Saturday, July 22, 2006

Abstract Index playlist - Jul 19/06

There's a fresh crop of Wackies for summer 2006.

The most idiosyncratic, arbuably best American reggae label (respect to Wordsound, BSI, ROIR and many more) will see three more of its mysterious back catalogue reissued by Rhythm and Sound's Basic Channel imprint.

This article is a both a source of and a link to a great deal of info on the the Wackies collective in the Bronx, circa mid seventies to late eighties. Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes emigrated from Jamaica in the mid seventies, setting up a record shop and studio. Recordings appeared on many different labels until the Wackies label and logo were well established in 1983. Major artists recorded there, such as Sugar Minott, Leroy Sibbles, and Horace Andy (who recorded the original version of "Spying Glass" there, later covered by Massive Attack). Jackie Mittoo recorded at least one album there, and the theme to Patrick Roots' show on CIUT which follows mine every week is the Jackie-Wackies classic "Cowboy Lollipop".

Wackies picks up where the Black Ark left off. Still very psychedelic, with oblique strategies on EQ, the warm disorientation of these records seems so different than most other 80s productions. By the end of each track rhythms and vocals are very heavily distorted by lo-fi reverb and echo; the feel is more industrial feel than Jamaican dub. The musicians, too, don't play the current rhythms of Jamaica, and there is a different musical vocabulary contributing to Bronx reggae to further distinguish their sound.

In these mixes, even the most powerful vocalists merely float through these mixes. Such is the case with Jezzreel. A keening vocal duo, they are presented in showcase style with vocals disintegrated by dub over the course of 6 minutes. Each track is a gem, and "Roman Soldiers" probably has the most militant tempo of the six tunes on the disc.

Thanks to the efforts of Rhythm and Sound, Wackies is better distributed than ever before. Speaking of R and S, they also have a new collection of remixes out that furthers their tech-dub sound.

north - fond of tigers (drip audio)
need a break - matthias von imhoff (indie)
time is a wasting - the silt (rat-drifting)
datura - marsen jules (city centre offices)
awake - haco/hans/jakob/marcos (accretions)
hawas - trio joubran (harmonia mundi)
toucouleur - ernest dawkins new horizons ensemble (delmark)
blacks and blues - bobbi humphrey (blue note)
zion lion - sound dimension (heartbeat)
in this drum a secret - eccodek (eccodek)
bizuru dub - eccodek (eccodek)
dick contino - sex mob (thirsty ear)
uranus sirtez - reptile palace orchestra (omnium)
bambo makwatila - green arrows (analog africa) - funny review...
tepo - baranata with miatta fahibulleh (bbe)
kabioye - lekan bablola (mr. bongo)
h.i.v. - wale oyejide (shaman work)
unleashed dub - kaly live dub (pias)
roman soldiers - jezzreel (wackies)
pollution - john clarke (wackies)


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