The Essential Two-Four (Vol. 3 of 4)

Posted by on Apr 1, 2017 in Music, Posts | No Comments

Sly & the Family Stone • Greatest Hits (1995)



Sly’s ear for rhythm combined with his subtle layering of sounds paved the way the for dance music moving forward, similar to that of Lost Sacois for punk, or The Beach Boys for Chillwave. The Sly sound is infectious and slowly draws one in, before they know it they are consumed by the groove. 

There are more comprehensive LP’s available such as Anthology, which include some of their later 70’s material, but there is a stark difference between their 60’s and 70’s output, my fixation is primarily with the former.

Allmusic’s Steve Thomas Erlewine put it best Greatest hits don’t come better than this — in fact, music rarely does.”


Sly & The Family Stone Live At The Harlem… by ernand-vanderkuyp

BTW this performance is worth the full screen treatment.





The Orb •  U.F.Orb (1992) + Live 93 (1993)



I was first introduced to electronic music in the form of Art of Noise when I was 11 or 12 years old. My childhood friends mother had a number of their albums on cassette and they often be playing when I was over. A particular track, “Beat Box Division 1” stuck with with me. It was so catchy and unique, it was really the first time I realized music could be much more than what traditional instrumentation could offer.

Then, a few years later along came The Orb, which totally obliterated what my previous conventions of what music was or could be. I still remember the day I first heard Little Fluffy Clouds, it left a lasting impact on me. The Orb combined heavy Dub & Reggae baselines with every known type of music available, ultimately carved out their own genre of music known as Ambient House

UFORB was their second release, first being Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld, which is praised by most critics as their most influential output. However, UFORB seemed tighter, more refined, and an overall a more sonic endeavour. Particular highlights include Towers of the Dub and Blue Room, with their deep reggae influences, slick melodies, & humorous samples.

The real majesty of The Orb are their live performances, this is where Alex Paterson gets to exercise his creative muscles. Armed with a crate of vinyl he showcases numerous playful samples that meander along with The Orbs percussive 808 sound. They draw heavily from the likes of David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd (the Live 93′ cover an ode’ to the Animals album, replacing the pig with the sheep).


Below: The now famous interview recorded for Reading Rainbow, between Levar Burton and folk artist Riki Lee Jones.




Gary Numan • The Best Of 1978 – 1983 (1994)



Gary Numan injected the raw power of synthesizer into punk, ultimately ushering in a full blown post punk era. Numan’s unique vocal delivery, and often downright bizarre lyrics seem to resonate the same way that Morrissey’s do. Many gems are littered throughout these two disc’s, highlights include M.E., Are ‘Friends’ Electric, and Films.

Below: Gary on stage with Nine Inch Nails during their final stage appearance in London circa 2009.


BTW this performance is worth the full screen treatment.







Numan seen below with his weapon of choice, the Mini Moog Model D




Easy Star Allstars •  Dub Side of the Moon (2003) + Radiodread (2006)



I’ve always had an affinity for Pink Floyd & Radiohead by their own rights, and come to think of it this may be a subliminal way of getting them mention. However, combine the two bands with my love for reggae and you get a couple of LP’s that in just may exceed their counterparts.

I can’t seem to shake these two LP’s, the dub and reggae infusions seem to perfectly align with each album similar to say chocolate and peanut butter. They must be heard to be believed and If you’re not moving your neck, or at least tapping your toes when it’s all said and done you must be some sort of paranoid android.





Beach Boys • Sunflower (1970)



Beach boys were pioneers of a sonic sound which can be still felt in pretty much every piece of the music I listen to today. Sunflower was recorded at a crossroads in their careers; having been brushed aside by the British invasion and the hippie era, it feels like they quarantined themselves in their sunny California studio and recorded a gem of an album which still sounds as fresh today as the day it was released. A few particular favourites of mine include, All I wanna Do (below), which could easily be mistaken for a Chillwave track today, and Cool Cool Water which seems align sonically with warm rays of the sun.

Always remember to “Add some music to your day





Pulshar • Inside (2010)



Pulshar, when on point, are down right mesmerizing. Their sound drives me to places music rarely gets to. Insides seems to extract all the best offerings of Dub and hammers those elements home, creating an extremely addictive listen. Just remember to turn up the base for optimal results.

“An empty suitcase on a road with no end…..”





The Essential Two-Four (Vol. 4 of 4)