmaking and sampling. His work with the Boogie Down Productions crew and his longstanding World Famous Radio Mix show on New York's Power 105.1fm have made him a legend.
4. Eric B
Still very underrated and unappreciated because he was in Rakim's shadow and never went on to much after they split. But in his day he changed the game for dj's with his stripped down hard beats and his borrowings from eastern and arabic music.
5. Kool Herc
Have to give respect to the probable ORIGINATOR of hip hop. Came to NY from Jamaica and when the crowds didn't dig the reggae dancehall sound he changed it by finding drum breaks from American soul and funk records and playing them over and over to keep the dance party going. Set the stage for Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaata to carry the torch.
By Dusted Magazine