Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Abstract Index Playlist - October 3/07

The reggae massive at the Blood and Fire message board is already downplaying this release, but for the reggae-curious, or even those at the intermediate level, the new Bim Sherman retrospective is well worth picking it up. Contributors to This B and F thread opine that this collection of Jamaican singles from 1974-79 is nothing new, they've all been around for years. This may be due to Sherman's higher profile in England as a longtime member of the On-U Sound posse. His high, wavering tenor was the soul of so many alien-reggae concepts devised by Adrian Sherwood - one could make the argument that his best work was done during the 80s with another worthwhile flourish during the 90s (collected reasonably well on a compilation called "The Need To Live" released shortly after Sherman's death in 2000).

This compilation shows that his independent streak - all tunes are self written and self produced, a fairly unusual occurence in Jamaica - was very much a part of the first chapter of his career. No tossed-off lyrics here, each track contains deeply articulated roots sentiments and subtle wordplay. In many instances, the music is propelled by Sly and Robbie showing their typically careful attention to detail that characterized their 70s rhythms. Spooky keyboards which foreshadowed the later On-U sound material. One interesting aspect to this disc is the variable speeds of the vocal and dub selections. The master tapes seem to have no "true" tempo, which is further clouded by Sherman's variable pitch. Thus depending on the 7" from which these tunes are remastered, identical rhythms can have very different tonalities and harmonies. This happens on many reggae reissues, but on this one it's quite overt - in a good way!

double suicide - sandro perri (constellation)
deseo y culpa - gaby kerpel (nonesuch)
canta de ossanha - tamba 4 (a & m)
present - derek bailey/jamaaladeen tacuma/calvin weston (tzadik)
keet - icarus (rump)
12 buschka - gultskra artikler (miasma)
our man in cleveland - arkana music (independent)
justice league - orgone (ubiquity)
new apala afro - orlando julius (vampisoul)
el bueno, el feo y el malo - nilo espinoza (vampisoul)
dndabp - mr. something something freat. ikwunga (world)
flood - the acorn (paper bag)
imidiwan winakalin - tinariwen (outside)
serengeti stroke - pan-atlantics (compost)
everybody has some dues to pay - little beaver (jazzman)
where should i go - burnt friedmann feat. steve spacek (nonplace)
liquid boy - HIM (virgin)
dub a dub - ranking dread (greensleeves)
golden stool dub - bim sherman (pressure sounds)
jah jah live forever - johnny osborne (light in the attic)
musical science - dub specialist (soul jazz)
workshop - burning spear (mango)

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