Friday, July 03, 2009

Abstract Index Playlist - July 1/09

Right after I decided to schedule my interview with Diplo on July 1, I realized that Canada Day wasn't going to be 100% domestic. Maybe the ghost of Sir John A made all three CD players freeze up on my disc, then kill the on-air computer's disc drive a mere 90 seconds into the interview (disc worked like a charm at home, natch). In any case, you'll be hearing more from me and Diplo on July 17.

Since Canada Day is historical by nature, I'll take a trip back to some of our founding fathers (& mothers)... of rap. Cold Front was a milestone in Canadian hip hop history, only the second full length hip hop album in this country's history (neck and neck with Kish's first album). The first? Maestro Fresh Wes' Symphony In Effect, also released by Attic Records, who for a while looked like they could become a major player 'in this rap game'.

The disc's compiler, Johnbronski host of the Master Plan on CIUT, wrote excellent liner notes which provide an overview of the beginnings of hip hop culture in Toronto. The entire compilation is framed as a community effort, complete with promos for hip hop shows on campus radio at the time - The Master Plan, CKLN's Powermove and CHRY's Jam Factor.

The compilation is a brilliant snapshot of the times, featuring players who would be extremely influential in Toronto (and the world!) over the next decade and beyond: The Dream Warriors, Main Source, Nu Black Nation (feat. Motion), KGB (feat. Thrust & produced by Scam and DJX). The music ranges from the D.A.I.S.Y. age sound of Base Poet's Pucho-sampling "When I Went To Buy Milk" to more minimal joints like "With This" by Sweet Ebony (who was in jail at the time of the album's release, as I recall).

It brings back fond memories for me. Probably the reason I'm writing about it now is due to album designiner DeMuth Flake (aka D-Fluke, who also lent his skills to the Live At The BBQ parties of the early 90s) having just re/befriended me on Facebook. I was tight with the extended family of campus radio hip hop at the time - John namechecks my one-time radio show "(I Got) A Bag Of My Own" in the liners, along with fellow CIUTers DB Hawkes' First Take and Thursday Morning With Ras Rico I (which was Reggae Riddims' Patrick Roots' first gig)- and the aesthetics of this period of hip hop, community spirit and all around fearless creativity have been fundamental to everything I do now, even though hip hop is only a minor part of my musical pursuits these days.

Special mention goes out to CKLN's Oblivion Express (can't find a link of any significance!!), whose radio spot is the last thing heard on the disc. That overnight show on CKLN was an all night party where DJs would spin groove music that crossed all genres, eras and sometimes technical specs (ain't nuthin but a party...) - you might hear the Ragga Twins next to Lonnie Liston Smith next to Meat Beat Manifesto. At a time when I was developing my music programming sensibility, the spirit of hip hop being the sum of many different parts, then transcending them, was a powerful one. Big ups to everyone from that era.

BTW - how did John Adams become known as Johnbronski? Originally, it was "Johnbrowski" after the Jungle Brothers "Jimbrowski", but a typo in an early CIUT program guide made him 50% more Polish by naming him "Johnbronski" and it stuck.


introducing carl cocks - tim hecker (alien 8)
once held a lighter high in the sky - mike hansen (etude)
expanse - john kameel farah (dross:tik)
sunset sorcery - insideamind (ptr)
if our love - galt mcdermott (kilmarnock)
in a green space - koushik (stones throw)
neg chante - nomadic massive (ptr)
12 sided dice - dream warriors (attic)
apache - incredible bongo band rmx. by grandmaster flash (mr. bongo)
close our eyes - robert strauss feat saidah baba talibah (bbe)
lazer theme - major lazer feat future trouble (downtown)
steppa shock dub - dubmatix (7 arts)
fifty two incorporated - tinkertoy (noise factory)
my home recordings - last step (planet mu)
valley of jehosephat - willi williams (blood and fire)
bord plate - twilight circus (m)
drive by dub - dub trio (roir)
darker shade of black - jackie mittoo (sonic sounds)
repatriation - leroy brown (dakarai)
jahovah - jah beng (kornerstone)
free the herb - courtney stone (no label)

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Blogger Digexart Creative Inc said...

This acknowledgement is priceless. nuff honour and rispec in every aspect!

9:35 p.m.  

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