RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, September 3

100 VINYLZ: #63 - Detroit 7-inch by Paul Humphrey & His Cool Aid Chemists

(1969, Lizard Records)
I got this digging through the 7-inches somewhere or another, seeing the whole Cool-
Aid vibe (also the name of the B-track, "Cool Aid"), and I was down. I used to drink the fuck out some Kool-Aid, even in college. I actually had a zine one time that you could only get with 20 Kool-Aid points, and I don't even remember why I was trying to accumulate them points, probably for something wacky and ironic. I am a thirtysomething type dude who was labelled by the mass marketing machine as "Gen-X", so back then, that's how I rolled, wanting to sport Kool-Aid gear as a semi-grown folk.
Well, this was at some point coming into my life, as a big stack of 45s, and I remember playing the "Detroit" song and it being the fucking funk instrumental shit. Except the other side is even better, just minus the semi-cliché sounds of the cityscape in the background, and I was sold, telling myself about my $10 jukebox of perpetual brokenness, “This shit definitely makes the rotation of 100.” It’s a literal rotation too, as basically it’s a big slotted fan, like if an old school metal fan’s protective grating was actually the thing that spun around, and you slide the records into the slots. Paul Humphrey and his potnas would be in my jukebox without a threat of getting pulled out forever, plus two weekends. I’ve never heard anything else by this guy.
I think it was in that Scratch movie, maybe the DJ Z-Trip set, he played this song. Or he might’ve been an opening act on the Brainfreeze DVD about DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist doing their infamous rare soul 45s mega-sets years ago. Yeah, I think that was it, because it would make sense for Z-Trip to play this there, in that 45 format, than on Scratch, where he goes on for too long about beats per minute and blah blah blah. I have to admit, before I really knew who he was, and he played the next-to-last set at the first Bonnaroo, and we were sitting on top of a truck, fucked up as fuck, feeding what some vending ass fratboy hippie called “pizza” to my 2-year-old kid (it was french bread sliced in half, into pieces, with tomato sauce smeared on top, and cheap plastic bottle parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, cooked in an actual gas oven from like a kitchen he somehow had rigged up behind a 4Runner), and Z-Trip came out and did his thing, it cracked the cranium. I mean, he never dug deeper than surface levels of different genres, but that introduced me to the “mash-up” in a perfectly inebriated environment, and it felt like some next level shit was going on. I think that’s the thing about new things and guys like Z-Trip in the age of ifnormation overload... eventually somebody interviews you and you sound like a fucking dumbass. That’s what broke up my last rap group, the producer guy was pretty intent on taking interviews seriously and sounding like a fucking dumbass, even though we never did shit except make a couple good songs. Fuck people who take what they do so seriously at such an early stage. Twenty years down the road, if your shit sticks to the wall longer than momentarily, then yeah, go for it, be serious and lay down the history. But if something’s brand new and you’re trying to hype up how you do it like Montell Jordan, you’re just gonna look chumpy, and whatever you’re doing is gonna be played the fuck out pretty fast. Music is more than just the music; it’s the whole ambiance, the idea of what you’re listening to behind the music. You want to believe it’s some crazy assed shit behind what you’re listening to, not some dorky ass dude sitting there, thinking about it too hard all the time, trying to find a slice of self-esteem for his downtrodden psyche.

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