Tahnee Udero is a radio and live DJ, an experimental musician and—perhaps most importantly—a voraciously curious and historically minded record collector. She started seriously collecting seven years ago, and says she loves the physicality and ritual of crate-digging at record stores, thrift stores and estate sales. You can learn a lot about a city by its used record bins, says Udero. She would know, with her collection of about 3,000 LPs and a 45 repository numbering around 600. She deejays the old-school way with two turntables. Her eclectic Overnight Freeform coverage and mind-altering Music to Soothe the Savage Beast installments air on KUNM 89.9 FM.
Starting in 2010, Udero performed with Baby Shampoo, a group of three noise musicians. She was inspired by the 2011 women’s outsider music fest Gatas y Vatas and began creating noise solo as TAHNZzz. She typically uses her SP-404 sampler, guitar pedals and incorporates found sound in live performance. Udero took on the aesthetic of Mazatec curandera and mushroom woman María Sabina at noise fest Loudness War and created theremin-like sound with a vegetation-camouflaged mic and the P.A., while kneeling on a rug ringed by candles. Celebrating Halloween and her birthday, she opted to go scary grandma: “I thought, Instead of being 32, I’m going to be 132.”
Growing up, Udero was influenced by hip-hop culture, but she’s not a hip-hop DJ. She prefers noise and experimental work, jazz, funk and soul. “I would rather play the albums that hip-hop artists sampled from,” she says.
There’s only so much time available to listen to and research music. And Udero’s busy recording the TAHNZzz debut album with Manny Rettinger. She and her boyfriend, Rene Aguilera, are making noise as The Black Range when time allows. Her plate is pretty full, but she took the time to blindly pluck LPs from shelves and crates, generate random track numbers and share insight into the selections.
“Gold and Silver” • Quicksilver Messenger Service • Quicksilver Messenger Service
They were a ‘60s psychedelic rock band from the Bay Area but not as popular as others from that time and place. My dad mentioned Quicksilver Messenger Service a few times as a band he really liked, so I bought a copy of this album at a thrift store. I should pick up another copy in better condition.
“Desert Nights” • Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes • Expansions
Pianist Lonnie Liston Smith played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Miles Davis and Pharoah Sanders prior to recording this album. He plays for astral jazz lovers. Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes put out a few albums—mostly on Flying Dutchman—that are just as great as this one.
“Acid” • Ray Barretto • Acid
Another studio session player, Ray Barretto plays percussion. This is a great Latin soul album from Fania Records. It’s not as psychedelic as the title would lead you to believe. “Acid” has a fun boogaloo sound with Ray going hard on the congas.
“Dizzy Dizzy” • Can • Soon Over Babaluma
OK, so this album isn’t mine. My collection is mixed in with my boyfriend Rene’s records. He loaned me this album after a few dates. It introduced me to Can. Seriously, what was I doing before Can? Pick any song from this album. They are all amazing.
“Ecstasy” • Ohio Players • Ecstasy
If only Ecstasy were a longer song. It’s so funky. The Ohio Players albums on Westbound are great. They are definitely distinct in sound and look. The awesome Pat Evans graces the album covers for Pain, Pleasure, Climax and Ecstasy. Their subsequent albums on Mercury have a more commercial funk sound and are easier to come across.