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Whyte Horses | Hard Times x Stretch and Bobbito & The M19s Band | No Requests

The Manchester tripsters and the NYC DJ veterans have it covered on their albums.

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THE PRESS RELEASES

“The notoriously elusive Whyte Horses return with a new album including the single in the form of a cover of seminal 1970’s track Ça Plane Pour Moi originally performed by the Belgian music polymath Plastic Bertrand. Whyte Horses, whose sound is at once timeless and thoroughly modern. With a back-catalogue of multi-faceted jewels that gleam with a blinding, intoxicating light, Whyte Horses’ reputation is one of being able to piece together gloriously individual pop strands in an endlessly creative fashion. The new album features a heavyweight guest list including John Grant, La Roux, Badly Drawn Boy, Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura, Gruff Rhys and more.”

“After three decades impacting airwaves, introducing game-changing talent to the masses, and influencing the culture at large, radio legends and dynamic duo Stretch & Bobbito announce the release of their first-ever album, No Requests. This marks an important milestone for the iconic New York DJs. They curated and produced songs for 10x Grammy winner Eddie Palmieri’s new label Uprising Music, enlisting world-class talent for this inimitable body of work. As such, the track listing seamlessly integrates Soul, Latin, Jazz, Afro, Samba, and Reggae into an O.G. genre-less cocktail that’s equally intoxicating and inspiring. In order to bring the project to life, they assembled an A-list cast of musicians to comprise, The M19s Band — affectionately named after Manhattan’s old M19 bus. Back in the day, Bobbito hailed from the Upper West Side and Stretch called the Upper East Side home. This M19 doubled as an artery connecting these two halves of unique urban neighborhoods. It ultimately allowed them to cross cultures and demographic boundaries, much like the music on the album does today.”

MY TWO CENTS

You can always count on your old pal Sir Iggy of Pop. In one of his many memorable utterances, the world’s forgotten boy once bon-moted the following truism (which I am paraphrasing, since I am too lazy to track down the exact words): Anybody can write a bad song. Writing a good song takes hard work. True dat, as the kids say. (Do the kids still say dat? Er, that? Never mind.) But in light of that, allow me to posit this possibly problematic proposition: The same holds true of the much-maligned cover tune. Anybody can (and as we’ve all suffered through, far too many do) recycle a classic witty ditty with all the originality, thought, flair and vibrancy of a broken-down Xerox machine churning out butt shots at the company’s holiday soiree. Far too few, on the other hand, manage to hotrod together some vacuum tubes and Tesla coils, boldly summon the gods of thunder, take their lives into the own hands and brave the unknown elements in the vague, vain hope that a white-hot bolt of sizzling lightning will arrive from straight outta nowhere and z-z-z-zap the sweet spot at the most opportune time, sparking up a metaphorical musical blaze of inspiration that breathes some sweet new life into the unearthed, smelly carcass of a long-dead jukebox platter. Or something like that. In any case, meet two of the few who have taken this plunge and come out the other side not only unscathed, but with something way-cool to show for it. Perhaps not surprisingly, both are the brainchildren of music-biz lifers with an undisputed aural ability to separate pop droppings from the goodest of good shit. Like, f’rinstance, Dom Thomas, who is bossman of Manchester’s Finders Keepers vinyl reissue label when he isn’t DJing, producing or fronting his shape-shifting indie-psychedelic collective Whyte Horses. Thomas puts all his super-skills to work on his crew’s latest trippy turntable offering Hard Times, which resurrects and retools a playlist of mouldy and/or golden ’60s and ’70s waxings — from Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love, The Bee Gee’s Mr. Natural, Cher’s Bang Bang, Todd Rundgren’s I Saw the Light and Plastic Bertrand’s oo-wee-oo bubble-pop zip-gun Ca Plane Pour Moi (you may know it as Elton Motello’s Jet Boy, Jet Girl) to more obscure outings like Bran’s boogie bong banger Tocyn, the Alessi Brothers’ swoopy Seabird and Baby Huey’s homegrown title cut. Co-starring VIPs like La Roux, Badly Drawn Boy, Gruff Rhys and more — plus a cover pic that almost out-weirds Sgt. Pepper — it’s a way groovier party than I’ll ever be invited to. Speaking of groove, it is truly in the heart of No Requests, the debut from veteran dynamic DJ duo Stretch and Bobbito, augmented by their crack M19s Band. In keeping with their day jobs, the influential plate-spinning partners cue up a superset of get-down sounds, sources and styles — mixing, matching, cutting, pasting, merging and mingling everything from vintage hip-hop beats and/or samples of Nas and Biggie to newly recorded takes on crate-digger mainstays like The MaytalsFestival Song (Bam Bam), Stevie Wonder’s If You Really Love Me, Babe Ruth’s The Mexican, The Clash’s Magnificent Seven and The Police’s Voices Inside My Head. Seamlessly segueing styles from hip-hop, soul and funk to Latin and jazz, it’s everything you need to get your own joint jumpin’ and bumpin’. Just don’t forget to put me and Iggy on the list, K?