Abstract Index Playlist - August 6/08
There's a picture in my Facebook profile of me and Drew Gonsalves of Kobo Town at Lula Lounge. I remember what we were talking about; I wanted to know if he knew about much funky calypso or early soca from the seventies. It strikes me that with a recording industry as established as Trinidad's, there should be a fair sampling of funky goodness, despite less direct influence of American music on T and T than in Jamaica. Drew wasn't really sure how to advise me.
Well, Strut has definitely scratched my itch with this compilation. "Calypsoul" actually represents the minority of this compilation which takes a pan-Caribbean approach to a funky good time. This comp covers the Greater and Lesser Antilles. The windward, leeward and all kinds of Virgin Islands. Alright, poetic license... no Virgin islands. But if it's the hotness you're looking for, it's all over this compilation.
The listener really gets a sense of the musical cross-currents swirling around the region. The dominant sound is highly syncopated, there are few out and out straight up soul belters, unlike Numero's Grand Bahama Goombay from a few years ago. The title is a natural association with Strut's still-fresh Nigeria 70; it's the sound of a new generation finding its voice. Best of all, the pan-Caribbean approach seems fresh in light of all the West African reissues which have come out lately (not that I'm complaining). The African-Caribbean musical exchange became even more pronounced the following decade with zouk lighting up dancefloors in the tropics. There's a lot to explore and a real lack of DJ oriented collections that take stock of this music, which means there's likely lots of worthy material yet to surface.
If anyone has further suggestions on where to continue exploring, please share them in the comments.
Independent Bahamas – biosis now (strut)
Almost live but definitely plugged – imps (mule)
Flags and words – two banks of four (sonar kollektief)
Ochimini – spam all stars (riverboat)
Des cobri que eu sou um anjo – Jorge ben (Philips)
Old peculiar – eric Chenaux (constellation)
Tree to tree – jayme stone/mansa sissoko (no label)
So si sa – kakande (jumbie)
Do leleni (ekassa 22) – sir victor uwaifo (soundway)
The pimp walk – Hamilton bohannon (Dakar)
Saraswati – autorickshaw (tala wallah)
Skew – chris speed trio (knitting factory)
Volute – news from the north (intakt)
Nh six – dj brace (balanced)
Full house dub – loudspeaker speaker meets clearly human (broken twilight)
Humble lion – abassi all stars (universal egg)
Mangnen m’boule – ghislain Poirier & nik myo (ninja tune)
Hip dub – Vivian weathers (virgin)
Can’t buy love/version – Johnny Osborne (studio one/heartbeat)
Academy award version – Johnnie Clarke (front line)