A Berg Above The Rest

yet another jewish controlled media outlet

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Kingsley without a Crown

There seems to be a pretty wide-spread belief that terms like "soulful" or "funky" and the creation of musical art that posesses the qualities associated with said terms are intrinsically a "black thing." Ask pretty much anybody (and by anybody I might mean the people who post on the Okayplayer message board) and they'll tell you, white guys just don't have "soul." And, much like their apparent inablity to "jump," they are biologically prevented from "getting funky" as well. We Jews fare no better. Even if a guy in a so-called "Jew costume" comes along and makes some half-way decent "black music" (yes, I'm talking about Matisyahu, and no, I don't believe that there is such a thing as "black music") his success is attributed to the fact that when it comes to the recording industry "Jews run it, niggas run around in it" (thank you very much Mr. Ras Kass), not because the guy is actually expressing his heart and soul through song and people feel that sort of thing. Oh no, Yahweh forbid, it's not like the people who invented The Bible could possibly have any soul!

Of course, most of the people having arguments about such things have probably never heard of Jewish composer Gershon Kingsley (pictured above), much less actually heard any of his music. Though a few of them may have nodded along to his beats and grooves unknowingly in the form of samples here and there. You see, Kingsley (alongside sometime partner Jean-Jacques Perrey with whom he created the groundbreaking 1966 LP 'The In Sound From Way Out') was an early proponent of "moog music," an early precursor to much of what we think of today as "electronic music." Combinging elements of classical, jazz, traditional pop, funky rhythms and avant-garde experimentation with the then brand-new advancements in synthesizer technology Kingsley was instrumental in introducing American listeners to electronically created compositions while laying the groundwork for pretty much everything that's come after in the world of electronic dance music.

Kingsley's biggest hit (which you've probably heard in some form at least once, as it's been covered countless times by artists of every stripe) was the bubbly dance number "Popcorn" from his 1969 album 'Music To Moog By.' Lesser-known though (and in keeping with the "season" as it were) is the decidedly Axelrod-ian Passover Seder "rock opera" 'The 5th Cup,' which he recorded with 'Love Story' lyricist Norman Simon, singer/actor Theodore Bikel and a crew of studio musicians in 1974. Originally an under-distributed indie release that remained an obscure thrift-store treasure for years, the album was allegedly re-released as part of the Kingsley collection (spanning his output from 1968 through 1974) 'God Is A Moog' on the Reboot Stereophonic label last year. However, I still haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of this classic of Judaic electro-funk-fusion, so good luck finding it in any form yourself.

Even though I can't give you a taste of his legendary Passover-themed composition I still wanted to show you all that a nerdy (c'mon, he spends all his time playing with creaky electronics and writing songs about Passover) Jewish guy can throw down the funk like a bad mutha. To that end I'm offering up this MP3 download of the Gershon Kingsley tune "Hey, Hey," from his 'Music To Moog By' album. The song is just frightening in it's circuitry assisted funkiness. And I'm not the only one who thinks so, as it's been sampled by the likes of RJD2 (who may also be Jewish) and Edan (who definitely is Jewish) to create a couple of modern hip-hop masterpeices.

Gershon Kingsley "Hey, Hey"


  • At 1:31 AM, Blogger Miss Hipstah said…

    I would just like to say...we Jews always have known how to get FUNKY.


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