Monday, March 31, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - March 26/08

ko wo ko wo - cachao (salsoul)
the relative - jeff parker (thrill jockey)
untitled/inspiration from home - don cherry/latif khan (europa)
yeti - bernard falaise (ambiances magnetiques)
ayo leele - afrissippi (electric catfish)
the rites 3 - burnt sugar (trugroid)
still young gifted and broke - monk hughes and the outer realm (stones throw)
arms oil - michel f cote (ambiances magnetiques)
tabla purists - calamalka (plug research)
indian's summer - pete jolly (a & m/dusty groove)
bonsai bart pt 4 - bik bent braam (bbb)
chance operation - scotty hard (thirsty ear)
abay - gigi (palm pictures)
no fear - chezidek (greensleeves)
original fire - twilight circus feat ranking joe (m)
chapter 2 - augustus pablo (shanachie)
oohkno - dennis bovell (lkj)
call it off - djosos krost feat emo (quango)

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Conductovisation Conversations

Two interviews tomorrow with very smart gents!

Up at 6:30 will be none other than Greg Tate, writer, musician, mainstay of the Black Rock Coalition and currently the conductor of Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber. He'll talk about conduction, Butch Morris' method of guiding large scale improvisations. The Nublu Orchestra is also base on "conduction" principles. If you like your funk miles ahead and travelling the spaceways, don't miss their Toronto show on Thursday March 27 at Lula Lounge. I'm can't wait to DJ this show, I'm packing up music I never thought I'd play live. Maybe I'll bring the tools of dub for a little extra flavour.

At 7PM, still on the improv theme (or lack thereof - it's improv!), Misha Glouberman will be stopping by live and direct. He's hosting his biggest Terrible Noises For Beautiful People event yet at the Latvian House on College St on March 28. This series is "made up of events where audiences of participants are assembled to make sounds together in different configurations". It's his birthday that night! Hundreds of people will be improvising their warmest birthday wishes! Mayhem beckons. We'll get the full scoop from him tomorrow...

Don't forget the Wavelength-sponsored Kalimba Summit on March 28, either. Kahil El Zabar, Laura Barrett, Nifty, and Njacko Backo will be tickling the tines solo and together. The back room at the Tranzac is the perfect venue for this event - see you there!

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - March 19/08

Here's the review of Toumani Diabate's latest disc I wrote for Eye Weekly. There should be another star attached, making it a solid 4.

Two things I didn't get to in the review:

Nick Gold's production is wonderful. He still takes a fair amount of post-Buena Vista Social Club blowback from certain quarters, but fuck those haters. The kora sounds positively four-dimensional on this recording, as if he and engineer Jerry Boys had found new ways to manipulate the audio constraints of the 16-bit quality of the compact disc. This is not overpolished music, but it still has a touch of the surreal to it, like a particularly good demo video in HD quality. For those listeners who get bogged down on whether the reverb is set at low or medium strength during the mixdown sessions and to what degree that bears on the supposed authenticity of the sound, I suggest you sit back and focus on the challenges presented by the music. Toumani Diabate would be more than capable of finding another producer if he thought Gold was diluting or otherwise messing with his what he wanted to do.

Also, the retro-Nonesuch cover art is super stylin'.

Hour 1 podcast
Hour 2 podcast

kaouding cissoko - toumani diabate (nonesuch)
pitch black - prism quartet (innova)
untitled 11 - box (rune gramofon)
what's the deal - ex pro ovo (bbe)
springtime for chillun - burnt sugar (nugroid)
fakarouni - radio i ching (resonant)
roots and culture - mikey dread (music club)
we've had enough - arnie love and the lovettes (numero)
wedged under the front of 0.99 - evan shaw/jean martin (barnyard)
tragic magic - nathan davis (acid jazz)
i heard it through the grapevine - bar kays (stax)
live it up - james k-nine (vampisoul)
reggae riff - jackie mittoo (heartbeat)
less problem - sound dimension (soul jazz)
soul call - jackie mittoo (heartbeat)
park view - sound dimension (soul jazz)
one heavy duba - santic & king tubby (pressure sounds)
dub voyage - twilight circus (m)
my jamaican guy - grace jones (strut)
willow dub - black uhuru/prince jammy (csa)

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

JB In Full Effect

I've put up a podcast from the archives.

Let's go way back to October of '92. This was a midnight broadcast on York University's CHRY's "Full Effect" radio show.

Myself, Paul E Lopes and DJ DTS (still with The Masterplan Show to this day) indulged - and that's exactly the right word - our love of James Brown's funky family. There's some tomfoolery in the mix, but it's got that late night radio vibe and it's a lot of fun.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - March 12/08

I'm kinda busy with something very big coming up in the next three weeks (details to come!!!) so I'll just link you to my review in Eye Weekly about this disc.

Eye Weekly uses a star system, so I gave it 4/5. I review so many fantastic reissues and compilations that I'm tempted to give out a lot of perfect scores. And why not? The ratings deck is kind of stacked against new releases... how can a new disc of original compete against the best of a decade's worth of material, as on this disc? Moreover, as mentioned in the review, you'd have to be severely musically challenged to compile a bad bossa nova comp.

So what's to criticize here? I think I'm more likely to assign a perfect score to 'game changing' compilations, like the kind that Soundway and the Numero Group put out. These labels find extraordinarily rare and unissued material and make it available for the first time ever to a mass audience. Their liner notes and depth of research is tremendous and truly helps advance global musical knowledge. Viagem is damn good, great even, but I wouldn't say that global knowledge of bossa nova and jazz samba has taken a giant leap forward, unlike the impact of Talkin Loud's Brazilica compilations of a decade and a half ago. But this is a very, very welcome compilation and I envy Mr. Conte's crates.

Hour 1 Podcast
Hour 2 Podcast

invisible wind - jackie stoudamire (numero)
inside my world - robert owens (compost)
bad girl version - eva be (sonar kollektief)
baldamore - hadouk trio (naive)
cumbia poder - celso pina (warner musica latina)
la corriente - charanga cakewalk (triloka)
sticks - burnt friedman/jaki liebezeit (nonplace)
(sometimes) believe in yourself - roy ayers (compost)
bande lo - edgard & os tais (far out)
plaza de toros - larry young (blue note)
perception - nick ayoub (do right)
the pepper drinkers - canefire (no label)
going overdrawn - playgroup (on-u sound)
nia njia - les embassadors (nonplace)
manu - mighty popo (tamba)
mr. brown - gregory isaacs (blood and fire)
peace and love in the ghetto - johnnie clarke (moll selekta)
tribulations - earth roots and water (light in the attic)
extended spirit - sista riddim (best seven)
the message - henry and louis (bsi)

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Podcasting Is Back Up

Apologies for not having the February 27 and March 5 shows unavailable for podcast purposes. They're both up, and March 12 will follow soon.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - March 5/08

First, some housekeeping - podcasts have been interrupted for the last two weeks but I hope to have that remedied by the end of the week.

Turning attention to the disc of the week, I'm loving Sub Rosa's "An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music/ Fifth A-Chronology 1920-2007". Yeah, that’s right, 87 years - gotta be some kind of record. This anthology is another superb, ambitious collection of myriad approaches to electronic sound. It’s not chronological, but programmed, according to compiler Guy Marc Hinant, to be “an explosive cocktail”. This is a sumptuous noise experience on its own, regardless of the first four volumes. The contrasts in methodology from track to track create breathtaking changes in sonic universes. The most aggressive Japanese noise coexists with Russian Revolution-era futurism, Pere Ubu, and computer generated mayhem. Two other defining characteristics of this comp are the many different manifestations of the voice with “noise” contexts, and a mandate to draw from a wide range of countries around the world. These vocals from around the world range from intelligible words to the outer limits of the larynx making for a refreshing approach to ‘world music’, which focuses on disturbing and provoking the listener rather than an attempt to soothe. Certainly Club Moral's contribution to last week's show was some blistering post-post-punk vocal dementia, never likely to be used by the Belgian tourist board.

Hour 1 podcast
Hour 2 podcast

delirium - francine mcgee (ariola)
bintou - hadya kouyate (frikyiwa)
malaguena - lucila campos (iempsa)
zoologico - gal costa (philips)
haraoglan - selda (finders keepers)
kiriba - jane bunnett (blue note)
chtau - co streiff sextet (intakt)
wondrous birth - nicole mitchell (dreamtime)
seamless - tanya tagaq (festival)
under the ground - emiko ota/brain damage (jarring effects)
thin air - queen mab trio (stichtig wig)
looking glass - smash and teeny (spool)
miura - ikue mori/zeena parkins (mego)
l'enfer est intime - club moral (sub rosa)
feel it - sisters (camel)
moonlight lover/version - phyllis dillon (treasure isle)
emergency call/version - judy mowatt (trojan)
dread out deh/version - joy white (eagle)
fever - susan cadogan (trojan)
6th street - louisa marks and the in-crowd (bushays)
school of the world - nicolette (shut up and dance)

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Jazzy Steel

Two DJ gigs to tell you about coming up soon. Both of them are part of Small World Music's Jazz Series.

The first is next week, March 13, opening for steel pan master Andy Narell, who will be backed by local calypso fusionists CaneFire.

I'll also be nicing up the Burnt Sugar: The Arkestra Chamber gig on March 27, channelling Butch Morris' conduction methods into a more linear but very intriguing direction.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Miles Styles

As tipped last post, I did an extensive interview with Soundway Records' Miles Cleret for Exclaim's March edition.

It was an absorbing conversation about the colossal effort involved in putting together the top shelf compilations for whcih Soundway is renowned. Topics ranged from his approach to putting together a compilation, to the content of Nigeria Special, to the very active release schedule for Soundway coming up this year.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - February 27/08

Chicha Libre is the sound of the other shoe dropping from the continued success of Olivier Conan's "The Roots Of Chicha" compilation which exposed the twangy Peruvian versions of cumbia to the world last year. Conan's band is less acid-fried and more country-loungey. Still though, the dub is strong with this one, and each of the mixes mutates considerably over their three to four minute spans.

There is a pronounced Perrey/Kingsley vibe to Chicha Libre - an album highlight is their version of "Popcorn", whcih works surprisingly well as a cumbia. This may be because of Conan's French heritage, which also plays into "Six Pieds Sous Terre" and the hilarious deep space cover of Satie's "Gnosienne".
One point of reference would be the underrated Ry Cooder and Manual Galban's Mambo Sinuendo, in which duelling surf guitars toil in the fields of 'verbed tremolo. It's too bad that rather whacked out record has been caught in the slipstream of Buena Vista Social Club backlash, but at least now there's something to mix it with in a DJ set. Moreover, Galban's Los Zafiros, were tuning into many of the same ideas that influenced Chicha in the 60s - electric guitars, North American pop and a youthful energy.

Chicha Libre can't be packaged with a hot-stepping salsa band on the same bill. They demand a different combination - something with a cooler tempo, whether Latin or otherwise. Why yes, I am thinking a dub showcase would be just about perfect - how did you know??
Hour 2 podcast

maha shakti - debashish bhattacharya (riverboat)
micerino alap/micerino tema - alejandro franov (staubgold)
tour - bernard falaise (ambiances magnetiques)
walk 3 - doppelmoppel (intakt)
pregonceito - yvette (far out)
tres pasajeros - chicha libre (barbes)
aghmar n nanna - etran finatawa (riverboat)
insane - esg (soul jazz)
night rhythms - robert strauss (bbe)
lost luggage - deadbeat (scape)
tom tom workout - baby dodds (atavistic)
rocking horse - rob brown (aum fidelity)
abba zabba - radio i ching (resonant)
babylon burning - sylford walker (heartbeat)
no more friend - meditations (greensleeves)
hell a go pop - cultural roots (greensleeves)
dub it to me - dee sharp (greensleeves)
tom drunk - u roy (treasure isle)
you don't care - techniques (treasure isle)

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