Strictly For Educated Ears



Saturday, November 04, 2006

Smooth Like Butter

Peanut Butter Wolf on the Mix This time
Quality as Always in The Badmeaninggood Series

Below is a track list with PBWolf's own liner notes, which are not included in the album.

1-Grandmaster Flash-"New Adventures of Grandmaster Flash"
The original version of the song is broken up into two parts that have nothing to do with each other. I love the second part, which is what I used here. It's a take off on Run DMC's "Sucker MCs". There were so many takes on that beat after it came out. Before that, everybody's music was happy and cluttered and "Sucker MCs" was so stripped down and aggressive. But back to THIS song, the chanting in it is a perfect party vibe. I also decided to use the first part of it in my intro since it has a lot of character, with the slap bass and Woody Woodpecker laugh (which was first used on "Techno Scratch" by Knights of the Turntable).

2-Lord Alibaski-"Top Gun"
Anything produced by 45 King circa the late '80's is gold. He was the leader of that era. I had him remix my first single "Run The Line" in '97. I felt like I was talking to God when I called him, but his lack of any ego helped me get over my nerves real quick. He gave me a remix and I rejected it, telling him the beat was already used my X-Clan. Then he told me he did their first single, which I couldn't believe until I went back and looked at the record. I said I wanted a classic, simple bassline/ drumbeat track like his "Microphone Fiend" remix and he went back and gave me one. He did the remix for $1500. A couple of months later, he did "Hard Knock Life" for Jay Z (whom I opened for at a 300 capacity club a year earlier) and "Stan" for Eminem and I thought, good thing I grabbed him while he was affordable.

3-45 King-"Funk Box"
This is a cover of the Master Dom Committee's record, but I like the production on this one much more. This is one of those album cuts I happened across from a 45 King breakbeat that gets the crowd every time. Really similar to "The 900 Number". I love the singer cuz he sounds like an older, gospel trained vocalist, but over the raw drums, it sounds unlike anything else.

4-Iron Butterfly-"Soul Experience"
I'm a sucker for '60's psychedelic music. I love the confidence in his voice and wish I could work with a vocalist who sounds like this (or like Steve Arrington). Iron Butterfly is one of those groups reached millions due to the success of "In A Gadda Da Vida". Their other stuff is really good as well, yet you can always find all of their albums in the dollar bin.

5-Johnny Hammond-"Fantasy"
Classic Mizel Brothers production. This one puts you in a good mood, no matter what you're going through at the time. I remember playing this at a small bar in LA and Rich Medina from Philly came up to me and asked what it was. I admire him as a DJ and felt like I must have been on the right track doing that to him. When I showed him what it was, he said, "Oh, I got this album, but slept on this cut." Even better.

6-Roy Ayers-"Cant You See Me"
Everyone loves "Runnin Away", but not too many people check for this one. It's an album cut from the late '70's, but a British label reissued it as a 12" in the mid-'80's. I bought the 12" in Japan last year for an offensive price, then came back to the US and found one later for a fraction of it. I played it out that trip and have been playing it ever since.

7-Alicia Meyers-"Don't Stop What You're Doin"
I first heard this sampled by Jay Dee for the Slum Village song with Busta Ryhmes. I always wanted to know where they got it, and one day I bought the album with "I Wanna Thank You" on it", and coincidentally this was the first track on it. That intro is such a strong hook that it could be it's own song. And the synthesizers that come in later crack me up because they're SOOOOOO OFF BEAT. Either the person playing them was in the other room or they just didn't care.

8-Bernard Wright-"The Master Rocker"
Another strong groove. This song sounds EXACTLY like "Chic Cheer" from Chic. They both came out at the same time. Somebody had to "borrow" the groove from the other. Not sure who. The girl talking nasty is pretty funny. I decided to add my own synths at the end to make it fit with the next track.

9-B Beat Girls-“Jungle Swing"
I bought this when it came out back in '83. It's produced by Matt Noble, who I buy anything with his name attached to. The scratching absolutely cracks me up. First of all, no crossfader was used. Secondly, at one point, you can actually hear the record they're scratching skip and they keep going. They must have not had much money for studio time. The drum sounds and programming are what do it for me though. There are 3 versions of this song on the 12" and I took my favorite elements of each one. The vocals are over the top, but "when the club's hoppin", it only adds to the excitement.

10-Human League-"Hard Times"
This is when hip hop, breakdancing, electro, and new wave were all interchangeable. Another record I bought when it came out. I first heard it at a Flea Market by a group of Cholos gathered around a boom box, popping to it. It was on a mix tape, but played twice as fast for people to pop to. Back then, they'd speed everything up twice as fast, "Planet Rock", "Numbers", everything.

11-Joe Jackson-"Steppin Out"
I love the sound of this rhythm machine. It gives it a Soft Cell feel. But, over all, the song writing is the strong point. Not necessarily the lyrics, but the chords and arrangements. Joe Jackson is so funky. Probably my favorite song on the whole CD. It's one of those strong emotional songs that makes you feel happy and sad at the same time.

12-Cold Crush Brothers-"Punk Rock Rap"
The precursor to "Push It". The whole feeling of it. This song is way too fast to try to rap over, but I love all the chanting they do. Kinda reminds me of the B52's stuff. Super catchy. I decided to leave out the "Oh My God" sample. Sorry, Doug E Fresh fans.

13-Michael White-"Let Love Be Your Magic Carpet"
Brazilian influenced, disco/jazz album cut. This is another one where the intro groove could practically be a song in it's own. Overall, this song sounds like a weird dream. I bought this album looking for samples to make hip hop with, but ended up playing it out when I DJ. Usually over the dancefloor's head when I play, but fuck it. I guess it's tempo makes it intimidating to dance to. I know I'd look funny dancing to it (or dancing to anything for that matter).

14-Prince Far I-"Blackmon"
If 45 King is God in the production sense, Prince Far I is what He'd sound like. I love the call and response between the singing and rapping. Such a good, dirty recording overall. I wish I could record drums like that now. How'd they get the high hats to sound like that? I decided to loop the rhythm at the end.

15-Jungle Brothers-"I'm Gonna Do You"
When they first came out, they changed hip hop. They had such deep crates, but more importantly knew how to put songs together. They integrated singing without making it corny. They used elements of jazz, reggae, soul, rock, etc. It's bold to compare yourself to Bambattaa, but Baby Bam deserves the title because they really upheld the concepts of hip hop origins, while changing it. When people talk about "forward thinking" and "genre bending" today, I think, go back to '88 and listen to them. Every song on this album influenced the future of music.

16-Charizma & PB Wolf-"My World Premiere"
The production I'm most proud of, even though musically, it's not much more than a half bar loop and some scratching. We were at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley recording our album for Hollywood Basics in '92 and had finished our other songs in a shorter time than anticipated. We decided to mess around and this is what came out. In '97, I asked Kenny Parker to play over the loud speakers at the end of the "Step Into A World" video shoot. KRS One started nodding his head, and asked Kenny what it was. I told him it was me and he begged me for a copy. I said I had just given my last copy to his brother/DJ, Kenny. The next day I gave him a copy and he introduced me to Red Alert and told me to give him one.

17-Kenny Burke-"Rising to the Top" (Snowboy remix)
Another British record I bought in Japan. Why he was a one hit wonder that nobody has tried to resurrect yet, I'll never understand. This one freaks people out because everyone knows the song, but nobody's ever heard this version. It says it's a remix, but it sounds like they actually re-did the song from scratch. Snowboy has some great stuff on the Acid Jazz label that reminds me of Marvin Gaye with the chord progressions and all that. This one is definitely last song of the night music. Good night.

"...Wolf clearly sees himself as an evangelist,
preaching the word of rap's neglected forebears,
and his mix is valuable both musically and musicologically..."

Bad Butta

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