Thursday, October 18, 2007

Abstract Index Playlist - October 17/07

One change to format of the playlist this week: for 20 years I've indicated that artists who put out themselves without a second-party record label are notated as "Indpendent". As of this week, I'll call it "No Label", which is more more accurate. As more and more music is released outside of the "record label" business construct, it should be notated as such, rather than further conflating the notion of "independent" as it relates to said construct with the larger debate of the nature of "indie".

I toyed with the notion of eliminating the label from the playlist - after all, if you're curious about the track, why not just google the name? But record labels are still powerful brands, if not always the most effective marketing/renumeration tool for an artist's needs. I also appreciate all the promo that comes my way, and that's usually the work of the label. Finally, googling the label is usually a reliable way to get good info on the tracks I play.
For me and most of my media bredren and sistren, expectations are raised when they see an envolope in the mail from a favourite label. Ambiances Magnetiques has gotten heavy play on the Abstract Index radio show. They've really surprised me over the last few years as they continue break new ground with very diverse releases, and I have to admit I'm more enthusiastic with what they're putting out these days that a few years ago. The surprises continue with stalwart AM participant's Michel F Cote's new disc, (Juste) Claudette. This is one of the ballsiest jazz records to come out of Canada in years, with the possible exception of last year's ZMF Trio disc. There’s a whole lot of soul inside this music, though it’s twisted in all kinds of horrible ways. From the get-go, Cote’s drumming is unashamedly groove-oriented, though very roughly so. Jesse Levine’s Sun Ra-like organ parts guarantees that outer spaceways are nearer than you think. Alexandre St. Onge’s bass plays off the lower range of the organ remarkably well. Bernard Falaise’s guitar work often reminds me of Derek Bailey's work on "Mirakle" (played 2 weeks ago) - nonlinear but still falling in all the right places. With processed pocket trumpet thrown into the mix, Miles Davis and Jon Hassell comparisons are inevitable, though this sole brass influence provides sonic difference to the rest of the band. Although these songs are typically less than four minutes, sometimes they descend into nondescript though aggressive bluesy shuffles, taking a half point away from this record’s overall score. Yup, Ambiance Magnetiques surprised me again - I’m surprised these players had this record in them, and that it would come out on this label.

relax - stella chiweshe (piranha)
north fork trinity - rv paintings (root strata)
tarmac berlin - burkhard beins (room 40)
muhajer pt. 1 - victor nesrellah/mel m'rabet (no label)
mithra op. 90 - alireza mashayekhi (sub rosa)
for freddie stone - tony wilson sextet (spool)
the mime - sandro perri (constellation)
mume wangu - orchestra makassy (arc)
hey jude - overton barry trio (light in the attic)
gallium - eddie prevost/derek bailey (arrival)
arms oil - michel f cote (ambiances magnetiques)
they call it love - bettye lavette (anti)
a little bit more - dennis brown (shanachie)
new world order - cocoa tea (minor 7 flat 5)
depth in the middle - high tone (jarring effects)
irie meditation dub - nucleus roots feat. don hartley (universal egg)
i man version - willie williams (blood and fire)
leggo beast/mark of the beast dub - abyssinians (heartbeat)

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