Soundwaves

DJ podcasting; Rich Morel, Bob Mould and Blowoff; Sharam's latest, more

by Doug Rule
Published on December 7, 2006, 12:00am | Comments

DJ PODCAST PIONEERS... Let's say you were dancing recently, and you went crazy over a song you never heard before. Unfortunately, you don't remember the melody. And you didn't catch all the words. You were going crazy remember? But it was something about ''black people'' and ''white people.'' And ''bass.''

Well, good luck tracking that down. Where would you start? It might be a little embarrassing to ask a Melody Records clerk about that, you know, ''black people/white people'' track.

But maybe the DJ will tell you -- and maybe without even having to ask directly. Growing numbers of DJs are offering online streams and downloads of their productions as well as full or sample sets. It's still a crapshoot: How do you know a set will include that ''black/white'' track you're looking for? It's the rare DJ who lists his actual playlist or identifies his set selections.


Morel and Mould

Rich Morel and Bob Mould do, however. They've posted online their tag-teamed set list after every Blowoff DJ party since the first one four years ago. Still, you will search in vain for a track with ''white'' or ''black'' or ''bass'' from the November set posted at www.blowoff.us. Not surprisingly, the song goes by a different name, but we'll get to that in a moment.

Morel has also started an episodic Pink Noise podcast, available from www.morelworld.com. There are increasing numbers of music podcasts from record labels and news outlets. Morel is one of just a handful of gay-popular DJs with a radio-show-styled podcast, and those we've uncovered only started since summer. You can listen, for example, to Alyson Calagna's sweet-tribal House Blend, or to Tom Stephan's hard tribal and electro Radio Chumbo. Radio Chumbo's third edition, it should be noted, serves as a preview of Stephan's Let's Go Chumbo! compilation, due stateside in January from Star 69 Records.

Unlike the others, Morel adds often-humorous commentary and asides to his podcast. And he always identifies each track. He ends his first podcast with a remix of, as he tells it, ''Elton John. Or Sir Elton John, if you're into that sort of thing....''

WHITE TREBLE, BLACK BASS... Morel launches the third Pink Noise podcast with the ''black/white'' track you've been searching for. It's called ''Babaloo,'' and from British collaborators Chris Lake and Trophy Twins. The track traffics in the type of racial observation intended to make you smile in recognition. ''White people turn up the treble/Black people turn up the bass,'' speaks a man in a serious and sonorous voice better suited to a PBS-style documentary -- or a Chappelle's Show-style documentary spoof. Morel himself jokes in his introduction, ''I dare you not to shake your fucking ass.''

It's impossible not to -- unless you've shaken your fucking ass to it for far too long already. As it turns out, the song actually began life eight years ago. An Australian DJ known as Sgt. Slick originally recorded it as ''White Treble, Black Bass.'' What's more, the song won as 1998's Best Dance Release his country's equivalent to a Grammy, an Aria. Not bad for a white guy. Did somebody say turn up the treble?....

MOULD AND MOREL BLOWAPART... Blowoff has certainly become a D.C. institution. The November Blowoff drew the largest crowd yet, or some 1,100 people. The next Blowoff is set for Saturday, Dec. 16. But both Blowoff principals are also busy with solo work. Mould is recording his next set, aiming for a June release. He told Billboard the as-yet-untitled album continues in the tradition of his stellar 2005 set Body of Song, though lyrically a bit darker. The plan is for a fall tour in support of the album with the same backing band, including Morel on keyboards, that supported him last time. A live DVD, recorded on the last tour's stop at the 9:30 Club and called Circle of Friends, is expected sometime next year as well.

Meanwhile, in addition to his podcast and various production and remix projects, Morel is recording his eponymous band's next album, The Death of the Paper Boy. It's set for a spring release....

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Sharam: GU29 - Dubai

SHARAM'S HAND TOSS... Morel played at Blowoff and on his podcast two of the best tracks featured on the debut solo compilation from a longtime collaborator, Sharam Tayebi of Deep Dish fame. 16 Bit Lolitas's ''Passing Lights'' may not come in until after two tracks and 14 minutes on Sharam's new double-disc set, GU29 -- Dubai, released by British label Global Underground. But ''Passing Lights'' kicks the set into the sensory-loaded progressive-house stormer you expect.

A little later comes Creamer & K's ''Something to Lose.'' Battling it out on vocals with Rosko, Nadia Ali creates the best track of her career -- or, if you prefer, at least as good as her iio breakthrough hit ''Rapture.'' On the bittersweet new track, Ali is tired of her lover: ''Do I look to you like something to lose? Or am I to you only someone to use?'' Rosko plays the part of her lover, and it turns out he's tired, too. Of her using him. Maybe they're not meant to be, but they sure do make beautiful, harmonious music together. Let's hope they do it again.

The same is true of Sharam and his Deep Dish partner Ali ''Dubfire'' Shirazinia -- and they're reportedly still very much together, just taking a little break. But Sharam can do it alone. GU29 -- Dubai is every bit as good as previous Deep Dish compilations, which suggests that either the two are equally good and critical to the partnership, or Sharam is the key ingredient in the duo's success. Time will tell: Global Underground will release Dubfire's debut compilation early next year....


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