Sunday, August 29, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - August 26/10

Reggae's Golden Vibrato is getting back to where he once belonged.

At this point, Horace Andy has got to be considered one of the most important vocalists ever to emerge from Jamaica. It starts with his voice: Justin Bieber should be so lucky to retain the ever-enthusiastic man-child persona that Andy has maintained for 40 years. That unique way of expressing himself has made him a muse for many producers over the years. But Andy has also been a fine songwriter, with many classics to his name: "Skylarking", "Mr. Bassie", and "Spying Glass" to name but three. He's also had the good sense to balance his work among different producers without over-recording himself, like Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs.

But it's his work outside Jamaica which has led to steady work over the years, especially in England, where his 1985 hit "Elementary" was a smash, and foreshadowed his work with Massive Attack 5 years later.

Since he became the heart and soul of Massive Attack, he has toured the world several times and had the opportunity to work in many different musical contexts, the most recent of which was with Ashley Beedle for a volume of the Inspiration Information series.

Yet, he's barely recorded any reggae for the past decade, which makes Serious Times a major release. German producer Andreas "Brotherman" Christopherson has come up with his best production ever on his increasingly solid Minor 7 Flat 5 label. If you're already a fan of the label, you've heard some of these riddims before, but Brotherman has saved some special dubwise tricks for Mr. Andy whose vocals have only gotten better over the years. Where he used to sound like he was huffing helium, he now retains his range, but has improved his phrasing and control over his vibrato. Look no further than this week's song "Rastafari" for an example - the riddim doesn't kick in until about two minutes in; it's his voice that keeps the song moving forward. This is a very strong album to add to his reggae classics recorded with Studio One, Channel One, Wackies, Ariwa and so many others.


put the stereo on - gappy ranks (vp)
every day is like a holiday - sensations (treasure isle)
celebrate my love - dubmatix feat jay douglas (7 arts)
rise and fall - toussaint feat jahdan blakkamoore (i grade)
la cumbia subbass de giorgio - black mandingo (no label)
continue to call - nino moschella (ubiquity)
move on - bilal (plug research)
baby doll - the fatback band (spring)
insomnia - marilyn crispell/barry guy/paul lytton (intakt)
found elsewhere 2 - evan parker/derek bailey/han bennink (psi)
reeds of osiron - nymphs (the social registry)
ana dellali - cheb zergui (sublime frequencies)
omnipresence - omfo (essay)
rasta rational - ljx (no label)
christie street - o'luge (last gang)
confide in you - boogiewall soundsystem rmx by mad professor (ohm grown)
rastafari - horace andy (minor 7 flat 5)
4 bush ganja dubplate - aando feat gregory isaacs (no label)
malpalpitando - systema solar (no label)
the windfall - hidden orchestra (tru thoughts)
special - maddslinky feat omar (tru thoughts)
anthracite - cymande (collectibles)
azucar - eddie palmieri (caliente)
candela - zulu (vampisoul)

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