If you’re at all familiar with his work, it’s fitting that Ted Feighan moved from Ohio to Los Angeles. Over the past handful of years, Feighan’s sublime solo project Monster Rally has evolved from the Seasonal Affective Disorder escapism of exotic loop-based psychedelia/tropicalia to the twinkly-eyed glamor of Old Hollywood. With each successive release, he’s also stepped up his beat pad game, infusing killer breaks into his ever more far-reaching soundscapes, reaching for the sort of crate-digging world music brilliance of Madlib. But instead of serving as some sort of paltry Beat Konducta Jr., Monster Rally’s chief attribute is preserving the beauty of its source material. New album “Return to Paradise” solidifies this approach with lilting guitar lines, rolling upright bass, tambourine shakes, and a leisurely and uncomplicated approach to beatmaking.
Given the number of hours Feighan probably sifts through record bins on the regular, it was elementary for me to ask him for a contribution to our mix series. Here, he gives us a sample of his range, offering up classics which run the gamut from hip-hop and afro-pop to rare psych music and Lex Baxter. He even offers up an exclusive outtake from Return to Paradise, proving that even his cutting room floor is littered with more gold than many of his peers. For any globetrotter who has no interest in learning how to spin a basketball on their finger, this makes for great accompaniment.
Below the jump is the mix, the tracklisting (along with Feighan commentary), and “Orchids,” the lead single for Return to Paradise. You’ll have to provide your own daiquiris and drink umbrellas. — Douglas Martin
Passion of the Weiss Mix Series – Monster Rally: https://soundcloud.com/monster-rally/passion-of-the-weiss-mix-by/s-Wkw1z
1. Koushik – Interlude (Instrumental)
This is one of the tracks from the Four Tet / Koushik Madvillainy remix EPs that came out a while back. Those remixes are what got me into Koushik and I’ve been a fan of all his albums since.
2. Al Quetz – Yassa At The Fifth Floor
I recently discovered the Al Quetz album, Drums Come From Africa, and I’ve been jamming it pretty consistently for a couple weeks. The drums in this track are so smooth and it may be impossible to argue with a funky african guitar sample.
3. Les Yper-Sound – Jericho Jerk
Weird / cool track by an out-there band.
4. Dexter – One for Yusef
This track is from an awesome beat tape by Dexter. The album, Vol.3 The Jazz Files, is his entry in the Hi-Hat Club series and is the best one in my opinion. I love the light piano samples in this one, sparse and beautiful.
5. Scientist – Bad Days Dub
Scientist is the man and this track is one of his best bass lines.
6. Kashmere Stage Band – Do Your Thing
This song by the Kashmere Stang Band has always felt so triumphant to me. This was the song we played at my wedding when my wife and I were introduced for the first time.
7. Smif-N-Wessun – Stand Strong
Dah Shinin’ has been one of my favorite albums since I was first introduced to it. On “Strand Strong”, Tek and Steele are at their best and the production is so on-point, its a near-perfect moment.
8. Les Baxter – Slow Heat
I’m a big fan of Les Baxter. The man is master at creating mood and inspiring visuals through music. “Slow Heat” is one of my favorite songs because its so smooth and mysterious. The instrumentation is fantastic as well.
9. Peanut Butter Wolf – Chain Gang
Peanut Butter Breaks is a classic, every track on the album is great. I love this track in particular because of the breezy flute sample.
10. Nas – It Ain’t Hard to Tell (Large Professor Remix)
Large Professor turns the closing track from Illmatic into a party jam.
11. Dan The Automater – Professor Pyarlal
“Professor Pyarlal” is from the album Bombay The Hard Way, an album based heavily on funky Bollywood movie scores from the 70s. The synth and bass lines make this track – its a bizarre journey.
12. Jorge Ben – Xica da Silva
Classic Jorge Ben funky tropical soul. I love the guitars in this track, they are so sunny and light.
13. Mos Def – Universal Magnetic
Definitely one of my favorite Mos Def songs, pre-Black on Both Sides.
14. Alton Ellis – It’s a Shame
Jamaican covers of American soul songs are always great and Alton Ellis is a legend.
15. Karriem Riggins – Double Trouble
The production of this track, from the drums to the vibes to the flutes is so tight and together. This is what made Alone / Together such an incredible album.
16. Ghostface Killah – Beat The Clock
Stand out track from Ghost’s Pretty Toney Album. The production on this one feels like a chase scene in a cop show circa 1976.
17. Nguessan Santa – Manny Nia
One of my favorite tracks from the Ivory Coast Soul compilation put out by the great Hot Casa Records. This one is next-level funky.
18. Monster Rally – Zizi [outro edit]
Quick loop of Brazilian easy-listening that didn’t make the Return to Paradise LP.