Saturday, December 09, 2006

Abstract Index playlist - December 6/06

Several dozen albums into the career in his Twilight Circus moniker, Ryan Moore has hit a new height in his oeuvre.
The first 5 years of TC saw Moore perfect his lysergic roots approach, perverting the Roland Space Echo like no one else could. Since then he's mostly toned down the psychedelia in order to focus on more straightforward vocal tracks. Over the course of some half dozen albums, Moore is improving in this aspect of music production. Rasta International is my favourite Twilight Circus vocal selection to date.
For an artist like this - or any of the past and present masters of dub - one has to appreciate the process behind the music. As with Tubby and Bunny Lee, a band cuts a rhythm in the studio, which spawns a principal vocal cut and various instrumental, DJ or dub cuts to wring everything out of the initial ingredients. Rasta International is one version of the rhythms Moore is currently working with. This recent crop features his usual inimitable skills on all manner of instruments. He's joined by reggae session legends Sly Dunbar, Daryl Thompson, Wally Badarou, Ansel Collins, Chinna Smith and many more. If the first three names bring Black Uhuru to mind, that goes a long way in describing the sound of many of the tracks here (and on the accompanying Michael Rose disc Warrior, even better than his last one), although in TC hands these rhythms are fuller and dirtier than their early 80s inspirations.
Moore's achieved a perfect balance of hot and heavy dub which balances well with the impassioned vocals. He gets the most out of vocalists (Lutan Fyah, Luciano etc.) who seem eager to ride these rhythms. Moore manages to conjure up all manner of reggae production styles of the last 30 years, but retains a trademark sound which sets him apart from his influences and his contemporaries. Rasta International is more than just the latest stop on the dub train for Moore, it's a fully realized document in its own right.
turku - erkin koray (world psychedelia)
pungi - dhoad gypsies of rajahstan (arc)
blue sparks from her and the scent of lightning - chicago underground duo (thrill jockey)
invisible dancer - jerry leake (rhombus publishing)
jurubeba - jorge ben & gilberto gil (verve)
sana menga - atongo zimba (hippo)
saf mana dem - orchestra baobab (oriki)
a part of being with you - the professionals (numero)
turn back the hands of time - lionel hampton (brunswick)
mr. bass man - the fatback band (westbound)
soy todo - los van van (escondida)
"the bass player's tune" - new cuban generation (independent)
do i worry - derrick harriott (heartbeat)
i worry - scotty (heartbeat)
how can i go on - larry marshall (heartbeat)
am i the same girl? - charmaine burnette (compost)
empress (instrumental) - rob symeonn (redbud)
a little bit more - michael rose (m)
we can make it work - lutan fyah/twilight circus (m)
man of sorrow - majek fashek (coral)


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