Live Cultures Vol. 3 is the long awaited continuation of a series of compilations started way back at the turn of the century featuring the eclectic and multi-talented musicians that have graced Petri Disk Studios over these past many years. All the artists found here are San Francisco Bay Area musical forces at one time or another and it is an honor to present these collaborative creations with the world once more. Find below a track by track run down with some background information on each one telling a bit of the back-story on how these songs came to be.
1. ‘Levelor Eyes’-Originally written as an acoustic Bossa Nova ballad by Splintered Tree in the 90’s, this song appeared in its original form on his ‘Forward Resolution’ release in 2000, it then caught the ear of upcoming DJ/producer and new arrival to the city, Ean Golden, who asked to make a remix of the original version. The magic really came together once Dara Roberts was recruited to sing her soulful rendition on top of Ean’s superb production.
2. ‘Diggin’ Pony’-This was the title track of an EP released last year on Splintered Tree Records by Drunken Monkey and is included here again only because it’s so damn good. When this song came into existence at Petri Disk it was clear that something really magical was happening with Chrys-Anthony’s incredible musical talents shining bright in the studio.
3. ‘Mise en Garde’-Nobody brings the nasty beats and basslines like IBU600! That’s why Drunken Monkey had to get some of that good stuff to write a song too…the result is a French destroying series of dancefloor friendly exhortations that’s make De Gaulle spin in his grave. Straight up breakbeat madness ensues for this aptly titled track which is English translates to “Watch Out”!
4. ‘Sticky Situation’-A dusty rare groove instrumental track from Drunken Monkey inspired this colloboration with Freedom on a song he’d been polishing for a good lil’ while. Freedom is heart, body, and soul musical talent known for his musical sincerity, mystical sexuality, and open love of the Goddess. This Ohio Players influenced soulful love ballad captures Freedom’s uniquely deft vocal work crafted over all kinds of funkiness.
5. ‘Crystal on the Concrete’-A country-rock gem recorded many years ago by The Sweet Leaf Boys, this song has sadly been sitting on the shelves for way too long, but at long last it finds its place with this release. This song along with ‘Prideful Bets’ which appears on Live Cultures Vol. 4, were outtakes from the recording sessions from The Sweet Leaf Boys swan song album, ‘A Fond Farewell’. Featured on both songs is the swooning angelic voice of Chris McGandy’s pedal steel guitar which take it all straight to the next level.
6. ‘Still Here’-Laura McGourty brought this song into Petri Disk Studios in preparation for a live performance at a friend’s wedding. The results were so breathtaking that a formal recorded version seemed unavoidable. Sparse instrumentation and beats complement Laura’s soulful rendition of the Stanton Warriors original song and render this a perfect ‘cover’ in every sense.
7. ‘There’s A Light’-The Heart of Hearts project never really got past the ‘demo’ing process, but there were some great ideas going around the studio during those recording sessions and this song in particular seemed to encapsulate the sound that they were trying to capture. In the spirit of a ‘demo’ this recording is still a little rough around the edges but holds it’s own as a testament to the emotional depth and honesty of artistic expression that the Heart of Hearts project called their own.
8. ‘Streetlight Horn’-Another B-side Jam from The Sweet Leaf Boys! Like the other outtakes from their earlier recordings, this song didn’t stylistically have an easy fit with the bulk of their material and so languished ‘in the can’ for a good many years until now seeing the light of day. Featured on this track is the psychedelic saxaphone stylings of Alex Weiss making the journey of the song come to life.
9. ‘Miracle’-Freedom returns with another song dedicated to his favorite muse: Love in all its forms. Joining him with impeccable M.C. abilities is The Black Male, a seriously unsung Bay Area rap talent in his own right. Drunken Monkey delivers a skipping 2-Step rhythm and lots of gorgeous pads and basslines to complement the sweet sentiments of love.
10. ‘Karu’s Drums & Dreams’-Drunken Monkey’s love of Drum & Bass came together in this unique collaboration with Karisha Longacre of MaMuse fame, who had been developing the singular sound of her siren voice processed and sculpted through a looping device. Karisha went on to form the widely known and loved folk-duo Mamuse but this song captures and highlights nicely the kinds of musical visions she created in her time as a solo performer.