Lucky 13: Roots Manuva, Kraak & Smaak
Each month our resident cycling fiend and S.F. DJ legend Toph One drops 13 bombs for your listening, watching, and wearing pleasure.
There was a time in my gloriously misspent youth when I would have lived and died by the presidential election. Now, even though I sport my Obama button with pride, I know the real work gets done on the local level. Our neighborhoods are what really matter–growing native plants, visiting with the older folks, and trying to live simpler, greener lives. Only on the grassroots level can we really hope to root out the douchebags who use terms like “ultra-lounge” and post things on Yelp and consider themselves experts on everything. Help us, dear reader–you’re our only hope.
1. Midnight Lab Band
“The Forgotten Chant”
The third-best thing about my stay in Brooklyn last summer (after the hot Albanian gals and A&L Pizza on Caton) was meeting the Names You Can Trust cats over wine late one night in a room full of records and weed smoke. This midtempo instrumental has gotta be one of the year’s best.
Raw, rare funk 45s dug up from the depths of Los Angeles, including Charles Miller’s “Black Nursery,” Bill Spencer’s “The Jacksons Pt. 1,” and “Can’t Resist Pt. 1” by the Soul Primers. Hotness via my man Orb.
3. J.Boogie's Dubtronic Science
Boogie does not let us down with his highly anticipated disc of sultry midnight soul and outernational vibes. Stand-outs are “Dirty” featuring Tim’m West of Deep Dickollective, “Together” featuring Jennifer Johns, and the party rocker and first video, “Inferno,” with Lunar Heights. Cheers, brother!
4. Deflon Sallahr
It was a grimy, whiskey-soaked night with Theo G. at King’s County in Brooklyn (tell him I sent you) when the hardest and realest song I’d ever heard came on, quickly followed by the man himself–and that’s about all I remember.
5. Lucky Brown
Dirty, lo-fi jams recorded on two-track in Washington state and released on Bavaria’s Tramp Records. Long live the funk and long live vinyl!
6. DJ DRM
The Bhunabeats EP
True Grooves/ US/ CD
You could rock the party for a while just by mixing back and forth between this and Tiny Violin’s “Este Mundo.” Skanky breaks and heavy 2-step–this is necessary eclecticism.
7. Free Blood
Remixes by some of my favorite dirtbags (Barfly, Scotty Coats & Wes the Mes, and Tim “Love” Lee) punch you in the gut like a seven-foot bunny and only add to this duo’s big, burly warehouse sound. Fucking awesome.
8. Tha Giantz
Young bucks holding it down nice and crispy for the SFC on this project made possible through a collabo between the Tenderloin YMCA and TD Camp’s Hella Records (home to Bored Stiff and others). Some folks talk and other folks do: Props!
9. Kraak & Smaak
Supreme Dutch masters K&S take a surprising turn towards the dancefloor with cuts like “Ain’t Gonna Take It No More” and “Ready for Life,” but they keep the heads happy with “Squeeze Me” and the Beck-esque “Bobby & Whitney.”
What We Came For
El Buen Sabor/US/CD
These Midwest brothers have made big noise since relocating to S.F. a couple years back, and now we finally have some of their Afro-funk grooves for the mix. Beats and loops and horns and drums and vocals all come together right, whether for their weekly Afrolicious night or that jam session at the seawall.
11. The Bamboos
“King of the Rodeo feat. Megan Washington”
Just the tip of the ole iceberg of what we can expect when the full-length, Side Stepper, drops soon. Yeehaw!
12. Roots Manuva
Slime & Reason
The legend comes through in a big way. Check “Again & Again.”
LUCKY 13) Gama-Go
This fall, the discerning Team Wino rider is wearing a hunter-green, monster-print hoodie to keep out the fog and frighten away bad drivers. You should too.
Pictured: Roots Manuva.