Silk screened back cover to Money Mark’s debut 10″ Performing Chicken is a little lost piece of Beastie Boys (related) history that I recently discovered among my mountain of 10″ records this overcast Tuesday morning. From 1994 on Love Kit Records / Fido Speaks Music, Performing Chicken is classic, groovy downbeat with a bit of modern Latin flair. This mini-album is just the perfect tone and length for summer afternoon strolls to the hardware store for nubbins, or a quick trip to Kwik Trip for bagged milk. I’ve not heard anything that Mark Ramos-Nishita has touched that I haven’t fallen in love with, and I encourage you to give it a spin on your next trip to Jewish deli for turkey pastrami.
I’d always loved this label photo, which also doubles as the cover to Money Mark’s Third Version E.P. from 1996. Former carpenters turned keyboard astronauts always tend to nab my undivided attention, as well they should. If you’re in the mood this new year for some downtempo trip hop, the buck stops with Money Mark Nishita.
As an aside, while prepping for this post, I came across a 20th anniversary free download link on Mr. Mark’s official site, so head on over to http://moneymark.com/, drop your email, and enjoy his first album for free!
Lo(unge)-Fi keyboard extraordinaire Mark Ramos Nishita, aka Money Mark released his debut, Mark’s Keyboard Repair on UK staple Mo’ Wax Records back in 1995. Mr. Money is, of course, best known for his artificial ivory works with the Beastie Boys from 1992’s Check Your Head through the band’s final offering with 2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part 2. Releasing seven full-length studio albums throughout his solo career, Mark’s music follows the lackadaisical-lazy-groove style of Luscious Jackson, Buffalo Daughter, and other lesser-known Grand Royal virtuosos.
The photo above is an artsy little number featured on the insert record jacket to Mark’s Keyboard Repair. The more you know…
At Home With the Groovebox is the musical equivalent of fizz popping from atop a tall glass of freshly poured soda (or pop if you’re from the Midwest). With its unexpected musical nuances snapping and bursting to create a refreshing, fluid wave of electronic sound, this album does an exceptional job of oozing that happy-fun-time-gonna-cheer-you-up style of music. It’s playful, but in a good way.
Revolving around the Roland MC-505, At Home With the Groovebox brings together a slew of big name artists to create individual musical landscapes as diverse and eclectic as the artists themselves. This album could very well be an advertisement for the Roland MC-505, as it is the common thread weaving throughout each head-bobbing song… it’s also featured on the cover. Go ahead, take a look. Those kids are so excited… isn’t that cute?! Ok, moving on.
Starting off the first record in this talent-filled, double LP collection of diverse artists is the famed Jean Jacques Perrey. Remember The In Sound from Way Out!? Mr. Perrey was 71 when this album came out, and the man still ushers in the electronic grooviness with his track titled, The Groovy Leprechauns. Another familiar face emerges at the start of record two, Jean Jacques Perrey’s teammate, the then 78-year-old Gershon Kingsley with his track, Popcorn. It’s nice to see the old, more experienced kids play well with the younger kids and vice versa.
Featured on this 16-track compilation are the following sundry mix of artists (starting at the top): Jean Jacques Perrey, Buffalo Daughter, John McEntire, Air, Pavement, Money Mark, Beck, Sean Lennon, Gershon Kingsley, Sonic Youth, Bis, Cibo Matto, Donnie “Prince” Billy, and Dick Hyman (I guess you’d expect to catch The Groove rhymin’!). I could have just directed you to the picture on the left, but it’s fun to be redundant sometimes… sometimes.
If you have ears that work, I suggest you treat yourself to the good things in life, and get At Home With the Groovebox. A sonic wave of grooviness awaits you.
Editor’s note: This is the 100th post of The Prudent Groove and it mirrors the 100th consecutive day of me getting up too damn early to prudently write about my collection of grooves. Thanks for reading. I’m going back to bed now.