The fourth and final entry in Monday Magick's month-long tribute to "Season of the Witch" comes to us via psychedelic cover band extraordinaire Vanilla Fudge. It was suggested by my co-worker Bruce, a record collector, raconteur, and 30+ year veteran of the firm where I'm currently employed. Interestingly enough, despite being another cover of a well known tune, it appeared on the first of their records to feature mostly original material, 1968's 'Renaissance'.
Like last week's entry from Bloomfield, Kooper, and Stills, the Long Island-bred psyche-Rock crew's take on "Season of the Witch" is lengthy, clocking in at almost eight minutes! It's also one of the few genuinely creepy versions of the song I've heard, as the band's signature psychedelic vibes take a turn for the paranoid. Slow and sparse, with creeping organs and ceremonial, almost call & response style vocals, replete with ranting, spoken word breakdowns, it feels druggy and esoteric, which honors both Donovan's original intentions in writing the track, and the weird occult overtones it lends itself to so well.
Vanilla Fudge would go on to release two more studio albums after 'Renaissance' before breaking up just a year later. Various members of the group did go on to take part in other projects over the years.
Music is magick!
I feel like Tiga's one of those big name dudes from the world of Electronic Dance Music production and disc jockeys who can be kinda hit-n-miss.
But for the most part he's managed to deliver dope joints and avoid some of the "EDM star" pitfalls that have swallowed a lot of his contemporaries whole.
"Bugatti" is definitely an example of one of his "hits" with its simple, clean throwback production and vocals.
I mean, that bassline that comes in at 2:08? That's what I'm talking about!
And the video is ill too, extending the minimalist, old school production aesthetic to the visuals.
Besides, anytime anybody mentions a Bugatti I can't help but think of my man Hagbard Celine and his gold Bugatti in the 'Illuminatus!'
Young Ringgo Ancheta spent his youth without electricity on a commune in the forests of rural New Jersey. His parents were members of a terrorist cult in the Philippines granted asylum here in the US. His father was a scientific researcher at Princeton. Eventually he made his way West, learned to make beats, settled in Los Angeles, and changed his name to Mndsgn.
That's pretty cool.
So is his new video for the Towa Tei/A Tribe Called Quest interpolating "Camelblues", from his debut Stones Throw LP 'Yawn Zen'
. Directed by Ross Harris, it features some awesome footage of Southern California thrift store locations and a whole bunch of keyboards that should make you say "oooh, I want that!"
The third week's entry in Monday Magick's month-long tribute to "Season of the Witch" comes via an epic voodoo-Funk rework of the tune courtesy of Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and Steve Stills. It comes from their 1968 "all-star jam" album 'Super Session' and takes the shape of a nearly 10 minute long extended "jam" take on the song.
Initially meant to be a collaborative jam session featuring Bloomfield (of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Bob Dylan fame) and Kooper (again, known for backing Dylan, as well as forming Blood Sweat & Tears), the session soon grew to include Stills (who had just left Buffalo Springfield) after Bloomfield failed to show for the second day of recording. That said, the lengthy and languid version of "Season of the Witch" that appears on the album could probably more fairly be billed as a Kooper, Stills track. The song's uniquely funky groove, serpentine bassline, shuffly drum break, and churchified organs have provided sample fodder for a number of notable Hip-Hop tunes, including one where A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip raps about having anal intercourse with a woman already engaged in copulation with Black Sheep's Mr. Lawnge. What? Orgy raps? Could we be talking a little sex magick here?
I doubt that. But regardless, this remains one of my personal favorite cover versions of a widely covered tune, cut in a unique style, by an amazing group of musicians. Kooper is still around, recounting storied legends from the golden age of popular music where and when ever he can. Stills, as you may know, went on to form another supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, which had a huge amount of success during the post-Hippy era. Sadly, Bloomfield passed away from a drug overdose in 1981.
Music is magick!
In honor of the 30th anniversary of Def Jam Recordings, Rolling Stone followed label founder and groundbreaking Hip-Hop producer Rick Rubin back to where it all started.
I only wish the Def Jam roster of today, after the company has been manhandled by various corporate overseers through the years, was like it was circa '86-'95.
Hellfyre Club's resident R&B singin' dude Anderson Paak delivers a slinky little Lite-Funk number in "Miss Right", his newest single.
The video for the tune, which is on some black and white, neo-noir, sexy-but-scary, 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'
steez, is on some other-other-other shit though.
"Miss Right" is from .Paak's debut album, 'Venice'
, which is due out October 28th.
Goats, the animals, are great because they faint out of the blue, can walk on almost any surface, and scream like insane people.
GOAT, the band, are great because their "Hide From the Sun" video, with it's kooky costumers and magickal imagery, is freaking me right the fuck out!
"Hide From the Sun" is from the cryptic Swedish collective's recentrecord 'Commune', out now on Sub Pop.