Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - October 14/10

Maddslinky's first album in many years reminds me of Roni Size's New Forms thirteen years ago.

Make A Change brings sharp, fast beats to soulful, hooky songs. Maddslinky knows how to make LFOs growl, but he's also unafraid to break out well-loved jazzy soul motifs that make his music feel so right. Whereas drum and bass exploration was Roni Size's manifesto, dubstep and whatever grime turned into are informing these beats. Given all the percolating joy, it's hard not to think about soca and other Caribbean echoes. Anyways, I'm not too worried about researching the microgenres at play; these beats are simply inviting.

It's the vocals that take the songs to another level; whereas Burial did such amazing things with one smudge of soul, these songs feature out and out bravura performances from the likes of Omar (!!!), Jenna G and Taiwah which channel the deep house emotions of Robert Owens and then some. The vocal tracks bring that lush British jazzy soul sound to the fore, which means there are going to be 50 year old Incognito fans getting down to this without hesitation. It's probably this last ingredient that tethers the release to Tru Thoughts as opposed to putting this record out on a more dubstep identified label like Hyperdub.

This record is a good summation of the kinds of beats that have been moving me of late, and its excellent songcraft will give it more staying power in my music playing devices.


going downtown - gene shaw (argo)
certa noite - 3 na massa (nublu)
samba de orfeu - don cunningham (luv n haight)
receita de cancao - pedro moraes
snows & taxis - gold panda (ghostly international)
good life - brassroots (do right)
the decider- rudresh mahanthappa (pi recordings)
wayne's shorts - lina allemano four (lumo)
arthurs birds - teebs (brainfeeder)
candylane - gonjasufi rmx by bibio (warp)
bicho de luz - frikstilers (zzk)
take it easy - rise ashen & ammoye (balanced)
oh what a feeling - solomon burke (e1)
that's how it is - otis clay (hi)
love is gone - choice of colors (kent)
imagine - jeff mills & montpelier philharmonic orchestra (tresor)
peru - maddslinky (tru thoughts)
grape donut - distal (soul jazz)
shotta - bonjay (no label)
fram - blawan (hessle audio)
fiesta de cumbia - pacho galan (no label)
la guarapera - pepe molina y su combo (sonolux)
a place called grace - saidah baba talibah (no label)

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Friday, October 15, 2010

MiMo Live Set During Fundraising

Next week is the Abstract Index fall fundraising drive. I'm still putting together the final program (YOU can be a part - both on air and in the phone room) but the main event is MiMo.

To be honest, I don't know much about Samuel Morganstein and Matthew Miller. But I'm intrigued by their forthcoming vinyl release of 96 'locked groove' compositions. They're doing a launch party on October 24 featuring Insideamind and many members of AIMToronto improvising with the vinyl source material. It seemed like a good idea to put that concept on the air and combine it with fundraising. Why? BECAUSE WE CAN. That's how we roll at CIUT, where presenting art, improvised music and turntablism is always a priority.

Hopefully you agree and will support us during the show with a membership. The Abstract Index needs 20 pledges of $25 or more to keep going. There will be giveaways - not just CDs this time - and guests, but this is a really special event and a true expression of the power of community radio. Please tune in.

If you would like to pledge in advance, please do so.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Kicking out the live jams twice in two weeks? Unheard of! But I've got a few live events coming up.

Of critical importance is NO INDEX. I'm joining forces with the No Beat Radio crew to wreck shit at Teranga on Wednesday October 20.

Here are the details:

Beats, noise, cultural collisions, improvisation, major lasers.

CIUT's late night mixologists concoct a night of digiturntable madness and DJ bricolage. A fundraising event in support of CIUT FM

Wednesday October 20 - 9PM

$5 - all proceeds go to CIUT FM

Featuring: Minesh Mandoda & Marco Landini of No Beat Radio
Mondays 10PM-midnight

David Dacks of The Abstract Index
Thursdays 10PM-midnight

Live bruit from JFM http://www.myspace.com/jessefrankmatthews

I'll keep updating this post as more people pile on.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - October 7/10

Last week marked the official release of Dubmatix' most recent release: System Shakedown. I wrote an interview/review of this excellent disc for Exclaim last month.

I really enjoy Jesse King's music. It was apparent at the CD release that his brothers and sisters in dub enjoy working with him and his music as well. At one point, the still formidable Jay Douglas loudly praised Dubs' respect and knowledge of the roots of the music, both in Jamaica and Toronto - and Jay Douglas knows a thing or two about Jamaica to Toronto.

Prior to the show Douglas told me he was honoured but intimidated by Dubmatix' request to sing on his album: the music was more digital and futuristic than any production he'd worked with. At the same time, though, he trusted the producer's fundamentals and gave it his best shot.

Surely one of Toronto's reggae highlights this year was seeing Douglas bui "Celebrate My Love" backed by Dubmatix, Nate Wize, I-Sax, and Douglas' once and future bandmate Everton "Pablo" Paul, who has been Dubmatix' mentor for decades. Even with one channel absent from the mix, the soulful vibes couldn't be stopped. This roots reggae sounded ever-fresh, even in an era where dancehall has become the pre-eminent crossover music from Jamaica. Thanks to soaking up J.A.-Tdot vibes for more than 20 years, Dubmatix has nothing to prove about his dexterity with classic reggae songcraft rendered in a way that feels utterly local.


wobble weeble - dubmatix feat kulcha ites (7 arts)
rainbow children dub - zion train (universal egg)
education after auschwitz - ion (local)
breathing trouble - senking (raster noton)
catatonic - onmutu mechanics (echochord)
don't let me go - mala (soul jazz)
dancehallette - frikstilers (zzk)
paraiso - sonora (no label)
little angel - zazou bikaye (crammed)
love can't come will come - invisible man's band (bbe)
miles away - david axelrod (dusty groove)
the squirrel - jimmy mcgriff/richard groove holmes (groove merchant)
jargon - lina allemano four (lumo)
in peace - mat maneri (thirsty ear)
seven - david mott quintet (music as energy)
for si pt. ii - arraymusic (cmc)
all clear 1,2,3,4,5 - christopher campbell (innova)
kajastusmuseo - kemialliset ystävät (fonal)
and we gonna - shigeto rmx by samiyam (ghostly international)
time lapse - a.m. breakups (reservoir sound)
jamelia - bonjay (no label)
phat si - cooly g (hyperdub)
m'bala - ramiro mussuto (paginas do mar)
the real mckay - the soul prophets (gallo)

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - September 30/10

Not feeling too inspired about blogging this week, but looking out on this grey day makes me want to put Pastor T.L. Barrett on repeat play. Actually, it's one of the few reissues that maybe I don't want on repeat play: I want it on vinyl and I want to walk across the room to flip the record. Though I'm not nostalgic/partial to LPs, this recording would kick ass on 180 gram vinyl.

Nevertheless, I have this beautiful slice of spacious, funky gospel in digital form and it still sounds plenty warm and life affirming. In brief, the term "holy grail" is bandied about this album from from Chicago in 1971. It's more religiously oriented than the "message music" fellow Chicagoans the Staple Singers were making around the same time. For sure it was recorded in more modest circumstances and intended for the choir's local audience. But Pastor Barrett had the help of some of Chess Records' great players such as Phil Upchurch, Gene Barge and Richard Evans, as well as a quality reverb unit turned up to 11. This album features soulful breaks all around, proceeds at a magnificent pace, and nearly skronks out at times when spirits are particularly high. After I dropped it to lead off the show, both Jason Palma and I just sat back and listened without speaking for a few minutes. He had his vinyl copy on hand and I must admit I felt the sin of envy.


nobody knows - pastor t.l. barrett & the youth for christ choir (light in the attic)
san miguel de piuma - pena (secret stash)
tierra santa - sonora (no label)
ruas de grecia - munchi feat caballo (no label)
samba de palto - os ritmistas (mais um disco)
before & after light - cfcf (paper bag)
walk in the sky - bonobo rmx by aaron jerome (ninja tune)
kele dub - zazz (cegaci)
recife d'agua - digital groove (naive)
mexican hotbox - danuel tate (wagon repair)
bass drums - ramadanman (soul jazz)
kumble - arc djebe & zozodede (akwaaba)
higher man dub - glen brown (sunfire)
how can you mend a broken heart? - lenn hammond (udmg)
i'll let you go - dawn penn (pressure sounds)
set me free - 10 ft ganja plant (roir)
belladonna - suie paparude (local)
see birds - balam acab (k7)
pressure - quadron rmx by andi muller (plug research)
overcaffeinated and underfed - the kora band (oa2)
cannonball adderley's tattoo - lina allemano quartet (lumo)
mile high like - mary halvorson quintet (firehouse 12)
modupe (thundershowers) - the flaming souls (up up up)
voy a hablarte francamente - rodolfo (discos fuentes)

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