State of Independence, I have a dream

Former Pretenders drummer James Hood and Grant Showbiz (who later produced the Smiths and Billy Bragg) formed Moodswings in 1989. Moodswings is electronic, chill, semi-ambient, kick back and relax music. All the songs on their albums basically blend together and make for a very satisfying listen. Their first release, Moodfood, was released in 1992. Tracks 8, 9 and 10 are the “Spiritual High” trio (parts 1, 2 and 3). Chrissie Hynde was recruited to sing Part 2 (State of Independence). Part 3 features an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I’ve always found the King excerpt quite poignant and powerful. It really fits well into the song.

Moodswings w/ Chrissie Hynde: Spiritual High (Pts. 1, 2, 3) (mp3) | from Moodfood (1992)

Spiritual High, Part 1
Spiritual High (State of Independence), Part 2
Spiritual High, Part 3

Laswell’s Rhythmic Stew

Tonight it’s all about atmospherics. I only own one Bill Laswell album: ‘Imaginary Cuba’. On top of that, Nick from Jazz and Conversation posted a great sample / podcast of his work a while back. So obviously I need to get on the ball and pick up some more of his stuff. From what I’ve heard, the man knows how to set a mood, and lay down some gorgeous and enchanting rhythms. You can find out all about the man at his All Music bio.

For my little mini podcast / sample, I’ve put together the three “Habana Transmission” tracks that are spread throughout ‘Imaginary Cuba’. Like one review of the album says, what you’re hearing is a “rhythmic stew… complex and often dub-inflected sound collages that sound like no one but Laswell while still maintaining respect for the music’s origins.” So here you are, and – let it be noted – this is most definitely headphone-worthy.

Bill Laswell: Habana Transmission #1 / Avisale a la Vecina Dub | Habana Transmission #2 / Cuban Evolution | Habana Transmission #3 / Shango Sound Scan (mp3)