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Sunday, June 25, 2000

Playlist - 25th June 2000

Sylvain Chaveau -Dialogues avec le vent -(Noise Museum)
Jimi Tenor -Pylon -(Warp)
Livehuman -#7 -(Matador)
Max Brennan -Future Man -(Sublime)
Electro-Diesel -Trayday III -(Something Inviting)
Badly Drawn Boy -The shining -(Twisted Nerve)
Burnt Friedman -Octrahedral Spherical Caffufle Nonplace -3 -
LB -Ashes to ashes -(Output)
Tarwater -Now you die thriddle fool -(Thrill Jockey)
Maher Shalal Hash Baz -Unknown happiness -(Geographic)
Susumu Yakota -Blend -(Leaf bay)
Alva Noto -Prototypes #4 -(Mille Plateaux)
Martin Rev -Splinters -(Sahko)
Terry Riley -Music for the Gift -(Organ of Corti -1)
Dry & Heavy -Dub explosion -(Dry & Heavy)
Dry & Heavy -Heavy special -(Dry & Heavy)
Dry & Heavy -Rumbling version -(Dry & Heavy)
Broadcast -Drums on fire -(Warp)
Mos Def -Do it now (instrumental) -(Rawkus)
Chicks on Speed -Little Star -(Chicks on Speed)

Fenny's Selection

Planet Jackson -Absent Friends -(Recorded in Winewall Lancashire)
The Long Decline -Wisdomism from their Wisdomism CD -(Wabang)

Sunday, June 18, 2000

Playlist - 18th June 2000

Guy Davis -Let me stay a while -(Red House)
Mel Brown -Summer magic -(Electro-Fi)
The Consolers -Waiting for my child to come home -(Nashboro)
Jeb Loy Nichols -Heaven right here -(Rough Trade)
Floyd Dixon -Blue skies -(Manifesto)
Margaret -Creek lullaby -(Rounder)
Kelly Pace -Rock Island Line -
Memphis Jug Band -Memphis shakedown -(Revenant)
Roosevelt Graves & Brother -I'll be rested (when the roll is called) -
Captain Beefheart & hi s Magic Band -Gimme dat harp boy -(Buddah)
North Mississippi All Stars -Shake em on down -(Rough Trade)
Corey Harris -King Cotton -(Alligator)
Alvin Youngblood Hart -A Prophet's mission -(Hannibal)
Bert Jansch -Lucky thirteen -
Max Lasser -Friendly touch -(M.E.L.T.2000)
Les Primitifs du Futur -Portrait d'un 78 tard -(Sketch)
Lobi Traore -Grayere nafan -(Sterns)
Kenny Brown -In the mood -(Herman)
John Martyn -The field of play -(Indepnediente)
Andre Williams -The black godfather -(In The Red)
Jerry McCain -Pussycat A go-go -(Varese Sarabande)
Doctor John -Chicky wow wow -(Edsel)
Ike & Tina Turner -You can't have your cake and eat it too -(Ace)
Taj Mahal -Ev'ry wind (in the river) -(Hannibal)

Fenny's Selection

MC Mabon -A Japanese Track from his Mr Blaidd CD -(Anstmusik Records) -
Big Eyes -Big Eyes from Big Eyes CD -(Pickled Egg) -
JJ72 -Longway South -(Lakota) -

Sunday, June 11, 2000

Playlist - 11th June 2000

Larry Marshall/King Tubbys -Watergate rock -(Motion)
King Tubby -In fine style -(Lee's)
King Tubby -Psalms of dub -(Black & White)
King Tubby -Psalms of drums -(Black & White)
King Tubby -Disc Jockey skank -(Black & White)
King Tubby -Sky dub -(Groundation)
Lennie Hibbert -Lights -(Studio One)
Sugar Minott -Never gonna give Jah up -(Easy Star)
Sugar Minott -Never gonna give dub up -(Easy Star)
Junior Delgado -Jah Jah say -(Incredible)
Linval Thompson -Cool down your temper -(Blood and Fire)
Bim Sherman -Ethiopian dub -(Century)
Dry & Heavy -Tiger claw skank -(Green Tea)
Augustus Pablo -Tribalist -(Pressure Sounds)
Dr.Alimantado -I shall fear no evil -(Italk Sounds)
Sonny "Black Skin" Washington -Black Skin -(Black Skin)
N'Dea Davenport -Can't hide love -(Arista)
Phat Cat Playas -Make it phat baby -(Parlane)
To-Ka Project -Losin' you -(Naked Music)
Jill Scott -Slowly surely -(BBE)
Lucy Pearl -La la -(Epic)
Brass Construction -Dance -(Liberty)
DJ Rolando -Knights of the jaguar -(Underground Resistance)
Angie Stone -No more rain -(Arista)
Lonyo -Summer of love -(Riverbank)

Fenny's Selection

Presession -Breakout --(www.prosession.freeserve.co.uk)
Nigel Joseph -5 Dirty 13 year olds vs 13 dirty 5 year olds -From All I have done will be as nothing -
Glide -Prog 2 -From Performance (Ochre Records) -(www.ochre.co.uk)
Rebirth Brass Band -It's all over now -From Main Event. Live at the Maple Leaf (Louisiana Red Hot) -

Thursday, June 08, 2000

Colin's Letter

Dear Steve and fellow wiries,

Colin (The Dog) from Lancaster here again, after a year or two incommunicado, yep, it's that old "on the wire stalwart" to quote your good self, here again in a grovelling self abasing stylee... I'm half convinced you stopped access by phone due to my constant semi-drunken ramblings, so due to laziness and some mild embarrassment I've put pen to paper for some time, but here we are! Back again - and you want grovelling, oh groovemeister obergruppenfuhrer!?

Well, grovelling or not, you boys are the only lot I can conceive of (especially via the Beeb) who would play, and have the Fugs' "I couldn't get high" for my somethingth birthday - captured on tape for posterity, much to the kids' amusement am I being obseqious enough! Shall I send you a picture of 3 drooling, slavering tripehounds in fawning mode?

As I have done pretty damn well from your freebies for a year of two, I though it only fair to give others a go, but that attitude has gone out the window at a chance of a free copy of "Hip City" I'm dribbling again! So if you could stick my name in the proverbial hat Steve, mucho gracias! Also, cheeky bugger that I am, if there is a chance of a poster for the old kitchen wall.....

As you are lads after me own heart, sharing similar tastes musical and no doubt otherwise I will relate a wee tale triggered off by yer man fennie playing the Incredible String Band last week, to my delight.... I will attempt to be brief.

I had an extremely fortunate youth in that I spent years 1957 to 70 (minus a year at school in Edinburgh '66-'67) in Jamaica, living a wild barefoot childhood, scoffing mangos and avoiding school when possible. At about the age of 18 or so, I was smitten by a lass who lived in "country" with her American Baptist Minister dad and Jamaican mum. Needless to say, long haired scruffs from Kingston City of Sin, weren't 100% welcome sniffing around their daughter, I digress.

It was an Easter weekend coming up, and I decided to bus and hitch my way up to Brown's Town in the parish of St. Anne on the North Coast... the home of Marley, Spear and Garney and the best "lamb's bread" on the Island at the time... the bus dropped me at St. Anne's Bay and I decided to save my last few bob by hitching inland up to Brown's Town. After a while a somewhat dilapidated van of vintage appearance stopped and I scrambled in alongside three venerable dreadlocked gentleman of similar vintage to their transport! After a somewhat hair-raising drive in full Jamaican fashion, enlivened by a smoke or two of the top "goat shit" cally I was deposited a half mile or so from my destination, at a little corner shop... with a clinking and wheezing my new found pals and their van zig zagged off and away and I stopped for a beer before the last stage of my joint. When I eventually found the right address ("Preacher man, him live up top of next hill I was told several times) I kicked myself for deciding to surprise the girl in question, as it transpired she had been dragged off by her old man to some Baptist Easter do in Kingston, where I had set off from at dawn that day. I kicked a rotten mango and got squelchy stuff all over my jeans.

I had no choice but to return from whence I came and an hour or so later was waiting at a corner in Brown's Town for some mode of transport to pass headed for the city - when lo and behold! Who should come dunking and bumping towards me but my recently goodbyed to "Rasta mates and their lifesaving van, much to their amusement. Once again I clambered in amongst boxes of veg and a big sack of "other stuff" they had picked up since I had last seen them. They insisted, as night falls quickly and very darkly in them there hills, that I accompany them to their yard for the nightl meal and I wasn't saying no. I can still just about taste the roast snapper they caught that morning and the ital veg, roast yams etc, breadfruit... god, I'm slavering. I soon forgot all about the young woman I had come all the way to see and was happy as a sandboy, stuffed to the gills and enjoying the company of peaceful and gentle country Rastafarians of several generations who were preparing for a weekend grounation session. It was good to be away from the noise, dust and increasing tension and hassles of Kingston and relaxing....

After a bit one of the younger dreads spotted several LP's poking out of my rucksack thing I was leaning against and soon we were giving them a spin. "Beggar's Banquet" went down pretty well, the Stones being popular in Jamaica (due largely to Keith Richards saying how fond he was of "Jamaican cigarettes" in the local rag not long back) but the real hit of the night, much to my surprise, was "Hangman's Beautiful Daughter". It got played again and again over the night on the stereotypical JA styla megawatt sound system set up, it must have been heard miles away on the night breeze.... accompanied after an hour or two by half a dozen traditional rasta drummers in full flow..... the gilbert and sullivan like airs of "Minotaur's Song" backed by Count Ossie and crew style drummers about the nearest to surreal I can think of! "And I Bid You Goodnight" was a popular track too, due probably to being familiar as a spiritual in country churches.

I took my leave the next morning as the session got really going, leaving my copy of "Hangman's" as a thank you, and carrying a stuffed paper bag of various goodies to keep me going on my way. I have a picture in my head of in a little hut in the mountains above St. Anne's Bay, the kids that were todders then singing "If I was a witches hat" to their young'uns to get them to sleep! It's a funny old world, eh lads.

And here I am now, in the year 2000, 30 odd years later, getting my fix of JA sounds old and new from "On the Wire". Speaking of which, I was interested to hear you chatting with David Katz about his book on Perry, and immediately got a copy the minute it was avaiable here. Through the book I was able to get in touch with an old boyhood pal who I lost touch with when I came over to London in the late '70s and he went to college in the States. He's the guy who compiled "Chicken Scratch" and others Heartbeat records, much to my surprise! Nice to hear old mates doing well by doing good!

Thanks again Steve for the chance to hear stuff I wouldn't normally get to hear (and tape!), and I look forward to the change in the time slot - Iwon't have to dash down the last pint on a Saturday night and rush home for midnight anymore!

All the best to you all,

Colin and The Chaotic Canines

Saturday, June 03, 2000

Playlist - 3rd June 2000

Bruce Haack -School for Robots -(QDK)
Fallou Dieng -Medina -(Sterns)
Up, Bustle & Out -Havana's streets -(Ninja Tune)
St.Germain -La Goutte D'Or -(Blue Note)
Anima Sound System -Peace, love and politics -(Tone Casualities)
DJ Cheb I Sabbah -Shri durga (State of Bengal mix) -(Nation)
Webcam -Eula -(Noise Museum)
Gary Lucas -Flavor bud living -(Knitting Works)
Dilated Peoples -Ear drums pop -(Capitol)
Slum Village -Conant Gardens -(WordPlay)
John Fahey -Hitomi smiles -(Livhouse)
Buju Banton -Life is a journey -(Anti/Epitaph)
Tarwater -At low frequency -(Kitty Yo)
7-Hurtz -Stokers motor -(Output)
Kid Spatula -Kid Spatulet -(Planet Mu)
Raymond Scott -IBM MT/ST: The paperwork explosion -(Basta)
Sizzla -Live and give praises -(Harmony House)
Sizzla -The enemies are confounded -(Exterminator)
Capleton -Hammer dem down -(Chris Records)
Saian Super Crew -Raz de maree -(Wordplay)
Ronni Jordan/Mos Def -A brighter day -(Rawkus)
The Strange Parcels -Disconnection -(On U Sound)

Thursday, June 01, 2000

Dub Review - June 2000

Dry & Heavy Full Contact


Dry & Heavy's second album for Green Tea, Pressure Sounds' more leftfield sister label, finds the band in confident mood. Opening affairs with "Tiger Claw Skank", a ritual slaughter of the "Cherry Oh Baby" rhythm, the agenda is set for some serious challenges to the established reggae modus operandi. Likkle Mai, the female vocalist, recently guested on Primal Scream's Japanese tour dates. Her vocal on "Dawn is Breaking", ethereal and sexy at the same time, brings to mind Sister Frica's "One in the Spirit" produced by Pablo at the Black Ark, whereas "Love Explosion" finds her in a sweet lover's mood. Three 7" pre-releases have prefaced the albums release, creating an expectant vibe that the set more than satisfies. Although more commercial than their last album "One Punch", the sonics and construction evident in the album's tunes prove the techniques of the old Jamaican dubmasters have been intelligently absorbed - largely by the band's involvement with On U Sound's Adrian Sherwood. Vinyl freaks can pursue a Japanese copy from the Beatback label (BRLP24).

Burning Spear Marcus Garvey/Garvey's Ghost


Reissue specialists Simply Vinyl were astonished to discover that last year's revival of the Upsetters' "Superape" rapidly became one of their best sellers. No surprise then to find the partnership with Island continuing with the release of a whole bunch of seventies classics. But there are "classics", and then there are classics. Burning Spear's "Marcus Garvey", at once militant, joyous and devotional, is an album that busts out of the reggae genre despite its deeply rooted Rasta foundation. Sound system operator Jack Ruby never had the rightful credit for producing this set which defined the sound of the streets of West London in 1976. Here the original album is coupled with its dub companion "Garvey's Ghost". Many hardcore dub fans have never rated these versions as they were remixed from the originals, only glimpsed from a few appearances on the flips of 7" pre-releases on the Jamaican Fox label. Nevertheless, the dub set remains essential as together the tunes undoubtedly make up the greatest ever roots reggae album.

Lennie Hibbert Creation


From the late sixties, or even early seventies, here's a one-off reggae rare groove slow-burner from the fathomless vaults of Clement Dodd's Studio One. Another musical graduate from the Alpha Boys School, vibesman Lennie Hibbert became a key member of Sound Dimension, the outfit which generated the rhythms to propel generations of reggae hits. Jackie Mittoo helps out on this set where his signature organ sounds underpin Lennie's jazz-inflected work on the vibes. The instrumentals split between a few originals, versions of hits of the time such as the Heptones' "Pretty Looks" and Keith and Tex's "Tonight" and then covers of tunes popular on the U.S. jazz lounge circuit like "Nature Boy" and "Quiet Village" here retitled "Village Soul". But what marks this album out from its easier contemporaries is the funky injection of the drum and the bass - cool to play outdoors this summer!

Augustus Pablo El Rockers


Discounting Marley, and alongside King Tubby and Lee Perry, Augustus Pablo is perhaps one of the guaranteed names in reggae. Every self-respecting music fan from the punk era also possessed a worn copy of "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown". Its surprising therefore that after the artist's early demise last year there were no shameful cash-ins by the issue of sloppily thrown together or dubious material. It is equally satisfying to greet this "new to CD" compilation with unalloyed enthusiasm. Compiled by the culturally impeccable Harry Hawkes, with a little help from longtime Pablo devotee and ex-Disciple Mr. Lol "Boomshackalacka" Bell-Brown, the set can only be compared in quality to those Dylan bootlegs which gather together superb outtakes and versions from his golden years. This time "KTMRU" forms the core with every track being re-presented in one or more dub or instrumental takes. All the tracks have appeared at one time another on JA 7" pre-release but now are to be found exclusively in the collectors market. From the artwork, to the notes and selection this is a wonderful set and a must for all Pablo fans. Certain to end up as one of the reggae revival CDs of the year.

Various King Size Dub Chapter 6


The New Dub is now coming through thick and fast and the Echo Beach label refuses to be diverted from its righteous purpose by weakhearts! Not afraid to mix the smoother sounds generated out of Chicago's Guidance label with the more rootsy and abstract methods more in favour this side of the Atlantic, we find very little forced fusion in the blend. G-Corp remix Dillinger and Wailers tracks, Velvet Revolution veterans Hypnotix are still dubbing outta Prague with Senegalese singer Bourama and Smith & Mighty donate a dub from their new album. Other contributions come in from San Francisco's Thunderball, Toronto's Watershell, Leeds' Black Star Liner, Berlin's Seeed and all points 360 degrees in the name of dub

Bob Marley & the Wailers The Complete Bob Marley & the Wailers 1967 to 1972 III JAD JADCD1005

This third volume in JAD's "complete" Bob Marley & the Wailers may carry some of the criticisms attached to other labels which are tempted to attach such an absolute to their product. However in this case the compilers are forgiven such sins, not only in their present lives but also in all their previous incarnations. For, contained on one of the CDs of this double set is the most elemental track ever cut on the Wailers and a mix that stands to this day as the wildest ever from Lee "Scratch" Perry. Originally to be found on the flip of the Upsetter 12" "Disco Devil", Perry's mix of "Keep On Moving", itself a version of the Curtis Mayfield song, has never been re-released in any form since its original appearance in Jamaica. A mint to excellent copy fetches over £100. The Wailers vocal treatment of the song is an exercise in unbridled paranoia, but then that is followed by an apocalyptic toast by a DJ named Wong Chu, believed to be part of the Tippertone sound system but about whom nothing else is known and no other recordings are extant. After the DJ Perry steps to the desk and takes it to the max in an abstract welter of reverb and echo - a masterpiece. Worth trading in all those other recent sub-standard Perrys just to buy this one - and the rest of the compilation is immaculate too!

King Tubby The Dub Organiser


At the turn of the sixties almost all Jamaican pressed 7" singles were accompanied by a "b" side which was simply an instrumental version of the main vocal side. This served a dual purpose, commercially it made records cheaper for the producer but creatively DJs, MCs or toasters were able to use the track as a rhythm bed upon which to extemporise lyrically. King Tubby changed all this by originating what we now know as the dub version which, for a time in the mid seventies, was more popular than both vocal and DJ sides. The market will have to wait a long time before any product addresses a reasonable attempt at an overview of the thousands of dubs Tubby created for probably over a hundred "producers". In the meantime we take what we can and must. This choice of Bunny Lee sides is a sweet selection, albeit sounding like an obvious mastering job from disc. All mixed between 1974 and 1977 by Tubbs and Princes Phillip and Jammy, these sonic revelations were achieved by the use and abuse of an early sixties vintage four-track MCI mixing board rescued from Dynamics Studio by Bunny Lee. Amongst the many highlights are the pure lashing version of "Ali Baba" here "Natty Dread Kill the Barber", several takes on the "Gorgon" theme and the dub to Horace Andy marvellous "Zion Gate".

Bim Sherman Rub-A-Dub Volume 1


Although Bim Sherman is perhaps best know these days for his work with Adrian Sherwood's On U Sound label and collective, his largely self-produced Jamaican work of the seventies created a set of singles still much sought after in the reggae collectors' market. Many of these tunes, originally found on labels such as Scorpio, Red Sea, Element, Sun Dew and Ja-Man, were compiled on the album "Lover Forever" released late last year. What we have here is not exactly that album's dub companion (life should be so easy!) but the coincidence of rhythms is extensive. Although all the engineers are not credited they are likely to include Tubby, Jammy, Pat Kelly, Erroll Thompson and Clive Chin. Remastered from disc, the job is excellent and the result remarkable in that the eighteen tracks play through in fine style without any of the lag that usually plagues even the best of dub albums. Those familiar with Bim's later work will recognise many of the tunes as the singer has versioned some of his favourites a number of times.

Various Wreck This Mess - Remission 2


For many year Laurent Diouf has championed all forms of experimental dub-infected sound via "Wreck This Mess", his Radio Libertaire radio show somewhere in the Paris environs. Although billed as "ambient-industrial vs. electronic dub vs. hypnotic grooves" when it's all distilled down what we are left with is the dominant sound of drum and bass. DJ Spooky and Spectre come in from New York, Extramadura and the Dub Factory make the journey from the UK and Holon and Audio Active from Japan. But the standout track is provided by South London's Lee Digidub from the time he spent creating sound sources by exploiting the possibilities presented in a Swedish scrap metal yard!

Bucolic Dzyan Blood


Only in America! A brooding, booming throb persists throughout the album's entirety, scraps of vocal samples are heard like filtered outtakes from the "Eraserhead" soundtrack. At times it could be Tod Dockstadter or Arcane Device in dub. Alternatively it really is a broadcast from a faulty short-wave transmitter, as the ghost of King Tubby meets 23 Skidoo in the flaking substructure of space station Mir. Sound gaps are occasionally created for unexpected, but fevered, bouts of relief. This is twisted stuff.