Chairman Mao welcomes Standing On the Corner, creators of beautifully unraveled drum machine soul straight outta Brooklyn.
Released to the interwebs on September 11th, 2016, Standing On the Corner’s self-titled debut is a lovely, dusted excursion through fractured jazz standards, eclectic electric keyboard riffage, and tape sped/slowed vocals. It’s a recording that brandishes its influences proudly – sonically, the introspective analog drum machine-era of Inspiration Information and There’s a Riot Goin’ On; spiritually, the relative innocence of Twin Towers-era Nueva York. Yet at SOTC’s helm is 20-something Nuyorican soul Gio, a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist who, along with his Left Coast-bred production partner Jasper and additional friends and collaborators, exhibits a keen ear for seasoned textures well beyond the crew’s years. Still taking up virtual real estate as a free SoundCloud download, the LP now enjoys a well-deserved vinyl incarnation (apropos given the hours Gio’s clocked behind the desk at beloved downtown NYC vinyl emporium Good Records). To commemorate the occasion, Across 135th Street host Chairman Jefferson Mao welcomes Gio and Jasper in studio to discuss the sound of SOTC and spin a few tracks that have helped shape their impressive, homegrown aesthetic.
Get versed in the group that inspired Standing On the Corner’s original name: Children Of the Corn, AKA Mase back when he was Murda Mase, Cam’ron as Killa Cam, and the now-deceased rappers Big L and Bloodshed.
The “Body & Soul” jazz standard has been interpreted innumerable times, but one of the most timeless and best-known versions is Billie Holiday’s (and the title of her 1957 album for Verve Recordings).
Go get Standing On the Corner for free!
Melvin Van Peebles’ transportive track – full name “Reggin Hanging on in There as Best as They Can (Bye and Bye)” – comes from the Stax-released soundtrack to his 1971 film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.