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In Rotation: Soundrotation's Duane Powell is smitten with Otis Brown III's The Thought of You

Plus: J. Johari Palacio of Perpetual Rebel on his Portishead obsession and the Reader's Leor Galil on his love for ILoveMakonnen



Leor Galil, Reader staff writer

ILoveMakonnen featuring Drake, "Tuesday" I've been listening to Drake's remix of the breakout hit from oddball Atlanta singer-rapper ILoveMakonnen since it came out in August, and I haven't gotten sick of it yet. It still slays me when Drake breaks out a fragile, suave falsetto and sings: "Always workin' OT overtime and outta town."

YouTube video of Big Zit performing "Eyes" at Proper Skate Shop As I wait to get a copy of Big Zit's brand-new Electric Zit Vol. 1 EP in the mail, I find myself returning to this clip of the hardcore band's wild set at this summer's Not Normal Tapes' five-year anniversary minifest. The sound quality ain't the best, but the energy in the room is palpable, and it's great to get up close to this acid-fried band without having to dodge bodies in the mosh pit. Northwest Indiana sure breeds some great hardcore groups.

The album art for Rev. Patrick J. Berkery's The Rite of Exorcism I picked up this 1974 LP at Schubas' annual Pig, Swig, and Record Dig because of a short description provided by its seller ("funk/psych/an actual exorcism rite!!") and, more importantly, its outstanding artwork. The cover is a painted close-up portrait of what I can only assume is the face of the devil with his mouth half open to reveal an upper row of vampiric teeth. It's more cartoonish than frightening, and kitschy in an endearing way. I haven't spent much time with the actual LP, but I don't regret picking this thing up.

Leor is curious what's in the rotation of . . .

  • Courtesy the artist
  • Beak>

J. Johari Palacio, thought catalyst at Perpetual Rebel

Portishead, Portishead Being the Los Angeles-based "Wu-Tang Stan" that I was back in the mid-to-late 90s (thanks to KXLU's We Came From Beyond, hosted by Mike Nardone), I was knee-deep into RZA's first album, Bobby Digital in Stereo. Several records on the album resonated with me, in particular "Kiss of a Black Widow," featuring the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. The winter of 1998 had me visiting my mother in New York City, and on our little mall excursion I dip off into the Sam Goody to explore some new tunes. Portishead's "Over" (which RZA sampled for "Black Widow") comes on over the store's speaker system and I sprint to the first person I see in the black polo, grab her arm, and started pointing at the speaker. She started to go on about their first album, Dummy, at which I vigorously shake my head "no," make my purchase [of the band's second album], and discovered some sonic magic that changed my adult life.

Beak> A decade and some change later, Portishead member/producer Geoff Barrow teams up with Billy Fuller and Matt Williams for some minimalist, psych-rock/film-noir vibe. It's an acquired taste, but dope work from the UK gents.

Kutmah, Fact Mix 340 This mix is an eclectic blend of tunes and some samples you may recognize, but not entirely. The DJ-producer promised to put up a track list but never did . . . but that's why we have Shazam. A bananas-ass (standout) track on the mix is Matthew Larkin Cassell's "In My Life," which was rereleased by indie label Stones Throw in 2010. RIP Nicky Raven.

J. Johari is curious what's in the rotation of . . .


Duane Powell, blogger, DJ

Otis Brown III Drummer for the likes of Joe Lovano and Terence Blanchard. His debut album, The Thought of You, just dropped to rave reviews. The album is produced by bassist Derrick Hodge and offers up a superb batch of soulful jazz steeped in tradition, love, and spirituality. It features a stellar cast of musicians including Robert Glasper, Gretchen Parlato, Bilal, Keyon Herrold, and Ben Williams. Check out his complete rework of Shania Twain's "You're Still the One" with Parlato on vocals.

Daniel Crawford LA-based pianist has made big fans out of the likes of DJ Jazzy Jeff and tastemaker Gilles Peterson with his latest album, The Awakening. This album of 21st-century jazz fusion with a mix of ancestral rhythms stopped me in my tracks. Check out the single "Home" that features singer Cleveland Jones and you'll be hooked. There's also a tribute to the late George Duke and daring covers of Fela Kuti and Prince.

Sorceress The New Zealand-based group led by producer Isaac Aesili and singer Rachel Fraser formerly known as Funkommunity. Their new album, Dose, is one of my favorites of the year. There's still their signature brand of electro-soul (a more soulful Little Dragon, if you will ­), but with deeper grooves that are more melodic and tight. My favorite from the album are the Afrobeat-influenced "Desire," with its message of capitalism, and the beautiful track "Shifting."

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