Friday, January 17, 2014

Bedroom Soul: Electronics, Drum Machines, and Otherwise

Timmy Thomas
I haven't posted in what feels like forever...I've recently been listening to a lot of soul music that feature drum machines.  These albums use a minimalist approach, which I find soothing.  Besides the obvious electronic/drum machine heavy albums like Sly Stone There's A Riot Going On and Shuggie Otis Inspiration Information (both albums which I'd consider close to perfect albums and have meant a lot to me for many years), I've also been getting into albums like Timmy Thomas Why Don't We Live Together

Why Don't We Live Together is just a fabulous album, one that I just picked up about a month ago, and I play it repeatedly.  Vocals are slightly similar to Otis Redding's, but a little less gritty, and of course, I dig the plaintive, minimal music and drum machine that go with it. 

I also picked up the Little Beaver Party Down album about the same time as the Timmy Thomas album.  The title track is damn sweet, with the opening female chatter, and Little Beaver's voice telling us to "let's party down".
"I Can Dig It Baby" is a nice track as well, off of the 1974 release.  Love the intro drum machine beat, and Little Beaver's vocal wail that kicks off the track...

This album I've had for almost a year, but since I'm talking electronic soul, with drum machines, I couldn't not discuss the wonderful compilation Personal Space, which features damn fine tracks like this:
 and this:
Fricking smooth bedroom, electronic/drum machine soul straight from the 70's and 80's. 

Finally, this album I wouldn't necessarily categorize as "bedroom soul", but it does have a lo-fi, bedroom, electronic feel to it...It's the Young Marble Giants Colossal Youth.
I've owned Colossal Youth for over 15 years, and always thought it was "ok", but it wasn't until recently that I've been rediscovering this album, playing it like crazy, and man, I've missed out for all these years.  Colossal Youth is a fantastic album.  Love Stratton's vocals, the lyrics are dark, keyboards are a little creepy, but the overall sound is endearing, even if a bit cold.     

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