Thursday, July 26, 2012

Drum Breaks: Quebec Style pt 2- Les Lutins

The only thing worse than buying a bad album solely for its drum break is buying a good album solely for its drum break. It's like buying a Mercedes just so you can wear the hood ornament around your neck. And while Les Lutins' second LP, "En Orbite", is not nearly as good as their first, it's still a great album.

It's not as much a garage record as their first. It is both poppier and more psych influenced. The only duff track on the record is the goofy pop tune "Monsieur Le Robot," (yes it has a silly robot voice in it) which, frustratingly enough, was the main single off the record and turns up everywhere. The track with the break, "La Junglomanie" is sort of a mock R&B record, in almost the same way that "The Gift" by the Velvet Underground is a mock Booker T and the MG's record, although this one has no story recited on top of it, just jungle noises. Gotta dig the fuzz bass, too.

I believe this record was known to beat diggers from back in the day just for it's drum break. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it was the international psych mafia who coveted it? It did, after all, make an appearance on the Trap Door psych mix CD.

My favorite tune on the record is probably "Girl", a nice raunchy psych rave-up, with a few odd starts and stops.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Drum Breaks: Quebec Style pt 1- Marc Hamilton

Do people even care about collecting records with drum breaks anymore? With the decline of sample based hip hop, the ability to rock doubles of any mp3 on Serato, and a large of chunk people simply, well, growing out of that sort of thing, the answer is probably no.

Which is not really a bad thing. Owning a terrible record just because it has a drum break is one of the stupidest things of all time. I have definitely done my share of "burning and dumping" the past few years, which is to say recording the one good song (or just the break) of a 40 minute LP and then getting rid of my physical copy. Even worse than bad records that were collected just for the drum breaks are the decent records that had their prices artificially inflated by beat digging locusts. Mountains of decent rock records suddenly became expensive "wall pieces" in many a record shop because of a 10 second bit of open drums (the Power of Zeus LP jumps immediately to mind).


I certainly won't go so far as to group Marc Hamilton's first LP in that "only good for 10 seconds" category, but it definitely isn't a classic LP all the way through. The main hit on the record, "Comme J'ai toujours envie d'aimer," is some "AM gold" business for sure.

But, for all his sub-Demis Roussos-type sensitive guy strumming n crooning, Hamilton actually has some roots in real rock n roll. Like, say, Les Monstres.
Yes, this flower child was once a member of a trashy garage rock band that dressed up as horror movie monsters. As far as I can tell their schtick was sort of half Screaming Lord Sutch and half the Munsters, which is NOT A BAD THING!
Anyways, after Les Monstres, Hamilton went solo, although with many ex-Monstres in his band.  The aforementioned "Comme J'ai toujours envie d'aimer" was the monster (ahem) hit that made the album possible, but Hamilton didn't let himself get reined in by the burden of his million selling crooning tune and let his freak flag fly. "Magic Tapis" is very much the song that makes the LP cover have context, as it is a faux Indian pysch tune with some happening electric sitar work:


Admittedly, the rest of the album is not that hot, except for the last tune on side 2, yunno the one with THE DRUM BREAK... To be fair, the track would still be hot as hell with out the drum break. Basically it's a Hendrix influenced tune with some really nice guitar and bass work that breaks down to a drum solo into a drum break (for those keeping score)...