Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - August 12/10

I gladly drink the Dutty Artz Kool Aid. Sometimes there's an aftertaste I don't like so much, but the NYC label/DJ collective/party starters are always striving.

In this case, though, they've met a kindred spirit, a true individual who hopefully will gain much deserved exposure in the US as a result of this partnership.

First, a little background.

Mambo, Dominican Republic-style is the most exciting music I've heard in the last several years (all praises to Dos Mundos Radio). Basically, it's really fucking fast merengue. I remember the first time I heard merengue back in the day, I thought its jerky 2-beat skank was simple and unswinging compared to salsa. Nowadays, the tempo has been upped, certain traditional instruments have been retained (notably the tambora), and the international vocabulary of dance-oriented synth sounds has been imprinted on the music. And it rocks.

Omega ("Y Su Mambo Violenta") is the music's main man, and he's totally awesome (and regrettably NOT performing in Toronto this Saturday). His slack, gravelly voice evokes Shabba Ranks, but he's a more capable singer and, no doubt, a swaggering stage presence. While there are plenty of techno-y remixes of his work, I like him best with in his post-West End groove mode with jack-your-body style keys.

Rita Indiana, on the other hand could become an even greater international pop sensation. Her music pushes speed merengue further ahead artistically and maybe tempo wise as well. A former model, she cuts a striking figure, and is a powerful singer with excellent melodic sense. With her close cropped hair and out and proud attitude she has been described as "being able to play her looks, her sexuality, her music and her openness to full advantage in a country not necessarily known for being that open".

I'm not usually a fan of big, bland power chords, but damned if her single on Dutty Artz "No Ta Llevando El Diablo" doesn't totally succeed in spite/because of them. Rita is the center of attention with her heroic vocals (and a great little double time rap!), but the ravey sounds, post-punk drum machine, metallic chord changes, and double time guira add up to 185BPM of non-stop fun. One of the singles of the year, no doubt. Can't wait for a full album - or at least many more singles.


something wicked this way comes - the herbaliser rmx by roots manuva (ninja tune)
footsteps - hidden orchestra (tru thoughts)
someday we'll all be free - miguel atwood ferguson feat bilal (mochilla)
sincope joaobim - tom ze (luaka bop)
lero lero - luisa maita (cumbancha)
latinizer - tremor (zzk)
baara - donso (comet)
chaskalanga - mohammed aidu & the bizung family (no label)
silbando - los riberenos (barbes)
siboney - los llamos (waxing deep)
i can't sing - bernard bonnier (oral)
formulas and functions - circle research (urbnet)
birds pt 1 - monster rally (no label)
get it - actress (honest jons)
no ta llevano o el diablo - rita indiana y su misterios (dutty artz)
amampondo with zulu fists - louis moholo viva la black (ogun)
electronic dimensions - madlib (stones throw)
kobana - alnubia band (piranha)
bumps - morphono halftone society (bastard jazz)
the return of dst - de la soul (sanctuary)
cuts it up - grandmixer dst (celluloid)
lock down - dubmatix & ammoye (7 arts)
zero dub - process rebel (no label)
two house department - leon & the revolutionaries (thrillseeker
leave the badness alone - singie singie (silver camel)
ticking time bomb - ljx (no label)
stumble - bonjay (no label)
moving on - luciano (vp)

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