Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Abstract Index Playlist - February 28/07

Tinariwen's new record could find a wide and diverse audience. First, there's the all-important "authenticity" factor which, rightly or wrongly, is still so important to an audience's perception of the legitimacy of a world music act. As Tuareg rebels in Mali and Algeria, these freedom fighters have unimpeachable cred. Their super-indie DIY cassette recordings which preceded their full-fledged recording career reinforce it.

Blending all kinds of influences from around the Sahara, from Gnawa and Mande traditions, to Arabic ululations and Santana, their sound rechannels American blues influences with high lonesome desert ambience. Their association with Robert Plant, likely netted them a producer in Justin Adams, who has always been better known to me as Jah Wobble's right hand man in Invaders of the Heart.

Aman Iman is remarkably catchy. Some chord changes seem straight from the Sheryl Crow songbook, but it manages to be profoundly accessible without sacrificing the band's power. They've achieved a universal groove which balances trance inducing moments with time honoured pop licks. Everyone I've played it for gets that involuntary neck bounce so characteristic of the sweetest hip hop.

Finally, there's the hair. That hair has star quality.

turn it up - assif tsahar/cooper-moore/chad taylor (hopscotch)
toumast - tinariwen (outside)
jalsat atabat - omar souleyman (sublime frequencies)
ghati nen el bal - rached kabbaj (barbarity)
sote sote adhi raat - salma agha/sapan-jagmohan (bombay connection)
happyfour twenty - christ (benbecula)
sans titre - les george leningrad (rythmo tropicale)
caterwaul - zavoloka vs. kotra (nexsound)
boom - pau torres (testing ground)
sakti/shiva - fred anderson/josh abrams (thrill jockey)
zig zag - colin fisher (ncra)
hot n' heavy - ethnic heritage ensemble (delmark)
akom 7 - follow follow (ombu)
stop to make a change - nostalgia 77 (ubiquity)
gb - tutty moreno (far out)
con la luz del la manana - sintesis (waxing deep)
electrocharge - dennis bovell (LKJ)
a rebel soul - aswad (island)
ire ire - keith hudson (pressure sounds)
natural mystic - jennifer lara (studio one)
behold - culture (virgin) nice bio...

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