Blow Smoke Rings
Music to Blow Smoke Rings Across the Floor
Let’s try something else. Maybe you’ll recognise some of it; maybe not. It really doesn’t matter as long as it takes you up and away
featuring artists like
Ambient Jazz Ensemble, Hardage, Peter Gabriel, Bliss, Klinkajous, Aphrodite’s Child
Kick-back time; the drink’s primed; the politically incorrect smoke lies ready to hand; there’s just one thing missing. What to play on the sound system? Sure there’s your cool stack of albums; the familiar CD’s on the shelf; the carefully curated MP3 selection. But hey, you know what? Let’s try something else. Maybe you’ll recognise some of it; maybe not. It really doesn’t matter as long as it takes you up and away; like those smoke rings you’re blowing across the room. Let’s get started…
6 February 2019
I love it when a musical connection is made! I’ve been banging on about Zero 7 and then their offshoot, Fragile State, on this curation and then what happens? I come across someone new with a name that sounds like I should like them – Ambient Jazz Ensemble – and who’s central to them? None other than Neil Cowley…
30 January 2019
I can barely believe that I’ve let this curation go so long without more than a passing reference to the legend that is Peter Gabriel – though Genesis feature here with “Cinema Show” from “Selling England By The Pound” which has him on lead vocals…
22 January 2019
In keeping with the “world” themes of this curation, Bliss hail from Denmark, though their collective owes as much to influences from Guinea and Sweden! They first appeared in the early 2000’s which really was the halcyon period for ambient chill stuff it seems – a golden age? …
16 January 2019
Bang up to date sounds of alt-jazz from this five piece outfit that hail from London. Travelling through places where borders disappear, Kinkajous give birth to an innovative sound that very much reminds me of another favourite band of mine that features on this collective; namely Submotion Orchestra…
9 January 2019
A Greek band from the 60’s and 70’s with quite an antecedence – the keyboards man was “Chariots of Fire” composer Vangelis and their singer was “Ever and Forever” Demis Roussos…legends. This track is taken from their 1971 album “666” which is generally regarded as their best…
18 December 2018
This is one of those gentle tracks that repeats a subtle riff overdubbed with echoing voices and held together by cymbals and congas. Sounds all so simple but this one’s riff really infiltrated me…
11 December 2018
OK I know there’s a myriad of covers of this Gershwin classic, and I already have featured Deep Dive’s version of it on this collection, but this puts a West African twist on the same song, and is beautifully different with its acapella style…
4 December 2018
Fotheringay emerged from Fairport Convention in the late 60’s. “Nothing More” is from their one and only album, and is Sandy Denny’s attempt to reach out to her former bandmate Richard Thompson, quietly grief-stricken in the wake of the crash that killed his girlfriend Jeannie Franklin and Fairport drummer Martin Lamble…
28 November 2018
If you’re expecting to hear the distinctive gravel sounds of The Man, well, unusually, this is an instrumental from him; a sweet sax piece with underlying piano and strings which then further develops into a piano solo. It comes from his lesser known 1987 album “Lesser Champions Compose”…
20 November 2018
Championed by John Peel, and often cited as one of the pioneers of electronica, BOC – a pair of brothers called Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin – hail from Scotland. “Music Has The Right To Children” from which this track comes was their album released in 1998 after sending out countless demos to labels…
14 November 2018
A short-lived collaboration between two guys from Hull, Fila nevertheless were one of the new millennium electronica acts forging tongue-in-cheek stuff with wacky treatments and even wackier names – check out their albums “Maim That Tune” and “Luck Be A Weirdo Tonight”!…
6 November 2018
OK so most people know “Solid Air” and perhaps think of John Martyn as that rather gruff voiced dude who died (essentially) from consumption, having had a leg amputated along the way,…
30 October 2018
From the album of the same name, this twenty minute monster is a masterpiece; a musical narrative that might be a film score, but isn’t!…
23 October 2018
Is David Gilmour the “real” sound of Pink Floyd?
If, like me, you’re something of a Pink Floyd fan then no doubt you’ve already struck gold by listening to David Gilmour’s solo album from 2006 “On An Island” from which this track is taken…I guess if you haven’t then you’re in for a treat…
16 October 2018
Fragile State were another one of those short-lived electronica collaborations like Lemon Jelly that seemed to proliferate at the turn of the millennium – a golden age for sampling and downbeat. FS were formed by two guys, one from Zero 7 – Neil Cowley – and Ben Mynott…
9 October 2018
Now this is the real McCoy, from Genesis’s best album (in my humble opinion) – “Selling England By The Pound” – released all those years ago (1973!) and featuring Peter Gabriel of course. They’d already broken new ground with “Foxtrot” and “Trespass” with their lengthy rambles into instrumental riffs allied to absurdist lyrics from Gabriel – have a listen to “Get Em Out By Friday” or “Supper’s Ready” if you want a real taste of that!..
3 October 2018
This is one of those electronica songs I first heard quite by chance on a late-night radio show back in 2001…and was thoroughly annoyed that the DJ failed to give me a name check of either the track or the artist! Ah!!! Now what? How to find it?…
26 September 2018
My second submission, after “Red Dress”, by this Leeds based band featuring the dulcet tones of Ruby Wood, and the lush pseudo-orchestration led by the trumpet of Tommy Evans. This is a seven minute build of electronica/jazz which pretty much sums up the musical style you can expect from each of their four albums…
19 September 2018
Can their album “Psychic Karaoke” really be over twenty years old now? Released in 1996, I heard “Chariots” up first and was absolutely hooked by the depth of sound, the subcontinental/Arabian voice of Natacha Atlas (!) and the changes of rhythm and sounds. The super duper highway indeed!…
11 September 2018
In the early 70’s the sound of Philadelphia was all the rage and along with bands like the O’Jays, The Stylistics were at the forefront. They had a sugary sound that didn’t always appeal to me – songs like “Betcha By Golly Wow” for instance – but I absolutely LOVE this song – this full length version’s great!…
4 September 2018
Late 60’s I was into The Young Rascals (later, just The Rascals) as they released a succession of singles that caught my attention – they weren’t necessarily hits, although “Groovin’” was a monster – but I enjoyed the philosophical lyrics allied to the sophisticated production elements…
28 August 2018
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t have a copy of the seminal psychedelic album, “Forever Changes” released first in 1967? Maybe it’s passed you by; if so, then this song should give you a flavour of what to expect with its gentle guitars, harmonies and orchestration…
21 August 2018
Well, I do like a bit of laid-back acoustic guitar and when it’s allied to that oh-so-smooth Balearic background stuff….well, it HAS to make this curation! Don’t be fooled by the spelling of the Christian name – Joan is a guy!…
15 August 2018
Well, with the UK in the midst of its best summer sun since 1976 – heatwave! – what could be better than a chilled song that radiates Englishness? Bent (Simon Mills and Neil Tolliday) are one of my absolute favourite downtempo mixers/samplers from the turn of the millennium…
31 July 2018
“Summertime” from the musical “Porgy and Bess” must have been covered endlessly, but this version, which I first heard in Brazil on a mix album called “Emiliano 2” really hooked me…it’s different!…
18 December 2017
When I started this playlist I made it clear I wanted to show what the south had to offer when it came to hip hop. When most think of southern hip hop they think of dance music or club music with not much content. I’ve also gotten then feeling that quite a few don’t feel the south have much to offer when it comes to lyrics but I beg to differ.
12 December 2017
When you listen to hip hop in the south right now there is a sound that seems to be heard in a lot of the new generation artist. This sound seems to be getting hatted on quite a bit by some that feel hip hop should sound a certain way or be portrayed a particular way. What a lot of them don’t realize is this sound has been around in the south long before the generation and artist they try to give the credit to and has been done very well on top of that.
6 December 2017
While promoting my own artist from Alabama I came across this young guy who really impressed me. Only 17 and from Birmingham, Alabama Nick Simmons aka YBN Nahmir had built a huge fan base before he even broke one record in the music industry.
30 November 2017
I remember hearing this song for the first time. It was during a time when the radio stations were dominated by artist from New York or California and hip hop was a lot about how they flowed over the beat and delivery. I remember not liking this track the first time I heard it also.
22 November 2017
OK so normally when my kids come to visit me and my son tend to wander off to my desk and start to compare music and artist we like that are not signed to majors or not that well heard of like some of the others but still great artist. On our latest visit me and my son sat around listening to artist on YouTube and SoundCloud. He pointed out a couple artist that him and his sister listen to quite often and I’m really digging what these guys are doing.
14 November 2017
About 6 to 7 years ago one of the A&R’s I worked with approached me about working with a artist. At the time I still lived In Florida, and this artist was from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I wasn’t sure how that was going to work but this person assured me once I heard this guy I would definitely want to work with him.
8 November 2017
Ok so I had to put this record on my list once I heard it. I’m writing this on the day It was released and it gave me one of the best feelings I’ve had in a while. Yes its a Trick Daddy track again but this time its a joint project he did with his label mates Trina and new comer to the label Mike Smiff.
31 October 2017
YoungBoy Never Broke Again (and yes that whole thing is his name), Is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The same city and state as some other pretty huge recording artist. The difference for him is defiantly his age and sound. Being only 17 he seems to speak to the millennials with the words they feel they can relate to and live by. With his name alone he tells you he plans to never be broke again, and I think he is well on track with this record.
24 October 2017
When I started this list I wanted to not only give anyone who listened to it a good taste of what the south can and will do on a major level but also on an indie level too. So I came across the guy while going through some stuff i wanted to add to my list. And after doing some homework on him i was pretty amazed on how he delivered that southern twang being from so close to the north east.
17 October 2017
During the time of working on this list we had a pretty bad event happen in the south by the name of “Hurricane Harvey”. Harvey really did some damage to Huston, Texas and left a lot of families with no home and even stuck because practically the whole city became flooded. While watching the news I see a guy going around on his boat helping to rescue citizens. As they zoomed in you see it was this guy Trae Tha Truth. One thing I can say about Texas hip-hop is since I can remember they have always stuck together and tried to help one another.
10 October 2017
If you start to list white rappers now a days in hip hop people tend to forget about Bubba Sparxxx from LaGrange, Ga. Most think of quite a few others from other areas because they seemed to have larger hit records.
3 October 2017
When we are talking new-south hip-hop we cant go without mentioning 2 brothers from Tupelo, Mississippi. Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi first showed up in a major way back around 2013 when producer Mike Will Made-It introduced them.
25 September 2017
Being from Florida It wouldn’t be right If I didn’t give you a taste of that FLA sound. And one of the only ways to start it off and make sure you understand where that sound comes from is to give you some Miami.
19 September 2017
When you think of the south most don’t think about the fact that Virginia is actually a part of the south. So a lot of dope records, artist and producers get left out because of this. There is a group of people from this area that helped shape what hip-hop is today.
18 September 2017
I don’t feel I would represent southern hip hop very well without including this record. For anyone who has been in music or even into music in the south around my age they got a chance to watch what Master P did as an independent label owner and artist…
15 September 2017
I’ve gotten a chance to watch quite a few interviews with Lil Yachty, and I have to say I’ve be really impressed with how he seems to stick to his guns on what he wants as a artist. I remember him going through a bit of back and forth with veteran rapper Joe Budden…
15 September 2017
I think I was 19 when this record was released to the public. And by this time being a teen in my city in Florida If you had a car it was more than likely laced with subwoofers, amps, & tweeters. If you could hear yourself talking while playing music you didn’t have enough bass.
15 September 2017
If you like your wheels big on your donk and teeth gold in your mouth. This record just might be a part of the soundtrack for your love scene. Plies gives it to you raw and uncut with his humor that we have grown to love over the last few years from his social media videos.
9 September 2017
This record was the beginning of a whole new era in the south for music. It was proof that southern rappers could actually put out real hip hop. It gave validation to all of the southern rappers to come. After this record the south was here for the long hall in hip hop and able to do more than just make dance music with a few chants and a bunch of big bass.
5 September 2017
I suspect that some of you are not going to dig this track – which is fine – you can’t please all of the people all of the time and a playlist like this is set up so you can skip ahead if something doesn’t match your mood. Me however – I love this stuff! ;-p
30 August 2017
It’s the cool thing about being in a community of music lovers – you get exposed to all kinds of tracks you’d never normally come across. This Lemon Jelly track actually first appears on the Music To Blow Smoke Rings Across the Floor Playlist – curated by my English Teacher – crazy how the world works huh!?
About the curator - Richard Parsons
I grew up listening to music from the late 60’s onwards. Pirate pop radio; swapping LP’s with friends; exploring genres; daydreaming over the latest woofer and tweeter.
In reality I spent thirty years imparting imperfect knowledge of English literature and drama to young minds in school. Regrets? No. I loved teaching; loved the interaction with the pupils, and made lifelong friends as a result. And what better way to keep up to date with music? I always played stuff in my lessons, and as a result, I’d be bombarded with suggestions from my flock! “Sir! Have you heard…?”