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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Playlist - 30th December 2006

Ding dong - Badman forward, Badman pull up - Miles Ahead
Tony Matterhorn - Dutty wine - Miles Ahead
Turbulence - Notorious (Diplo Mix) - XL
Collie Buddz - Come around - epic
Marlon Asher - Ganja Farmer - Caribbean Underground Productions
Marcia Griffiths - Melody life - Trojan
Suzanne Couch - Smile - Lionvibes
The slits - Kill them with love - oNly lovers left alive
Mahotella Queens - Sibuyile - manteca
Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra - Salsa - Worldcircuit
Squeezel - Cherry sun - Cheap and Best
Tunng - Woodcat - Full Time Hobby
65 days of Static - DRove through Ghosts to get here - MOnotreme Records
Fabienne Miranda - Destiny Records - Ruby's Records
Black slavery Days - The skull - Ruby's Records
The Black survivors - Come Away Jah Jah Jah Children
Norma winston / Ian bellamy - White horses - Pepperhill records
Little Axe - Trouble in mind - Realworld
James McMurtry - we can't make it here anymore (from album childish things) - comprade records (houston records)
The Process - Rap down
Slyvester - You make me feel - Trikont - us349
Culture - LOve shines brighter -
plunderphonics - james brown

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Playlist - 23rd December 2006

Roland Alphonso & the Skatalites – Nimble foot ska – Heartbeat
Don Drummond & Roland Alphonso – Heaven and earth - Heartbeat
Don Drummond and the City Slickers – Don Cosmic - Heartbeat
Tappa Zukie – Revolution Version – Trojan Fan Club
Reckless Breed – Chin chow – Wackies
Tappa Zukie – Double Struggle – Trojan Fan Club
To Rococo Rot – Schon sehr viel telefoniert – Staubgold/Gusstaff Records
Tussle – Comma – Smalltown Supersound
Tom Waits – Lord I've been changed - Anti
Tom Waits – Nirvana - Anti
Tom Waits – Young at heart - Anti
The Necks – Abillera – ReR
Panda Bear - Bro's - Fat Cat
Gyptian - Serious Times (TRuth and soul vocal version) - XL Records
Bob Andy - walk a mile in my shoes - Trojan records
Dan Reeder - Clean elvis - Oh Boy Records
Butterbeans and Susie - Papa Ain't No Santa Claus, Mama Ain't No Christmas Tree - viper
Hovis Presley - Green Tomatoes
Gangbe brass Band - Tagbavo - Counte Jour
Orchestre Baka de Gbine - Gati Bongo - Baka
Amadou and Mariam - M'Biefe Balafon - Radio Bemba
Wailin' Jennys - Swallow - Red HOuse records -
The Long Winters - ultimatum - Munich records
Plus Device - Our Pleasure - Realization
Octave One / Random Noise Generation - Rock my dub - Tresor 227 - lawrence burden / lenny burden
Martin Buttrich - Full Clip - Planet E

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Playlist - 16th December 2006

Tony Curtis - rolling - xl records
Pepe Habichuela and the Bolly wood Strings - Yerbaguena
Aurelio Martinez - Tili Bugudura - Union square
Miriam Makeba - Click Song (2003) - Union square -
Umetniki - Push it - urokani dj zdena
Spank Rock - Bump - Big Dada
The marvelettes - the hUnter gets captured - universal
Not Sensibles - Wrong LOve / Blackpool rock - Snotty Snail music
Freak Streak - Warning Chavalance
Jon Redfern - i Love the Sun - Reveal Records
Hovis presley - Fistful of Rennies
Kris Drever - Poor man's son - Reveal Records
Jeremy Warmsley - Dirty Blue Jeans -Transgressive Records
The Earlies - No Love in Your Heart - Names
charles Brown - Merry christmas Baby - Viper
Alela Diane - Tainted Lace - Names
Yvonne Chaka Chaka - UmQombothi - Rough Guide
Shuar Collective - Taraf - Riverboat
Roy Cousins - Blacker black - Tamoki-Wambesi-Dove
The Royals - Oh My Love - Tamoki-Wambesi-Dove
Ha-Money - Break the Law - vp records
Exploding Star Orchestra - Sting Ray and the Beginnings of Time - Part 1 - Thrill Jockey
Galaxy 2 Galaxy - Return of the Dragons - Underground Resistance / Uncivilized world UWe193-
Jeff Mills (live with the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra- Entrance to the Metropolis - Tresor

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Playlist - 9th December 2006 - Funkology

Afrique - House of the rising funk - from soul Makossa - Mainstream
Nas - Hip is Hop is dead featuring will.i.am - Def jam
Johnny Guitar Watson - It's about the dollar bill - Sanctuary
The haggis Horns - The Traveller - First world Records
King Sporty & The Roots Rockers - Fire Keep on Burning - Konduko
Peven Everett - Power soul - Defected
THe equals - Born Ya! - Phonogram - uk promo
Naomi Davis and The Knights featuring Cliff Driver - Wind Your Clock (Parts 1 & 2) - Freestyle Records
General Caine - Shake - J & M
Brown's Bag - No MOre LOve - di-lee
Ice "T" - The Coldest Rap (Part 1) - House Jam
Beatconductor - Soundtable - Spicy - Spicy
Paul Humphrey - Scream and Shout - Stanson Record Company
Earth Wind and Fire - Bad Tune - >From "what it is" box set rhino
The Rimshots - Takin' it - Stang Records
George Duke - I want you for myself (Tom Moulton Mix) - promo CDR
John Hardy - Hard work - Impulse
The James Taylor Quartet - It's All over -

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Playlist - 2nd December 2006

Soul Brothers – Bayeza – Network
Oliver Mtukudzi – Rugare rwamangwana - Network
Abassi Allstars – Favi rock dub – Deep Root
The Prophets – Falling Babylon – Blood & Fire
Winston McAnuff – Ugly days – Makasound
Derrick Morgan – Great musical battle - Makasound
Noiseshaper feat. Wayne martin – Moving together – Echo beach
Ranking Joe – Shaka Zulu – M Records
Boubacar Traore – Adieu Pierette – World Music Network
Orchestra Rail Band de Bamako – Mali Cebalenw - World Music Network
Disciples – Imperial stepper – Uncivilized World
Bush Chemists – Foot step dub - Uncivilized World
Marcus Enochson - For you to see (w/ Masaya [Tiger Stripes Remix dub] - Sonar Kollektiv
Inflitrator - The Fugitive from Tibet (Healing) - Underground Resistance
Mad Mike Vocals by Atlantis - Chaos and Order - Underground Resistance
Depeche Mode - Everything Counts (OLiver Huntemann & Stephen Bodzin dub) - Mute
Solomon Linda's Original Evening Birds - Mbube - Rough Guide Rgnet - Rgnet
Beruit - The Gulag orkestar - 4AD -
Gruff Rhys - Candylion - Rough Trade
M Ward - Magic Trick - 4AD
The Rogers Sisters - Never Learn to cry - Too pure - Pure
Tapes 'n Tapes - omaha - XL
The Royals - Make Believe - Tamoki-Wambesh-Dove
Winston Jarrett - The Sleeping in the park - Tamoki-Wambesh-Dove
Dub trees (featuring brother culture - don't want to lose you - CDR

Friday, December 01, 2006

Dub Review - December 2006

Any self-respecting UK dub fan would immediately check this sound as emanating from the twin towers of Alpha & Omega, typically a pounding bass that just won’t stop thumping you in the chest whilst a melodica flutters around somewhere above your head. This time Christine and John come with a mainly showcase set with dub after the vocal, featuring a host of roots talent. Coz Safari’s Marching Warriors is a globalised update of Aswad’s anthemnic Warrior Charge with John’s melodica replacing the martial horns; regular collaborator Jonah Dan pops up twice, first off on the set’s toughest track, Nah Lef The Truth, a meditation on keep to the straight and narrow on housed in a monstrous full-on steppers lurch then with the more reflective This Is My Prayer. Amongst the many others here are old friend Nishka and one of the key voices of new roots consciousness in the UK, Gregory Fabulous.

A rough analogue miscegenation rather than a smooth digital fusion sounds oh so much more appealing these days, and so it is for Bass Clef aka Ralph Cumbers another Bristolian ex-pat relocated to the East End via the Blank Tapes people. Whether the 4-track, cassette deck, drum machine, vintage synth and valve compressor that produced this music is down to choice or economics matters not as the end result stands out from a lot of its contemporaries who might be in the same area. The sparseness of the mix gives a spiky edge to the sound; Bass Clef uses both trombone and Theremin on stage. There’s a cheeky opening sample on the first track, Cannot Be Straightened, a sped up capture of Wong Chu the DJ from the Wailers version of Keep On Moving provides the song title and inspires the album title. Followed by a tune about the sound of the tune Subwoofer Loveletter the Eight Zero Eight a purple Def Jam throwback to 1984 convinces us we are in ironically educated hands.

After their hugely successful roots style re-versioning of Pink Ffloyd, Dub Side of the Moon, the Easy Star boys were left with the challenge of ‘what next’? Radiohead’s OK Computer must have seemed am immediately appealing choice, especially with the pre-packaged re-titling. Initially the sonic chasm between reggae and Radiohead seemed unbridgeable with the switches of time signatures and twisted chord changes, so this follow-up turned out to be hard work. However having Horace Andy open proceedings by wrapping his honeyed tones around Airbag and making it sound like a fifties ballad, the running order is maintained and so too are the quality of the inputs with contributions from Toots and the Maytals, Morgan Heritage, The Meditations, Israel Vibration, Sugar Minott and Frankie Paul. It’s Airbag that’s the standout track with a guitar meets cello riff and extended discomix with a dubwise reprise at the album’s close. Not being familiar with the blueprint was not too advantageous as some of the tunes seem to merge, or maybe that was due to the sheer challenge of the task that faced the arranger.

Hotflush is an internal splinter from Scuba coming with Scottish producer, Gravious, working a manipulated signal pulse running from start to end of the mix Hailing from north of the border, he's bringing a fresh sound to the dubstep marketplace mixing electronic sounds with the reggae influence of more contemporary dubstep producers. Wormsign defies accepted structural protocols and hits you in the chest with bass from the very first beat. Switching up rhythms and emphasis, adding echoed snares and searing hats, Gravious shows why he's attracted so much attention on this one. The drum roll and turn that kicks off the beats of Monolith suckers an expectation of a little roots reggae number before quickly dropping into the now established dubstep convention of a repetitive cycle of repeated riffs, but that’s relieved by a snappy fall into amen-style breaks only to return to the previously established groove. It’s this unrestrained playing with structure that rescuing dubstep from an early demise.

It’s not into this album before it becomes clear that this is a true sonic genius at work. These days Keith Hudson’s reputation is unfairly tainted with the odd critic not rating him as a vocalist but even weighing his accomplishments as producer alone would legitimately place him high in the super league of reggae’s elite. Trojan follow up 2004’s essential The Hudson Affair with one strictly for hardcore devotees, the original 1972 ‘Entering The Dragon’ LP with an added seventeen rare sides lifted from obscure collectors 45’s. The set opens with the title track, actually ‘Blackbelt Jones’, with an uncredited DJ – sounding a little like Big Youth – delivering a blaxploitationesque toast taking it to a lower lyrical level that Isaac Hayes’ ‘Shaft’!; this is followed by Soul Syndicate’s instrudub version to ‘Riot’ the rhythm that fed UK hiphop for a few months back in 1988 and one of Hudson’s most wigged-out solo efforts, the tortured off-key ‘Too Possessive And You Know It Baby (aka Fly Away)’ with spliffed-up spoken intro and dubbed vocal, after that comes a harmonica version of ‘Melody Maker’. This level of variety and invention continues for thirty tracks.

Toyan, graduate of Killamanjaro Sound, whose gravely voice belied relative
Youth, formed one of the select band of pre-rap bad boy deejays in early
Eighties Jamaican dancehall. He owed his first success to producer Henry
‘Junjo’ Lawes who introduced him to a wider market in the UK with the
Greensleeves album How The West Was Won, after which he added to his
name the then ultimate reggae accolade of ‘Ranking’! His biggest album
however came via his association with fellow DJ and Jah ‘Nkrumah’ Thomas who produced Ghetto Man Skank, full of ‘bimmmms!’, ‘bong-diddleys!’ and ‘ribbitttts!’ and slow bouncing riddims from the Radics this is one of the classic DJ walk albums – in other words, stand still walking arms swinging is the only cool dance for this music. The language and rhythms are pure nostalgia for fans of the era with Nice It Up, delivered on Linval Thompson’s Six Babylon, the bragging Pallaving Spree where Toyan lays waste to Brixton in company of Little John and Two Bad DJ Afi Talk in combination with Jah Thomas on the riddim of his Entertainment hit. Watch out for sporadic appearances in finer vinyl emporiums of his excellent final album Hot Bubble Gum cut for George Phang in 1984, after which his career faded before his murder in 1991.

More archival material from the tape vaults of Jah Thomas’ Midnight Rock label, this time thirteen early eighties vintage dubs drawn from the artillery of the awesome Roots Radics mixed in the main by Scientist at King Tubby’s studio, with a few tracks from the hands of the dubmaster himself. As Jah Thomas explains in the notes, usually three passes would be worked on a mixdown and as this was a time when fingers on the faders were the main mix tool then usually there were multiple versions of the tune on tape; consequently few of these tracks have appeared before in this shape. Just go straight to king Tubby’s Cloud Dub for a masterclass on the art of dub where every move is clear, no tricks or efx, just the desk manipulating the pure drum and bass bed around Singie Singie’s vocal lines. The BPMs of these tunes make it much more of a smoker’s affair than a jump up dance thing, but there when there are plenty of below par Radics albums on the market to seduce the uninitiated its good to have one that lives up to its name.

SNES uses the same ascending/descending arpeggio device as Skream’s Midnight Request Line raised on high over a skipping steppers pegged by a sinking bassline, but according to the label it’s all from a bedroom in suburban Leeds, the virus is indeed mutating. The Dub Police label was set up in London last year to provide a platform for dubstep inflected experimentation and its good to hear the rhythms linking back to check techno tendencies and introduce a warmer side, especially on the Horns Cru cut which is exactly what it implies. Tru Powwa bangs down on the heavy button with an unstoppable maxed out bass reverb loop ploughing on regardless as bits and bobs of gameboy diversions pop in and out.

For old-time On U Sound heads and those more recently seduced by Sherwood’s 80’s vintage outputs of the dubwise variety, best pass by the vocal set here and head straight to the versions. Not that the second solo album from the one time dub wunderkind is not a magnificent thing but those old devotees of the AMS live mix sets looking for just one more fix will have no need to further forlorn dawn searches as the first half of Cliché Dub is as crazily inventive as anything in the back catalogue that EMI has been vaguely threatening to reissue over the past year or so. Back to the album proper and Sherwood is joined by, or as the album painful artwork may have us believe, supported by, old sufferer Mark Stewart and Jah Sufferer Denis Bovell, Jah Kingdom’s Bim Sherman and reunited friend Scratch, albeit in virtual form. The shiny new rhythms are inspired by Sherwood’s immersion in dancehall over the last few years and directly from recent collaborations with Jazzwad and Sly & Robbie, so it’s a definite and welcome strike away from the primary roots sounds of old. But one can’t help conjecture what Sherwood would be capable of given his proven invention, if he were to ‘lose’ all these old and new pals on his next sonic expedition.

Tommy Cowan is forever immortalised in reggae history as producer of Israel Vibration’s 1979 debut ‘The Same Song’, he later went on to initiate Reggae Sunsplash. As usual that’s only half the story, back in 1974 he formed the Talent Corporation to nurture local talent in Jamaica with the intention of obtaining as much exposure for its artists that was normally afforded international artists. Certainly the range and quality of the tunes gathered here argue that Cowan certainly had impeccable taste, and although it’s sad to say most of the material only became local hits their re-presentation here is a revelation. Devon Iron’s ‘Jerusalem’ is as strong as anything he cut for the Upsetter (there’s an alternate 7” available too), the Abyssinians ‘Love Comes and Goes’ is just stone beautiful and with its version attached the blissful horn section can stand alone sans efx. Dennis Brown has the title track with the stereo mix only separating the voice and backing track on headphones, ostensibly a mess but here an emphasis on what a really great vocalist he was. The album closes out with Roman Stewart reggae-lite ‘Hit Song’ but with the bonus of Dillinger’s earnestly amusing ‘Natty Sing A Hit Song” moving into an inventive dub with vamped horns, organ and vocal returns. The artwork is a little cheeky though – a straight lift of Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Hub Cap’ on Blue Note.

The Kingston/Toronto connection has been referenced previously in this column, especially from the work of keyboard king Jackie Mittoo who relocated to North America for a spell. This new label however is solely dedicated to the retrieval of music produced from those connects. Their first issue concentrated on the reggae and funk output of Wayne McGhie whereas this new one focuses on a disparate series of artists operating in largely in the post r’n’b soul era, so although we have Sam Cooke and Otis Redding wannabes the whole thing turns out to be fresh, raw and fun. Amongst the reggae highlights are Noel Ellis, Alton’s boy, a little lightweight compared to his pa but the discomix of Memories is a desolate rumination on separation on a Wackies’ style rhythm bed with a deep bass drop; also the Johnny Osbourne produced instrumental African Wake from 1974 later to be voiced in New York as Jah Jah Children. On the soul side there’s the dead centre Northern Soul attack of Eddie Spencer's 'If This Is Love (I'd Rather Be Lonely)' and the hilarious Jo-Jo And The Fugitives' unknown break-beat monster, 'Chips-Chicken-Banana Split'.