Shayna McHayle is part of the forefront of women vocalist that combine a gentle run through on vocalist style, with the gruff rhyming movements of current rap. With discussion topics that cover sex, fame, hook-ups, love, and life in New York City; Junglepussy comes swinging in all directions with her newest work JP3.
There is some strange attraction to Junglepussy as obviously the name stands out and makes the audience do a double take, but then with a closer approach that dives into the music; there is a large amount of substance present as well. JP3 takes certain aspects of boom-bap, soul, jazz, and avant-garde styling’s that really reflect the jungle that is New York and the blend of genres and nationalities that create the tops of the Bronx to the bottoms of Brooklyn.
Junglepussy opens JP3 with “State of the Union” that develops behind these graceful string progressions and start to form with raining percussion and snare pops. McHayle delivers on the vocal aspects where she comments on the social ideas behind race and the power that she holds in a modern society, “Everybody wanna be black, it’s so tragic. Every time I wear clothes, I’m stopping traffic… We play the same sport, I don’t smell like you. Getting the same cheese, I don’t melt like you.”
Then in a quick transition, “Get Down” which holds a feature from Rico Love comes shuffling into frame and feels more as a continuation as the production becomes this cascading club style boom. There is a focus on creating the hook from Love into a forefront instrument that makes the track catchy, and ultimately become quotable as he cries, “You about to make me tear this club up. Somebody tell the DJ that I love her, and I’m willing to die ‘bout this pussy.” JP3in all throughout the lyricism and the production is a fun ride that relies on the different approaches of Junglepussy.
Wiki from the same city comes and delivers a verse on “Ocean Floor” which also has one of the more vibrant displays of production. With the dancing piano, the clasping claps and the horns that play these bravado’s and real grasping sections where the whole band comes together and stands well to develop a mood behind Junglepussy and Wiki’s verse.
“You can swim around, hit the divin’ board all the way down is where I need you most,” Junglepussy explains as Wiki leaps in and describes, “I’m diving in, don’t bother testing the water. Nah gotta climb right in, girl let me find that fin… Don’t know where to start, I ain’t all that smart, a fucking shark having too much fun at the waterpark.” It then reflects on the cheerful production that shines on “Trader Joe” where Junglepussy uses these vocal arpeggios which is one of the final moments on JP3.
“Trader Joe” brings the sunshine and grace to the final frontier where Junglepussy dances into the sunset with one of her best, more well-rounded projects to date. JP3 brings an excitement into pop music that can be relatable to some, but make everyone move.
Behind an array of rhythm sections, horn sections, backing vocals, and engineering crews, Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together is one of the most impactful soul albums to ever be pressed onto wax. The way that Green can capture in a sense, a timestamp of the 1970’s while maintaining a still current approachability in a modern age over 46-years later is impressive.
It is important to look at Green as a more than a microphone controller, he is a storyteller that manipulates the listener into hearing every single inflection, every single vocalist change, every single slight detail that makes Let’s Stay Togetherdifferent every single time. As Green explains in his title opening “Let’s Stay Together”, there is this method of suave, dimly-lit clubs of the sunset-ridden 1970’s. The golden coast of Green’s style was reliant on the change of drum patterns and smooth string sections that formed the back bone of the cheerful hit. It was Green’s first number one single and marked a changing moment in Green’s career as the horn section plays these bravados and rising actions to fill in the gaps left by the strings. It forms well over the listener, cascading them as Green explains, “Let’s stay together, loving you whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.”
Green is then backed by a vocal team of Donna Rhodes, Sandra Rhodes, and Charles Chalmers who provide more of the light-heartedness behind Green’s approachable sound. Even on the following, “La-La For You” where his the subtle horns that then take to the foreground and illustrate this strong abrasive method. The horns become moving parts in a more intricate puzzle that eventually has Green nearly screaming “It’s for you sure that I’m a man, take the bread out of my hand. Now you wanna know how strong I am, All I can say. La la la la you babe.”
Musically, Let’s Stay Together is a progressive piece that uses Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love, as well as Ed Logan and James Mitchell on the horn section. Jack Hale Sr. also makes an appearance which rounds the section out with Howard Grimes and Al Jackson Jr. on the percussion. The bass guitar is headed by Leroy Hodges with Charles and Teenie Hodges on the stringed instruments like piano and guitar.
With many of the tracks talking about the re-discovery of love, the smooth style of Green, or the bitterness of breaking up; Al Green covers similar topics but makes each track feel as a new journey. He keeps the action continually interesting while relying on the instrumentation changes to keep a flow of motion.
His vocal performance is powerful and actually moving in some instances where “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” comes into frame and displays Green’s ability. Through the slow build-up of organs and the subtly of a sudden action, Green displays high notes that are so passionate and are a perfect send off into the unknown of what would become Al Green’s following success with Let’s Stay Together.
Listen Here – BandCamp
John Dwyer: Guitars, Vocals, synths, samples, effects, Mellotron, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Golden Throat, hand percussion and marching boots
Tim Hellman: Bass
Dan Rincon: Drums
Paul Quattrone: Drums, samples, timbale and shakers
Brigid Dawson: Vocals
Tomas Dolas: B3 Organ, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Mellotron and synth
Mario Ramirez and Enrique Tena Padilla: Marching boots
Heather Lockie’s viola was sampled for “Last Peace”
Produced, recorded and mixed by John Dwyer, Eric Bauer and Enrique Tena Padilla
Engineered by Eric Bauer, Enrique Tena Padilla and Mario Ramirez
Mastered and cut for vinyl by JJ Golden
Art by Matthew Stawicki
A chilling depiction of life in the tar pit
Shot and Directed by Petey
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Michigan is home to some of the world’s greatest acts, especially Detroit. The Motor City has seen more talent in one city than some entire states, countries, or even continents. With Gavin Christopher Tennille, known more professionally by Quelle Chris, there is this storytelling element that makes his 2013 record, Ni**as Is Men an easy on the ears but conscious journey.
Ni**as Is Mentakes the substantial ability of producing these primarily smooth sailing beats that relies on the production of Chris to direct the stage. Chris takes Ni**as Is Menin the style of a play or series of shows where a tagline is introduced on the first track, “Try To Get Over” which features DJ Groweyez. A female voice explains, “2Dirt4TV Episode two, ‘Niggas Is Men’ starting now…” as the sudden flood of these church-esque vocals create this slowly moving, but graceful piece that transitions the sound into “Long Tokes” where the the jazz and soul influenced sound comes from.
With “Long Tokes” there is this grindhouse style cinema behind the production that initiates these snare tramples and stomping movements that is not on the aggressive spectrum, but feels orderly. Chris touches the inner beauty of sampling and outsourcing to a sound that captures in essence, the ability to craft an idealistic view on being black in America. Throughout “Long Tokes” and the following, “We Eat It” features Cavalier on a saxophone-centered instrumental.
Chris adapts this velvet movement while staying actively charged in racial tension, political policies, or just the movement and ideology for the daily life. His music feels relatable with the border-line jazz frame, but gives a prime example of how perspective changes within each city and every person. The style is touching, relating to a similar fashion of A Tribe Called Quest where “Greene Eyes” has the cascading chord progression and a boom-bap percussive beat that feels smooth as butter. “Greene Eyes” features Fresh Daily, Tanya Morgan, and Cavalier with production from Messiah Musik that wraps the entire mood into one centralized tune.
“I’m tired of eating rappers, what’s next on the menu? If I don’t think you fly then why would I pretend to?” Chris explains, as the microphone is passed along from rhymer to rhymer. The track then uses some sampling and fading tools to drain the life out of “Greene Eyes” and instead, forms “Good Days”.
Tanya Morgan is replaced by Denmark and holds some strength behind him as he controls the final verse for the track which stretches into familiar territory with the piano focused instrumentation.
Ni**as Is Menforms this adaptability factor and this overbearing sense of free formed production where the music is structured in some instances, but is primarily a mix of different moving parts. Chris works well under the weighing pressure of creating this classy hip-hop sound, choosing the right rhymes, and deciding to form one of the more obscure gems in music.