Monday, July 16, 2012

Diggin In The Crates: Kashmere Stage Band

I'm just guessing that most DJs wouldn't dig through the crates to find albums from a Texas high school band, but this ain't your "flight of the bumblebee" bullshit band from the burbs. This is the funk and soul of Kashmere HS from the Kashmere Gardens of Houston Texas. Many compare the Kashmere Stage Band to the JBs and Bar-Kays - for anyone needing a reference point to begin. If you need to wrap your ears around some funk then I'd suggest KSB's "Texas Thunder Soul 1968–1974" compilation set. For the DJs and producers looking for the link - here you go Texas Thunder Soul 1968–1974 courtesy of the website 1.8 Seconds.

The 25 second mark of "Zero Point" with that ill run down on the horns is bananas (go to the 40 second mark of the LP version if you have that one). The horn breakdown at the 1:02 mark of "Do You Dig It Man" is a warning signal that an absolutely dope break is about to drop, but you'll need to pitch the tempo way down if you want to run with it. The KSB routinely goes at warp speed. Just peep the drum fill at the 1:21 mark of "Don't Mean a Thing" and you'll know exactly what I mean. Or the 1:51 mark with the congos going faster than the speed of a normal man's hands on a fat line of coke. I promise you have never heard a better instrumental rendition of the classic "Ain't No Sunshine" than the KSB version. I'm also a huge fan of their instrumental cover of the classic Isaac Hayes "Do Your Thing" record (although I wish they would ease back with all the organ). There's another KSB version called "Al's Thing" that includes vocals. I've actually wrapped my ears around 4 different versions of this cover from KSB. If you are looking for some of the best riffs off their "Thank You" I would definitely suggesst the 45 version since the recording is better quality, although the best break of strictly drums is on the Texas Thunder Soul compilation. If you just really love percussion then you'll probably dig the "Getting It Out of My System". If you're looking for the classic breakbeat sample then definitely check out "Kashmere" and the beginning of "Headwiggle" which oddly enough is one of the very vew KSB songs with vocals (even though it's really just a chant of the word "headwiggle"). If you're looking for some killer pimp vibes then you should drop the needle on KSB's "Scorpio" and the cover of Isaac Haye's "Shaft". "Kash Register" fits that same vibe, although its a lot more polished.

I would also recommend the full length documentary about the life of their legendary leader, Conrad "Prof" Johnson called "THUNDER SOUL" narrated by Jamie Foxx.

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