Categories
Anniversary Archive Compositions Electronic Funk Memoir Pop Postclassical Vocal

90/30: Eccentricities

Eccentricities is a six-song, self-released cassette EP which emerged in the fall of 1990. I recall having 100 copies made and being satisfied with that level of dispersion; it was all I could afford in any case. In honour of the 30th anniversary, I present two of the songs here (with a third linked below).

My recordings during this period were all effectively demos. Made with no budget, engineers, producers, retakes, final mixdowns, editing, mastering, label releases or promotion. They were an in the moment document, like the solo piano recordings I turned to focus on in later decades, created with a minimum of tools and preparation and on the raw side. There are many songs and pieces I’ve returned to for revision or reimagining, but the version 1.0s are always done quickly, very rarely seeing a live performance.

Track 1, side B. In its awkward, often corny way, “The Gardener” was about envisioning a sustainable, equitable and peaceful future. Musically, it looked back on the two decades which preceded it terms of tempo, rhythm and melodic style; and even further back in the century with the use of stacked-fifth chords as the main harmonic fabric. All the keyboard parts were performed live. The presence of the TR-808 marked the first time I incorporated a preprogrammed element into my music. I often wish I had seen fit to capture it on its own as a stem as it was so fun to make, and like the song itself, it expressed a unique side of my musical thought at a particular time.

Written and recorded July 1990
half-inch 8-track, unmastered mixdown to DAT
Roland S-50, Roland TR-808, Yahama DX-27, Fender bass, voice

Track 3, side B. “One Foot Firmly Planted” is the closing song of the EP, and like “The Gardener” which opens the side, it employs chords of stacked fifths in the organ as the harmonic material, sometimes doubled here by the voices. A piece which did not perhaps emerge from the ground as I boast in the liner notes, but formed spontaneously without a preplanned direction from a bare bones beat of conga, clapping and floor tom; coloured with organ and hailed by some strange, quasi-philosophical, quasi-choral voices. In an unconscious nod to the period of study of electroacoustic composition which I had just concluded, I randomly spliced and recombined the last few seconds of the multitrack tape, where the song disintegrates.

Written and recorded July 1990
half-inch 8-track, unmastered mixdown to DAT
percussion, Korg CX-3, voice

(Here’s one more piece from Eccentricities, “Quarter-Tone Study.”)

Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce A. Russell 2020

Categories
Afro-Caribbean Electronic Funk Hip Hop Mixtapes R&B Vocal

Twenty Tens

As a farewell to the decade when music collections and manual selection became niche, here’s an old-fashioned segue mix.

Ìfé | Bangah (Pico y Palo)

Georgia Anne Muldrow | Overload

Ibeyi | River

D’Angelo and The Vanguard | Really Love

King | Red Eye

Thundercat | Them Changes

Erykah Badu | Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long

Childish Gambino | Boogieman

The Internet | Wanna Be

Esperanza Spalding | Touch in Mine

Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway | Something

Solange | Junie

Shafiq Husayn feat. Jimetta Rose & Fatima | May I Assume

Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar | Never Catch Me

Brandon Coleman feat. Patrice Quinn & Techdizzle | Giant Feelings

Anderson .Paak | King James

Kamasi Washington | Show Us the Way

Kaytranada feat. Little Dragon | Bullets

Laura Mvula | Phenomenal Woman

Moses Sumney | Self-Help Tape

Ibrahim El Mahboob

December 2019

Categories
Electronic Funk Hip Hop Jazz Mixtapes Pop R&B

Otherwhere

British responses to Black diasporic music, and other sounds from formative walks in SSM and Toronto, via a recollection of refrains, harmonic worlds visited and the journeys between

Omar | You’ve Got to Move
Working Week | Inner City Blues
The Brand New Heavies | Dream On Dreamer
Colourbox | Philip Glass
Young Disciples | Get Yourself Together
Massive Attack | Daydreaming
Level 42 | Coup d’etat
Soul II Soul | Fairplay
Mica Paris | Contribution ft. Rakim
Ronny Jordan | See the New ft. IG Culture
Jamiroquai | Blow Your Mind
Matt Bianco | Half a Minute
Prefab Sprout | Enchanted
Sade | Hang on to Your Love
Incognito | Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing
Caron Wheeler | Kama Yo
Swing Out Sister | Twilight World
Loose Ends | Hangin’ on a String (Contemplating)

Otherwhere: UK 84-94

Ibrahim El Mahboob
March 2018

Categories
Africa Boogie Composers Electronic Funk Jazz Lists Orchestral Performers Piano Pop Postclassical R&B Soundtrack

Best of 2016

Childish Gambino “Awaken, My Love!” (Glassnote)

Vicky Chow A O R T A (New Amsterdam)

King We Are King (King Creative)

Laura Mvula The Dreaming Room (Sony · RCA)

Holly Roadfeldt The Preludes Project (Ravello)

Solange A Seat at the Table (Saint · Columbia)

Esperanza Spalding Emily’s D+Evolution (Concord)

reissues · remasters · restorations · box sets

Wally Badarou Back to Scales To-Night (Barclay · Expansion)

The Emotions Blessed: The Emotions Anthology 1969-1985 (BBR)

Philip Glass The Complete Sony Recordings (Sony)

Bernard Herrmann Twisted Nerve (Stylotone)

John Williams Jurassic Park · The Lost World: Jurassic Park (La-La Land)

Various Artists Doing It in Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco in 1980s Nigeria (Soundway)

Various Artists Star Trek: 50th Anniversary Collection (La-La Land)

Categories
Boogie Electronic Funk Mixtapes Pop R&B

Boogie Dedication

The Salsoul Orchestra ft. Loleatta Holloway | Seconds

Linda Williams | City Living

Stephanie Mills | You Can’t Run from My Love

Esther Williams | I’ll Be Your Pleasure

Odyssey | Inside Out

Pleasure | Nothin’ to It

Unlimited Touch | I Hear Music in the Streets

Kool & the Gang | Steppin’ Out

Prince | I Wanna Be Your Lover

Eighties Ladies | I Knew That Love

Logg | Dancing into the Stars

Change ft. Luther Vandross | The Glow of Love

Stevie Wonder | As if You Read My Mind

B O O G I E D E D I C A T I O N

79-82

To Nina with Love

beatmixing and harmonic mixing has been employed
without altering the tempo or pitch of the original tracks

Ibrahim El Mahboob
July 2015

Categories
Brazil Funk Jazz Mixtapes Pop R&B Samba

All These Things

Taiguara ft. Hermeto Pascoal & Wagner Tiso “Samba das Cinco”
F major, final chord: D-flat major

Bebel Gilberto “Samba da Benção” (backing track: Amon Tobin “Nova”)
D-flat major

Esperanza Spalding “Ponte de Areia”
D-flat major

Aline Morales “Como Pólen”
F-sharp minor

Airto Moreira “The Happy People”
F major, transition on G minor

Banda Black Rio “Mr. Funky Samba”
G minor

Djavan “Nereci” ft. Marianzinha
A minor, transition on E open fifth

Carlos Dafé “De Alegria Raiou O Dia”
E minor

Antonio Adolfo & A Brazuca “Transamazônica” (excerpt)
E minor, transition on G minor/C

Gilberto Gil “Maracatu Atomico”
G minor

Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti “Aleluia”
G major in key of C, transition on F minor riff

Flora Purim “From the Lonely Afternoon”
F minor

Tim Maia “O Caminho Do Bem”
D minor

Paulinho da Costa “Déjà vu” ft. Philip Bailey
D minor, D-sharp minor

Sergio Mendes & The New Brasil ’77 “The Real Thing”
D-sharp minor

Burnier & Cartier “Mirandolina”
F minor, A-flat major

Jazzanova “Gafiera” ft. Pedro Martins & Azymuth
F minor

Elis Regina “Tereza Sabe Sambar”
B minor

Arthur Verocai “Na Boca Do Sol”
B minor

Toninho Horta w/Orquestra Fantasma “Aquelas Coisas Todas (Sanguessuga)”
B minor, E major/minor

A L L T H E S E T H I N G S

At the invitation of São Paulo-based DJ Petri Glad on the occasion of World Cup 2014, here are a few well-loved songs composed and/or performed by Brazilians (and one Brazilian Canadian).

Also on request, I’ve provided simplified key information for each song to better illustrate where harmonic mixing (key matching or transitioning) has sometimes been employed.

I B R Λ H I M ΞL M Λ H B O O B
July 2014

Categories
Funk Jazz Performers Piano Pop Postclassical R&B

Get It up for Love, Five Pianos Re:cover

This is based on Táta Vega’s 1978 cover of the song by Ned Doheny, played downtempo. It is for multiple pianos and combines elements of contemporary classical, jazz and popular dance music. The track could serve as a demo for a live performance, or for a studio recording with acoustic pianos.

The first two pianos, the bassline and main chordal part, were recorded in an evening as a last minute favour for a producer friend. An additional three pianos – lead/solo, second bass/chord and repeating patterns – were added over the next several evenings. A notated version would condense the music to four pianos (score pending).

The piece is faithful to the original material, with a layer of variations added later on, especially in the long outro section. The spirit is one of fun and admiration for the artist and repertoire.

Recorded March 27-31, 2014
Roland digital piano direct to GarageBand, no effects
All playing is live; no programming, looping or quantization

Original recording on Motown arranged by Al Johnson, produced by Winston Monseque, co-produced by André Fischer

Music copyright Warner Music Group and Longdog Music (ASCAP)

This arrangement and notes copyright Bruce A. Russell 2014

Categories
Electronic Funk Mixtapes Pop R&B

Spring Affair

Peter Brown | Without Love
Deniece Williams | How’d I Know That Love Would Slip Away
Táta Vega | Mr. Troublemaker
Greg Phillinganes | Lazy Nina
Ronnie Laws | All for You
Patrice Rushen | Music of the Earth
Michael Wycoff | Looking Up to You
Herbie Hancock | Stars in Your Eyes (Special Disco Remix)
Pleasure | I’m Mad
Donald Byrd | Love Has Come Around
Evelyn “Champagne” King | What Are You Waiting For
Loleatta Holloway | Love Sensation
Logg | Something Else
Donna Summer | Spring Affair
Gene Harris | Losalamitoslatinfunklovesong

Spring Affair

1974-1985

Analog keys, horns, vibes, strings, human drummers and sangin’

Classics with a tempo flow and a little harmonic mixing (no pitch shifting)

Dedicated with love, love, love to Nehal El-Hadi (aka Nina), writer, poet,
researcher, producer, my wife and mother/stepmother of our children

Thank you also to Nehal for the title graphic on the cover photo

I B R Λ H I M ΞL M Λ H B O O B
April 2014

Categories
Anniversary Composers Electronic Funk Lists Performers Pop Postclassical R&B Soundtrack

Best of 2013

Eve Egoyan – 5

Philip Glass – Visitors

Kuniko Kato – Cantus

R. Andrew Lee – November

Laura Mvula – Sing to the Moon

Omar – The Man

Quadron – Avalanche

Thundercat – Apocalypse

Hans Zimmer – Man of Steel

Best archive/reissue:

Sly and the Family Stone – Higher!

Categories
Electronic Funk Jazz Mixtapes Pop R&B

Golden Beats

Bilal | Back to Love
Quadron | LFT
Toto ft. Cheryl Lynn | Georgy Porgy
Gino Vannelli | Fly into this Night
Manzel | Midnight Theme (Dopebrother 12 Inch Remix)
The Emotions | There’ll Never Be Another Moment
Earth, Wind & Fire | Beijo (Interlude) ‧ Brazilian Rhyme
D.J. Rogers | Love Will Make It Better
Pockets | Come Go with Me
Donny Hathaway | Come Little Children
Gregory Porter | 1960 What? (Opolopo Kick & Bass Rerub)
Thundercat | Oh Sheit It’s X
Wally Badarou | He Was a Rasta in London Town
Rufus ft. Chaka Khan | At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)
George Duke | Psychosomatic Dung
Sparkle | Let Yourself Go
The Staples | Love Me, Love Me, Love Me
Doug Carn ft. Jean Carne | Naima
Laura Mvula | Diamonds

Mixed by El Mahboob
Southward Equinox 2013

Golden Beats

Special focus on Kalimba Productions
(The Emotions, Earth, Wind & Fire, D.J. Rogers and Pockets)

RIP George Duke