Saturday, September 16, 2006

Abstract Index playlist - September 13/06

As my 20th anniversary at CIUT approaches, I was happy to see a new release which takes me back to one of the most enjoyable and inspiring times at CIUT.

The Irie Band are a new-ish outfit fronted by longtime reggae scenester Steven Cogdell. I didn't get a chance to hear the whole album, but "195 Dub" certainly delivers the dub in a classic Jamaican late 70s, early 80s style. Stevie has run Lionheart studios with wife Charmalee since 1991, originally at a facility located at 26A Oxford St. in Kensington Market in Toronto. This was primarily a rehearsal studio back in the day, although good-quality recordings came out of the well appointed if ramshackle room. Lionheart's notoreity stemmed from their Saturday night sessions, where reggae and African bands would play all night from 12-6AM and CIUT would broadcast live to air. The mix for broadcast, indeed the timeslot, belonged to D.B. Hawkes.

This was totally illegal. It was a boozecan, and all manner of substances were consumed on the premises. The building was a fire trap, and that was the greatest concern of the authorities who occasionally visited. However, even the cops realized that the event was not only good-natured, but was compelling radio. I heard more than once that this broadcast was a favourite of cops on stakeout. There was something more than a little 'pirate radio' about broadcasting from a boozecan in the heart of Kensington with nothing more than a crew of volunteers and the initiative of the hosts.

Those were good times for me: I MC'ed a few shows, or did whatever work was required to put them on, such as hanging out all night at the CIUT master control board to make sure the signal was OK. Hanging out at CIUT had its moments of surprise too - such as those calls from D.B. telling me that the show was going to end after the current song; could I fill time for an hour and a half? One of my favourite show archives is an hour-long mix of records hastily pulled from the library, complemented by live dub from the reel to reel decks, after having partied into near-incoherence all night long.

The whole enterprise fulfilled the great promise of community radio. Here was a mass medium in the heart of a clandestine yet welcoming party, broadcasting to a potential audience of 8 million people - this is the kind of spontaneous and rewarding programming that I've most enjoyed over my time at CIUT. Our live remotes carry on this tradition, but they've never been quite as nutty as the Lionheart days.

The Irie Band play every Tuesday at Cervejaria Downtown. 26A Oxford St. is now a series of cookie-cutter townhouses.

eclipse - scotty hard's radical reconstruction surgery (thirsty ear)
here you are, hated - fond of tigers (drip audio)
save your neck, save your brother - i am robot and proud (darla)
zentown - zentone (jarring effects)
abatina - kobo town (kobotown)
dalida - boom pam (essay)
sni bono - dengue fever (m80)
doppelspiel - feuermusik (feuermusik)
pinkeye - lina allemano (lumo)
bonsai eric 5 - bik bent braam (BBB)
tangents - chris speed (songlines)
retrato - murcof (leaf)
weave in and out - adrian klumpes (leaf)
long walk for a slow loris - stephen vitello/david tronzo (new albion)
forobana - habib koite and others (sterns)
tumbemba nsalaba - abana ba nasery (globestyle)
exodus - albert kuvezin & yat-kha (world village)
repatriation - dubmatix feat. kwabena reuben (dubmatix)
dance with me - noel ellis (light in the attic)
195 dub - irie band (independent)
VLA music - sly and robbie (heartbeat)
real rock - sound dimension (heartbeat)


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