Monday, February 18, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - February 13/08

I'm glad I finally got a chance to play this disc right at the end of the first set: you'd be hard pressed to keep up the kind of energy found on this album flowing for a dancefloor, people might drop from exhaustion within minutes.

Dominican Republic's La India Canela is one of a handful of female accordion players in merengue tipico - the producer of this album, Sydney Hutchinson has a very informative site to give you all the background you need.

Most of the merengue I'm familiar with is the more simplistic (thoughnot uncharming) variety that took New York by storm in the early 80s - to my ears, a pretty basic, kind of jerky beat that didn't have the same fluidity as Cuban and Puerto Rican derived salsa. Then again, I'm no dancer, so what do I know... La India Canela's music is more polyrhythmic and features more improvising than what I'd heard previously. The alto sax/accordion front line has a folky sweetness but a hyperaggressive attack, with the sax player often squawking away like a No Wave refugee, only much more on top of the beat. The bassist is a virtuoso, but only uses his powers for good. He is capable of unleashing a barrage syncopated chords a la Jaco, but will only do so to push the song to greater heights before dialing back the intensity.

This album, like my favourite album of 2005 by Los Pleneros De La 21, is on Smithsonian Folkways, whose acoustic Latino series continues to impress. Don't let the hands-off production style lull you into thinking that this is anything but fierce music.

ngima piny - extra golden (thrill jockey)
maraou oran - toumast (real world)
joyride - the heliocentrics (now again)
assassination attempt - kush arora (no label)
ble d'inde - galitcha (galitcha)
we listen and act - ganesh anandan/john gzowski (ambiances magnetiques)
roll - zmf trio (drip audio)
moka - bernard falaise (ambiances magnetiques)
el marques - quinteplus (vampisoul)
el rancho - la india canela (smithsonian folkways)
babylon - tristan palma (greensleeves)
beat down babylon - junior byles (trojan)
babylon bridge - dillinger (studio one)
natty dread learn him - linval thompson/dillinger (clocktower)
we are walking upon - johnnie clarke (clocktower)
cherry oh baby - charlie chaplin (trojan)
i'll go through - israel vibration (ras)
bad days dub - scientist (lightning)

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