Like the old wise masters in kung fu films, crate diggers are our sage like curators of musical knowledge; searching endlessly for the source of that proverbial mystery that haunts us mere mortals: Where have I heard that before and where can I listen to it? Music, being the vast and seemingly endless stream of content that it is, needs the crate digger. In turn, we, the casual music lover, need the crate diggers as well. But, like in most martial arts movies, the life of the old master is always pitted against fate and ultimately he/she meets their demise at the hand of their former student or one they once trusted. Today, the crate digger is transcendent, existing on a higher plane of existence as a sort of overseer of music while we now take the coveted place of our former masters. The New Age Crates: Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, Sound Cloud, etc have opened the doors for us to become masters of our own musical empires and through my own mystical journey through these new crates, I’ve found some pretty amazing musical gems that I’d like to share. Let us…begin.
As you guys know, I love movies and I love the music in movies too. The title above, Vecchia Anima, is Italian for Old Soul. Italian composers have made some of the funkiest, soul stirring, timeless music used not only in film but in early to modern day Hip Hop as well. Composers like: Stefano Torossi (Album: Feelings; Song: Walking in the Dark; on Spotify), Ennio Moricone (Album: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; Song: The Ecstasy of Gold; on Spotify), and Mario Molino (Song: For Me ; on Youtube) just to name a few. A little closer to home, here in America we also have The Poets of Rhythm (Album: The Anthology 1992-2003; Song: Discern/Define; on Spotify), The Meters (Album: The Meters; Song: Cissy Strut; on Spotify) and The Sound Stylistics (Song: Night Theme; Album: Play Deep Funk; on Spotify) building and furthering the funk for our listening pleasure. If you guys haven’t had the chance to experience these musical masterpieces, do yourself a favor and go listen now.
Ok, you’re back. Now, keeping the tradition of these former musical geniuses I’ve recently stumbled upon this guy who I now attribute with reinvigorating my love for movie music, soul and funk. His name is Adrian Younge and he is amazing. An actual crate digger himself, this young master is wise beyond his years and possesses the ability to imbue any wayward knowledge seeker with a wealth of musical knowledge. Your first lesson, grasshopper, watch this video:
He is able to just seamlessly invoke the enduring spirit of soul with the hauntingly dim and lasting notes of any classic cinematic score. His solo work on Venice Dawn: Something About April I & II and the Black Dynamite Soundtrack to his collaborative work with Ghostface Killa on Adrian Younge Presents: Twelve Reasons to Die I & II, are like audible drama, giving us whole narratives or solemn contained vignettes of someone's urban inner city life. He’s amassed an impressive body of work. All of which is available on Spotify. If you want a sample size of all of his work, look up Linear Labs: Los Angeles on Spotify, to get a taste of all of his work.
Two others I am particularly fond of as of late embody the same old soul spirit: Alabama Shakes and Blah Blah Blah. Like most, I experience music on an emotional level, allowing for every note, every word, every sigh, hum or scream to audibly nestle itself in me to work up a response. After my daughter was born, my thoughts now gravitate to moments with her. Moments I have already experienced, like her on a swing on a summer day, her hair caught in the wind like a breeze moving through trees or holding her for the first time when she was born (Alabama Shakes: Album: Sound and Color; Songs: Future People and Sound and Color) to moments I can only see in my mind, like her first heartbreak, her saying goodbye, or me dancing with her at her wedding (Blah Blah Blah: Album: This Is for the Time; Songs: No I Never and My Heart Goes Out to You). These moments, lived in or not, experienced in the same way I picture them or not, now have weight of emotion because of these songs/artists and for that, I am grateful and I can’t wait to live them out with her.
Of course, the art of crate digging is not dead, I think it has just evolved. And though the old masters, the real crate diggers are still around to offer us with great musical knowledge and guidance, it’s awesome to now be able to span hundreds of thousands of crates through the various digital outlets that we have at our disposal and bolster our own musical libraries. As such, go, travel the musical world and find your gems, your prized possessions of musical bliss and forge your own kingdom of classic hits.
And as always, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or in the comments section below. If there are any bands or musicians you think we should be listening to, let us know.