This week’s curator: Rachel Lichtman of LuxuriaMusic Internet Radio.
Every two weeks, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Rachel Lichtman, aka Rotary Rachel, rock journalist and host of the weekly radio show The Crystal Telephone on LuxuriaMusic.com.
Finders Keepers Records, Absolute Belter
The boys at British reissue label Finders Keepers have done it again. Applause all around for label founders Andy Votel, Dom Thomas, and Doug Shipton — DJs who do the Lord’s work, traveling far and wide to find rare and beautiful psychedelic music from the four corners of the globe. This time, they’ve dug up twenty-two brilliant gems from the Belter back catalogue, a Spanish label responsible for some of the funkiest progressive jams on the international scene. Featuring groovy bass lines and funky flutes to Go-Go, Ye Ye, Freakbeat, and progressive arrangements, plus some killer Spanish language versions of songs by Bowie, Cream, and Little Richard — this comp has everything. Insta-DJ cred if you spin this baby at a party. Basque in its groovy glory.
Flying Lotus, Cosmogramma
The word "innovator" gets tossed around a lot; rarely is it deserved, especially in these derivative times. But Flying Lotus, aka FlyLo, aka Steven Ellison, is one of the few artists able to synthesize genres into a futuristic yet soulful and organic sound that melts in your ears. His third record, Cosmogramma, has shades of Sun Ra, a touch of BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and a blast of Air, but FlyLo’s brilliance is unmistakably his own. The album also boasts a laundry list of high-profile collaborators, including Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu, harp prodigy Rebekah Raff, and Thundercat.
Secret Stash Records, Porno Groove: The Sound of Seventies Adult Films
"Hello, Ma’am… I’m here to deliver your pizza" — cue the bow-chicka-bow. Despite being infinitely superior to the crappy synth music that’s burdened porn ever since, few give the porn soundtracks of the groovy seventies their rightful due. This collection of amazing, hot, funky, soulful jams may redress that injustice. Groovy drum breaks, blazing horns, and fabulous arrangements make this the lost funk find of the decade. Mort Rosen — the son of Sal Rosen, CEO of Fantasy Entertainment — salvaged thirty master-tape reels of adult films and music. The result is this compilation, only available on pink vinyl (ahem), with song titles like "Special Delivery" and "Sweet Juices." The sexual nature of the material is almost incidental; this is deep library music on the level of such venerated labels as KPM and Chappell.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM
I had already pegged this as the best album of 2010 even though it technically came out in France in 2009, but let’s not split hairs. The Gainsbourg name is synonymous with royalty in some circles; as the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and English actress/singer Jane Birkin, Charlotte Gainsbourg enjoys the pedigree to end all pedigrees. Luckily for us, she continues to use her powers for good, and her latest album, IRM, is her most delicious work to date. It’s produced by Beck, who also plays and sings on the album, and the collaboration brings Charlotte’s breathy, sensual voice to life. The arrangements are flawless: strings, tribal beats, acoustic guitar melodies punctuated by pings of triangle. The echoed, almost gothic production sounds classically influenced; a beautiful bed atop which Gainsbourg’s sexy French whispers will seduce you.
Bulent Ortacgil, Benimle Oynar Misin
This is the recently reissued 1974 masterpiece from one of Turkey’s national treasures, Bulent Ortacgil. Largely unknown in the western world, the Turkish singer/composer has been compared to such brilliant songsmiths as Nick Drake, Donovan, and Cat Stevens. This is literally one of my favorite albums of all time, and is never far away from my turntable. Ortacgil’s voice is intimate and inviting; the arrangements are sparse, melancholy, and achingly beautiful; the song "Yagmur" never fails to bring me to tears. The title literally translates to "will you play with me?" — a childlike question that fits in perfectly with Ortacgil’s gentle acoustic guitar and whimsical, tinkling piano lines. This Turkish delight is the perfect record for a mellow or rainy afternoon, and a must-have classic for any music collection.