Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Properly Chilled Propercast 7 Review, Part 2 - The Music!

Propercast #7 starts in a way that no other Propercast has, with reggae and funk, balanced with relaxed and wah'ed guitars driven by quiet, downbeat drum and bass. In fact the opening track is Bob Marley's "Sun is Shining" (Yes King remix from Quango - a label that has released the likes of Kruder and Dorfmeister and Zero 7). Yes, Marley is the King and you feel like the sun is beating on your face, drinking Dark & Stormy's in Jamaica.

Marley slides into Ashtech's "Beat da Drum Gringo" which you can imagine from the name, is about relaxin', beatin da drum and enjoying life. The reggae-fest continues with a silly song "Pork Eater" from Ticklah. If this song wasn't so chill, i'd bust out laughing - its really just about eating pork.

After these first three songs, the tempo picks up and the vibe distinctly travels across the Atlantic - the guitar picks up and feels distinctly Spanish or Portuguese. Tracks from Deela and Romanowski, though not from Spain, takes us there and drops up in a spanish villa with not a care in the world.

This vibe continues as new tracks from Federico Aubele's Panamericana intro and conclude his interview.

I love the flow of this Propercast. They slowly awaken us from slumber with downtempo reggae, rays of sun on our face and as we rise from our pillows, they engage us with guitars and then electronic beats and organic world music.

If you check out any tracks from this Propercast, I recommend the first three reggae tunes and then "Yes Mr. B" by Lodekka. Rise and shine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Properly Chilled Propercast 7: Review Part 1 (of 2) - Federico Aubele Interview released Propercast #7 on Monday, Nov. 5. Its an hour and 15 minutes of music, and a 15 minute interview with Federico Aubele, ESL artist and Buenos Aires native.

Most of the music in this Propercast is an amazing collection of reggae and Spanish-inspired chillout, to fit the theme of Federico's flamenco and Argentine guitar style.

Federico's interview focused on his new album, Panamericana, and the production process with Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton. It was interesting to hear Federico's perspective on having his album produced by one person, instead of a collaboration of himself, his band and others. Having Eric Hilton produce Panamerica allowed Federico to focus on song writing and not so much the nit-picky sound tweaks. Having someone watch over allowed him to focus on guitar and song creation. The production quality is amazing, as are the songs.

He also got to practice his English. Though Panamericana doesn't have English songs (does it matter!?), maybe we'll hear some on his next album. Though he doesn't say it outright, I think Federico would want us to expand our horizons and appreciate his and his collaborators' foreign crooning. Though he's downtempo-based, he's inspired by artists ranging from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, jazz, reggae and many other types of music. We need to expand our horizons and listen to everything, to appreciate many styles and forms. I think many of us agree, that's why we appreciate downtempo music in general - its influenced by so many different styles.

So check out ProperlyChilled Propercast 7, Federico Aubele's Panamerica, and stay tuned for Part 2 of the Propercast 7 review where I'll focus on the music.


Monday, November 5, 2007


I cured my friend! She was sick so I sent her some Welder to listen to - and yup, she got better. I suspect its because I selected the best songs for her ailment. Welder is the downtempo alter-ego of Eskmo, known for his house tunes. But Welder gives us a much mellower, experimental sound. Welder's 2006 "Vines and Streams." The whole album is electronic, sounds like it was mixed on a computer and then shoved through some psychadelic fog. Very chill and melodic middle eastern infused downtempo. I served up a dose of these four songs to my friend: "Rain," "Valeez," "In the Park," and "Isle of Sky." These are my favorites off "Vines and Streams." The rest have a hint of house that mixes well with the downtempo, but these four songs just get in my blood and slow me down, in a very chill way.

Oh, and Julie says Hi.

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