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NO2 VOL ONE SPRING

SHOOK 002 VOL ONE SPRING THE BEAT GENERATION

£3.80
NO2
VOL ONE SPRING

20. BEAT FREAQ BADU 40. IN THE LIGHT


Building New Amerykah. Go Bang with Arthur Russell.
28. THE BEAT GENERATION 44. ANGELO BADALAMENTI
CONTENTS Beats international. David Lynch’s secret weapon.
36. ENGLAND STORY 46. PILOOSKI
Fast-chat inna dancehall. Never done cosmic.
38.ELITE SQUAD 50. SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING
Law & order in the favelas. A joyful noise unto the creator.

INTRO... May ‘68 Posters, Joe Gibbs RIP, Vocodertron, Very Be Careful, Kis-
sey Asplund, PAPER CUTS: Things Fall Apart, SPOTLIGHT: TrebleO
DREAM TEAM: Tawiah, Eric, Jodi & friends; HOT STEPPAZ: head, heart &
soul. Tata Guines, MIXTAPE: N’dambi, Apples & Snakes, Arthur Lipsett,
Zen Badizm, HEATWAVE, THE ESSENCE: Martyn, WE ARE..., Welcome to
Stokes Croft 54-55, DESTINATION: Buenos Aires 56-59, SHOOK TEK: boutique
synths 60-61, NOW THEN (with Welson Creep), REVIEWS 64-73

EDITOR: Jez Smadja

ART DIRECTOR: Matt MonkeyBoxer myspace.com/monkeyboxer

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Sarah Marshall, Al Burton, Andy Thomas

ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Ben Verghese, MIchael Krasser, Helene Dancer, Andres Reyes

CONTRIBUTORS: Vince Vella, Simon Creasey, Cal Jader, Mr. Beatnick, Alex Stevenson, Sanjiv Ahulwalia,
Helene Dancer, Chris Robinson, Sarah Bentley, Gabriel Middleton, Gervase de Wilde, Benji B, Snoopy, Hugo
Mendez, J’M Irie, Welson Creep, Gwen Webber, Dee Science, Adeola Johnson, Phiona Okumu, Lady B, Orin
Walters, Paul Camo, Alasdair Purves, Samera Owusu Tutu, Roger Robinson, Kyoko Ishima, Nicky Dracoulis,
Tamar Nussbacher, Matt Crossick, Benji Lehmann, Maga Bo, Mitchy Bwoy, Lewis Robinson, Johnny Pitts,
Keith Baker, Charles Waring, Will Page, Dan Susman, Adam Green, Richard ‘The Hobbit’ Bamford, Ryan
Proctor, Raggy, Garth Cartwright, Amar Patel, Max Cole, Kay Suzuki and Sunil Chauhan.

SPECIAL THANKS TO Da Boss Paul Bradshaw, Mr BI & to everyone for supporting we thus far...

SHOOK
130 Trent Gardens, London N14 4QG, UK
0044+ 208 441 2020
info@shook.fm

Printed by: UPG, Tel.: 44 (0) 1344 382 111 www.upgroup.co.uk

3
www.parismai68.net

JOE GIBBS R.I.P.


words: SNOOPY
1 9 6 9 : Surprisingly, I
Saturday afternoon. wasn’t able to spend
The market stall in Basildon much time with Joe Gibbs
(Essex) is called The Pop Inn. It himself as he was busy going about
mostly sells ex-jukebox records. I usually his business and whizzing off to Miami
have a flick through the boxes just before I – but I was well looked after by everybody. I
head for the local Mecca Locarno. Myself and my made good friends with the legendary Errol T.
junior-school friends regularly attend the afternoon (with whom Joe produced tunes as ‘The Mighty Two’),
disco there. You can buy bottles of fizzy and a sixpenny- Ruddy Thomas, my hero Junior Delgado, – and Gregory
bit mix-up. We love the 45s and dance to them all – current Isaacs I already knew from the UK, as I’d promoted his first
‘Top Of The Pops’ favourites, Tamla treats, ‘bubblegum’ and British tour for DEB Music the previous year.
soul music. Lately there have been teenage skinheads attending I hung about a lot at Joe Gibbs’ recording studio at
– who can be a bit ‘bovversome’ if you don’t steer clear – so the DJ Retirement Crescent where Errol T. asked me to do some voice-
has been dropping in some reggae records to keep them sweet. We overs and sound-effects. I also liked to go to Joe Gibbs’ record shop
love dancing to reggae – and even have a dance routine for ‘Return Of on North Parade – which was near a hang-out called Idlers Rest.
Django’ by The Upsetters. But my favourite song is ‘Long Shot Kick The Joe would drive us there after breakfast. He said I could help myself to
Bucket’ by The Pioneers. A Joe Gibbs production. I am thrilled I picked it whatever I wanted. He had a HUGE stash of old 45s out the back. I had to
up earlier at the Pop Inn. A bargain at a couple of bob. get Dennis to take me to buy some bags to carry my stash of 45s and LPs
1975: Sunday morning. The Chapel Market stall at the Angel, Islington and 12”s back to the UK. I had tons of them. Never look a gift horse in
has all of its records laid out in piles on tables. There are US the mouth? You’re damn right!
imports. And Jamaican pre-releases. I desperately need to There was a memorable trip with ‘Gado and Dennis to
buy a record I heard Tommy Vance play on his Saturday the Red Hills to buy weed. It was just a wooden hut hidden in
night Capital Radio show ‘TV On Reggae’. It’s called ‘Burn the trees but it was chock-a-block with puff – like a Tesco’s
Babylon’ by Silford Walker. A Joe Gibbs production. I am for ganja. That trip particularly sticks in my memory as
overjoyed to get it for 60p on a UK release. I celebrate when it got dark out came these fireflies - in Jamaica
with the pre-requisite bag of apple fritters. they call them peenywallys. I was terrified. It was so
1979: Thursday morning. April 5th. I am flying to Jamaica disconcerting to have these flying insects that lit up all
at the invitation of reggae producer Joe Gibbs – with a about you. Jux thought it was hilarious.
view to spending two weeks at his Beverley Hills home, I also recall going to the court in Kingston with Joe Gibbs’
ostensibly to write about Dennis Brown who is soon wife and son (Rocky). There had been an inquest over the
UK-bound for some concerts which will capitalize on the death of Joe’s young daughter, who had accidentally fallen
pop-chart success of ‘Money In My Pocket – a Joe Gibbs in the swimming pool at their home and drowned. There
production. was some paperwork to be signed or something. That was
During 1978 I’d worked for Dennis Brown’s record company quite a sad day.
DEB Music based in Battersea, and had known Dennis since I was When I eventually came back from Jamaica and resumed my writing,
18 – so writing about him would be great as we were already good friends. I did a short serial on the life and times of Dennis Brown, so hopefully Joe
Joe Gibbs met me at the airport in Jamaica...eventually. This was my first Gibbs’ hospitality was well spent. Joe Gibbs himself was a generous, kind-
taste of the Jamaican lick of ‘soon come’ timing. I’d been apprehensive hearted guy but one who didn’t suffer fools and was obviously a clued-up
about meeting Joe as he was such a big shot on the reggae scene businessman. He was more of an ‘executive’ producer on many of his
– but he made me feel completely welcome. The ride to his home tracks but he certainly had a good commercial ear. He was always
in Beverley Hills in the dark is something I’ll never forget. All the astute enough to have the best people work with him – in Errol T.,
twinkling lights of Jamaica! And the heat. Dogs barking. Distant he certainly found a reggae genius, someone who during my stay
gun-shots. taught me a lot about sounds and feeling and ridims and dub.
The next day was my 20th birthday. It was a real thrill to Sadly, Errol passed away just four years ago from a
wake up in a foreign land, having never set foot outside the stroke. He was one of the finest people I’ve ever met.
UK before. They’d let me sleep in – and it was my guy So, with Joe Gibbs now gone from us, the Mighty
Dennis Brown who woke me up and took me out for Two are no more - I am sure they will be making
a drive. The following weeks were a succession some heavyweight dubwise bizznizz in Paradise
of visits to record shops, recording studios in any case. R.I.P. Joe Gibbs – a man who
and places of interest that were one way and another has made
specifically relevant to the man such a difference to my life.
we called D. Brown. Your music will live on.
May 68: Street Post

SNOOPY’S JOE GIBBS SLAMDOWN SELEKSHAN: CULTURE – This Time (a RAVERS delite)
JUNIOR MURVIN – Cool Out Son - (cool is definitely the word) DENNIS BROWN – How Can I Leave (my favourite of all)
BOBBY MELODY – Jah Bring I Joy – (a UK No.1 reggae smash) MARCIA AITKEN – I’m Still In Love With You (TOTAL ravers party classic)
JACOB MILLER – Keep On Knockin’ (12” of BLISS) TRINITY – John Saw Them Coming (what a tune)
SNUFFY & WALLY – Dreader Mafia (BIG version) DENNIS BROWN – Love Will Find Its Way (PURE class)
PRINCE FAR I – Under Heavy Manners (still sounds incredible) RUDDY THOMAS & TRINITY – Every Day Is Just A Holiday (a 100 Club classic)

4 5
words: MICHAEL KRASSER

Pic: Dante Ruiz


Words: CAL JADER

Sweeping back onto Latin dancefloors, the Spanish-speaking people and the strong Latino musical export, but Vallenato was a music of the
folkloric music from the northern coast of scene there, anyone playing danceable Latin people. As Guzman explains, “Cumbia was bigger
Colombia has made something of a resurgence music stands a chance of developing a following.” internationally and became the tropical music
of late. Whether it’s the scratchy original The birth of Vallenato as a musical that other countries adopted, but Vallenato was
records getting plays at underground tropical form came about roughly during 1950s. Its always very locally specific and the music does
parties, or new Latin producers mashing up instrumentation tells you all about the history of not necessarily translate to an international
Cumbia and Vallenato with Reggaeton and the music, with the rhythm section consisting of audience. With Vallenato the lyrics are simple,
electronic beats, the rhythms of Colombia are the Caja drums that originated with the slaves similar to the blues and with folky themes.”
irresistible. arriving from Africa, and the Guacharaca, an Like the Pogues before them, the band have
But from downtown L.A., Very Be Careful indigenous instrument that makes a scraping refreshed a very traditional form of music with
offer a very different proposition. Instead of noise. As a way of leading the melodies the their raucous style and energy. After last year’s
Brother Stevie and Herbie were at it. a riot in underground black music, inspiring hip-hop and G-funk. In fact, try to think of an act
trying to update the songbook, they’ve gone European Accordion has replaced the Colombian successful tour it’s clear that the European
Kraftwerk spoke of a technocratic utopia with Afrika Bambaataa and Arthur Baker to create in the ’90s that didn’t use one: Ginuwine on ‘My
back to the roots, playing Colombian Vallenato Flute, while the vocal melodies are specifically audiences warm to the music quickly, despite
it. Egyptian Lover would have sworn it was ‘Planet Rock’. With its vocoderised chorus: Pony’ (with Timbaland at the controls), Dr Dre,
in its original and purest form, but somehow Colombian with the troubadour, the lead singer, the potential language barrier. “In the U.S. we’d
handed down by some “freaky” Pharaohs, and “Rock, Rock, Planet Rock”, it was a defining 2pac, Blackstreet and Teddy Riley, DJ Quik... the
managing to make it instantly accessible with adding a storytelling element to the songs. only play in major cities with Latino populations.
rappas-ternt-sangas T-Pain and Akon couldn’t moment in hip hop. This was the ‘80s, the era of list goes on. Since then, the humble Talkbox has
their visceral live performances. During the 1960s in Valledupare, the city But perhaps part of our universal appeal is that
live without it. The magnificent Vocoder and all things high-tech and futuristic: NASA launched become a staple of R&B production, spawning
“We don’t fit into the L.A. music scene where Vallenato originated, they began a festival we have an amazing Caja player (Rich) who gives
its lo-fi brethren, the Talkbox, have been the Challenger missions, youths bashed away a countless drove of robotic porno smash hit
really”, explains Arturo Guzman, bass player in that knighted the “accordion king of the year”. us a great booty shaking groove”. It’s a deeply
responsible for a range of robotic vocal effects at Pac-Man, dodging ghosties and gobbling singles. Snoop Dogg’s recent foray into the land
the band who, along with his accordion-playing It’s a tradition that still lives on to this day with addictive groove, so be careful. Very Be Careful.
from sci-fi tv series to ‘80s synth funk and up pills to repetitive electronic music, dancers of digi-funk with ‘Sensual Seduction’ brilliantly
brother Ricardo, grew up listening to his parent’s the writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez as one of
sleazy R&B slow jamz and still refuses to die. flexed like C-3PO and Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rockit’ satirizes the glitz and glamour of the ’80s,
collection of Vallenato records. “Because we play the festival’s judges. Initally seen as working VBC’S top 5 Vallenato tunes
sounded anything but from this planet. Staples with Snoop brandishing a keytar, Talkbox and
this classic form of music, we probably wouldn’t class music, Vallenato was later embraced by 1 PEDAZO DE ACORDEON - Alejandro Durán
The Vocoder, the undisputed ‘Mr Roboto’ of vocal of the electro scene Cybotron, Mantronix and ridiculous Soul Glo perm that would have had
even fit into the Miami Florida scene. There the middle class and in the 1970s became 2 LA CAJA NEGRA - Rafael Ralencia
processing, started life as a speech coder in the Man Parrish would also dabble with the world Rick James saying “Cocaine is one helluva drug.”
you’ll find other Vallenato bands, but most of the soundtrack to the daily life of Colombia’s 3 LA MUERTE DE ABEL ANTONIO - Abel Antonio
‘30s and was used during WWII for encrypting of vocoder processing, until another toy would In the ’00s pitch-correcting software like
them play a post-’70s style. And while there are population. 4 LA MISERIA HUMANA - Lisandro Meza
secret communications. However it wasn’t until come along and steal its crown, the Vocoder’s Antares Auto-Tune can now be pushed to
no Vallenato bands in L.A., with the amount of Cumbia has always been Colombia’s main 5 EL PLEITO - Abel Antonio
savvy synth nerds Wendy Carlos and Bob Moog slightly rougher, ghettoer cousin – the Talkbox. produce vocoder-like effects. Take a listen to any
tweaked the primitive vocoder that its musical The Talkbox could manipulate an instrument, Akon and T-Pain release and you’ll hear more
application became apparent. From there it was like a guitar or keyboard, with the artist singing then a liberal dash of it. Tone deaf pop stars
featured on a number of heavyweight recordings, directly into a plastic tube to produce vocoder- can also depend on these nifty little plugins to
including the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s A like effects. If Moog realised the vocoder’s do the actual work for them, elevating the worst In the little town of Funkadelicville, just a few Kissey was now prepared for battle. So when she
Clockwork Orange. musical application, then it was Roger Troutman of piss poor vocal tracks to the heights of pitch degrees south of the Arctic Circle, Kissey Asplund encountered the Lord Darkness, the destroyer of
Vocoders saw a lot of work in the sound of Zapp, inspired by Stevie, who realised the perfect perfection. Kraftwerk too have ditched packed just her pink bird earring and her Kissey- worlds, in the dusty Texas desert, all Kissey had to
effects labs of kitsch sci-fi TV programs. The tin- Talkbox’s potential for pleasuring ladies and the vocoders in favour of speech synthesis like coloured pumps and set off on her SomeWhatStrange do was use her new powers. Wearing silver-metallic
foil robots of Battlestar Gallactica famously had pocket calculators alike. ‘Computer Love’ would Stephen Hawkings. ‘Numbers’ doesn’t sound adventures. Riding in her funk-buggy, the first port leggings, silver-metallic jacket and a motorcycle helmet
their vocals processed through a ring modulator pack enough Talkbox sleaze to make a TOMY nearly as kool these days, but at least they can of call was Amsterdam where she connected with on her head, when Kissey opened her mouth and
and an EMS Vocoder 5000. Elsewhere, the omnibot cum in its bakelite panties. Outfits like tour the former USSR without setting off tactical soundscientists O Boogie, Sotu and Nalden. Like a began to sing, the music was too sweet for the ears
BBC Radiophonic Workshop transformed metal Egyptian Lover also have to be credited for taking nukes and power plants. So does the future of 21st century Jason and his Argonauts, Kissey was of Lord Darkness who transubstantiated into a beetle
dustbins into terrifying Daleks in Doctor Who. the asexual vocoders of Kraftwerk to the seedy the ‘robot voice’ look bleak like the opening scene collecting the most swarthy and hench beatmakers for and scuttled away.
But German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk were realm of synthetic porno-land on top a bed of of a Terminator film? Hardly. Whether artists her funky space mission – to slay Lord Darkness and Some of Kissey’s sonic experiments have already
the first to pick up the vocoder baton in pop pounding 808’s. The added processed heavy use the OG analog gear of the past or updated repopulate the galaxy with soul flowers. landed their way onto vinyl, and now with the arrival
music and run with it, utilizing it to great effect on panting and xxx-rated antics only made it the digital formats , the legacy of robotic vocal In France she stayed with the Papa Jazz of her Plethora long-player, like a meeting between Sy
their techo-utopian: ‘The Robots’, ‘The Numbers’ more obvious: “Egyptian lover baabaayy.” processing can still deliver shocks to the core of swordsmen and slung down ‘I Would Do’ and Smith’s Syberspace Social and the lost beat tapes of
and ‘Trans Europe Express’. These slick ’80s synth funk productions Planet Rock. Rock, rock on. ‘Entrapped’ onto tape; in the UK it was the turn A Touch of Jazz, the first chapter in the Kissey saga is
These Teutonic futurists would in turn cause would influence the development of West Coast of the Kid Kanevil and Andreya Triana who taught drawing to a close. The battle may be won for now, but
Kissey a lesson in time manipulation; in California the road ahead is long and peppered with obstacles.
SUMMER BOUNCE she chilled with the hooded Blackmonk in Pasadena,
and impressed people like Take and Ras G when she
Where will she be called next? Will Lord Darkness be
so easily defeated next time around? And will she be
Public Enemy performs It Takes A Nation of Millions Brixton (May 23), Manchester (May 26), Glasgow (May 27) Movement : Detroit’s Electronic grabbed the mic and started casting powerful spells able to harness the powers of the pink bird earring?
Music Festival, 24-26 May, Newcleus, Egyptian Lover, Carl Craig, PBW, The Cool Kids, Pete Rock Venn Festival, Bristol, 5 – 8 June, Matmos, Afrikan over a SIDplayer beat. Find out in the next episode of the Somewhat Strange
Boy, Fly Lo, Heliocentrics, Murcof, JVC Jazz Festival, New York, 15 – 28 June, A Tribute to Alice Coltrane, Jill Scott, Cecil Taylor, Sergio Mendes, the “It’s addictive to sing on a beat and feel that you Life of Kissey Asplund.
Mos Def Big Band (with Gil Scott-Heron) MCs for Life Conference, Birmingham, UK, 28-29 June, with Black Thought, Lord Finesse, Ursula Rucker, nail it. It makes your chest all warm and your body
Tumi, Rototom Sunsplash, Udine, Italy, 3-12 July, Ken Boothe, Queen Ifrica, Cocoa T, Jah Cure, Collie Buddz and Beres Hammond; Worldwide Festival, vibrate as if your body’s extended and melting into somewhatstrangelife.blogspot.com
Sète, France, 3-5 July, Cinematic Orchestra, Henrik Schwarz, Pilooski, Benga, Little Dragon, Simbad & Gillesy P. Lollapalooza, Chicago, US, 1-3 August, floors and oxygen. It’s sick I tell you… it’s like standing
Radiohead, Battles, Sharon Jones, Kid Sister, Cat Power Flow Festival, Helsinki, 5- 17 August, Martha Reeves, MGMT, Five Corners 5tet, Ame, CSS on a hill and screaming ...imagine all the energy but PLETHORA LP (R2 Records)
Kemp Festival, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic 22-24 August, The Roots, Pharoahe Monch, eMC, Mr. Lif & Akrobatik Electric Elephant, Croatia, 22-24 none of the exhaustion,” says Kissey. MOVE ME/99Bottles 7” (Recordbreakin’)
August, Radioslave, Zed Bias, Adem, Quiet Village Tokyo Crossover Festival 22 September, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Jazzy Sport & surprises. Having completed her intensive training, BLACKMONK 7” (Poo-Bah records)
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TREBLE
WORD POWER MAKERS
DOM SERVINI heads to Bedfordshire, once the home of underground BEN MI DUCK
jazz band leader Glen Miller and anti-establishment Christian author
John Bunyan, to catch up with two of its less racy celebrity residents Most legendary club
night i’ve attended was....
– record label bosses Dave ‘Shifty’ Farlam and Dom ‘Domu’ Stanton.
Union 1 on a Friday in
Derby – 1998. Booze,
girls and a few hundred
SHK: Bedfordshire. Reasons to visit? Shift: Speaking for Leighton Buzzard, we have some great fake IDs all under one
charity shops, the countryside is pretty impressive, and we probably have the tastiest kebab in the roof!
country. Dom: It’s cheaper than London! We also recently acquired a Primark so I can buy all the Working with Dom and
“I feel that I did not so much write this book as same cheap designer jumpers as anyone in a big city – although I have to go to Milton Keynes to Shift is.... a genuine pleasure. Top blokes
that this book wrote me.” (Chinua Achebe) shop at H&M. If I wasn’t making music, I’d be... rich. I’d go
straight back in the Forces I reckon. The money’s
It’s unusual for a book to be honoured with a SHK: Where did the TrebleO name come from? Shift: The idea came whilst waiting for a bag of pretty good n you get to ‘go on tour’ loads
tribute 50 years after its publication, but Things chips from my local takeaway. SHK: I’m starting to worry about your diet Dave! Shift: Like when Favourite ever t-shirt.. I used to live in a
Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe’s first novel, is no Prince changed his name to that symbol. It was as much to do with the three circles as it was to Jamiroquai one (when they were good). It was dark
ordinary novel. Retelling the colonial experience do with the name. blue with light blue writing on. Nigella Lawson wears
through Ibo eyes, the parable of Okonkwo broke a nice one too on her cookery programmes.
new ground in African literature and continues to SHK: The Ben Mi Duck single seemed to come out of nowhere? From which musical pond did you One thing that astounds me... is how people can
inspire; if you don’t like someone’s story, why not fish out this talent? Shift: I read about it on the 4hero message board and found Ben swimming even listen to chart stuff, when there’s so much
tell your own? about on MySpace. I sent him a message about the song and he told me that he was blown away quality jazz about.
Achebe was in his late twenties when he by our support as no one had approached him about it. There are all these people out there
wrote Things Fall Apart, taking its title from a making amazing music but there’s a real apathy to putting anything out from unestablished AD BOURKE
Yeats poem, ‘The Second Coming’ (“Turning and artists.
turning in the widening gyre, The falcon cannot Most legendary club
hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre nite I’ve attended
SHK: What’s coming up for TrebleO this year? Shift: We have releases from The Sub Ensemble
cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the was… 24carat where I
and Halflife who are two wicked live jazz bands from Birmingham, hip hop beat-tapes from JJ
world”). Now approaching 80, humbled by the played with Daniele Baldelli
Suave, AD Bourke and Varan, plus a straight up mad take on hip hop from Domu and myself under
outpouring of admiration, Achebe spoke this Working with Dom &
the name Spartial Jefferson. Then there’s our compilation of new bits called Here Comes Treble.
February to a packed auditorium at Town Hall Shift is… fast, simple.
in midtown Manhattan of his gratitude at the Make a track, send it over
SHK: As an independent label in a rapidly changing market place, how do you feel the
book’s impact, and reminisced how close he and see if they like
technological revolution has affected your imprint? Dom: There’s the speed and ease and relative
came to losing the manuscript after sending it ...that’s it. I haven’t met them yet but they seem
cost free element to a digital release, using message boards to hype up a release, and the digital
the only handwritten copy to a typist in the UK. good guys.
and internet radio stations. It has made us think twice this year about physical output. Shift:
Acknowledging its timelessness, Colum McCann If I wasn’t making music I’d be… a real parrot
Another big change now is that kids don’t have to save for months or years to get themselves
explained its endurance, “The best books are the recreating all the possible sounds from Louis and
a little studio together as they can get hold of music software and do it all on their computer in
ones which speak with voices which we’ve been Bebe Barron’s Forbidden Planet film score.
their bedroom. Quite often it’s these people, making the music at home without any plans to get
hearing our whole lives.” (Chris Robinson) Favourite ever t-shirt… Totti’s AS Roma shirt
it released, who are making the most exciting stuff. The accessibility that people have now to new
One thing that astounds me… Parrots and MPCs
and old music is incredible.
can do crazy things together.

SHK: Give us your top musical and comedic influences. Shift: Comedy-wise, Simon Pegg and Nick JJ SUAVE
Frost and The Mighty Boosh – anyone who can make a joke out of a reference to an obscure jazz-
SHORTLIST fusion record is worthy of respect. And musically, I’m gonna say DJ’s such as LTJ Bukem, James
Lavelle and Coldcut for creating their own movement. Dom: I’m slightly obsessed with all surreal
Most legendary club nite
I’ve attended was… I’ve
ALEX WHEATLE – Dirty South (Serpent’s Tail) or satirical comedy from the ‘50s onwards – The Goons, Monty Python, Beyond The Fringe, The only been 18 for a matter
Similar to Menelik Shabazz’s film ‘Burning An Illusion’, this story of innocence lost follows weed-shot- Goodies, The Young Ones, The Fast Show, Spaced or The Day Today. To me the people behind of months. I’m aware that
ta Dennis Huggins as he puts everything on the line for the memory of his best friend. Wheatle’s these shows are genuine geniuses. Music – 4hero, massively. Portishead, because I spent the Electric Chair (RIP) was
prose is sometimes messy, but the tempo stays high till the very last. whole of 1994 listening to Dummy. Lastly, but rather obviously, Stevie Wonder. a bit of a local legend but
I’m not really qualified to
ARNALDO CRUZ MALAVE - Gay Latin Testimonio (newdirections) www.trebleo.co.uk get carried away about it.
The story of Keith Haring’s lover, Juanito Xtravaganza, the handsome street kid who enters a life of Working with Dom & Shift is… A pretty bad career
first-class flights to Japan and nights at the Mondrian with Grace Jones and Princess Caroline. But move.
his world dissolves when Haring contracts HIV and he’s forced to contend with his own illness. If I wasn’t making music, I’d be… Addicted to
something equally draining on my finances. like Shift
ED PAVLIC – Winners Have Yet To Be Announced (Georgia University Press) and his ciggies.
Subtitled ‘A Song For Donny Hathaway’, this collection of prose poems charts the dissolution of Mr Favourite ever t-shirt… 2003/2004 Deportivo
Hathaway, plagued by mental illness and committing suicide aged 33. A profound meditation on the Wanka (Peru) away shirt. It says “WANKA” across
fate of the artist, misunderstood by the public, the media and the industry, like D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill the middle in huge lettering.
and many more besides. One thing that astounds me… Blimps.

8
9
SOUL ATHLETIC
Photography MATT CROSSICK

Super striker Bev Tawiah (main) and the tactical


mastermind Eric Lau (bottom row) have been
getting props from all corners, but in the shadows

big thanks to Acyde at Nike and Lisa at Puma for the kits.
lies Jodi Milliner (middle row, right) who produced
Tawiah’s EP In Jodi’s Bedroom and supplied
guitar licks for Eric Lau’s classy debut album, New
Territories. Then there’s Rahel (top right), who
just the previous evening performed an unplugged
set of new material. Also coming through the
ranks is Tawiah’s lil sis, Annabel (centre), and
partner in crime, Meshach Brown (top left), who
sounds like a cockney Eric Roberson. And let’s
not forget Toisin who’s penned ‘Don’t Let Them’
(it’s a classic); Sarina Leah (middle left) who steps
out with ‘Time Will Tell’; and the magnificent
Layla Rutherford (top row, middle] bringing all the
pieces together. On their current form, the team
are looking unbeatable. Are there any challengers
to the title?
Eric Lau’s New Territories (Ubiquity) and
Tawiah’s In Jodi’s Bedroom (Bush Girl) out now.

10 11
HEAD HEART & SOUL

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www.stussystore.co.uk www.soph.net/OSAKA/ www.sixpack.fr www.flatspot.com

Skoolin Da Jazz New York Yankees Isosceles Green In Living The True Gods DVD
www.addict.co.uk www.neweracap.co.uk www.stonesthrow.com/102/
Dj Qbert’s Scratchlopedia Breaktannica Tableturns Watch
Street Thing Method by Michael Leon
www.thudrumble.com www.fludwatches.com
www.2kbygingham.com

Move on up: The Music and Message


Clarks Wallabee x Futura Old Skool Board of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions Jazz Shiki Helvetica DVD Onitsuka Tiger - Fabre 74.
www.clarksorignals.com www.crailtap.com www.play.com www.twelvebar.com www.helveticafilm.com www.onitsukatiger.co.uk
12 13
TATA GUINES, ORIGINAL RUMBERO

Over the past three years, VINCE VELLA paid regular visits to Tata in his a lot with Cachao and his band in 1957 when you recorded the first
TWENTY FIFTH BIRTHDAY
house in the quiet area of Vedado, Havana. “We always used to have Descarga ever in Cuba – Cachao y su ritmo caliente. words: SAMERA OWUSU TUTU
a bit of rum and a long chat before my lessons. Tata was such a sharp Tata: That album was a real musical statement. I believe you always have
thinker, an incredible teacher, and we always had a good laugh. He was to give a message through your music, otherwise there’s no point. Me,
always so passionate in showing his technique and percussion tricks to his Cachao, N. Rivera , Rolito met up one day and in five hours from 4am
students. ‘Respect the tradition first, la marcha!’ he always used to say. It’s until 9am recorded the whole thing without writing a single music note
something most percussionists seem to overlook these days. It was very on paper. We were all virtuosos and it happened so naturally. Descarga Against the backdrop of the Falklands War and unemployment levels and Jonzi D also became an integral part of the organization.
sad to hear news of his passing earlier this year.” for me is pure improvisation, thoughts evolve in your mind, it’s a musical reaching their highest point since the 1930s, 1982 managed to be an With the help of the creatives they champion, the Apples & Snakes
Before the days of Cuban music, congas and bata drums were only journey where every musician in order to be on board must be able to important year for art in Britain. We’re not just talking about Ben Kingsley collective have been a part of pioneering directions in performance poetry.
used for religious ceremonies. Tata was a santero, whose saint was express all he knows at the right time. It’s a musical competition where all winning an Oscar for his great turn at Gandhi, nor are we raising glass to Take Roger Robinson’s Shadow Boxer for example. Until this project in
Chango and whose name in his religion was Calunga Site Rayo. He says your weakness and strengths show up. the opening of the Barbican Centre. On the tide of London’s ever undulating 2000, the one-man show was a pretty much unheard of. The bottom line
that the street was his first teacher. He’d listen to stuff on the radio and undercurrent, this was the year that a movement was founded, giving a is A&S has proved a true ambassador for London’s poetry scene, always
try to emulate it. No wonder he had such a unique style. After Chano Pozo, VV: After your move to NYC, you played in venues like the Metropolitan, voice to the disenfranchised and promoting the urban avant-garde. This open to new ideas, forever pushing boundaries.
Tata was one of the first congueros to really understand the concept of Palladium, Birdland with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Frank was the year that Apples & Snakes was born. But A&S is more than just about the nights. The collective have given
fusion. According to Anga Diaz, “Tata Guines invented a brilliantly orthodox Sinatra… What impact did your new conga techniques have on the Apples & Snakes is Britain’s premiere performance poetry various groups in different communities a voice through poetry and hence
style – one of the pioneers of tumbadora (conga) and percussions in American jazz world. organisation. Through its events and workshops, the organisation has a presence where there was traditionally none. They’ve spearheaded social
general.” Tata: People used to call me El Fifty. I started to modernize the way of provided a platform for emerging artists, whether it be the girl next initiatives, including their youth offenders scheme, Respect, and they host
playing drums, people were pretty amazed by how I was playing and door with a story to tell and looking for an outlet, or a group of more workshops to help newcomers develop their own voices. Apples & Snakes
VV: Let’s talk about your roots. everyone started copying my style, the range of sounds, the way I used my established performers looking for a forum to test out new work. In fact, continues to make moves at its new home of the Albany, where it has a full
Tata: Mine was a really traditional Barrio where people always had an fingernails as well as my hands. America was musically a great experience it’s the contributions from the most unlikely candidates that have been calendar of events lined up for the summer.
excuse to have a party – fiesta, rumba… We always had so much fun. In the but at that time racism was still a big problem and in many ways I felt the earmark of Apples & Snakes’ success and the key to London’s poetry To celebrate their 25th birthday, the collective have made moves yet
‘40s and ‘50s, dancers really knew how to follow the rhythms of the quinto. uncomfortable about it all, so in 1959 after the Cuban revolution I came renaissance. again by producing their first CD. This almanac of poetry features legends
At the time, I remember there was this dancer called Champa. He was back home. Things were relatively quiet for a few years, I was teaching Over the past 25 years, Apples & Snakes has seen collaborations like Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, modern griot Malika Booker and spiritual verbalist
the best rumba dancer I ever saw. He’d do these really dangerous moves a lot at that time and among my students were Anga Diaz, Nino Alfonso, with some serious literary heavyweights. At the Adam’s Arms, where the El Crisis, alongside the freshest talent London has to offer – Inua Ellams
with a knife between his teeth. He was a real dangerous dude. At that time Giovanni Hidalgo, Changuito. Then I got involved in the recordings of the organisation held residency for 10 years from ‘82, it showcased the likes of and Yemisi Blake. For that touch of edge, Roger Robinson and Charlie Dark
there was so much poverty, musicians used to make music with anything Latin masterpiece Estrellas de Areito which was the Cuban answer to the Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard and Linton Kwesi Johnson. also hit us with a collabo. In their 25th year, it’s time to pay attention to
in the streets…pots, wooden spoons. I used to make my own instruments Fania All Stars in the USA. After that I recorded stuff with other musicians Moving to the Battersea Arts Centre in 1994, A&S gave the stage a Apples and Snakes and the creatives they represent. If you can’t catch a
– a bongo drum out of a milk carton and a salami tin. The first commercial including Anga Diaz, Orlando Valle and Maracas, pianist Hernan Lopez new generation of London talents, like the prolific author Courttia Newland, show, make sure cop the CD.
congas produced by LP (Latin Percussion) were actually copies of the Nussa of Habana Report and my last adventure was Lagrimas Negra (with actress Meera Syal and the ever talented Lemn Sissay. Even internationals
drums that I originally designed. flamenco star Diego Cigala, piano legend Bebo Valdes and Changuito on wanted a piece, and the likes of Saul Williams have enjoyed airtime on the www.applesandsnakes.org
timbales). A&S stage. Poetry was recognised in all forms, and hip hop artists like Ty
VV: There were lots of nightclubs in Havana in the 1950s. Cuban and
American jazz musicians used to play together and you were jamming Tata died at the age of 77 from a kidney infection. Rest in peace.

Arthur Lipsett was an enigma in 1961 when his


first film was released and remains so today. While
My favorite moments that I committed to tape were shaped around a local employed at the National Film Board of Canada,
Dallas DJ by the name of Ushy (R.I.P). Ushy hosted a radio show on the the Canadian filmmaker produced experimental
weekends and he’d play countless hours of funk-driven tunes with the day’s short films, directing both the cinematography and
the sound. His films provided a social commentary
hip-hop thrown in. I’d wait for what seemed like hours for him to play two
through an unsettling editing technique of splicing
songs in particular. My tape deck would be ready and set to record. The discarded sequences and soundbites with his own
second I felt the songs creep into his masterful funk mix, my hands couldn’t footage. Influencing the likes of Stanley Kubrick and
push the buttons down fast enough. The songs were LTD’s Cuttin’ It Up and George Lucas, his legendary montage style also has
echoes in latter day socio-political documentary-
Stick It In by Junie Morrison (formerly of the Ohio Players). After I made maker, Adam Curtis and cut-and-paste musician,
my cassette, mind you with all the pops in between (with chopped endings Cassetteboy. Remastered and released on vinyl by
because it was a mixed music show and none of the songs played all the way Global A Records, Soundtracks is a reproduction of
the full audio recordings of some of his key films. In
through), I spent countless hours popping, flailing, and jumping around until his seminal work 21-87, for example, found sounds,
my neck was sore and I was ringing with sweat! Oh how good music can be... music excerpts, live recordings and news stories are
ecstasy in its purest form. inter-cut with imagery of contradictory scenes. More

N’DAMBI
than a retrospective, however, the album retains the
energy and shifting narratives that weave through
See N’dambi live this summer & watch out for a forthcoming album on Stax. Lipsett‘s work. (Gwen Webber)
www.arthurlipsett.com
14 15
MARTYN’S INSPIRATIONS
WORDS: Alex Stevenson

“Martyn is dealing with dubstep’s groove deficiency by making some of the slinkiest, lushest
productions around.” So says Kode9, Hyperdub overseer and dubstep visionary who has championed
this Dutch producer’s recent “downtempo” output on Marcus Intalex’s Revolve:r label and his own
SPECIAL DELIVERY FROM THE 3024 imprint.
CARIBBEAN AND BEYOND Initially garnering props in the DnB scene, Martyn Deykers seems keen to demonstrate both his
versatility and indeed his ample production steez, inadvertently giving the dubstep fraternity a well-
The JAY-Z remix of MAVADO’s massive ‘On The Rock’ on the MISSION RIDDIM looks aimed boot up the arse with a series of immaculately crafted, widescreen, cyclical grooves all of which
set to be this year’s big dancehall crossover tune. Since being premiered on bump, thump and snap in all the right places, but also glow with a warmth reminiscent of vintage Carl
New York’s Hot 97 radio station in March it’s been getting rinsed everywhere Craig jams.
and ROC-A-FELLA is apparently planning to license it and shoot a video. Content to hover on the fringes of the burgeoning dubstep movement, Martyn’s adventures in

photo: M. Freeling
bruk science continue with much anticipated remixes for Black Pocket, TRG, Ican (of Los Hermanos/
The controversial website AUDIOMAXXX, which sold dancehall and reggae CDs UR fame) and Shut Up & Dance. By way of introduction, here’s a little mixtape compiled by Martyn,
and DVDs, was raided and closed down recently by the Canadian Recording highlighting the roots of his inspirations and influences.
Industry Association (CRIA). Many people in the reggae industry seem to be
happy about this development, given Audiomaxxx’s reputation for not always www.myspace.com/martyndnb www.3024world.blogspot.com
being entirely open and honest in their dealings. However, in the absence of a
IG CULTURE傑作!グレイトブラックミュージックアルバム! comprehensive, legal download service for new dancehall music and the fact
that many new riddims never see a vinyl or official CD release, Audiomaxxx was
90年代初頭から活躍するプロデューサーにして,
西ロンのビートカル for many fans often the only way to buy latest the tunes.
チャー,
ブロークンビーツのイノヴェーターIGCULTUREによるコンセ
Somewhat bizarrely, dancehall star MACKA DIAMOND recently took to the pulpit 1. Carl Craig: ‘At Les’ [Planet E] 5. Cesaria Evora: ‘Angola’ (Get Down Dub by
プチュアルなニューアルバム。
ブラックネスをキーワードに彼の才能の I could’ve named many C2 tracks but this one Pepe Bradock) [Lusafrica]
at a Christian conference called Angel by Day, Monster by Night, to give a
ルーツを紐解いていくかの様にヒップホップ,
アフロ,
ソウル,
ファンク, talk on bedroom behaviour. The event, at Jamaica’s City of Praise church, was is just a classic in all respects: great melodies, Pepe Bradock is another one of those producers
organised by the pastor at the request of his congregation, who according to great beats, wonderful developing arrangement. moving on the outskirts of different genres, doing
ブロークン・ビーツ,
ジャズが入り混じり,
まるでDJミックスの如くIGワ A perfect track for any environment, be it a small what he does best: making great Pepe music!
Macka Diamond’s publicist, “are losing their husbands because they are too
ールドが展開されてます。
アルバムは3部構成になっていて,
いきなり timid in the bedroom”! Macka Diamond has also just recorded a track with
1 5 intimate club or a huge arena. A key tune from Beautiful remix for continuous repeat playing
my early clubbing days in small, dark clubs in on Sunday afternoons. Always a bit quirky, very
濃厚な第1セクションではシカゴの前衛ジャズ集団AACMのメンバー STEPHEN MARLEY, which is bound to be big.
Eindhoven, Holland. soulful and rugged and noisy too – just the way
が参加,DOUG CARN
「Revelation」
のカヴァー、
第三幕では,Bilal I like it.
In other Marley family news, recent reports indicate that LAURYN HILL, mother
Salaamが驚きのファルセットで歌い上げたEDDIE KENDRICKS
「 to several Marley grandchildren through her marriage to Rohan, will play RITA 2. Ricardo Villalobos: ‘Que Belle Epoque 2006’
MARLEY in a forthcoming film based on Rita’s 2004 autobiography No Woman [Frisbee Tracks] 6. The Other People Place: ‘Eye Contact’
Girl You Need A Change Of Mind」
など,
彼の音楽愛を感じさせ I discovered the German techno/minimal [Warp]
No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley.
る名カヴァーも素晴らしいです!カルチャー,
ヒストリーと共に連続し movement quite late, but when I did I was blown Another one for the continuous repeat days,
away by some of the Villalobos tracks. I love his produced by one half of Drexciya. This track has
ていくブラックミュージックの今と,彼を取り巻く環境の新しい動きを Look out for the first release on DJ /RUPTURE and MATT SHADETEK’s new DUTTY
ARTZ label coming soon on 12” vinyl. It features the dubstep influenced work of very intuitive arrangements and when I heard such an uneasy vibe, yet I can’t stop listening to
ひしひしと感じさせるグレイトブラックミュージックアルバム!
(アナロ 6 him play I completely understood. In ‘Que Belle it. Very easy to lose yourself in it and completely
CAUTO from Barcelona, whose half-stepping Original Nuttah remix is certain 2
グのリリースは少し先の予定です。)(中村) to shake numerous speaker boxes in the next few months, and NYC’s Matt Epoque’ he brings this kinda French chanson forget in what century you are. I discovered this
Shadetek, who drops a couple of grimey dancehall numbers. One is a remix with theme to the table which feels a bit out of place only recently but it deserves its spot in this mix.
vox from Heatwave favourite TANYA STEPHENS, a track guaranteed to do heavy at first, but it proves that you can make any
damage on the dancefloor type of sound work on a 4x4 beat if you’re good 7. Model 500: ‘Starlight’ [Metroplex]
enough! Very inspiring music. Classic track by (for me) Detroit’s most forward-
ESTELLE has conquered the pop charts with American Boy’s disco flavour, but thinking producer – Juan Atkins. Brilliant tracks
SY SMITH‘s new album’s called Conflict (PSYKO). SAMIYAM’s the Rap there are some dancehall gems buried on her long player ‘Shine’. The MARK 3. Burial: ‘Archangel’ [Hyperdub] have very few elements but are executed
Beats Vol. 1 is half-man half-amazing. Detroit’s INVINCIBLE hits us RONSON produced ‘Magnificent’ bumps nicely and features a killer verse from My favourite Burial track. I loved his first album perfectly and this one is a great example. It still
with Sledge Hammer (BIG.). HOUSE SHOES comes with Lounging 2: Canadian KARDINAL OFFISHALL. But the real reggae vibes on the album come but the second one topped it for me. Much has gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. I do
The King James Version. THE HERBALISER move from NINJA to !K7, from the one drop number ‘Come Over’, voiced in Miami with SUPER DUPS of been said about Burial but this is a track that want to mention ‘Wanna Be There’ by Model
3 became a song rising far above the genre it 500 as my all-time favourite highway track
while Ninja hit us with a Daedalus album (soon come), 2562 is on Black Chiney, who have also put it out on 7” on their own label. It’s got a similar 7
some Dutch heavy bass artcore. GASLAMP KILLER’s EP on Shepard feel to their recent ‘Doctor Bird’ riddim and seems sure to be a dancehall hit. spawned from. though!
Fairey’s label: sitar skankin. Replife sounding good. On the Japanese
electronic tip, check AOKI TAKAMASA. Dusty Groove reissue some RIDDIM UP 4. Roy Davis Jr.: ‘Gabrielle’ [Large] 8. Kenny Larkin: ‘Catatonic’ (Stacey Pullen Mix)
classic material including DAVID AXELROD and JORGE BEN. Heavy Bit of an odd one out in this list, but being a DJ [R&S]
rotation: the AFEFE IKU album on Yoruba. Can’t wait for albums from this really influenced me as it’s such a soulful A great piece of futuristic Detroit funk, 14 years
RIKO DAN Mind How You A Talk (The Heatwave 7”)
LALAH HATHAWAY and AL GREEN. On Far Out THE IPANEMAS drop a tune yet with a huge bassline and proper beats. old (yep, 14). If it came out next month I’d still
BLAK TWANG & BLACKOUT JA Long Time (Mr Benn 12”)
heavy set from Wilson and da Boyz. THE INVISIBLE brings together One of the instrumental tunes for the 2-step be all over it. For me this really captures the
MAVADO & JAY-Z On The Rock (VP Records)
Dave Okumu, Leo Taylor & Tom Herbert (www.myspace.com/thein- movement back in the day. Always a special essence of Detroit techno, that soundtrack to
ASSASSIN Pum Pum Surveillance (Daseca)
visiblethree). Cop the DARU mixtapes (big respek 2 Marc Mac), David moment when I’m able to slip this into a DJ set. driving on the highway when you see the first big
Rodigan celebrates 30 years of radio with Real Authentic Reggae ZOMBY Spliff Dub [Rustie Remix] (Hyperdub)
STEPHEN AND DAMIAN MARLEY The Mission (Baby G) skyscrapers and bright lights of a metropolis in
for BBE & ESKA’s LP is on its way via Matthew Herbert’s ACCIDENTAL. 4 8
the distance slowly emerging from the darkness.
16 17
For more good vibes from The Heatwave log on to www.theheatwave.co.uk/blog
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18
19
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words: AL BURTON Illustrations EMEK

BEAT
FREAQ
BADU
Her 1997 debut Baduizm, not only breathed new life into a
stale and fading genre, but it marked the arrival of a musical
maverick, holstering poetic tales of reality and romance in
one chamber and the mystical imagery of metaphysics in the
other. She frowned on the industry-imposed standards of
beauty, choosing dreadlocked extensions and colorful head
wraps over a more popular weave. She spoke of chakras
and divinity and she rarely made an appearance without first
baptizing the venue with candles and incense. Erykah Badu
was not to be overlooked, and more importantly she was not
to be forgotten.
With the release of New Amerykah Part I (4th World
War), her fourth studio album, Badu does what she does
best—she goes against the grain. Rather than re-hashing
a timeless and already proven formula, she enlisted the
services of an elite group of underground producers and set
her sights on new and uncharted territory. The result is a
collection of urban classics that blurs musical boundaries.
By choosing to highlight the producer rather than herself,
Badu demonstrates complexity by subtraction. And keeping
with the spirit of the album, we chose to do the same.

20 21
James Poyser When browsing the list of credited producers on New Amerykah, James
Poyser’s name appears only once—alongside co-producer, and fellow
Soulquarian, Amir ‘?Luv’ Thompson. As a musician, he also appears on ‘Me’,
Sa-Ra Their sound could best be described as mysterious, sonically pairing elements more likely
to create dissonance than music, with peculiarly placed chords and off-time beats all key
components of their sound. And if you found their music challenging, chances are you wouldn’t fare

Telephone ‘That Hump’, and ‘Master Teacher’—taking the helm midway through the track,
giving the song a vintage Badu spin. Still, on the surface, his contribution seems
minimal. But if you’re even the slightest bit familiar with the celebrated career
of Erykah Badu, then you will also know that perhaps no single producer is more
responsible for her success than James Poyser.
Master Teacher
much better with their conversation. Even their name, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, required further
explanation.
Four years after they burst onto the scene, with a major label deal and a full-length behind them,
though Sa-Ra’s visibility has increased significantly, their music remains a mystery to many. But with
the release of Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah Pt.1, they fully expect that to change. Of the album’s
Prior to New Amerykah, James Poyser has been heavily involved, both as
10 tracks, half were produced by Sa-Ra, and they are listed as writers on at least one other. Further
a producer and a musician, in every Badu release dating back to her 1997
qualifying their role on the project, Shafiq Husayn, one third of the group, is credited as one of the
debut Baduizm. Not only did he help shape the sound so commonly associated
albums Associate Producers. It’s fair to say that New Amerykah is as much an inauguration for Sa-
with Badu, but he produced the album’s lead single ‘On & On’, which practically
Ra as it is a re-emergence for Erykah Badu.
catapulted Badu to stardom. He also picked up a Grammy in 2003 for co-writing
To some it may seem odd that a recording artist of Badu’s stature would bank so much on a group
the Erykah and Common duet ‘Love Of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)’, Yet, in the
of producers who, until now, are most known for their work on the underground. To those more
midst of a beat-driven, minimalist New Amerykah, Poyser’s reduced role is,
familiar with the group, however, the collaboration is long overdue. Beyond the music, both share
at least, understandable. “On this album she wanted a dirtier, more organic
an apparent affinity for kemetic principles and alternative lifestyles. “We really all like each other,”
underground hip hop sound,” he explains. “So she dealt with cats that brought
explains Om’mas Keith, before elaborating in the usual Sa-Ra manner, “the metaphysics and the
that sound to the table.”
energies that are surrounding the earth right now—what we’re creating right now and what she’s
His lone contribution, ‘Telephone’, an important one at that, adds
creating right now—that’s the reason we work so well together. It’s so rare in the industry for you to
a certain calmness to an otherwise aggressive album. In conversation,
work with people you really like. She even sleeps in the same bedroom with our kids when she comes
Poyser’s demeanour seems slightly at odds with that of the other producers
to our house.”
on New Amerykah. Where others share, or in some cases admire, Badu’s
Although rumored to have been recorded largely on just two tracks, a fair amount of the initial
unique recording process, Poyser’s disposition resembles a sort of earned
recording for New Amerykah took place at Sa-Ra’s Cosmic Dust Studio. As the name might suggest,
appreciation. “Working with Erykah is a process,” laughs Poyser. “Erykah’s
they employ a similarly esoteric approach to recording to that of Badu, working with few restrictions
always going to be an individual and she’s going to work the way she’s going
and adhering to no specific schedule. “It’s like opening gifts on Christmas morning,” describes Shafiq
to work. There’s a certain type of artists that gets really, really bad demo-itus.
Husayn. “Your cousins are there because they spent the night and they brought their gifts over too.
Meaning that whatever it is that they hear, they’re stuck on it. Erykah is that
Everybody opens up their presents only in this case everybody got musical instruments. After you eat
type of artist. She knows what she wants to hear. She wears the producer hat
and talk for 12 hours about theories, holistic health, bitches and hoes, then you get in the lab with this
along with the producer. I personally prefer it that way because I like to work
understanding and universal agreement amongst everybody that we’re all on the same page. Then
with the artist to develop their sound, but a lot of producers like to develop their
we can get to some music. It’s those initial stages that lead up to the great music.”
own sound. If you’re not used to working like that it can definitely jar you.”
A self-professed control freak, Badu prefers to be involved in all aspects of her music. Though
One change that Poyser did notice in her process was how Badu had
she wasn’t always involved in the initial programming, her presence was felt throughout the entire
become more self-reliant in the studio “She used a laptop and she did a lot of
process. “Sometimes she’d come through and pick a skeletal and other times the beats would get
the demos for the vocals right into Garage Band which wasn’t done before.”
made right then and there,” recalls Keith. “It’s like money,” adds Husayn. “It’s just a physical piece
Appearing just before ‘Honey’, ‘Telephone’ is in many ways a perfect ending to
of paper that doesn’t have any intrinsic value until people collectively participate in using it. That’s
the album. For the waning fan who may have been caught off guard (assuming
why they call it currency, because they put the energy behind it. Badu is the vehicle that produces the
that such a thing is even possible for a Badu fan) by the edgier musical direction
energy so she’s always in the fabric or inner workings when we’re getting stuff done.”
taken on most of the album, ‘Telephone’ delivers the soft melodies and acoustic
While most of the Sa-Ra produced tracks on New Amerykah were created through a more “organic”
feel synonymous with her distinctive live sound. But the most compelling
approach, others were the result of an unofficial coalition of artists affiliated with the group. “Sa-
argument for choosing this track to close the album can be found in the song
Ra has always been a harbor of creativity so to speak,” explains Keith. “A lot of the talent in LA
itself.
has flowed through us. We had Georgia at the house one day and it just so happened that Badu
“We were in the studio right after Dilla’s funeral and we were working
came through. Georgia was sitting at the Rhodes and it was one of those crazy Sa-Ra nights where
on stuff for the Edith Funker album,” he recalls. “The focus there was more
everyone was just enjoying the universe and the instruments and Erykah heard Georgia’s song
emotional than sonic. It was just feeling Dilla. It was something that wasn’t
and was loving it. Eventually Badu left town and we kept building on the song with Georgia. It was
thought out, it just naturally took place. We were sitting there and we just
originally supposed to be on our upcoming Black Fuzz album. Badu kept asking about Georgia and
started jamming and the song just happened instantly.”
then we were like we got this song ‘Master Teacher’. There are joints that Badu hears and she’s
Just as Dilla’s passing inspired the music for ‘Telephone’, his words served
like ‘I like that song’ and there are joints that she hears and she’s like ‘I love this song.’ She loved that
as the inspiration for the song’s lyrics as well. The song was based on a story
song then she was like ‘I want that song.’”
told to Erykah on the day of Dilla’s passing. “Dilla’s mom told Erykah about one
Perhaps the strongest indicator of Badu’s confidence in Sa-Ra is her willingness even to share
day when he was telling her about this dream he had where Ol’Dirty was telling
songwriting responsibilities with them. A prolific songwriter in her own right, Badu isn’t known for
him to get on a different color bus and giving him directions home,” explains
using others to express her thoughts. “She’s never written with anyone on any of her previous
Poyser to the best of his recollection.
releases,” states Husayn. “She had to go through some personal things to come to the point where
Though his participation was minimal on this first edition, Poyser anticipates
she’d let somebody write for her in the manner that we did. It was spontaneous but at the same time
that things will be different on Part 2. Though unable to confirm his exact
there was structure to it. It might not have the right expression, or the right enunciation. Writing is
contributions for New Amerykah Part 2, he admits that he was heavily involved.
so personal. That was a big thing.”
“Over the years we cut a lot of other songs that weren’t on this album but will
In addition to ‘Master Teacher’, Sa-Ra made lyrical contributions on ‘Me’, ‘The Cell’, ‘Twinkle’ and
likely appear on the Part 2.” Besides, there’s also the Edith Funker side-project
‘That Hump’. Husayn also wrote additional lyrics on the Karriem Riggins produced ‘Soldier’. Though
which unites him with ?uestlove, Erykah, Nikka Costa, Mike Elizondo and Wendy
they can’t say for sure what songs will appear on the album’s sequel, they are confident they will have
Melvoin for the greatest funk band you’ve never heard... And Poyser is also co-
at least one contribution—‘Corners’—a song that was previously recorded by the group minus Badu.
producing with ?uesto on the forthcoming Al Green album so you’ll be hearing a
What they seem absolutely certain of is the quality of Part 2. “Part 2 is the one,” they insist. “It’s like
lot more from this man in the forthcoming months, trust us.
Mama’s Gun on steroids.”

22 23
“She wrote that song fast,” recalls Karriem Riggins, the
Karriem Riggins
RAMP
Sometime during 1976, the year of America’s Bicentennial,
Detroit-born producer/musician referring to ‘Soldier’, his
Edwin Birdsong and Roy Ayers penned a song called ‘The
lone contribution (as a producer) to the first installment of
American Promise’ for RAMP’s 1977 album, Come into

Soldier
New Amerykah. “She was really in a zone. She went in the
Knowledge. It was a finger-popping firecracker, a pick-up line
studio, wrote it, then I just went in and did some ad-libs... I
and a pledge. A coy lyric, “You give it to me, I’ll give it to you”
thought it was a rough,” he adds laughing. “But that’s the American Promise was a suggestion of synergy between the sheets, but there was
way it is. I can understand that though. Sometimes you go
a deeper meaning to the track, inspired by Lyndon Johnson’s
in the studio and you do one thing and you feel like you’re
1965 speech of the same name that called for equal rights
married to it. Sometimes less is more. What you do right
and justice in America.
there, what happens in the moment, that’s what comes off
To this day, ‘Daylight’ ‘Come Into Knowledge’ and their
best. That’s the type of artist she is. If it ain’t broke…”
remake of Ayers’ ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’ have become
Riggins describes their in studio vibe as “peaceful,”
definitive classics for a generation of Soul babies, with Erykah
pointing to Badu’s use of candles and incense to induce
becoming the latest in a long line of artists to champion
a creative vibe during her recording sessions. For this
their sound. “Erykah told Roy Ayers that we were her favorite
collaboration, however, much of the process took place
group,” says RAMP’s drummer and bandleader, John Manuel.
outside of the studio. “I would see her on iChat a couple of
“He called to say that she was interested in ‘The American
times a day and I may send her something. “[On ‘Soldier’] I
Promise’ and I was just on standby to hear the next steps in
sent her a one-off beat and she came back with the joint for
the process. It was conceivable at the time that we may be
it.”
doing something with her on that, but he did indicate clearly
On an album where much of the production highlights
that she was interested in using the song.”
Badu’s recent foray into a more beat-oriented production,
Although RAMP doesn’t collaborate literally, their music
‘Soldier’ manages to deliver without sacrificing her poignant
is definitely part of Badu’s backdrop. Having sampled them
lyrical musings. Strangely, ‘Soldier’ is the first complete
before, Badu amps her boombox up several notches not by
collaboration between the two. “I met Erykah in 1996,”
sampling, but bumping ‘American Promise’ in its entirety as
Riggins explains. “I met her through Roy Hargove. I was in
the intro and reprise on New Amerykah Part One. On the track,
his quintet at the time. She didn’t know I produced until I
she’s like Radio Raheem incarnate, saying nothing, but allowing
met her again in 1998, through Common. He told her I
RAMP’s snappy, upbeat track do most of the talking. Snippets
made beats and so she came to my crib and listened to a lot
of Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential speech, the voice of a robot
of my stuff. Since then we’ve been working periodically off
that says, “We love to suck you dry,” and the sound of RAMP
and on, going back and forth. She’d send me dope melodies
vocalists Sibel Thrasher and Sharon Matthews bellowing, “I
and we finally just started coming together and finishing
promise to you, baby, to love you tooth for tooth and eye for
songs in the past couple of years.”
eye,” provide the opening for Badu’s passages that rail against
The track’s familiarity goes beyond any references
the deferral of the American dream.
to previous Badu classics. The workman-like drums, the
Interestingly, Manuel remembers thinking in 1977 that
cleverly chopped sample—both conjure memories of the late
their song would make a good theme for Promise Margarine.
J Dilla. Where Dilla’s collaborations with the songstress
But after hearing Badu’s CD, he is impressed with how she
on Mama’s Gun were distinctly Badu, ‘Soldier’ is distinctly
made their song an anthem in its own right. “With the very last
Detroit. “I learned a lot from Dilla,” Riggins admits. “We
song, song number 11, you hear ‘American Promise’ again,
shared a lot of the same ideas and I was really inspired by
playing a little more softly,” Manuel says. “The announcer is
his sound. A lot of producers from Detroit have a certain
saying, ‘We hope you enjoyed your journey and now we’re
sound, and I think it just comes from being in the city. Erykah
putting control of you back to you,’ and there’s a countdown
definitely connects to that and she wanted that sound.”
and then ‘Honey’ kicks in. It’s interesting the way she did that.”
Though he’s unaware of the final tracklisting for New
“I’m interested to talk more with her about her concept,”
Amerykah Part 2, Riggins expects to appear on at least one
Manuel says, referring to New Amerykah’s next three
track. “I did a song called ‘Your Place or Mine,’” he reveals.
installments on which, from his point of view, a new RAMP/
Without making comparisons he considers the track a
Badu collaboration is a distinct possibility. (Mildred Fallen)
return to the Mama’s Gun sound. “It’s really soulful. It puts
you in the mindset of that classic Badu.”
In addition to New Amerykah Part 2, Riggins also hopes
to wrestle an appearance from Badu for the upcoming
Supreme Team album which pairs himself with fellow New
Amerykah producer Madlib. They’ve certainly gotten off to
an excellent start.

respek 2 EMEK for the grafix. 1love. www.emek.net

24 25
THE words: MR BEATNICK
“It’s the beat generation. It’s be-at.
It’s music with a beat.”

BEAT
Jack Kerouac, “The Beat Generation”, 1948.

GENERATION
The beat don’t stop. From the marching drums To belong to the beat is to take the beat and dynamic rhythm-mad youngsters the world
that pounded out a rhythmic backdrop to the make it your own, twisting the kicks, snares and over, trading bars over Skype and rhythms
American Civil War, to the call-and-response hi-hats, the life blood of the groove, into your own over iChat. A global, polycultural movement
of the African griots, trading life stories over patterns, your own feeling. From skin-stretched that confirms Rakim’s assertion that “It’s not
the beat, to the drum battles of Gene Krupa toms to rubber MPC pads, the tools of the beat where you’re from, it’s where you’re at”. From
and Buddy Rich, the sizzling triplet hi-hats of have evolved, but the contact between body, soul Tokyo to Glasgow, from Amsterdam to San
Elvin Jones, the intricate ghost notes of Clyde and the beat, remains the same. Fran, beatmakers who can barely say “hello” in
Stubblefield and Jabo Starks underlying James A new beat generation finds new tools to the language of their peers, tap out a universal
Brown’s messages of black consciousness communicate across borders, in defiance of rhythm on their beat boxes, the Morse code
and radical super heavy funk, as looped and traditional physical and linguistic barriers. Close of the computer generation, logging in to their
juggled by Kool Herc, then sliced and diced on an your eyes and imagine Jack Kerouac texting myspace page seconds later to be greeted with
SP1200 by Marley Marl... Allen Ginsberg a haiku. Tony Allen sending mesage from a distant friend – “feeling your
Onwards and upwards, the big beat pounds Clyde Stubblefield an MP3 of his latest afro- beats.”
through the pioneering works of visionaries beat creation over AIM. And then consider But the beat itself says more than words
such as the Bomb Squad, Jam Master Jay, the possibilities that our era of lightning-speed ever could. Lost in a loop, snare cracking over-
DJ Premier, the RZA, Prince Paul, Pete Rock, electronic advancement has brought to the beat head, deep sub bass emphasising the weight
Diamond D, Madlib, Jay Dilla… The beat is lost and its many disciples. of the floor beneath the feet, off-beat hi-hats
and reclaimed from one generation to the In a world where peer-to-peer confusing the ear, shrugging the shoulders,
next, passed down from the forefathers to communication over vast distances is something whilst the head nods on in silent appreciation…
the grandchildren, disappearing from living we take for granted, where interaction and The beat is nothing but a sacrament of the
consciousness and then reclaimed, revived, creative exchange with other artists is only a living moment, a moment suspended in time, a
dug from the crate and spun out to a fresh few clicks of the mouse away, a beat-driven personal meditation. The beat is eternal.
audience… The beat is as old as time itself, and revolution has been fomenting over the last
still as fresh as the birth of a new day. few years, a revolution now in the hands of

26
27
words: ANDRES REYES
pixels: STEPHEN SERRATO and ALEJANDRO COHEN

LA BEATS
Los Angeles is one of the newest world cities apartment building, some of the most hard- the community that have been keeping the
– it’s the home of Hollywood’s bubble-gum hitting beats and sounds are being engineered. creative cogs moving. Mochilla was behind
movies, the genetically-enhanced actresses The outside façade of the building is pretty the Brasilintime and Keepintime experiences
and the unlikely politicial figures. Yet across plain, but once you go inside , you’re greeted that brought together Brasillian and American
the downtown skyline, the million-dollar beaches by a sizeable courtyard with a built-in stage, a drumming legends to collaborate with the likes
and the run-down neighborhoods there runs a glass cage that houses a 12-foot snake, and of Madlib, J. Rocc and Cut Chemist. Dublab, a
streak of brilliance that probably misses most eclectic, out-there artwork that adorns the radio collective that dates back to the birth of
natives. I’m talking about the dope shit. walls, ceilings and other fixtures. Still, nothing internet radio, is keeping the concept of the
is as bugged out as what’s coming out of a DJ as a selector of sounds alive through their
Andrew Lojero (ArtDontSleep): There’s such barely furnished apartment on the second floor. online radio broadcasts and weekly DJ sets all
a heavy, heavy movement of beautiful art of all Samiyam is there, in his room, drinking green around the city. ArtDontSleep, meanwhile, plays
fashions taking place. It’s like…I don’t even have tea and playing me beats off his Macbook and the curious role of being somewhat of a free
a word, it’s not even in its prime yet because it’s he’s cracking my fucking head. Sam nonchalantly entity in that is not bound to any single medium.
still young out here. There are so many people, accepts my compliments and tells me a little The collective headed by Andrew Lojero has
it’s so spread out, so many different folks and bit more about the community around him: “It’s hosted parties, organized concerts and released
it’s hard to really know about all of them unless a lot of people out here all out at the shows. a superb compilation created entirely by L.A.
you can really, really travel around this town. It’s It’s dope, everybody’s kind of on the same side, artists entitled From L.A. With Love featuring
a beautiful thing out here. there might be a little competition but people contributions from Gaslamp Killer, Flying Lotus,
are supportive of someone like me who doesn’t Yesterday’s New Quintet, Carlos Niño and

(from top left) : Ras G, Poo Bah 12”, Carlos Nino... mo’ Poo Bah vinyl, FlyAmSam at Dublab, SoulExploration flyers... Reset EP,
On any given day you can walk into Poo Bah have shit out.” Miguel Atwood Ferguson and Georgia Anne
Records in Pasadena and find Ras G nestled Considering he still hasn’t released his Muldrow.
behind the counter, going through records that material, Sam is one extremely talented guy. You
came in that day, playing his Beat Soup mixes can just ask one of his neighbors, Flying Lotus, Andrew Lojero (ArtDontSleep): When we first
over the shop’s soundsystem. The Rastafarian another key player in the Los Angeles beat started it was just, illegal art shows and when
DJ and producer always keeps an up-to-date mix scene. But Sam and Lotus are just two out of so I say illegal that’s because we were running
of beats and compositions by finest beatsmiths many. Naming names doesn’t do justice to the them like they were parties. From there I kind
on deck (as well as a blunt) and it’s not rare array of artists around the city, but cats like The of went on my own and started doing parties

unidentified wax, Nobody & Hoseh... Kutmah & Frosty, Stop the War, From LA With Love, Brasilintime
to find those same cats he’s playing digging Gaslamp Killer, Oh No, Blu, Ta’raach, Dibiase, all around town, warehouses, rooftops, under
through the bins at Poo Bah. Cats like Samiyam, Exile, Nobody, Cashusking, Daedelus and Georgia bridge passes and under mansions. Then last
Flying Lotus, Take, Ta’Raach and Ras himself Anne Muldrow are a taste of what’s making L.A. year, it took a brand new route. doing nothing
are just a few of the many creative heads that a music haven at the moment. but institutional functions. I partnered with
are running around the city creating wonderfully There are many influences in the music Mochilla and Dublab, and we wanted to make
banging records and places like Poo Bah are at coming out of the city, but one theory is that ArtDontSleep something legal and tangible for
the forefront of this movement, pushing beats part of what is making L.A. thrive is that it’s folks. It’s just trying to really make an explosion,
out to the masses. This quaint shop in Pasadena greatly influenced by Dilla and Detroit. James or an implosion, happen in Los Angeles in the
is the only store in the States that stocks stuff Yancey spent the last years of his life in Los music community.
from Japanese powerhouse Jazzy Sport, Beat Angeles and associated and worked with many
Dimensions, All City and other progressive and cats in the L.A. community. The presence For every individual mentioned here there are
innovative record labels. Poo Bah, besides being of Detroit transplants like DJ House Shoes, a dozen more that are putting in work trying to
a record shop, is actually a label too, and it has a Ta’Raach, Illa Jay, Samiyam (from Ann Arbor), create that next sound rather than regurgitating
series of 12”, 10” and 7” vinyl releases with the Snowman and DJ Haircut are only helping to the moment. “The music has been brewing for
likes of Ta’Raach, Ras G, DJ Sacred, Black Monk, solidify that L.A. to the D connection. some time now,” explains Mike the PoeT in his
Kutmah, Samiyam and more. liner notes to From L.A. With Love. “The 21st
Flying Lotus : There’s not any kind of party I go century movement in L.A. is a culmination of
Ras G: I push this beat music to the world. I’ve to where you can’t hear one Dilla track. Stones mojo dating back to the 50’s on Central Avenue
sold stuff to all kinds of people. Dr. Who Dat? Throw is also situated here, so that also has and avant garde artists like Ornette Coleman,
aka Jneiro Jarel’s The Beat Journey, I done sold something to do with it, but the way Dilla sounds Eric Dolphy & Horace Tapscott’s Pan African
that to old-ass white ladies. Flying Lotus, I’m goes with L.A.; real diverse, but still kind of funky People’s Arkestra. Central Avenue was once
selling his shit to old-ass truck driver dudes, Ge- and laid-back. That is the kind of music we like. the archipelago of after-hours jazz jam sessions
ology to teachers, just spreading the music. They from Pico to Slauson. Now after-hours rooftop
don’t usually get to hear it, so when do hear Though Detroit has had its influence, L.A. is parties go off below skyscrapers. In these days
it, it really fucks they head up. That’s the duty still unmistakably L.A.. The city is bubbling. of war, rising gas prices, inflation and gridlock,
of the record store, which is kinda why a lot of The creative output as a collective is pushing nothing is more healing than good music. The
record stores are closed. You gotta be breakin envelopes and shattering standards. There search for something more is driving L.A.
new music to people to have them coming back. is a world of DJ’s, producers, MC’s, artists musicians and artists.”
Every time they get that fresh feeling, like ‘I ain’t and other creative individuals that seem to be
ever heard that. Who is that?’ That’s what the meshing and colliding with each other, creating www.poobah.com
record store is about. fantastic results. Collectives like Mochilla, www.mochilla.com
Elsewhere, in the Valley of Los Angeles, in a little Dublab and ArtDontSleep are key figures in www.dublab.com
28
29
words: JEZ SMADJA

AMSTERDAM BEATS
Just five stops on the Metro from Centraal store and distribution network. From Wouda’s where Hudson Mohawke and Mike Slott flew out
Station and you get to Wibautstraat, which is Dopeness Galore label responsible for the Frank for one event, while Flying Lotus and Samiyam

(from top left and moving on): Beat Dimensions vinyl, what does this button do?, Beat Dimensions flyer,... 08Bar’s O Boogie, BD 12”, Rush Hour peeps
where the new studios of some of the key Dutch N’ Dank EP, to Faces Records which is about represented at another. “The first time Lotus
beatmakers are currently under construction. to release their Metro Sampler compliation, to and Samiyam made beats together was in my
When we arrive there late on a cold Monday Appletree records with SOTU the Traveller and studio when we invited them to play at the Beat
night, we see Steven de Peven, one half of Louis Bordeaux LPs, to the KS offshoot Nod Dimensions party,” Yuri adds. “They’d met two
Rednose Distrikt, in the lobby, loaded with planks Navigators, a series that’s featured INT, Tom days earlier in L.A. but to see them in my studio
of wood on his shoulders. We lend him a hand, Trago, Mweslee and has just dropped the hotly working together for the first time... there was
up six long flights of stairs, to the new studio -awaited Javanse Jongens… the list goes on. such a chemistry. They’d been smoking blunts all
space where the planks will be laid out to make While in the Dutch pop charts, hip hop day, and I was there, passed out in the corner!”
a second-floor which should, in theory, keep the outfits such as Pete Philly & Perquisite and Just the previous Friday, Tom Trago and
noise out. In Abbey Road studios, it’s said that Opgezwolle have found national acclaim, on the Yuri had their first live show up at Club 11.
the Beatles put seaweed between the separating instrumental tip there’s been a groundswell Located on the 11th floor of this high-rise former

at 08Bar & xxxx... 08Bar flyer, FlyLo at 08Bar, Nod Navigators... BD flyer, Lucky Strikes endorsement, 08Bar 12”s.
walls as sound insulation, but the Rednose crew of popularity, prompted by releases like the post office building, to access the club have to
are determined not to be outdone. “Seaweed? Nod Navigators series, the 08Bar 12”s from pass through a long corridor blasted in spray
Doesn’t that smell after a while? Maybe we’d be Tom Trago and the heavy Beat Dimensions grafix and fly-posters, and up the goods-lift where
better off using muffins? Or pancakes? Or how compilation, put together by Jay Scarlett and sweaty ravers continually stream in and out
about Stroopwafflen (Dutch caramel waffles)?” Yuri aka Cinnaman. from. With massive projections hanging down
wonders Steven. “At least they’ll be more tasty “I met up with Jay three or four years ago,” from the high ceilings, and breath-taking views
than foam.” explains Yuri, sitting in a cosy café along the over the glimmering city, the place was tight with
Located in the former headquarters of the Singel canal. “He came out to Amsterdam for anticipation as Yuro & Trago took the stage with
daily newspaper De Volkskrant, the Wibautstraat a couple of days along with Morgan Spacek. a set that was an interstellar nightflight into the
studio space has quickly filled up, and has a It was then that we came up with the idea of Detroit sound. Suffice to say, the spot was extra
current waiting list of 3000 hopefuls. You might doing something with this stuff we were playing, hot.
peep designers painting cartoons in one office, because not a lot of the music was coming out. But it’s not just in Amsterdam where you’ll
architects behind their drafting tables in another, There was the Raw Fusion compilation, The find any number of parties to check out on a
or dance-troupes practicing in the studios on the Sound of LA had just come out… and obviously weekly basis or freestyle jams such as 08Bar at
ground floor; but on the 5th and 6th floors, the now we’re getting more releases and the sound the Duivel, or deHop, a night where an emcee, a
space has been taken over by red hot & Dutch is growing. This music that was mostly on vocalist and a grafik artist get together to create
musical talent. Directly below Rednose’s studio is myspace, the idea was to bring it out to people a finished 12” over the course of the evening.
Tom Trago (“the Dutch answer to Flying Lotus,” who are not on myspace. That’s how Beat From the town of Deventer hail Javaanse
we’re told), a beatmaker whose 08Bar nights Dimensions was born.” Jongens, a group of producers featuring Louis
have brought a fresh crop of artists together, Featuring contributions from across the Bordeaux, and lest we forget Nicolay who
making live beats on the MPC, or bringing their world – Super Smoky Soul from Japan, Up Hygh comes from the south of the Netherlands and
CD-Rs directly from the studio to play out on the from Sweden, Hudson Mohawke from Glasgow, has created hands-down some of the finest
night. Then at the end of the corridor, where Mweslee from Spain, Black Pocket aka Steve hip hop instrumentals in recent years. See, the
smell of the sweet herb wafts, is Dutch hip hop Spacek – the compilation confirmed that this Netherlands is a country where Madlib is just as
veteran INT rehearsing in the studio with emcee music had brought together people with the popular as Lil’ Wayne, and it’s reflected in the
Melodee; while in the basement there’s Kid same interests and the same vision across the music that comes out of the country, whether in
Sublime burning the candle all day and night. planet. “That’s what I really liked about Beat the popular Dutch hip hop groups or the more
The Dutch love of beats can be traced back Dimensions. Whereas The Sound of LA had just underground beatmakers we’ll be hearing more
to the seminal Fat Beats store, which closed in focussed on Los Angeles, we wanted to show about in months to come. Keep your ears to the
2006 but was where many of the key players that it was an international hook up. There’s so ground.
used to work. Melodee used to work there, as many people born in ‘82 or ‘83, born around the
did Steven from Rednose, and Gee who has now time that hip hop started, doing almost the same www.rushhour.nl
set up Patta, a store selling high-end sneakers. thing in 2008. All from the same generation, into www.kindred-spirits.nl
But these days, a whole new generation of the same things, but from all around the world.” www.08bar.nl
artists and labels have emerged, in tandem with Besides the compilation, Yuri has been www.teampatta.nl
the Kindred Spirits label and the Rush Hour promoting a regular Beat Dimensions night,
30 31
words: BEN VERGHESE

GLASGOW BEATS
Rolling into Glasgow for the first time, I live show, pummelling pads and tweaking Ableton out of the Arts School, it’s the LuckyMe inner-
wondered how I’d recognise the man from and Serato. Just a week earlier, he was part of circle left standing on the pavement under the

(left and right and up and down): Hudsom, Lucky middle, All City 7x7... Lucky Me billboard, Heralds of Change 12”, Summel...
online record store Nuff Stylee who I’d the Beat Dimensions family at the Big Chill Bar glow of the streetlights – Hudson, Summel,
arranged to meet at the station. A quick text alongside fellow Heralds of Change member Rusty, FineArt and the Ballers promoter Joe
message resolved the matter: “I’m holding a Mike Slott. Contact over the inter-waves with Coghill. As we pile into Summel’s car, overloaded
box of records with your name on it”. A warm Cinnaman and Jay Scarlett had seen Hudson with DJs, girlfriends and record boxes, we chat
embrace and swift tour of the city followed, Mo’s ‘Trace’ included on Beat Dimensions Vol.1, about forthcoming projects from the crew.
but no time to go rummaging in Glasgow’s whilst across the Atlantic further connections Like the Heralds of Change album, due later in
record shops… we had to get ourselves over with Andrew Meza and his BTS radio show the year on Dublin label, All City. And the 7x7”
to Glasgow School of Art for the Baller’s Social meant Heralds of Change records were getting Beatstrumentals series also to be released
Club. Besides, I was already armed with the broadcast to beatheads across the globe. on All City, a project where seven beatmakers
box of vinyl delights Frank Dubya had handed In person, despite his imposing frame, across the globe have each been commissioned
over – a selection of the cream of the current Hudson Mo shows none of the boisterousness to release a 7”, with the whole series designed
beats scene, including releases from the his beats contain, and he’s a reluctant star, by Summel. “For my own 7” I’m placing two

Mike Slott, Secrets 12”. Medusa... Puzzles sleeve, LuckyMe red-I, Joe from Ballers.
Musique Large label in France and Circulations shunning the limelight as much as possible. tracks which are essentially like some deep
in Japan. Frank’s taste for beats makes him Standing outside the Ballers Social Club after techno/acidy stuff but on 33. The whole project
a sterling supporter of a crop of artists, DJs his set, he’s in a playful mood, joking about the is shaping up to be a nice little collectable
and producers local to him, moving under the “dubstep” crowd (i.e. the low male-to-female package,” says Hudson as we make our way
umbrella of LuckyMe, a crew based in Scotland ratio), and winding up Summel by trying to through the silent streets of Glasgow.
but with international appeal. borrow money. The Ballers nights have provided So 2008 looks bright, with numerous live
The LuckyMe story began when Edinburgh a base for this extended family to flex their skills shows, a monthly Samurai FM show, Hudson’s
residents, Martyn Flyn (aka FineArt) and Dominic in front of a local crowd. Past guests include debut album due to be released by Warp, and
Flanigan (known as Summel) studied together Musique Large’s Fulgeance and BTS Radio LuckyMe’s first vinyl release, Oops, heralding
at Glasgow School of Art. Sharing a desire to host Andrew Meza on his flyby visit to Scotland. the collective’s transition to a label. With a
get more from the music scene, they started Tonight, though, it’s Warp’s Vex’d and Clark disdain for following trends, these mostly twenty-
an open-mic night at Stereo. Here they met headlining. somethings have maximised their resources
with Ross Birchard (aka Hudson Mohawke) who The Ballers seems much like any other rather than relying on expensive software, plug-
began DJing there for free, despite having been student night, until you hear the sound that ins or interfaces. Summel sums it up: “Purist
a DMC finalist at the tender age of 15. Together, rumbles out of a monstrous rig, a tower of about anti-purist equipment – that’s our attitude.
Summel and Hudson Mo started Surface homemade speakers reaching up to the Our music is underpinned more by a style or idea
Empire, one of the many LuckyMe collabs, ceiling. “It belongs to one of the local reggae than real trickery of equipment”.
releasing an EP back in 2005 and since gaining soundsystems,” Summel tells us. Alongside Gazing out on the train back to London, past
a rep as the “go-to” guys on the Scottish hip-hop Hudson Mohawke on the bill tonight is another the stark Scottish coastline, I started planning
circuit, getting the crowds hyped for everyone LuckyMe member, Rustie, whose askew blend my next trip north of the border for LuckyMe
from Roots Manuva to Methodman. of electronics and dubstep has caused a stir fun... maybe the next Ballers Social Club with
The first time my path crossed with Hudson following his Jagz the Smack EP. Clad in camo- Milanese v. Landstrumm or Mweslee at the
and Summel was at the immense Black Pocket patterned neon, Rustie has the crowed super- Triptych festival?
album launch party at London’s Plastic People charged, dropping his latest gem, a rework of
in June ‘07. On that occasion Hudson Mohawke Zomby’s ‘Spliff Dub’, out on Kode9’s Hyperdub: www.thisisluckyme.com
left Steve Spacek and peers clamouring for “P-p-put da evil away!” www.odditiesclothing.com
reloads, as he worked his way through a firing By the end of the night, as the crowd filters www.all-cityrecords.com
32 33
LONDON BEATS READ THE LABEL
FRANK DUBYA (NUFF STYLEE) RUNS DOWN
HIS FAVOURITE LABELS OF THE MOMENT.
BTS & PIECES
The vogue for beatstrumentalism has a long history in UK club Andrew Meza’s BTS Radio has set the international standard, always showcasing the hot
culture. In the late 80s, Soul II Soul delivered a thumping bass to talent long before others start jumping on the bandwagon. With the radio show a focal point
MUSIQUE LARGE for listeners from Tokyo to Tashkent, Mez has become the undisputed champion of the beats.
a smiling race. Then came the hydro skank of Massive Attack and Bordello-digi-funk from Paris featuring the
Tricky, the rare groove of Young Disciples, the hip hop of Pogo and ghetto slap of Ghislain Poirier (‘La Ronde EP’), Who’s your musical family? Who do you move so much music in my week, I wanted my show to
MC Mell’o, the sample-heavy records of Reinforced, then labels Fulgeance’s electro-funk-makossa (‘Chico EP’) with? Ques aka The Illlord of LCP United. That’s be a representation of that. I’m not sure when
like Mo’ Wax and Ninja Tune. and Debruit‘s genre booby-trap/minefield my partner in crime and the other half of BTS. As I started to notice this new generation. Had to
In the ‘08, these artists have become mentors. Tricky set up (‘Coupe Decale’)…One size fits all! far as musical family – man, it’s worldwide! have been early 2005 when I was introduced
his Brown Punk label in Bristol, and over in London Attica Blues to Lotus and Samiyam. After that, everyone
frontmen Tony Nwachukwu and Charlie Dark have schooled a new CIRCULATIONS A few songs that mean a lot to me are… seemed to come out of the fog. I feel like there
generation in the art of the MPC. In East London, catch nights like Tokyo ‘onjin’ Dai San spreads love by CIRCULATIONS. Anything by The Beatles. Lennon/McCartney are was a point where my show was the home for
CD-R, House Party, Shhhhh and Deviation where you can this next Interstellar p-funk fractures (Reggie B - Go), the greatest song writing duo ever. Dilla’s work this particular sound. No one had been talking
generation live n direct. afro cosmic sonnets (Muhsinah – Pre.lude), has always been a huge inspiration for me. And about it yet. No compilations, no deals, no media.
broke soul excursions for organ & mpc (Onra & those East LA jams – growing up and listening I think people were anticipating something new
Hot on the heels of PAUL WHITE’s 7”, the next material Alex Byron - The Big Payback) and post ‘Golden Era’ to my dad play stuff like Santana, Azteca, William and kept tuning in to hear this out-there kind of
Chase’s label ONE HANDED MUSIC comes from BULLION whose Pet atmospherics for widescreen (Super Smoky Soul Devaughn, Al Green, James & Bobby Purify... shit. The show really took off around then.
Sounds: In the Key of Dee mixtape was one of the unreleased - Cycling)… Breathe in & let it Circulate.
finds of 2007, getting repped by DJs across the globe. Out of A few films that mean a lot to me are… Star What’s interesting is the international angle
Acton, Bullion featured for a beats-focused night at Cafe 1001 www.nuffstylee.co.uk Wars for shaping my childhood. The films of of all these beat heads, hooked up via the
off Brick Lane run by ARCHITEQ (aka Sam Annand), Architeq Alfred Hitchcock. Tarkovsky’s Solaris. De Sica’s internet… Same people, different places. Yea,
moved down from Dundee to London and now has his first EP
available from TIRK RECORDS. Tom Giles aka CLAUSE FOUR was THE BEATNICKS
FROM BOURNEMOUTH TO BULGARIA
Umberto D. Alien. Scorsese, Kubrick, Wilder,
Spielberg, Burton. Anything with Barbara
exactly – MySpace. We owe it all to Tom. He’s
the head of it all.
spinning records on the same bill and his Blue on Blue EP is out Stanwyck. Film inspires nearly as much as music
on DC RECORDINGS. Reflecting on the London scene Clause Four Dorset doesn’t have a reputation for being on does. I find a strong connection between what’s People seem to be talking a lot about a mid-
adds “there are quite a few of us ploughing the same furrow the pulse of 21st Century sounds however going on in music now and the movements that ’80s mentailty. Do you ascribe to that? It just
- some people have called the music post-Dilla, but though we JACKHIGH is doing his darnedest to amend that, happened in France during the New Wave and in seems to be that a lot of the people that are
all like his music, it’s not the driving force, just a shining example making melodies twirl amongst crunching beats. America with New Hollywood. It was a separation the major contributors or designers to this
of how good instrumental hip-hop can sound”. DC RECORDINGS From a Bournemouth base he has scattered from the standard and an embrace for the new sound happen to all be around the same
on Portobello Road also house KELPE, whose second album Ex- his sounds across the Net, notably 14 tracks of experimental and independent. I see people like age. Children of the ‘80s. I think our generation
Aquarium includes ‘Shipwreck Glue’ flirting with a sound similar mixed-BPM unreleased pleasure, for those quick Flying Lotus, Samiyam, Mike Slott, Rustie, Hudson more than any other is the most familiar with
to Architeq. For the most part, though, Kelpe leans toward enough to bag it, in his Interplanetary Thoughts Mohawke, Ras G and Jneiro Jarel as the Kubrick, technology and the effect it has on our lives.
the ambient works of Fourtet, Brian Eno or Boards of Canada, offering. Jackhigh was pressed onto vinyl last Scorsese, Coppola, Truffaut, Goddard of our time Many of us were already in front of a computer
influences that have also shaped LUKID’s music. A Londoner from year, featuring on both volumes of German – creating that signature unique to the things screen in elementary school. Technology is just
Archway, Lukid’s debut album and EPs (all on WERK RECORDS) have label UP MY ALLEY’s Beatnicks EPs, along with that surround us and define who we are. our nature now. It really separates us from the
received much deserved praise and are filled with frequencies Deutschmen HUBERT DAVIZ and fLako. Vol.1 previous folks... and to think of the next group...
flickering in and out at a leisurely pace. of the said series also contained ‘Melonball Is there such thing as a new beat generation? those ‘90s and ‘00s kids. Those are the ones
One of the capital’s most colourful nights Lookout! hosted bounce’ a playful tune packed with dopeness by There’s definitely a new generation of music that are going to be making music with their
the UK visit of Maryland ‘Low Budget’ cats --Kev Brown, Oddisee Sofian starlets 1000names. These Bulgarian makers. But it has surpassed anything that can minds, or something.
& OlivierDaySoul -- alongside London beatmaker & MC, TRANQILL. beatmakers take things further dropping their be described as just a ‘beat’. It’s more than that.
Lookout! features the DJ skills of ALEXANDER NUT, who moved own heat with six tracks on Worth Making A Nothing that I can describe just yet. The role of the DJ is… To play whatever they
down from Wolverhampton six years ago and has established Noise About (EKLEKTIK RECORDS) including ‘Ice is want. But please, get the ladies on the floor.
a key show on Saturday afternoons on Rinse FM. Dabbling in the Silent Language’ co-produced with Jackhigh. Did you have any moment of revelation at any
production as well as holding down the Mixed Nutz show and Comprised of a two-man team--drum maestro time, a feeling of “Wow – it all connects”? One thing people think about Meza, but is
residencies around town, Alex Nut was the first to give UK airplay Casio Blaster & 99 Mistakes--1000names’ DJ Perhaps the clearest revelation was when untrue, is… That I got time to listen to bullshit.
to FLOATINGPOINTS, a man with a classical background and sets and mixes are another source of musical Samiyam and Lotus were on BTS. Towards the
involvement in “non-beats” projects which adds to the breadth delight, tRUEradio have been beneficiaries and end of the interview Lotus told me the show was One thing nobody knows about Meza is… I’m a
of his sound. Look out for his Little Dragon remix. Nut’s flatmate their Phono Doowop mixtape can be found on really important to “what was going on” and that bit OCD– but my place is a mess right now, so I
FATIMA has also been making waves. Originally from Stockholm, Monotape, the web space of Istanbul’s champion he was “glad to be apart of this”. I thought about don’t know what that means.
Fatima stepped up to the mic on the same night where Hudson of the beats, ONUR ENGIN. (Ben Verghese) what he meant, and it just all seemed to gel.
Mohawke wowed the crowd at the Black Pocket party. Vocally What’s the vibe in L.A.? I wouldn’t know. I’m
equipped to flip her skills in whatever style she pleases, Fatima www.myspace.com/jackhighmusic What role did your radio show play & how did always stuck in traffic trying to get there.
recently went to Cameroon for the British Council’s Bring The www.myspace.com/1000names the idea come around? The show started in my
Noise concert, invited by IG Culture, a man who has always www.myspace.com/upmyalley freshman year in college. As a DJ, I just wanted www.btsradio.net
delivered sumptuous sounds at what ever style or tempo he www.monotape.com to test the waters in radio. Because I listen to www.myspace.com/btsradio
messes with.
As is the way internationally, all these artists support each
other, sharing tracks and swapping remix and voicing duties to
further spread their sounds. (Ben Verghese)

www.myspace.com/tranqill
www.myspace.com/lookoutevenings
www.myspace.com/alexander_nut
34 35
Tenor Fly General Levy
London Posse

Gervase de Wilde and Gabriel Myddelton of The Heatwave chat with


Tippa Irie about his role in the development of dancehall in the UK.
Tippa Irie
Black music in Britain has always struggled to an impact throughout the reggae world. Tippa and Professor Nuts and all these people. Then
carve out a niche away from the sounds of the Irie, whose ‘Complain Neighbour’ is featured on when we went to Jamaica, them guys would
WORDS: GERVASE DE WILDE
USA and Jamaica. Where soul and reggae were An England Story, recalls its far-reaching reper- come and be like yeah man, it’s you guys that

MIC
once influential on these shores, their modern cussions. made us write these long lyrics.”
equivalents hip hop and dancehall dominate in “There was this guy called Peter King The fast chat MCs in Britain changed the
the 21st century. When we compiled An England – most of the [MCing] styles at the time were flow of ideas and influences from ‘Yard’ to ‘For-
Story , we hoped to follow the development of a kind of laid back, and he created a fast style,” eign’. The sound tapes which circulated amongst
unique MC culture in this country with a Jamai- he explains. “Anybody that created something, reggae fans at home and abroad had tradition-
can heritage, showing how contemporary styles whether it be me, or Levi, or Peter King, or ally come from the top Jamaican outfits but now
like jungle, grime and UK hip hop can be traced whoever it may be – we’d all nick it and make our recordings of the likes of the Saxon Posse were
back to the evolution of a distinctive British brand own style off that. So when he came up with this in demand.
of dancehall music and culture in the 1980s. fast style, he chatted it, and everybody there was “We created our style and our own identity
During our research, it emerged that there like, ‘Yeah that’s it!’, and so we all just pinched it. and people from the Caribbean couldn’t believe
was a specific moment during the 1980s when There was me, Papa Levi, Daddy Colonel, Smiley that we were from England,” Tippa Irie remem-
a black British, as opposed to Caribbean or Culture. Everybody wrote their thing – from bers. “They couldn’t believe that this was hap-
Jamaican, approach to MCing came to the fore. that time we kind of changed the face of reggae pening or that these guys come from England,
Artists from that era like Tippa Irie and Smiley music in England.” because some people that live in the back of

CHECK
Culture had an enormous impact on the UK Where British deejays had once taken all beyond in Jamaica, to them there ain’t people
reggae scene and even went on to appear in the their inspiration from Jamaica, the tide of influ- like us in England!”
pop charts with hits like ‘Hello Darling’ and ‘Po- ence had turned and artists back on the island The influence of fast chat is audible in UK
lice Officer’ respectively. They did so with a new were looking to crews like the notorious Saxon music today. It is there in the hyperactive styles
‘fast style’ of MCing which bubbled at double-time Posse from South London, of which Tippa Irie of jungle MCs like Skibadee hyping raves over
over the slow and skanking dancehall music of and those he mentions were members. “That 180 bpm beats or the distinctive double-time
the time. was definitely the first recognisable UK dancehall flow of UK garage and grime MCs, often tinged
There had been a well developed Caribbean style,” he says. “You had Yellowman, Peter Metro with Jamaican patois and references that would
music scene in Britain from the late 1950s on- and all these people hearing our sound tapes be as familiar in Kingston as they are in Bow.
wards, with djs playing the latest island hits. As [recordings of clashes and dances] and chatting But the legacy of the ‘80s pioneers, as Tippa Irie
deejay culture developed in Jamaica in the ‘70s our lyrics back in Jamaica. So we changed it points out, has gone far beyond this country’s
and ‘80s through the work of people like U Roy, around and they were influenced by us for a borders, or even the Caribbean:
and then stars like Brigadier Gerry or General change.” “People like Twista and Bone-Thugs-N-Har-
Echo, so entertainers in Britain would seize the This influence even extended to Papa Levi mony have had big hits influenced by the fast
mic at dances to chat over popular rhythms. having a number one hit both in the UK and Ja- chat style. If you think about it, when we were
When they did so they generally imitated their maica with his ‘My God My King’ (also featured), about, who else was really doing it? Who was
Jamaican counterparts, appropriating or ‘pirat- where he engages in some dizzying fast chat, chatting fast at that time? A lot of these guys
ing’ the most popular artists’ styles. referencing reggae singer Sugar Minott and Brit- now look up to us for what we’ve done to the
In his landmark chronicle of dancehall ish comedian Kenny Everett in the same breath. music. When I meet people like Busta Rhymes
culture in the UK ‘What the Deejay Said’, William With the increasing celebrity of UK artists back and KRS One, who are big artists, they shake my
‘Lez’ Henry (himself a renowned dancehall deejay on the island, the impact of what was happening hand, and they shake my hand for a long time.
at the time under the name ‘Lezlee Lyrics’) in London on developments in Jamaica grew They know. So, I know what we’ve achieved.”
suggests that the dancehall audience in Britain even further.
expected to hear deejays who sounded like their “You’d hear Johnny Osbourne and Junior
favourite Jamaican artists. He even recalls how Reid and people like that singing our styles and
he was criticised in clashes for sounding too using our terminology,” Tippa Irie recalls. “So
English. that was unique because everybody was focused An England Story is
But the tide turned in 1983, when a British on Jamaica at the time. We came and changed out now on CD and
deejay called Peterkin (or Peter King) came up it and sped it up a little and then we kind of quadruple vinyl on Soul
Papa Levy with a revolutionary new style which was to have inspired people like Papa San, Lieutenant Stitchie Jazz Records.
36 37
ELITE
SQUAD
In Rio, the violence of drug gangs is matched only by the antics of a gung ho special police
unit, BOPE, who are the subject of The Elite Squad, a film that’s been courting controversy
in Brazil and beyond.
Brazil is a nation of contrasts. While the filthy rich get filthy richer and top up their
WORDS: SIMON CREASEY

Where did you first come across the story? violence. Elite Squad aims to explain why so violence, but it turned out that the cop’s mobile How tricky was it to film in the favelas? I guess
tans on the country’s famous sun-kissed beaches, the poor are left to rot in squalid I came across the Elite Squad story - or should many Brazilian policemen become corrupted phone provider was paid by the film’s distributor there are certain times of the day and certain
conditions in the millions of makeshift homes that make up Brazil’s rapidly expanding I say subject matter - as I was shooting my and violent, and the answer is centred in the to send a low definition copy of the movie’s parts of the favelas that it is advisable not to
favelas. These contrasts are no more apparent than in Rio where the glamour of previous film, Bus 174. Bus 174 led me to behaviour of the state. By paying very low wages trailer to all its clients. So the guy had the trailer visit?
Copacabana beach is overshadowed by the favelas that pockmark the nearby hillside. realise that the police are a big part of the to cops, by giving them very little training, by but didn’t even know he had it. So you see, it is It’s very complicated to film in a favela, especially
In these shanty towns rival gangs control the streets and there are constant disputes violence problems we have in Brazil, and that forcing them to do very risky jobs, the state very easy to point fingers and make claims like those controlled by drug dealers. One simply
for some reason it had been utterly ignored creates an environment that generates this. The same thing happened with City of God, cannot go there without the drug dealers’
over turf, which usually leads to violent confrontations and inevitably bloodshed. The plight
by Brazilian filmmakers. Luiz Eduardo Soares’ corrupted and violent cops. And the police force, which was accused of causing kids to become approval. Also, one must make sure that the
of the favelas’ residents was brought to the attention of a global audience thanks to the book Elite da Tropa [from which the film takes by being what it is, turns misery into violence very drug dealers due to the popularity of the Zé police will not raid the favela on a shooting date.
2002 film City of God. However, its success looks set to be usurped by a new film called its title] came to being much latter. In fact, it “efficiently”. Making this point is what compelled Pequeno character [Li’l Ze]. Most of the time, So one must deal with both sides: the drug
Tropa de Elite - or The Elite Squad - which Screen magazine recently described as “so was inspired by an earlier treatment of our me to do the film. those charges are simply ridiculous. It’s true that dealers and the cops, in order to have some
hard-boiled it’s practically cast in iron”. screenplay, which I read for Luiz. we have a big violence problem in Rio and São safety.
It’s the first feature film by José Padilha, who previously directed the acclaimed It’s been described as the most talked about in Paulo, and I guess it’s pretty clear to everyone
documentary Bus 174. Padilha’s gritty new crime drama, which recently landed the What compelled you to make a film about this Brazil’s history and given the coverage that it that this violence problem is not being caused by What will you be working on next? Is there
Golden Bear at the annual Berlin Film Festival, depicts the antics of the elite Brazilian story? Was there something in it that you has attracted in Brazilian tabloid newspapers, filmmakers! another feature film in the pipeline or do you
police unit BOPE, who shoot first and ask questions later (if there’s anyone left alive to could relate to, something that resonated with that’s probably not an exaggeration. Have you think that you will make another documentary?
torture). you? felt comfortable with the attention that the Did the police cooperate with you during the We are in negotiations about making a TV series
In Brazil, people generally equate the high level film has attracted? making of the film? based on the film but the details have not been
On its release the film sparked widespread controversy in Brazil due to its portrayal of
of urban violence with misery. There is a lot of I have read many fantastic things in the press, Some helped us as they thought the film was finalised yet. I also have two documentaries in
a brutal, corrupt police force - it also managed to grab the headlines prior to its release misery, so there is a lot of violence. But this is and some of them were not very accurate. For important, but not the police as an organisation. the editing room, and I am working on a new
after bootleg copies of the film began circulating, resulting in millions of people seeing it not accurate if you read the statistics of other instance, not so long ago a famous newspaper The police opposed our film from the beginning script about Brazilian politics and why it is so
before its official theatrical release. This bumpy introduction didn’t stop it from breaking all countries. Indeed, there are many cities that called me stating that a cop was arrested and then later tried to prevent us from releasing corrupt
box office records and causing a national debate about corruption that continues to rage. have more misery than Rio or São Paulo, but torturing a criminal, and that he had a video the movie. When the film came out, the
Elite Squad director José Padilha spoke to SHOOK about the film’s origins and its lower levels of violence. So there is something of the film in his mobile phone. I was asked if I policemen who helped us with the research and The Elite Squad will be on general release this
impact on his country. peculiar to Brazilian cities that turn misery into cared to comment on how my film was breeding training of actors were persecuted by the police. summer. www.tropadeeliteofilme.com.br
38 39
ARTHUR RUSSELL: FROM THE CORNBELT TO THE OCEAN STORY ANDY THOMAS

INTHE LIGHT
A disco visionary and experimental composer who passed away in 1992, Arthur Russell is
now the subject of a new documentary ‘Wild Combination’ and a forthcoming book by TIm
Lawrence. Andy Thomas spoke to his long–time friend and associate, Steve D’Acquisto,
shortly before his death in 2000, and uncovers the lesser–known Arthur, this enigmatic
journeyman in the light of the miracle.

As the end of the ‘70s approached, the whole Arthur’s first 12” was a collaboration with voyage into sound to the next stage, with his
disco scene had reached an important junction. Nicky Siano entitled ‘Kiss Me Again’, released newly formed band Dinosaur L. “Arthur had
Music that had previously spoken for the in 1979 on the Sire label, under the name this great desire to create big disco jazz epics,”
marginalized in society - whether you were black, Dinosaur. “I played the extended 12 minute D’Acquisto explains. This hunger led to the
Hispanic or gay - was rapidly being sanitised and version at Studio 54,” remembers D’Acquisto, groundbreaking 1981 LP 24-24 Music on the
sanctioned for a mainstream audience. In order who also used to spin at The Loft. “It was early Sleeping Bag label, which Arthur had co-founded.
to reclaim what was essentially the soundtrack on in the evening, but it was such a different The album blended disco and funky Hammond
to their lives, the original disco fraternity started tune, the whole crowd just went crazy.” The track rock, with freeform jazz, Latin and dub reggae.
to experiment with new musical forms. featured a young David Byrne on guitar and Their raw hybrid sound placed them alongside
As well as being an entertainer, the around this time Russell was actually invited to other ‘no wave’ groups from the New York
Paradise Garage’s eulogised DJ Larry Levan join label mates Talking Heads. However, he had underground, such as ESG and Liquid Liquid.
was also an educator who revelled in this new his own ideas of where he wanted to take dance When ‘Go Bang!’ off the album was given to
experimentation; where influences from jazz music. “Arthur wanted to produce a Beethoven remixer Francois Kevorkian it would be turned
to dub reggae, and punk to electro, took disco symphony for the dancefloor,” D’Acquisto into a massive dub disco classic, and another
music to a new level. When the West End label enthuses. influential record amongst house producers.
owner, Mel Cheren, handed him a uniquely With a vision of making “the White Album “That record definitely moved things along,”
chaotic record to remix, with a weird off key of disco”, Arthur Russell and Steve D’Acquisto Roger Sanchez says. “Not only was it very very
vocal, Larry’s eyes must have lit up. formed the Loose Joints in 1978, and began funky, it also had this incredible dark energy.”
The record proved to be ‘Is It All Over My work on their strangely twisted dance music. Meanwhile, Arthur continued working with
Face?’ by Loose Joints, a tune that epitomised “Working with Arthur was a real freeing Steve D’Acquisto and Loose Joints, releasing
the chemical fuelled New York dancefloors of the experience,” his musical partner explains. “He the classic ‘Tell You Today’ in 1983 on 4th &
late seventies and early eighties, and the man was just very open minded. If you went to him Broadway, as well as producing Lola’s ‘Wax
behind the madness was one Arthur Russell. with a crazy idea, he would never say you were The Van’ in 1985. In the mid eighties, he
Along with other pioneers like Levan, Walter mad. To him everything was just ,’Wow!’” began recording some of his most bizarre yet
Gibbons, and Francois Kevorkian, this unique and West End’s Mel Cheren, who sadly passed funky music of all with the 12” singles ‘Let’s
eccentric musician helped redefine dance music; in December 2007, recalled the moment he Go Swimming’, released on Logarhythm, and
influencing and inspiring everyone from Talking first heard Steve and Arthur’s demo of ‘Is It ‘Treehouse/School Bell’, released on Sleeping
Heads to Roger Sanchez. All Over My Face?’. “With that vocal, I thought Bag and under the name Indian Ocean. These
Arthur Russell was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, to myself, ‘Are they kidding?’” However, in the were futuristic records that mirrored the sounds
in 1951. In the early seventies he moved to hands of remixer Larry Levan, the tripped out of early house music, with hypnotic rhythms,
California and studied the cello at the renowned vocal hook of “you got me love dancin” would be sparse percussive beats, and distorted melodies.
Ali Akbar Khan Indian music school in San turned into a huge sample from the disco period, “Those records were so progressive,” D’Acquisto
Francisco, before moving to New York where he being used to great effect by Roger Sanchez proclaims. “Although they were stark and offkey,
joined The Flying Hearts avant garde ensemble. on Underground Solution’s ‘Luv Dancin’ (Strictly they were also incredibly beautiful - like Yin and
However, Arthur soon became interested in Rhythm, 1990). “The Loose Joints record was Yang.”
disco music following a visit to Nicky Siano’s always one of my favourite tunes,” Sanchez To add to this ‘uneasy listening’ came
club, the Gallery. Here he met other like-minded explains. “I used play it out all the time, and when Arthur’s strange warped vocals that perfectly
visionaries such as Walter Gibbons, and long- it got to the chorus, all the dancers would sing complemented the spacey dub techniques
time friend and associate Steve D’Acquisto. that line. That was an incredible feeling and it used by producer Walter Gibbons. The spacial
“When I first met Arthur at the Gallery, he gave me the inspiration to sample it for my own distortion provided by Walter’s mix made the
was this crazy beautiful guy with long hair, who Strictly Rhythm release.” whole sound reverberate into what Russell
smoked a lot of pot,” recalls D’Acquisto fondly. While Larry was mixing this classic West called, on his 1986 solo LP, A World of Echo.
“He was also, very very gay,” he laughs. End 12”, Arthur Russell was busy taking his Arthur’s long standing interest in dub, reached
40 41
its zenith with this incredible album. It also saw Always the innovator, Arthur often confused behind a legacy of musical experimentation and
the composer at his most experimental; with and upset people, including an audience at a innovation that cannot be overstated. “The beats
haunting melodies and a discordant cello swirling live performance at The Kitchen in Manhattan. and arrangements of Arthur Russell led the
around in a great sea of reverb. He explained to David Toop how his use of a way for a lot of dance productions that followed,
For Arthur Russell, recording had become a drum kit was met with some derision: “A lot of especially the darker ones,” Roger Sanchez
spiritual experience, as Steve D’Acquisto recalls: people turned off. They thought that was a sign summarises. “He definitely had a big influence on
“With Arthur everything revolved around Zen. of some new unsophistication... of increasing the sounds of today.”
It was just a matter of going with the moment commercialisation,” he began. “Then, if you try “People just didn’t appreciate the creativity
and letting people create. He only recorded at to do something different in dance music you at the time. Like with Van Gogh, perhaps great
certain moon times. All the mixing was done on a just get branded an eccentric.” This resistance artists are only fully appreciated after their
full moon, overdubs were done on a new moon.” to innovation also came from DJ’s, with many lifetime,” his friend Steve D’Acquisto concludes
His spaced out sounds also had another source. of them telling him that no one would ever play emotionally. “Arthur was the seminal, most
“Not only was Arthur a total clubber, he was ‘Let’s Go Swimming’. Arthur replied by simply influential and far reaching person in dance
also a total pot head,” D’Acquisto laughs. “I loved saying: “I think eventually that kind of thing will be music. It wasn’t just disco it was way beyond
Arthur and he was great fun, but he was also commonplace.” that, something much deeper. It was jazz, it was
a paranoid crazy man,” his friend continues. In How right he was. But he would not see classical, it was house, and it was Cole Porter.
the rare interviews he did, Arthur was becoming the true extent of his prophecies, as like many Arthur Russell was one of the great song writers
more and more obscure with statements such of his friends from the New York underground, of the 20th Century.”
as this one with writer David Toop in 1986: “In including Larry Levan and Walter Gibbons,
outer space, you can’t take your drums - you take Arthur Russell died far too young, aged 40,
your mind.” in 1992 of an AIDS related illness. He leaves

WILD COMBINATION
On our return from the premiere of Wild Combination: A Portrait of
Arthur Rusell at the Berlin Film Festival, we talked to director Matt
Wolf about this moving tribute, featuring interviews with critic
David Toop, studio engineer Bob Blank and beat poet Allan Ginsburg,
tracing Arthur’s journey from the cornbelt to NY, in the swirl of the
disco explosion and the ensuing AIDS epidemic.
SHK: What did you think when you first heard Arthur’s music? high. I think Arthur wanted to access the kind of joy of childhood.
Matt Wolf (MW): I got obsessed pretty immediately. But I was planning on
getting obsessed, you could say. I was so compelled by an initial description SHK: One of those interviewed seemed to be making the point that his
of Arthur—gay Buddhist-cellist from Oskaloosa runs away to New York to avant garde productions (those recordings reissued on Audika) were
become disco auteur. The music fulfilled those wild expectations. of a higher art than his dance music. Do you agree or would you say his
dance music was equally as experimental?
SHK: Who were the documentary makers who inspired you MW: Quite the contrary, I think Peter Zummo speaks about Arthur’s
MW: This kind of stylized, reconstructive documentary filmmaking is most insistence on blurring the distinctions between “serious art” and
clearly related to Errol Morris. I’m also inspired by the filmmaker Issac “pop”. I think anybody who collaborated with Arthur or knew his work
Julien, who was showing a film about a filmmaker named Derek Jarman intimately would agree that there’s a similar intensity, accomplishment,
at the Berlinale, but became known for an experimental portrait of the and sophistication to his pop or dance work and his most esoteric
poet Langston Hughes. I’m also enormously inspired by experimental and compositions. Personally, I don’t see a distinction between the two-- I think
narrative filmmakers like Todd Haynes, Charlie Atlas, the list is endless! there were common concerns and preoccupations in both the dance and
avant-garde music that Arthur was making.
SHK: We loved footage of The Gallery. Where did this come from?
MW: The footage is really precious and was shot by a film student at the SHK: The footage of Iowa and the cornfields was beautiful. You believe
Gallery in the 1970s. Now the disco pioneer and founder of The Gallery, DJ those wide open spaces influenced his music?
Nicky Siano, has it. MW: I got the sense that he was captivated by that landscape. He asked
his father to drive him around, photographing him in front of tractors.
SHK: What do you think Arthur found in clubs like the Gallery and the There were numerous songs called ‘Corn.’ There was some sort of
Loft. How did they inspire him? significant connection Arthur felt to Iowa.
MW: I think it was the social experience of people coming together and
dancing that intrigued Arthur. The way people responded to music and SHK: The film includes some very personal interviews with his family and
what made them dance preoccupied Arthur. At these early clubs, the his lover. Were they hard to film and why do you think they were needed?
quality of sound was also extremely refined. I think Arthur saw clubs as MW: Yes, I think those interviews were really necessary to help a viewer
incredible listening environments and social laboratories. find an emotional connection to Arthur and his music. Because Arthur isn’t
around to speak for himself and isn’t recorded speaking extensively, we rely
SHK: We really enjoyed the section with Bob Blank and Lola reminiscing upon the people who knew him or loved him most to bring him to life and
about the recording of ‘Go Bang’. What do you think made Arthur want to tell his story. The interviews were emotional, but I think also cathartic for
to record music like that? his lover Tom, and his parents Chuck, and Emily.
MW: There’s an incredible playfulness to Arthur. In the film, I tried to overtly
bring out this childlike quality to Arthur and his music. He’d sing songs like SHK: At the end of the day what do you want the film to achieve?
“Calling all kids, calling all kids... Grownups are crazy!” A song like ‘Go Bang’ MW: I’d like for people to go to the film and to have unexpected responses
has a similar message, “I want to see all my friends at once, I want to GO to Arthur’s music. I hope viewers have an emotional experience that
BANG!” It’s like a little kid’s birthday party when they’re spinning on a sugar deepens their experience of Arthur’s music.
42
Angelo WORDS: BENJI LEHMANN

Badalamenti.
Twin Peaks is really straight on, Steven Shainberg’s Secretary or Dark Water,
and that includes the music,” from the creators of Japanese horror flick
adds Angelo. “Even the love The Ring. There are a number of soundtrack
scenes start off with a dark, composers whose work has found its way into
moody melody. David told me popular culture. The most obvious, perhaps
Skream may have sampled John WIlliams’ theme to ‘Catch Me If You he need five parts. A dark is Vangelis. The soundtrack to Blade Runner
Can’ for ‘Request Line’, but it was Angelo Badalamenti’s scores mysterious thing with an has been sampled in a host of seminal drum
for David Lynch that first captivated electronic musicians. anticipatory line that builds n’ bass tracks. Dillinja’s ‘The Angels Fell’ is the
very slowly into a climax that most obvious, but also Ed Rush and Trace’s
should tear people’s hearts ‘Technology’. Crucially it is both the subject
out. But in a minimal way. After matter of the film and the soundtrack to it
the climax, the music needed which are cited by producers like Doc Scott as
to fall very slowly, going back to formative influences. Likewise, Trent Reznor’s
that somber, serious melody line. soundtrack to Requiem for a Dream, much of
Then the love theme climbs again which might be described also as sound design,
with off-setting notes.” was as much influence for as it was influenced
Although it was the soundtrack by the experminental Clicks and Cuts album on
to Twin Peaks that shifted the most units, German label Mille Plateaux, which featured Alva
the creative partnership between Lynch and Noto amongst others. Both appeared in 2000.
you’ve Badalamenti really peaked on the soundtrack to It is the music of Badalamenti, though which
got to Mulholland Drive. The theme is reminiscent of has subtly and most completely penetrated
be kidding me! We the work of Bernard Hermann on Taxi Driver, a popular culture. Most famous is the sample from
lucked out with him and Isabella. This is brooding orchestral swell which is emblematic ‘Falling’ which is effectively the total substance
different. This is a one song out of ten million and in its simplicity of basic human functions: of Moby’s acid house classic ‘Go’. But more
I’m supposed to hand something over to this guy breathing, walking, trembling. But in my mind significant is the number of DJs who have
Angelo and (snapping his fingers) like that, I’m it is Badalamenti’s ‘Jitter Bug’, that appears in featured Badalamenti’s tracks in their original
gonna get what I want? You’re nuts!” the opening sequence of the film, which really form on their mixes. Optimo featured ‘Mulholland
Angelo’s rose to the challenge and his describes the evanescent world that we enter. Drive Theme’ on their Kill the DJ mix, and Alex
version of ‘Mysteries of Love’, enlisting the vocals Like in his earlier composition ‘Another Spring’, Patterson of The Orb has featured ‘Falling’ on
of Julee Cruise, would end up part of a key scene Badalamenti’s tense and disturbing voice speaks his Late Night Tales mix. ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’
A century ago, the first
performance of Stravinsky’s ‘Rite
Badalamenti of Blue Velvet. Lynch was so impressed that he through the traditionally upbeat be-bop form. appeared in the same year in which ‘Twin Peaks’
scored the made Badalamenti score the rest of the film, first aired, and it is tempting to suggest that one
of Spring’ famously provoked a riot
and even gave him a cameo appearance as was inspired by the other. However it is more
amongst the audience who objected raw and funky the piano player under his nom de plume, Andy
“David Lynch took significant that the single only entered the top
to its new interpretation of the rules these layers of sound,
governing composition. Today, far from blaxploitation Badale. It would launch a partnership between ten in 1993 on its re-release. After the 1992
being avant-garde, orchestral music has soundtrack Badalamenti and Lynch which would remain a would slow them down success of the Twin Peaks soundtrack, is it
integral part of all Lynch’s future work. possible that the public was now ready for the
become the mainstay of ageing concert-
Gordon’s War and to maybe half their ethereal, enigmatic sound of American Blues
goers, associated more with displays of
pomp and circumstance. In the meantime, one day turned up “It all happened kinda conventionally,” explains speed, even a quarter singer Rickie Lee Jones on the Orb’s ‘Little Fluffy
a genial Badalamenti over the phone from his Clouds’?
traditional arrangement and composition at Nina Simone’s New Jersey home. “As happens with 95% of
of their speed, or
has found another habitat, subsisting in the would play them
background of films and television shows, in the unannounced... filmmakers, he gave me very precise directions Since 1990 the musical landscape has
theatres or as a part of progressive visual art
for how he wanted my music sound, and he told backwards.” changed. Composers like Alva Noto, Tim Hecker
In 1986, Badalamenti was hired as Isabella me that it had to stick to the images that he’d and Stars of the Lid are putting out music
installations. Composers such as Hans Zimmer Simone, including Rosselini’s vocal coach for Lynch’s psycho- already created. But we got on so well that we “Mulholland Drive was a film in which music without regular rhythm or tempo, music which
and James Newton Howard, who might have ‘He Ain’t Coming Home No More’ and ‘Another sexual thriller Blue Velvet. Rossellini was having started to spend more and more time together. is omnipresent, and works in tandem with a has no obvious role – it is not there to dance
found themselves composing religious music Spring’, a song which showed early signs of trouble nailing the title track, and Badalamenti I started to compose scenes simply by his great deal of sound design, and both work to, to sing along to. In the ‘80s their work would
in previous lives, have made hugely successful his unique understanding of jazz. Badalamenti was called in to help out. Within an hour and a descriptions of the scenes, and the atmosphere autonomously and together. There’s lots of have been the sole preserve of academia. Now
careers writing music to accompany Hollywood reportedly turned up at Nina Simone’s offices half, Rossellini and Badalamenti returned with he was trying to create.” muffled tonalities , dissonance – the opposite of it occupies a new and more accessible niche
films. The music of other soundtrack composers, unannounced one day, and asked her if she a cassette of the finished result. Even though “For instance, when we were coming up a traditional melodic line. I used a a lot of strings, which was largely established by Badalamenti
such as Vangelis and Ennio Morricone, has would record his songs by singing them for her he was impressed, Lynch was nevertheless with the music for Twin Peaks, I was sat at my cellos and violas and I made them play very slow, - music that suggests drama, narrative, time
achieved cult status. Few, though, have matched acapella. When finally Ms. Simone acquiesced reluctant when his friend suggested that they synthesizer and David was telling me stuff like: dissonant pieces. Our approach was really very and place, which can exist in the foreground
the impact on popular culture of Angelo and listened to him sing, she agreed to use the offer Badalamenti the ‘Mysteries of Love’ ‘Imagine a beautiful young girl in the distance, experimental: David took these layers of sound, as well as the background of creativity.
Badalamenti. songs on the spot. commission – a song which which was intended who comes out of the forest and seems to be would slow them down to maybe half their speed, Badalamenti emphasizes that music is as much
Badalamenti, who’s celebrating his 70th In time, though, it wouldn’t be R&B singers as a placeholder while they tried to license This very distressed. Try to find a melody to illustrate even a quarter of their speed, or would play an impetus to the stories of Lynch’s films as
birthday this year, is a classically trained but Hollywood director David Lynch would best Mortal Coil’s ‘Song to the Siren’. how she comes across, and how she feels.’ A them backwards. Then he would take one track it is an accompaniment. The music describes
musician who studied at the Manhattan School employ Badalamenti’s ability to assimilate his Speaking to the Gavin Report, David Lynch quarter of an hour later, David was close to with one mix and another with one another mix the set, the costume and the story of a film
of Music, just across the Hudson from his native unique voice into a variety of musical styles. remembers, “We wanted to get this certain tears with the result,” explains Angelo. and superimpose these things. All of a sudden, even before it has been written. It is in this way
Brooklyn. After graduating, he worked as a music Badalamenti began working on films in 1973, song that was real hard to get. It was tied up It was with this soundtrack to the TV you’ve got some very unusual sound design going that Badalamenti has changed the role of the
teacher while arranging and writing songs for a scoring the raw and funky blaxploitation in litigation. Our producer Fred Caruso had series Twin Peaks that Badalamenti achieved right from there.” soundtrack, and moreover, our appreciation of
number of popular performers. He worked with soundtrack Gordon’s War under the name Andy anticipated trouble and suggested we write mainstream recognition in 1992, winning him It is undoubtedly the same tension for music in general.
Roberta Flack, Melba Moore and Shirley Bassey Badale, a record that featured Barbara Mason something with Angelo. He suggested we tell him a Grammy Award and going on to become the which he has a unique talent that has seen
in this capacity and wrote three songs for Nina on vocals. what we wanted in terms of feel. I said, ‘Fred, best selling soundtrack of all time. “Nothing in him work more recently on films such as
44 45
“music by nerds
for non nerds”

& D I R T Y SO UND SYSTEM


46
INTERVIEW J’M IRIE PHOTO ELISA GOMEZ

47
Pilooski is a guy who “Outside France we find much more intensity that reigns in his movies. Also Sam his Stones Throw team the other night and when With your edits and remixes you like to explore
enthusiasm: people less snobby, less Peckinpah, Martin Scorsese (in particular the you talk with him you see that he’s really a great many genres. Who is king of the edits in your
keeps it mellow, living worried about how they look and violence, the realness you can find in his ‘70s musician. They’ve asked me to do a few edits and opinion?
and working at home, whether they’re gonna get into the movies), Terence Malick for his poetic vision maybe some remixes. They’ve given me some In my humble opinion there are too many cheap
club. When we travel and play abroad, and even some of Dario Argento’s stuff. Also modern soul tracks to work on. My aim is to try edits out there these days. I like the Moxie edits.
somewhere near the I’ve started doing short movies with friends of to make techno from the originals – not just do Also Todd Terje… although I got sent a cd of his
first and foremost we look to enjoy
gothic cemetary of Pere ourselves, so everything aspect of the mine I met in England who work in advertising. some cut & paste edit, but to attempt to to go with about 60 edits and I only really liked three
Lachaise in the north rider is negociable,” Pilooski tell us over
But even though I’m passionnate about films, somewhere else with it. out of the whole lot.
I won’t go to study it at school. I’d rather try
of Paris. Very few DJs an aperitif in Belleville in the north of
to rely on new ideas… experiment with cheap Tell me about your next project Discodeine… I meant from the past? Like Tom Moulton or
Paris. “Good food and good wine can
and artists in Paris are make the difference between accepting
equipement. I guess that what I like the most With my pal Benjamin Morando we’re doing an Larry Levan or even Lee Perry ?
in art, be it movies or music, is the DIY ethic : album with a lot of vocal harmonies layered in a Yes, Lee Perry and all those who dare to
making it big in 2008 a booking or not. And if we feel good
those who dare to be original. Those who keep Beach Boys vein, with a techno feel underneath push the envellope. Someone like Ron Hardy
without compromising with the promoter, we might spend
it ruff but fresh at the same time, who can be and a dark Morricone edge. I want to make whose work seems oddly off, with long hypnotic
three days on their couch eating magret spontaneous… iconoclasts like Lee Perry or Mr pop music, not some unknown stuff just for ten sequences – Ron Hardy did what every artist
their souls but Pilooski, de canard like we do whenever we go to Oizo. Musicians and generally individuals with DJ’s to wank over. I want make pop with an does today, he did it twenty years before
alongside his DIRTY SOUND Porto, Istambul or Athens.” ideas, like Michel Gondry in cinema too. experimental approach. everyone else! Again, talking about disco edits
SYSTEM crew of Clovis, I seem to go more for experimentation. I love
So how did music come in your life? You made your first moves in the studio And to follow up on the glowing success of Arthur Russell’s audacious work, with very little
Guillaume and Benjamin, From a very tender age, as young as eight producing hip hop. In fact, your name first your Dirty Space Disco compilation, you plan means but a lot of inventivity – more than just
somehow manage years old, I was a very curious and diverse emerged in most connoisseurs discussions to release a second selection on Tigersushi big string arrangements like Larry Levan (even
record collector of many genres of sounds and about five years ago with the elusive records, this time focusing on French pop… though he’s great too.) Yeah, I like it ruff… Harvey
the impossible: rock especially pop and OST (original soundtracks). ‘Beatshopper’ 12”, in praise of the joy of I’m very fond of the works of past artists fits in the same category.
headz as well as soul diggin’ dusty records… an activity you’ve – famous or not – in the same vein as Serge
connoisseurs, they’re You declared that “God works for Ennio become well known and respected for. Gainsbourg, particulary in a psychedelic context. How do you approach an edit?
Morricone.” I was living in Toulouse in the south of France Sadly the majority of the chanson française First off I look for a mood that moves me. I
comfortable playing Right! I’m fascinated by the talent of artists such and I made my first records with a friend for scene today is horrible, with the exception of usually like psychedelic stuff with a melodic and
out at the champagne- as Ennio Morricone who can appeal to everyone: Quantic and also Tongue & Groove around 1994 rare individuals like Sebastien Tellier who is melancholic feel. Then I don’t just want to cut
from your average 18 year old kids to 60-year- (before they changed their name to Hospital doing a fantastic job. As Discodeine, we want to and paste. I look for intensity and I want to add
sipping, Versace- old Ircam scientists! records). I was very much into jazz and soul express something personal, and we’re looking even more deepness to the original track by
wearing nights like Paris – from De La Soul to Pharoah Sanders – and to use people we feel close to – Jamie Liddell, insisting on certain parts. For instance, right now
Paris, or catering to the And which other main artists made a mark on also noisy pop stuff which got me more and Herman Düne’s singer or even Midnight Mike. I’m working on a Kid Creole edit. The original is
you? more into sound textures. And then of course quite pouet pouet (dull) so I kept very few original
sophisticated tastes of I love Mr Oizo’s sound because it can be dark there was Detroit and Chicago, original minds What’s this fascination for Turkish baths elements and I’ve tried to take it somewhere
the cognoscenti with their and ludic at the same time, also I appreciate the like Anthony Shakir. Again I’ve always been you seem to cultivate in the artwork for else. Same thing when I spin with DIRTY: I’ll mix
talented works of Smith n Hack… stimulated by “bricolage”: being able to create Discodeine? obscure and mainstream stuff too. I don’t care
limited-editon, vinyl-only
something emotive by just using a drum machine At first we wanted to entitled the album Sauna for reference contests. I leave that to record
‘Dirty Edits’ series and OK but who else? I mean who else from the with feeling. So at one point I stopped making hip ‘cause one day we were asking ourselves: “Who conventions goers! I play classics because I’ve
their most-rated Dirty past? hop because copying DJ Premier didn’t interest buys records these days? Who knows their got nothing to prove, or I can select very well-
So many. For disco I love Patrick Adams. And me anymore. music? It’s only gays!” (laughs). They have the known artists but rare tracks (like ‘Beggin’ by
Space Disco compilation people like Quincy Jones who are polymaths, who cultural curiosity, the hedonistic vibe and the Frankie Valli…the guy who was responsible for
for Tigersushi. With can achieve just about anything from jazz to pop It must have been about the same time you purchasing power. We’re not gay but many of ‘Grease’). I don’t feel the need to have everything
to electronic to funk to rock etc. Also I enjoy the hooked up with the D I R T Y crew… our friends are, so as a joke we’ve been playing in my collection, even though I’ll listen to anything.
a wide and discerning way the Mizzell Brothers can create jazz with a We were working on the same label, around with the idea of big moustaches and Oizo for example is a total genius in my opinion,
taste in music and more very pop appeal. Or The Sylvers… their producer Diamondtraxx. They released their first Turkish baths. the best french producer now without a doubt!
besides, Pilooski and was very much into sound research while making compilation Dirty Diamonds and I invited them to Also Jackson is great. I’m not a passéist, I’m not
soul music. But I don’t want to mention just play in Toulouse a few times. We got along and Codeine is a drug that slows down the tempo… stuck in the past . I don’t stop after 82 ! That’s
his DIRTY acolytes are jazz and soul cats here. I’m influenced equally went on from there. Is the project a nod to the slow-motion comic just plain ridiculous.
not just the critically by rock too, if you look at my edits. For example disco craze?
Krautrockers Can … You’ve since gained a great reputation for We did think about it at first but we’ve tried You are very buzy in your studio right now…
acclaimed “kings of edits”
pulling out an amazingly vast selection of to dissociate ourselves from that limiting Oh yes. I’ve done remixes for Chromatix, Cosmo
but here to bring back So your aim is to spread love, to share “music sounds… connotation because let’s face it, Nu Disco is Vitelli, Photons (a new Portuguese band we’ve
quality control to the made by nerds for non nerds” as you described What I like with them, what we all share in wack (with the exception of a few tracks here just signed to DIRTY). Also some very interesting
it once summing up D I R T Y sound-system common, is that we might talk about obscure and there by Todd Terge and Prins Thomas or edits like the Kid Creole for Strut… and some
dancefloor. ethos … stuff for hours but we’re also very much into Cosmo Vitelli with a freaky twist). If I want to play not so artistically motivating edits in order to
Exactly. obvious productions of here and now, from the slow grooves, I’d rather hear soul, real stuff, buy equipment and feed my son (for disposable
likes of Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Janet rather than what they do. Nu Disco shows no pop groups and Amy Winehouse-wannabes on
Cinema plays a big part in your life too… Jackson or Snoop. What I hate are stereotypes, intensity, no ideas. They stick too much to the Rough Trade and Warner etc.). And even some
I love it. It’s a matter of moods… Every night people whose musical abilities are pigeon-holed. same old rules and they look too much for rarity productions for a Texas singer too..
I watch at least two movies. And I’ve always For example I started listening again to some rather than quality! That’s also why I stopped
been heavily into sampling dialogues in DJ sets hip-hop recently, a lot of Madlib stuff, and I diggin’ a bit. I got fed up. www.d-i-r-t-y.com
to create a certain atmosphere. My favorite realized that the dude is a victim of this digger www.alainfinkielkrautrock.com
filmmaker must be William Friedkin, the man reputation. The fact is that he’s much more than
who did The French Connection. I love the that. We’ve actually had dinner with Madlib and

48 49
words HUGO MENDEZ

SPIRITUALLY
SPEAKING
Spiritual jazz. It can be applied to Albert Ayler, Don Cherry and the ‘New Thing’, to
the religious works of Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Canonball Adderley and Mary
Lou Williams, as well as the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra and the politicized work of Phil
Ranelin and Wendell Harrison. Stylistically disparate, does it begin and end with ‘A
Love Supreme’, or can it mean more than Coltrane? Hugo Mendez asks the questions.

It’s a fact that ’Trane’s spiritual conversion of New York and Philadelphia were buzzing with John Lewis, the pianist from the Modern Jazz
was inspired by Sun Ra and, more importantly, the alternative world views and revisionist ideas Quartet. I learnt a lot about jazz and composition
the saxophonist Jon Gilmore. Gilmore came flying around Black Arts centres and musical through the work of John Lewis. Aside from that
close to leaving Ra’s Arkestra, and even collectives. Many musicians were engaged in of course, and in the Jazz Mass specifically, the
recorded an album for Blue Note on Coltrane’s overtly political causes (Philip Cohran’s tribute to Gospel tradition informed a lot of the piece. I
recommendation. But the higher purpose of the Malcolm X, the legendary Black Mass from Amiri tried to score the voices of the choir as music,
Arkestra, coupled with a stern warning from Baraka and Sun Ra’s Myth Science Orchestra) using the tone and colour of the instruments to
Ra himself, persuaded Gilmore to stay. The that give urgency and drive to their work beyond evoke the gospel choir.
work ethic of Ra’s ‘prison’ (otherwise known as the basic creative impulse.
his rehearsal schedule) appealed to Coltrane’s The flipside to the political and critical stance What was your intention with the piece?
obsessive, almost monastical approach to taken by many musicians was a desire to escape I wanted to use jazz expression to acknowledge
practice - and while we think of spirituality being – escape into religion, or a re-claimed past, or the Supreme Being as the Foundation of the
the message in the music, it was also a guide exotic and imagined cultures, or just escape into Foundation – in a simple way that the average
and a way of life, leading band leaders and their the emotional power of music. joe could understand and relate to.
players through the wilderness and temptations
of life on the road. How was the Mass received?
We also know that some of Ra’s pamphlets James Tatum The premiere of the mass was a special moment
on numbers and cosmic theory found its way to James Tatum is a pianist and composer, – more than 500 people were in the church
Trane, and he almost certainly translated these originally from Texas but based in Detroit. His to hear it! We recorded it at the church and
into his changes and harmonic approaches. In 1973 Contemporary Jazz Mass album has sold the LP at different concerts and church
an infinite universe, he understood that juggling become a cult record amongst Jazz lovers and appearances. The Mass has been performed at
numbers around is all we got. diggers – a legendarily tough record to find churches of all denominations, not just Catholic.
So you have to understand that spiritual that was only ever sold at churches where the I still perform the mass to this day – most
jazz, more than anything else, is a state of piece was being performed. The LP is one of recently three years ago, when I performed a
consciousness. The idea of spiritual music the pinnacles of religious jazz. James still lives revised version as a tribute to Rosa Parks.
is not restricted to a particular style – it is a and works in the Detroit area.
natural by-product of free expression. It can be
vocal, instrumental, fast, slow, religious, secular, What was the inspiration for your Jazz Mass? Ed Nelson –
conceived as nothing more than a simple melody At the time, in 1973, there had been a revolution
for musicians to improvise and re-interpret in church music and all sorts of masses being
The Hastings Street
or can be as rigorously scored as a classical composed – folk masses, rock masses and stuff Jazz Experience
composition. The one important thing that like that. Father Raymond Ellis suggested that Detroit’s Hastings Street Jazz Experience
makes something spiritual is the way in which it I come up with a Jazz Mass for the St. Cecilia encapsulates the communal nature of many
was created – and of course how it is received. Church, which was my parish. I was deeply underground jazz collectives of the ‘70s – a
In the wake of Trane’s music, it was a time influenced by the great Duke Ellington, who had fiercely independent endeavor that sought
when musicians and artists were consciously premiered his own religious suite in New York a to enrich the community as well as bringing
trying to break down the barriers between few years earlier. the music to a wider audience. Alongside the
music, poetry, art and dance – a time of work of better known Detroit figures such
renewed interest in African heritage, the study of Apart from Ellington, what else was influencing as Wendell Harrison and Tribe Records, the
Eastern religion and mysticism in the immediate you at the time? Hastings Street Jazz Experience deserves
aftermath of de-segregation and in the midst of Well, my main influences apart from Duke its place in the history of underground and
the Vietnam War. Ellington were Art Tatum – the greatest, fastest spiritual jazz.
The urban centres of Chicago and Detroit, jazz pianist in this universe – Billy Taylor and
50 51
James Tatum / Mor Thiam / Ronnie Boykins

What was the impetus for forming the for demolition and Detroit would have lost much then other people will too. I have the
Hastings Street Jazz Experience? another important part of its musical heritage, records, why not share them? The musicians
The Group grew out of The Other Katz quartet, but after our gig and the actions of some others who originally made the music wanted as many
a group I was involved with in the early ’70s. it was saved and is still the home of the Detroit people to enjoy it as possible, and because
Through my teaching work I saw a lot of talent Symphony Orchestra today. much of it was recorded so long ago it’s been
in the young pupils but realized that there was forgotten. Many of the independently pressed
no outlet for them to play live. The idea behind records never even made their way out of the
the Hastings Street Experience was to put Jazzman Gerald town they were recorded in, such were the
young players alongside seasoned veterans, to Jazzman Records’ Spritual Jazz compilation difficulties and expenses involved in distribution.
teach them about playing in a big band – a kind is out in April, covering lost, forgotten and So this is my way of getting what I see is
of community training that also included dance, rare tracks from the’60s and ’70s. Many of important and overlooked music out there so it
poetry and performance. the records were unearthed from Gerald’s can be properly appreciated.
hallowed vaults.
Why did you call the group the Hastings Street
Jazz Experience? What does the term spiritual jazz mean to
Ben Lamdin –
Hastings Street was the most famous Afro- you? Nostalgia 77
American area in Detroit prior to the ’60s – the Obviously there are many, many forms of jazz, The Nostalgia 77 Octet have been producing
end point for any Southern migrants ending up in and spiritual jazz is a form that’s only really forward-thinking jazz music for several years.
Detroit. It was where all the jazz and blues clubs become exposed and given a name in recent Head-honcho Ben Lamdin runs down his
were– there were many black-owned businesses years. Primarily it’s the music made by jazz interest in spiritual jazz.
and a very strong community. The City of musicians in the ‘60s and ‘70s, recorded on
Detroit moved the inhabitants out in the early small independent labels and is of a style that’s Who would you say are your main influences,
’60s to make way for the interstate, destroying progressive yet still has a earthy sound that the and what is it about them that has inspired
the community and relocating them to housing casual listener can latch on to. I say ‘progressive’ you?
projects on the outskirts of town. I wanted to in that unusual time signatures, ethnic rhythms I really love the music of the Coltranes and a
commemorate the area and to maintain the or modal scales are often used, and I say the lot of the Impulse! artists of that time as well
history of Afro-American Detroit. casual listener can enjoy it as there as Mingus, Ayler etc. I also have an interest
isn’t much of a free or avante-garde element to in artists or groups who where perhaps less
What kind of support for the project did you the music. In other words, it’s jazz music that’s exceptional and who worked more locally than
get – did any municipal bodies get involved to more interesting than the usual dum-dum-dum- nationally, but whose music was rooted in their
help? dum walking bass 4/4 beat, yet not a step so community which was made regardless of profit
The entire project was completely self-funded– far that the listener is challenged too hard. motive. Music made out of the necessity to say
we used fees from gigs and appearances to something. In England composers like Michael
finance the album. It was a collective effort– we Are there any particular famous artists that Garrick and Neil Ardley both wrote music which
pressed the record ourselves, a kid I taught sparked your interest in the music? drew inspiration from religious traditions.
designed the cover, and none of the musicians There are many, but John Coltrane has to be
were allowed more than one composition on the the father of the music, he was way ahead of Are there any other artists working today that
LP to make sure everyone got a fair go. everyone else, mainly from his Atlantic albums of you feel a musical connection with?
the early ‘60s though he came into his element I think for this kind of music the New York
Do you remember any special concerts at the with Impulse! a few years later. If I can mention groups affiliated with William Parker are making
time? just a few I should point out the under-rated outstanding music. I’d also give special mention
It was difficult to get gigs of any scale in Detroit genius that is Sahib Shihab, also Sun Ra, Jef to a group called the Twelves Trio run by Riaan
in the’70s, after the riots and with the wind- Gilson, Nathan Davis and not forgetting Don Vosloo and fronted by the British sax player,
down from the industrial closures. Our most Rendell and Ian Carr from the UK. Mark Hanslip.
memorable gig was probably at the Detroit
Symphony Hall in 1978. We put two shows on Why did you decide to release a compilation of
with Donald Byrd, both sold out, and even the this music, and why now?
Mayor came. The building had been scheduled I love the music and I think that if I love it so
52 53
WALL
From 3D to
Banksy,Bristol has
a strong history of
graf writers. But
now a new breed
of artists is helping
to regeneratate the
city’s no-go zone.

FLOWERS Welcome to Stokes


Croft.

Words:ALASDAIR PURVES
Photos: WALT JABSCO

Take a stroll up Cheltenham Road, peopled by Chalkley has bypassed any potential delays, being snapped up by outside investors, raising
the the dispossessed, the down-on-their-luck sticking two fingers up at uncomprehending the cost of rent and increasing the pressure on
and the downright desperate, where amidst arts bodies and local development funds, and younger and less privileged families.
the derelict buildings and the blank-looking steamed ahead with his project. So in spite By contrast, the edification of Stokes Croft
ghosts of the city, a new chapter in Bristol’s of the apathy and indifference of the council is bringing about a community spirit and self-
story is being written. and local government, who have done virtually esteem that was previously non-existent – there
A profoundly neglected quarter of Bristol, nothing to renew the environs between St. Pauls, are vintage shops and record stores, cafes, art
a place where all the scum of the city has Montpelier and Cotham, the PRSC have taken it galleries, an independent cinema, and numerous
been washed-up, where the shady bordellos, upon themselves to give the area a facelift with pubs and clubs all flourishing like never before.
drugs projects and homeless shelters have their own special brand of urban planning. Where not so long ago there were only vagrants
accumulated, it’s an unofficial ‘red-light’ zone Take a tour around these streets and and crack addicts, now you can find people
of tolerance towards drugs. But over the past you will see a mind-boggling array of graffiti from a kaleidoscope of ethnic backgrounds and
few months, it’s also a place where a certain pieces, loud socio-political stencils, and cunning social standings, all freely intermingling in these
rebel faction of artists has declared a state of trompe l’oeils, chalkboards scrawled with the bustling and visually upbeat surroundings.
aesthetic anarchy. Wresting it from the grip antiestablishment ravings, as well as quaint and Through careful lobbying and petitioning of
of Bristol City Council, the zone has now been beautiful murals from a list of artist that includes the council and the submission of a well thought
declared The People’s Republic Of Stokes Croft. SickBoy, True, Haka, Syan, TCF Crew, PM Crew, out action plan it seems the PRSC are here
The brain-child of local artist-turned-activist AcerOne and BTM Crew. The area also boasts to stay and are at liberty to proceed with their
Chris Chalkley, the PRSC is an initiative that has ‘The Mild, Mild West’ by Banksy, Bristol’s most creative deeds without prosecution. All of the
been pioneered by the people, for the people, to notorious exi-stencilist, although legend has it PRSC activities are entirely self-funded, with
redecorate the streets and bring about some that the landlord nearly painted over the mural audacity, determination and willpower proving to
much needed civic beautification. In the autumn before he discovered how much it was worth. be more essential resources than money. Whilst
of 2007 the PRSC project really began to gather Just a stone’s throw away from Stokes undergoing what seems to be a very radical
momentum and Stokes Croft, it became the Croft, the Broadmead shopping precinct overhaul, the new Stokes Croft is also in keeping
urban backdrop to the scene of a quiet war is broadening out – a multimillion pound with how it has been historically, with busy shops,
fought with silent weapons, as much an art development that is extending the existing painted facades and a real sense of community.
renaissance as a political revolution. shopping area even further out from the So if you find yourself in Bristol, I encourage
Designating Stokes Croft as Bristol’s city centre towards St.Pauls and St. Judes. you to explore Stokes Croft and admire the
“Cultural Quarter”, Chalkley has roused a The more it encroaches on the surrounding metamorphosis of these once grungy and
collective of discontented street artists and communities, the more its effects can be felt decrepit walls. Perhaps it will restore your faith
writers and after carefully mapping out every reverberating throughout the vicinity. In St. Pauls, in humanity. For now at least nothing seems
available section of wall space in the vicinity, has police activity has reached oppressive levels and to be standing in the way of the PRSC from
set about revamping it into an urban art gallery several local pubs have been shut down in this achieving their goal of turning Stokes Croft into
that is steady proliferating across every vacant long-suffering, ethnically diverse community. All The World’s Biggest Outdoor Art Gallery.
vertical surface. With his no-nonsense approach, the time, available housing in the community is www.prsc.org.uk
54 55
DESTINATION: BUENOS AIRES

BOUNTY
HUNTERS
Buenos Aires is a city which resonates to a 24 hour culture yet still offers
laidback charm and impossible beauty. Surely here, in the home of tango, it
can’t be this difficult to find records? words: SANJIV AHLUWALIA

Sat on a local bus as it weaves an out-of- an air of excitement – food kiosks, alluring Gotan Project as “not proper tango.” But though
control mission through Chacubuco to San foreign newspapers and magazines, train the shop is a great discovery, there’s something
Telmo, my face pressed up against the inside departures to mystical destinations and missing… vinyl.
of the window, I’m trying to assess the outside seediness. But does it boast, like Grand Central A friend suggests that if I like tango, proper
scene for clues, while suppressing the groans Station in New York, a small but busy booth tango, we meet at the Homero Manzi cafe
coming from my stomach. My Time Out travel for commuters to purchase the latest salsa (see details). We innocently walk into an early-
guide helpfully says of Buenos Aires’ buses, “hold sounds? No it doesn’t. evening wedding rehearsal, two tango dancers
on tight”. It should read, “hold on for dear life “. Getting off the bus at the Chacubuco district, nod a welcome and the waiter brings, without
As we tear through the streets, a crest of local it’s a slightly rougher mix of characters and asking, strong mate tea. My eyes gorge on the
bars and restaurants have begun to ply the early what seems like endless streets of working men improvised dancing feast. Afterwards, our spirits
evening aperitif crowd. But I have other concerns cafes, petrol stations and patisseries. Surely lifted by the music, we take a little walk around
on my mind – namely that my record mission here, if anywhere, will be home to a little-known the area and stray into a musty local indoor
in BA, a city which brings a cocktail of late-night gem of a record store? Sadly, the only thing I find market in San Telmo district of Buenos Aires,
hedonism and fiery football, has so far yielded no here is more disappointment. What about San where the fresh fruit, veg and fish sit next to
finds. I’ve drawn a big Zero. Nothing. Nada. In the Telmo, home of the much-famed market, where interesting bric-a-brac and homewares gathering
streets, the residents of the villas miseria rifle there are apparently endless rows of record dust.
through rubbish bags and recycle anything they stalls? When I eventually make it there, besides It was Rakim who said that to really
can find - clothes, cardboard, cans. And in my the overpriced crafts and jewellery, all I can find appreciate hip-hop you have to listen to it in a
mind, their sullen faces begin to resemble mine. is MOR rock records. So much for my dream of totally different environment from where it was
A crate-digger never truly rests in his discovering some rare, never officially released made. So Mos Def, Rza and Guilty Simpson
search for the perfect beat (a journey inspired Astor Piazzolla and Miles Davis album! sound just as good in Fort Greene, Brooklyn as
by hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaata’s 1983 Still refusing to give up, I battle with they do in Jaipur, India. And similarly when I finally
classic of the same name). A crate-digger is commuters and tourists on endless subtes spot the record oasis of Elena de San Telmo,
like the bodhissatva, as described in Buddhist (underground trains), hitting up various I hear not the sweet refrain of Astor Piazzolla,
teachings – he’s on a personal mission, a quest destinations on the map. The oldest line dates or some modal/tango moments from Nestor
for perfection. In his never-ending search for the back to 1912 and has wooden carriages which Marconi but the happy, skippy trance-like music
perfect beat, the perpetually elusive mother lode groan when they rattle on the lines. But like the of ‘Fuselage Part II’ by Monk Montgomery.
of all breaks (even if Bobby Hutcherson’s Waiting song, I am on a road to nowhere. Then, just The psychedelic jazz refrain soundtracks my
does come close) he will be a richer record when things couldn’t get any worse, there’s a approach to the small stall where boxes of dusty
collector (richer in terms of his collection, if not glimmer of hope. Across from the stately Hotel records huddle next to a small portable record
in terms of his bank balance). Within hours of Castelar (see details) is a little tiny CD shop. In player propped up on a box. The shop’s small
arriving in a city, the vinyl addict will already be on the window, posters of Alberto Castillo, Carlos interior is brightened with bold paintings of old
the trail – like a true junky – following the smell Garcia and other popular tango artists cover Argentine tango. Armed with some broken
of records to the most unlikely of places. But in the glass frontage. Inside is a treasure trove of Spanish, a phrase book and a bag full of charm,
Buenos Aires the trail had definitely gone cold. music new and old. A great place to browse, the I finger through hundreds of records with the
I’d boarded the bus at the main train station owners are extremely helpful, pointing out some helpful advice and guidance of the owner. How
Retiro which like most principal city stations has unknown classics and politely dismissing the do you say in Spanish, “I’ve found heaven”?
56
57
DESTINATION: BUENOS AIRES REST OF ARGENTINA
Pack your sleek Argentinian-leather suitcase, get out of BA’s
concrete jungle and into Argentina’s extraordinary landscape – the

FUTBOL ultimate lesson in geography. Your guide for today is Sam Phillips.

If tango is the soul of Buenos Aires, then 1. Perito Moreno


football is its heartbeart. Glacier
This vast ice-field
in Patagonia is the
The residents of Buenos Aires, the Porteños
live, breathe and die (sometimes literally) for
police van. As we advanced with the crowd,
the officer came towards us and, touching his SPOTS most famous of
Argentina’s natural
the beautiful game. The city has over thirty holster, began pushing my friend into the van as Catch a vibe in Buenos Aires. From cafes to
wonders and it definitely deserves the hype. The
clubs, six in the top flight, and each has their his girlfriend pleaded and I looked on in horror. tango halls, welcome to the good life.
glacier’s appearance is outerworldly, an infinite
own stadium, with blanket coverage on television And then, with the best operatic turn, the number of blues and whites spreading out into
(live games are televised five or six times a three of us were suddenly let off. Before we Castelar Hotel, in
the distance. Compared to the country’s other
week). Every taxi driver’s radio is locked onto knew it we were fifty feet up in the Gods at the the historic, 1152
glaciers, it is also very accessible– visitors can
the football commentary, football posters are famous Bombenero stadium for the derby to Avenida de Mayo
strap on crampons and get the rush of trekking
draped across every newsagent’s stands, while end all derbies, the superclassico between Boca - The hotel has old
on the ice.
in most cafes and bars, with football often the Jnrs and River Plate. fashioned charm,
centre of attraction, there’s no escaping the We all linked arms, the three of us and the history (the writer
2. Lake District
beautiful game. strangers on either side, and literally thousands Lorca resided here)) with waist-coated, super
Argentina’s Lake
My second visit to a football game in BA of people jumped in unison. Up and down to an friendly staff and a lobby with marble floors and
District is the
was something else. Even getting a ticket had almighty roar, so hard that I felt a rush coming pillars and comes complete with an ‘old school
perfect destination
been an adventure. Of course, if you wanted, you on, such was the excitement, anticipation and plumbing system’ – get ready for the gurgling
for those who like
could get your reserved seat, with a coach ticket overwhelming joy, mixed with more than a noises. Despite the busy location the hotel is
the great outdoors.
and a tour of the stadium thrown in. But that little fear. And the whole floor rocked, literally remarkably quiet and with huge rooms and
Snowcapped volcanoes, verdant forests and
would have been no more exciting than watching moving underneath our feet. The safety rails bathrooms. Around £50 for a double luxurious
– as you would expect – stunning freshwater
Chelsea play. My friends, their families, their were few and far between and it was a sheer room plus free, fast wi-fi.
lakes stretching down from the Andes, allowing
extended families and even their neighbours had drop down. But the volume of crowd noise, hikers weeks of adventure. Bariloche is the most
tried all week to dissuade me from going to the the singing and chanting and the firecrackers Cafe Tortoni
popular base for visitors, but the hippy enclave
Bombenero. The taxi driver insisted on waiting almost overrode all doubts and fear – and yes - (Avenida de Mayo
of little El Bolson is one of the more charming
outside of the stadium (his meter was off, he there were cascades of ticker tape streaming 829) resplendent
was worried about my safety) and acted as a from the terraces. Such a picture of a carnival BEATS mid-nineteenth
century cafe steeped
alternatives.

look-out as I thrust a couple of pesos in a hole in of colour, noise and emotional exuberance, and Sanjiv’s picks some of his essential tango licks 3. Ushuaia
the wall and procured my golden ticket . all the while a subtext of fear and violence that so you don’t have to. in history and an air of
At the toe of Argentina
The game came during a wave of social threatened to mar the proceedings. tango (the back room has tango sessions). The
lies the southern-
unrest. With mass strikes and hooligan incidents The game was quite good, River easily beat Astor Piazzolla – Libertango place may be toursity but you would be doing an
most city in the
the previous week resulting in the death of some a poor Boca team 3-0. And the rain bucketed From the most famous and celebrated tango injustice to yourself by not spending a morning
world. A comparative
supporters, tension was high. We had walked down as the Gods of La Boca mourned their musician of all time, Libertango is a work in the cafe reading La Nacion or The Buenos
stone’s throw from
through airport-style ticket barriers and were defeat. My friends and I joined in with the tens of of genius. Piazzolla rides the Miles Davis Herald, over a cappucino and sticky croissant.
Antarctica, Ushuaia receives plenty of tourists
told to take off belts and shoelaces. Against the thousands through the streets of BA, caring little comparisons with some stunning playing and a looking for a notch on their belts. But there’s so
opposite wall there was a parade of burly youths for the score and singing merrily abusive songs beautiful orchestra. Don Julio
much more to this busy port city than its ‘End of
being frisked by officers – not quite what I had about the River Plate supporters’ mothers. – (Gurruchaga
the World’ slogan, not least the mesmerically-
expected. [Sanjiv Ahluwalia) 7 Tangos de Ayer y 7 Tangos de Hoy / Los 14 2100) – located in
beautiful Tierra del Fuego national park nearby.
A plain clothes police officer armed with de Julio de Caro a quieter spot on a
that thug stare so beloved of certain persons in Not quite sure who this is by, it is conducted by cobblestoned street
4. Igazu Falls
uniform, was standing by a stationary, unmarked, Luis Stazo on Fermata records. Enchanting corner in the trendy
These spectacular waterfalls plunge down amid
strings over engaging bandoneon . Hard to find Palermo Viejo area, the restaurant serves
sub-tropical jungle at the border of Argentina,
but worth the effort. Excellent. fantastic steak, a very decent bottle of Malbec
Brazil and Paraguay. Igaz� is a true sensory
and has attentive, friendly staff – it can get
experience, spanning across a massive 2km

ArteBA Orquestra del Tango de Buenos Aires


– Libertango Supreme album of orchestrated
tango works with a superb title track - one of my
impossibly busy in the evening.

La Esquina Homero Manzi


and including fearsome cascades such as the
Garguanta del Diablo (The Devil’s Throat). “Poor
Niagra,” famously remarked Eleanor Roosevelt
Buenos Aires is the centre of a burgeoning Established spaces include Ruth Benzacar favourite ‘battle weapons’. – (Avenida San Juan 3601,
on a visit from the US.
visual art scene, making it a worthwhile (Florida 1000) and Braga Menéndez (Humboldt Bodeo) I fear this may have
destination for anyone who has wandering eyes 1574), where the quality of the work tends to Nestor Marconi – Bien de Arriba gone the way of many of BA’s
5. Puerto Madryn
as well as ears. For an introduction, first visit the be assured. Other spots include Daniel Abate If Piazzolla was the Miles Davis of tango then tango institutions and charge
The real draw of this resort on the Atlantic Coast
Costantini Collection at MALBA (Museo de Arte (Pasaje Bollini 2170) and, for a pop-punk edge, Marconi is the Herbie (Hancock). I have many sky high prices for coach
is Peninsula Valdes, an unparalleled aquatic
Latinamericano de Buenos Aires, Av. Figueroa Appetite (Chacabuco 551). If you’re touching of his albums and this is the best. The closest hoarding tourists. But one of
reserve. Sea-lions, seals and dolphins are on view
Alcorta 3415), which gives the brief background down in BA at the end of May, no need to pace tango gets to modal jazz – brilliant. my favourite ever BA moments
year-round, but come September and October
on developments during the last century. The around town: just visit ArteBA, the city’s annual was sneaking into this café/
(Argentinian spring-time) you’ll be seeing the
city’s many cultural centres are also well worth contemporary art fair (May 29 to June 2, La Fedirico Leopoldo – De’ Antologia restaurant at the tail end of
Southern Right Whale emerge from the depths.
a look, including Centro Cultural Recoleta (Junín Rural, Sarmiento 2704), a one-stop shop with A great album and in Tango del Angel – with its a wedding rehearsal and spying breathtaking
The continent’s largest penguin colony Punta
1930) which shows interesting new work by the continent’s key galleries on show in a space dramatic pauses, sweeping strings and melodic tango.
Tombo, chalking up to massive 800,000 birds, is
Argentinian artists. twice the size of Wembley football pitch. bandoneon - one of my favourite ever tango also just a day trip down the coast.
But the best way to take the pulse of the Sam Phillips tracks
local scene is to visit the commercial galleries.
58 59
SHOOK

TEK
E D I T O R : BENJI LEHMANN
1 2
4
NEWS
T RA D E S H OW SP E C I AL
In the past few months the audio industry has shown
at the two most important tradeshows of the year,
NAMM and Musikmesse.We bring you the pick of the
news.

DSI have launched their analogue poly-synth as a


rackmount edition. The Prophet 08 rackmount features
the same voice architecture as the keyboard Prophet.
Although the keyboard has gone, the module still boasts a
sequencer and all the rotary controls of the original.

CELEMONY have announced a huge breakthrough


in sampling technology. Direct Note Access, which will
1 be added to a subsequent iteration of their Melodyne
software, detects the pitch and duration of notes
3 5 within polyphonic material. The resulting information is
presented as multiple single editable notes, which can be
moved in terms of pitch and place in time. Expect to hear
some interesting bootlegs when this is released.
1 A D A C H I T U PPER-WA RE S YN TH S for adding side-bands and other sweeping and amplifiers, but full midi and digital control
modulations to an audio source, which might be over presets. In addition he offers a Drum KORG have announced a fully-endorsed virtual analogue
Adachi Tomori is a performer, composer, sound anything from synth to a full track. Machine (the MFB-503) with analogue kick synth environment for the Nintendo DS. The synth is
poet, installation artist, occasional theater www.flowerelectronics.com and snare, and an integrated step-sequencer, called the DS-10, and includes a sequencer, virtual drum
director. His creations exemplify the DIY ethic amongst other more functional units. MFB machine, and patchable virtual analogue synthesizer. No
BOUTIQUE that so many are adopting. One of the major
barriers to creating analogue synthedsizers
3 LL E LE CT RO NIC S products are light, and not the choice of
those looking for maple-finishes and heavy
doubt full use will be made of the DS’ stylus. Watch this
space for a number of developments of this nature soon

SYNTH SPECIAL for the hobbyist has traditionally been the cost
of casing. Adachi Tomori has overcome this
LL electronics’ first market synth is the Rozzbox,
a polyphonic desktop unit. The synth offers five
metal rotary knobs, but well-built and reliable.
www.mfberlin.de
to be announced.

by using Tupperware PVC boxes into which digitally controlled oscillators, such as those FIVE WAYS TO KEEP YOUR
A look at the little-known world of analogue, he places oscillators, filters and amplifiers found in the Roland JX3P and the MFB Synth 5 CUST OM SYNT H UK
modular and other cottage-industry synth as appropriate. He has made Theremins, Lite II. The rest of the architecture, though, is fully
GEAR NICE
manufacturers, featuring LL Electronics percussion sources, and even a fully-blown analogue. In addition they add a distortion which Custom Synth are a one-man operation
1 Back it up. There are now numerous applications which
(Rozzbox), MFB Synth, Schneides Buro and analogue substractive synth with LFO, oscillator, offers analogue, digital and real tube (!) gain based in the UK who will provide a DIY finish
will allow you to keep regular backups of your system.
Custom Synth UK (synth mods). filter and amplifier sections. stages, and a tube filter. The oscillators can be to your vintage gear, and make any necessary
Some are bundled with your OS, some are shareware.
www.adachitomomi.com forced into aliasing, which should give you some repairs in the process. Popular mods include
SuperDuper for Mac and x for PC both work well.
idea of the potential this unit has for unique and adding wooden end-panels in your choice of
YouMedia was the talk of the town in 2006. www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper
2 F L O W E R E LECT RO N ICS violent pad sounds. material, replacing cases with nicely-finished
Sites like YouTube featuring homegrown
www.rozzbox.de wood or PVC, and even integrating vintage
footage garnered huge coverage and 2 Insure it. For a manageable annual amount there
Flower-Electronics are a Massachusets USA- control units into their sister-synthesizers.
generated a new interest in DIY content. Now are a number of insurance firms who will cover your
based firm who manufacture boutique modular 4 MF B See their white SH-101 and the integrated
this trend for DIY innovation has spread into gear both in and out of the studio. You’ll need to provide
synth units. Their synths are fully analogue, and JX3P + controller for examples of just how
hardware. We take a look at some of the serial numbers for your equipment but not much else.
do not offer midi control. Instead they substitute Manfred Fricke manufactures a range of highly much difference they can make.
Musicguard offer a number of options tailored for
individuals making musical instruments out of input-tracking oscillators and full rotary control affordable analogue and digital synth modules. www.customsynth.co.uk
producers, djs and instrumentalists respectively.
their basements in the tradition of the early of oscillator pitch. Not a choice for quantized The MFB Synth 2 and Synth Lite 2 offer a full
www.musicguard.co.uk
artisans, and the companies that have grown electro basslines then, but more appropriate subtractive architecture with analogue filters
out of such humble origins in recent years. 3 Dust it. The most common cause of problems
in analogue equipment is dust. Studio Spares sell
compressed air which can be used to blast the dust and
grime out of mixing desks and the like.
to a synthesizer. To me it sounded like something got back to lots of knobs and on hand would be interesting. I think there will be
ARNE W E I NB E R G completely new and it was just so unpredictable user interfaces of the synths. I think it’s some sort of new ways regarding the
www.studiospares.com
( A W R EC ORD IN GS) in comparison to a guitar. My first synth was a very important to have a knob dedicated mixture between a musical instrument
4 Maintain it. Old and vintage equipment can depreciate
Korg Poly 800. I loved it, even though it’s probably to every parameter if possible”. Clearly and some sort of toy, like the Yamaha
quickly if it isn’t looked after. Any equipment which uses
Arne Wienberg is a producer and DJ at the not the best synth. Shortly after that I bought a only the most skilled instrumentalists Tenori-On for example. Also, I think the
tape, such as Tape Delays and Reel to Reel recorders,
forefront of the new deep techno sound. He has Roland Juno 106 which is just amazing.” have come close to exploiting the synths and musical gear will become
needs regular care. Studio Spares provide tape heads and
released on seminal label Styrax, and on his Although the available types of synthesis full potential of synthesizers. “Herbie much smaller, like a mobile phone or the
other accessories.
own eponymous imprint AW-Recordings. Here have not fundamentally changed in the past 25 Hancock comes to mind as the most iPod, which scares me a little bit.”
www.studiospares.com
he discusses how synthesizers have played a years – subtractive, FM, wavetable, additive and interesting synth player even today.
part in his music, and how they will change in physical modelling are still the basis of most He uses synths in a very musical way. Various Artists – Viewpoints Chapter
5 Test it. Are your old synths in tune? Do their knobs
the future. instruments – the interfaces have gone through He combines sound architecture with One / AW-010LP & AW-010CD
crackle? Are the power supplies working properly. Ground
“It was in 1984 when I bought my first record numerous revisions. “After a period of knobless programming which is the real art. If I (Double-LP & CD) is out on AW
loop hum and a number of other problems can be sorted
ever, Depeche Mode’s ‘Some Great Reward’. digital synths like the DX7 the designers luckily could only have some sort of interface Recordings in April.
out very easily if you can identify their source. A multi-
That was the first time I realised I was listening between the machine and my brain, that
60 meter can be a useful tool for testing vintage power
supplies. 61
62

63
REVIEWS

Quiet Village “Silent Movie” (Studio !K7)


This has to be one of the most anticipated Personally I have to thank my parents for played at a party, I’ll ask you and you’ll tell me.
albums of late, with rumours about its release exposing me to such a broad spectrum of Give us some of the most amazing (digging)
doing the rounds for more than a year. Art sounds whilst growing up. My Dad, being a spots you’ve stumbled upon?
sampling and genius collage of the unlikeliest die hard movie fan, instilled in me a love of Joel: I’m lucky to have been able to travel a lot
sources are some of the ingredients that soundtracks from a very early age, and I have to fuel my addiction for the black plastic and
make listening to QV such a fresh, unique and fond memories of hearing the ‘Harry Lime’ subsequently I’ve encountered many odd people
rewarding experience. theme from The Third Man, John Barry’s and places like every seasoned ‘digger’ has.
The earliest QV records (most included on emotive score to On Her Majesty’s Secret There was a huge secret Swiss warehouse that
the album) came out on the culter-than-thou Service and Morricone’s ‘For a Few Dollars I got the chance to delve through, albeit under
Whatever We Want label (home to DJ Harvey’s More’ on 8-track tape as a passenger in my duress from the owner, and came across some
Map of Africa project) and a bunch of fantastic parents Citroen. The first ‘Voyage’ LP was killer rarities like the mythical Unidisc 12” of
remixes of the likes of Cosmo Vitelli, Toby another record played to death, as was Mick Babe Ruth’s ‘The Mexican’. Elsewhere I’ve got
Tobias or Francois K cemented their sound and Ronson’s Play Don’t Worry, so there was a my fingers dirty in the flea markets of Peru and
reputation. pretty eclectic mix in our household. Mexico, a nuclear bunker in Canada that was full
The QV style can’t be described using the of vintage adult magazines, and the basement of
usual headings. This is “sophisticated adult Cedric: Your sound is already very distinctive. a West Indian Beauty store in the USA to name
exotica” as described by Joel Martin, one half How would you describe it and do you have any but a few.
of the team. Good music is everywhere and the conscious aim of what you want to achieve?
duo’s influences defy notions of genre. The heads Joel: Our only conscious aim is to try and John: Aside from exposing older music via Owl
out there will surely play the spot-that-sample approach the music from an alternative angle. Service Records and other outlets, what role
game, but this might turn out to be an endless I’d like to think we had our own sound, but we does digging have for your studio work as
quest. Alan Parsons (on the aptly named ‘Pillow want it to keep evolving. I suppose it’s Balearic Quiet Village?
Talk’) and Andreas Vollenweider (on the majestic in the traditional sense of the word i.e. spiritual, Joel: The never-ending quest for vinyl is essential
‘Utopia’) are in there, as well as some proper unusual, warm, but we like to describe it as to our Quiet Village productions. It’s not easy
obscure library/soundtrack sources, always sophisticated adult exotica. We definitely trying to find suitable samples that have the
used in a very creative and unexpected way. incorporate the dub aesthetic as it can really right sound for our purpose and are hopefully
Most importantly, what makes this album take you on a trip. That’s why things like the unknown to the spotters, so as you would
a real treat is its coherence, the flow that Basic Channel stuff are so effective – so simple imagine we literally flip through hundreds of
grabs you while listening to it from beginning yet so much going on in the subconscious records on a regular basis searching for that
to end. The music floats like a cinematic mind background. elusive jam.
trip, hypnotic (great use of reverb and echo),
decidedly balearic (waves, seabirds, whistles, Cedric: World-of-mouth has grown Cedric: How do you work together? Who does
guitar), laid back yet classy, constantly evolving exponentially in the last couple years, with what?
and surprising. Mind you, given the right context, each and every one of your releases reaching Joel: Matt is really fast on the PC and a dab hand
you can also dance to it – ‘Can’t Be Beat’ and ‘cult’ status. How do you explain this ‘cool’ at programming so he generally takes care of
‘Too High To Move’ (with its Georgio Moroder factor? the technicalities, while I root out samples and
and Captain & Tenille samples) both sound huge Joel: With the initial release I’m positive that it effects. We get the parts sounding as hot as
in a club – fact! was purely down to the fact that DJ Harvey was possible then begin arranging the track, which
(Cedric Woo) on the same label with his Map of Africa project usually takes the longest. Both of us ‘wing it’ on
and everything he touches turns to gold. When the vertical keyboard when a bass-line or chord
Cedric & John from the Voices Collective the subsequent singles sold out even faster, it is required and we’ve also started incorporating
interviewed Joel Martin, the fairer half of Quiet was evident that the underground music buyers more live manipulation of certain sounds which
Village. rated our music on its own merit and that was we alternate between the two of us. I’m happy to
very flattering. I think we had the biggest selling say that it’s pretty stress free and a real positive
John: Who or what beyond yourselves has 12” of 2006 in ‘Sounds of the Universe’ so that collaboration that I hope will continue for a long
been pivotal in the development of Quiet was a pleasant surprise. time.
Village? Dennis Hopper and Lewis Collins?
Joel: Funnily enough I just happened across a Cedric: I know you as one of the one-man music For the full interview, www.voicescollective.com.
Lewis Collins ‘Bovril’ commercial on YouTube. institutions; if I wanna find out about a record

REVIEWS 65
REVIEWS Philip Cohran and The Artistic Heritage
Ensemble “The Malcolm X Memorial (A
Tribute in Music)” (Mississippi Records)

“Today we have music in abundance that lacks purpose,” proclaims


Kelan Philip Cohran. “We lost respect and the power of our ancestors
in these spiritual sciences… It is time for enlightened artists to step
forward to share their light.” Alongside Sun Ra in Chicago between
1956-61 this musician, composer, community activist, instrument
designer and holistic health advocate created vibrations to submit to
his ancestors. Working with Ra on outsider jazz classics like ‘We Travel
The Spaceways’ and ‘Angels and Demons At Play’, he learned the love
and dedication needed to reach the higher ground, as well as “music’s
effect on the body, and the ancient tuning systems and how ancient
people were aware of these”. When Ra took his Arkestra to Montreal
and beyond in 1961, Cohran stayed In Chicago to perfect his art and
what he would mystically call ‘Sphereology’, or the harmonies of all CRAC Knuckles “The Piece Talks” (Tres Records)
matter and music’s power in creating cosmic order. You see, it was
more than just space music he had learned with Sun Ra. Bubbling out of the Los Angeles hip hop scene, CRAC Knuckles is coming
During this period Cohran formed the AACM alongside Richard out swinging. Like their name suggests, the duo comprising Los Angeles
Muhal Abrams after playing with his Experimental Big Band. Out of this native Blu and Detroit transplant Ta’Raach, is a tad aggressive, but their
Quentin Harris ‘No Politics’ (Strictly Rhythm) ‘Mix The Vibe’ (King Street) creative environment burst forth the Artistic Heritage Ensemble and no-nonsense approach makes for damn good music. Their debut LP, The
soon after Cohran left the AACM to continue his studies and create Piece Talks, is arriving via Tres Records and with it the duo plans to let it be
Raised in Detroit, he name checks Slum single, this is gonna be the second single,” always too happy. I always feel like I’m an after-
his free yet trance-like music. And this is where most of us would known: they’re here to collect respect and a check.
Village and Cybotron in the same breath even explains Quentin, speaking down the line from hours DJ – I like it when you can play pretty
have picked up on Cohran’s spiritually and politically charged music, Ta’Raach and Blu first linked up a few years ago in Los Angeles
though his productions have brought him NYC on his return from the Miami Winter Music much whatever you want, when you’re not
following the re-issue of On The Beach, the session that included the through mutual friend Aloe Blacc. After discovering they were family once-
into the fold at Shelter, NYC’s early-morning Conference. confined to a certain sound or genre. People are
mighty ‘Unity’. This track was recorded at the Affro Arts Theatre, the removed, the pair decided to get together to work on music that had a
sanctuary. Like Blaze, his vocally-led tracks Major labels have caught onto Quentin’s open at that moment.”
educational and performance space established in by Cohran in 1967. different feel than their solo material, and ended up with a mini-album.
lend themselves perfectly to the album format, magic touch and he’s been commissioned to do “I want people who listen to it to think they’re
One year on and Cohran returned to the Theatre to pay this tribute to “Actually, in one week we did the entire first version of the CRAC record.
and with his 2005 debut No Politcs, a Japan- remixes for Nelly Furtado and Timbaland, but in a clubbing environment. That’s why I always
his friend and guide Malcolm X. The album was based on Malcolm’s Afterwards, we got evicted, I went to Europe and came back, we became
only release, about to be reissued on Strictly you can rest assured that Quentin also likes to do mix CDs live. I don’t use Pro Tools. Labels
four stages of development and the transition from his hustling days great friends after which we began to be lunatics together,” says Blu. In
Rhythm, as well as a mix CD out on King keep things underground as well. His album No say, ‘Don’t you wanna clean up the vocals?’ and
as ‘Detroit Red’ (“many black Americans are still in the stage of dope, the two years since the recording of that first draft the pair has released
Street, it’s high time everyone showed Quentin Politics, for instance, surfaced on the Japanese I reply ‘No. In a live setting that happens, nobody
alcohol, self abuse” state the sleevenotes) to his pilgrimage to Mecca albums, Ta’Raach’s The Fevers LP and Blu and Exile’s Below The Heavens,
Harris some love. label Pony Canyon after Quentin fell out with his mixes perfect.’ Besides, it’s more about what
as portrayed on ‘El Hajj Malik El Shabazz’ (“the pinnacle of Malcolm’s and they have just now finished what is the official debut CRAC record.
record label. “I told them, ‘You want me to make you play than about striving for the perfect mix.”
development”). From the hypnotic horns (check Cohran’s searching With Ta’Raach handling the entirety of the production on the album, the
Tune into any number of London’s pirate radio an album, but you wanna tell me how to make it, Listen to any Ron Hardy mix and you’ll know what
cornet) and percussive pulse of the title track as the group chant down record is very much a rollercoaster ride. In a few tracks the sound can
stations – whether it’s House FM, Deja Vu or so which one is it?’” Hence the title No Politics. he’s talking about.
slavery, to the Arabic scales of the closing track, it’s a fiery yet at times range from the lighthearted and bouncy ‘Buy Me Lunch’ to the aggressive
Unknown – and you can bet you’ll hear a Quentin The 2005 release of that album passed But does that same philosophy extend to his
meditative recording that documents both the passion and anger of ‘Pop Dem Boys’ to what’s quite possibly the best voicemail rap recorded in
Harris track within the first hour. His remix of under many people’s radar, but with a new production too? “There’s always imperfections
the leader that led him to demand justice for his people, and define his recent memory with ‘Hello!?’. Blu expands on the idea that CRAC music is
Donnie’s ‘Cloud 9’ first alterted people to his version about to be release via Strictly Rhythm, in my productions,” he says. “Most people don’t
own search for inner peace. (Andy Thomas) definitely high-voltage when he says, “The music is much more focused on
talent, ‘Let’s Be Young’ stuck a chord with the albeit in a significantly altered form, Quentin’s know that they’re there, but they’re there. It’s
the energy rather than getting a particular message across. I would say we
more electronic-minded audiences, ‘Traveling’ work should hopefully reach the audience it because I’m always so in the moment. Because
both focus more on our lyricism more separately. When we’re together we
(feat. Cordell McLary) became one of the deserves. Quentin’s apprehensive about the I’ve always played in bands, I like the nuances you
focus more on the chemistry and having fun and creating great songs that
keystones of the funky house movement, and release, however, and especially about the get when you’re in the moment. For example, I
amuse each other.”
his remix of Leela James’ ‘My Joy’ is still getting label’s decision to include tracks which were don’t like to sequence things – I guess that’s just
“We wanted to bring a record that sounded like a Public Enemy or X
caned some three years after it first surfaced. never there on the original album. On ‘My Joy’, the musician in me.” So how about the Quentin
Clan or The Firm or Digital Underground. We got accused of being a little
What sets Quentin’s records apart from for example, they’ve re-recorded the vocals Harris Rock Band – surely the logical next step?
abrasive in our approach. We decided to exploit that whole idea of being
those of so many house producers is his with Margaret Grace instead of Leela James, “You know what? That’s what I’ve been feeling
assholes and being aggressive for what we want. That’s how we came
ear for a hit, and even if his combination of presumably because they couldn’t license the recently. On the dancefloor, people are scared of
up with CRAC, and then we flipped it into an acronym,” explains Ta’Raach.
analogue synths with Hammond organ and live original. guitars, but there’s a whole period of music that
Indeed the concept behind the duo’s acronym, Collect Respect Anna Check,
percussion takes its cue from the first wave of “I wish was that the album could have stayed hasn’t been explored – Rolling Stones ‘Missing
is a pretty good way to explain what they’re about. The idea is to get the
Detroit techno producers, Quentin’s repertoire the way it way, because when you start removing You’ and Pink Floyd and ‘Walk The Valley’ by The
respect and attention of heads everywhere, all the while making sure that
of remixes of Alicia Keys, Donnie, Jill Scott or things from the album and putting things in that Scat Brothers… I mean they’ve beaten the disco
their fair share of monetary compensation is collected. Still, more than
Jagged Edge and well as his work with vocalists were never there – it breaks up the story that thing to death.”
the literal meaning of the acronym, CRAC represents doing things on your
like Cordell McLary, Monique Bingham and Byron I was trying to convey. I guess they know better Quentin’s hoping with his next material to
own terms without compromising content for recognition. In an age of an
Stingly means that the songwriting is always at than I do,” says Quentin, unconvincingly. Pace stir things up again. He’s already got the name
outdated, decaying music industry and an uncertain future, it’s refreshing
the forefront on his records. Erykah Badu, he adds, “But I’m an artist and I’m for the next album – Politically Correct. “The
to find artists sticking to their guns, especially ones as entertaining and
“In my house, growing up was a very musical sensitive about my shit.” concept behind everything I do has a message,”
original as CRAC. For all my analysis, Blu probably explains the group’s
household and I heard a lot of things. Even as a For those of you who already know all about he says. “Carl Jackson who took the photos of
mindset best in classic CRAC fashion, “They try to give us that fat dick
kid, I could listen to albums and pick the singles. No Politics, there’s also Quentin’s outing on the me for the King Street CD said ‘Quentin, there’s
everywhere we go and we say fuck that. That’s basically how we approach
So, for example, when I got the Justin Timberlake excellent Mix the Vibe series for King Street always a message with you.’ I wouldn’t want it
the music.” (Andres Reyes)
album, I knew all of singles before they were where he’s decided to show off his nastier side. any other way.” (Jez Smadja)
singles. I was like – this is going to be the first “I just wanted to do something dark. Everyone’s

66
REVIEWS 67
REVIEWS
Geiom “Island Noise” it’s a welcome return to their touching on subjects as diverse your local record shop but you’re
on this LP. Although he is still pay hommage to some truly iconic deeper into the Compass Point of the LA session mafia playing
(Berkane Sol) complex and mysterious form. The as slavery, Egyptology and gun on your lunchbreak and in a hurry,
While Nottingham-based producer enchanting vocals of Beth Gibbons crime. Elsewhere, the pounding just dive into ‘Seguera esta Onda’. very much Detroit-influenced, his cultural landmarks (and for the archives. (Andy Thomas) on key ’70s albums by the likes of
Geiom’s dubstep 12”s are aimed once again beam brightly, while ‘Pyramid Wars’ and ‘Thousand Cut Then hand over your money. (Barry sound borrows much more from total nerds out there, you even get Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire,
at the dancefloor, Island Noise the atmospheric sounds remain. Torture’ each display the group’s Smyth) Underground Resistance than it a gear list written on the sleeve Umalali “The Garifuna Women’s and even Barry Manilow, harpist
offers a calmer radiophonic ride, However, Third does though rely superior battle rap abilities, taunting does from Transmat, the flavor – including the Commodore pet project” (Stonetree Records) Dorothy Ashby was making waves in
and like Burial he eases through more on synths, piano and guitars, the competition with seemingly Muhsinah “Pre.lude”(Circulations) adopted by more recent media 2001, Sega Dreamcast, Challenger With the tragic passing of musician jazz circles with a series of albums
the transition from singles to an rather than the hip-hop samples effortless examples of vivid and Touted as the ‘next big thing’ favourites Convextion and Deep 2P, Odyssey, X-box, Atari just to and leader of the Garifuna Collective recorded under her own name for
album. Geiom excels with his ability and chops of before. Listen up intricate wordplay. Backed by the newcomer Muhsinah bangs out Chord. On ‘Like No One’, head name a few). Enjoy getting deeper Andy Palacio, this collection of Savoy, Prestige, Argo and Atlantic.
to splice futuristic glitches with and out for ‘We Carry On’ which atmospheric production of Chemo a soulful and self-produced debut, straight for his collaboration with inside the heart and mind of the songs recorded by Garifuna women This particular title - a concept
rumbling sub bass, the whipping is a weird but joyful mescla of and Beat Butcha (all heavy drums, inspired by the sounds of Alice Melvin Oliphant as Saturn V entitled machine. Insert coin… (J’M Irie) in his home town of Hopkins, acts album which comes to CD for the
drums and synthesised flute in new romanticism meets techno sweeping strings and nimble Coltrane, Georgia Ann Muldrow ‘Come Into My Life’ for Chicago-style as something of a eulogy to the first time - was recorded in 1970
‘Farski’ offer an emotive edge whilst and ‘Magic Doors’, produced by way piano loops), Triple Darkness have and Dilla. Backward psychedelic vocal chops and guaranteed floor V/A “Funky Nassau: The Compass man who did so much to promote for Chess Records’ subsidiary
he doesn’t shy away from being of an old ‘one, two’ method, taking succeeded in creating a poignant loops clash with hand-clapped reaction. Meanwhile numbers like Point Story, 1980-86” (Strut) and protect his people’s music imprint, Cadet. Along with the
sinister in ‘Safety Patterns’. The final a funk beat, pitching it right down soundtrack for today’s troubled off-beat rhythms, multi-layered ‘The Second Night Cycle’ featuring “I wanted a new progressive and culture. While it was Andy who collectable ‘Afro Harping’ LP it’s
song, ‘Pheli Nazir’ is the only vocal to half-speed, before introducing times. The revolution starts vocals and straight up soul music. Ellis Monk show a deeper and more sounding band...a Jamaican rhythm received most attention during last one of Ashby’s most sought-after
track and a majestic fusion of styles, the vocalist. Third is a welcome here. (Ryan Proctor) Muhsinah might not have the quality colorful side to his production. Fans section with an edgy mid-range year’s media flirtation with this little albums and based on the writings of
with Pakistani singer Khalid offering member to the Portishead family of a traditional soul singer like an of the trademark Spectral sound and a brilliant synth player,” recalls known music out of the Caribbean the 12th century Persian poet and
a glimpse of how Nusrat Fateh Ali though it is far from perfect, but as Jackson Conti “Sunjinho” Angie Stone but the album proves (Ann Arbor MI’s best known export) Island Record’s Chris Blackwell in Coast of Central America, it was philosopher, Omar Khayyam. The
Khan or Sain Zahoor could sound with Dummy and Portishead a lot of (Kindred Spirits) to be brilliantly addictive and off- won’t be disappointed. the sleevenotes to this collection the depth of the folkloric traditions title and source of inspiration might
if performing live at FWD>>. But patience and tolerance is required Jakson Conti is a hook up between kilter, earning nuff brownie points (Benjamin Lehmann) from these legendary studios in the that made the story so interesting. seem esoteric but Ashby’s music
my highlight is ‘Hydropine’, where with this one. (Ade Bankole) Madlib the bad kid and Mamao, for pushing the boundaries of a Bahamas where everyone from the And as label owner Ivan Duran here is eminently accessible – an
the melody is established at various the drummer from Azymuth. saccharine and currently stagnant Rolling Stones to Marianne Faithful explains in the notes it is the attractive synthesis of jazz, soul,

low frequencies, before a rapid Their short collaboration in Rio sound. Tracks like ‘Wonder’,
response of the same riff arrives at Triple Darkness “Anathema” for Brasilintime has evolved into ‘Gogh’ and ‘Only and Always’ will Kerri Chandler “Computer Games” to AC/DC recorded. Blackwell got women who are the caretakers of funk, and oriental music featuring
a higher pitch. With the exception of (Higher Heights) this LP – consisting of classic get constant rotations on your (Deeply Rooted) what he wanted when he recruited the Garifuna traditions while the vibes player, Stu Katz, and inventive
Burial, Appleblim or Martyn, Geiom Delivering one of the best hip hop Brazilian covers from the ‘60s and chosen music player. Closing with a Aside from making classic New as the house band Sly and Robbie men go off to sea or increasingly to arrangements and production from
paints with a palette of sounds albums of 2008 so far, London’s ‘70s and some tasty new joints. poignant quotation from Dr Martin Jersey deep house music (a job fresh from their tour with Peter work abroad. So in 2002, following Richard Evans. As well as playing
that ventures way beyond most Triple Darkness definitely appear to Madlib’s characteristic, slightly Luther King, Muhsinah’s Pre.lude, he still does with such freshness Tosh, and keyboardist Wally years of research, Duran set off lush arpeggios and cascading
dubstep producers. A distinctive, be on a mission to prove that the spaced, production is there as which happens to be the Japanese and originality more than two Badarou who had just worked on to bring together some of those glissandi on her electric harp,
culturally-diverse richness can art of true lyricism is alive and well always – instantly identifiable and release of the album, is more than decades after his first anthems M’s ‘Pop Muzik’. But the dubdisco voices until then only heard around Ashby provides soulful vocals and
perhaps be traced to the breadth of amongst the next generation of utterly compelling. But the drums a valuable addition to the wonky pretty much defined the genre), that became the Compass Point the homes and villages or at the tries her hand – very successfully
his influences, as acknowledged in MCs to rep for the UK rap scene. A on this LP are the focal point: most beat tribe. If this is only the Pre. guess what? Ever since he was a ––sound and peaked on albums Garifuna ceremonies. Travelling the – at the koto, a Japanese stringed
an interview on the Blackdown blog captivating combination of grimy tracks start with tuff drum licks, lude, surely bigger things are on the kid Kerri Chandler has been in love such as Grace Jones’ ‘Warm region he found incredible singers instrument. Highlights include Wine,
in which he references Raymond street imagery, social commentary and Madlib just dances round them horizon? (Michael Krasser) with computers and programming Leatherette’ and Talking Heads’ like 54-year-old Guatemalan mother with its shimmering vibes/harp
Scott, Sun-Ra, Bjork, Joy Division and intriguing historical references, doing what he does best. ‘Brasilian games too. Which logicaly leads us ‘Remain In Light’, owed as much to of four Sofia Blanco whose raw interplay, and an addictive slice of
and Fela Kuti. The quality of differing the unapologetically hardcore Sugar’ is a an up-tempo Saturday James T. Cotton “Like No One” to his new album project, Computer the studio/engineer pairing of Alex soulful voice opens this wonderful lysergic jazz-funk called, The Moving
sonics and melodies prevents Anathema finds Cyrus Malachi, night type of track with some heavy (Spectral) Games on DJ Deep’s Deeply Sadkin and Steven Stanley as it did collection, and the Honduran Finger. Transcendent grooves
tracks from losing their individuality, Nasheron and Melanin9 filtering breakbeats that drives you along to James T. Cotton is one of the Rooted House records. You can to the band. Compass Point’s sound Marcela ‘Chela’ Torres one of galore. (Charles Waring)
and the eerie soundscapes are their experiences of inner-city a far better place in your head. It aliases adopted by Ann Arbor born rest assured that this record has also benefitted from the connection the singers who will hopefully be
where he excels with an intricate British life through a shared gets gritty on ‘Xibaba’ (originally an producer Tadd Mullinix, better nothing to do with those pseudo- to the No Wave scene, sealed by its bringing her deep bluesy vocals Flying Lotus “Los Angeles” (Warp)
choice and placement of scattered intelligence and wisdom that Airto Moreira track, also coverd by known for his off-kilter hip hop arty, retro video game sounds association with Ze Records who to London later in the year as a Flying Lotus continues to refine all
beats. (Ben Verghese) reaches far beyond the trio’s Donald Byrd) with the feeling of a productions as Dabrye. As James that you may hear in electronic came through with albums from tribute to Andy Palacio. With subtle things deliriously low-end and tribal
relatively youthful years. The back street jam session – the vibes T. Cotton, it’s more on a house and music on fashion blogs or ringtone the likes of Lizzy Mercier Descloux contemporary production and on this ode to his hometown of
Portishead “Third” (Island) haunting ‘Machinations’ strikes on this track they are ridiculous. techno journey with four-to-the-floor adverts. Kerri here really succeeds and Cristina whose ‘You Rented a ambience from Ivan Duran helping Los Angeles. Borrowing influences
Don’t call it a comeback – even a powerful balance between the Throughout the whole record, the material that takes an old-school in fusing original video game sounds Space’ is one of the more leftfield this music to translate onto CD, this from all corners, Los Angeles flirts
in their absence Portishead have harsh realities of urban strife and respect Madlib feels for Mamao approach of drum machines, and real underground early house cuts here. With Ian Dury’s Garage is another example of the power effectively with early electronic
still been dominating the musical the crew’s quest for knowledge is obvious and it makes you want synthesizers and samplers. His tracks, genuinely creating a subtle classic ‘Spasticus Autisticus’ and the glory of this little known music, Transformers samples, the
psyche of a trip-hop nation they and spiritual salvation, whilst to hit the stalls and pick up some sound has evolved from the jacking alchemy between the two elements. nestling seedily next to FK’s hens music. (Andy Thomas) advent-space jazz of Sun Ra on
helped design. Third, their latest ‘Snakes & Ladders’ features an Azymuth. With too many good tech house of 2001’s ‘Mind He’s gone for an economy of his teeth remix of ‘Dance Sucker’ from ‘Orbit 405’, the rhythms of south
offering, doesn’t come equipped incredible performance from Cyrus, tracks on this wax to mention Your Manners’ EP (Spectral) to a style on his productions which find Scottish post punkers Set The Tone, Dorothy Ashby “The Rubaiyat Of east asia and the middle east on
with major turns and twists. Rather, with the gruff microphone fiend them all, if you are checkin’ this at slower and more grinding groove an echo in the simple track titles this is great both as an introduction Dorothy Ashby” (Dusty Groove) ‘Camel’ and ‘Melt’, the heavy Detroit
– such as ‘Pong’ and ‘Kong’ – that and for those wanting to dig a little Long before she became a member Tech sounding ‘Parisian Goldfish’,

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‘GNG BNG’ which bounces along like including an inspired gospel-hued black activist Marcus Garvey from Dave Lewis. ‘Amul Solo’ builds get inside your head, the romantic beach again to watch the sun go this material is just too good to Wonderful weirdness from Miller
some futuristic Hare Krishna music reworking of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Thank (founder of the Black Star shipping superbly as each element is given yet dark Polar sound won’t let you down. Perfection. (Helene Dancer) be left gathering dust. Headed by and affectionate sax work from
before morphing into a distorted You.’ Sublime stuff – but it certainly line taking African Americans back time to get going, leading to sterling go. In the same way as a group Atlanta jazz stalwarts Joe Jennings Singer make these previously ‘as
synth and break freakout while ain’t jazz. (Charles Waring) to the motherland). The rhythm of trades between flute and keys. like Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band Gonzalo Rubalcaba “Avatar” (alto and soprano) and Howard obscure as Osama’ recordings an
‘Auntie’s Harp’ pays homage to the the street is a very African blend Mornington Lockett’s sax stands went left of the disco mainstream, (Blue Note) Nicholson (tenor and soprano), this essential purchase. (Dom Servini)
beautiful music of Alice Coltrane, Toumani Diabate “Mande of lead guitars and jazzy horns tall on top of the terrific repeating Kelley Polar is eschewing the Rubalcaba describes Avatar as 1981 production is a mixture of
all with a tasteful amount of hissing Variations” (World Circuit) called Highlife. Early exponents melodic groove of ‘Bamoko’, which Bandelli fixations of many of his his New York album. Avatar is also spiritual jazz, funk and fusion and it Examples of Twelves “The Way
tape delays and record static. Where others are hearing everyone of this genre were E.T. Mensah, develops a Carl Craig feel with the contemporaries to create highly the name of the studio in NYC carries flavours of Black Jazz and Things Are” (Impossible Ark)
Instantly gratifying, Los Angeles is from Miles Davis to Toumani’s Osibisa and Fela Kuti’s first band rising high-end. Excellent production individual music that brings some where Gonzalo and his new quintet Strata East releases of the ‘70s. After hearing their EP on
the perfect blend of abstract beat great mentor Ali Farka Toure in this Koola Lobitos. Over 50 years later throughout, Be There Tomorrow is drama and character to electronic settled for their four-day session, Fearless Warriors has a heavy Impossible Ark and seeing these
science and big booty bounce. return to the great kora players the streets still bubble, but to the stacked with percussive treats to music. A brave and infectious a quintet that includes four of soulful vibe especially in the title boys live, the ‘science fiction jazz’
(Michael Krasser) acoustic roots, there is something reborn sound of hip-hop, highlife move the body led by Senegalese record. (Andy Thomas) New York’s hottest young players: track and ‘Atlanta Anna’. A lush that greeted me on this album
about the space and meditative and dancehall known locally as multi instrumentalist, Omar Diop. Yosvany Terry (saxophones), Matt groove snakes through the whole came as quite some surprise.
Lizz Wright “The Orchard” (Verve flow here that brings to my mind Hiplife. Compiled by Munich-based The level of musicianship and Gerd Jansen “Computer Brewer (bass), Marcus Gilmore album. Their homage to the great Examples Of Twelves have recently
Forecast) both Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane. It label Out Here, ‘Black Stars’ is the energy matches the wealth of Incarnations For World Peace 2” (drums) and Mike Rodriguez Pharoah Saunders ‘To Pharoah established themselves, in certain
Although she was originally was only after reading the sleeve announcement of arrival for local strong Afrobeat bands around, (Sonar Kollectiv) (trumpet). Starting out with a with Love’ has lucious bossa circles, as purveyors of the modal
presented as a jazz chanteuse by notes that I discovered that for stars such as Reggie Rockstone, whilst the assorted dancefloor- For some, it never went away. ‘looking in retrospective’, 9.43 flavours and needs to be listened and diggers of the deepness.
her record company on 2003’s this album this kora innovator Tic Tac and Batman Samini on the friendly tempos, innumerable But for others, Balearic went the minutes of pure New York City to in the sun with a very large rum This trend continues on The Way
promising debut, Salt, it became had come up with a new way of world music stage. Despite being grooves and delightfully cheerful same way as summer holidays neo-bop, the piece is one of the in your fist. One look at this record Things Are but is multi-layered with
clearly apparent two years later tuning his kora that he refers to as a musically tight, enjoyable and mood should please all those who in Ibiza and pop songs by Robert three compositions written by with its abstract cover and rare blistering and twitchy electronics
on her sophomore set ‘Dreaming his Egyptian method. On his solo up-to-date reflection of dancefloors listen. (Ben Verghese) Miles. Luckily, Gerd Jansen’s put the incredibly talented rising star pedigree and you think it’s going that might put you in mind of Don
Wide Awake’ that Georgia singer, return following his outing with the in Ghana, it sometimes feels too together a compilation that once Yosvany Terry. With more twists to be a heavy duty listen – one Cherry at his more out-there. Riaan

Lizz Wright, was moving into Symmetric Orchestra, Toumani sits Americanised with scattered “N Kelley Polar “I Need You To Hold again restores faith in the genre, and turns than the busy Manhattan you’ll need to take a good half-hour Vosloo’s bass is as modestly played
the same kind of nebulous and alone with his kora, and weaves one and F-word” profanities making it On While The Sky Is Falling” melding its lazy four-four beats streets, the interaction between after to digest. But this wax is so and subtle as ever, and Fluvio
indefinable musical territory of his most beautiful and evocative pack less punch than its Highlife (Environ) with some cosmic disco flavours the two horns is sublime. Terry accessible. Others tracks to check Sigurta’s trumpet glides in and out
inhabited by Cassandra Wilson. tracks yet. Full of lyrical beauty and predecessors. The Black Star What with Hercules & Love that ooze sunshine. Jansen knows really sets off sparks with Marcus are ‘Wow’ and ‘Sister Bea’. (Barry of the textures on this album as
Like Wilson, Wright seemingly stretched out over 10 minutes shines brightly on tunes such as Affair recruiting Antony Hegarty what he’s doing; the German music Gilmore dropping some serious Shears) we transcend seamlessly between
had no aspirations to emulate ‘Si Naani’ is simply stunning in ‘Kangaroo’, ‘Pidgen Allstars’ ‘Toto for the much hyped ‘Blind’, and journalist heads up Running Back heavy funky grooves. Rubalcaba’s movements. Having experienced
jazz divas Ella and Billie – instead, terms of musicianship (with those Mechanic’, (toto being pidgin this Croation-born and Juilliard- Records, and an insatiable love for own composition on Avatar is the Hal Singer / Jeff Gilson “Soul of The Way Things Were on their
she took an unexpected left turn trademark intertwining bass English for the female genitalia), and educated producer creating tracks all things dance led him to compile funky and lighthearted ‘Infantil’ a Africa” (Kindred Spirits) first CD, this progression shouldn’t
and married jazz with elements lines and melody in full force) and tunes delivered in native Twi and with titles like ‘Love Songs Of The the original Computer Incarnations, gorgeous playful number dedicated If you like your jazz deep and have come as such a surprise at all.
from soul, folk, gospel, blues and justifies Lucy Duran’s views that Ga which feel more organic. Still Hanging Gardens’ there is a quiet a voyage into Italo disco, dubby to his friend John McLaughlin. spiritual then look no further than (Dom Servini)
country to create a style that Toumani is once again breaking well worth a listen for the Ghanaian little movement of producers rock and soulful new wave for the There’s also a serene trio-only (no this album. Tenor saxophonist
defied genres. Here, on her third new ground for the kora. This diaspora and curious Highlife looking for some drama with their early ‘80s. His second outing for horns) version of Horace Silver’s Hal “Cornbread” Singer (who you V/A “A Night at the Jazz Rooms”
and most impressive opus to date, is clear in the way he plays with followers. Black star shine on! (Ade disco, taking their cue from the Sonar Kollectiv brings the genre up ‘Peace.’ As Yosvany Terry told me, may know from the club nugget (Mr Bongo)
Wright follows a similar route to conventions without losing sight of Bankole) likes of Marc Almond and The to date, catching up with some of Gonzalo initially wanted to record ‘Malcom X’) and experimental As a regular guest at The Brighton
her previous album but goes one the ancestral traditions; creating Associates. Kelley Polar and his the main players on the scene as a solo or trio album then changed producer and pianist Jef Gilson Jazz Rooms over the past few
step further, omitting jazz from the a piece of Malian beauty out of Funkanala “Be There Tomorrow” viola appeared on some of Metro it enjoys a second coming. Jansen his mind and decided to do a very met in Paris in 1965 where Gilson years I may be a touch biased. Mr.
equation altogether. Significantly, UB40’s Kingston Town melody on (Here & Now) Area’s finest works including the sets the temperature perfectly collective project. The album is was playing with his band. The Russ Dewbury has been doing
she also stakes her claim as a ‘Elyne Road’ or improvising with African inspired UK independent classic ‘Miura’ and this partnership from the outset with Lexx’s simply a joy, full of musical ideas, heavy African influences in Gilson’s his thing, regardless of trend, at
singer-songwriter by co-authoring both flamenco and Mauritanian Here & Now have heavily impressed continues with Polar’s debut on Mahogany tune. Todd Terje and extremely rich in implications and work attracted Singer and soon this cosmic little basement by the
eight of the album’s twelve music on ‘El Nabiyouna’. Another with their 12”s notably ‘Jobu’, Morgan Geist’s label, with Darshan Pris Thomas come to the party too, expressiveness. An extraordinarily the pair teamed up and the result sea for over twenty years now.
tunes. Craig Street’s organic and essential World Circuit trip to Mali. which united Impossible Ark horn Jesrani at the mixing desk. With getting their groove on with the dub rewarding listening experience. was this collection of warm afro- And it’s Russ’ unique musical
predominantly acoustic production (Andy Thomas) blowers, Max Grunhard and Scott Polar’s ears tuned to everything disco sounds of ‘Reinbagan’, before (Vince Vella) jazz offerings. It’s hard to pick out vision and enthusiasm that shines
style suits Wright’s gorgeous alto Baylis, with Reel People vocalist from Kraftwerk and Schubert to Maurice Fulton remixes a snappy a single track on Soul of Africa, but through on this long-overdue
voice to a ‘T’. The killer cut is a V/A “Black Stars – Ghana’s Hannah Kemoh over a steaming Thomas Dolby and Dvorak this Rollmottle’s ‘Take a Break’. Chateau Life Force “Fearless Warriors” it is worth pointing out that this compilation celebrating a South
gentle, folk-infused original called Hiplife Generation” (Out Here hard funk groove played out by was never going to be an everyday Flight journey into cosmic territory (Sonorama Records) lovingly re-issued CD also includes Coast institution. The opening
‘Speak Your Heart’ in which the Records) Manu Dibango’s rhythm-men. dance record, and the album with ‘Grn Adventure’ and ‘Shulme’ Life Force’s first LP was originally two dope cuts from Jef Gilson with track on CD1 sums up The Jazz
beauty of the melody is brought .It’s 1957, Ghana the first African The label’s debut album lives up might take a couple of listens; but by Smith + Mudd brings some a private pressing on the ultra Lloyd Miller on the balaphone (and Rooms for me. Andy Bey’s spine
out by Wright’s achingly plaintive, nation to gain independence to the expectations. Opening with once the yearning leftfield pop of dulcet vibes to the proceedings. It’s rare Numu Numu label. Unheard apparently a micro-organ he made tingling vocals on Karl Denson’s
melancholy voice. Alongside a is captivated by the ideas and ‘Economy Class’ a Restless Soul ‘Satellites’, the sinister disco of compilation that extracts the finest by many until a copy was found himself) that were only previously genius ‘Bougainvillea’ is pure Jazz
clutch of captivating originals, there leadership of Kwame Nkrumah (its feel ensues in an Afro-Jazz-house ‘Entropy Reigns’, and the cascading moments from a journey into the in a German second-hand shop, available on a rare 10-inch pressing Rooms magic. Sarah Webster
are some memorable covers, first elected leader) and Jamaican number with excellent saxophone synth licks of ‘Chrysanthemum’ ocean, to the bar and back onto the praise Jah someone did because on Gilson’s own Spirit Jazz imprint. Fabio’s ‘Sweet Songs’ is another

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conscious classic, as is The Pipe’s later in the year; meanwhile, he new amazing tracks here, the him introducing wide-eyed visitors Australia, producer Katalyst is sure Brother and J Dilla, the North West (Faces Recordings) Colonel Red crooning over a loose-
stunning rendition of ‘Wade In The is busy rehearsing with drummer upgraded CD version could earn to corrupt police, drive-by shootings to leave a mark on the global hip Londoner hits plenty of home runs. 25 beats: techy beats, psych out fitting bassline, and incisive snares
Water’. The real new school of jazz Scott Donald for some exciting live the title of essential album of this and wannabe porn stars over hop community with his first long- There’s also a little dub and reggae beats, mellow-my-man beats, keeping it just on the right side of
isn’t forgotten either, with North shows. (Ben Verghese) year too. From the clever use of an creeping, drum-heavy production. player for the ever-reliable BBE flavour in the mix from Scientist and nursery-rhyme beats, ding-dong tidy. The album fits comfortably in
London’s The Filthy Six sharing disc ecstatic Weldon Irvine sample on ‘Peter Pennyworth’ highlights the imprint. Already a respected name the Skatelites, and of course, the beats, beats sampling the joyful and the future-soul groove – it’s not
space with Scotland’s finest, Ray Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia - Pain ‘’Black music (I Love You)’ to the plight of a former casting agent in his homeland, Katalyst presents aforementioned Patrice Rushen on the obscure, the silly and the doing anything new – but reclines,
Harris & The Fusion Experience. Dissapears LP (Buzzin Fly) unique cover of Al Green’s classic now homeless on the same streets a vibrant mixture of sounds and ‘Music Of The Earth’ which is straight-up salacious – yes it’s cooly, on top of the pile. Bangers
Like all great Jazz Rooms nights Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia initially ‘Still Love Still Happiness’, Theo is he once cruised in flashy cars, while styles here, genre-hopping with without a doubt one of the most come around, the return of the like ‘Crazy ‘Bout Ya’ and ‘Feel
(of which the vast majority are just surfaced in 2006 on Damian showing his roots… and also proving ‘Cola (The Rhapsody)’ offers tongue- ease whilst remaining rooted in the subtly uplifting soul cuts of all time. Metro Sampler. These crazy Glorious’ revel in those toffee
that) things finish on a high, and Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels imprint he’s strangely ahead of everyone in-cheek ghetto romance over an dusty-fingered tradition of boom-bap Dego charts his unfolding personal baldheads out of Strasbourg and basslines that sit just left of centre
after sneakily squeezing in one of with the plaintive electropop right now, with UFOs such as ‘Goin old-school soul groove. Combining beats. Now residing in Australia, musical influences with ease, and their myspace mates are patching – producers Gerd and Delgui have
his own productions, Russ brings love song ‘Far Away’. Despite Downstairs’ – a mad futuristic, street swagger, observational vocalist Steve Spacek compliments this is one of those mixes that will just about anything through their pieced together some intricate
things to a close with Bob Azzam’s the inevitable remix from Ewan strongly hypnotic and haunting humour and a leftfield worldview, the smouldering soul vibes of ‘How stand the test of time. (Dom Servini) MPCs – they’re tying them up in production work. Colonel Red’s
samba anthem ‘Batucada Por Pearson, they vanished seemingly blues song. Taking jazz and soul as Kail provides a unique way of Bout Us’, whilst New York plastic cords, connecting them to voice adds the requisite poignancy
Favor’. The perfect end to another without trace. In the meantime well as Chicago and Detroit house looking at LA’s many vices and sins. underground mainstay J-Live V/A “The American Boogie Down” egg whisks, rewiring their printers, dosage. It’s clear there’s a real
night at The Jazz Rooms – long they have been preparing their and techno influences and really True Hollywood Squares isn’t an critiques the current state of hip (BBE / Still Music) inserting capacitators and chemistry fizzling in Milez
may it prosper. (Dom Servini) debut longplayer for Ben Watt’s reinventing it with his very personal, album that will sit comfortably with hop culture on ‘Killing Ya Self’, his Somewhere at the intersection of oscillators … all just to make a funky Benjiman’s ethereal form. (Helene
Buzzing Fly imprint, a label which undeniable style of production, everyone, but it is an entertaining intelligent observations given extra funk and disco, boogie was a slightly fresh beat. And here’s just a Dancer)
Architeq “Birds of Prey EP” (Tirk) has diversified in recent years away Mr. Parrish never ceases to break from the norm. weight thanks to a pounding guitar tuffer, slightly slower sound coming sample of their experiments, from
“Have you ever seen Dundee?” from the UK deep house sound raise the bar. Without a doubt (Ryan Proctor) break. Elsewhere, Katalyst deftly out via lables like West End, NIA, their friends and family across the Soul Vigilantes “Background
asked Belle & Sebastian on it pioneered. Mlle Caro (Caroline this man is not only one of the turns his production talents to Sam and Heavenly Star. On this league of nations (ill Dubbio from Noise” (Lovemonk)
‘Seymour Stein’. Well I haven’t, Laher) and Franck Garcia both best dj’s on earth but he’s a true Jazz Liberatorz “Clin d’Oeil” (Kif) reggae (‘Over & Over’) and bluesy compilation, Still Music’s minister Spain, 1000names from Bulgaria, From the opening chords of
but someone who has is Sam provide vocals over some highly genius producer in a league of his A trio of beatmakers hailing from funk (‘Say What You Feel’). The of information, Jerome Derradji, Super Smoky Soul from the +81 ‘Travelling Together’ which sound
Annand, a 22-year old known as infectious pop backings, which are own. Timeless music for the true Meaux-town (in the suburbs of Aussie music man also manages to plumps for a selection of known and and jackhigh from… does it even like they could easily have been
Architeq, born in Dundee, and since based on elements of the French renegades of sound. Paris) who showcase a timeless address socio-political themes on lesser known boogie gems. Amidst matter in these troubled times?) . plucked from a Steely Dan LP,
first hearing his debut EP, I still New Wave and trashy Euro Disco. (J’M Irie) boom bap full of deepness, in the instrumental cuts such as the the waves of disco compilations They say that if an infinite number you’re on the Soul Vigilantes
haven’t quite absorbed it all – a ‘Always You’, the first single, is vein of Pete Rock, Madlib or 4hero... claustrophobic ‘What Are We that have hit the record shops in of monkeys were sat at a bandwagon – and for a band from

collection of tracks stacked with the same Soviet Block love story Kail “True Hollywood Squares” A strong nod to jazz is displayed Talking About?’ thanks to some recent years, only a little space has PowerBook, at least one would have the Iberian peninsula, their brand
highly sophisticated sounds from a as St. Etienne’s ‘Heart Failed’ (Big Dada) throughout with the help of bad ass well-placed dialogue been given to boogie– the Midnight written the autobiography of Steve of soul music is surprisingly strong.
producer relatively inexperienced in and Heiko Voss’ ‘ I Think About Over the years, the likes of Ice-T, French musicians Soul Clan, Ky and samples. Although guests such as Lovers compilations, Joey Negro’s Jobs. Well this compilation is more In no small measure helped by the
years. The A1 ‘Birds of Prey’ gently You’, so evocative of broken-down The Pharcyde and Snoop have not forgetting the two Oliviers, Brit rapper Yungun deliver Destination Boogie or the Soul like an attempt at the human voice of Xantone Blacq who takes
bursts into motion with pattering communication in a fragmented all given us their own personal M’Sellem and Portal. And on the impressive performances, it’s Brother Groove On Down packages, genome project… translated into control on four tracks, this album
drums and numerous obscure world. ‘Apologies’ is a more musical vision of Los Angeles. However, mic la crème de la crème of soulful Katalyst who remains the star of while you have to go back to 1985 sound. The solution to eternal life at recalls the good ole days of Brand
sounds all moulding around a subtle and traditionally French song, while those artists may have indy US hip hop. Who, you ask? What’s Happening, his work behind to find the original Boogie Tunes the bottom end of a bassline. Now New Heavies and Incognito or the
synth line. Next comes the groove- whilst on ‘No Name’ they take on defined the sun-splashed LA of Their old friend T-Love, Sadat X the boards providing this 1 which documented the music there’s evolution, taking place at sound of Dome Records in more
laden ‘Sleeping Bear Lament’ that the dancefloor in a Moroder-style the ‘80s and ‘90s, in 2008 South (Brand Nubian), Captain Buckshot invigorating album with its dynamic as it surfaced on the airwaves of 96bpm, before your very eyes. recent years. You can hear quite
zips and fizzes at a steady pace in electro-disco assault. The album Central’s Kail is here to offer a (Black Moon) and the gracious Lizz sonic backbone. (Ryan Proctor) London’s Kiss FM. Here, on The (Brainz) clear references to Roy Ayers (the
a style fellow Tirk artist and king doesn’t vary much in tempo or new millennium perspective on Fields (who steals the show on the American Boogie Down, you’ll vibes on ‘Shy’), Roger Troutman (
of the edit, Greg Wilson, may call sound, but don’t let this put you off. the City Of Angels. A satirical take divine ‘Speak the Langage’). It’s the V/A “4hero Mixing…” find Grayship Daviz’ ‘Get Up Get Milez Benjamin “Feel Glorious” ‘Do It Like Roger’) while the closing
Electro-Funk. The B-side begins Fans of Les Rhythmes Digitales on the cult American television climax of this remarkable record, (Sonar Kollektiv) Down and Let Your Body Pop’, a (Tru Thoughts) track ‘Close The Door’ is in Omar
with ‘Into the Cosmos’, a wonderful and more recent Swedish-Italo show of its title, True Hollywood before the last track kicks in, a The third in Sonar Kollektiv’s song heavily used for Tom Novy’s Enigmatic fabrications are pretty territory circa For Pleasure. Album
tune that motions forward and sensation Sally Shapiro should take Squares mercilessly plays with daring cover of Ahmad Jahmal’s “Mixing…” compilations sees ‘Your Body’ (caned on Kiss FM 25 hip these days. Try Neon Neon, the highlights include ‘The Beat of
back with expert ease – it’s my note. (Benjamin Lehmann) Tinseltown’s extremes, from the spirit jazz anthem ‘Ishmaël’. As a 4hero’s Dego McFarlane step up to years later) and a real groover in Gorillaz or Gnarls Barkley for size... Luck’, featuring the voice of Concha
pick from the EP and should delight star-studded glitz of Beverly Hills whole, this is an elegant yet humble the plate. As you would expect from the shape of ‘Get to the Point’ by but now there’s another one on the Buika, an uptempo joint that has
many dancefloors. A terrific spread Theo Parrish “Sound Scupltures to the gritty streets of Compton. and personal album which hits hard an artist, producer and DJ with Tony Cook that’s reminscent of block – a Dutch bogeymonster definitely got the funk, while the
of percussion to compliment the Vol. 1” (Sound Signature) Kail demonstrates an impressive in the simple, black & white artwork over two decades of experience Leroy Burgess. But the selection that’s created what it calls ‘cyborg Roger Troutman tribute has got the
melodies ensures ‘Packard’ keeps With gigantic hymns like ‘Synthetic writing ability throughout, utilising paying tribute to the iconic Black behind him, not only is the mixing is solid throughout, with the funk’, and goes under the name the right quantities of talkbox and
the energy going until the end. Flemm’ or ‘Galactic Ancestors’, a collection of colourful characters Jazz artwork. (J’M Irie) top notch, but the selection is none voice of Detroit’s Paul Randolph Milez Benjiman. Is it a bird? Is it a synth bass to deliver more bounce
Architeq’s self-described “snail- the first triple-vinyl release of to tell a variety of stories ranging too shabby either. From the disco, accompanying you on the your ride plane? No, it’s Gerd, Delgui and to the ounce. With their brand new
pace-slug-bass” songs look set Sound Scupltures Vol. 1 was last from the funny and the tragic to Katalyst “What’s soul and funk of Bootsy, Face, through the original boogie down. Colonel Red getting crunk on a tip retro formula, Soul Vigilantes sound
to impress anyone who enjoys year’s most important record in the downright strange. ‘The Realest Happening” (BBE) Patrice Rushen and Two Sisters, to (Jez Smadja) that’s both filthy and sweetly soulful like Spain’s answer to Reel People
electronic music, an album is due my opinion. And with twelve brand Motherfuckin’ Tour Guide Ever’ finds Hailing from the warm climes of more contemporary influences at the same time. ‘Chop that wood’ – and they’re kicking it up like a bad
such as Roy Hargrove, Little V/A “Metro Sampler line 2 & 3” probably sums things up the best – bull. (Jez Smadja)

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