Thursday, June 11, 2009

Abstract Index Playlist - June 10/09

A few years ago, when I wrote about Balkan Beats for Exclaim, I interviewed German Popov aka OMFO "Our Man From Odessa". It turned out to be one of the best interviews I'd ever experienced. We talked for more than an hour about his musical ideas and methods, as well as the growing phenomenon of Balkan sounds for the dancefloor.

Being from Odessa, he was keenly interested in the cultural and musical history of this once and future multicultural port. He talked a lot about European dance rhythms, and how local and regional dance styles had been in many ways pushed aside by the spread of African-American based rhythms in the 20th century. Part of his mission was to reclaim and revitalize local folk dance rhythms with electronics, though he freely acknowledged utilizing the vocabulary of Afro-American dance grooves and Jamaican dub.

This latest disc extends his mission into Central Asia. His skill at retuning electronics to correspond to local instruments and scales gets pretty twisted at times - what at first sounds like particularly "eastern" dub becomes far more difficult to pinpoint on closer inspection. The listener realizes that the scales and harmonies are much different that Western European 'usual'. "Baghdub" from this week's show, is one of the less exotic tunings from the album. Its swooping strings remind me more of Egypt and Om Khalsoum than Baghdad.

I'll quote Atom TM, who worked with him on his last disc: "It is music that somehow denies the dominance of certain cultural stereotypes by bending and twisting them into something that appears to be familiar, yet isn't. It is music that questions both familiar locations in time and space and expands them towards new horizons. Musical themes and topics that seemed to be lost in time and were already closed away in dark, abandoned closets of history are brought back as a valid option, as a new path we may start to take NOW."

I hope the use of his music in Borat has given him some financial flexibility to continue on his musical journey to the center of the Earth.


hotch as ginseng - braam de joode vatcher (bbb)
the force - globe unity orchestra (intakt)
tribecistan traffic jam - tribecistan (no label)
blood stained sands - sir richard bishop (drag city)
baghdub - omfo (essay)
iyo djeli - oumou sangare (nonesuch)
tamborito swing - los silvertones (soundway)
atawalpa - zemog el gallo bueno (aagoo)
okpo videa bassouo - gnonnas pedro & ses panchos (analog africa)
bunda - greymatter (tru thoughts)

guest djs: simmer down

shake senora - richie delamore (tropical recording co.)
la negra tomasa - vocal sampling (sire)
la bamba - bobby darin (emi)
mugambi- soul jazz orchestra - (r2)
bloodshot eyes - wynonie harris (rhino/wea)
boogie ain't nothing (but getting down) - rufus thomas (stax)
i.r.i.- super biton de segou (Bolibana)

strings in dub - tommy mccook and the supersonics (pressure sounds)
can't stop now - major lazer feat mr. vegas & jovi rockwell (mad decent/downtown)
barbwire - sono rhizmo (resense)
get on up - babylon system (argon)
hit parade - david last vs zulu (staubgold)
el meija - willi williams (drum street)
cry no more - kwesi selassie feat bomba (no label)
bush rock - 10 ft ganja plant (roir)
tracking dub - tommy mccook and the supersonics (pressure sounds)

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