Saturday, November 15, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - November 12/08

In the November issue of Exclaim, I wrote a profile of Jean Martin's strange and amazing recording/composition space, the Farm. Actually the Farm is his and Christine Duncan's loft, and is not rural in the least.

Martin's label, Barnyard Records, is about to drop a titanic trio of records on an unsuspecting audience at the Lula Lounge on Dec. 3. Like the Rat Drifting label, Barnyard likes to release many discs at a time - perhaps like RD in order to concentrate the amount of promotion activity associated with the label.

The three discs are the Martin/Justin Haynes ukulele/suitcase (that's right, Martin plays suitcase exclusively on the disc. I've seen the suitcase. It isn't pretty) duets of Myk (St. Dirt Elementary School) Freedman, a duo composed of Anthony Braxton and his padawan Kyle Brenders, and this inflated bit of whimsy with an awesome name: Blah Blah 666.

This is something of a Tranzac supergroup composed of Tania Gill, Nick Fraser, Ryan Driver (aka 3/4 of Deep Dark United) with Haynes and Martin. St. Dirt's junkyard jazz certainly plays a part in this music, as instruments like 'defretted electric guitar' and 'street sweeper bristle' would fit right in to Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids. The music, however, may be best described as 'avant mariachi' cause you ain't never heard a Mexican hat dance done quite like this. The music is usually quite zany, in a found sound meets hot jazz sense, with a dash of Beefheart on the side. It's a testament to the madcap nature of this disc that I played it after Sun Ra this week and Mr. Blount sounded humourless by comparison.

I can't say that it's my instant favourite record of the year, but I also anticipate an epiphany at some point at which point I won't be able to stop listening to it for days or even weeks at a time.

Certainly Rube Goldberg is smiling on this from somewhere.


dawn - sun ra arkestra & salah ragab (golden years)
chico lympico - blah blah 666 (barnyard)
wasana - chaan siang phin (sublime frequencies)
lyman place - steve reid/kieran hebden (domino)
nyame mboa - eric agyemang/a.b. crentsil (world art)
ya fama - toumani diabate symmetric orchestra (nonesuch)
serkan's tale/trans roman - lubo alexandrov (ccm)
landscape - the mohawks (vampisoul)
cold weather - the upsetters (trojan)
sankofa - tony allen/hypnotic brass ensemble (honest jons)
holy thursday - david axelrod (vampisoul)
corner of your smile - koushik (stones throw)
crabapples - bruce peninsula (bruce trail)
doce guia - 3 na massa (nublu)
brown sueter - a filial (verge)
iarna iarna - aura urziceanu (sonar kollektiv)
you'll never find a love like mine/dub - john holt/king tubby (trojan)
the same song - paragons (treasure isle)
carpenter rebuild - meditations (greensleeves)
jeman - mikkle metal feat. paul st. hilaire (echochord)

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