Music Reviews: Jamiroquai, The Goons of Doom, Tony Verderosa

Every month(ish), we recommend the most seriously awesome albums and tracks we had on repeat. We even read a book this time. Yay literacy.



Music: It’s been four long years, but Jay Kay and his band of acid-jazz Brits are finally back. Guaranteed to blow out sound systems and dancing shoes everywhere, Dynamite delivers everything from the disco-flavored title track to the Sade-sounding “Talluah” to the inevitably funkified “Hot Tequila Brown.”

Drumming: Drummer Derrick McKenzie and percussionist Sola Akingbola have been playing together for a decade, and you can hear it in their tight, complementary performance. On a disc loaded down every which way with deep grooves, “Starchild” is a surprise standout, showing it’s possible to funk with a four-on-the-floor bass drum and a simple 2 and 4 on the snare. And if you ever feel like blowing off steam, grab a cowbell and bang along with the rockingly fun “Black Devil Car.”

The Straight Poop: Dust off your buffalo hat, and obey what Master Kay has to say: “Baby, you’ve got to rock the floor tonight.”

The Goons of Doom

Bikey Zombie

Music: These Australian surf punks can hit a few more notes than the Sex Pistols did, and they’re almost as much fun. Fronted by the dyspeptic vocals of Vaughan Dead and Bang Bang Bunny Fang, the band sweats out tunes that are generally under three minutes long, usually peppered with profanity, and always chock full of attitude. Primp the mohawks and polish the cheek rings for “She Wore Rat Skin Boots” and “Blood on The Streets.” 

Drumming: A ruffian called Cut-Throat Cowboy handles drum duties, and he might have picked up the sticks yesterday. Or maybe the day before. But that’s okay. Cowboy doesn’t have to ride fancy—or even steady—to guide this irreverent group. Forget for a moment groove, chops, and meter. Sit back and get a dose of loose, loud, and crazy.

The Straight Poop: The Goons remind you how to use the business end of your middle finger. Point it proudly.

Tony Verderosa

The Drummer’s Guide To Loop-Based Music: The Essential Reference For Techno Drum Styles

If you think that jungle beats have something to do with the Amazon, pick up Tony Verderosa’s comprehensive gem to techno drumming. A reference work rather than a straight instruction manual, the book comprises three reviewable sections—styles, interviews, and gear. Each of techno’s “rudimentary” rhythms—Trance, Think, Apache, Amen, and so on—is notated here, and you can hear each performed on an included one-hour CD.

Once you’re plugged into the basics, advance your skills by sneaking a peek behind the processors of e-luminaries such as Roy “Futureman” Wooten and JoJo Mayer. The gear analysis quickly gets you up and grooving, and a handy glossary is provided so that you can talk the talk.

Bonus goodies on the second CD include a free version of Acid XPress (for making and mixing your own loops) and performance pieces featuring Vederosa and his fleet-of-hand playing/sampling. Watch his sticks, wonder at the sounds—welcome to the 21st century.

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