Thursday, September 16, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - September 9/10

Those who were even slightly interested in the original Peruvian cumbia comp The Roots Of Chicha - and anyone who'd heard one of the best compilations of the last decade certainly would have more than a slight interest - are going to be knocked out in round 2.

The real difference between the compilations is their circumstances. When Volume 1 came out in 2007, cumbia was just starting to enter the conversation among this generation's groove archivists (Soundway etc. as opposed to Charly or Luv n' Haight). Of course cumbia's fan base was already into the multiple gajillions before they ever came along, and chicha itself was pretty damned popular in its day. The narrative around Volume 1 (including my own) was that it shed light on obscure music, with novice compiler Olivier Conan freely acknowledging that he was a total outsider. However the compilation itself was outstanding with Conan's perceptive liner notes putting the music (and the circumstances of the comp itself) into context. (Another compiler who was repping cumbia at the time was Roberto Ernesto Gyemant, who is featured in our cumbia documentary). With its focus on guitars, its crossover appeal was ensured. I tell you, every time I see an Andean flute band busking downtown, I hear melodies that were adapted by artists collected on that compilation.

Fast Forward to 2010 and at least a half a dozen psychedelic cumbia comps have been issued, and contemporary cumbia styles have made further inroads into North American media (Check Soul Sides' post). Thus, there has been more than two months lead time prior to the sequel, so that everyone on Barbes' mailing list has time to soak up these sounds in the heat of the summer. I'm not the first blogger to write about Volume 2, and that's a good thing.

With heightened expectations (how could there not be with so many other options in the field?) Volume 2 trumps the first with more driving rhythms. There's actually less cumbia and more mambo than the first volume, but the guitars cut even deeper.

Chief Boima wrote a provocative post the other day about a tendency towards psychedelics and/or funk in reissues of the past several years. Unquestionably, this reissue falls in that category but it would be hard to doubt Conan's intentions (he's talked about having to overcome licensing difficulties). Through his bar/musical space in Brooklyn and his label's roster of highly original artists as he's putting a lot of culture into the world with Barbes.

Anyways, this is out in October, but you'll be hearing it more and more on the radio - not just my show - leading up to that time.


all that funk - mal waldron (ecm)
red light - cross border trio (circumvention)
kimpungu mpungu - orchestre continental (african)
cumbia del desierto - los destellos (barbes)
tower special #5 - the big brothers (love love)
summer beat - orgone (ubiquity)
restart - bilal (plug research)
the camel (live) - fat freddy's drop (no label)
give a helping hand - dubmatix feat mighty diamonds (7 arts)
wackies - kaly live dub (jarring effects)
unlimited dub - wackies all stars (senraba)
blue skies don't care - ryan driver (rat drifting)
warm clarleston - eric chenaux (constellation)
improvisation - mandalay marionette orchestra (sublime frequencies)
symmetries - gamelan madu sari (songlines)
the silhouettes - sam prekop (thrill jockey)
manzanita - mercury falls (no label)
lovely bloodflow - baths (anticon)
c minus particles - moonstarr (ptr)

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