Thursday, May 31, 2007

Revisited: Hong Kong Phooey

While I, and most of people I know, would be wildly hypocritical as to espousing on the evils of bootlegging and downloading, it doesn't take a genius to know where blame lies when comparing the number of record stores to the number of people in Hong Kong (the same, however, doesn't ring true of DVD stores, go figure). Music fans gotta go somewhere, though, and because of that, a whole host of used cd kiosks are there for the picking.

On the one occasion I DJed in Hong Kong, the promoter had told me he wanted an old school hip hop and rnb/soul/funk set (the crowd, however, had different ideas). I ended up downloading a good majority of my regular picks, but hit the used cd kiosks for backup.

I scoured around for what was avail, and found one early/mid 90s hip hop compilation, which is kinda like finding an albino in a crowd of Oompa Loompas. I picked it up for the hits (Beastie Boys, Maestro Fresh Wes, etc), but it also featured this Redhead Kingpin hit, which, apart from Afrika Bambataa, is the only clear sampling of Kraftwerk that I can think of:

The other real memory I have of Redhead Kingpin was from the Do the Right Thing soundtrackaround the same time as the Do the Right Thing soundtrack (thanks for the edit, Jay; the soundtrack opted to feature another Teddy Riley-produced track, "My Fantasy" by Guy), wherein they were quite obviously eclipsed by Public Enemy, like following the Sex Pistols on Bill Grundy (I was 13 or 14 when I first heard "Do the Right Thing," when the biggest hip hop fans at school were the Mormon kids, which is about the weirdest memory I have):

For a crowd of kids that doesn't remember Michael before Thriller, I'm not sure how I came across the Black Caesar soundtrack, but there you go. This was the first JB album recommended to me as a must-have outside the Star Time boxset (by Sam Prekop, nonetheless). I remember the Sweet Charles interview from Waxpoetics wherein he claims all the JBs thought Mr. Brown was a horrible singer, but a listen to any number of his slow jams should dispel that:

As a big fan of the various Soul Source remix albums for the J5, finding the James Brown one was a big treat. The series generally pairs well-known Japanese artists with hits from the featured artist, and thus the JB one features more "Sex Machine" remixes than is necessary. The only real remix that really works beyond the kitsch value is UFO's remix of "Deep In It":

By that point, the lustre off UFO has dulled. Their 3rd album released stateside, some forgettable spy movie wankfest, was largely a mis-step that only the most ardent fans (cough cough Faust cough cough) could enjoy. Their following albums were never released domestically stateside. I picked up V, a sleepy after-hours jazz affair, which featured more than enough Johnny Hartman knock-offs that put the final nail in the UFO coffin. This one track picks up the pace with a Latin tinge, and probably one of few tracks worth mentioning past UFO's second album:

In the end, I spun to a largely Chinese-American crowd of kids spending their summer vacations visiting their repatriated parents. Shoulda just bought that Nelly album. This time around, I'm just buying clothes.

Btw, am I the only one that likes the new Lauryn Hill track? I mean, it's been a gazillion years....

No comments:

Post a Comment