“As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a radio host.”
Not strictly true of course but let’s not allow a distorted marriage of truth and fiction ruin a decent intro… I can however confirm that from a young age I was very much a fan of ‘the wireless’ as it was called in my house. My eclectic tastes were honed through regular exposure to Radio Caroline and Terry Wogan. My Sundays were spent with a finger hovering over the pause button as I recorded the best of the Top 40 (whilst hoping to eliminate the sickly sound of David ‘Kid’ Jenson) and there was very early accidental exposure to Acid House via local radio Saxon FM that lead me as a 12 year old to innocently wear a Smiley Face T-shirt that yelled ‘Have A Nice Trip’ to a Police disco without a care in the world. Like my musical tastes, my show is ever evolving, although Burnt Toast will always be rooted in soul, funk and my one true first love; hip hop. Beyond this holy trinity, listeners can expect disco, reggae, jazz, exotica, jungle and the occasional burst of Dire Straits or something of a similar ilk that may be labelled by some as a ‘guilty pleasure’ but to my ears will always simply be ‘a pleasure’. Having a radio show is an extension of doing mixtapes for mates and yelling; “shut up – listen to this” when everyone’s talking.
So welcome along to Burnt Toast and please, shut up and listen to this..x
Phirpo Y Sus Caribes - 'Comencemos'
Let's start with a couple of vinyl-only releases, both are reissues although only one has grey in its beard and dodgy knees:
Phirpo Y Sus Caribes are a Venezuelan band led by trombonist, composer and arranger Porfi Jiménez, and their only album 'Parrilla Caliente' was released in 1972. It's not unreasonable to say that although both tunes included on the Matasuna Records reissued 7" are probably the strongest, the album is a decent listen throughout. The drawback is that an original copy would set you back about £600 so you're on far safer financial ground with the two tunes on the 7”, though it is admittedly lacking the saucy artwork that one can safely anticipate from an early 70s continental release. I personally would wear more than orange stockings when tending to a BBQ although to be fair to the chef, I have loads more pubes and therefore pose more of a fire hazard, stockings or not. 'Comencemos' is a cover of the mighty Fela Kuti's 'Let's Start' so you'd likely be expecting funk, and it's funk you get, albeit with a heavy Latin twist. The same goes for the B Side, smoking hot Latin jazz-funk with some Santanna-esque moments. Two absolute killer tunes on the ever-impressive Matasua Records, a German label that specialises in reworks and reissues of music from all over the world and taking money from my wallet.
Price - 9.99€
Kings Go Forth - 'One Day'
The whippersnapper in this pair of reissues is Kings Go Forth - 'One Day', reissued on Deptford Northern Soul Club. This dance-floor killer was originally released in 2008 but was in such high demand that a reissue was pretty much inevitable and so here we are. There's definitely a 'Move On Up' vibe to this one, although once the vocal kicks in you'll understand why it's considered a modern-day Northern Soul classic. Energy in abundance, this is the go to tune if you need to inject some hot stepping vibes into your dance-floor or if you're on the final push during a spin class and you're not digging the 2-Unlimited the teacher has unwisely chosen to get you over the finish line.
Price - £10
Laurent Bardainne & Tigre d'Eau Douce - 'Love Is Everywhere'
After the trauma Kenny G inflicted on many an ear during the 80s it's of little surprise that only now can I consider facing an album loaded with tenor sax. The opening tune 'Félin Méchant' is a beauty and the definite highlight for me although there are numerous quality moments throughout this journey of an album (taking in conceptual destinations & moods pictured by me like 'dipping of toe in mystical lake', 'jazzy wasp in field' and 'shrooms & tea-cakes with nan'). Such is the genius of Laurent Bardainne's horn blowing, I actually thought I'd misunderstood Kenny G and so had a brief relisten on YouTube. My original synopsis however was correct. Kenny G is awful. Never go back, especially not to Kenny G.
Price - 7€
Narolane - 'Water'
Denise Chaila - Anseo feat. Jafaris
Double whammy from Irish artist Denise Chaila here, 'Anseo' feat. Jafaris from her solo album 'Go Bravely' and 'Water' by her band and cohorts Narolane. There's so much musical joy going on here you can absolutely hear the smile on her face as she rhymes over some floaty, mystical hip hop biz. There's a confidence about her that suggests she's going to be onto big things very soon. A definite name to look out for in the future.
Price - 2€ (total)
Sabda - 'Mara'
Once you find your brand of teabags you stick to it, yes? And once I find a label that puts out music I dig, I'm as loyal as a well-fed whippet. The Magic Movement is one such label, another German label in fact, and they're doing God's work by putting out some marvellous music. Sabda's 'Mara' is a gently wonky number fortified with dreamy eastern strings and occasional parps of an unidentified blowy instrument. If you list 'Balearic' as your religion you'll dig this and the compilation album it came from.
Price - 1.10€
Felipe Gordon - 'My Clicking Fuzzed Personality'
Jazz & acid but most definitely not acid jazz, the whole EP is a dancefloor pleaser, but 'My Clicking Fuzzed Personality' is the one for me with it's squelches, tribal chanty bits and a fine groove underpinning it all. Local Talk is a Swedish label and their output gives me as much delight as an Ikea meatball in the canteen after a hard day's shopping under duress.
Price - £2
Bella Boo - 'Is It Rude To Wear My Shades'
Bella Boo invents a new genre here; 'Subtle Acid'. Absolute perfection when this drops. I'm always guaranteed to do a bit of a gurney face when I hear it. If you were blindfolded and spun around on an office chair fifty times I reckon you'd hear this and think it was by Fourtet. But it's not. Bloody could be though.
Price - 1€
José Mauro - 'Escada de Ferro'
Considering the fact that this track is only two & a half minutes long, it manages to feel quite epic. Being classically English I am rather poor at other languages so I haven't got a clue what he's on about but that adds to what I imagine is the romance of this song. I'm on my fifth consecutive listen and it continues to get better. Better leave it at five though. Don't want to push it... Psychedelic Folk is a reasonable description of the album but that's also quite reductive. I'd add 'Majestic'. And 'Mega'. So, Mega Majestic Psychedelic Folk it is. Good accompaniment for a contemplative ciggy & brandy after a nice dinner, watching the sun bed down for the night. (No-one should talk during this occasion or else they must leave).
Price - £1
Manzanita y Su Conjunto - 'Shambar'
Starts like a Wu Tang / Els Michels Affair cover and then quickly gets all twangy and lively, telling quite a story with the help of some exceptional strings. If you know and love the amazing Analog Africa label you'll know what to expect. A brief trip to Peru is always good for you.
Price - 1€
Amaro Freitas - 'Baquaqua'
Crispy drums, rolling piano and rhythmic tempo changes make this one the chin strokers choice. Brazilian Jazz or Brazilian Jizz, you decide. A lazier man than I would describe this as Kamasi Washington with a piano. I'll simply say 'mmmm nice' whilst wearing a polo neck.
Price - £1
The Herbaliser - 'It Ain't Nuttin' (feat. MF Doom)
Hip Hop remenicsathon alert: Whilst I was a huge fan of KMD, for some crazy reason I slept on Zevlove X's reincarnation as MF Doom for a while. Looking back I think it was because of the name. Didn't grab me. Anyway, that situation was rectified and I only now suffer a few sleepless nights per month because of the shame. The rectification (didn't know that was a real word until just now when the spell-check didn't correct me) occurred when a good friend included this Herbaliser track featuring MF Doom on a mixtape and I immediately realised what a blummin fool I'd been. This is an absolute masterpiece of rhyme structure and delivery, and in many ways sums up Doom's unpredictability and versatility as an artist in this one song. Doom passed in October 2020 and his void will never be filled. Doom was a true genius and a legend. If you're unfamiliar with his work and you'd like to hear more of his music, you're in luck. I put together a little cut & paste mix after his passing. Here it be: https://www.mixcloud.com/beansontoast/burnt-toast-mf-doom-tribute-mix
J Zone - 'Knightrider'
J-Zone deserves a huuuuge amount of respect having reinvented himself as a quite superb drummer after his career as an underground Hip Hop MC & Producer (to my mind, definitely one of the best producers on the mic). He details the many (x 1000) pitfalls and disasters of his early experiences on the road as an MC in his book 'Root For The Villain' reviewed here. After reading it you'd be inclined to shed a sympathetic tear or two and understand if he turned it all in and hit the streets to earn some $$$ as his pimp alter-ego, Chief Chinchilla. However, check his bandcamp page and you'll note he chose drumsticks over dumb-chicks (pretty sure I'm paraphrasing here but if not, hey, I too have the makings of an occasional misogynistic rapper) and he's now bashing the skins in two band, The Du-Rites & The Zone Identity. Super tidy with the kicks, snares and the hi-hats, this is a funked up retro treat for anyone who grew up in the 80s and wanted to take Kitt for a spin round the town centre.
Price - $2
John Robinson - 'King JR'
Off the wall jazz & blues samples marry perfectly with JR's dusty vocals on this self-produced gem of an album. Head nod mellow vibes for the weed smokers. You may even feel the inclination to sway.
Price - $7
Jahganaut & Duburban - 'Gotta Get Next To You'
And finally, a bonkers drum n bass rejig of a soul tune (the name of which currently escapes me - answers on a postcard please) that works as a fantastic bridge track / mood changer on the dance floor if you've spotted that things are looking a bit sluggish out there. Takes you back to '1992 Roller Express gigs. I was never there. Too stubbornly into hip hop at the time but I understand they were a lively affair…
Price - 1.50€
Many thanks Tim for this outstanding £50 selection.
It's Arnold Blair on Curtom I think, but honestly, if I said stuff like that out loud, I'd have a word with myself for being a nerdy friggin' trainspotter. So best keep it to myself.
Moving swiftly on.....you can catch Tim's show on 1BTN
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Until next time