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Saturday, November 29, 2003

Playlist - 29th November 2003 - Baked Goods

Wayne Carter-Mad Mouth Woman -(Aestuarium)
Climber -Untitled #3 -(Rice & Beans)
Christian Kleine -Untitled #1 -(City Centre Offices)
Claro Intelecto -Untitled #2 -(Ai Recordings)
Logreybeam -Untitled #3-(Type)
Isan -Willowy -(Morr Music)
Arthur Russell -In The Light Of A Miracle -(Soul Jazz)
Ricci Rucker -Emergency.Com -(Sound In Color )
Ghislain Poirier -Inégalités-
Pathic -False Profits -(Pyramid Transmissions)
Soc -Cyn7 -(Scsi-Av)
The Chimpendales -Untitled #4 -(Outside)
Death Comet Crew -America-(Troubleman)
Boom & Birds -Untitled #5 -(Rice & Beans )
Rj Valeo -Saturday Afternoon -(Type)
Julien Neto -Le Fumeur De Ciel -(Type)
Telefon Tel Aviv -Map Of What Is Happening -(Hefty)
Ludvig Elblaus -Untitled -(City Centre Offices)
Diplodocus -Summers Gonna Hurt You -(Big Dada)
Sixtoo -One World Lost-(Vertical Form)
Antennae -Light To Light (Instrumental) -(Botanica Del Jibaro)
Claro Intelecto -Untitled #8 -(Ai Recordings)
To Rococo Rot -For Bologna -(Unhip)

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Playlist - 22nd November 2003

Black roots-Armageddon Dub Realaudio-(Smugg)
Gregory Issacs-Equal Share-(Heartbeat)
Johnny Clarke-Badness Dub-(Foundation Music)
Horace Andy-Thanks Dub-(Smugg)
Jah Wobble and Bill Laswell-Orion-(Ichill)
African Head Charge-Far away chant-(On U Sound)
Randy's-Natty Inna Babylon Dub-(Jamaican Recordings)
Tommy McCook-Lamb's Bread-(Blood and Fire)
Blurt-The Fish Needs a Bike-(Salamander Records)
The Blueskins-Can't get down-(Domino)
Malorie-Dollface-(Candy Records)
Transelement-Journey of an orange-(Eli Records)
Blanty-Aqua Y Sel-(Cheap and Best Records)
Stylus-Exposition-(Ochre Records)
e.s.t.-Seven Days of Falling-(ACT)
Otaku no denki-The Tower-(Viper)
Bunker Hill-Red Ridin' Hood and the wolf-(Viper)
Jackie Mitto and the Soul Brothers-Train to Skaville-(Soul Jazz)
Lloyd & Devon-Red Rumb Ball-(Pressure Sounds)
Jeb Loy Nichols-Don't Dance with Me-(Green Tea)
Carla Bozulich (with Willie Nelson)-Can I Sleep in Your Arms-(Rough Trade)
Woody Gutherie-Going down the road (I ain't gonna be treated this way)-(Tradition)
12 Apostles Church Choir-Izindaba-(World Music Network)
Roger -Tears for the Journey-(Mate)
Melodie-Ailleurs-(Urgence Disk Records)
Digitonal-Snowflake vectors-(Seed Records)
Oba Funke-Obachant-(Karma Giraffe)
Bushman-Your Love-(Greensleeves)
Singer Blue-Long time I no smoke-(LPA Records)
Four Tet-As serious as your life-(Domino)

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Playlist - 15th November 2003

Tommy McCook -Lambsbread -Blood and Fire
New Age Steppers -Some love dub -Dubbud
U Roy with Bob Marley & the Wailers -Kingston 12 Shuffle / version -Trax on Wax
Ken Boothe -Black, gold and green -Trojan
I Roy -Red, gold and green -Trojan
Prince Far I -In I Father's house -Beat Records
New Age Steppers -Singing Love -Beat Records
Mighty Rudo -Waterhouse -Pressure Sounds
Digidub -Punch one -Digidub
Morgan Heritage -Love line version -Soul Jazz Records
Al-Haca Sound System -Uckeritz dub -Different Drummer
Systemwide -Ripe up (PanAmerican remix) -BSI Records
Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart-Cannily Cannily-30 Hertz Records
Ella Guru-Strugglin Horse in Hollywood-Banana
Full Fathom Five-Casino-Kennel
The Relict-Breaks Another-Vegas Morn Records
The Belles-Who will be here to hear-Eat Sleep Records
Guided by Voices-The best of ji9llHives-Matador
The High Dials-Desiderata-Rainbow Quartz
The Donnas-Too Bad about your girl-Atlantic
Isnasakenai Douji-Sticklebrick-Offal
Cirque Du Soleil-Africa-Cirque Du
Bonobo-Flutter-Ninja Tune
Anthony Rother-Describe Reality-Gema
Bola Soup-Forcasa-Skam
Premier Cru-Coming up for air-Third Ear

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Playlist - 8th November 2003 - Funkology

Roy Ayres-Searching-(Barely Breakin even)
ty-Wait a minute-(Big dada)
Jtq/roy ayers-Get down to the floor-(Freestyle)
King Tubby-Natty Dub-(Ema)
King Tubby-African roots-(Ema)
Jackson Five-Great to be here re edit-(Disco juice)
Archie Bell & Drells-Lets groove-(Phil Intl)
Tribe called quest-I c u doin it-(jive)
Meshell Ndegeocello-Body-(Maverick)
Rasmus Faber-Ever After-(Far Plane)
Ronnie Foster-West Coast Poplock-(Steet People)
Los amigos invisiblrs-Comodon johnson-(Long lost brotherlp)
Missy Elliott-Pass the Dutch-(Elektra)
Spiritual south-Green gold-(Afroart 12)
Erick sermon/redman-Close the club-(Av8)
Boris gardiner-Melting pot -(Harmless)
Northend-Tees Happy-(Harmless)
Hardsoul/ron carroll-Back together-(Soulfuric)
Jeff Bradshaw feat Jill Scott-Slide-(Hidden Beach)
The wonder of stevie lp v/a-superstition-(harmless)
LTD-Don't Stop loving me now-(A&m)

Sunday, November 02, 2003

About On The Wire

 On the Wire was first broadcast on 16th September 1984. Check Radio 1's playlists for that month – compare and contrast. Way back then there was no such thing as 'dance' music, hip-hop was confined to NYC and LA and the UK was in the grip of the New Romantics. Smashy and Nicey still ruled at fab FM and the London dance mafia were out with their mums shopping for shells. Reggae was apparently dead.

On the Wire’s first guests were Adrian Sherwood, who provided its now legendary theme tune, and collaborator Keith le Blanc, who had earlier launched ‘Malcolm X’ on the world via Tommy Boy. The week after it was Depeche Mode and in the December a three hour live special with Mr. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry still fresh from torching the Black Ark a couple of years earlier.

And so it went …… through the eighties as On The Wire slowly built a reputation beyond Lancashire and the North West, throughout the UK and onwards, before the internet, via cassette to the outer reaches, Greece, Sweden, Australia, Italy, USA ….. The show was fairly expansive: releasing a compilation ‘Bugs On The Wire’, putting on The Fall for free at Clitheroe Castle when 2,500 people turned up, an Xmas party at the Ritz in Manchester including Sherwood with Gary Clail, 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, Little Annie and a heavily pregnant Neneh Cherry absconding from a Bomb the Bass gig. First radio plays for in the UK for Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson and the radio premier of 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, Little Annie and a heavily pregnant Neneh Cherry absconding from a Bomb the Bass gig. First radio plays for in the UK for Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson and the radio premier of 808 State’s ‘Pacific State’ and Gerald’s epochal ‘Voodoo Ray’.

As the Nineties turned OTW was under threat of a cut by the BBC as new management leaves were turned – but at the last minute the show was saved by the BBC board pegging the show as a ‘unique BBC product’. But the heady days of the three hours every Sunday afternoon were over as speech and sport came to rule the airwaves. And so, ever since that time, OTW has wandered the aether bouncing along in the eddies of BBC scheduling, “freeform radio” before the term was invented.

In the last few years there has been a reduced flow of luminaries through the OTW studio as destination Blackburn recedes into the mist of East Lancashire’s lost valleys. Those listeners with the show from the start whilst at school or college are now in their forties and beyond with mortgages, families and fond memories. Many friends have come and gone over the years but the show is ‘trodding on’ regardless. Quieter guests in the nineties gave us wonderful studio sessions, including Kelly Joe Phelps, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Jeb Loy Nichols – as the show developed a quaint obsession for Americans using two Christian names. Between 2002 and 2011 Jim and Fenny in Blackburn helmed the show whilst Steve absconded to Beijing (that’s Beijing, China) initially relying on the invaluable help of Christiaan Virant, American exile and co-founder of the China-based nu electronic unit fm3 and progenitor of the world-famous Buddha machine. Andy ‘Madhatter’ Holmes and the big man, Pete Haigh, have continued to provide years of peerless effort on the once-a-month diversion "Funkology". Jimbo, engineer and techno-wiz, took over from the eminent Jethro, known on the net as ‘Culf’, who in turn took over from Mikey Martin - who started in his early teens as the original studio boy wizard. Big shouts must also go to Dom and Bob, the once Blood and Fire boys, the now dear departed Baked Goods team and big man Shlom at Boomkat who all blessed us with a regular supply of great tunes, Noel ‘Harry’ Hawks for all his great selections on our reggae and dub
specials, the indomitable crusader Brian ‘Planet’ Jackson for his unstinting support over the years and lastly respect is heavily due to the once-boy Alex Fenton for his wonderful work on creating our original website without which OTW’s inexorable march to world domination would have proved impossible.

Ageing disgracefully, cantankerous and increasingly idiosyncratic, On the Wire relishes occupying the once-dreaded “graveyard slot” for two hours from midnight every Saturday; the show was 32 years old on 16th September 2016 and continues whistling a happy tune into an indefinite
and unpredictable future …………

Steve Barker – St. Annes-on-the-Sea, January 2017

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Playlist - 1st November 2003

Includes mix the Listening Room (Neil Robbins)

Soel -Le Vicomte -(Warner Jazz)
Big Youth -Foreman vs Frazier -(Trikont)
Burning Spear -He prayed -(Studio One)
Roosevelt Graves and Brother -Woke up this morning (with my mind on Jesus) -(Dust to Digital)
Sweet Brothers & Ernest Stoneman -I got a bulldog -(Old Hat)
Holly Golightly -It's all me -(Damaged Goods)
Willis -Paper and stone -(679)
Robert Wyatt -Raining in my heart -(Hannibal)
Robert Wyatt -Blimey O'Reilly -(Cuneiform)
Loren Mazzacane Connors & David Grubbs -Blossom time -(Wire Tapper)
Joe Callicot -France chance -(Fat Possum)
Lane Hardin -California desert blues -(BMG)
Furry Lewis -Hobo blues -(Fat Possum)
R.L.Burnside -Long haired doney -(Fat Possum)
Heavenly Gospel Singers-Mean Old World-(Revenant)
Robert Wyatt-Foreign Accents-(Rykodisc)
David Grubs L. Connors -The Highest Point in Booklyn-(Hapna)
Basic Channel-Mutism-(Basic Channel)
No Neck Blues Band-Slither Ingverddure-(Letters from the Earth)
Komet-Two-(Raster Post)
Plastikman-Scon Poke-(Nova Mute)
Abstract Thought-Me Wants Women Panani-(Kombination Research)
Robert Hood-Slightly-(Peace Frog)
Vrioon -Noon-(Raster Norton)
Bus -Freestyle-(Scape)
Augustus Pablo and Super 8-Creative Version-(Half Man)
ILPO Vaisanen-Lima-(Kangaroo)
Town and Country-Old Fashioned-(Thrill Jockey)
Senking-Emergent-(Raster Post)
Pavel Kostiuk-Mikado-(2000 Black)
Patrick Pulsinger-These Precious Days I'll Spend With You-(Cheap)

Dub Review - November 2003




No coincidence that this appears after the recent Trojan Nyabinghi box-set and the Cedric 'Im' Brooks Light of Saba compilation on Honest Jon's, its Count Ossie's follow-up to the truly epochal three album 'Grounation' from 1975. Deeper into the mix of free-jazz, righteous rasta chant and stately binghi drum reasoning Cedric Brooks takes the arrangement credits and orator and philosopher Ras Sam Clayton not only bestows his words on the music but also provides the remarkable sleevenotes concluding sections covering on 'family planning', education about the worms that live in the human body and the 'history of marijuana' - not that any of this information is necessary to enjoy this wonderful devotional music that fits neatly with the later spiritual explorations of the Coltranes, Ayler and those that followed.




Dub Gabriel is perhaps better known through his Qaballa Steppers incarnation, though he also appears as Baraka Orchestra and Brooklyn Massive Sound System. Teeth were gritted as the album opened up with 'Sacrifice & Bliss', a track loaded with middle-eastern wailing and Buddhist chant samples guaranteed to keep all ears pinned to the pain of the eternal cycle of rebirth, but the following track 'Celebrate' made the suffering all worthwhile. A swooningly sweet female vocal loop on top of an undulating tabla rhythm executed with a literally billowy lightness of touch - a track in search of an extended remix. And so the album continues, at best when its more daring, the murmured rap of Young Sand on 'New Sand' and 'Journey within a Journey' that descends into a Gnawa frenzy and eschews the overused Arabic vocal samples for the much more sexy oud. Enough bass-powered propulsion here to keep most nu-dubheads amused for hours.







Not too long ago the work of Jackie Mittoo was criminally under-represented in the reissue market, but of course as a foundation member of the Skatalites his work was always there. In 1965 the Soul Brothers were the replacement Studio One house band formed from the core of the short-lived but revolutionary Skatalites. But in driving the music's revolutions from ska through to rocksteady they could still lean back on skills honed on r'n'b ('Voodoo Moon' and 'Chicken and Booze') and jazz ('Taken Ten') - a tendency that is happily evident in this compilation. In tracing their output through until 1967 as they re-emerged after a UK tour as the Soul Vendors the majority of this set marks the end of the ska era with Mittoo and old spar Roland Alphonso in control as the band experiments and beds in their newly acquired electric instruments on 'Got My Boogaloo', 'Dr. Ring Ding' and 'Hot and Cold'. An unmissable companion to their earlier Jackie Mittoo tribute.







Heartbeat add to their already impressive Perry catalogue with this selection of mainly unreleased tunes and alternate mixes from the fearless Vampire Slayer, more than just padded out by a judicious pick of contemporary classics. Although Scratch's accepted primary trademark is the gobsmacking sonics he conjured in the Black Ark, but the two tunes that emerge here as support to his legendary status are vocal group performances, an area that has been critically ignored in the analysis of the producer's output. The only release of the mysterious Sons of Light was the achingly beautiful 'Land of Love' was a plea for escape from Jamaica's boilerhouse political environment, sung in tight harmony on top of a restrained but urgent rhythm Perry punctuates with a simple organ melody in the middle eight and ends with what sounds like an elephant in pain. Equally affecting is 'Walk the Streets', an unreleased Upsetter vocal with uncredited harmonies, apparently cut as a relieved response to the 1978 Peace Treaty. Also present are two tunes from Junior Murvin's unreleased 'Police and Thieves ' follow-up and the first appearance of more early outings from Junior Delgado I whilst a member of Time Unlimited. Notes by Dave Katz complete the package.

Alternatively, for those seeking the more usual Scratch-style sonic rainbow there's a repress of the rampaging horns led cut of Devon Irons' 'Vampire' in an extended version graced by off-centre support vocals of Full Experience and a DJ outing from the all too infrequent Dr.Alimontado. The vampire been used as more than a mere motif in Perry's work throughout his career, mostly famously appearing in his attack on his former associate ex-Island boss, Chris Blackwell, providing yet more rich fare for future anthropological musings on the Upsetter's many obsessions.




Out of the blue comes this brand new album from the most commercial manifestation of the Nyabinghi style. Recorded at Mixing Lab in Jamaica and utilising Sly & Robbie, Robbie Lynn and Chinna, Ras Michael turns the trick of modernising his sound without loss of his traditional roots feel - largely through stripping down the mix and adapting classic rhythms. 'Haile Selassie Is the Chapel' is the doo-wop standard 'Crying in the Chapel' as previously versioned by the Wailers, 'No Smoke Without Fire' is Studio One staple 'Real Rock' and so it goes on. So although the album is no revelation (sic) it makes for a pleasant ride through and Wadada is in great vocal form.




Under legal threat its original owner the man once known as Tikiman has had to renounce his chosen name and reverts to his given name and here offers the follow-up album to the set previously issued by collaborators Rhythm & Sound. As to be expected the production owes a debt to Markus and Mortiz, at least early on, but as the set develops St.Hilaire stretches and risks further experiment. The initial manifestation is a changed vocal style somewhere in Sugar Minott ('Society) and Freddie McGregor ('Picking Up') territory and at times the song structure and delivery is pure Marley ('Custody). He's at his best when he is taking more risks, as on the last track 'Changing' - hopefully an early clue to the new direction where the main rhythm is a heartbeat bass, whispered vocals match the ambience and as soon as the track seems to actually 'start', it fades. Paul St.Hilaire may prove a useful channel for those seduced by Rhythm & Sound but unpersuaded by reggae in general to be lead through to the main source.



EMI 07243 5 84736

An inspired selection of 'Big People's music' miraculously negotiated out of the EMI vaults by eminent reggae enthusiast Jeremy Collingwood, who over the past few years has been concentrating on the excellent JAD Bob Marley and the Wailers retrospective series. 'Big People' is the respectful term applied by younger Jamaicans to their elder relatives who back in the fifties were the patrons of Sound Systems such as Sir Coxone's Downbeat, King Edwards, Tom the Sebastian and V-Rockets whose proprietors competed for the hottest and sweetest r'n'b tunes from the States. So here we have Dave Bartholomew's 'The Monkey (Speaks His Mind)' and Fats Domino's ' I'm In The Mood For Love', Amos Milburn's 'One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer' and Joe Lutcher's 'Strato-Cruiser' - and seventeen more rocking and soothing tunes that were to define the routes for the growth of Jamaica's indigenous music.




With this selection of tunes from Derrick Morgan's Hop label Pressure Sounds takes a refreshing step back from roots reggae into the sixties and the fleeting era of rocksteady. Derrick Morgan's career dated from the fifties starting out with Little Richard impressions, but he went on to work with Prince Buster who famously dissed him as the 'Black Head China Man' and after that Bob Marley's first producer Leslie Kong. In 1966 he employed the under-rated Trinidadian guitarist Lynn Tait, who with his band The Jets can be credited as creators of the first rocksteady tune 'Take It Easy'. The first release on Hop was Lloyd & Devon's 'Red Bum Ball', a massive hit that financed the rest of the label's output. The Black Brothers, Derrick Morgan, Roland Alphonso, The Viceroys all contribute tunes with beautiful harmonies and fine ensemble musicianship. The progressive production techniques and arrangements of the time may soon have been overtaken but this is a welcome addition to rocksteady racks that are normally dominated by Treasure Isle.




After first surfacing around 1980 on Brooklyn's hardcore Clappers imprint, since when it has not been available I never thought this one would reappear after all these years. Its provenance has always been something of a mystery with the original bearing the imprint of Jack Ruby Hi Fi, most famous as the producer of Spear's 'Marcus Garvey' and follow-up material for Island. The credit is missing from this repress but the rest of the art work is identical. T.S.O.S.A. represents 'the sound of St.Ann's', Jamaican home to Spear, Jah Bob and Marcus Garvey himself. And its Winston Rodney's influence that most evident here with his brother Elias appearing as part of the vocal group the Arrows, whose 'Seek Fire' and exquisite 'Old Broom' are fine examples of sufferers' harmony at its best. The brass of Vin Gordon, Herman Marquis and Bobby Ellis ensure this is a class act the way through and old school engineer Karl Pitterson crafts four jazzy cultural dubs out of the album's ten tracks in a semi-showcase style.




'Dub Solidarity' is presented as a definitive snapshot of the contemporary global dub scene, showcasing many of the world's most established artists alongside the most promising new talent. Its also a rescue attempt for the label who were recently taken to the brink of extinction by some thoughtless litigation. The twenty-nine specially recorded cuts and donations come from UK dub pioneers the Bush Chemists, Adrian Sherwood, Henry & Louis, Digi Dub, Vibronics and Jah Warrior with contributions from newer artists Dubclash, Etherealites, Mungo's Hi-Fi, Alien Dread and Unitone Soundimentional. Other UK efforts from Urban Dub, Nucleus Roots and Zion Train who have all established themselves with their live shows as well as their studio output and Iration Steppas, Twilight Circus and the Rootsman who are inextricably linked to Sound Systems with reputations that are established and deserved. Dub from around the world is also represented by Echo Flower System & Trial Production (Japan), Infantry Rockers & Sound Imperium (USA), AB-10 (Finland), Brain Damage, Djins, Sism-X & Dubwiser (France), Cultural Warriors (Switzerland) and Echo Pilot (Canada). All this means a nu-dub primer second to none.