Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - October 28/10

(Note: there's no playlist or podcast last week due to the Abstract Index fundraising show. If you like what you read/hear on this site, please donate to CIUT)

So we're just into November, which means that hard-bitten music critics for myself are closing out 2010 already with lists upon lists. One artist who will certainly make mine this year is James Blake. A few months ago he released one of my favorite singles of the year "CMYK" (the word "damn" is pretty much foolproof hook).

More recently comes the Klavierwerke EP released a few weeks ago. The serious-sounding title translates into music with a darker tone. Unlike the Burial-meets-Kanye vibe of CMYK, the slow moving dubwise atmosphere isn't so much post-dubstep (if lumped in with great records by Darkstar and Mount Kimbie) as strongly reminiscent of Pole's glory years of the late 90s. There's one big difference between James Blake and Stefan Betke, though - Blake keeps things warm and round-toned, whereas Pole in his numbered albums was trying to stay as remote from dub's Jamaican sunshine as possible.

I love the slow, undulating textures of Klavierwerke. It sounds like steam driven-pistons gradually urging things along, punctuated by terse piano statements. Often the rhyhthms and melodies will be hocketed between the small selection of sounds in each piece. This makes the distinction between "groove" and "breaks" much more nebulous. The uncertainty of the song structures heighten the drama of these minimal constructions. But this isn't tense music: this music is full of heart warming, bass-heavy reassurance. That always finds a good home on the Abstract Index.


set the captives free - gregory isaacs (shanachie)
let's dance - gregory isaacs (virgin)
all I have is love - gregory isaacs (trojan)
black liberation struggle - gregory isaacs (virgin)
mr. know it all - gregory isaacs (blood and fire)
mind you dis (rude boy) - gregory isaacs (vp)
system breakdown - dubmatix (seven arts)
answer my question - ras david (no label)
he o de oro - puseletso seema e tau ea linare (globestyle)
no lies - mc zulu/dub gabriel rmx by caballo (no label)
lero lero - luisa maita rmx by dj rupture (cumbancha)
tale of two cities - carlton livingstone (channel one)
samba - moussa doumbia (lassasse)
think - bossa 70 (jeff)
no swing - ramadanman (hessle audio)
a dark and stormy night - alaniaris (trio)
by ear - tania gill (barnyard)
kamogawa - hauschka (fat cat)
hopscotch (for john zorn) - fred frith arte quartette (intakt)
klavierwerke - james blake (r&s)
her string - clown n sunset collective (clown n sunset)
helicopter does not exist - walsh (tough love)
track 2 - vine (no label)
remain in jam - lemonade rmx by chrissy murderbot (true panther)
oro yi bale - king sunny ade and his african beats (mesa/blue moon)

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