Saturday, February 25, 2006


Of course, just because I was so thrilled about Quantic and Francisco, I ran into a slight medical emergency that precluded my going, and I'm REALLY not happy about it but... gotta press on. I've just recently started working on Swink issue 3. I don't remotely have time, but I must say I do love being able to say I'm Creative Director of one publication while Editor-in-Chief of another, however modest they both are. Check the new cover above, while issue #2's cover's below for those who never saw it. Also somewhat placated because I did get more sonic loveliness in the mail today from Dusty Groove: my girl Monday Michiru's new disc, Routes, Sambass 3 (the best thus far, starting with the heraldic strains of Patife and Cleveland Watkiss' RADIANTLY LOVELY take on Stevie's "Overjoyed," and catapulting itself on from there; also in a nice package complete with an envelope of raw sugar), and Bah Samba's Eclectica, Volume 1 DJ set (narcoleptic in Migs mode, but still nice, and worth it just for the beautifully designed faux-Japanese cover.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Quantic + Francisco Aguabella... In My Hood

Since I just learned this at work earlier today and couldn't scream then, I'll do it virtually now: Quantic is spinning a Latin set on a bill with the god Francisco Aguabella's full 8-piece group tomorrow night in the most beautiful bar in Los Angeles (Little Temple, beautiful but sadly straight) three blocks from my house. F*CK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saint Etienne Bliss Revisited

Had a decision last Saturday between either going to see Saint Etienne or Alice Coltrane. It wasn't really a decision because the goddess Alice was at UCLA, and being carless on the eastside of Los Angeles, it is just patently impossible (or hell on earth) to get to Westwood via MTA. I just won't do it. So I had really made my decision weeks before (partly to salve the sting of Incognito doing ONLY an East Coast tour... which I'm sorry, might've been acceptable in 1993, but not f*cking in 06) that I was going to see SE.
After a criminal warm-up set of Motown pastiche (the most obvious triteness ("You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (I love Marvin and Stevie as much as the next boy (though Terry Callier and Leroy Hutson are my real gods), but those songs don't speak to either of their genius)), the SE selections kicked in, starting off with some nice deep funk, then moving into more cliche but still sweeter terrain ("Working My Way Back to You...") before the brilliant ones actually came out. Like most, I've always loved Saint Etienne, and recall "Nothing Can Stop Us" as one of the three most seminal songs in my sonic development (the other two being Massive's "Safe from Harm" and Galliano's "Welcome to the Story" (my true anthem) – all three first heard on KCRW's SNAP circa 91-92). But deciding on Swing Out Sister as my religion (they are the most flawlessly burnished/purely SUBLIME outfit of the past three decades, and Somewhere Deep in the Night, Filth + Dreams, and Shapes + Patterns are all now in my ten most crucial discs, ever) has slightly taken some of the SE lustre off. That doesn't mean I don't still worship them, and I do think parts of Turnpike House are the most shimmeringly lovely sides they've cut in years.
All that said, much of Turnpike sounded gorgeous live ("Stars Above Us" (much better than on record) and the Bacharach-bossa "3rd Street" chief among the best-in-translation), "Spring" and "Nothing" were as transcendent as ever (and I did kick some bitches out of the way to give me enough room to pony), and it was, though far from religious, a beautiful night out.

Love Letter to an Adorable Long-Haired Israeli Trance Producer

I've been meaning to post for weeks about an Infected Mushroom showcase I went to a little while back. You wouldn't expect that I'd like IM because I tend to find trance sterile and generic, but I was invited (through work) by their boundlessly sweet and cute as hell Asian PR girls at Funky Dumpling, and had to go see for myself because my five true dream husbands/the foxiest men on earth (yes, that would be Kinky) are recording with IM (and were rumored to be there, but no such luck). I didn't fall in love musically, but their set is warm and sweeping thanks to their obvious Krautrock inspirations, and for powder-keg combustible, dance your ass off kinetics, it was really rather nice. All that said, I DID fall for half of IM, sublime long-haired Erez, who is just BEAUTIFUL. Worth going for that, and, by the same, token, I have NEVER seen so many godly magnificent (mostly white) boys in one place. If you want to drench yourself in leagues of eye candy, RUN (don't walk) to the nearest Infected Mushroom gig.

An Obscure L+R Crush

Saw Mick Angelo up the street from the Arclight last night while on the way back from Amoeba, and if I wasn't going to post on that, I'd truly probably not be motivated enough to post on anything. Mick is a beautiful boy who used to do dildo shows on Live and Raw, and never did any other porn, apart from one film for Channel 1 (Camp Freshmen, which also had my dream boy Cory Koons). My favorite thing about Mick? A lovely grin that he tended to sport while pumping his ass, and a general sweet demeanor. My other favorite L+R boy that nobody's ever heard of? Chris Wieland, who I once saw from an MTA bus window...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Rare Mint Nectar

I've been getting new sonic loveliness in droves over the past few weeks, the most absolutely SUBLIME of which is Especial's new Inspiration Exclusives set. I will keep saying that Ryota Nozaki is the god of the world, because he is. That said, the beautiful Okino brothers (I am madly in love with both Shuya and Yoshihiro, and have been for years) have a miraculous touch when it comes to producing seminal, virtually flawlessly lustrous comps, with Crossbreed 1 + 2, For KJM, and now this, ranking alongside Mo' Wax's Jazz Hip Jap and the first Bossa Trés Jazz and More Bossa sets as, not only the best Japanese electronic comps of all-time, but the best electronic comps, period.
This bit of sun-kissed magnificence starts with the inimitable Miss Bembe Segue narrating a brief sonic interlude over warm keys, and it's instant ascend into orbit from that moment on. DJ Spinna drops some beautiful female-vocal driven heavy broken beat soul, and the man like Fukutomi does the same, with more of a syncopated house touch. Domu gives Simon Grey's lovely-as-male-soul-vocals-get "Galactica Suite" a locomotive treatment worthy of Afronaught's "Transcend Me" and Nozaki's seminal remix of Mondo Grosso + Tania Maria's "Samba do Gato." As for Ryota-san's contribution here, he offers the beat-skipping, Ashley Slater-aided "Summer On My Mind," and though it's not the most beautiful thing he's ever done, it's still shatteringly brilliant. Best on the whole set though may be DJ Mitsu the Beats' MIRACULOUS collaboration with gorgeous Ivanna Santilli, "Living Love Song." What makes this rather straight nu soul/r + b over a ribcage-shattering beat song so trascendent is rather ineffable, I'll say you just have to hear it (if you absolutely need a reference point, think Dred Scott's remixes for Monday Michiru back in the day, times 1000 per the sonic beauty quotient).
Also in the last few rounds of releases was the new Incognito remix comp, Feed Your Soul. Incog's record for the last few releases has been that the original albums are a tad bland, with one or two cuts standing out as lovely on each, then the remix albums come and tend to be blindingly radiant. (The Love x Love remix collection also stands as one of the loveliest panoramas of the Technicolor Japanese scene.) This time, though it's for now a Japan-only release, the remixes originate elsewhere on the map, and as a result, it has moments of beauty but doesn't devastate throughout. Still, its best is sure to be one of the dancefloor killers of the year – Yam Who's F*CKING RESPLENDENT fast-clip-house rethink of the Carleen Anderson-aided "Show Me Love," the original of which registered as another faux-bossa not as good as "Principles of Love." Now, it's a whole other beast, careening along at "Evil Vibrations" tempo with Carleen's vocals magnified to the point where she HAS NOT sounded more sublime since the Young Disciples days.
Other releases new to come in include the Nostalgia 77 Octet live disc (beautiful cover by Nothing to See Here, and the N77 live set moves along at a strident breaks tempo that has less of a jazz-dance flavour than you might expect, but retains plenty of lustrous charm, and the 18-minute bonus "Hope Suite" is pure Archie Shepp-circa-Attica Blues righteous soul majesty), the new Rosalia de Souza (way too trad bossa, but I am PRAYING for a remix collection since Garota Diferente is for me possibly the best Brazilian electronic collection... ever.), the Dom Servini-selected Nascene Beginner's Guide to Afro-Lounge (mostly quality, and better than the rest in the series), Akiko's much-heralded and Sunaga T-produced Mood Indigo (yes, I know I'm late on this; I'll just say that her take on "Little B's Poem" is exquisite, but I can't ever think of anything but the pristine Doug + Jean version, and I'm more taken with the Monday-circa-Moods-esque "I Love You"), and the 3-CD Funk Como Le Gusta collection.
The upshot of all this loveliness is that I've finished a new disc (sonically at least, still no cover yet) going by the moniker Rare Mint Nectar. Here's the track list:

Disc 1:
Timi Yuro, It'll Never Be Over for Me
Saint Etienne, Sun in My Morning
Nina + Chris, Agua
Jazztronik + Marcos Valle, Rio, Sol e Mar
Cecilia Stalin, Bogaloo Boy
Incognito + Carleen Anderson, Show Me Love (Yam Who? Version)
Cosmic Village, TBD (Restless Soul Mix)
DJ Mitsu the Beats + Ivana Santilli, Living Love Song
Akiko, I Love You
4Hero, Les Fleur
Oliver Nelson, Stolen Moments (Telefon Tel Aviv Version)
The Mothers + Zero 7, You
Panorama, Bikini
Lou Rawls, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (awayTeam Mix)
Walter Jackson, It's an Uphill Climb to the Bottom

Disc 2:
Mable John, Able Mable
Alice Russell, All Over Now
Mo' Horizons, Foto Viva
Offworld + Marcos Valle, Black Magic Power Ride
Jazztronik + Rob Galliano, City of the Rivers (Riding the B Train)
Simon Grey, The Galactica Suite (Domu Mix)
Isabelle Antena, Easy Does It (La Malice Mix)
Louie Vega + Blaze, Love is on the Way
Funk Como Le Gusta, Latina
Soil + Pimp Sessions, Waltz for Goddess
The Nostalgia 77 Octet, The Hope Suite (Parts 1, 2 + 3)
Hector Rivera, Ya Se Formo

Cover soon come... xo, B.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sergio Mendes Transmuted

It's been a ridiculously hectic and odd two weeks, so I'm just now posting on last Monday's Black Eyed Peas benefit that largely revolved (quite nicely) around the Sergio Mendes Timeless project. I am most certainly skeptical of projects like this, but it doesn't change the fact that Sergio is a god, and this bizarre aggregate of people in one place (Sergio, Erykah Badu, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Pharoahe Monch, India.Arie) was something I just couldn't pass up. And it was all worth it for one f*cking beautiful thing: Sergio and a large (certainly capable) band and three adorable Brazilian girls doing "PONTEIO"!!!!! And yes, it was nearly as lovely as the Formula 7 and Da Lata versions. That said, it is heretical for anyone, let alone, to rhyme over the most radiant pop song in history (that'd be "Mas Que Nada," of which the most beautiful version will always be the Jorge original, with the next second best being Ella's odd scat translation as "Pow Pow Pow"), let alone this badly, but otherwise I'm not gonna get all purist and bitchy about the project. Sergio deserves respect, and he deserves to get paid (although of any of the old guys, Brazilian or otherwise, I'd imagine he probably needs it less than most). That doesn't mean I'm gonna buy the record, because I probably won't, but it has made me go back to the Bossa Trio sides, Brazil 66's loveliest (i.e. "Roda"), and Brazil 77's mind-blowing pastoral psychedelia (i.e. the Primal Roots album, that beautiful Japanese skater boy/DJ + friend of Harvey/Sarcastic Clothing don Paul Takahashi turned me onto years back). Otherwise, this night was rather gorgeous. Erykah Badu was f*cking fierce (I hate that black queen expression as much as you, but none other fits here) in a Chanel little black dress and plumed hat, doing nothing but posing for a good three minutes as Sergio played "The Girl from Ipanema," Justin looked scraggly and seeing him onstage with Pharoahe Monch was just surreal (and Pharoahe spat great; I saw Organized twice back in the day – on the Organized/Beatnuts/Common/Artifacts tour in 94, and the next year at Rock Steady Park (where hearing the opening strains of "Stress" in the pouring rain was one of the loveliest gig memories of my life), and nobody can sound good next to the lyrical god that is Prince Po (except maybe Siah or Natural Resource-era What What (aka Jean Grae)). John Legend looked kinda cute, India.Arie was mediocre, and though I'll be the first to emphatically stress that the BEPs SUCK on record, their band tears it up live.
After the show I cabbed it over Silverlake Lounge to catch the last two songs of the mighty Future Pigeon's first Monday-night residency set. If you've never heard FP, think classic On-U-Sound (Singers and Players, Mark Stewart's Maffia or even London Underground (one of the best and most undderrated groups, ever)). Colossal expansive live dub alternating with jazz-dance worthy soca and Marine or ACR-tinged post-punk. It's the sound of 1982, but the best of 82 still sounds like it was recorded yesterday, so who gives a f*ck. Also I went to school with their Eddie Ruscha, and he can be rather cute when he puts his mind to it. They were minus the horn section this night, but without them they basically just do an entirely different dance-heavy elastic white-boy-funk set, so it was still rather lovely. I may be heading back for the show this Monday with Mezklah (whose lanky Latin boy singer is also rather fine despite his predilection for large henna tattoos across his torso). If you're in L.A. you should absolutely head to the Echo on February 24 for FP opening for the legendary ESG. Massive!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kenny Dope and Luis Tamblay

Nearly missed Kenny Dope at his stint at Deep with Terry Hunter last Sunday – due to the fact that I couldn't tear myself away from my Latin dive, where I may or may not be in lust with two of the bartenders. I've seen Louie several times (twice via DJ sets, and twice with the full live Elements of Life band with Anane, Raul Midon, Josh from Blaze, and Luisito Quintero on congas), and I was at the second Nuyorican Soul live show in Central Park with the goddess Jocelyn Brown (who did "Somebody Else's Guy" to teenage-girl-seeing-the-Beatles screams from me and a horde of black queens up front), the man like Roy Ayers, Jody Watley (before she got great again via Midnight Lounge and Saturday Night Experience), and Jazzy Jeff, but I'd never seen Kenny spin. I knew that Kenny was scheduled from 12-2, but at 2:30 I wasn't tired, was a tad drunk and had the Dope Wax remixes of Sabrina Malheiro's "Estacao Verao," Jill's "Golden" and Roni Size and Jocelyn B.'s "Sing" alternating in my head. Also I just wanted to go dancing (or what I like to refer to as trying to break a hip: anyone who's ever seen me on the floor knows that (while I'm not quite ready for the Hi-Hat) I'm rather a bomb-ass dancer). So after closing my local and making a brief check of the neighborhood cruising spot, I cabbed it over to the Vanguard, hoping for good things from Terry and that Kenny would jump back on the decks (which he did). I hadn't been to Deep since it moved to the Vanguard, and I have to say that the vibe is leagues better than at 1650, not just because there's so much more room on the dancefloor (although that is brilliant). Just a warmer atmosphere (which makes no sense in this cavernous space, but it's still quite welcome). On this night Ron Trent was in the house – along with Justin Timberlake, who I danced next to for most of the night (surreal). The set was heavy on colossal real-drum-breaks (in the mode of "It's Alright I Feel It") just like I'd been pining for, and I have to say that Kenny is adorable behind the decks in an odd way, grinning like a (giant) kid.

The loveliest aspect of the night, however, was that working the door was the radiantly sublime/miraculously beautiful (see above) Luis Tamblay, lead singer of Volumen Cero. This isn't as odd as it sounds – the Vanguard's booking agent is his fiancee, and I'd encountered him at that same post once before (when I'd been there to see Lila Downs several months ago). Still, it was LOVELY to see his beautiful self again, and he is astonishingly sweet – even giving me a hug (fucking NICE). Besides that, not only is he godly beautiful, but VC are great on the roc en Espanol tip, and I'll get to see them perform at long last when they return to the Knitting Factory on March 18.

As for Deep, I'm contemplating going back on February 19 for Louie (Vega) and Joe Claussell, or March 19 for Dimitri from Paris – both of which I strongly recommend. xo, B.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Brasileiro Sex God

I fell in crushing fucking love last week thanks to the fine gents at Made in Brazil. This preternaturally sublime and sexy as fuck fool is Dan from Big Brother Brazil. I love Made in Brazil just for giving me lustrous and exquisite eye candy of this sort, and in spite of the fact that it has nothing to do with any of my other reasons for being a Brasileirophile (that would be decades of sonic loveliness from Marcos Valle, Elza Soares and Jorge Ben to Marky, Patife and Sabrina Malheiros). When you've got this whole other brand of godliness on offer, I'll gladly dig for my aural Brazilica elsewhere.


Saw my homegirl Lainie Kazan on TV for the first time in what must be at least two years (playing Fran Drescher's mother on the awful but worth watching for Ryan McPartlin and Ben Feldman Living With Fran). I'm perennially trying
to enlighten people about Lainie's goddess stature via her ineffably stunning late '60s work on MGM. Though she only released 5 albums at the time (along with a rare as hell limited edition live promo album recorded with William B. Williams at Mr. Kelly's in Chicago, which, when I offered it to her to sign, she asked "Where the fuck did you get this?" with a big smile), they're some of the most remarkable (and magnificently arranged) vocal LPs you'll ever find. From her monkey-worthy take on "Feeling Good" and combustibly storming version of "Black Black Black" to the utterly astonishing midriff-swinging "Flower Child" and her epic take on Bobbie Gentry's "An Angel Died," these discs are essential (due in no small part to Lainie's miraculous range and indefinable but radiant vocal intonation), and leave anyone I play them for reeling in staggered disbelief. I waited years to finally see her, and by odd coincidence did at last on the day that Susan Strasberg died. So Lainie was distraught, but still provided a genius (albeit heavy on Borscht Belt double-entendre) set.

As if the Susan Strasberg connection wasn't bizarre enough, Michele Lee (another friend of Lainie) happened to be in the house that night. I love Michele as well (for her pony-worthy "L. David Sloane," and her stilted but gutbusting take on Jackie Susann), so went up to praise her after the show. At first she sized me up with a distrustful "who the fuck is this hoodlum kid bugging me" stare, but as soon as I mentioned "L. David" she melted. After a brief but lovely conversation, I started to walk away, and she bellowed after me. When I turned around, she asked if I'd come if she ever sang again, and I said "hell yes," which was absolutely true, but as it happened the only time that she's performed since was in fucking Orange County and I had no way to get there, but I digress...

I also had another Lainie encounter in the unlikeliest of places, tired-ass Ripples (where I used to DJ) in LBC. At the time they were testing out a jazz night (that didn't last long), with a lovely soul/jazz girl named Jessica Williams (not the JW you might be thinking of). One of the few nights that I went to see her, she announced that a friend of hers was in the house – who she'd used to sing backup for at the Playboy Club. Back in the day (early '70s), Lainie had a lounge in all of the Playboy Clubs simply called Lainie's Room. (After her stint as unofficial hostess/sidekick on the Dean Martin Show and her surreal table dance in the Sinatra-as-Tony-Rome film Lady in Cement). Sure enough, turned and sitting in the middle of sad-ass Ripples was Lainie. I ran home to get my MGM discs like the faggot I am (fortunately I was living two blocks away), ran back, and got 'em all signed. She was sweet, if not abundantly radiating warmth.

The point of all of this was that it was nice to see her again, even if she was doing her perennial Jewish mother bit, and if it wasn't nearly as genius as her tenure as the giant-bouffant-sporting Aunt Frieda on The Nanny (where she once did a medley of "Mr. Sandman" and "Rose's Turn" that was cut short by her craving for a 17-pound turkey, and chased by a reference to her fictional tribute to Chaka Khan (would love to fucking see that...). GOD THIS HAS BEEN A FAGGY POST... but it has a moral: seek out the Lainie MGM albums if you dig peerlessly magnificent Now Sound vocals.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

More from the Liquidator Dossier

Hello again all. Though the things I love will become self-evident soon enough, I felt like some more background was in order before I move on to the business of narcissistically chronicling my life. So I ransacked my Friendster profile to cull some of my favorite things (filed under Hobbies + Interests): Brazilian/Latin music, jazz-dance, deep house, Afro-Cuban, drum and bass, vocals, Japanese/British film, 40s-60s Hollywood film, jazz-minded graphic design, Technicolor/Eastmancolor, saké, Straight No Chaser, Wallpaper, world domination by aesthetic means, and, first and foremost, Latin boys and South Asian-via-British boys. Yes, as anyone who talks to me at any length knows (and though I always skirted it on the Liquidator site because I wanted it to be more about the music and culture), I am a big old fag (who loves porn). Though this is linked up to the Liq site, there was no way in hell I was going to be able to maintain a blog without having fag porn involved. That said, I do hope to keep my acid jazz/nu jazz/Brazilian and Latin beat-loving friends stopping in often as well. Half the reason I'm starting this blog is because, while I've certainly found some great blogs in the last few weeks of digging, I didn't find any with my beathead mindset. And if I happen to find a Latin or South Asian husband who digs my brand of music in the process, that'll be all the better (hint hint).

I am also Ed-in-Chief of a fag magazine that I'm trying to inject some more culture into, so occasionally I may quote/hijack myself, like right now, as I mused this week about the mighty Jazztronik, who is truly the god of my universe. So...

To some of us, Japanese electronic producer Jazztronik (a.k.a. Ryota Nozaki) is the god of all things sonic in this world, period. Plaintive piano elegies, strident leagues-deep downtempo, transcendent string-drenched disco house, volcanically combustible Afro-Latin/Brazilian dancefloor killers – Nozaki-san can do it all, and that’s why we fancy him the most radiant composer/arranger/producer since Burt Bacharach. Having started in Yellow Productions’ Bossa Tres Jazz family, Ryota has gone on to outdo himself at every turn, inspiring a truly disbelieving no-he-didn’t by topping the splendor of 2004’s Nana-Iro with last year’s miraculous Cannibal Rock (featuring Flora Purim and Rob Galliano), and chasing it with the brand new En:Code (with guest turns by Valerie Etienne – and Brasileiro deity Marcos Valle). His remixes (for Mondo Grosso (the sublime Tania Maria-aided "Samba do Gato"), Monday Michiru ("Talk"), Negrocan ("Mare Baixa")…) are every bit as essential.

I'll post a full review of En:Code soon, but since (I'll say it again), my sonic world does revolve around Nozaki, I thought I'd tag this on. And I'm including the Nana-Iro cover simply because it's FUCKING BEAUTIFUL... xo, B.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mightiest of 05 by way of introduction

Hello all,

Another page in the Liquidator Graphics era. It seemed the best way to introduce myself to new folks would be by posting my just-past-tardy best of 05, which up till now went out on the Acid Jazz and Soundlounge lists. It pretty well spells out all my obsessions, apart from the fact that it doesn't include any gay porn or beautiful Latin boys. Everything else in the Straight No Chaser-fueled aspects of my life is just about covered. Expect more Brazilian/Japanese/UK-fueled aesthetic and sonic loveliness to come, as well as reports of my new DJ comps, lovely gig nights out, and general suave and cosmopolitan Liquidator ethos (with perhaps an occasional caipirinha and mojito recipe thrown in.
Now onto my best of the last 12 (or so) months...

Mightiest Artist of 05 (once again):
(honorable mention) RSL

Best LPs of 05:
Jazztronik, Cannibal Rock (Tokuma) (best by far)
Maria Rita, Segundo (BMG Latin)
Swing Out Sister, Live (in Tokyo) (Shanachie)
Bah Samba, 4 (BKO)
Nortec Collective, Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3 (Nacional)
RSL, Every Preston Guild (Players)
Alice Russell, My Favourite Letters (Tru Thoughts)
Joyce + Dori Caymmi, Rio Bahia (Far Out)
Saint Etienne, Tales from Turnpike House (Sanctuary)
Veba, Vs. Grand Central (Grand Central)
Five Corners Quintet, Chasin' the Jazz Gone By (Ricky Tick)
The Rebirth, This Journey In (Kajmere Sound)
Sabrina Malheiros, Equilibria (Far Out)
Jiva, Sun + Moon (Giant Step)
Tom + Joy, Antigua (Yellow Productions)
Eddy Meets Yannah, Just Like (Compost)
Salome de Bahia, Brasil (Yellow Productions)
Hajime Yoshizawa, Music from the Edge of the Universe (Geneon)
Nostalgia 77, The Garden (Tru Thoughts)
Mark de Clive-Lowe, Tides Arising (ABB)

Best Comps of 05:
Routine Jazz #7 Selected by Kei Kobayashi (Roulette)
KCRW Sounds Eclectico (Nacional)

Best Remixes of 05:
Mojo Project, Nana for Child (Da Lata Mix) (Lovemonk)
Bebel Gilberto, O Caminho (Guy Sigsworth Mix) (Six Degrees)
Jill Scott, Golden (Kenny Dope Mix) (Dopewax)
Anita O'Day, Sing Sing Sing (RSL Mix) (Verve)
Sabrina Malheiros, Maracatueira (Incognito Mix) (Far Out)

Dancefloor Killer of 05 Guaranteed to Obliterate All Comers:
Jazztronik + Flora Purim, Dentro de Mim (Tokuma)
(also lovely + incendiary) Salome de Bahia, Festa Para Um Rei Negro (Yellow)

Best Labels of 05:
Far Out
Tru Thoughts

Loveliest CD Packaging of 05:
Nortec Collective, Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3 (Nacional)

Religious Experience of 05:
Joyce @ Temple Bar

Other Best Gigs of 05 (Los Angeles):
Ely Guerra + Kinky opening for Café Tacuba @ The Gibson
Louie Vega + Blaze + Anané + Raul Midon + The EOL Band @ House of Blues
Swing Out Sister @ House of Blues
Nortec Collective @ Knitting Factory
Sharon Jones + The Dap-Kings @ Sunset Junction
Los Amigos Invisibles + Niño Astronauta @ The Conga Room
Mark de Clive-Lowe + Bembe Segue @ Pearl

London Gig to Make the Rest of Us Weep in 05:
Jazztronik live + Bembe Segue + Earl Zinger @ Jazz Café

Most Need to Come Here in 06:
Jazztronik live
Alice Russell
Mojo Project
Kyoto Jazz Massive live
Nostalgia 77 Octet
Monday Michiru (somebody needs to persuade our girl to come further west than Chicago)

Already Hotly Tipped for 06 (live):
Incognito in February (as long as they damn well play the West Coast)
Kenny Dope + Terry Hunter @ Deep
Louie Vega + Joe Claussell @ Deep

Already Hotly Tipped for 06 (discs):
Los Amigos Invisibles' Dimitri from Paris-helmed LP
new Kinky

Best Live Set/Sessions Captured Online in 05:
Mark de Clive-Lowe + Bembe Segue + Michelle Escoffery + Richard Spaven on Fab Channel
Nostalgia 77 Octet live @ Cargo on Nothing to See Here

Best (+ Most Visually Sublime) Films of 05 (far and away):
2046 (Wong Kar-Wai)
Three Dancing Slaves (Gael Morel)

Best Use of Brilliant Music on US TV in 05:
Gotan Project's "Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)" as Bruno Campos goes off on Nip/Tuck
(honorable mention) Troubleman + Nina Miranda's "Paz" (also on Nip/Tuck)

Most Unlikely + Brilliant Music Segment on US TV in 05:
La Lupe tribute piece on SíTV's Latination
(honorable mention) Bobbito feature (also on Latination)

Best Bands in Los Angeles in 05:
Niño Astronauta
The Rebirth
Future Pigeon
Very Be Careful

Best Bands Elsewhere in the US in 05:
Fertile Ground

Most Beautiful (+ Best Music-Tied) Ad Campaign in 05:
Brahma beer (featuring Patricia Marx + Max De Castro + Jair Oliveira + other Trama fam online)

Still The Most Beautiful Mag in the World in 05:
Straight No Chaser

Loveliest Music-Related Book in 05:
Pablo Yglesias, Cocinando: 50 Years of Latin Album Cover Art (Princeton Architectural Press)

Loveliness That Passed On in 05 (will be sorely missed):
Shirley Horn
Dom Um Romao
Lyn Collins
Martin Denny
Ibrahim Ferrer
Oscar Brown Jr.
Jimmy Smith
Francy Boland
Robert Moog
Juan Pablo Torres
Lou Rawls

And on a less somber note, 06 is off to a lovely start with:

Jazztronik, En:Code
Cecilia Stalin, Straight Up
the new Incognito remix comp.

Till next time... xo, B.