NOTR’s Natural Selection #3



Charles Darwin married his first cousin, so did Albert Einstein and H.G Wells… they once performed a bluegrass cover of Korn’s ‘All in the Family’.

This week’s selection has a very light sprinkling of hip-hop (Joey B for VP), but a bag load of soul and funk, as well as some country goodness, a classic by the Black Moses (RIP) and an Ethiopian maestro’s newest single, oh, and some jazz by El-P. You know how it goes, if you like the music, go buy more work from the artists.


Intrigue in the House of India – El-P

High Water (Thirsty Ear, 2004)

The Blue Series Continuum is a NY jazz collective, El Producto is a hip-hop production legend. This record is neither straight jazz or hip-hop however, with El-P providing sketches for the band to improvise over. While none of the tracks have the apocalyptic soundscapes of I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, its an album that combines jazz and hip-hop, while sounding nothing like either.


I’m So Glad – Skip James

Vanguard Visionaries (Vanguard, obviously)

Cream can suck my balls. Give me the original any day.


Blacklist feat. Aesop Rock & MF Doom – Prefuse 73

Vocal Sudies + Uprock Narratives (Warp, 2001)

Ah Prefuse 73, there ain’t nothing quite like it. His real name is Guillermo Scott Herren, and i love how Wikipedia has a special note to remind readers not to confuse him with Gil Scott-Heron… because there’s just so many similarities.


Que Sera Sera – Sly & The Family Stone

Fresh (Epic, 1973)

Its a classic song, i was in the mood to hear it the other day, in trying to locate a new version i found out that Sly and the Family did a bit of a light funk rendition. Its not even that great, but if you listen carefully at the 0:46 mark, it sounds like someone punched him in the balls as he starts the chorus.


Saddle up the Palomino – Neil Young

American Stars and Bars (Reprise, 1977)

Neil Young’s first foray into the wonderful world of (alt)country music. Ears peeled for the vocal stylings of Linda Ronstadt.


Masenqo – Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics

Inspiration/Information (Strut, 2009)

The 3rd in Strut Record’s brilliant series of Inspiration Information sessions, sees Ethiopian born, Jazz legend Mulatu Astatke team up with the mighty Heliocentrics (Stones Throw/Now Again) to record this platter in just one day. The kind of session that makes you wish you practiced 5 hours everyday like your old piano teacher told you to… Like Dilla said,  Album of the year?


A Change is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

B-Side to Shake (RCA Victor, 1963)

What a gem of a B-Side. This song shall forever be tied to memories of watching Obama’s inauguration.


Tell Me – Sharon Jones & The Dapkings

100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone, 2007)

If anyone has footage of me doing the electric boogaloo with this pocket dynamo on stage at the HiFi early this year send it my way. Cheers.


Such A Night – Dr. John

In the Right Place (Atko, 1973)

You might remember this song from Scorsese’s ‘Last Waltz’ film with The Band. This is a pretty sweet album, produced by the great Allen Toussaint.


Tommy McCook & the Supersonics – Black River

Sweet Lorna 7” (Pecking’s 2008)

When i hear this track a voice i my head tells me “everything gonna be alriiight” . Something about the horn section and the keys just makes me very comfortable.


The Heart Gently Weeps – Wu Tang Clan

8 Diagrams (Bodog, 2008)

The album was much maligned on its release, which struck me as kind of inevitable, considering its the Clan, that said, the song is pretty rad. It features an interpolation of the original, and apparently Rza got George’s son Dhoni to play rythym guitar, and get this, the guitar he used was a present from Russell ‘i throw phones’ Crowe. It goes some way to redeeming Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunt… but not much.


Theron & Derrel – I Was Made To Love Her

I Was Made To Love Her 7″ (Solo )

With possibly the most bogan name for a black soul duo Therron & Darrel rock the falsetto like its going out of style, which is a shame coz’ when i sing along I’m like four octaves below them, try and hit that high note, i dare ya.


Little Ron Johnson – I Keep Telling You

(Hard Times Records)

If you like your soul vocals smoky and dirty, with just the right amount of record crackle this is the track for you, very much in the vein of Otis Redding and Donnie Hathaway’s funky soul ballad steeze, hit that rewind!


Joe Budden – Touch & Go

Halfway House (Amalgam Digital 2008)

Jersey Stand UP! BUDDEN FOR VP! More rappers should sound like politicians, as in their names not their style, that could be cool actually, spittin’ a free on some question time shit. Touch & Go is the “club joint” on the album, it definitely bangs. Kinda sounds like JT could be on it tho? Also check the junkie on the front cover with the “Just Say No” T is fuckin’ hilarious.


Isaac Hayes – Walk On By

Hot Butter Soul – (1969)

Originally composed by Burt Bacharach in ’63 for Dionne Warwick, Isaac released his version in ’69 and it immediately became a soul classic. Sampled by Ghostface on I Cant Go To Sleep, Which is the only hip hop song i can cry to and still feel like a man, damn those strings! Also check the film clip for the sweet Wu Tang Pajamas.

DOWNLOAD: NOTR’s Natural Selection #3

More Natural Selection Goodness HERE


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