Thursday, January 22, 2009

Abstract Index Playlist - January 21/09

As you could probably tell over the past few weeks, I'm really feeling a lot of dub techno these days. Several great releases in the Basic Channel tradition (such as Intrusion and Pulshar) are continuing to find a delicate balance between robotic repetition and beautifully contoured sounds - a snippet of vocal here, some Fender Rhodes warmth there.

But it's remarkable that some 30 years of reggae reissues somehow missed what turns out to be one of the great dub albums of all time, and one which furthers the connection of techno and dub. Dub I is the product of producer Jimmy Radway and his Fe Me Time All Stars and noted engineer Errol Thompson, and Pressure Sounds has rescued it from its obscure 1975 issue. Strange that it should be so obscure, given that it was issued one Micron. In Toronto, it wasn't uncommon to find a wide range of Micron titles - at least it used to be when I was more into create digging - Micron head Pete Weston lived here and had a close association with Leroy Sibbles. Apprently this record appeared at the very end of Micron's first incarnation in Jamaica and was only pressed in the hundreds.

These dubs are chunky, archetypal roots rhythms featuring Tommy Mccook on sax and Vin Gordon on trombone. Solos by both are typically wonderful, and some tasty Hammond work adds more variety to the mix. Thompson dips it all in sonic brass, every instrument is glazed with heavily feedbacked delay which lends the mix a warm, metallic glow. It's surreal in a similar but less deranged 'faders up' way as Black Ark stuff is, everything is put through the dub blender, it's not about dancing on the mixing board. One track in particular has a horn part which combines with delay to sound like a klaxon fading up and down in the mix. In a DJ set, these kinds of mechanical qualities in the music transition quite well into the most au courant dubwise sounds.


kele chi - oriental brothers international (afrodisia)
angel - intrusion feat. paul st. hilaire (echospace)
hanana - ali farka toure (world circuit)
mantistyle - pulshar (phonobox)
slammed - cain and dj brace (balanced)
one way - sugar rock band (bbe)
toro de butt - afrobutt (electric minds)
iberico jazz - quinteto montelirio (vampisoul)
cantoria - quarteto em cy (emi)
eyi su ngaangda - chopteeth afrofunk big band (grigri discs)
229 - gordon grdina trio (plunge)
longa sultaniyega - boom pam (essay)
remnants - silk stockings (bfish)
love is the song i sing - winston mcanuff (makafresh)
take me girl - lenn hammond (udmg/tru muzik)
the pack - winston mcanuff (makafresh)
nkulinze - benon & vamposs (entice)
wave up your hand - big bass theory (sir bassa)
cinderella - fe me time allstars (pressure sounds)
end dust - impact all stars (17 north parade)

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