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Wednesday 5 June 2024

Hop On Down

I posted Clean On Your Bean by Dinosaur L on Saturday, a track from the New York Noise compilation on Soul Jazz. While going through the stack of free CDs from magazines I found a New York themed one from Mojo called Change The Beat: 14 Tracks From Madonna's New York Scene, a free CD from March 2015 with lots of New York Noise adjacent artists, including 23 Skidoo, ESG, James Black, Bush Tetras, and Delta 5 plus Curtis Mayfield, Funkadelic, and Section 25 among the others. It's a good CD, lots of great music, a time capsule and primer and shows that sometimes the people putting these magazine CDs together really get it right. I no longer have the magazine but a quick internet search shows Madonna was on the cover, promoting her album Rebel Heart (in my head 2015 is pretty recent but it's nearly a decade ago). 

One of the artists on Change The Beat was Arthur Russell (who recorded as Dinosaur L) and his track Hop On Down. Arthur Russell has grown and grown in stature and reputation in recent years, his back catalogue re- issued and his sonic palette an inspiration for lots of people. When he died in 1992 aged just forty he was largely unknown. Hop On Down is from a collection of twelve previously unreleased Arthur Russell tracks, an album titled Calling Out Of Context. His music is a sonic stew of cello, minimalist disco, whispered, crooned and/ or half sung vocals, disruptive noises, deep bass, keyboards, tablas and drum machines, all seemingly effortlessly stitched together and surrounded in acres of space and hiss. Deeply lovely music, art and pop music combined. 

Hop On Down

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