My love for reggae, or dub in particular, dates back to my adolescence, the time when I emancipated myself from the listening behaviours of my peers at home and at school, the time when my musical interest was about to mature. Still, my relationship with Jamaican music remained superficial for the longest time. There were no specialist record shops anywhere near where I grew up, no radio stations with a reggae programme, and the internet was still unheard of. I caught a first glimpse of what dub was through No Protection, an album by a band from Bristol (Massive Attack) remixed by a Guyana-born, London-based producer (Mad Professor). In other words an entirely British affair, music produced about 7,500 kilometres (or 4,600 miles) from the motherland: Jamaica. While I got closer to that island over the years, I never was fully satisfied with what I got. Thankfully that was about to change after I reached out to my Twitter followers. This book by Lloyd Bradley was recommended to me by whoever operates the Hyperdub account on Twitter, and it’s what gave me an indepth education on Jamaican music.
On over 500 pages, Bradley writes down the history of Jamaican music since the 1950s. From early sound systems playing RnB records imported from the U.S., which eventually lead to the creation of ska and rocksteady, to the emancipation of Jamaican music through roots reggae, then later dub and dancehall. The book succeeds in putting all of that into a bigger picture, as it relates the the story of reggae to the history of the island. You will read about the politcal situation on the island, its independence, Marcus Garvey and Pan-Africanism, emperor Haile Selassie I., the role of rastafarianism, reggae conquering the UK, the Notting Hill race riots, Kool Herc bringing soundsystem culture to hip-hop – it’s all in the book.
Whether you can relate to what I said in the introduction text or simply want to broaden your horizon, Bass Culture is a book I can’t recommend enough!
Bass Culture, When Reggae Was King
Bass Culture on Goodreads, Amazon US, Amazon UK
Next Friday Vancouver’s Mood Hut family will take over Room 3 at Fabric, featuring the likes of Hashman Deejay, Pender Street Steppers and BAKE. To promote the event, Fabric shared this a mix by Brian Not Brian which you can hear above. It’s tagged “oddities” — and what could be more exciting than that?
It’s been quiet about Dim Grimm (aka Dimlite) for some time, and so far I blamed the recording of his Cite album for it. However, only yesterday I found about his new Dym Quell Holo alias, but then again that’s a different story. Today, the official Dim Grimm is back with an interpretation of Dorian Concept’s “The Sky Opposite”, taken from last year’s Joined Ends album.
Ninja Tune is about to release the official Joined Ends Remix EP in late April, featuring Tim Hecker’s interpretation of the same track. In the meantime, Dim’s take is available for free download!
Anthony released his debut album Body Pill this week, a record I haven’t listened to enough to make up my mind yet. What I did enjoy tremendously is his guestmix for the Resident Advisor podcast series. Music from Led Zeppelin, Tim Hecker, Terry Riley, into a proper selection of house and techno.
Press play and read the interview on the RA website, where you can also grab the download.
Following the self-titled debut and last year’s Zootie, Will Bankhead’s Trilogy Tapes is about to release a new Rezzett 12-inch towards the end of next week. You might remember we already shared the track Twizzta some weeks back, but the targeted release date was pushed back until now. Should you decide to order your copy directly from the TTT shop, you might also be interested in the Rezzett Live cassette.
In summer 2014, a first trailer for Looking for the Perfect Beat surfaced, yet another documentation about the Los Angeles scene centered around Low End Theory. Unlike The Beat or All Ears, this film was actually completed and was shown at various festivals around the world. The documentary follows the likes of Teebs, Daedelus, Ras G, Tokimonsta, Jonwayne or Matthewdavid, giving insights into their creative process.
If you’re living in LA, you have a chance to watch it at the Downtown Independent over the next couple of days. Everybody else needs to keep an eye out or wait for some kind of digital release.
February 24, 2015 You can now watch the full documentary on Vimeo On Demand
K15 is on fire! Following last year’s excellent Bordeaux and Insecurities, the London-based producer inaugurates Kyle Hall’s new label No Room For Air with a 7-inch release. Already listed as sold-out on the label shop, you can pre-order your copy from Juno or Rush Hour. Big up Boiler Room for the premiere.
Already famous for his wonderful work with fellow Los Angeles natives including the extended Brainfeeder family, Stones Throw Records, or Low End Theory, photographer Theo Jemison produces this video about Gaslamp Killer. Starting with an interview clip with the parents, the video centers a live performance at LA’s Mayan Theatre with a line-up including the likes of Dexter Story, Kamasi Washington, Amir Yaghmai and the Killer himself.
Of all the tracks on Dorian Concept‘s Joined Ends, one could argue that “The Sky Opposite” shares a lot of emotion with Tim Hecker‘s music. From that perspective I find it interesting to hear what the latter made of his remix, or that he even picked the track. Anyway, earlier today Ninja Tune revealed the release of the Joined End Remix EP , which also includes remixes by Kuedo, Nathan Fake, Bibio and Redinho, the last one being a digital exclusive.
Still a while to go until you can pick this up at your favourite record store, the remix EP will be out in late April. Pre-orders available from the NinjaShop and iTunes.
It’s weekend and I wanted to give you a quick updates on mixes I enjoyed a lot recently:
Untold – Groove Podcast 39
Mr Beatnick – Melbourne Deepcast 129 (interview)
Caribou 7inch Mix on Gilles Peterson Worldwide (interview)
Kan Kick – Kan Crates Funk Soul Mix
Lena Willikens – XLR8R Podcast 376
And here are a couple of radio shows:
Spacebass /w LD
PAN #6 /w Bill Kouligas
Moovmnt Radio Show 01
Have a nice weekend everybody!
Following Steven Hall’s Arthur’s Landing project on SoundCloud, I probably heard more reworks of Arthur Russell‘s material than most people should. At least that’s what I thought until this track surfaced on my feed today. From what I make of the sparse information coming with it, this might or might not be an early (or stripped down) version of 1982’s “Clean on Your Bean”, which was released in version #1. In any case, the producer of the of the original, Peter Gordon, appears to have given his blessing on this as it will be part of a release called “Arthur Russell’s Instrumentals Directed by Peter Gordon”. There should be more information available before it comes out this April on London’s foom label.
It’s been a while we last heard from our man in Hamburg, the DJ and producer B-Ju hasn’t put out new music since last summer’s Merianplatz EP. For his return, he teamed up with Berlin-based rising star Ticklish and together they’re releasing a 6-track cassette on Apothecary Compositions.01. B-Ju & Ticklish – Dualities
02. B-Ju & Ticklish – Red Vines
03. B-Ju – Kids On Fire
04. B-Ju – Kids On Fire (Ticklish Remix)
05. Ticklish – Jealousy
06. Ticklish – Jealousy (B-Ju Remix)
Listen to a full track above before you pre-order your copy directly from the label. Titled “Dualities”, the tape and download will be out on February 23, 2015.
Travelling with my family through Europe many years ago, I first ran into Andrew Pekler inside small record store somewhere in Germany. What better opportunity is there for a kid to avoid boring sightseeing to spend some hours digging for records? This is how I eventually got to know Andrew’s own music, from his involvement in several bands to his solo efforts as Sad Rockets and under his own name.
More than 15 years later, I still follow his activities on SoundCloud and occasionally catch one of his mixes on Dublab radio. Here’s one he recorded for the Skyapnea show on NTS Live.01. Andrew Pekler – Untitled
02. Unnamned Burundian Musician – Chant Avec Citahare / Toru Takemitsu – Water Music
03. Mike Cooper – Electricity
04. Joel Chadabe – Yum Yum
05. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Ulu Watu
06. Andrew Pekler – Synthetic Birdsong / Untitled
07. Michael Prime – The Mouth Of Hermes / Barbera Benary – Sleeping Braid
08. Chappel Mood Music Vol. 15 – Électronique / Zazou, Bikaye, Cy 1 – M’pasi Ya
09. Andrew Pekler – Synthetic Birdsong / Madalyn Merkey – Archipelago
10. Barbara Kolb – Solitaire / Waisoni Msusa- Kung’anda Kwa Anyamata
11. Dennis Smalley – The Pulses Of Time
12. Peuls Musicians Of Niger – Pakapak / Mike Cooper – Tahiti Green Island
13. Gordon Monahan – Large Piano Magnified / Andrew Pekler – Untitled
14. Andrew Pekler – Untitled
15. Mbuti Singers – Iyo-o-o / David Keane – In Memorium Hugh Le Caine
16. Jon Hassell – Empire IV
17. Unnamed Burundian Musician – Take Me Back To Mabayi / Pierre Henry – Danse / Additional Sounds
18. Andrew Pekler – Untitled
19. Nuno Canavarro – Bruma / Unnamed Burundian Singers – Akazéhé / Andrew Pekler – Synthetic Birdsong
Maybe not as charming as his “fooling around” videos, but then this one mostly serves as a promotional video for the Roland company. In it, you can watch Dorian Concept as he builds a track from scratch on the JD-Xi. Just like that.
British drummer and percussionist Nick Woodmansey aka Emanative shared his take on Pharoah Sanders’ “Hum Allah Hum Allah Hum Allah”, which is to appear on his forthcoming album co-released by the Steve Reid Foundation and Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings. The original recording was part of the 1969 album Jewels Of Thought and featured musicians of the calibre of Lonnie Liston Smith, Roy Haynes, Leon Thomas and Idris Muhammed.
The Emanative album isn’t shy of quality collaborators either, guest musicians include Four Tet & Floating Points, Rocketnumbernine, Finn Peters or Ahmed Abdullah. Set for a release in March, you can pre-order your copy of “The Light Years Of The Darkness” on Bandcamp.