Thursday, May 17, 2007

Abstract Index Playlist - May 16/07

Another tip of the hat to DJ Chocolate who turned me on to this week's pick.

I'm going to find out a lot more about local reggae artist LJX when he stops by the Index for a chat on June 13 to promote the release of "Two Chord Skankin'" on June 16. The disc is a low budget affair but features excellent songwriting which raises the level of the band interplay. LJX is a tasty guitarist with a predeliction for jazz, not just in terms of his soloing but his surprising chord changes throughout his songs. He's an engaging singer as well with a strong debt to Steel Pulse's David Hinds in his vocal delivery.

One notable presence on this disc is former Upsetter Ronnie Bop (he was an important contributor to the Wailers Lee Perry sessions), who plays bass. LJX credits Ronnie Bop's nimble lead guitar work on early Lee Perry spaghetti western type singles as being an inspiration, as well as Wes Montgomery.

I've always been impressed with reggae lyrics which reflect new and more specific subject matter which reflects reggae's many ports of call. There are issues in Toronto, New York, Cote D'Ivoire or Japan which demand different lyrical treatements. "Strugglin'" is about failing to cope with the soulless existence of workaholism and addiction to money. It certainly spoke to me in the last couple of weeks as I've been overwhelmed by life and work. Myself, I'm more self reliant (I hope) than what the song describes, but this is far from a simple "believe in yourself" song, it wallows in discouragement. Nevertheless, as laments go, this one features a deep bass line.

bridge and tunnel people - nsi (kompakt)
revealing - james blood ulmer (in and out)
tidal wave - gordon grdina's box lunch (ncra)
columbia dos santos - deep rumba (american clave)
asante - mighty popo (tamba)
new york is moving - ahzz (p and p)
hadd mondjar el - sarolta zalatnay (finders keepers)
big herm - LAPD (luv and haight)
north - fond of tigers (drip audio)
shades of you - our theory (nublu)
muskox - kevin lynn (under see)
kweli il - nawal (nawali)
chai massala - samsara sound system (baboon)
paradise dub - cyrus (tectonic)
casting out the nines (live) - dub trio (roir)
jackson park - phase selector sound (roir)
strugglin' - ljx (ljx)
king at the controls - carlton patterson/king tubby (hot pot)
79 rock - revolutionaries (trojan)
world peace - abassi all stars (universal egg)

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