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NO 1

VOL ONE WINTER


ART AND MUSIC IN NEW YORK CITY 1978-88! NO 1
VOL ONE WINTER

Over 400 stunning photographs plus text from David Byrne, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Anderson and
many more telling the story of an amazingly stunning and vibrant time and place! This 200 page
flexi-bound book is available now in all good book and record stores and costs £19.95.

NEW YORK
NOISE
ART AND MUSIC FROM THE NEW YORK UNDERGROUND 1978-88

GLENN BRANCA ANDY WARHOL LIQUID UPFRONT: 4-19


CONTENTS
FEATURES:
FEIYUE SHOES / AHLAAM / HVW8 /
LIQUID KEITH HARING DAVID BYRNE ON THE CORNER SESSIONS /
THE VINYL ATHLETE: DJ MURO 22-25

PHILIP GLASS LOU REED UT DNA SPOONFACE / JAY ELECTRONICA /


DETROIT RENAISSANCE: GUILTY SIMPSON /

SUICIDE JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT BLACK BRITAIN / PAUL WHITE /


BLACK MILK / DENAUN PORTER / INVINCIBLE 26-33
IN THE STUDIO: BENGA 34-35
FUTURA 2000 PATTI SMITH ESG SIMPHIWE DANA / YUKIMI NAGANO /
WILLIAM BURROUGHS JOHN CAGE THE MIGHTY JEDDO / INTERACTIVO /
BOOGIE ON: ROBERT STRAUSS MEETS
LEROY BURGESS 36-39
RHYS CHATHAM MICHAEL STIPE ARTHUR VEROCAI / COUPE DECALE /
STAY ALERT: INVADER 40-44
AFRIKA BAMBAATAA ROBERT LONGO HEATWAVE / APRICOT JAM
THE COVER ART OF BHANGRA 46-49
LAURIE ANDERSON STEVE BUSCEMI THE WAY OF THE GARIFUNA:
JAMES CHANCE ROCK STEADY CREW REGULARS:
ANDY PALACIO 50-51
CINDY SHERMAN MADONNA DEVIATION WITH BENJI B 14
NEW YORK NOISE: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF
JIM JARMUSCH RICHARD HELL DATA REDUCTION: WE ARE 20-21
PAULA COURT 52-53
SHOOK TEK 56-57
THE PEOPLES CHOICE: 58-59 THE LAST BASTIONS OF VINYL CULTURE :
REVIEWS 62-71 GOYA MUSIC 54-55
The New York Noise book describes the period in history (1978-88) where New York art and music collided. Beginning in the mid-1970s, New York
City’s SoHo and East Village became a hot-bed of musical and artistic ideas. Owing to new property laws, Downtown New York and its many
warehouse and loft spaces became the home of artists, bands, film-makers, studios, art galleries and more. In this small area practically every
musician was also an artist, every artist a film-maker and every film-maker was in a band. This book includes pictures of JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT,
DAVID BYRNE, SUICIDE, KEITH HARING, GLENN BRANCA, ESG, MADONNA, LAURIE ANDERSON, PHILIP GLASS, AFRIKA BAMBAATAA and
hundreds more previously unseen photographs.
“New York downtown was like a bohemian living museum, which was pretty thrilling for an aspiring artist and musician. Legends walked the streets.
It was all very new and exciting – and it was incredibly funky, the sleaze and poverty were everywhere.” DAVID BYRNE
With accompanying text from DAVID BYRNE, LAURIE ANDERSON, CINDY SHERMAN and more, this is an essential record
of a fascinating era in New York’s cultural history.

SOUL JAZZ RECORDS


Available online at www.souljazzrecords.co.uk 3
FLYING FORWARD WEB CUTS
As well as his heavy-duty refixes on Bipolar, check Kay Suzuki’s mix n’ blend
styles at www.kaysuzuki.com

Pick up Mr V’s Sole Channel mix while the website’s being reconstructed.
www.solechannel.com.

Mike Boogie’s ‘Dillagence’ mixtape, with Busta giving out respects to Jay
Dee beats is hot right now. www.mickboogie.com.

For all you jazz cats, check these mixes. Sahib Shihab to Tim Maia and
anything in between. quincyessentialmusic.libsyn.com.

Everybody needs a little WE ARE in their lives. Heavy inspiration.


Manufactured by the Chinese since the 1920s, Feiyue shoes have been worn by politicians, farmers and even free-rein.typepad.com/we_are.
the Chinese football team. But they’re perhaps best known as the footwear of choice for the Shaolin masters.
In a new collaboration between the Feiyue factory in Shanghai and the LCP United team of designers, an Blogariddims monthly podcast, from norwegian post-punk to ’93 hardcore to
original line of shoes have hit the European market. Using manufacturing techniques dating back 100 years, each baile funk. Subscribe today at weareie.com
pair are assembled and glued by hand to achieve that vintage feel. The Shaolin hi-series are definitely fresh for ‘08.
Kode 9 vs Flying Lotus.
www.feiyue-shoes.com www.rinsefm.blogspot.com

JAY ELECTRONICA The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust by Saul Williams is
available to download for $5 or for free. Let me think now?

AHLAAM
www.niggytardust.com.
Too many people are touted as ‘coming to change the game’ in hip-hop, only to wind up as a footnote
in the musical landscape. Jay Electronica is different. Maybe that’s the best way to describe him, different. A
If your pimp styles are flagging, head over to Tariq Nasheed and he’ll set you
year ago there weren’t many people who would recognize the name Jay Electronica, but in the last 12 months,
straight. www.macklessons.com
the mysterious New Orleans native has created a surprising, internet-based buzz, while still remaining mostly an
enigma. From the 20+ tracks of his that infiltrated the net there are collaborations with Guilty Simpson and Mr.
With guest mixes courtesy of Jneiro Jarel, Eric Lau, Dego, Ta’raach and
Porter, beats by the underrated Nottz as well as the legendary J Dilla. Yet even with such an impressive roster of
Georgia, tune into Andrew Meza’s shows on BTS. www.btsradio.net
Iraq hadn’t produced a feature film since the 1991 Gulf War (when the state film facility was bombed and a collaborators, Jay shines undauntedly, and it’s good to see people are noticing. Earlier this year he dropped ‘Act
UN embargo slapped on 35mm film stock that could, in theory, be used in chemical weapon production). But with I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)’ through FWMJ’s rappersiknow.com as well as his own hacked MySpace where
Vintage Tim Westwood Capital FM radio shows, featuring Chuck D & the PE
the release of this sensitive exploration of Iraq’s broken hopes and uncertain future, Ahlaam (“Dreams”) has a it has already had 300k downloads. The 15 minute track quickly made its rounds over the internet due to Jay’s
crew in session. Was the big dawg just as foolish back in 1991. Yeah baby.
been a kiss of life for Iraqi cinema, representing in the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film category. left-of-center approach -- looping parts of the score of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and rapping over
www.fatlacemagazine.rawkus.com
Pioneering this cinematic renaissance hasn’t been easy. During the making of the film, director Mohamed that. No drums, no hooks, just new shit. Still, it works and Jay’s mastery of writing and rhythm is strong enough
Al-Daradji, together with his sound recordist & boom operator, stumbled into the wrong side of town, where they to carry the tracks. In the only documented interview with the man so far, he explains, “I’m an emcee at heart,
This company just raised $7m in funding... madness!
were kidnapped and nearly executed by Baathists. Just hours later, as the crew recuperated in hospital, they so I’m always going to write in a way that I feel is superior to any emcee. That’s just the nature of a true rapper.”
www.hitsongscience.com/technology.php
found themselves kidnapped again, this time by the other side. Handed over to the Americans, they suffered a Now Jay is readying himself to release ‘Act II: Patents of Nobility (The Turn)’, with the final act being his debut
gruelling six-day incarceration and interrogation. It brought a whole new meaning to the term guerilla filmmaking, album which is to be released sometime in 2008 with beats from Jay himself, Madlib Mr. Porter, Hi-Tek and Beat
From Frank Wright avant-jazz to Burial to Banglasheshi mouth organ music,
and Al-Daradji sometimes found himself with a camera in one hand and an AK47 (filled with blanks) in the other. Autopsy. Combining a powerful, aggressive delivery with a commanding voice and highly insightful battle lyrics,
wordthecat is one badass blogger. www.wordthecat.com
Despite security fears, Ahlaam finally screened in Iraq’s National Theatre in April 2007, for a tearful audience the man known as The Black Atom is positioning himself to be a force to be reckoned with on all fronts of modern
of over a thousand. “It was the most fantastic experience of my life. I long for a peaceful Iraq, with a film industry hip hop. Whether mainstream, underground, purist or new-age, any self-respecting hip hop head needs to pay
Get your fingers dirty over at the Nightriderz home. Rare soul vinyl, cosmic
equipped to tell the story of the terrible suffering of the last forty years.” That’s one dream that may yet become a attention, and look closely. Andres Reyes (sweeneykovar.wordpress.com
BYG LPs, traditional island music and French pop. www.frenchattack.com
reality. Dan Susman

Ahlaam will be released in selected cinemas in the UK in Jan 2008


WITH UPCOMING SHOWS IN ATLANTA, PHILLY,

STREET CORNER HEAVY TRIBUTE CHICAGO AND CALGARY, AND TRIBUTES TO


BASQUIAT AND ALI, HVW8 PRESENT SOME
NEXT LEVEL ISH. WWW.HVW8.COM

People always said that if Miles Davis was still alive today
he’d be making some avant-garde dance music.
Recorded in 1972, Miles Davis’ On the Corner is avant-garde
dance music - its syncopated percussion patterns sound like
jungle 20 years before the fact. With a band that included
Michael Henderson, Mtume, Sonny Fortune, Carlos Garnett,
Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin and Jack
DeJohnette, Miles proves he’s the consummate band leader
and one bad motherfucka too. The Complete On The Corner
Sessions is available now for all you Miles fiends out there.

4 5
CHRISTIAN PROMMER’S
DRUM LESSON PAUL WHITE
They say money talks, and wealth whispers, and in my experience, a similar type of theory
IN THIS FOUR-STEP EEDIAT’S GUIDE TO THE DRUMS, CHRISTIAN PROMMER’S applies to beatmakers. Whilst some hustle their game daily on myspace and thrust beat tapes with
familiar rhodes passages and All The Breaks drums under your noses, it’s often those heads that The ethos behind CoOp never needed much explanation. It was the
EXPLAINS JUST WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WITH YOUR RHYTHM STICKS. PAY place where wallflowers and dancers, tastemakers and trainspotters,
quietly, humbly and methodically refine their art behind closed doors without sharing it beyond their
ATTENTION.. HE SHALL ONLY REPEAT THIS ONCE. drinking buddies that tend to really knock your head off with the bedroom bangers. top shottas and beatmakers, all got together to P.A.R.T.Y. under one
roof. But it was also the unique collaborative spirit behind the music that
1. FISHER PRICE (NO DRUMS REQUIRED.) Paul White is the ultimate example of this softly spoken, silently soldiering-on breed of b-boy. Upon has kept the movement moving forward. The records came out through
hearing Beat tape #8, I felt as though I’d been hit in the temple with a slice of lemon wrapped around Goya from afrofuturists like IG Culture, Dego, Afronaught, Mark Force,
Playing drums is like dancing to music. So, select a favorite song and tap the beat to it with your right hand. an asteroid, to pimp Douglas Adams. It felt like uncorking that forbidden bottle of port that your next Seiji, Domu, Restless Soul, and labels like Main Squeeze, People, Neroli
These beats are the downbeats. This is where the groove is locked onto. Normally there should be four door neighbours gave your folks three decades ago, on a hazy winter’s afternoon after finishing the as well as Far Out, Especial, Freerange, Afro Art kept the record buyers
downbeats to one measure. 1...2...3...4... roast. Forboding, ancient, as strong as the day it was distilled and the kind of thing that knocks you for happy.
Next try to fill the gap between the downbeats of the right hand with a left hand tap. 1.+.2.+.3.+.4.+. six for a few hours, and even a few days. Taking things to the next level, COOPR8.net is the online community
while listening to your favourite Stevie Wonder hit. Now double the right hand with your right foot. This should – consider it CoOp v. 2.0 – linking up studio heads, motion capturists,
already give you a solid groove and lock really nice into the rhythm you are listning to. Keep on playing this Paul’s studio is like a shrine to all that is sacred amongst the cognescenti. Obscure library records sit deejays and nerds through a stush social networking interface. The world-
basic rhythm on a table, on your knees or wherever you are listening to music with a beat or groove. quietly next to the Human League, polish jazz and british psych rock masterpieces, whilst the MPC, wide community are all up in the place – from Djinji Brown to Afronaught,
SP1200, s950 and other classic drum machines survey the scene. But the magic lies in Paul’s ear Daz-I-Cue to Kay Suzuki, Opolopo to Vanessa Freeman – plus all the
2. HIGH-SCHOOL BAND and ability to pick out the odd, the humourous, the soulful and raw, the retro futuristic moments of the ravers, the faces, the promoters and the supporters. The community is
records his crates hold. And his ability to twist them, roughen them and render them totally unfamiliar. building.
Now get behind a drum kit. In front of you should be at least a snare drum, a bass drum with a pedal (right Despite the fact that you’ll probably find some of them next to the port, behind the gramaphone… ya Add to this the COOPR8 store where you can buy your select cuts from
foot) and a hi-hat (left foot) with some hi-hat cymbals attached to it. To keep things simple, close the hi-hat or dig? the BITA catalogue, from Main Squeeze, from Wah Wah and the fiesta
leave your left foot on it to keep it closed. Play the right-hand downbeats on the closed hi-hat. 1...2...3...4... Beatnick riddims on ABCD, and it’s here that the Cooperation III album will be drop-
Next, add the left-hand on the hi-hat as well: 1.+.2.+.3.+.4.+. Add the right-foot on the bass drum and practice ping first. Plus, there’ll be exclusives from IG, Restless Soul, Bugz and
this 8th note rhythm for a long, long time. that sick ‘Bone In Your Nose’ beat from the one like Danny Native. Time to
Now, let’s take every second beat of the right hand (the 2 and the 4 ) and play it on the snare drum. Yes. get involved. Time to COOPR8.
This is already a groove that should put a smile on your face. Play this until you really feel comfortable with www.coopr8.net
it. Now try to play all the 8th notes 1.+.2.+.3.+.4.+. with you right hand, putting your left to rest for a moment.
Same rhythm, different feel. Play this until it’s in your system. Then try to play the beats 2 and 4 with your left
hand on the snare drum. Your left arm goes under the right one, almost crossed. This is the simple beat you
heard a million times, also called the Dum-Z-Dah-Z-Dum-Z-Dah. The famous drummer Bernard Purdie once
said that this beat is all you need to get your kids through college.

3 BOHANNON

Now let’s get funky. Take the basic beat from above and stop playing the 2 and 4 with your left hand. Just
play the 8th notes 1+2+3+4+ on the hihat with the right hand and the downbeats 1234 on the bass drum with
the right foot. Now take the left hand and fill in the gaps between the right hand on the hihat. So 1+2+3+4+
becomes 1*+*2*+*3*+*4*+*. The (*) stands for all the left hand strokes. Do this slowly so you can really pay
attention to whats going on. This is a 16th note groove now - a simple disco beat. Play this for while and get
into the feel of this new and funky rhythm. Next, take the 2+4 down on the snare again. With your right hand
this time.
To spice this beat up we turn to our left foot. Adjust the hi-hat cymbal to open - not too wide, maybe one
centimetre. Now just play both feet at the same time, 1234. This makes the hi-hat cymbal open up just before
the down beats, giving our 16th note groove an even more of a disco feel. When you feel comfortable in this
groove, you can experiment with the opening of the hi-hat. Just how much you open it, and exactly when you
start to open it, makes all the difference. You will see.

SPOONFACE

WITH
4 FUNKY DRUMMER

Now that we’ve mastered the 8th note and a 16th note drumbeat, we can play along to most of the music
around us. Next we’ll hot thigs up a little with some fills and variations. Again, let’s play our 16th note groove
“My dad was really into music but very protective of his records. I asked him to do me a tape but
with the hihat closed. The right and the left play 1*+*2*+*3*+*4*+*. These are all the subdivisions that we need
he wouldn’t. One day, he went out and I had an hour and ten minutes to put a tape together. It was a
to go crazy. Now play the 16th note groove three times (three bars) and in the fourth bar, take both hands and
reggae tape – I had Tenor Saw, Jacob Miller, Michael Rose, Black Uhuru, Inner Circle, Michael Prophet,
play all 16 notes (1*+*2*+*3*+*4*+*.) on the snare drum. After that go back into the 16th note groove. This is
Half Pint, Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown. I was 12 years old at the time and my dad never found out
called a fill in.
as I put all the records back carefully where I found them. It was my first-ever mix and I used a single
When you’re comfortable with this, take the individual hits of the fill in onto other instruments of the
deck so had to hold and pause to put the tunes together. I even sped up the record player to get more
drumset. Best done in groups of four. Do it like: four on the snare, four on the first tom, four on the second and
music on there. I’ve still got the tape and bring it out when I’m ready to meditate. It’s warped big-time but
so on... But always stay in the groove of 1*+*2*+*3*+*4*+*. As soon as feel safe doing this, you can take every
I still listen to it.”
hit of the fill in and play it on different sources. Advanced players can also leave out one hand and replace it
with a bass drum hit. You can go on forever with the variations never ending.
‘Hey Girl’ by Ear Dis out now with a remix.
Forever and Always Diverse Appreciation www.myspace.com/faada
Christian Prommer’s Drumlesson is out now on Sonar Kollektiv.
6 7
V E R B A L S : SARAH BENTLEY
COUPE DECALE IS PARTY MUSIC AFRICAN STYLE. AS

COUPE DECALE IT SPREADS THROUGHOUT THE CONTINENT, EUROPE


AND BEYOND, IT’S A GENRE ANY SELF-RESPECTING
DJS NEED TO PLUG INTO.
INTERACTIVO
THE COOLEST CUBAN MUSIC COLLECTIVE

I N T E R V I E W : VINCE VELLA
C A M E R A : MATT CROSSICK
Doing the Bird Flu

GET TO
“And now, The Jet Seeeeeeeeet.” It’s 5.30am and
Molaré, Bobo Sangui, Lino Versace and Solo Béton,
all members of Africa’s premier coupé decalé crew,
frug onto the empty dancefloor. The three hundred
common is it was inspired by the shady practices (credit
card fraud, internet scams, identity theft) of the scene’s
founders - Ivorian youths living in France with inexplicably
healthy bank balances and bling lifestyles. Coupé means
brought to mainstream attention by Ivorian footballers such
as Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou who often
perform them after scoring goals.
What’s perhaps most interesting about coupé decalé ROBERTO CARCASSES, PIANIST AND LEADER OF
KNOW
strong crowd of mainly Ivorian émigrés packed into this to cut or cheat, and decalé to slip away without being is the time which it enjoyed its initial surge in popularity INTERACTIVO, SON OF BOBBY CARCASSES WHO ORGANIZED
THE FIRST JAZZ FESTIVAL IN HAVANA, CHEWS THE FAT
ARTHUR VEROCAI
bouji Paris nightclub whoop and cheer. The crew all rock caught, so coupé decalé basically means to cut and run. was when the Ivory Coast was stricken with civil war.
skin tight T’s, blingy shades and are dripping in ‘90s It’s Robin Hood, African style: going to Europe to rinse Etienne of Radioclit, one of the only UK-based DJ’s to do WITH VINCE VELLA. IT’S BEEN 30 YEARS SINCE HIS LAST ALBUM, BUT THE LATEST OFFERING FROM
designer labels - Versace, D&G, Armani. As they launch foreigners before returning home to splash the cash on a dedicated coupé decalé mix, observes, “The country’s When Interactivo is was born? THIS BRASILIAN MASTER SOUNDS JUST AS LUSH AS HIS EPONYMOUS CLASSIC.
into a synchronised routine of isolated hip twirls and begin your community. most ridiculous party music emerged while it was at its The band was formed in 2001. The founders were myself, Oliver
“My first album Arthur Verocai, came out in 1972. commercially orientated, but as a producer you have
to chat on the mic, the well-groomed crowd, all sitting at Unsurprisingly the music initially had a bad reputation. most politically unstable.” Etienne is currently working with Valdes and Yusa. At the time I was working with Telmary Diaz and
Tropicalia ended in 1969 but I was not influenced by to be flexible and be able to communicate with a
tables with champagne buckets and balloon arrangements, Traditional Ivorian musicians berated the new genre and coupé decalé producer Bablee, who is renowned for his Francis del Rio so we put our different styles together. The result
that movement at all. My music was totally different much wider audience which is no easy task. I even
shower the stage with 50 and 100 Euro notes. what it stood for. The Jet Set and other high profile artists amazing Bablee Sumaz beat, and has been part of the was very cool. Since then, many of the best musician in town have
and I simply could never relate to it. At that time, wrote the jingle for the Brasilian football team during
Bizarre as it may seem, the passing of money were accused so many times of corruption they had to movement since its inception. He remembers when war played with us – musicians from Afro Cuban All Stars, Irakere,
I was already really into jazz, funk, soul, samba, the World Cup in 1990 and 1994. Most people think
between audience and artist, artist and audience, is a publicly explain their sources of income. Douk Saga said broke out in 2002, the situation was so explosive that most Maracas, Los Van Van amongst others.
bossa nova. My compositions had lots of harmonies. doing music is one thing and doing commercials is
major part of coupé decalé culture and is inspired by the source of his initial wealth was “trading in Europe”; businesses closed down. Few people worked during the
Tropicalia was more about phsychedelic rock and another, but my approach was always the same. I
atalaku, an ancient griot practice where, for a fee, the Molaré said, he worked in “real estate”; Junior Kuyo was day and a curfew at night meant that no one partied in the Do you have particular criteria when you choose your
pop – a political and commercial thing with a lot was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted. They
griot would make a dedication to local heavyweights. At “the son of a millionaire” and John Kouamé’s father was maquis (outdoor marquees that serve as Abidjan’s main musicians?
marketing and media involvment. I respect Gilberto just loved my stuff. I always tried to make the client
the coupé decalé parties, everyone from artists, fans, a successful “legal arms dealer.” As the genre has gained party spots). Consequently the maquis started opening at They all have one thing in common – a profound knowledge of
Gil and Caetano Veloso, and even though they were happy without compromising my music.
promoters, revellers and local gangsters engage in acts popularity and artists have been able to generate legitimate 9am in the morning with wild, all-day coupé decalé parties jazz and fusion. They have to be able to play any style of music.
considered part of the movement, their talent goes “With the power of hindsight, I’d say the golden
of munificence (known as ‘travailler’) - buying everyone sources of income from the music alone (a high profile suddenly the norm. Interactivo is all about fusing music styles. We mix the roots of
well beyond Tropicalia. They were always just doing era for Brasilian music was the ‘70s. It was a time
drinks, giving out bundles of cash or, in the case of coupé coupé decalé performer is paid EUR 3000 for international “It sounds crazy but the parties were escapism from different musics together, like jazz funk with Cuban timba which
their thing. when no one dreamed of becoming milionaires. It
decalé founder Douk Saga, wearing two haute couture shows), it has shed its dodgy image and is a national the mayhem on the streets,” says Bablee. “That’s why the have similar rhythmic patterns, i.e. the clave. Our central purpose
‘Over the years I’ve worked with many was all about the love. I used a four-track mixer to
suits so he could strip one off to toss into the crowd. source of pride. lyrics were so carefree and flippant, we needed them to be is to explore unique perspective for latin jazz funk that can remain
musicians, writing and producing arrangements record my first album – two tracks for stereo drums,
Discretion is anathema to coupé decalé heads. The The dancers are a major contributing factor to coupé that way so we could forget out troubles and have a good tied to our afro-cuban folkloric roots
for Jorge Ben, Marcos Valle, Gal Costa, Elizeth bass guitar, piano and percussion. The third track
point of ‘travailler’ is to make the act as highly visible as decalé’s success. Like Jamaican dancehall culture, new time.” And how are the lyrics today? “It’s funny,” he says.
Cardoso and Ivan Lins among others. I used to do was for strings and the fourth for vocals. It was
possible. routines are devised on a weekly basis and, thanks to “Because things are slightly more stable, coupé decalé Who would you like work with?
arrangements for Tim Maia (Ed Motta’s uncle) as very simple but sounded beautiful. Capitalism has
Coupé decalé is a dance/party music that emerged video clip sites like YouTube, new moves sweep through artists are started to add more socially aware messages We did some stuff with the Brasilian guitarist Lenine, we respect
well. That man was a legend, an icon and a real soul definitely had a negative effect on music.
and developed in France and Cote D’Ivoire simultaneously the global coupé decalé community in a matter of weeks. into their lyrics. The tracks sound just as light hearted and him a lot. I’d like to some stuff with Meshell Ndegeocello – she’s my
brother. “In recent years, Little Brother sampled my
around 2002. According to DJ Edu from BBC 1Xtra, the The most publicized dance ever created was the Bird Flu fun as before, but if you listen closely, the message is sista – and I love Jamiroquai too.
“Though obviously influenced by Milton work for The Minstrel Show album. I like their music
sound is a mixture of Congolese styles like zouglou but by rising coupé decalé star DJ Lewis. He created it shortly getting deeper.”
Nascimento, Airto Moreira, A C Jobin and Tim Maia, and I got paid so I’m happy about that, but I’m very
with “hip hop hype man” vocals and a fast, jiggy tempo, after the first case of bird flu was reported in neighbouring What did you grow up listening to?
one of the musicians that had a huge impact on my disappointed with MF Doom. He robbed my music
“akin to 4/4 house.” Like any new music genres, there are Nigeria. He says, “Like our ancestors who used dances to Listen to Radioclit’s coupé decalé podcast mix at: In my house my parents were playing a bit of everything – Beatles,
music was Heitor Villa-Lobos. Along with Jobim, on his album Special Herbs and Spices, signing my
various explanations for the origins of the name. The most chase illness away, I wanted to create a dance that created http://cdn.libsyn.com/radioclit/ lots of Jazz…Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Ravi Shankar and
he ranks as one of the most important Brasilian arrangements in his name. That’s not fair at all.
joy instead of fear.” The dance, and many since, have been obviously lots of Cuban stuff like Beny Moré and Los Van Van.
composers of all time. He traveled a lot around the “With my new album, Encore I’ve evolved a
DANCES NEW ARTISTS TO WATCH THE FOUNDER: him hooked up to dialysis machines. A few country, discovering all types of music including lot since my first album but harmonically the sound
What are you listening now? is as poignant as it was in the 70s. I enjoy to find
Bird Flu: Created by DJ Lewis to bring ‘joy’ As The Jet Set have become institutions DOUK SAGA & THE JET SET months ago a huge party was held in his indigenous music from the Amazon. He combined
I really like the new Yosvanny Terry CD. He’s a Cuban saxophonist new way to make music, its a way of life for me.
instead of fear to the prospect of bird flu. of the sound, a new era of coupé decalé Douk Saga aka The President is regarded honour in Abidjan for coupé decalé artists beautifully Brasilian folk with classical music. He
that lives in NY and he plays with Eddie Palmieri. I also like The musicains we’ve been working with need no
Guantanomo: One of the first political talents who blend the sound with other as the founder of coupé decalé. He was old and new to pay homage to him. was a fantastic person, very close to the Brasilian
Yerbabuena, Orishas, X Alfonso, Anga Diaz, Horacio El Negro, introduction..people like Azymuth, Ivan Lins. Thanks
statements to appear in the hedonistic dance genres such as techno and house one of the young Ivorians whom developed president at the time. He helped revalue the role
Chucho Valdez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Omar Sosa. I keep my eyes to Far Out head honcho Joe Davis I’ve met my
scene the dance involved clasping your are rocking the clubs of Paris and the the genre in the backstreet nightclubs of TOP COUPE DECALE TUNES of music in education and he liked music so much
open on all different styles and I like Mos Def and John Legend too. producer Dave Brinkworth in 2005 in Rio De Janeiro.
hands together as if handcuffed. maquis of Abidjan. Artists have emerged Paris and honed the genre’s hyper bling Pepo by DJ Jacob, Arafat & Caloudi that one day he organized a gig in the Vasco De
Ca: Hailing from nearby Togo this dance from Togo, Congo and Senegal, and even aesthetic and rooted its philosophy in Faut Couper Décaler by Kaysha Gama football stadium where thousands of children I was living in Copacabana at the time and one day
Where do you most enjoy playing? Dave rang my bell and that was it! The very same
is currently causing controversy with its the Chinese in Africa have been doing their success, status and progress. He was the Magic Ambiance by Magic System sang togther in a huge choir. That was something
I really like it in the USA, in the Bay Area especially. I’ve got so day we decided to make a new album. It’s great,
sexually explicit moves. version. New names to look out for include: leader of the genre’s premier seven man On sait pa ou va? by DJ Jacab feat never seen before.
many friends there and I always feel like I’m at home. Brasil is don’t you think?”
Fatigue Fatigue: A new dance that sees DJ Lewis ,DJ Marethal, Konty DJ’s, crew The Jet Set but on 12th October 2006 Kaysha “Aside from my better known recordings,
a special place too – you breathe music everywhere and its so
revelers falling about pretending to be Decaprio and Bora Ba. he died in hospital of tuberculosis. His Bablee Samez by Bablee I’ve also written jingles for Brahma, Coca Cola
spiritual, very similar to Cuba. Encore is out now on Far Out Recordings
sleepy. demise was well documented on African Sentiment Moko by DJ Serpent Noir and Fanta. Obviously it was something more
Internet news sites with pictures showing
8 9
VERBALS: ADEOLA JOHNSON

BLACK SOUL TRAIN

BRITAIN
I HOPE THESE PHOTOGRAPHS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE GROWTH OF A NEW CULTURAL HISTORY THAT REFUSES THE
GENERIC, US-CENTRED BLACKNESS AND STAYS STUBBORNLY TIED TO THE BROKEN EDIFICE OF OUR LEAKY NATIONAL
STATE. THAT CHOICE AFFILIATES BLACK LIFE HERE WITH A VITAL CULTURE THAT CANNOT BE CONCEIVED AS A
DEAD PIECE OF PROPERTY TO BE MONOPOLISED BY ANY PARTICULAR GROUP OF OWNERS. IT APPEARS INSTEAD
AS A LIVING BUT UNFINISHED HISTORICAL PROCESS THAT RESISTS THAT KIND OF TRANSPOSITION AND MAY YET
TEACH THE WORLD SOMETHING.” PAUL GILROY, BLACK BRITAIN A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY

Paul Gilroy is the Anthony Giddens Professor of Social Theory at black American music and reggae, a style exemplified by Caron
the London School of Economics and has written widely on race, Wheeler. The portrait of the beautiful and talented singer/
culture, nationalism, music and literature. The appearance of his book songwriter is one of my favourites in the book. In it, the locksed
Black Britain: A Photographic History is well timed, just as the Stephen lioness wears an enigmatic expression and her gaze seems
Lawrence case is about is re-opened. In this book is included a photo of to penetrate beyond the camera, capturing her spirit as a
Stephen Lawrence’s family, who are photographed with a guilty looking musical visionary. She started in the reggae band Brown
Prince Charles. In one of the most important passages of the book, Gilroy Sugar and uniquely fused bass culture together with soul
puts this racist miscarriage of justice in its historical context by connecting in her conscious collaborations with Soul II Soul and Carl
it to Enoch Powell’s 1968 Rivers of Blood speech. “The speech was a McIntosh of Loose Ends. But there’s no mention either
seismic shock that reverberated through the country for twenty-five years, of Carl McIntosh and his group Loose Ends, or of Light
arguably until reactions to the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 of the World, a group who took the influences of US
created a different set of political and moral codes for managing issues of jazzers and created an awesome British Jazz-Funk
minority citizenship and black belonging.” that dancers still adore. All these artists gave black
This is not your typical coffee-table book. 319 photographs capturing British people a global presence which should not
the black (Afro-Caribbean and Asian) experience in Britain from 1897 to be overlooked.
2006, it is a book that is worthy of taking pride of place in the home of This small criticism aside, the book is a
any black person who seeks to locate themselves confidently in noughties fabulous black British odyssey. Take the trip.
Britain where “there are more black men in prison that in higher in higher One Love Paul Gilroy.
education. not just because they are victims of racism, but because they
are poorer, less educated and less healthy as well as more likely to be Black Britain: A Photographic History by
distracted and seduced by the empty dreams of consumer culture.” Paul Gilroy and Stuart Hall is published
White people will benefit from the inspiring images that show the multi- by Saqi Books (£19.99).
racial battles fought, from the Pan-African Congress of 1945 through to
millennium demonstrations against the Iraq war. The photograph of a 1978
Rock against Racism rally in South London shows black, white and mixed-
race children standing behind banners advertising an Anti-Nazi League
March. I wondered if I was one of the mixed-race girls in the picture,
as my white mum was involved in this campaign. Many mixed-race
children were given up for adoption prior to this period, such was Via Rhino come this great selection of classic Atlantic Records releases, even if in
the vicious racism that mixed couples encountered. Thanks the liner notes, Prince Phillip Mitchell complains that “Atlantic really screwed up my whole
Unsung legend: Caron Wheeler career.” Altantic was home to some of the biggest names in R&B, from Aretha Frankin
to the work of the ANL and RAR, the Fascist menace was
defeated and Britain transformed into the country of multi- to Donny Hathaway, and on his soundtrack to Come Back Charleston Blue you’ll find his
racial diversity and musical vibrancy. Today, the language ‘Little Ghetto Boy’ masterpiece. Atlantic continued to release fine soul albums into the
of most Britons is an anglicized form of Jamaican. ‘80s, but little can compete with material like Voice of East Harlem’s Right On To Be Free.
Strangely, for a man who as written so much
about music as Paul Gilroy, there is scant mention
of Britain’s particular musical contribution. Lovers
Rock is explained as a marriage between
10 11
“If you came to Gothenburg, where would I show you? It’s pretty cold, VERBALS: HELENE DANCER Steve Biko, leader of the South African Black Consciousness movement, died
there’s long winters so we spend a lot of the time inside – I’d probably for freedom. He was the 41st person to perish in police custody and at 30 years
take you to my house and make tea. I have a big selection of different
herbal teas so hopefully…” she pauses and with a nervous laugh adds, “so
hopefully you like herbal tea. We have pretty much every flavour imaginable.
SIMPHIWE DANA old, had fought hard against the injustices of the apartheid regime.
“Apartheid meant a systematic stripping of our culture,” says singer Simphiwe
Dana, who named her second album The One Love Movement on Banto Biko Street

AFRICAN
Persoanlly I like to have grated ginger, with hot water, honey, soya milk and in memory of her struggle hero.
cinnamon. How does that sound? Then after we’ve had tea, we’d probably “Africans became shadows of who they used to be and my personal protest is
head down to the studio.” to change this – to focus on humanising my people and make my culture look cool,”
Welcome the torpor and tranquility that’s Yukimi’s world. Unfortunately she says. Listen to her music, and the protest is brought immediately to life. Dana
for us she’s not spending too much time in Gothenburg at the moment, so sings mainly in Xhosa – her mother tongue – and the sweet vocals swirl over the

PRINCESS
we might have to delay our tea party. A hectic touring schedule for her new Afro-soul and jazz rhythms that hypnotise with their lyrical circularity. Her voice has a
band Little Dragon, and supporting label-mate José González across five maturity to its tone that belies the fact that she’s still only in her late 20s, and alludes
continents, means that when she does make it home, she like to indulge to the struggle she herself has faced thus far in making a success for herself in the
in some quality ‘me time’, relaxing and maxing out in the studio with Little music industry, grappling with the subjugation of her people and her culture in South
Dragon. Africa. But it’s not sad music – it’s poignant, hopeful and proud.
“Our studio’s based in the suburb of Stampen and it’s shared between SOUTH AFRICAN SIMPHIWE DANA HAS FOUGHT HARD TO “I was born in the rural Transkei and I’m very much a product of my
environment,” she says. “Money was never important when I was growing up – the
the band – Erik, Frederick, Håkan and myself. We all used to live at the MAKE A NAME FOR HERSELF ON THE INTERNATIONAL
studio, but we’ve since redone it to include rehearsing rooms, studio rooms act of survival became a glorious thing for me. Getting the wood for the fire, water
and a big kitchen. Håkan still lives there actually.”
STAGE. HER VOICE CAPTURES THIS FIGHT AND IMBUES from the garden… I think that’s probably why there’s a lightness and freedom to my
The members of the group have all been friends since high school, but IT WITH A SWEETNESS THAT’S FILLED WITH PROMISE sound.”
From the age of 14, Dana moved around the country independently. She went
it’s only recently that Yukimi has devoted herself to the Little Dragon project. AND POTENTIAL.
She was always better known for her collaborations with Hird, Sleepwalker to the Eastern Cape town of Port Elizabeth and then dived headlong into the big-city
and Koop (it’s Yukimi’s vocals on the delirious ‘Summer Sun’), lacing those environment of Johannesburg. “It was scary to leave my comfort zone but I like my
gorgeous vocal lines while still a young teenager. But right now she’s putting own space. This is necessary to me when making music. I use my aloneness as a
some daylight between herself and the Nordic jazz sound. sanctuary.”
“I’ve never really felt completely into it, even if I have been performing It was here in Johannesburg that she began to take part in poetry ciphers,
the songs,” she explains. “You can be a musician and play an instrument craft her songs and start to create a buzz for herself. The South African music
and people won’t label you, but if you’re singing, you represent something industry is a difficult one to crack and Dana has had to grit her teeth firmly to make
more. I’ve felt like an instrument of someone else. I’ve really liked it and it was it professionally. Even now, more than 10 years on from the end of apartheid, the
inspiring, but I’ve been quite clear that it wasn’t something I wanted to do with industry is deeply fragmented and struggles to find itself a context on the world
my own project.” stage. Sure, there are the big names like Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela that
Now Yukimi’s got her own band, penned her own songs, put her own command international respect, but being stuck on the southern tip of the African
style out there, thrown herself body and soul into Little Dragon, she’s finally continent can be a restrictive factor.
found a place where she belongs. It’s difficult to put your finger on the sound, “My record company now supports me but I had to fight hard for it and prove
which draws on R&B, folk and electronica but is utterly idiosyncratic. There’s myself when I was first signed in 2004. I used to be there screaming and shouting
been a tendency amongst European vocalists to copy their American idols – but it’s better now,” she says. “The local market is also swamped with American
like they’re doing karaoke, and although Yukimi grew up listening to R&B, products and foreign music is still more popular. People aren’t included to buy South
the results are anything but. Think instead Hot Chip’s versions of Marvin African music and I feel the media isn’t helping promote our local talents.”
and Prince and you’re on the right track. Maybe she figured that Bjork never A private and reflective character, Dana has had to temper her instinct to stay
needed to be anyone but herself. That sincerity is a hugely attractive quality “away from the madding crowd” and continue her quest for local and international
in music. Maybe this was waiting to get out all the time, the little dragon inside respect. She has already played on the international circuit and plans to come back
of her. to London next year. But it’s in South Africa where she derives most of her joy – her
But let’s take nothing away from the band, a trio of drums, keys and favourite gig ever being at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban for its atmosphere and
bass, who’ve created a deceptively simple and clean sound, with touches of energy.
electronic effects, which speaks loudest in its spaces and its silent sounds. South Africa is also the place where she wants to have the most impact. “My
“You can just have drums and vocals and that can be enough. There’s biggest hope is even if things don’t change now, I’ll make a difference for the future.
something about it – it’s almost primal. Long before there was electricity, I know I can’t fix today but my biggest mission is to create an understanding and
before people had all their different instruments, all there was was just the get to a point where my people can realise their greatness, they great potential and
drums and the voice,” explains Yukimi. how the world needs them. We have something to contribute and we fail in the great
VERBALS: FREE RADIKAL COLLAGE: YUKIMI NAGANO
“Eric falls in love with the drums or the beat in a song. He likes to keep human movement when we don’t play our part.”

YUKIMI NAGANO it minimal and we tend to agree. Sometimes, before you’ve added too much,
if it happens to be just drums and vocals, you can become really fascinated
how it can sound real interesting and good – it’s easy to add too much and
The song ‘Vukani’ from her first album Zandisile is an impassioned cry to
inculcate pride in her people and the title track is a song of hope. Her cries haven’t
fallen on deaf ears as Dana’s albums are critically acclaimed and have won South

SLIPPING
over do it.” African Music Awards.
Even the most cynical listeners will be felled by the Little Dragon Despite these additions to her mantleplece, Dana makes it clear that she has
debut. Check for the bewitching and hypnotic ‘Twice’, its creeping tempo her work cut out for her. “South Africans still have a serious identity crisis and like
gradually overcoming you like a small death, or Yukimi’s coquettish delivery Steve Biko, I want to pump life back into the people – help restore that humanness
on ‘Constant Surprises’. People have been known to fall in love at nothing we lost.” Her voice could very well be that panacea. Let’s hope reality and the
machinations of the industry don’t dull its promise.
WITH HER LITTLE DRAGON PROJECT, KOOP VOCALIST more than the sound of a voice. Listening to Yukimi on record, you can feel
yourself slipping.
YUKIMI NAGANO HAS GOT US SPELLBOUND. The One Love Movement on Banto Biko Street is out now on Gallo
Little Dragon is out now on Peacefrog.
12 13
It’s been a hectic few months. Since Carnival put a full stop on the madness of summer festivals of
August around the UK and Europe, and the official clubbing season started to kick in, I decided to take
a break from Heathrow trips for September and concentrate on working here (LDN) for a month – Djing,
doing the radio and concentrating on setting up my new project, the Deviation monthly sessions.
Generally speaking I’ve never been one to take the easy route in life, I usually like a challenge. And so
it was pretty true to character that I should decide to avoid the weekend and bring back the midweek
party vibe at a pretty much unheard of venue in East London that would require my own sound system
and serious promotion.
PHOTO PAZ

When I was a teenager and getting into music, clubs and DJ culture, it was possible to go out
pretty much every night of the week to something interesting or good, and I pretty much did. That was
a huge part of my musical and DJ education. Looking back I dont know how I survived, going out all
night every night, then straight to school, and then out all night the next night. There was too much good
stuff happening to miss, too many inspiring Djs spinning, too many good tunes being cut, too many
sick soundsystems to hear and too many strong

DEVIATION
and healthy scenes going on. I am lucky to have
come up in such an amazing era of club nights and
music. I am also lucky to have grown up in the city
that we love to hate and hate to love, Grimey old
London, UK.

WITH BENJI B Going out to hip hop, house, reggae or


drum and bass events in the ‘90s, the sound
would always be the key. I came up seeing
‘Sound System provided by Eskimo Noise’ or
‘Soundsystem provided by Jah Shaka’ on flyers.
The venue would sound so sick I would want to put my head inside the bass cabinet. I knew that
wherever I chose to do my session, I was pretty sure I would want to put my own sound in. Being a
perfectionist can be very expensive. But with Gramaphone we had the right space, we just needed the
sound to be right, so I called in our friends at DI Audio to design a system bespoke for the space that
would immerse people in sound with clarity and depth, but without hurting them. They installed a Noise
PHOTO FATSARAZZI

Control System that on the first session Skream tested to its limit. And maybe hurt a few people. But
each session we have tweaked the system, every single time people leave talking about the sound and
the atmosphere.
We’ve tried to maintain the ethic that made Metalheadz a legendary night at the Blue Note and
Body and Soul a world famous event at Vinyl in New York – attention to sound, to detail, developing
an identity, and most importantly: trust. Each event so far has been packed and has good memories
attached - it feels like we are already achieving what we set out to do. In only 3 sessions we’ve had
Waajeed, Ta’Raach, Skream, Chaingang, Flying Lotus, Dego and Moodyman spinning. The future is
all about staying true to that ethic, inviting artists and DJs that represent the Deviation sound, not just
representing established dons but bringing through next generation youngbloods too.

Deviation is on the first Wednesday of every month at Gramaphone, Commercial St, E1.
Thanks to Layla, Patric, Natasha, Jonathan, Ben, Jude and Bart for all the input to make it
PHOTO FATSARAZZI

happen. www.deviationmusic.net.

Catch Benji B’s Deviation show on 1xtra BBC live every Thursday night between midnight and
2am, or listen on demand at bbc.co.uk/1xtra.
PHOTO FATSARAZZI

PHOTO FATSARAZZI
PHOTO KAY SHIN

14
.
ES
K
OA
O
SH
GO
HA
RS
A
M
LL

BY
ID A ?
E D S GO
R
HE JAM
W D
SO E GOO SCHOOL
TH T JAM
- FLAVA
O F T HE OLD

APRICO

hip hop, live hip hop, and an open mic,” a night which Jonzi proudly
notes “pre-dates a lot of the stuff that’s happening now” like MTV’s
Base Lounge and the unplugged I Luv Live showcases.
UK hip hop veteran Blak Twang fondly refers to the night as “the
original Hip Hop unplugged”, adding “I think Apricot Jam set a precedence
for more live hip hop jams, ‘cause up until that point I don’t believe there were any
other nights like that,” while Lyric L confirms, “It was all about truth, reality, essence, hip
hop, energy, love and positivity.”
Showcasing both underground and more established artists, with a vocalist or spoken
word artist thrown into the mix, a highlight of the Apricot Jams was the ‘Bring Ya Beat’
section. Jonzi explains, “I’d sing this chorus ‘bring your beat, come on, bring your beat,
come on, bring your beat, and make it sound so sweet’ and then Wylee Kyat would come in
“100% with the same drum beat. Then the bassline would come in. Rappers would complain ‘that
Natural beat’s too fast’ or ‘that beat’s too slow’ so it was like, alright, bring your own! So when we
Flava, made opened up the mic, people would have to start their sets by making the band create a beat
from Organically Grown for them. We had a very highly skilled band. I’ve seen other people try to do it and it’s not
Breakbeats and No Artificial Attitudes” - that was the ethos come off so well.”
of the vibe. It was natural, everybody was just mad cool. Hip hop Other UK wordsmiths to rock the Apricot Jam crowd memorably include Rodney P, MC
has that little stigma of being ‘rough and tough’ and it was nice to not be Mell’o’, the London Posse, Skinnyman, Fallacy, Ty, Taskforce, MC D, Mikey Supa, Malika B,
like that, really.” Mpho Skeef, Eska Mtungwazi and Julie Dexter. Mpho recalls the event as, “the Jam to get
Jonzi D’s reminiscing on the monthly open-mic freestyle event that was Apricot Jam. stuck in, real sticky and real sweet and even fruitier than apricots! The place I cut my teeth as
The curator and host of Breakin’ Convention, the annual international hip hop dance theatre a performer, a really supportive, loving but challenging environment,” whilst Eska says, “With
festival, has always been one step ahead of the game. So when in 1996 he spied a gap in my rose-coloured shades on, reminiscing on Apricot Jam makes it very hard not to be biased
the London live hip hop scene, he set up Apricot Jam which quicky became the essential about how great and significant the whole thing was. So many of us were starting out back
platform for both aspiring and established emcees across the capital. then and this vibrant platform enabled us to showcase and shine.” Beyond the warmth of the
“I used to go to a lot of open mic freestyle events – I’ve been into hip hop since it first vibe, Fusion describes Apricot Jam as pivotal in supporting those “black, British artists who
came into the UK in the early ‘80s, and I got a lot more into the emceeing side of things. I’d were looking for an identity… it made me think I wanted to be part of British hip hop.”
go to certain battle nights and open mic nights where people just got booed off the stage if ”When I close my eyes I see Jonzi, the dreadlocked one, jumping up and down,
they weren’t really, really good. Apricot Jam was an event where you could step up on the microphone in hand, such an enigma. Happy spectators and participants, a whole lot of love
mic and not worry about getting booed, where artists were more free to try a ting, ‘cause the in the room. Good days. Defining moments in our lives,” Eska recalls, adding, “Where did
whole atmosphere was that of support. all the good jams go?”
Drawing in an eclectic mix of hip hop heads, the spoken word crowd, and the jazz Well, they might be out of the fridge before you know it. There’s a glint in Jonzi D’s
technicians, Apricot Jam was first held at The Rhythmic in Islington (now the Elbow Rooms), eyes as our interview draws to a close and he announces, “I really wanna do it again. Just
and ran for four years, occasionally shifting location to Dingwalls in Camden, and Ladbroke talking to you about it has made me think about the excellent memories that we had - and
Grove’s Subterranea. Aside from the supportive atmosphere, what really differentiated yes there’s a lot of people doing stuff like that now, but you know what? Nothing’s like the
Apricot Jam from other open mics was the live band. This was ten years ago, when inviting Apricot Jam.”
rappers to perform over a live band at an open mic night was simply not the done thing in
London.
“I was exploring a lot with jazz bands at the time,” says Jonzi, “and there was one For Jonzi D’s regular Surgery events and news of 2008 Tag dates and brand new work,
particular drummer called Wilee Kyat (now known as Cassell The Beatmaker) who played www.jonzi-d.co.uk
like a hip hop sampler. From that, I was like ‘Oh man, we need to do a jam with him’ so I got Jonzi also hosts and curates Breakin’ Convention and The Pioneers.
him and the rest of his band, and a couple of others who formulated the Apricot Jam band.” www.breakinconvention.com
The band also included the ridiculous talents of James Yarde, Eric Appapoulay, and Anthony Give love to Wylee Kyat, James Yarde & members of the original Apricot Jam band over at
Tidd, with Shortee Blitz as the house DJ. It all came together to create “the idea of organic www.myspace.com/thewisechildren

16
The term black jazz would mean different things to different
FOUR FALSE STARTS
The term jazz musician has been bandied about way too
much, and inevitably conjures up clichés and stereotypes of
people. To the record collector, it may mean buying vinyl that
was not subject to commercial constraints in its genesis but
THE MIGHTY
JEDDO
was subject to the spiritual and musical survival of a black
polite dinner music in a wine bar.
American underclass.
When I first asked Daniel Crosby the energetic bandleader
I’ve known Daniel for more than a decade. We did poetry
about the direction the band will go in he said he didn’t want
and music tours in the early nineties. On the train back he’d BY ROGER ROBINSON
to think about any of that yet, he said he just wanted to
always pull out his rubber practice drum pad and drum and
enjoy the music.
tell jokes all the way home.

TWENTY
SPECIAL DELIVERY FROM THE CARIBBEAN AND BEYOND
QUEEN IFRICA’S been getting a lot of hype recently with a trio of songs touching
on often-taboo subjects. The Jamaican singer’s been recording and releasing

TO LIFE
great music for a number of years now, notably 2002’s beautiful ‘Peace and Love’
on the Belly Skin riddim. But it’s her recent singles, ‘Put On Yuh Thong (Below The
Waist)’, ‘Stop The Genocide’ and ‘Daddy’, dealing deftly with a violent domestic
argument, the genocide in Darfur and sexual abuse respectively, that have
catapulted her to the centre of reggae’s attention. Queen Ifrica will be performing
at Sting in Jamaica on Boxing Day and is currently working on an album with
A COMPELLING DOCUMENTARY WITH APPEARANCES BY JOHN LENNON &
producers such as SLY AND ROBBIE, SHANE BROWN and DON CORLEON.
YOKO ONO, ALLEN GINSBERG, MC-5 AND MANY MORE.
www.myspace.com/queenifrica
I first heard of John Sinclair when I was loaned a copy of Fire Music, a
Following in the footsteps of hip hop entrepreneurs like Jay-Z and Lil’ Jon, self produced book of poems inspired by playwright and saxophonist
bashment superstar VYBZ KARTEL is launching his very own drink, Vybz Rum. The Archie Shepp. Around that same time, John Lennon released Sometime In
rum’s distributors go so far as to call Kartel “the Jay-Z of the dancehall music world” New York City, a radical LP of songs dedicated to various political causes, one
with his line in a triple distilled white rum and a five year red rum. Vybz Kartel aka of which was John Sinclair’s. A Chicago-based cultural activist, Sinclair was the
Adidja Palmer recognizes that dancehall/reggae’s cultural influence has often failed Chairman Of The White Panther Party and an early victim of the War on Drugs.
to translate into hard cash, but he says this deal demonstrates that “the [dancehall] He faced 20 years to life in prison for giving two joints to an undercover police-
industry can be taken seriously as a viable economic force because of the influence woman. This documentary DVD traces Sinclair’s rise to global notoriety and
and power that dancehall wields.” gives us an insight in US government repression in the late Sixties. Originally
from a small-town Michigan background he settled in Chicago. During the
Within a week in December, two high profile reggae/dancehall events in Jamaica Sixties he he made a smooth transition from jazz loving boho to jazz loving
were locked off by the police: first MAVADO’s birthday bash and then Reggae Fever hippie. Cultural activism was top of his agenda. He became the manager of
in Montego Bay. At the time of going to press, there were concerns that the Boxing the seminal rock outfit MC5 – who at times shared a stage with Sun Ra – and
Day extravaganza Sting, known for its occasionally controversial onstage lyrical on the political front aligned himself with the Black Panther Party. It was a
clashes, might also come under scrutiny from the authorities. According to Skerrit turbulent time. Anti Vietnam protest meshed with the acid revolution and when
Bwoy aka SPONGE BOB, who was at the Mavado event: “A policeman took the mic the preshah came down Sinclair ended up in jail. He served 29 months of
and made his ‘nobody move, we have soldier ina bush, soldier ina air, soldier a 9-1/2-to-10-year sentence before his legal victory on appeal changed the
ina river’ speech. Someone shouted out, “what about the soldier ina panty?” and law for good. The long campaign waged by Sinclair culminated in a massive
everyone who could hear was dead with laughter. I think that vexed the police John Sinclair Freedom Rally headlined by John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Stevie
- they locked the gate and searched everyone after that.” A third event, Riding West Wonder, Bob Seger, Phil Ochs, Allen Ginsberg and Bobby Seale that resulted
in Llandilo, was also raided in the same weekend but the show was over and the in Sinclair’s release from prison on December 13, 1971—just three days after
venue empty by the time the police arrived. the event. Livingston Marquis

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Puerto Rican duo CALLE 13 deservedly won Best
Urban Album at the Latin GRAMMY Awards for their effort ‘Residente O Visitante’.
The childhood friends have turned the reggaeton rhythm of their homeland into a
solid base for experimentation with pan-Latin sounds like salsa, cumbia and tango.
They bring rhythmic variety and humour to a genre which sometimes seems to
stagnate sonically even as it becomes more popular outside Puerto Rico. Check SEEING MY FIRST MIGHTY JEDDO SHOW A SHORT, IMAGINARY BIO.
out the hilarious video for the Colombian-inspired Cumbia de los Aburrridos to get a Notting Hill Arts Club, there is a palpable excitement to the air. It feels like a circus has If you really listen to music, all types of music: The Migthy Jeddo is the band for you.
taste of their refreshing take on the urban Latin style. come to town. The warm up bands have done their thing. The Migthy Jeddo takes the Imagine the energy of punk, combined with the technical precision of Jazz, mixed with the
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjrrVgapmhA stage without smiles and Daniel calls the start, “1,2,3!” And it begins like an atomic mush- spirituality of blues and gospels, served up with soulful bass lines, drum patterns from rock
room cloud, with earthquake bass lines, machine gun drums, screaming sax and church to dance and beyond and saxophones complex as a Hendrix guitar lick. They are juggling
THE HEATWAVE TOP FIVE organs. It does not stop for an hour and ten minutes straight. I can’t discern a middle, the culture of twenty first century globalisation while paying their respect to tradition. Walking
Ghislain Poirier feat Face T - Blazin (Ninja Tune 12") end is abrupt and comes too soon. I do not blink. I think to myself “energy, energy, energy!” into the future, looking backward and dragging history into a revamp. Crunching musical
Tami Chynn - Rude Boy (Madness Riddim - Birchill 7") The people don’t want them to leave. The people don’t want to leave. This is what I’ve cultures to create an outsider reality music.
Dizzee Rascal - Flex (DJ Q's Bassline Remix) been looking for. For the rest of that week my every conversation is The Migthy Jeddo.
Akon, Busta Rhymes & Shabba Ranks - Clear The Air (Gold Rush 7") THE LAST WORD
Queen Ifrica - Daddy (No Doubt 7") I am a music lover and I have been looking for this all my life.

www.theheatwave.co.uk/blog myspace.com/themightyjeddo

18 19
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20 21
STORY
: MICH
TAKAYOSI AEL K
RASS
ER / P
HOTOS
: NICK
Y DRA
MUROTA A.K.A COUL
IS INTE
RPRET
ER: KA
Y SUZ
UKI
MURO A.K.A
DJ XXXL IS A
GODFATHER
FIGURE IN
JAPANESE
HIP HOP,
RESPONSIBLE
FOR LAUNCHING
THE CAREERS
OFTHE BIGGEST
NAMES IN THE
BUSINESS. IN
A RARE VISIT
TO LONDON, WE
CATCH UP WITH
THE ORIGINAL
KING OF DIGGIN.
22 23
It’s 1983. Films like Wildstyle and later Style Wars US artists like the Jungle Brothers, 45 King, De La Soul digging in New York. Inspired, he made ten cassettes and Anime soundtracks”. The very same music he missed lounging with Lord Finesse and
would storm their way through the minds of a global and Public Enemy with their SW1 (Security of the First of a break mix for Manhattan Records. They sold out all out on whilst trying to catch up with heads in the Bronx. collaborating A.G. on The Vinyl
youth generation. From the ghettoes of Paris to the World) entourage tour the country. It was after seeing De the tapes within the hour. Almost immediately, the return Overall, the philosophy of Japanese collectors is Athletes in 1999, then with
streets of London, dookie rope chains, high tops, fat La Soul live and direct, along with home-grown act Major call came back: “We need more copies!” From there he one that seems peculiar to westerners. For Muro the art Pharoahe Monche and Pete
laces and four finger rings became the necessary Force who would later sign to James Lavelle’s Mo’ Wax, really got into the buzz of making mixtapes, compiling of digging is nothing less than a spiritual quest: “It’s a bit Rock in 2000. Not surprisingly,
fashion accessories to prove our would-be down-ness that Muro and his peers began believing that they could the massive Diggin’ Heat and the Diggin’ Ice series which of a strange thing to bring up but my Grandfather is a he jumped at the opportunity
with the American brethren. In Japan the hip hop really get involved. Although the desire to become a DJ utilised hot soul tracks for cold winter nights. Shinto priest. So I’m a real believer in natural instinct and to produce the score of anime
invasion was no less significant. B-boying enthralled still burned inside him, the Krush Posse already had two That same year, Muro formed K.O.D.P. (King Of spirituality. When I’m out looking for records, I pay attention soundtrack Tokyo Tribe 2, and ended
Japanese audiences so much so that a small but turntablists, so the young Muro’s first love would have to Diggin Productions) for a roster of emerging Japanese to the label but I also pay attention to my instinct, and up working with Just Blaze, the Alchemist,
vibrant scene grew up around Yoyogi Park in Shibuya, be temporarily sidelined. Instead, he would become the emcees and went on to form his own label, Incredible when I then listen to the record, it’s like ‘I’ve found one!’ De La Soul and Ghostface Killah in the process.
turning it into an impromptu Sunday Mecca for Tokyo group’s MC. Records, at the break of 1998 to showcase Japan’s most That happens quite often.” Around that time, Ghostface was touring Japan and
breakers. Early innovators of the scene included wanted. There followed the W.K.O.D ‘Golden Age of hip In stark opposition to the spiritualism of Shinto and Muro saw his opportunity to fulfil a life long ambition.
dancer Crazy A, now chapter master for the Japanese Back then Krush was making beats everyday, recording hop’ mixes and the now-classic King of Diggin collection. Buddhism lies another side to Japanese culture – the Unsurprisingly, Ghostface’s initial reaction was, “Yo, I
branch of the Rocksteady Crew, and the legendary DJ his cutting and mixing onto a lo-fi, second-hand, multitrack But on the other side of the globe, two burgeoning rampant consumerism, a product of the country’s post-war gotta hear them beats son before I get anywhere near a
Krush. “We would just go to the park and congregate tape recorder (there were no affordable samplers at the beatdiggers, Kon and Amir. would take objection to Muro economic miracle in which the United States conspired. booth.” But in the end he was so impressed that he called
around Krush” states Muro reflecting on his first time) over which Muro began writing his lyrics. “Initially I calling himself King of Diggin and were prepared to battle Following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Muro back to his studio stateside and they recorded the
acquaintances with the breaking scene: “He was a had to struggle to keep up, he was making too many beats! Muro for the crown. Years later, with the dust settled, the subsequent demilitarization of Japan spearheaded by track ‘The Roosevelt’. There was an instant connection:
mysterious guy, you know, esoteric”. There was no one to tell you what to do or how to make the two parties would later collaborate on a blistering General Douglas MacArthur, the United States showed communication through music. “In fact it’s probably better
Muro had an interest in records from childhood, his beats so we started by imitating what we saw and then our compilation for BBE, this time called the Kings of Diggin. early signs of their commitment to democracy-building, I’m not able to speak English because I would have
family owned a petrol station which was far too dangerous own style developed from there”. Muro shows me a copy In 2007 Muro has now officially put the King to rest. and in 1947 they ghost-wrote a new Japanese constitution showered them in complements,” states the ever humble
for him to hang around after school, so early on they gave of Jazzy B’s London Beats magazine, the primary source Retiring from collecting LP’s, he’s changed up his style to which begins with the pronouncement, “We shall secure Muro.
him the choice between going to the cinema or being of their hip hop knowledge, which at the time could only be the highly collectable and almost inexhaustible world of 7”. for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful He recently finished a project with Lee Quinones
bought a portable record player. He opted for the latter, found in select clothing shops for the princely sum of 40p. With most club DJ’s opting for the ease of Serato Scratch cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty (a.k.a. Zoro of Wild Style fame) called East River Park, a
and asserts half-jokingly “If I didn’t, I might have been a With Krush garnering international success, the and playing mp3’s off of their laptops, Muro believes it throughout this land.” homage to the early days of hip hop. “I’m also trying
famous director by now!” Posse went their separate ways, and Muro decided to form important to educate the kids: “Some of them have never In its wake came a steady stream of American culture to license a Marvel comic/hip hop animation
In those days there were lots of bands, performers Microphone Pager, which still remains one of the most seen real bars of soap before, you know, they’re all so which would seep into the Japanese consciousness, called Big Showclash starring KRS One as
and dancers who would gather every Sunday on Hokoten, influential Japanese outfits to date. Together with Twigy, used to these liquid pump-action dispensers. Likewise, inspiring a whole new range of thriving subcultures, from the main voice,” he adds.
a huge street at the side of Yoyogi Park, overlooking Masao, P.H. and oldtime friend DJ Go, they put out early they’ve never seen doughnuts, 45’s. I want to show them Rockabilly to Gothic to Punk rock, and of late hip hop. Hip Talking to Muro you get the
Tokyo’s biggest flea market. For Muro, seeing a fellow classics such as ‘Rapperz Are Danger’ and the Don’t Turn that with 45’s I can be just as compact as they are!” hop style is imitated by young Japanese males down to sense that his journey has
countryman like Krush mixing and manipulating the wax Off Your Light album. He carries with him, in two compact cases, a priceless the gangster swagger, baggy pants, throwback jerseys, come full circle, from Tokyo
literally blew his mind. From that day on he too wanted to But the endless performing had Muro suffering from collection of 7’s, flaunting the choicest cuts in rare Disco, cornrows or locks in their hair. Their female counterparts, to the Bronx and back again.
become a DJ. “Kids would gather around him, fuelled by serious hearing problems and he was forced to lay off Deep Funk, Latin Boogaloo and Afrobeat. I recognise the kokujo or ‘blackfacers’ are sun-bed fanatic, Lil’ Kim After all these years, he feels
his music and begin to break. I started hanging around the mic. This saw him returning to his initial passion of amongst the stack Dennis Coffey’s funky blaxploitation look-a-likes, enamoured with Black music and Black men. validated by the recognition
so much that we eventually started talking and struck up DJing and his quest for the perfect beat, with the Ultimate holy grail ‘Theme from Black Belt Jones’ and a horn-heavy, Cultural appropriation has not been a one-sided affair, from hip hop’s luminaries,
a bond”. Enthusiastic early dialogues with Krush would Breaks and Beats series serving as the catalyst. These instro B-side of Fela’s ‘Water Get No Enemy’. though. African-American culture and hip hop have long proving the age-old
bring Muro into the fold that would later become the Krush were still the dark ages in digging. DJ’s were still scrubbing “Nowadays I’m really digging the old music from my had a attraction with the East, from poet-writer Langston adage: It’s not where
Posse. At that time Krush was backing up a local rapper as off record labels, going to fairs and paying obscene country” says Muro, finding himself more and more drawn Hughes who viewed Japan as an impressive source of you’re at, but where
trio B-Fresh, and Muro’s tough guy image would land him prices. There was no internet to fall back on, knowledge to the Japanese cinematic sounds of the past: from director non-white culture, to Coltrane’s experimentation with your mind’s at.
his first job, doing security – Tokyo’s answer to Professor had to be earned the hard way, through experience and Sadao Nakajima’s Jitsuroku films (violent yakuza gangster oriental scales, to Wu Tang’s Kung-Fu sampled dialogue,
Griff. experimentation, getting blackened finger tips in dusty flicks) to Yuji Ohno’s jazzy anime soundtracks. “Back then to the code of bushido followed by Forrest Whittaker’s
At the same time, popularity for hip hop culture crates. we didn’t fully appreciate what we had because we weren’t character in Ghost Dog. But while contemporary Black
was growing in the JP. All-night clubs and record shops, At that time there was no one really making break really listening to it in that way. For example, the break of America has embraced and immersed itself in many of the
stuffed with import wax, appeared around Shibuya, mixtapes, especially in Japan. Muro would make them for the beat in Enka (a style of Japanese folk music), I hadn’t elements of eastern culture, it has remained closed to the
places like the aptly titled hip hop club and the Manhattan himself and his close friends. It was in ’96 that by chance really ever listened to it carefully. I’m listening to everything possibility of non-American hip hop.
Records emporium amongst others. The late 80’s saw he caught a snippet of the Stretch Armstrong show whilst from old Japanese commercial music to pop to Jap Jazz However Muro’s been knocking down doors,

24
FROM THE RHYTHM KITCHEN TO THE HIP HOP SHOP ON SEVEN MILE WHERE SLUM VILLAGE FIRST
PERFORMED, DETROIT HAS DELIVERED THE MOST CONSISTENTLY MIND-BLOWING & SOUL-SEARCHING

DETROIT V E R B A L S: A L BURTON PIXELS: PAT DALY


HIP HOP MUSIC. DILLA MAY BE GONE, BUT WITH WAAJEED, PHAT KAT, GUILTY SIMPSON, BLACK MILK,
INVINCIBLE, DENAUN PORTER AND HOUSE SHOES, THE DETROIT RENNAISSANCE HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN.

THE
THE
THE
GOOD

BAD
In many ways Detroit represents everything that’s
wrong with American society, but also everything
that American society should be. It’s this social
dichotomy that has come to define the city in
their desire for a life beyond the automotive plants.
It’s the Detroit of Motown. It’s the same Detroit
that coupled the constant grind of machinery with
musical composition and created techno. Home to
D IRTY
since its genesis. “My first encounters with the Detroit
hip hop scene started out with the Rhythm Kitchen,”
he recalls. “It was inside a Chinese restaurant called
Stanley’s. Maurice Malone aka DJ Soulfinger, was the
“The next phase was probably the Hip Hop Shop,
which was Maurice’s clothing shop. On the weekends
he had open mics and freestyle battles. Proof hosted
and DJ Head, who was Eminem’s first DJ, would spin.
hop night in the city. Hosted by DJ Paulie, along with
Benny Ben and DJ Dez (Slum Village and Andres),
the night features the best in underground hip hop as
well as an eclectic mix of classic rock and rare groove.
they don’t understand is that it’s their shit. It frustrates
me, still.”
Perhaps this is because in Detroit, the presence
of viable hip hop outlets has proven to be as cyclical
After the Hip Hop Shop was the Shelter or St. Andrews. The anything-goes approach is simply a music lover’s as the city’s economy. When it’s up, the energy is
recent years – a Tale of Two Cities-type existence internationally recognized artists like Amp Fiddler, DJ, and that’s where I met Proof (from D12). Cats were
That was the spot on Friday nights. DJ House Shoes dream – possibly the best selections you’ll hear outside undeniable. Detroit knows music, and if you’re the type
that has polarized its citizens both culturally and Carl Craig, Kenny Dixon Jr., and Theo Parrish, it’s the freestyling, up-and-coming producers were playing
and Dez would be there, and this was a pinnacle of New York and LA. Dez dazzles the audience, of person who loves to say you saw it first, there’s no
economically. same Detroit that inspired James Yancey to become beats – that’s where I originally met a lot of the guys
moment for Detroit hip hop because it was a big thing performing blends so perfect you’d swear they were better place than in the D. When the cycle is down, the
Home to the Big Three (General Motors, Ford and one of the most innovative producers to grace the hip that are doing stuff now. Dilla, Proof, Phat Kat, all of
to be up at St. Andrews on Friday nights. remixes. A quick scan of the bar and you’ll find T3, one energy remains, but instead of the clubs, it surfaces
Chrysler), Detroit’s economy has long been dependent hop genre. And it’s the same Detroit that’s leading the them.”
“Another highlight for hip hop was the open mic at half of Slum Village, joking with a bartender. Northern in the studio... which is where it’s popping right now in
upon the automotive industry. Where most cities build way as the city sits on the verge of yet another creative As he reminisces, he takes time to point out
Lush Lounge, hosted by Ike Love, Contact and Ali.” He Lights has become a sort of meeting place for many of Detroit.
their economy by attracting a variety of business renaissance. the often-overlooked influence of Maurice Malone.
continues. “Everybody would be there on Wednesday Detroit’s underground artists but tonight, surprisingly, In addition to a slew of mixtapes and memorable
interests, Detroit is the exception, operating, instead Unlike previous creative awakenings, Detroit’s “Maurice was a clothing designer, and he would travel
nights and this was when you saw a lot of the emcees the bar is far from packed. “It’s been hit or miss lately,” guest appearances, 2007 saw releases from Ta’raach
in a manner more befitting a smaller town. There’s no current assault on the music industry is taking shape back and forth to New York. When he would come back
that came up through the Hip Hop Shop and St. says one of the Tuesday night faithful, pointing out the (The Fevers), Waajeed, (The War LP), a much
shortage of vacant lots and abandoned homes and the outside of the mainstream. Driven largely by an to Detroit he would bring all this music back with him.
Andrews forming groups. You would see some of the issue hitting the underground at the moment – Detroit’s underrated album from Phat Kat (Carte Blanche) and
recent troubles for the automotive and manufacturing established crop of emcees and producers such as Eventually it got to the point where he started bringing
fiercest freestyle battles there. Proof was one of the curious reticence to support its own. arguably the year’s best underground release in Black
industries have left more than a third of Detroit’s Slum Village, Waajeed and Dabrye, along with an artists back. Maurice Malone brought Wu-Tang to
best freestylers I‘d ever seen. I never saw him lose a “I used to spin there on Tuesday nights,” explains Milk’s Popular Demand. This cycle might very well
residents living below the poverty line. Combine that emerging pool of talent including artists like Monica Detroit when they first popped off. I’ll never forget it.
battle – he almost became the person who kept the DJ House Shoes, discussing the changing dynamics of change again with debut LPs from Guilty Simpson,
with a growing crime rate and a failing educational Blaire, Finale, and Necco Redd, the city possesses an He brought them to a place called 1515 Broadway. The
scene going when a lot of these spots died down.” Detroit’s underground scene following his move to the Invincible, and Finale sure to take the industry by storm
system, and the result is a city in crisis. underground music scene that’s blowing up. place held 150 to 200 people tops. That place was
These days, The Next Best Thing, held on West Coast. “When I left it was like 350 people there. along with the continued production efforts of Black
But there’s another Detroit, and while the same Mark the Spark, a local DJ and host of the only all packed – shoulder to shoulder. It was one of those
Tuesday nights at a small and smoky bar on Baltimore Now it’s maybe 100 to 150 people there. They think that Milk, Waajeed, and Mr.Porter. With this in mind, 2008’s
struggles exist here, they don’t define it. This Detroit hip hop show on a major radio station (102.7 in Detroit) shows when you got that in-your-face energy and you
called Northern Lights, is the last, long-running hip just because Shoes ain’t there, it ain’t poppin’. What set to be a busy year.
embodies the hard creative spirit of its people and has been around the Detroit underground music scene just knew they were going to blow.”
26 27
DILLA MAY BE GONE BUT THERE’S
A SLEW OF TALENT TAKING THE
DETROIT SCENE FORWARD IN HIS
WAKE. AL BURTON PICKS SOME
OF THE CITY’S CURRENT FINEST,
UPHOLDING THEIR LATE GREAT
MENTOR’S MEMORY AND PUSHING IT
TO NEW LEVELS.

BLACK
MILK
Black Milk sounds like a man with few worries. His it’s like the Detroit hip hop scene is reinventing itself. just another ghetto. People look at it and realize that we’ve
There’s a new generation and vibe of artist coming out of been putting out good music since Motown and Hitsville.”

GUILTY
2007 release Popular Demand was arguably the best
underground hip hop album of the year. Consider Detroit. Like myself, Guilty Simpson, Fat Ray and a few As he reflects on all that’s good with the Detroit
his contributions on the upcoming Guilty Simpson and other artists. It’s about to evolve into something new but music, he can’t help but acknowledge the fact that it
Slum Village releases along with a collaboration album still having that same Detroit vibe in the music. People seems to have fallen short of its legacy. In the midst of it
with Fat Ray, and another with Simpson and Boot Camp outside of Detroit are looking at the city and expecting a all he remains optimistic. “I think it’s possible for Detroit
member Sean Price, and early reports indicate that 2008
holds a similar fate. As he continues to, not so quietly,
amass an impressive catalogue of production credits, the
comparisons to Dilla are inescapable. Many have already
lot to come out of the city in the next few years. I feel like
Detroit’s about to get a whole new shine.”
Despite being known both as an emcee and a
producer, Black Milk admits to a certain affinity for beat-
to make that same impact on music that it did back in the
day,” he says giving extra thought to his response. “But to
do it, Detroit will need a producer to do some major things
in music, with major recognition. Dilla was that dude, but
SIMPSON
named him the heir apparent—a role that he believes is making. Along with Dilla, his list of musical influences I don’t think he wanted the shine like that. He wanted to When the great American gangster tale was first Almighty Dreadnaughtz, or the host of guest appearances life and giving a person a piece of you. I think that goes a
impossible to truly fill. includes Pete Rock and DJ Premier, all of which are be more in the background, away from the mainstream penned it’s unlikely the author envisioned his ranging from the Dilla-produced ‘As Serious As Your Life’ lot further.”
“Dilla’s death left a big void,” explains Black Milk, known for their distinct sounds. And while he incorporates eye. But that’s what we’ll need in Detroit. A producer like antagonist menacing his victims with a microphone. remix to his appearance on Black Milk’s ‘Sound the Alarm’, Although Simpson’s career seems to be accumulating
reflecting on the loss of the legendary Detroit producer. elements of each, he prefers to take a more clandestine a Kanye or a Pharrell . Not really an artist or an emcee, Enter Guilty Simpson. In an American culture desperately Simpson has established quite a legacy in the battle rap more steam globally than it has within Detroit, he can’t
“Dilla was the creator of that soul sound. Not just for approach to making beats. because we’ve had emcees blow in a major way but seeking its next pop villain, adopting a moniker like Guilty arena. “A lot of people that have heard my music in the help but acknowledge the city’s presence in his music.
Detroit, but for hip hop in general. I don’t want to sound “I don’t really think I have a specific sound where it didn’t help the city, or the Detroit music scene. It just Simpson (his natural last name) can be quite the burden. past tend to see me in one light, kind of the braggadocio “It’s a blue collar town,” he says bluntly. “People here
selfish, but it seems like there wasn’t enough of Dilla’s people can hear a track and think ‘that’s a Black Milk helped that artist. It’s going to take a producer or a couple Unless, of course, you happen to be a rapper, in which style, just hearing me talk about how fresh I am and how wear their work on their sleeve and that reflects in my
music left behind. Even though I know it really was, it just track.’ I don’t sample one genre of music. I’m sampling of producers just like Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson case the misconceptions are often as welcome as the fresh other people aren’t,” he explains. “I’m deeper than music. There’s also an element of unpredictability to life
doesn’t seem like enough. He did so much for hip hop, the soul, I mess with electronic music, I experiment with jazz. back in the day. truth. that as a lyricist.” in Detroit. You never really know what’s going to happen.
Detroit sound, and just music period. He left a legacy with But it’s still going to have that soul element to it. The “I’d like to take on that task. I don’t want to be “People think that because of the way I rhyme, With his debut album, Ode to the Ghetto, due out on Nothing is guaranteed. Even people that have worked at
the D and I don’t think anyone can come along and fill his only thing that stands out with the majority of my beats is considered an underground an artist my entire career. I I’m unapproachable,” expresses the Detroit born MC, Stones Throw in February 2008, he promises to capitalize the plants for years, with the recent situations those jobs
shoes. He had a sound like no other. His beat technique probably the drum programming. I make sure my drums want my music to reach as many people as it can. But renowned for his belligerence on the mic. “I might rap on another side of his personality. “For the people that aren’t guaranteed anymore. If you came up in Detroit and
was like none other. It was just some other shit. It was are hitting hard. But I always try to change it up.” at the same time I’m not trying to dumb down my music, about crazy shit that happens in Detroit or I might talk always want to hear me doing the metaphorical battle rap you said you worked at the plant, some people might have
from another world. That sound is just going to be missed, Another constant in Black Milk’s music is the city in or change what I’m doing musically, just so I can get about gunplay and stuff like that but in general I’m a cool type of thing Ode to the Ghetto does have that but that’s looked at you like you were hood rich and in a lot of ways
because what he did can’t be duplicated.” which he dwells. “There’s just a certain Detroit swing on mainstream recognition or radio play. Right now I’m trying dude. I like to blow trees and have fun, but for the people not really the bulk of what I’m doing on this project. I deal you were. And that’s embedded in me because I know
In fact, like most heir apparents, Black Milk has no the beat that comes automatically,” he insists. “Detroit is to figure out a way to do what I do but still incorporate the who think I don’t play, that’s pretty accurate too, because with a variety of topics. I deal with stress, relationships that whatever I’m doing musically isn’t guaranteed to be
desire to fill anyone’s shoes. He’d much rather walk in his a unique city. It’s hood, it’s ghetto, it’s grimy, but at the mainstream elements so I can get that recognition from I don’t play.” (both good and bad), police brutality, things of substance. I popping for me next week. Life in Detroit prepared me for
own. With its bevy of untapped talent, Detroit provides same time so much good music comes from the city that the masses.” Battling public perception is clearly familiar ground for notice that a lot of people say they enjoy metaphors that I that. Here it’s like one day you might see somebody on
him the perfect opportunity to do just that. “There’s a new it balances out. I don’t know if the good music comes WIth so many good things to come, 2008 might just Guilty Simpson. His aggressive mic tactics have garnered say in my rhymes but when it comes down to talking to me top of the world and the next day you might see them rock
sound in Detroit right now,” he suggests attempting to because of those elements—the poverty, the people be the year for Black Milk. Watch this space. him a reputation as a lyrical bully. Whether it be his years about them, they can’t even quote them right. So that lets bottom. That’s just the way home is. It gives you a sense of
break down the present state of hip hop in Detroit. “There struggling—or not. But the music balances the whole thing spent as a member of the Detroit-based hip hop crew The me know that metaphors don’t really stick to your bones as urgency and that’s the way I approach my music.”
was a time when it was Slum Village, and D12, but now out. Because of the music people don’t look at this city as much as songs where you’re actually rapping about your
28 29
DETROIT FINIEST ELEMENTS BY QUES / LCP

30 31
“A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO
CAPITALIZE OFF OF DILLA AND PROOF’S
LEGACY. RATHER THAN BEING PARALYZED
BY THOSE THINGS, I’D RATHER FOCUS ON
FURTHERING THEIR LEGACY AND NURTURING
A CREATIVE RENAISSANCE IN DETROIT.”
INVINCIBLE

DENAUN
PORTER
With D12 and Dr Dre on his musical CV, Detroit’s
Denaun Porter’s garnering some serious respect as a
producer. Also known as Mr. Porter (the producer), or
What impact do you think the absence of Dilla and Proof
had on the Detroit music scene?
use it for their demo or whatever. Everything on there is not
for everybody, but it’s a lot of dope shit on there.
Is it working out?
TOTALY
INVINCIBLE
Kon Artist (his D12 moniker), Porter has developed a I met Dilla through Proof. A lot of people didn’t know how There are a couple of people that I’ve met through
reputation for being a versatile player who travels close they were. Proof got Dilla’s music out there a lot mrporterbeats.com and I’ve been listening to their music
more. He would be on the radio with his records and and really thinking about signing them to a production
seamlessly between the board and the booth,
people would hear them and they would be like “damn, who company.
balancing the mainstream and the underground. In
the fuck is this?” So for both of them to be gone – it was the It doesn’t take long to recognize what it is that music I could slip the medicine in without beating people array of sounds, a wide array of flows and topics. Also a
addition to his work with Guilty Simpson who – as well
worst year of my life. If it weren’t for Proof, Eminem What is the Who is John Doe project? motivates the 24 year old Detroit emcee known as over the head with a message but making it something lot of the topics have to do with change and how change
as Stones Throw – is also signed to Porter’s Runyon
wouldn’t exist. And as far as Detroit hip hop goes, you can’t It’s something that’s so close to my heart that I find myself Invincible. The green military style cap—resting just that’s intertwined with what you’re talking about. The more happens.”
Ave. label, Porter’s doing some amazing work with
have Dilla without Proof, or Proof without Dilla. As a result overthinking it at times, and I know that’s hell for the people above her brow line inspires images of a young Fidel I did that with the music, the more I decided I wanted to do One song that addresses a change particularly
several other artists including Little Brother, Pharoahe
of their deaths a lot of people have come together who around me. It started off with the idea of doing two different Castro. The early warnings of a Detroit winter force her it in real life. So I connected with other artists and I started relevant to Detroit is the Waajeed produced ‘In the
Monch and Black Milk. probably wouldn’t before. versions where one would be my version of hip hop now, doing the work on the ground as well. Hip hop is more than Morning’. In the song’s opening verse Invincible critically
to bury her hands deep inside the front pockets of her
and the other at the point of time around 91, 92 and 93, oversized hoodie, reducing her ability to incorporate the just the music.” reflects on the city’s reluctance to embrace the works of
How did you hook up with Dr. Dre? What projects are you currently involved in? and what my beats sounded like back then. I was planning It’s been nearly three years since her appearance on two of its greatest ambassadors (Dilla and Proof) and the
visual commentary most rappers require. Still, her words
I did a couple of songs on the original Eminem EP. And Right now I’m working on Detox, which is Dre’s final album, to make the music that way and have the people that I felt resonate with unbelievable clarity. “Over there is where we the Platinum Pied Pipers debut album PPP where she left less than honorable manner they’ve posthumously treated
then Eminem introduced me to Dre as a friend and when and I’ve been on it since he started this record. I’m working were a part of that whole legacy on this record. I want it to planted the garden,” directing her attention to an unlikely many fans clamoring for a full-length. As she now prepares their legacies. “The songs talks about mourning and how
he found out that I’d produced the songs on the EP, he was on The Game’s new album, and potentially Musiq be some of my best work and I feel like if I’m going to put a patch of land amid what appears to be a vacant lot. “Detroit for the independent release of her long-awaited debut we can’t really say we’re mourning someone if we allow the
like, ‘We need to hook up.’ And I’ve been working with Dre Soulchild’s new album, which will be like a blessing for me project out then I should start from the beginning. And the is like that,” she later explains. “You might see what looks album Shapeshifters, Invincible is making certain that the same things to happen again. I felt it was important to write
ever since. because I think that dude is dope. I just bumped into him at title John Doe resembles where I am in my life. I’ve always like an abandoned lot but it’s really a city farm or a city final product delivers on its promise. “Right now I’ve got ‘In the Morning’ because a lot of people have been trying to
the grocery store and now I might be working with him... I been in a group and in light of the turns my group has garden. There’s lots of abandonment but there’s a lot of about 15 tracks but I’m still working on a couple of joints capitalize off of their (Dilla and Proof) legacy, or in the case
You were first known as a member of the group D12, but just did a song with Ice Cube. I’m working on Snoop’s new taken, I’m trying to find self now, through music. John Doe growth.” just to make sure I’ve got the whole palette, every color on of Dilla, directly rob it. For me, rather than being paralyzed
since then your work as producer seems to have eclipsed record. I just got into the down south music, and I did a was Jay Dee’s name when he first came out, so it By most accounts, Invincible personifies the the spectrum, represented. I want to take people through by those things, I’d rather focus on furthering the legacy
that. What happened? song on Playaz Circle’s album and on Bun B’s upcoming symbolizes a lot, especially with my career and how I was commonly accepted aesthetic of hip-hop, at least as much the full range of emotions and styles and all that.” their legacy of nurturing a creative renaissance in Detroit.
I didn’t really get into producing until I heard a Dilla beat solo record. I’m working with Stat Quo. And I started on influenced, and how Jay Dee influenced it. as any Palestine-born Israeli woman can. Her confidence is “That’s who I am as an individual,” she reveals, For Invincible, her adopted city is both a blessing and
tape, back in the day when he was known as John Doe. Marsha’s [of Floetry] album the other day. apparent both in song and spirit and her voice possesses when asked about her album title. “I was never a cliquish a curse. She observes, “There are definitely people here
Proof would play me two or three things but he never let It must be a challenge having this project running alongside a tone every emcee craves. But surface things don’t matter person. I was cool with all the cliques. I’ve always been in a desperate situation and they do things they wouldn’t
me get a copy of the tape, I think because most people he You’re a busy man. What’s the story with mrporterbeats. the more commercial Dr.Dre album. much to Invincible. In truth, she is less concerned with the real adaptable and able to shape shift like that. I used normally do if they weren’t in that predicament, but it’s also
com? Even though I have a very mainstream aura about my outward appearance of her genre and more concerned to consider it a weakness, like why don’t I have my own a city of people evolving in the face of all that.”
would play the beats for would end up sounding just like
When I first started back working on Detox, I felt that we career, I have a hip hop heart. Sometimes they conflict and with its soul. Invincible is one part emcee and three parts niche or something like that, but then at a certain point I The words across the front of her jacket read
John Doe. He was so influential with his style that
had gotten rid of so much good music and thought we the only way I can even that out is to do both. For this revolutionary, but the recipe is all hip hop. “I’m at the point realized that was who I am. I’m a little bit of everything and ‘Everyday Struggle’. In a city recently named the most
everybody would try to find out how he sounded the way he
should do something with the beats we had because they project, I don’t give a shit what Interscope or Geffen or Def where everything is overlapped for me. My music is my whatever I make that to be.” dangerous in the nation, those words are particularly
sounded, so Proof would feed it to me bit by bit and I
may not ever see the light of day. These are beats that I Jam or anybody thinks. It’s not for show. It’s not about self-expression, my life support. I learned to speak English “My sound is very versatile. I’m really into storytelling. poignant. Through it all, Invincible is perhaps one of its
developed my own sound. I took the tricks but not the
wouldn’t expect anyone in the mainstream to use because saying that I’m the best this or the best that. I’m just trying by memorizing the words to hip hop songs, and I’ve always At the same time I came up when battling was really big. most willing crusaders and hip hop is her weapon of
sound – I took the fundamentals and applied them to my
they’re a little more edgy. So I had the idea to put them on to express myself through my own project. used hip hop to address important issues. Through my So in that sense I’m an emcee’s emcee, with patterns and choice.
understanding of things to create my own sound. a site and kids can just go on the internet, get a beat and wordplay. This album is showing that versatility. It’s a wide

32 33
BENGA SUNIL CHAUHAN GETS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH DUBSTEP HEAVYWEIGHT
BENGA AT HIS HOME STUDIO IN DEEPEST, DARKEST SOUTH LONDON. V E R B A L S : SUNIL CHAUHAN P H O T O : TAMAR NUSSBACHER

NIGHT FLIGHT
One of dubstep’s early pioneers, Croydon-based
producer Benga Uthman released tracks like ‘Skank’
and ‘The Judgement’ (with Skream) on the now-
I come back and my time is just messed up. It takes me
such a long time to get back to normal. So I start making
tunes in the day, then I switch it back around. Then when
think. The track didn’t come out until I was about fifteen
‘cos back then it was an even longer cycle ‘til something
came out. But we’d been making songs and playing them
defunct but legendary Big Apple records aged just I do eventually fall asleep, that will be the time I end up back and forth for about two years. We still do it now, ring
fifteen. Mentored by Big Apple founder John Kennedy getting up and start making tunes. If that makes sense. each other up and play each other songs. If he rings me up
and Arthur Smith aka Artwork, his early releases were and plays me something, it makes me get on the computer
pivotal in shaping the south London genre before Was ‘Night’ made at night? and vice versa. It’s inspiring innit.
its name was even coined. Taking a brief respite Hahaha. Of course it was. But I can’t remember the reason
from releasing music around 2004, he re-emerged in why we called it ‘Night’. It was some funny reason. Me Does Fruity Loops get a bad rep?
2006 with tracks like ‘10 Tons Heavy’ and Newstep, a and Skream and Coki, when we make tunes, we sit there Not sure about a bad rep, but I’ve always said it’s about
collection of a dozen-odd tracks. that while his first constantly and laugh. The whole time, we’re just making up what you do with the program. Skream still uses Fruity and
full-length release, wasn’t his album-debut-proper. stupid names. Like I could look at the Jack Daniels next to it sounds bad. It’s what you’re comfortable with and what
That honour is set to go to Diary of An Afro Warrior, my speaker and say I’m gonna call a track ‘Jack Daniels’ you get out of it. When I open up Logic, it’s right for me
due early 2008, and if the hype is to be believed, is the or ‘Ketchup’ or something. I’m constantly making so many ‘cos I’m touching things and it gives me the sound I wanna
best attempt at a bonafide dubstep album yet. tunes I can’t think of names for all of them. So it’s strange achieve. I feel like it has to come from Logic, like it just
that we came up with ‘Night’ ‘cos I think that’s quite a good wouldn’t come out right with another program.
As with most producers, almost all Benga’s work is done name for it. Like what else can you call that song?
at home in his bedroom, on a modest-looking set of The software defines how you think about what you’re
hardware, neatly arranged in the corner of his bedroom You made ‘Night’ with Coki, physically side by side. Do going to make…
next to a strangely paltry shelf of white-label 12”s filed you usually work so closely with other producers? Not the actual beats, it just makes me think about my
haphazardly next to each other. Like frequent collaborator I do sit down with people. I’ve done something with N-Type whole production according to that program. When I use
and similarly prolific Skream, his initial forays into in the past, I’ve done a release with Hatcha in the past and another program, it’s slightly strange. Even in the new
production came through oft-maligned software Fruity with Walsh as well. But I think the two biggest people that Logic 8, I don’t feel like I’m getting the same sound. The
Loops, and while he’s since moved on to Logic, you I can actually sit down with is Coki and Skream, ‘cos he’s way I do it is I’ll go through my synths so much that if
imagine that whatever he uses, he would still churn out another producer who really adds to what I’m doing and we something comes in my head, I’ll already know the sound
just as much. While polite and affable, after half an hour think of certain things in a similar way. for it. Just from going through presets, that noise gets stuck
into our interview, he’s already restless, distracted equally in my head and I’ll start creating loops mentally. It gets
by the paused football game on TV, several missed calls, Is that unusual? A lot of producers seem to prefer stuck in there and the next day I’ll go and actually make a
and no doubt, the thought of valuable dub-making time lost working alone or sending each other tracks rather than tune with that sound.
talking to a journalist. doing it face to face…
I like to sit there and work with someone. It takes a while What sort of sounds do you generally go for?
It’s very dark in here?. before you get an understanding so you’re not nervous and More electronic sort of sounds. It’s two types of sounds,
I don’t really use lights, so these (points to lights) don’t you both have the respect for each other but I think part of the electronic really synthy, ‘80s-sounding strong leads and
even have bulbs in ‘em at the moment. I don’t even use the fact why people can’t sit down together is ‘cos they’re sine waves and then there’s the real-instrument imitations
them when they do though so how am I meant to know?! scared of production techniques being leaked and they of things like cellos. I’m more on the electronic side. My
(laughs) I usually don’t even open the curtains. I just like don’t want anyone to use them. But because Skream and sound is more the techno-y thing. But I don’t like to tell
the dark. When girls come back here, they’re always like Coki have got their own sound and it’s really well built, I’m people everything I use ‘cos there’s little things that I may
‘why don’t you ever open the curtains or put the light on?’ not afraid to sit down with them. We give each other tips. tell someone and they might start doing the same thing. I
I’m like, ‘cos I’m Batman!’ don’t wanna give people the idea of how dubstep is made.
You’ve worked quite a few times with Skream. When Like ‘Benga uses this plugin so I’m going to get that cos
So you prefer working at night. did you first start working with him? that’s how dubstep is made’. I’d rather give them a few
I’m a night creature. I sleep during the day but I’m all over Seven, eight years ago now. The first time we actually sat things then have them figure out what they wanna use.
the place ‘cos I’m deejaying as well. I go abroad and then down to make a tune was when I was fourteen. We made
‘The Judgement’. We was using old Fruity Loops then I Diary of An Afro Warrior due early 2008

34 35
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36 37
O G I E
BO

O N just broke down, and the whole class broke down with made me feel great. They called us back many times, both
Logg – Logg (Salsoul)
After the release and success of ‘Let’s Do It’ by
PETE ADARKWAH (BBE) I just loved ‘Barely
Breakin’ Even’. It was something that we played all
LeRoy Burgess’ life is all about the love of music. His
Convertion on SAM records, Greg Carmichael and
mother was an opera singer, his uncle was the great her. Shortly after that, all of this music was coming out of Convertion, myself Leroy Burgess as a performer, the the time. It was one of those records I didn’t buy it
myself decided we wanted to do more songs on that
Philly International producer Thom Bell, and his first Harlem, honouring his life, his death, addressing racism, all Aleems and Black Ivory. the first time around, but found the Streetsounds
project. Sam Weiss from SAM owned the copyright
cousins were Robert, Kevin and Ronald Bell, better these positive things came out of it. A lot of it is music that RS: Where else did you play? reissue in the late ‘80s. That and Convertion and
of the Convertion name, so when negotiations
known as Kool & The Gang. As lead singer for the never even came out commercially. Some of it was people LB: Some places that were very similar to Paradise Garage
for continuing the project broke down, Greg and Black Ivory’s ‘Mainline’ – they’re all essential
R&B outfit Black Ivory Burgess honed his vocals and singing in the streets and talking about stuff. And I would at the time like the Fun House, Bond International Disco,
I decided to take the group to another label… material. If you were like me, you’d go out to
songwriting skills, but it was with the disco sound that try as much as possible to just stand there and listen and Bentley’s and Silver Shadow. When we were on a jazz vibe
Salsoul Records, but we needed a new name. dances and you were interested in buying
he really came into his own. absorb that moment. in the late 70s, we went to an uptown club called the Mark
As we were busy with other projects, we asked music, Leroy’s records had that something
4. This was one of these clubs where a live band would
Greg to make up something and get back
Whether on keyboards and vocals for Logg, RS: So how did you became drawn to disco music, a play, people would come in, you would cut your teeth, then and just really worked on the dancefloor.
to us. He decided on Logg (why I doubt I’ll
Convertion and the Fantastic Aleems, behind the genre that’s all about having a good time, and a real other artists would come in and jam with you. One of the
ever understand). When the single burst onto
boards alongside Patrick Adams in studio outfits throwback to all the right-on values of civil rights-era most noteworthy people that played was George Benson NORMAN JAY (GOOD TIMES) This brilliantly
the radio stations, Ken Cayre, President of
Phreek and the Universal Robot Band, or as a music? came from another performance to the Mark 4 to celebrate
Salsoul was so impressed, he immediately enigmatic New York producer / singer /
songwriter for Dazzle, Inner City, Fonda Rae, Change, LB: Here’s the thing – in any human body, you get a with some of his lady friends and he ended up jamming
commissioned an album. ‘You’ve Got That songwriter has been at the very epicentre
Eddie Kendricks and Ben E. King, Burgess has lot of negative things that happen around you and you with us on stage for a couple of numbers. This was before
Something’ is my favourite track. I called in of black music dance culture since back in
been something of a shared secret among music have to absorb them. Disco began as a way to release I began to drop dance music and boogie music on record,
everybody in the group (whether or not they could the day. Listening to his music, you’ll begin
connoisseurs – a purveyor of seminal disco and some of that tension. It was a mind thing – a collective and was performing anonymously. I was just a keyboard
play percussion) and gave them an instrument and
boogie tracks like ‘Moment of My Life’, ‘Barely mindset for everybody who had been under the tyranny player for the band that we had developed there, we didn’t to understand just why me and thousands of
a specific part. Beer bottles, shakers, cabasa, a box
Breaking Even’ and ‘Get Loose’. and oppression of the racist atmosphere in America. We really have a name and we used to perform every week, others just like me were hugely influenced by this
of oatmeal, a box of salt…you name it. We lined up
needed to sometimes let that go and have a good time do live shows, two shows a night on Friday, Saturday, and man’s music from the disco of the late ’70s to
in tow rows, set up seven mics and started playing.
Robert Strauss: How did you start your musical doing so. Just enjoy the moment of your life. And that Sunday. the emerging hip-hop culture at the beginning of
The resultant breakdown section is perhaps the most
career? was a real necessary thing because it was beginning to
percussive work I’ve ever done on a song. the’80s. Respect most certainly due!
LeRoy Burgess: I started singing at the age of four and create so much tension that would sometimes erupt into RS: You instantly recognize a LeRoy Burgess record
playing piano at five. I entered the music business in 1958 violence. After you’ve done every protest song, passed out from those incredible chords and key changes. What’s Universal Robot Band – Barely Breaking Even
as part of Mellow Souls and that group would ultimately all the leaflets, talked to everybody, there’s a part of you the secret to your craft? DEZ PARKES (RARE / SOLAR RADIO) Leroy
(Moonglow, 1984)
evolve into Black Ivory, which released their first record that needs to let it go and disco began to address that. LB: My mum used to play a lot of Johnny Mathis and my The Universal Robot Band was originally formed Burgess: the man, the voice. An integral
Don’t Turn Around in 1972. Besides, our thing was always boogie which was at a more dad used to play a lot of jazz records, so that’s what I by the infamous Patrick Adams and Greg part of the musical world past present and
laid-back pace. It seemed to demonstrate more of the was hearing at home. These types of musical changes Carmichael in 1976. The original members of future,what a prodigious legacy. Leroy the
RS: What was it like growing up in Harlem? pulse of the people, as disco became more mainstream became those that I liked, and while they’re not used in the band had left to form their own group, Kleer, king,the indisputable pioneer voice of boogie.
LB: Harlem in the 60s was a community of people that and was taken over by corporate America with labels like popular music a whole lot, that was exactly the reason but Greg grabbed this track that I’d done with
really cared about each other. I loved growing up in Harlem Casablanca records. why I wanted to try them. I was aware of half-note steps, James and Sonny and wanted to release it. The BRIAN NORMAN (FRESH & FUNKY) In
– it was a great place to be. As Motown Stax began, there but manipulation of circle of fifths and circle of fourth was idea behind the track was something everyone
RS: I’m sure the one thing you get asked about more my style. Figuring out how A flat is relative to E minor, 1990, a young fashion enthusiast called Lady
was always music in the streets. People would bring down could identify with – ‘I’m a successful musician! I
their record players and musicians just play or rehearse. constantly is the Paradise Garage. when it’s normally not in that scale. But, like I said, jazz is mean reasonably successful. I’ve got gigs coming Vamp approached me while I was working at
And then there were a lot of different block parties in spring LB: When we released songs like ‘I Know You Will’ by exactly the medium for why A flat does work with E minor. along, I’m working, and everything is pretty cool. the Soul II Soul shop at the time. She wanted
and summer. If you were a painter, you could bring all Logg, ‘Let’s Do It’ and ‘Barely Breaking Even’, they were That’s been the mainstay of my music. I try to think really But I’m still having trouble making ends meet.’ So, to amalgamate her model-based clientele with
your stuff out and start painting. If you were a musician, mostly taken in by Larry Levan. He was the house DJ guru outside the box – what wouldn’t someone do – and then I decided to write a song about it. And it’s basically my djing knowledge and start a club night. Pure
you could go up to St. Nicholas Park and just sit on a rock of Paradise Garage and actually did the mix of ‘I Know figure a way to do that. about the struggle of surviving everyday. Boogie was born in the late summer, early autumn
and start blowing and before you knew it you could draw a You Will’. He used to play it all the time. As a result, we
of that year until Dingwalls closed its doors in
crowd because that’s how Harlem was. were invited to perform at the Garage the first couple of RS: What do you feel is your musical message? Black Ivory – Black Ivory (Buddah, 1977)
times as Convertion. This was when we were first exposed LB: To enjoy through music what life has to offer, the I left Black Ivory to pursue a new vibe in music. April of 1991. Residents in attendance were
I always took a lot of comfort that I was always
surrounded by many of my people because being born an to the true energy of Paradise Garage and what people many positive things in life, love and existence. Music has We parted friends and kept in touch with each myself, Da Buzzboy Fitzroy and The Boogie
African-American in the 1950s was also very dark in terms might refer to as its allure. It was really something to see always been a big part of my life and has always moved other. I composed ‘Mainline’ and ‘Hustling’ for a Boys with regular guest Ratchet, playing an
of the racial atmosphere. Civil rights was in its infancy the freedom and love being expressed by all walks of life me – classical, spiritual, popular music, all genres. I sought new group I was developing which never came eclectic mix of pure progressive jazz, funk,
and there was much to try to achieve. Those were really – straight and gay, black and white. It was a very cool to do that with my music, A long time ago someone said to to fruition. In 1978, I was contacted by Black boogie, hip hop & street soul & a touch of
deep times. Young children were being taught where their place because everyone was so supportive – particularly me “Music is God’s truest way of communicating with the Ivory’s manager Leonard Adams, asking if I had roots & rockers. One of the most remembered
place on the planet was, what they could achieve, what of performers – that the crowd was cheering and clapping world.” I always took that seriously because I have often any new songs to submit to their forthcoming
anthems was Mica Paris’s Should Have Known
was possible for them and how they could grow based from the beginning to the end of the show. I remember our felt spiritually moved when I am listening to music and album on Buddah Records. I submitted these.
Better alongside Donald Byrd’s Think Twice ,
on the things around them. I remember in 1968 I was first performance we did three songs – ‘Hooked on Your attempt to impart some of that joy. Russell did the lead to ‘Mainline’, Stuart sang the
in school when they announced over the intercom that Love’, ‘Let’s Do It’ and ‘I Know You Will’. Everybody was lead to ‘Hustling’. I was called in for rhythm and Touchdown’s Ease Your Mind & the awesome
Martin Luther King had been shot. My teacher Mrs Jones on every single beat, dancing and cheering. That really Robert Strauss’ Mr Feelings is out now on BBE. vocal arrangement, as well as background vocals, 24 Karat Blacks (theme) as well as plenty of Leroy
bringing the original group back together. James Burgess influenced boogie.
38 39
sands of Space Invaders. People have images of Space Invaders onto the tapes,”
said that I must be either autistic or an he explains, with a wry smile. “I’ve invaded
obsessive-compulsive, but I believe it’s hundreds of videos over the years. The idea
been necessary for this project to work.” was to find subversive and unexpected
Using mosaics (a visual form that ways of staging invasions. With the arrival
dates as far back as the ancient Sumer- of DVD’s, it’s not so easy to do anymore.”
ians) to recreate characters from the hal- From video cassettes to the street,
cyon age of arcade games, Invader’s work his invasions have been spreading like a
opens up a short-circuit in time. The pixel, virus – mind bombs lying in wait for un-
base element of the computer revolution suspecting pedestrians in the city who
which gained momentum in the 1980s momentarily let their eyes wander. His
the swarms of Starbucks Coffee divid- other graffiti artist, the truth is that it’s
with games like Space Invaders and the feats have become more and more dar-
ing and multiplying in our cities, and the only latterly that he’s begun to make
first generation of home computers, be- ing, targeting the Louvre in Paris in the
infection of ‘Time Out Recommends’ links with the squads of French taggers
gan millennia ago with the mosaic. The 1990s long before Banksy pulled off his
stickers in the glass fronts of restaurants. and US street artists like Shepard Fairey.
pxiel is a black hole, a loop in time open- stunt at the Tate. Then on 31 December
The Space Invaders are not signs There’s a whole other history to
ing up between civilisations and realities. 1999, as part of his Los Angeles invasion,
telling you walk on the pavement, to street art, the unwritten version, one that
With the epidemic of Space Invaders he bypassed the high-security chain-
look right, look left; they’re not state-le- doesn’t begin in the Bronx with Wild Style,
unleashed on the city’s strets, this artist’s link fence and a slew of CCTV cameras
gitimated billboard advertising, they’re but instead one that’s borne out of the
project is something of an urban hacking and placed an Invader Millennium Bug
not injunctions to drink here, eat there, events on the Left Bank of Paris in May
realitygame. Invader awards himself points on the D of the giant Hollywood Sign.
and drop your Mastercard, Amex or 1968. Inspired by Guy Debord whose
for each mission and he’s passed the 100 He’s also collaborated with fellow
Visa. They appear overnight in your situationist drifts across Paris would in-
mark in Paris and Los Angeles (15120 Frenchman Zevs (whose exploits famously
neighbourhood, keeping a watch- clude writing messages in chalk across
ful eye over the city that never sleeps. the streets of the capital, a generation of
The mystery surrounding these Space French students covered the walls of Paris
Invaders has led to rapid speculation. Are in revolutionary slogans, ranging from
they signs from outer space, warning of naïve messages like ‘fuck the system’ to
the imminent destruction of the planet? Are inspired and insurrectional street poetry.
they adverts from sophisticated criminal “I feel very close to Debord and
cartels pushing memory-erasing drugs? the Situationists who perfected the art
Subliminal messages poisoning the minds of exploring cities. It’s exactly what I do
of children? Or do they monitor latencies when I invade a new city. I pass through
and potentialities imperceptible to the streets I’ve never travelled before, keep
godheads, messages rich in mysteri- human eye, like occult speed-cameras? points and 2450 points respectively), while include replacing police car number plates my eyes peeled, and I’m always discover- – from the Mona Lisa to A Clockwork Or-
ous symbolism. From household goods Despite what they say, Invader reas- in London and New York he’s just shy of with designs of his own) and together ing new things. There’s no precise rules ange – using nothing but Rubik’s Cubes.
dumped on street corners, abandoned sures us that there’s nothing untoward in this score. He’s chasing Eric Furrer’s total they’ve created posters, videos and games when it comes to placing my mosaics An extension of his fascination with the
shopping trolleys, graffiti, and empty ruck- his mission. “I’ve heard many rumours (Furrer is the world record holder for the under the @nonymous moniker. Their at- – it’s something completely subjective. pixel, his Rubikcubism has to be seen
sacks left by lone thieves in the night, these about my work,” he says, “but actu- Space Invaders arcade game, playing the tack on the southern city of Montpellier Sometimes I feel like a spot calls me, I to be appreciated. Each image he rec-
are communications from another reality, ally the one I hear the most is that it’s a same game for 38 hours continuously). left a trail of targets which, when viewed feel like I should place a piece there, and reates is assembled from hundreds of
attempts to open up a space for the spirit group of us putting up Space Invaders The street artist shares something on a map, formed the shape of a Space from there I do everything in my power these Rubik’s Cubes. And there’s no
world. But before the sun rises and the city around the world, which is not true. It’s with the video-gamer, insomniac com- Invader. Logging and photographing his to reach this goal. Each invasion is an peeling off labels. Each Rubik’s Cube is
returns to work, all traces of these offer- just me, and this has been my main activ- munities staying up until the break of incursions is an integral part of Invader’s intense experience, a protracted stealth twisted and turned until its 9 pixels match
ings are washed away by council services ity for the past 10 years – always on the dawn, waging wars-with-no-name. Says project, and he has subsequently re- attack spun out over several weeks.” the image he’s trying to represent. It’s
with their power-hoses and bin-lorries. move, travelling across five continents Invader, “I’m always having weird or leased a series of maps for each city he’s In the latest phase of Invader’s a labour of love and an extension of In-
Counter-insurgents have persistently It’s against this backdrop that the and 40 cities where I’ve created thou- unexpected encounters while I’m out targeted, like an alien guide to the city. work, he’s been recreating iconic images vader’s obsessive approach to his art. completing the loop between ancient
tried to reclaim the city, fusing the map work of Invader has spread, from Paris invading. It’s an inescapable part of While he’s attracted fans across the As he increasingly tours gallery and future metropolises, between the
with abstract geometries, reprogram- and then across the rest of France, to working mainly through the night in cit- globe, there’s also the inflitrators who spaces and launches more books – his soul and the circuit-board. Hijacking the
ming the curvatures of the landscape in Amsterdam, Dhaka, Istanbul, London, ies across the world. The people up at have been following the maps and sys- Invasion London is published this year, urban map from the clutch of the motor
algorithmic computer code or comps- Los Angeles, Mombasa, New York and night are marginals, it’s a totally different tematically removing the mosaics. In Los and is a follow up to L’Invasion de Paris car, twisting the two-dimensional reality
ing insurrectional instruction manuals Tokyo. His delicate mosaics are placed universe. I love the saying that Shepard Angeles especially, double-agent crack (2003) and Invasion Los Angeles (2004) of Google Maps and GPS systems into
on brick walls. Passing under the eye at specially-chosen spots – it varies Fairey (Obey Giant) came up with – ‘While teams went around with a hammer and – this artist seems to be moving from the examples of symbolist poetry, the Inva-
of CCTV cameras, shadows in the or- from buildings to monuments to bridges you were sleeping, we were bombing’”. chisel wiping out all traces of the invasion. street to the gallery space. Yet his Space sion goes on… Ignore it at your peril.
ange-glow of street lights, evading po- to park fences – and together they form Before hitting the city, Invader’s first Returning to the sites where his pieces Invaders remain out there, skylarking on - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
lice and marauding gangs, these rebel a net which has the city covered. The sorties included sabotaging video cas- have been defaced, Invader’s been known street-corners, lying in wait in dark al- Invader’s London show took place at the
forces make sacrifices to the city’s Space Invaders are cracks in the code, settes. “I used to hire videos from my local to stencil ‘10 Points’ next to the ruins. leyways or perched on bridges. They’re Lazarides Gallery, Greek S+treet, W1.
jamming signals, white blood cells amidst video store and would overdub subliminal But if Invader seems like just an- spirits of the data-city, talismanic symbols For more info, visit www.lazinc.com

INVADE
INVADER LAUNCHED HIS FIRST ASSAULT
IN 1998, AND HIS INVASIONS HAVE SINCE
SPREAD ACROSS THE WORLD, LEAVING
CONFUSION AND 8- BIT INSPIRATION IN
THEIR WAKE. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
HAVE WARNED THEIR CITIZENS TO
REMAIN CALM BUT ALERT. V E R B A L S : JEZ SMADJA
40 41
42 43
44
TEXT BY RAJINDER DUDRAH

BHANGRA
NATION
THE WORD BHANGRA EVOKES MANY THOUGHTS, MEMORIES, FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS – FROM THE VAISAKHI (THE
DAYTIME WAREHOUSE PARTIES OF THE LATE ’80S) TO THE CHART-TOPPING SOUND OF PANJABI MC WITH ‘MUNDIAN
TO BACH KE’ TO THE RECENT FORAYS BY MADLIB.
AS A MUSIC FOR SOUTH ASIANS IN BRITAIN, BHANGRA DATES FROM THE LATE 1960S AND FOLLOWS THE
POST-WAR ARRIVAL OF MIGRANT WORKERS FROM THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT. BHANGRA DJS AND SOUND SYSTEM
NETWORKS OPERATED AMONGST A COMMUNITY THROWN UP IN A WHIRLWIND DURING MARGARET THATCHER’S
GOVERNMENT IN THE 1980S. THE EARLY FOLK BHANGRA MUSIC PIONEERED BY ARTISTS LIKE CHAMKILA, JAMLA
JAT, KULDIP, MANAK, GURDAS MAAN, NARINDER BIBA, PARKASH KAUR AND OTHERS, WAS GIVEN AN ECLETIC
FUSION, ARTICULATED WITH A DISTINCTIVE UK SOUND THROUGH BANDS LIKE ALAAP,,DCS, HEERA, HOLLE HOLLE,
PREMI AND THE SAHOTAS. IN YEARS TO COME THE BHANGRA LEGACY WILL ONCE AGAIN METAMORPHOSIZE INTO
OTHER NEW GENRES, BUT WHILE NEW FORMS OF MUSIC COME AND GO, BHANGRA HAS PROVED IT IS HERE TO STAY.
‘CHAK DE PHATTEY’ (MASH UP THE DANCEFLOOR!)
AMMO TALWAR

DR RAJINDER DUDRAH PROVIDES SOME ENLIGHTENING BACKGROUND TO FOUR SEMINAL BHANGRA RECORDS BY TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THE COVER ART.

DCS ‘RULE BRITANNIA’ (1989) image is a reworking of the three colours from the Indian cannot simply be classified as a British bhangra artist as unity symbols, a slack, loose-fitting urban sweatshirt and Handsworth-based artist Vanley Burke are a good example war period included Jagmohan Kaur and Narinder Biba.
With ‘Bhangra fever’ gripping many South Asian youth national flag – the orange, white and green in horizontal his musical also draws heavily on ragga. But in several baggy trousers. His legs form an A-shape that signifies his of this kind of photography, a collection of which is housed Their songs often criticised family structures and politics
across the country by the late 1980s, some bands layers. Imposed upon these colours is an adaptation of a radio and television interviews during the mid-nineties he stage name – Apachi. in the Birmingham Central Library.) In this sleeve, then, in which women had to negotiate a number of positions
attempted to crossover into the mainstream charts, poster that appeared in 1914 – ‘Your Country Needs You’ stated that musically and commercially he did not want the five men are smartly dressed in suits or waistcoats from housewife, lover, daughter-in-law, to matchmaker,
including Birmingham’s DCS with their 1989 track ‘Rule (originally designed by Alfred Leete) – which called upon to be identified as a Bhangramuffin (the term given to ALAAP ‘DANCE WITH ALAAP’ (1982) and trousers. The lead singer, Channi, strategically shows and at the same time to create a space for themselves of
Britannia’. The song was a call for national racial unity: British servicemen and women to partake in the war effort. the combination of bhangra and ragga music). His music Here, members of the London-based Alaap group stand off his gold medallion and silver watch. The sleeve also their own. Their songs remain inspiration even for today’s
‘We all live under the same sky, the same moon, so let’s Yet, the image of the central figure has been revised, illustrates the complex and hybrid interplay of music styles, proudly together fronted by their main singer Channi offers an insight into the workings of the British bhangra artists and bands and provide material for numerous cover
dance to the same old tune’. Such endeavours were identifying him as a British subject with South Asian roots – lyrics and cultural identities that constitute the experience Singh. Alaap are considered by many as one of the early music industry. Often band members would move between versions. For the cover of this album, Kaur is dressed in a
unsuccessful, primarily because of the cultural racism he wears a turban emblazoned with the Union Jack. Taken of young South Asians in urban locations. Apachi’s pioneers of the British-based bhangra sound: incorporating different bands to assist with different musical productions, traditional white Punjabi dress, the salwar kameez, which
encountered by British Bhangra artists. Their albums sold together, the sleeve draws upon a series of connected music has its roots in the multicultural inner city area of traditional Indian percussion instruments and lyrics with or form new bands of their own. In the top left of the image is embroidered with red and black floral designs. As is
in the thousands, mainly through South Asian music retail histories and identities and offers them in the context of Handsworth in Birmingham where he was raised; and like Western synthesized sounds and modern rhythms. Their we see Manjit Singh Kondal who after his time with Alaap suggested by the title of the album (‘Memories of You’)
outlets. Yet the sale returns from these smaller stores were late ’80s British South Asian youth culture. This culture the multi-ethnic make up of this place, his music is also a track ‘Bhabiye ni Bhabhiye’ (Sister-in-law oh sister-in-law), when on to lead the group Holle, Holle. Kaur’s album cover offers bhangra listeners outside of
not included, or even acknowledged, in the make up of the is not only a product of the related histories of British combination of languages, rhythms and beats from across an ode by a younger brother-in-law who playfully pleads the Punjab an imagined connection with the motherland
British pop charts of the time. This is still the case. colonialism in South Asia and the migration and settling the Caribbean, North America, India and Europe. Apachi’s with his brother’s wife to find him a marriage partner, has SURINDER KAUR ‘TERI YAAD AAYE AE’ (1978) and, at the same time, new beginnings in the place of
The seventies and eighties was rife with debates in the of South Asians to Britain in the post-war period, but it is lyrics are delivered in Jamaican patois, Punjabi boliyaan become an oft-requested classic at wedding parties. By the Women artists have been present since the inception and settlement abroad. In the seventies it was commonplace
media and at social policy levels about British Asian youth also a culture that will thrive and flourish if both British and (couplets), as well as in a culturally diverse urban street early- to mid-eighties British bhangra albums were being development of British bhangra from its folk derivations for British Asian men to be out working and women would
as ‘caught between two cultures’. An implied tendency Asian aspects work together and live side by side. English. sold in their thousands through specialist Asian music and in the Punjab to its present status as urban style music. work from home and/or attend to daily household chores.
within this discussion was that these youth were unable Born of Hindu Punjabi parents and visibly identifiable video shops located in multicultural high streets of urban For example, the female singers and sisters Surinder In this context, the female artist is celebrated and also
to decide whether they were British or Asian. However, APACHI INDIAN ‘DON RAJA’ (1992) as a young Asian man through his brown skin colour, British cities. Album sleeves of the 1980s were about Kaur (pictured above) and Prakash Kaur from India photographed as an emblem of cultural mediation between
British bhangra suggested other fluid possibilities for Apachi Indian (also known as Steven Kapur) was the first Apachi ‘mixes’ his South Asian identity and cultural marking presence and announcing one’s arrival on the were immensely popular folk singers during the sixties the homeland and her adjusting to a new environment in
South Asian youth in Britain. In this context, the album British South Asian singer to break into the British music heritage through his attire which draws on his musical British bhangra music scene. The images of these early and seventies, and even toured Britain on a number of the diaspora.
sleeve for DCS’s ‘Rule Britannia’ captures a sense of charts, reggae dance charts, and the South Asian music upbringing and roots in Handsworth via Africa and the ’80s album covers can be characterised as following in occasions for stage shows. With their powerful voice tones
the music, its producers and audiences as collaborating charts simultaneously in 1993 with his single ‘Arranged Caribbean. In this album sleeve for Don Raja, Apachi a line of post-war Black British portrait photography that and folk sonnets they often questioned the predicament of Dr Rajinder’s Bhangra: Birmingham and Beyond is
in the call for a belonging to notions of Britishness with Marriage’. This track enabled him to launch a successful wears a traditional African flat round cap, ‘bling’ gold and showed Black and South Asian settlers securing paid jobs women in relationships in which men were the source of a published by Punch (£15).
aspects of their South Asian cultural heritages intact. The career as an international recording artist. Apachi Indian black lace chains adorned with different African and Indian and accumulating material goods. (The photographs by the woman’s heartache. Other female folk artists of the post- www.sohoroadtothepunjab.org

46 47
48 49
V E R B A L S : ANDY THOMAS P H O T O S : BUGS STEFFEN, SARAH WEEDEN, KATIA PARADIS

THE WAYOF THE


GARIFUNA
THIS FRAGILE CENTRAL AMERICAN COMMUNITY, A RARE MIXTURE OF AFRICAN
AND AMERINDIAN CULTURES, IS UNDER THREAT FROM THE GLOBALIZING SWEEP
OF CULTURE, BUT ANDY PALACIO IS KEEPING THE ANCESTRAL FIRES BURNING.

“Garifuna music is very deep and very powerful,” Palacio has been on a mission to preserve the Garifuna’s
explains a pensive Andy Palacio, elder statesman and traditions. It was an encounter with one of the elders in the
cultural ambassador for the Garifuna people of Central Nicaraguan village of Orinoco (who was shocked that a young
America. “There are a whole volume of songs in which man like Andy could speak Garifuna) that really opened
we express our spirituality and our relationship with his eyes to the fragility of this rich culture. “That was very
our ancestors across space and time. For example, the personal and it signified the future of my own community.
ceremony known as the dügü involves possession and is That someday I might be the one happy to hear a 19 year old
used to bring healing between the two worlds – the living speaking my own language.”
make offerings of music, food and dance to the spirits of Returning to Belize, Andy became determined to protect
our ancestors. This goes on for four or five days with this his language and culture, becoming one of the key players
deep, throbbing music.” of the Punta Rock scene of the eighties, releasing the
On the cusp of the release of Watina from Andy Palacio unsurpassed Keimoun album. Andy recalls with a warm smile,
& the Garifuna Collective, the album that looks set to open the “Those parties were roadblocks and I was totally inspired
ears of the world to this deepest but little known music, the by them. Prior to that I had been writing songs in English
softly spoken singer is rolling with stories of his upbringing in trying to be the next Michael Jackson, so I put all that aside
this little corner of Belize. “Growing up in Barranco there was and said ‘here is an opportunity to accomplish my musical
a homogenous and self-sufficient Garifuna community,” he dreams as well as speaking to my generation.’” Punta Rock
explains. “There was a level of contentment all around and quickly swept across the country and has since become the
our culture was the essence of survival. We spoke Garifuna national music of Belize. “Even if I am not making songs with
in our homes and in the street and the village would have its a social or spiritual focus just the fact that I was singing in our
own festivities.” language was an expression of pride.”
The Garifuna villages that populate His new album, Watina, recorded at a
the Caribbean coast of Central America wooden beachside studio in the Garifuna
appear to any visitor like a small slice of village of Hopkins, delves deeper to expose
Africa. There’s the smell of coconuts, the the diversity and creativity of this community.
fishing boats which bring in their daily A powerful and evocative album, it fuses
catch, and the little bars set back from traditional Garifuna music (from the dügü drum
the beach where people congregate as rhythms of ‘Weyu Larigi Weyu’ to the sacred
the sun goes down. But it’s a culture call and response chants of ‘Baba’) with subtle,
being threatened with extinction. As contemporary instrumentation, and sets Andy
more and more young people leave their Palacio’s soulful Garifuna tongue with that of
communities for the big cities, traditions elders like Paul Nabor (who sings the raw and
are forgotten between one generation spin tingling ‘Ayo Da’) and younger lions from
and the next. “The whole matter of the across the region such as Aurelio Martinez
transmission and transition of our music from Honduras.
and culture is what is most important. “There are of course similarities between
We owe everything to those who have remained in the our music and that of Cuba, especially with the reverence
communities as guardians of our culture and sources of to the spirits of our ancestors but also for the infusion of
continued inspiration, and I want to stay true to the mission of Christian references and African rhythms, so the drum
letting the world know all about us.” remains for both of us an instrument of communication.
Although spread across Belize, Honduras, and For example, in both Punta Rock and the more traditional
Guatemala, the Garifuna people only arrived in Central Paranda style, we use the primera and segunda drums to
America in the 1800s, having been forcibly resettled here by highlight the interaction between the man and woman in the
British colonialists. The roots of the Garifuna actually begin on courtship dance.”
the Carribbean island of St. Vincent some two hundred years Listening to Watina, you can hear the echoes of Palacio’s
earlier, amidst an unimaginable set of circumstances. ancestors as they were uprooted from their spiritual lands. “I
In 1635, Spanish a number of slave ships were would tend to characterize our drumming as being distinctly
shipwrecked in the Caribbean, and a group of Nigerian slaves African in origin,” he states intensely. “But the acapella songs
on board managed to swim to shore. Arrived on St. Vincent, have similarities with Amerindian communities in South
and fearful of being sent back to their Spanish captors, the America, so I think the influences of the two lines of ancestry
passengers befriended the indigenous Black Caribs and, can be identified through our music. The lyrics of quite a
with no return ticket back to Africa, remained on the island. few of our songs express nostalgia for the place from where
The Garifuna are mix of these African and Amerindian tribes, we were forcibly removed. Our songs sing about resistance
developing their own language and their own music and against the British who were trying to eradicate our people to
dance rituals that still today bind its people together. take their lands and make plantations. Even though it’s a very
Conscious of the uniqueness of his heritage, Andy painful theme, the life that is given by the drumbeat and our
50 51
“The whole NYC scene was ‘American International’, that is
to say New York at its best. A lot of the aesthetic was from the
German art / film world and the Cyber-style Japanese that
would pop out in films like Alien and books like Neuromancer.
Semiotexte and Sontag were swallowed with James Brown
and cool jazz. Middle European flavor came from the Squatt
Theater. Some of the best nights had the Contortions, Defunkt
and the Lounge Lizards playing on the same gig. Lydia
Bill T. Jones, 1981. Lurch’s bands, her cool distain of the audiences was funny.
David Byrne, ‘Report From LA’ in “Two Moon July” directed by English S & M was theatrical spanking, hard but not so gritty.
Tom Bowes, at The Kitchen, 1986
When the Bush Tetra crew and Jim Jarmush arrived from the
Chicago & Akron area, the crowd filled out. This blend flowed
through, not the Chelsea Hotel like punk, but to the Arlington
Hotel where Miles and Horace Silver had lived before us. The
electricity was free; I could get home and look up to see the
lights used for filming Super 8. Most everyone in No Wave
wrote, filmed, made art, performed, recorded and designed
clothes for ‘the look’. I remember arriving in a NY blizzard
with everything I owned in January 1978. That first night I
saw Mars play at CBGBs. The Mudd Club was just being
CONSTRUCTED… The only tags downtown were by Samo

BRING
with a copyright symbol and Dave’s crap hotdog and swill
coffee shop with obscene lighting was on the corner of Canal
Patti Smith, during ‘The Nova Convention’, at Entermedia Theatre, 1978. and Broadway.” Julie Nylon

“Punk rock was in the nascent stages, and was literally just
around the corner, at CBGB’s and other clubs. The punk
aesthetic (not unrelated to minimalism) extended to the

THE
visual artists and writers, as well as composers. I took Rhys
Chatham to see The Ramones in 1976, and he never looked
back. Brian Eno showed up in 1978, and handpicked a few
bands for his No New York anthology, garnering attention for
certain noise bands. Talking Heads first appeared as a trio
at St. Mark’s Church Parish Hall, and David Byrne appeared

NOISE
on recordings by Arthur Russell and myself. Rhys Chatham
and Glenn Branca began writing ringing guitar pieces, with
their influence extending to Sonic Youth. There was a whole
Afrika Bambaataa at the Ritz, 1984.
group of musicians who made their own instruments, others
found connections with the loft-jazz scene. Disco and dance
music was in its heyday – Arthur Russell wrote underground
dance hits with the legendary DJ Larry Levan. Downtown
ART AND MUSIC FROM THE music was noisy but also disciplined. Ned Sublette, Peter
Zummo and Julius Eastman, among others, helped maintain
NEW YORK UNDERGROUND: a quality control across a number of musical sub-scenes.”
Peter Gordon
PHOTOGRAPHY OF PAULA COURT
NEW YORK’S DOWNTOWN SCENE FROM THE LATE
‘70S LAUNCHED THE CAREERS OF EVERYONE
FROM JIM JARMUSCH TO MADONNA, ESG TO
SONIC YOUTH, ARTO LINDSAY TO JEAN-MICHEL
ESG at Tier 3, 1980.
BASQUIAT. ARTISTS HAD TAKEN OVER THE
LOW-RENT WAREHOUSES ON LOWER EAST SIDE
AND SOHO, AND ALTHOUGH NEW YORK WAS ON
THE BRINK OF BANKRUPTCY, AMONGST THE
POVERTY AND THE DESPAIR, AN EXPLOSIVE
GENERATION OF MAVERICK FILMMAKERS,
STREET ARTISTS, WRITERS AND MUSICIANS
TOOK CENTRE STAGE.

NEW YORK NOISE


ART AND MUSIC FROM THE NEW YORK UNDERGROUND 1978-88
Distributed by Thames & Hudson
DNA at Squat Theatre, 1982. Published by Soul Jazz Records Publishing
Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, at The Whitney Biennial, 1985. Price £ 19.95
52 53
help nurture a dream of developing a new form of progressive black

THE
music, based in a building with a vast history – from Trojan records in
the ‘70s through to CT & Boys Own records & Global.
Taken from the The Goya picture on myspace is of Terry McCann & Arthur Daley from
forthcoming 'Minder'. But for me, Mike and Spence were more like Del Boy & Rodney,
‘Co-operation 3’ with their dodgy fluorescent labels or the knocked off gear they'd some-
album & book. times pull up with in their yellow G.I.T van. As for that even dodgier
Check: i.coopr8.net remake of the Nightwriters, well... Let's just hope they left a couple gems
for more info. in the lockup to be discovered in a few years time hey...? R.I.P Goya
Independant Traders. 1997 – 2007.

LAST
AFRONAUT. DEC 2007

BASTIONS
OF VINYL
CULTURE
In November 2007, Goya Music, the dopest purveyors of sound on the West side of
London town, closed their doors. It�s a sad day for vinyl culture and we�re grateful
for the memories, but mostly for the wax. When I first met the West London crew, dubplates by the likes
of Likwid Biskit and Neon Phusion were redefining everything
One of the last records of Goya pressed was SK Radikal's ‘Troubled angry ballet'. I'll miss listening in on Alex Attias' sessions, Jinx's new we thought about contemporary black music and bridging the
Times’... Maybe it is troubled times when the last bastions of independ- tracks or Noel Watson telling me how he'd built Goya himself ... & of gap between the dancefloor and art. Right from the get-go,
ent vinyl distribution, responsible for an unbeatable catalogue of future course how we'll be millionaires next year! The banter with Spence, Goya became synonymous with this movement and music pro-
jazz, house and broken beat, would a decade later end up ultimately Dego or catching joke with Bagga Demus & the rest of the CoOp crew in viding an umbrella, infrastructure and guiding hand to get the
broke & beat. Defeated by the very thing we had all desperately relied our early days will also be missed, though I won't miss helping set-up or new counter-culture out to hungry ears all around the world.
on to have our music heard & exposed to the masses, vinyl! de-rig the the carnival stage, banners & sound system, or the time spent This community inspired me to no end, taught me so many les-
The thought of losing the family home & the Mecca we had all once waiting in the office for Mike to come back from another skiing trip so sons as an artist and producer and brought together like-mind-
shared since the birth of our music 10 years ago was too much to take we can get the next release pressed. ed kindred spirits to bring new music into the world together.
in. The day Spence pulled me aside & quietly told me the bad news I It’s sad to think that gone are the days of opening fresh boxes of I’m ever thankful for being part of the puzzle and continue to
was, for a change, speechless. Now it has all sunk in, I know I’ll truly vinyl & seeing our brand new, gleaming label artwork & record sleeves. be excited about what is still to come…
miss the days of heading down to the Goya basement headquarters. I'll Admittedly, not always the fanciest looking sleeves & packing but the
miss stepping into IG's to drop lyric & long out debates, occasionally most important thing was the progressive music & art it contained. You MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE
catching him practice his Wing Chun - or as we called it 'violent yoga & see Goya was a company that was brave & passionate enough to share & (THE POLITIK/FREESOUL SESSIONS/ANTIPODEAN RECORDS)
54 55
SHOOK TEK NEWS
TEK
“I use the M-Audio Trigger Finger with my laptop. The pads
a real sturdy and it makes an excellent controller for use with
FXpansion’s Guru. The timing in Guru is really tight, and it
is a pleasure to play with the Trigger Finger. I also use it as a TRAKTOR SCRATCH 3
controller for MsPinky when NI have released the latest update to their Traktor DJ platform.
I DJ.” CLAUSE FOUR (DC Recordings) This incorporates compatibility with timecode vinyl, making it
a Serato and FinalScratch killer. The new update enables four
E D I T O R : BENJI LEHMANN simultaneous decks to be controlled.
Price €99
www.native-instruments.com

ARTURIA ANALOGUE
FACTORY EXPERIENCE
“Beside all the interfaces I know the Tenori-On Arturia have announced Analogue Factory 2.0. In addition they
is clearly the most tangible and intuitive. I guess have partnered with keyboard manufacturer CME to build a
digital music has never been so sexy.” tailored hardware controller for the software. The Analogue
NORMAN FAIRBANKS Factory 2.0 software gives users access to patches from all 6 of
Arturia’s modelled vintage synthesizers, with the ability to tweak
selected parameters such as filter cutoff and resonance.
Price €299
TENORI-ON LEMUR/DEXTER www.arturia.com
AXIS NINTENDO WII CONTROLLER

The Tenori-On is Yamaha’s contribution to new interfaces The Jazzmutant Lemur/Dexter platform is a touch- ABLETON LIVE 7
The Axis controller has been developed by C-Thru The Nintendo Wii Controller is the latest gaming
for musical expression. It was demoed early in 2007 at sensitive hardware unit which is designed to control Ableton’s latest instalment of Live brings a whole range of fixes,
Music here in good old blighty. It is the leader of a device to be appropriated for music, following the
tradeshows worldwide, and recently launched in the UK computer-based external instruments and sequencers. and some tasty expansions of the platform’s scope. Ableton have
new range of controllers which aim to replace the use of joysticks and optical guns (yes really). It
through record shops and boutiques (rather than the usual It communicates with a computer via a wired Ethernet rewritten the mix engine entirely, and it now operates at 64-bits.
existing piano-keyboard format with more ergonomic communicates via Bluetooth with the Wii console,
network of pro-audio retailers). connection. The interface is multitouch sensitive, meaning This effectively means that more headroom is available on the
solutions. The Axis keyboard consists of 192 and so various software developers have built
The Tenori-On is based on a 16x16 matrix of that you can control multiple parameters at once, and overall mix before clipping occurs. In addition, they have added
hexagonal keys arranged in a matrix, rather like a environments for Bluetooth-enabled Mac and PC
NEW PERFORMANCE buttons and an internal synthesizer ported from one of visual feedback is provided by virtual onscreen faders, Blockbusters board. Each key has six sides, and which can gather the movement data and turn it into
new instruments – Analog (a subtreactive synthesizer), Tension
Yamaha’s popular keyboard workstations. The buttons knobs and other controls. The Lemur/Dexter can be (a physical modelling synthesizer) and Electric (a vintage keys
INTERFACES FOR in the matrix have a variety of functions, depending on configured by the user to provide an almost unlimited
the key adjacent on each side will have the same MIDI.
synthesizer). The instruments have been developed by leading
harmonic interval wherever you are on the keyboard. If you make music and are interested in live
COMPUTER MUSIC what mode is selected. They can be treated as part of variety of visual interfaces, and it is particularly useful for This is potential very useful, as a major triad, a minor performance then you really should go out and buy
dsp experts AAS.
a 16-step analogue style sequencer, where the vertical multi-dimensional tasks such as surround panning. Both triad, a dominant seventh and so on will always be a Wii controller now. They transmit data when tilted
2007 has been the year of the controller in music. axis represents pitch and the horizontal axis represents units use the same hardware, but the Dexter comes with Prices from €469
the same shape, allowing the formation of rich and back and forth, moved from side to side, and when
The most exciting developments in music technology time. In other modes animations can be enabled which inbuilt control templates for popular DAWs such as Logic complex harmonies live. rolled horizontally, allowing 3 axes for expression.
worldwide have been in new devices for controlling will step between, for example, two selected notes in the and Cubase. The Axis is the first instrument to use this key In addition the buttons and directional controls can
the ever-growing power of the music computer. From matrix. The buttons light up when they are triggered on On the downside the units communicate via OSC FIVE THINGS TO BRING
layout, and it also includes a couple of assignable be used to transmit midi. The only difficulty in using
hacking up old qwerty keyboards in Brooklyn to both sides of the device, which adds some visual interest (Open Sound Control), and therefore include the extra pots and the standard pitch and mod wheels. Sadly the Wii controller is that it presents so many options
TO A LAPTOP GIG
developing modern works of sound art in Tokyo, the when performing live. As a midi controller for an external software for Mac or Pc necessary to interface with the the keys don’t send velocity information, a significant – like any instrument it must be learnt properly. It is a
whole world has been at it. Now that so many DJs and synth or laptop the device has great potential, but the midi MIDI protocol. However no difficulties involving the Torch – even with the screen glaring in front of you it may be
limitation for expressive leads and melodies. modern theremin, and for less than 30 quid.
musicians are using the new controllers live it seems functionality is not yet flexible enough. software have been reported. necessary to find inputs and outputs hidden behind the mixer on
However, for pads and harmonic lines the Axis
appropriate to look back at the leaders in this futuristic the fly.
represents a good investment of time and money. Used By: LOSOUL (Playhouse)
field. Used By: TOSHIO IWAI Used By: STEPHAN BODZIN (Pokerflat)
(Japanese multimedia artist and Tenori-On inventor) Adaptors – you never know what kind of input the house system
Used By: PHOTEK
will accept so make sure that you can at least connect to minijack,
jack, phono and xlr. Also include a headphone splitter in case you
In the studio he rocks a plethora of hardware and Ellison: “I record sounds and make tracks out of it”. need extra outputs, and plug adaptors if you’re playing abroad. A
“For the majority of my career I’ve been using a full kit is available at www.fractalspin.com.

FLY-TEK
MICHAEL KRASSER DROPPED BY soft synths, including analogue modelling Keyboards He also has no qualms about a reissue either: “I’m
WARP’S STUDIO TO CHEW THE FAT crappy PC with cheap software and I’m still pretty
like the Alesis Micron, Korg MS 2000, the Roland SP not one of those crazy digger guys. I know a lot of
WITH STEVEN ELLISON, AKA FLYING much doing that” declares the L.A native. “In fact, Wii Controller – for 30 quid this is the best value controller on the
303 sampler and a newly purchased Roland Space them so for me to even try to say something like that
LOTUS WHO DROPS THE SCIENCE I’ve just recently switched over to apple. It’s not gonna market, and easy to get hold of. Software like Osculator will allow
ON BEATS, STUDIO GEAR AND THE Echo. “I love that King Tubby shit! Dilla to me is like a is foolish. I’m lucky enough to have people put me up
change your outlook on the universe but it does make life you to recreate those Jean-Michel Jarre moments live on stage.
LOW END THEORY. reincarnation of Tubby” he says while discussing his on certain things but I don’t know shit about records
simple, you can turn a motherfucker on and it works!”
RE 201 space echo, a delay effects unit much loved despite what people may think”.
For live shows Flying Lotus swears by his new Mac Mono Synth/ Theremin – if you’re going to be ‘checking your
by Dub heads. Moog’s Lil’ Phatty has also changed Whether it was hearing Jungle at the age of 13,
running Ableton Live and an M-audio Trigger Finger: “I emails’ at the computer all night, it makes sense to add an
Ellison’s outlook on the rawness of real analogue early Dre or more recently Batucada percussion,
don’t like producing on Live but its great for playing out, instrument which has a physical interface. Theremins and small
synthesis. “It’s so heavy! I’d been using soft synths Flying Lotus is after that tribal rhythmic element, that
it’s really fun and straight forward. It’s a great program monosynths can be used to add acid lines, filter sweeps and other
for so long and when I heard that thing I was like and some straight up bass music: “I’m always looking
to sit and conceptualise your set. You can chop up the bleeps to enhance your set.
‘oh yeah!’”. Lotus’ employs another secret weapon for something organic. Like that train you hear running
drums from one of your tracks and play them live on
to capture those fuzzy 8-bit melodies, the Wayfar on ‘Spicy Sammich’ off the new EP. Rhythm you hear
top of the instrumental, when your done with that you A backup – worst case scenario, your computer won’t start. It
Midines, a midi fitted NES cartridge that’s turns the in nature and the Batucada influence is definitely in
can go back to DJ’ing, you can get out there play some happens to plenty of musicians, and Murphy’s law states it is most
unassuming Nintendo into a synth on Super Mario my percussion. I think another thing when I’m playing
instrumentals and start rapping, wait before that you likely to happen on your most important gig. Make sure that you
shrooms. my sets is everyone’s just waiting to hear the bass.
could record yourself beatboxing loop that up and go have some vinyl, some cds, or even one of the new breed of mini
As for the medium he samples from he’s not That low end theory really connects people”.
back to rapping and then DJ”. mp3 decks (pacemaker.net) to play with if it happens to you.
picky: vinyl, CDs, synthesisers, it’s all fair game to Michael Krasser
photos courtesy of fatsarazzi
56 57
THE PEOPLES CHOICE THE PEOPLES CHOICE

Voices ‘Morning Dew’ Jose James Is Always Dreaming


Nik Weston’s ‘Mukatsuku Kerri Chandler’s ’Tracks I Just
Skatebard – Marimba (Supersoul Records) Means I Love You ‘ Can’t Stop Listening To’
John Coltrane – Acknowledgement (Impulse)
Much-needed electronic deepness that comes straight from the
this is the first track from A Love Supreme + it always transports
(warm) Norwegian woods. The very definition of an early morning Pipeman -Tic Tac (Pipe Studio) Mellow Madness - Now You’re Calling (Yoruba)
me! It helps remind me that music is a spiritual experience + that
groove. Interesting Japanese hipity hopish 7’’ from the land of the It makes me tear up each time I hear it, The way it was put together is
we’re here to uplift people + to give our best.
rising sun. what i love about house.
Gatto Fritto – Invisible College (Dissident)
Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get it On (Motown)
Blissful balearic nu disco that will put a smile on every discerning Akoya Afrobeat Orchestra - Fela Dey reedit (Mukatsuku) Kem - Tonight - Jihad Muhammad Remix
I don’t think that needs an explanation!
dance-floor, courtesy of a member of the Voices family. If we can get a new distributor for the mukatsuku label then It get me going everytime I hear it, its kind of my motivation at the
this will hopefully come out in spring and maybe even with a moment.
Talib Kweli + Hi Tek Africa Dream (Rawkus)
Yo, Tú, El y Ella – De Tu Amorme Enamore karizma mix on flip!
With Kweli the word is ‘attack’. I just love this track - his energy
(Egrem/Sonar Kollektiv) Ben Watt - Stronger Man (Buzzin’ Fly)
+ his focus + his broad palette of storytelling. He jumps through
A rarer slice of early morning cosmic sleaze and a standout from BF 45 Dreamer (Jazzy Sport) Tthis was formerly Terence Trent D’Arby, aka Sananda Maitreya, on the
history with ease. It’s like Kweli is a griot + an ill rhymesayer in
Sonar Kollektiv’s compilation of moments on the legendary Cuban Dreamy Jazzy Sport 7 from Tokyo. We Like! track, and it is one of the the most heartfelt songs I have ever heard.
one! Crucial.
label. Anthemic!

Jose James’ album is out now on Brownswood www.myspace.com/mukatsuku


www.myspace.com/voicescollective
www.myspace.com/cedricwoo

Henrik Schwarz’ Jazz For Simbad Drifts Away From Da Noisy


Marsha’s In A Sentimental Mood Paul White’s ‘Songs With Bizarre
People Who Love To Dance Babylon
Introductions‘
Happy Birthday Esbjörn Svensson Trio - Behind The Yashmak (Live in
Gal Costa - Objeto Sim, Objeto Nao (Philips) Hamburg) (ACT) S.O.L.A.R – Rainbow (Blues Interaction)
The melody is amazing, it represents the celebration of Proper cosmic modal jazz with powerful voices & with that spiritual vibe.
someone’s life... Genius. Beautiful Brazilian track with crazy tape manipulation and effects used They did it again! E.S.T. is always inspiring to listen to but you
on intro. need to hear the live recordings or see them on stage. Jazz can Swings & grooves like it was in da 70’s. I believe it’s either ‘74 or ’76.

John Williams – Close Encounters of The Third Kind score be the most fantastic dance music.
Gong - Flying Teapot (Virgin Records) Herbie Hancock – Nobu (CBS)
To incorporate ‘When U Wish Upon A Star’ with the catchiest 5 i reckon Nobu is one of da first ever ‘Techno’ tune hahaha. Amazin’ piece
Jazz/Funk track with heavy moody atmospheres created using synths Archie Shepp - Mama Rose (Steeple Chase)
note melody ever, where the communication between mankind of music. Heard Carl Craig drop this once on a big sound system, brillant
and effects... and mushrooms. Thats an album from that I heard just a few weeks ago for
and extra terrestrials is based on a melody... Flippin excellent. moment!
the first time. This is an ultra complex minimal monster that
Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart - Muffin Man is blowing my mind. Just a piano, a clarinet and a voice -
Floetry – Say Yes Moe Koffman – Days Gone By (Egyptology) (Janus)
(Warner Brothers) connecting to every single nerve I have.
I wrote the song in 3 minutes and it made me the ‘go to girl’ for Well this is just beautiful, the way the melodie keeps comin’ back in a
the song that everybody got their groove on to. Lol. Bunch of guys having serious fun with brilliant funny speech intro by
Beefheart. Christian Prommer - Drumlessons Vol 1. (Sonar Kollektiv) cycle. Been sampled & used by Jill Scott 4 one of her tracks. The piano
Already in my favourites collection since a little while. This is a solo is also ridiculous. Worth gettin’ the album...
Compiled by Marsha Ambrosius of Floetry / Aftermath.
Look out for more form Paul White on One-Handed Music next must have for my opinion.
year. www.myspace.com/paulmw Compiled by Simbad

Domu’s ‘Tunes I Can Leave Playing


Supa D’s Funky Club Bangers
During A Set While I Nip To The Toilet’

DJ Naughty – Quicktime Jazzy Sport ‘3 Peat Chart‘ Jackson’s Five Tunes While
Tony Allen - Afro Disco Beat (Strut)
Due to be released in the New Year. Your Left Hanging on the
Whilst any Afro beat record that is around 10 minutes would do, this is
my all time favourite. As interesting to listen to as it is long. Wednesday – Budamunky feat. Blu & Ta’Raach (Jazzy Telephone
Karizma – Twyst This Sport 7inc’)
Been playing this 4 a while but it still does da trick Super Smoky Soul EP – Super Smoky Soul (Jazzy Sport) Lonesome Train by Johnny Burnett
Herb Martin - Soul Drums (Ibadan)
On paper it sounds boring, an 11 minute jazz house loop that changes Physical Education EP – Physical Sound Sport (Jazzy Chameleon by Herbie Hancock
Apple – Mr Bean Remix Sport) Walkman by SebastiAn
very little. But somehow it captivates people long enough for me to not
This exclusive mix gets the crowd mad on da dancefloor Extra Man by The Fucking Champs
worry about them whilst otherwise engaged.
Compiled by Masaya ‘Fantasista’ Kobayashi. www. Fyuz by Add N To (X)
Compiled by Supa D, Rinse FM. jazzysport.com
Atmosphere - Most Titles (Elite)
Nearly any disco record by Mr Sojka is in the 8 or 9 minute range, so a Jackson & His Computer Band’s remix of Justice’s
‘best of’ is always handy in the vinyl or CD format. D.A.N.C.E is out now on Ed Banger. Look out for
Compiled by Kerri Chandler. Watch out for the new album, brand new music from him very soon. myspace.com/
Compiled by Dom-Unique. www.trebleo.co.uk soon come. jacksonand

58 59
DESTINATION: ETHIOPIA

ABYSSINIA ROCK
ON HIS TRAVELS TO ETHIOPIA, THE just 28 kbps, Skype is banned by Ethiopian law and it’s the expense of quality.
impossible to log on to Myspace. While some Ethiopian One man currently trying to turn the tide is Tedy, who
CRADLE OF CIVILISATION, MAGA music can found on the internet (the Ethiopiques series does what he calls gurageton – lyrics sung in gurage,
BO DELIVERS THE VERDICT ON THE as well as other titles from AIT, a label based in the USA), laced over a twisted reggaeton groove (reggaeton is big
LATEST MUSIC STYLES EMERGING mp3s of the latest hits in Addis Ababa are difficult or here). So far, he has had only one song released, but
FROM THIS ANCIENT KINGDOM, impossible to find. he does run his own club night in Addis where he holds
At the turn of Ethiopia’s new millennium, in the it down with, you guessed it, a keyboard player. Another
AND SHEDS SOME LIGHT ON THE face of changes in the system of distribution as well as rising star is Mary Abebe who has a track out called
MUSIC INDUSTRY AS THE COUNTRY heavy local piracy, the country’s music is at a crossroads. ‘Awhuno’ (Now). On a minimal ragga/reggaeton track with
ENTERS A NEW MILLENNIUM. Ethiopia only celebrated the millennium in September lyrics sung in Amharic and sampled arabic percussion, it
2007, and the country has been enjoying a year of sounds fresh and club friendly. Both of the accompanying
In Addis Ababa, record shops come in all shapes and festivities which so far have included concerts from videos are chock-full of Rize-inspired iskista shoulder-
sizes. From street vendors armed with a handful of CDs Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas. But the people have shake dancing.
to one-room street fronts serving not just as a store, but remained sceptical to the sound of black America despite Another interesting figure is Jonny Ragga, who has
also as a studio and a distribution centre. The larger the the fact that Eminem and Fiddy have started to permeate just released his first record, ‘Give me the Key’, which has
outlet, the larger the selection and the more involved it youth consciousness. Encouraged instead by Habesha turned him into an overnight sensation and the country’s
is likely to be in different aspects of the music business. musicians throughout the diaspora, and also influenced first ragga/R&B star. Singing in Amharic and English on
With piracy running rampant, diversity is key. by the sounds of Jamaica with whom Ethiopia has a pedestrian topics such as girls and love, he does extend
Companies such as Electra, Ambassel and Master proud relationship, a small local scene has slowly begun himself by talking about the somewhat controversial topic
Sounds commission recordings, license exclusive to emerge. of the Jamaican rastafarian community in Shashemane. A
material, duplicate, distribute and sell their own products. couple of his videos can be found easily on YouTube.
Each production house will, of course, have stocks THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN Tewodros Kassahun, aka Teddy Afro, whose new
reflecting their own productions and networks, so different ENJOYING A YEAR OF release Teddy Afro Live! is dominating the airwaves of
music shops can have different types of selections FESTIVITIES WHICH HAVE Ethiopia, is based in Atlanta and plays all over the world.
– some will stock traditional bolel music, others the more His competent mix of reggae and modern traditional
INCLUDED CONCERTS
contemporary sounds of reggae and gurageaton. While Amharic music is reminiscent of the Wailers band at
FROM BEYONCE AND
the bigger shops may have a larger selection, they aren’t times. He even performed alongside the Marley Brothers,
THE BLACK EYED PEAS
always up on the new stuff. The surest way to find the Youssou N’Dour and Luciano for the 60th anniversary of
BUT PEOPLE HAVE
hottest tracks on road (which can be heard pumping out the birth of Bob Marley, held in Addis.
REMAINED SCEPTICAL Indeed the current innovation in Ethiopian music is
of minibuses, taxis and bars), is to find a young guy with
the boombox and the clutch of CDs. He’ll be the man with TO THE SOUND OF BLACK coming from musicians in the diaspora, many of whom
that track you heard last night. AMERICA are moving back to Ethiopia having spent the period of the
Cassettes are still the biggest selling medium in revolution in the disapora. And, with them, they’re bringing
Ethiopia. Many older records can be found on cassette, Jorga Mesfin, soundtrack producer for Teza, the new ideas and perspectives.
but still haven’t been re-mastered on CD. CDs are only new film to be released early next year by the acclaimed Based in New York, Gigi is perhaps the most
duplicated in short runs and released in seal-wrapped Ethiopian director Haile Girma explains, “Part of the famous Ethiopian performer. Married to Bill Laswell and
packages with colour inserts and on-disc printing. More difficulty faced by artists in this country is that the public having worked alongside Pharoah Sanders, Wayne
popular are the pirate CDs – one-off copies, labelled by is more concerned about lyrics than production. There Shorter and Herbie Hancock, she creates an accessible
hand (if you’re lucky) with a photocopied insert. In the are very few references for innovative production within international lounge sound with vocals in Amharic. Also
markets like Merkato, you’ll also find a huge selection the Ethiopian music community and people have simply from the States, Bole 2 Harlem is a New York based
of all kinds of films, from Ethiopian thrillers (from a gotten used to production values lacking in imagination.” project combining Ethiopian elements with down-tempo
thriving national film industry) to the latest Hollywood and With the downfall of Haile Selassie and the rise of influences. At any given time, these artists can be
Bollywood fare on VCD. Musical releases are usually live the Derg government in the mid-’70s, the music scene heard blasting from the Merkato sound systems proving
concerts or music videos, which can be played with or in Addis Ababa nearly disappeared into oblivion. Facing that there is a degree of flow from the homeland to the
without the image. Prices range from Birr 6 ($0.7) for an heavy censorship and with increasingly fewer venues for diaspora and back.
original cassette to Birr 25 ($3) for an original CD release. live music and curfews, the once booming scene was Blessed with a proud, strong and enduring local
Ethiopiques CDs are on sale for Birr 140 ($17). effectively strangled. Musicians emigrated out of the music tradition, hopefully it is only a matter of time before
While there’s a huge Ethiopian diaspora in Egypt, country, bands broke up and technology changed. the market and technology change to facilitate the flow
Israel, Sweden and the US, and while there is much With the widespread popularization of the synthesizer of new Ethiopian music both locally and internationally.
exchange between the Habesha (Ethiopians) abroad and drum machine in the 1980s, promoters and musicians Perhaps the next ‘Golden Age of Swinging Addis’ is upon
and back home, the country’s music distribution is still alike found the band-in-a-box keyboard approach to be us in this new millennium.
very localized. Because of the monopoly of Ethiopia more economically viable than the orchestras of old. The www.magabo.com
Telecommunications, average internet connections are drum machine and synthesizer have made it easier for www.commandodigital.com/kolleidosonic
singer/songwriters to get their music heard, but usually at
Manager of Electra music shop, the biggest producer and distributor in Ethiopia.

60 61
REVIEWS

SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS, ‘100 Days 100 Nights’ (Daptone Records) / KUTIMAN ‘Kutiman’ (MPM Music) /
BUILD AN ARK ‘Dawn’ (Kindred Spirits) LACK OF AFRO ‘Press On’ (Freestyle Records)

Picking up where Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane and the nearly five records in three months. We were across the “We had all these ideas of creating a rich sound With bands like Breakestra, Quantic Soul Orchestra vocal work, to all the musicians involved who set the tone, concoction that will take you to Saturn before blowing your
Black Jazz stable left off, collaborative effort Build street from one of the world’s greatest record stores too with mics, pre-amps, rooms, instruments… and of course and The New Mastersounds responsible for a and to producer Gabriel Roth for his uncompromising mind with some blisteringly raw and emotional guitar work.
An Ark make intuitive, soul-searching music with - Atomic. The atmosphere in the studio was busy and musicians’ hearts, and ears. But in all honesty, we didn’t renaissance in heavy funk and even pop acts like Mark vision on what a real soul record should sound like. Also if Wow, we need to hear more stuff like this.
heart-felt intent. A mighty successor to their debut happy. Every one was excited to be together. We had even have enough mics and inputs for everything. Ronson and Amy Winehouse muscling in on some you get the chance check out the live show and get down Also making his debut is homegrown newcomer Adam
‘Peace With Every Step’, Dawn rises with moments great food and a wonderful, creative environment. Lots The band configuration for ‘River Run’, for instance, soulful vibes, Godfather Brown can rest assured ‘real’ to dances like ‘the funky chicken’, Ms Jones hands out free Gibbons aka Lack of Afro. Press On (Freestyle Records) is
of exceptional beauty. In his own words, producer of people and laughter. changed three times and ended up being way bigger funk and soul is still live and well. lessons for all you jive turkeys! an interesting affair with Gibbons combining sampling and
Carlos Nino explains the magic at work. “We rehearsed for two days before we recorded, than originally planned. Musicians would be added to the Speaking of Miss Winehouse, Sharon Jones & The From Tel Aviv with Funk comes multi-instrumentalist live instrumentation that gently reminds me of Bonobo’s
and a lot of the arrangement kinks were worked out in ensemble for different songs, or just jump on and we had Dap-kings (the same band that session on the platinum and funky drummer Kutiman and his self titled debut last record. Check the bad boy combination of bass fuzz,
“Most of the musicians who appear on Dawn have that process. Most of the musicians hadn’t seen or heard to improvise. My hat’s off to our master engineer Bryan selling Back To Black) release their third studio album 100 banger (MPM Music). Kutiman handles most of the tough drums and clavinet on ‘Pure Filth’ and the heavy
worked on numerous projects with me in the past the music until the rehearsals. It’s kinda crazy when I Carlstrom. Days 100 Nights on Daptone Records. Much more than bass, guitar, drums and keyboard work on the album but breakbeatastic version of the Artic Monkeys’ ‘When The
– people like Dwight Trible, Nate Morgan, Adam think about it. All the pieces we recorded are from first “Magical moments? The whole recording process a simple ode to soul, this sounds like vintage Motown collaborates with a select few vocalists and musicians from Sun Goes Down’, which – dare I say it – is better then
Rudolph, Phil Ranelin, Derf Reklaw who all seasoned takes. ‘Love, Sweet Like Sugar Cane’ is the only song was full of magical moments, but one memory stands or Stax, right down to the backing vocals which sound the tiny Tel Aviv scene. However, it’s when the instruments the original. In a two-fingered gesture to producers who
veterans of the ‘70s free jazz movement whether through on the record that has a fade out and that was because out in particular. For ‘When Ancestors Speak’, it wasn’t like they could have been lifted from some forgotten take the spotlight that the Kutiman project really shines. use synths to replace real instruments, Gibbons samples
their involvement in the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra, it was a rehearsal take. We did one official take right certain what was going to happen. Avotcja hung out in Otis Redding session. Recorded wholly on analog tape The first track ‘Bango Fields’ masterfully blends a Shaft/ godfather of the Moog synthesizer, Bob Moog. While
Detroit’s Tribe Records or the Pharaohs. after that, but we all knew that we wanted to use the the studio all day waiting for her turn to record. All the – something of a rarity these days – the Dap-Kings sound Starsky and Hutch blaxploitation sound without coming undoubtedly a talented chappy, there’s a danger Press
“In the early stages of putting the album together, I rehearsal. while she was conjuring up the track, meeting musicians is warm and inviting. ‘Let Them Knock’ stands out with its off corny. ‘Take A Minute’ serves as a great interval to all On will wear thin after a few listens, becoming forgettable.
had a good idea of the compositions I wanted to record “We did some very minor editing to the beginnings and conversing with ones she already knew. It was like jangling rhythm guitar and Sharon Jones singing about the funky activity on the album, bringing out an ancient Saying that, fans of Shadow, Bonobo and the New
– that played a factor in who I brought in. I chose each and ends of pieces, and more involved overdubbing of she was writing and casting on the spot. Suddenly the ignoring the rest of the world while making sweet love to drum machine and strummed guitar for some mellow Mastersounds (who Gibbons samples a couple of times)
person based on their spirit, instrument and special vocals and strings, but our sound is much more about piece transformed into something new. That was very her baby. ‘Keep on Lookin’ is another highlight, bringing bossa/samba vibes. But by far the best track is ‘Outro’, will find him right up their alley.
qualities that I thought would add to the collective sound. the vibe than anything else so, for us, we usually get that interesting to me. It became one of the most mystical out that heavy JB funk with its insistent guitar line and horn a psychedelic jazz funk masterpiece: spacey Fender Michael Krasser
“We recorded the album in good old Burbank, right out the gate. Sometimes I wish we could vibe out and free of all the tracks on the album. blasts. Props going out to Sharon Jones for some sublime Rhodes, synths and wah wah’s blend into a buttery aural
California, a suburb of Los Angeles that’s full of for a long time and really develop the music together, but “I always think, wow, what would it be like if we
incredible recording studios. It was a great experience. for the most part it comes together by way of a common actually rehearsed and had real time together to develop
I had a stretch of time in the studio so I cut and mixed intent and exceptional improvisation. like most bands? The potential is infinite.”

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STEVE REID ENSEMBLE ‘Daxaar’ (Domino) MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO ‘The World Has Made Me The Man of My Dreams’ (Decca)
groovy music.” this proved to be a puzzling concept. “They’re not
SAUL WILLIAMS ‘The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust’ (Wichita)
Art Blakey, Randy Weston and John Coltrane (who
even named an album after the Senegalese capital More accessible than his previous Four Tet used to being turned loose. In Africa one person owns But if anyone can have their cake and eat it, it’s on The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust,
The Black Rock Manifesto (1985), penned by Greg
Dakar, released on Prestige in 1957) all sought collaborations on Domino, Daxaar moves from the all the instruments to a band, so they even control Meshell Ndegeocello. As a young bassist, after playing when it works, is more macked out than Pimp Boulevard
Tate, opposed “those racist and reactionary forces
musical inspiration in the birthplace of rhythm, Africa. traditional kora led opener of ‘Welcome’ to the loose rehearsals. Improvisation comes out of the African with go-go bands in DC, Meshell moved to New York on a Saturday night. As ‘Niggy Tardust’, he’s the parody
within the American music industry which undermine
Following their lead, a young Steve Reid made his jazz funk grooves of ‘Jiggy Jiggy’ and the pulsing system, but due to the success of the so-called music where she teamed up with members of Vernon Reid’s and the epitome of niggadom, its supreme attainment and
and purloin our musical legacy and deny Black artists
own pilgrimage to the rugged and unbridled continent trance-like loops of ‘Daxaar’ and ‘Dabronxxar’. industry they lean heavily on something that can Living Colour. And although her early albums like it’s abolishment.
the expressive freedom and economic rewards that our
in 1966. Handing over $75, he took a freight liner from There’s even a nod to Santana in ‘Big G’s Family’ make them money and can get them into Europe. Plantation Lullabies and Peace Beyond Passion were “It was all a dream”, he says, borrowing a line
Caucasian counterparts enjoy as a matter of course.”
America and ventured into the unknown. Traveling and ‘Don’t Look Back.’ While the African influences That puts everything into an afrobeat, commercial R&B outings, with collaborators ranging from Geri Allen to from Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Juicy’. But instead of Word Up
Through the music of Living Colour, Eye & I, Defunkt and
through the Congo, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and are evident, this is much more than a token afrobeat type of thing. I explained I just wanted them to play. I Wah Wah Watson to Screaming Headless Torsoes’ David magazine, “I used to fantasize I was Malcolm, or Martin in
24/7 Spyz and the tenacious (village) voice of Greg Tate,
Morocco, he worked as a sideman for people like Fela album or a hghlife tribute. It’s a sound Steve describes didn’t come to bring tunes. After five minutes they felt Fiuczynski, there were always more flavours to Meshell’s the pulpit... I swear I used to pray to change back the year
the Coalition was group of musicians and artists trying
Kuti and Guy Warren. Three years later he returned as truly authentic “world music”, where different styles it and understood.” musical palette than the proverbial Baskin Robbins 31. when NGH’s spoke of motherships with space helmets
to escape the idea that black musicians should only be
with a knowledge and passion for African rhythms that and generations collide. While Youssou N’Dour’s As an education on harnessing the power With the release of The World Has Made Me The Man of for hair.”
making ‘soul’ music, and the assumption that music for
would shape his signature style for years to come. hometown may have provided the context and for this of spontaneity, Steve arranged a series of My Dreams Meshell has created a musical blueprint that On this album which has been produced in its entirety
your soul rules out heavy guitar riffs or citing the Red Hot
Steve Reid’s life has changed dramatically in the project it by no means dictated the musical direction. improvised gigs for the band with elements of these draws as much on punk and thrash metal as on those by Nine Inch Nails’s frontman Trent Reznor, lyrically
Chilli Peppers as an influence. It’s 20 years since the
last forty years. As a session musician he’s shared “I keep the flavours from all the places I’ve visited,” performances making the final cut. Playing live also ‘acceptable’ black genres. Williams is at his sharpest. On tracks like ‘Raised to Be
Black Rock Manifesto was written, but it could have been
the stage with James Brown, Chaka Khan, Miles explains Steve. “So I always have my Bronx thing, provided an opportunity to test run the danceability Her music has always been about the groove and Lowered’, Saul sing-jays the hook like a true rocker, while
written yesterday.
Davis and Sun Ra and has released a handful of the Dakar thing, Sweden and London… the music is of tracks, something very important to Steve. “For she’s invariably on-the-one like her man James Brown and the cover of U2’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ also suits his vibe. But
Since Prince, few major-label African-American artists
sought-after albums (Spirit Walk and Rhythmatism a global thing.” a while I felt jazz music went away from the people her hero Prince, but it’s the range of styles on show that it’s the hip hop beats, filtered and fucked with – on tracks
have broken out of the one-size-fits-all genres of hip-hop
were reissued on Soul Jazz in 2005). In 1969 he was While Steve’s rambunctious drumming runs like because it became non-danceable,” he laments. makes this such a supreme offering. Apocalyptic but also like ‘Black History Month’ or the skunk-funk of ‘Scared
and R&B. The Roots are the last black band to be signed
sentenced to four years in prison for refusing to fight an undercurrent throughout the entire recording, he “I grew up playing rhythm and blues and it was deeply spiritual and full of pathos, the album kicks off with Money’ and ‘Break’ – that Reznor’s sound really blends
to a major label. And despite the successful efforts of
in Vietnam and during the ‘70’s he became involved typically refuses to take centre stage, instead allowing important to see people moving and having a good ‘Haditha’ (a reference to the killing spree of US Marines with William’s rap poetry to create powerful music.
N.E.R.D. or voices like Cody ChesnuTT, audiences have
with the Civil Rights movement. A chance meeting accompanying musicians to dazzle; Roger Ongolo’s time. That’s how you really get the message across. in the Iraqi city of the same name) and segues into It’s Meshell’s album that’s the real treat, however,
remained suspicious of anyone breaking the mould. When
with Keiran Hebden in 2005, threw the Bronx-raised breezy trumpet solo on ‘Jiggy Jiggy’ is a case in point. When people can move their ass something magical ‘Sloganeer/Paradise’, a beguiling and high-voltage track achieving the emotional complexity that most songwriters
Common took a trip down to Electric Ladyland on Electric
drummer back into the limelight with a series of wildly “I always lay back when I’m doing new stuff and I happens.” with the obscene and addictive chorus, “Suicide / Straight only dream of. In recent years, artists like Kelis and
Circus, he mystified his fans until he made a comeback
experimental, free improv albums (The Exchange try to bring their thing out first,” says Steve of his Although not an album of elaborate drum to paradise / If you’re the chosen one / Why don’t you just N.E.R.D, the Jazzyfatnastees and J*Davey have drawn
with Kanye West. Keziah Jones stll can’t convince people
Volumes 1 and 2) released a year later. recording process, “which is why I never take drum patterns, Daxaar is still a largely groove based affair kill yourself now.” Garage rock meets drum n’ bass, your on the emotive or lyrical force of rock to great effect. For a
outside mainland Europe that a black man can proudly
Returning to Africa was always in the back of solos on records. I like to let the musicians speak and and appropriately charts the surprising twists an turns average R&B fare it’s not. With featurings from African while now in the UK, acts like Bloc Party and the Noisettes
shock out on lead guitar. And the seer Saul Williams
Steve’s mind. In January 2007, accompanied by I try to provide them with the proper setting.” of Steve Reid’s career. “To me the rhythm holds the divas Oumou Sangare and Thandiswa Mazwai, and from have seen black vocalists taking the lead, while grime
seems only to find a NIN-loving, Ksubi jeans-wearing
Keiran Hebden and keys player Boris Netsvetaev, The session musicians who appear on Daxaar key to all the music,” he grins. “The harmonies and Sy Smith, the honeychild, on the interplanetary flight that is and indie seem to enjoy a strange symbiotic relationship.
fanbase with Amethyst Rock Star, his eponymous follow-
he traveled to Dakar and linked up with five local were all recommended by contacts in New York, and melodies come out of the rhythms.” Recorded off the ‘Elliptical’, or Robert Glasper on keys on ‘Relief (A Stripper Meshell has added her contribution to this world of musical
up and the recent The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of
musicians to record Daxaar. “When I went the first include Youssou N’Dour’s guitarist Jimi Mbaye. “I was cuff, this is not a perfect set of future standards. But Classic)’, rising above a wall of sound to close the album miscegenation. It’s not Black Rock by any means, but
Niggy Tardust albums. Let’s not even talk about Mos Def’s
time it was to learn and join in with their scene,” just looking for some open minded guys.” Although amidst the inquisitive and exploratory playing there with assurance, no one else does it quite like Meshell. it does scream about freedom – something Black Rock
recent albums. It seems that the pantheon of White Music
recalls Steve. “My first night in Africa I slept in Dakar, Steve had an idea of the music he wanted to make, are flutterings of magical brilliance. Now if her salacious brand of musical cock-tease aspired to, and something that’s always at the root of good
for Black People (the title of the new Apollo Heights CD)
outside in a Mosque. This time I wanted to mix their typically his remit was loose and open. Subsequently, Sarah Marshall can, on occasion, make L’il Kim sound like she’s working music whatever your tastes.
is limited to Coldplay, Led Zep and the Beatles. Heaven
scene with my Bronx scene – the funk with the African the recordings arose from improvised jams. For a in a nursing home, then Saul Williams’ lyrical swaggering Jez Smadja
forbid it should admit any black bands.
thing. We just wanted to make some happy and group of musicians who usually work to commissions

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V/A The Portable Supersound unique and experimental without being José James had to venture to the UK to pulled together a stellar cast of musicians,
past brilliance, with any new material Broke’n’English; of particular note is the exclusive material from the cutting-edge heroes, and their lyrics won’t be inspiring
(Smalltown Supersound) overly self-indulgent. ‘Sirius B’ hints at how get a record deal, which occurred after a including Ivan Lins and Azymuth players
immediately compared to 2000’s classic flamboyant ‘Recognizable Forms’ with of soundsystem culture. Digital Mystikz, any dissertations just yet. And sing in an
The follow up to 2005’s Where You’re Out, a James Bond theme may have sounded chance encounter with Brownswood record Ivan Conti and Jose Roberto Bertrami.
Supreme Clientele. This latest effort its bold brass and neck snapping beats. Kode 9, Pinch, Skream, Ramadanman, English accent, mister Swaby. Bath is not
this second compilation from the reputable had 007 been a sci-fi blaxploitation hero, boss Gilles Peterson in a London club ‘Bis’ is a beautifully orchestrated bouncy
from Toney Starks might not scale the Other cuts, like ‘Secondary Power’, are a Sub Version and the shadowy Cult Of Los Angeles. The omelette is worth the
Oslo based label Smalltown Supersound while the slightly ominous ‘The Zero Hour’ last year. James handed the DJ-turned- and high-spirited samba soul tune. ‘Dona
lofty heights of perfection reached on little watered down, and it’s a shame that the 13th Hour all feature, along with a broken eggs, though, and these quibbles
shows why everyone from Idjut Boys to is coloured by shades of 60s psychedelia. entrepreneur a self-produced EP that Das Meninas’, featuring the silky vocals
that particular career-defining opus, the monster ‘Boomerang’ isn’t included blistering collaboration between The will no doubt be silenced on album No. 2,
Daniele Baldelli are checking for the Nordic Truly genre-defying, ‘Out There’ is an revealed a resonant baritone voice whose of Marcio Lott and Clarisse Grova, has
but it does deliver enough of what fans on this album as it would have been one Bug & Spaceape. Again, the influence of which will probably be out two weeks after
sound. Covering all worthwhile corners, album to get lost in, with each track a piece rich, satiny texture recalled underground a distinctive, but original, US soul funk
want from rap’s very own superhero MC of the top tracks. There’s also the feeling Jamaican dub is never far away, but with this one, spunky young things.
this is a comprehensive overview of a of an intriguing, and ultimately satisfying, jazz greats like Andy Bey, Leon Thomas influenced groove. Things get more
– colourful lyricism, cartoon violence, that this is more of a collection of dance the movement in constant flux, the sounds (Adam Green)
rich and varied label who borrow from musical puzzle. and Terry Callier. Impressed by what he adventurous on ‘Sucuri’ where Arthur goes
politically-incorrect humour, and banging floor cuts than a cohesive LP – something of the drum and sub-bass are being pulled
Italo disco, Teutonic minimalism and even (Ryan Proctor) heard and acknowledging James’ huge back to his experimental roots, in the spirit
beats. Dismissing current music trends, Dave has attempted to rectify by hinging in ever more exciting and innovative BT Express Anthology (Harmless)
Krautrock. Tracks veer from the cosmic potential, Peterson had no hesitation in of his first album. ‘Amor Na Contra Mao’
Ghostface remains unapologetically old- tracks together with Star Trek style skits. directions by the young sonic alchemists, Complied by Dave Jarvis from Faith and
disco of Diskjokke’s ‘The Dinner That Simbad Supersonic Revelation adding the singer to the small but growing is a cheerful and buoyant bossa track,
school in his production choices here, Unfortunately, they don’t quite do the job. whilst managing to maintain a uniquely UK Heavy Disco, this digitally remastered
Never Happened’ and the dubby boogie (Raw Fusion) roster at Brownswood. Twelve months on where a warm string section accompanies
rhyming over large chunks of soul, funk But on the whole, the album’s a worthy sound. Available as a single CD or triple double CD of Brooklyn’s finest street funk
of Bjorn Torske’s ‘Hatter Passer’ to the When it comes to musical style – not to and James’ debut is refreshingly different mellow and catchy vocals. This album is
and classic break-beats. The Beanie collection of club bangers from a producer heavyweight DJ-friendly vinyl for maximum band is a selection of tasty treats. The
storming ESG energy of Tussle’s ‘Warning’ mention his facial hair – Simbad is a one- from most contemporary jazz vocal a masterpiece from start to finish. Just
Sigel-assisted ‘Barrel Brothers’ is full of OG who always has something interesting to bass response. Absolutely essential. band should need no introduction, as they
and ‘Contemporary Fix’, a typically off. His first single ‘Soul Fever’ (in all its albums due to the conspicuous absence like Arthur’s first recording, it’s destined to
swagger and fuzzy electric guitar, while the say. (Keith Baker) rank along side Brass Construction as the
spacey production from Lindstrom. And forms) rocked many a dancefloor in 2006, of well-worn standards. Rather, the young become another timeless classic.
bluesy ‘Walk Around’ displays the Wally (Dom Servini) real-deal in personifying seventies funk.
that’s without even mentioning Four Tet’s and now the debut long-player looks to do singer and his band prefer to render fresh, (Vince Vella)
Champ’s talent for penning gritty, intricate With 24 tracks to skim through, the obvious
finest remix to date, where he turns Lars the same in 2008. Indeed, its title goes a self-penned material, exemplified by the

Horntveth’s appropriately entitled ‘Tics’ into long way to describing the general feel of propulsive opener ‘Love’ which finds Burial Untrue (Hyperdub)
crime stories. ‘I’ll Die For You’ finds Ghost Sola Akingbola Routes to Roots – The Heavy Great Vengeance and cuts are worth flagging: ‘Shout! It Out’,
a gorgeously distressed glitch symphony. this classy offering. As you might expect, James’ sonorous tones underpinned by an Burial’s eponymous debut album worked
emotionally pledging allegiance to family Yoruba Drums From Nigeria (Arc Music) Furious Fire (Counter) ‘Express’ and ‘Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied)’
(Andy Thomas) Simbad’s own unique brand of soul music urgent drum n’ bass-style groove. Mostly, wonders for the then nascent dubstep
and friends over LV & Sean C’s mellow “I was always seduced by the sound Nestling somewhere between The sound as huge now as they did back then.
comes not only with that ass-shaking twist, though, the material is contemplative in genre, enticing new listeners into the
backdrop. Although not such a cohesive of the Yoruba language and the way it Kinks and Prince are The Heavy. With Similarly, the jaw-dropping beat on ‘You’ve
The Heliocentrics Out There but also with a plethora of golden-tonsilled nature, like the deliciously understated fold. This follow-up confirms his position
body of work as last year’s Fishscale, The was expressed,” explains London raised menacing ‘Roadhouse Blues’ style licks Got It, I Want It’ will leave you wondering
(Now Again / Stones Throw) vocalists. Stockholm’s soul sensation Melo ‘Desire’ and the album’s melancholic as a Pied Piper of the scene, leading the
Big Doe Rehab is a worthy addition to Nigerian Sola Akingbola. Inspired by and juddering, garage recorded drums, just how this music could sound so fresh
With musical visionaries such as DJ adds his lush tones to the mid-tempo killer title track. James also revamps the old purists away from the stagnant flow of the
the Killah catalogue and stands as one of Fela and King Sunny Ade and mentored this kick-ass four piece (hailing from the thirty years on. But the real nugget is
Shadow and Madlib already massive version of ‘After The Dance’, while Robert Rahsaan Roland Kirk number, ‘Spirit’s Up mainstream. Like its predecessor, Untrue
2007’s better major label releases. by percussionist Gasper Lawal of temperate climes of Bath) carve out a ‘Herbs’, which aptly fuses a reggae beat
fans, it comes as no surprise that the Owens provides mic duties on the hand Above’ – it’s just one of many highlights on works with wooden-block rhythms that
(Ryan Proctor) the Oro Band, the long time player distorted, funk-blues riot that’s a nod to with the most trance-like saxophone funk
debut album from UK-based band The clapper ‘Someone 4 Me’. Another top what is undoubtedly an enthralling debut sound as if they’ve been recorded from
with Jamiroquai’s band comes with a both L.A. Woman-era The Doors and line recorded in years. For the sample-
Heliocentrics is a cosmic journey into notch cut comes in the shape of ‘Venus’, from a significant new talent. the room above. But the sparse, bleak
Zed Bias Experiments with Biasonics heavyweight album of Yoruba drumming beat-wise the Gorillaz. Not a bad combo spotters out there, you’ve got your money’s
the sonic unknown. Playing like the benefiting mainly from the vocal prowess (Charles Waring) and baron 2-step beats, with teasing
(Sick Trumpet) and Ifa poetry. Packed full of information in anyone’s book. Their debut Great worth with added interest.
undiscovered soundtrack to a cult film of everyone’s big tip for 2008, Tawiah. With ruffles of rousing hi-hats, hint at a greater
Dave Jones, aka Zed Bias, has been on about his roots and culture this is as Vengeance and Furious Fire is the latest (Will Page)
classic yet to be made, Out There invites the exception of the ragga flavoured ‘Knock Arthur Verocai Encore (Far Out) orderliness this time around. Combing
the scene for some time now. He’s dabbled educational as it is deep. to drop from Ninja Tune’s mischievous little
the listener to open their mind and On My Door’, this album does verge on the Revered by many as Brazil’s answer Photek-style choppy, broken beats with
in UK garage, jazz and broken beat, and (Andy Thomas) sister label Counter and via a blistering What’s Up? Music Is Real
expect only the unexpected. From the brink of being repetitive. That said, Simbad to David Axelrod and Charles Stepney emotional, melodic harmonies akin to Larry
caught our attention as both Maddslinky racket of scuzzy guitars and ball-squeezing (Commodo Depot Inc.)
hallucinogenic dub vibes of ‘Once Upon should be praised and encouraged for – thanks to the texture and complexity Heard’s Mr Fingers, Burial’s rave pastiche
and Phuturistix (for Hospital Records). V/A falsetto, it does exactly what it says on Like a breath of fresh air this second album
A Time’ to the menacing, schizophrenic pushing his own, unmistakable sound. This of his work – Arthur Verocai is a depicts a dark and lonely underworld
Nowadays, though, Dave seems truly at Box Of Dub 2: Dubstep & Future Dub the tin. Yet fear not the ferocity. Bubble from What’s Up? is bursting with bold ideas
jazz of ‘The American Empire’, the eight- album is a celebration of that sound and for multitalented arranger, composer, singer where a new breed is being sculpted and
home in his Zed Bias guise – a melding (Soul Jazz Records) gum, Gomez-esque melodies (‘That Kind and exquisite sound scapes. This is clever,
man collective bounce back and forth the most part it’s a big success. and guitar virtuoso. The follow-up to his formed.
of fractured beats, neo-soul, ragga, house A speedy follow-up to the killer compilation of Man’ and ‘Coleen’), coupled with the straight jazz music in a Kenny Dorham
between musical extremes, from the (Dom Servini) eponymous1972 debut, Encore is his long (Richard ‘The Hobbit’ Bamford)
and hip hop. After a faux sci-fi intro, things released by Soul Jazz earlier this year. The tender ache of ‘Brukpocket’s Lament’, give hard-bop style, Jazz Messenger-ish in
soothing to the jarring, the retro to the awaited and highly anticipated new studio
kick off as they mean to go on with the Box of Dub series has been responsible, Great Vengeance cheeky popular appeal. certain lights with a touch of Valdambrini.
futuristic, and the simple to the abstract. Jose James The Dreamer (Brownswood) project. Thanks to the assistance of Dave Ghostface Killah The Big Doe Rehab
rolling, splintered space-funk of ‘Time’, and in no small way, for bringing Dubstep to a While criticising The Heavy is a bit like Funky young things will be drawn to
Inspired by everything from boom-bap Struggling to gain exposure in his native Brinkworth (who co-produced the album (Def Jam)
continue on a slightly darker vein with the much wider audience and is fast becoming telling Napoleon his hat wasn’t on straight, killer modal Latin track ‘Telemundo’. This
hip hop beats to dusty old-school funk, USA and desperate to make a name for with Arthur), these compositions sound just As with the likes of Nas and Jay-Z, Wu-
ominous ‘Rogue Frequency’. Two highlight the benchmark compilation of the scene. their debut isn’t without blemishes. They bright and vibrant five piece hail from
The Heliocentrics’ sound is consistently himself, 28-year-old jazz singer/songwriter, as poignant as his early work. Arthur has Tang’s Ghostface remains tied to his
tracks featuring raucous Mancunian MCs Once again, the box is brimming with all- stand too much on the shoulders of their Tokyo, although they’re yet to achieve the

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recognition of contemporaries Sleepwalker ‘Brooklyn’ rocks out more than most, musicians are conjuring up long-players into a hot bath - you know the experience
as it ascends from resonant low notes largely overlooked ‘Unemployed Black suggests listening to Joburg’s own Kwani Philippe Cohen Solal, distilling the very
and Indigo Jam Unit. Hopefully all that will demonstrating the aggressive edge to thick and fast. Continuing to raise the bar will be good from the minute you stick your
to sustained, ear-piercing high ones. His Astronaut’. Here’s to the next decade – or Experience; a seven-piece band that, essence of Nashville into one neat hour-
soon change. The finger-snappin’ happy their impressive songwriting ability. Finally, on modern jazz, Nostalgia 77 combine toe into the water, but you’re still pleasantly
sense of control, timing and expression eight years. with a tweak and a tighten, could be long package. Extended field-recording
jazz of ‘Which One Is ‘Wonder Boy’ allows Marilyn Carino to atmospheric, dense compositions with more surprised as the warmth washes over
is nothing short of astonishing. On the (Will Page) Africa’s answer to that inimitable Philly segments featuring lonesome late-night
True’ – an instant winner and DJ box deliver the vocal performance of a lifetime, timeless, soulful vocals. While erstwhile you. Zed Bias and DJ Injecta’s second
uptempo ‘Babylon’ and ‘Sand Dance,’ hip-hop crew. From the get-go, the band’s train whistles and snatches of half-heard
staple. Longer tracks give the group an powerful to the point of bringing you to vocalist Lizzie Parks is sorely missed, Phuturistix outing is worth the wait – their
Muthspiel and his band provide edgy Robert Strauss Mr. Feelings (BBE) polyrhythmic arrangements defy gravity conversation evoke the spirit of the KLF’s
opportunity to flex their creative muscles, tears. It’s a song that ranks alongside newcomer Sophie Smith handles the Dee debut album Feel it Out dropped back in
funk-tinged backdrops for Youssef’s Canadian dancing queen Robert Strauss and seem so damn effortless. Their second masterful Chill Out, whilst the gorgeous,
promising a very bright future. (Raggy) works from major-league acts such as Dee Bridgewater styled ‘Stars’ beautifully, 2003. The Manchester-based duo - and
voice, while the slower, meditative ‘Mein flips the script from his last album for album, Live After Birth, brings jazz, African soulful acoustics bring to mind the genius
Speeka Bonfire (Wah Wah 45’s) Radiohead or even REM. In fact, should and provides a perfect foil to the swirling Phuture Lounge label bosses – describe
Versrechen’ has a cinematic grandeur that Freerange Recordings by delivering this flavours, hip hop and soul to a platform of Zero 7’s ‘Up With People’ Lambchop
Billed as “Zero 7 for grown ups”, production this stylistically and instrumentally diverse brass section and dark, pugnacious drums their sound as ‘twisted soul music’, a
is the ideal accompaniment to the singer’s refreshing piece of party fodder for BBE. groaning under the weight of its potential. remix, the classic Heartworn Highways
duo Speeka (aka Matt Smooth and Rob record attract enough attention on the net, of ‘One Step Out’. This is not a completely mixture of consistently deep basslines
sonorous cadences. Youssef demonstrates But far from being a cosmetic disco album, Try ‘It’s My life’ for size; a house-inflected soundtrack and Bill Callahan’s Smog. This
Mac) make music for lounge lovers. it might go on to achieve similar status. sombre offering though – ‘Journey Home’ is and classic broken beat syncopations.
his instrumental prowess playing the Strauss has come through with the real number that reminds of Fertile Ground, was a real labour of love for Solal, recorded
Originally signed to Ultimate Dilemma, (Will Page) an edifying piano and sax led piece, and the A flick through the office Rolodex and
Middle Eastern oud – a lute-like stringed deal – an LP that, while harking back to or get into the groove of ‘I Need Some over a two-week period in Tennessee with
Bonfire is the follow up to their 2001 debut lead cut ‘Chola’ offers more light to combat they’ve also snapped up some top quality
instrument – on ‘Etude,’ a riveting musical the genre’s golden age, still manages to Money’. But here’s the thing: while the a roll-call of top-class session musicians,
Bespoke. It’s a dreamy pop affair, with Portico Quartet Knee Deep In The North any shadowy leanings. Weapons harks collaborations. Michelle Amador’s mature
dialogue with Muthspiel that ratchets up deliver fresh, cutting edge songwriting and instrumentals are perfect, the vocals need as a tribute to Neil Young’s peerless
folk-laden guitars, drizzles of electronic Sea (Babel) back to the Songs For My Funeral album timbre juxtaposes nicely with choppy
tension and intensity with incremental key top class production with guests from both work. For this band to really crack it, the Harvest album. There’s a double treat on
keys and those ubiquitous ‘quirky vocals’ Alongside tour mates Basquiat Strings, (a collection of early instrumental funk and production on ‘Eager Of The Years’, while
changes. There are telling cameos from sides of the era. And they don’t come much magic created by the instrumentalists’ ‘Side 2’ with excellent cover versions of
favoured by so many electronic pop bands. Portico Quartet are helping create one hip hop releases), while simultaneously Mr J’s dulcet tones ride waves of rich,
US trumpeter Tom Harrell and singer, more impressive than the legendary Leroy top-notch dynamic sensibilities needs to fly Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ and The Pistols’
Unfortunately, the inoffensive melodic of the most interesting periods in British demonstrating the Nostalgia 77 sound chocolatey instrumentals on ‘Breathe
Rebecca Bakken, though it’s the two Burgess. The man who virtually single- with brilliance. Perhaps the answer is seek ‘Pretty Vacant’ that, while veering painfully
rhythms and anglicized soul vocals sound jazz since the late sixties. Honing their has moved on. One of the most important Some Light’. Both tracks are great, but

dull, dated and stuck in a downtempo rut. craft by busking on London’s South spiritual jazz combos this country has to perhaps a little more crunch wouldn’t go
main protagonists who truly shine on this handedly defined boogie’s heyday, and out collaborations. With artists like Black close to the Gourds/Nouvelle Vague one-
Rewind five years and this was exactly Bank and various street corners across offer. amiss. A much-needed darker antidote
incredible, genre-defying recording. set the stall out for house music, appears Thought or Tawiah on board, this band track-joke territory, thankfully remain true to
the kind of music Morcheeba would have Europe, these fresh-faced graduates (Dom Servini) comes in the form of ‘Release’, with vocals
(Charles Waring) on one of the big cuts on the album, the could be unbeatable. the spirit of the album and provide a couple
put out. The gently soothing ’Mon Am’ are eschewing post-bop clichés for their from Jenna G. Giving a nod in the two-step
uplifting ‘Hot Like An Oven’. It’s not all (Helene Dancer) of genuine highlights. Y’all come back
and the summery ’Out To Play’ provide own distinct sound. Counting Steve Soil & Pimp Sessions Pimpoint direction, it hints at the other well-trodden
V/A Well Deep: Ten Years Of Big Dada about straight up disco though, as the soon, y’hear!
two redeeming moments in a largely Reich and EST amongst their influences, (Brownswood) production avenues continuing to inform
Recordings other monster track from the album, ‘Party V/A Afro Cuba Drums (Soul Jazz) (Keith Baker)
unremarkable set. But as a whole, ‘Bonfire’ their compositions also resound with Faithful fans of these Japanese jazz / the Phuturistix sound.
(Big Dada) In My Body’ illustrates. It’s a fractured afro- “When you first hear this music back in
is a largely forgettable long player. the pastoral Englishness of players like punk / rock rebels may feel a little short (Helene Dancer)
Perversely covering only the last eight flavoured workout with a hook that’ll get London, you think it’s something that just Aaron Jerome Time to Rearrange (BBE)
(Johnny Pitts) Michael Garrick. Creating most of the changed by this latest release. A few
years in the decade-long existence of Big right under your skin. The Mr. Feelings belongs to hundreds of years ago,” says It seems we’ve been waiting a lifetime
atmospherics is an instrument called the albums in, the S&P Sessions are starting Dhafer Yousseff & Wolfgang Muthspiel
Dada (the first two previously compiled experience really is that of a house party, Soul Jazz owner Stuart Baker. “But when for this young man’s debut to drop. With
Mudville Iris Nova (mudvillemusic.com) hang – a curious flying saucer shaped to sound a little too repetitive, a little too Glow (Material Records)
on 1999’s excellent BlackWholeStyles), from the warm up and amusing skits, to the you go to Cuba it’s still practiced every releases and remixes on Wah Wah 45s
Mudville’s second album release ‘Iris Nova’ object sounding like a steel pan crossed screechy, and – dare we say it – a bit After last year’s Divine Shadows – a
the two discs of Well Deep contain 31 disco bangers and darker house moments day and is highly relevant.” Led by an ex and production credits for Zap Mama,
features REM’s Mike Mills, pedal-steel with vibes. It’s the starting point for a series annoying. Admittedly they still sound like scintillating polyglot synthesis of moody
cracking tracks providing an overview of and finally a classical come down that’ll take member of Conjunto Folklorico Nacional Bugz In the Attic, Nicole Willis and Nitin
guitar great Buddy Cage (Bob Dylan) and of accomplished musical explorations. nothing you’ve ever heard and moments Arabic soundscapes, European classical
Will Ashon’s forward-thinking and fiercely your breath away. It’s a party you’ll want to de Cuba, El Goyo, this heavyweight Sawhney, Aaron Jerome has already
Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco Whether touching our souls with sublime of glory such as ‘Dawn’ and the fiery music and ambient nu-jazz – the 30-
independent Ninja Tune sister label. Over come back to again and again. collection of rumberos (whose gatherings demonstrated his wide-ranging appeal. As
(David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto, Forro in numbers like ‘Too Many Cooks’ or getting ‘Sahara’ remind just how great this band year-old Tunisian-born singer and oud
the years Big Dada has been showered (Dom Servini) every Saturday and Sunday in Old Havana you’d expect, Time To Rearrange is a fairly
the Dark) to name but a few. The roll inside our heads with ‘Zavodovski’s are live. The sublime ‘Hype of Gold’ in all player, Dhafer Youssef, has ventured
with critical praise, Brit and Mercury Prize prove how vital this music remains to broad work. From the cinematic beauty of
call of guest musicians is testament to Island’, Portico have made one of the its wonderful modal glory is by far the best to Austria to re-acquaint himself with
nominations and some of the most exciting Kwani Experience Live After Birth all generations of Afro-Cubans) drop ‘Kwu Kungasa’ to the amusing and club
the immense respect that bassist Benny most distinctive jazz albums of the last track on the album and this is definitely the guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel who played
UK and worldwide hiphop artists. Disc one (Sheer Sound) seventeen spiritual drum tracks that cover friendly ‘Late Night Mission’, the diversity
‘Cha Cha’ Rubin and singer Marilyn few years. Murmurings of Mercury Award direction S&P should be taking. Overall, on 2001’s groundbreaking opus Electric
collects the classics, Rodney’s ‘Witness At Classics And All That Jazz, a music a range of sacred rhythms to call upon the of Aaron’s musical influences are startlingly
Carino carry on New York’s underground nominations are already being made. this is still a band who perform better on Sufi. The result of this new collaboration
(1 Hope)’, Ty’s ‘Wait A Minute’ TTC’s shop tucked away in a Johannesburg saints. apparent. Several collaborations feature
musician-circuit. Often described as Curtis (Andy Thomas) the stage than on record. is truly stunning – an ear-ravishing sonic
‘Dans Le Club’ and the soaring Boards Of shopping centre, Rocks Jubile runs his (Andy Thomas) on the album, including tracks with Zero
Mayfield meets P.J. Harvey, the duo weave (Raggy) feast where haunting minor-scale Eastern
Canada Mix of cLOUDDEAD’s ‘Dead Dogs hand over the stock he’s received. He 7’s Mozez (on a cover of Terry Callier’s
fearless vocals with churning rhythms and The Notalgia 77 Octet melodies collide with Western folksong,
Two’. Disc two touches on the rarities and explains it takes real dedication to make $olal Presents: The Moonshine Sessions ‘Dancing Girl’), Belleruche’s Kathrin de
smoking arrangements. ‘Duke’ shows their Weapons of Jazz Destruction Phurturistix Breathe Some Light electric jazz and even funk. Drenched
missed classics, including Wiley’s ‘50/50’, specialist music available and to support (¡Ya Basta!) Boer, Bajka, Voice, Yungun, Mike Orwell
lighter dreamier side, quoting Ellington’s (Tru Thoughts) (Phuture Lounge Recordings) in atmospheric reverb, Youseff’s multi-
a Peel session version of cLOUDDEAD’s local musicians so often overlooked by A heapin’ helpin’ of country goodness and South Africa’s ‘next big thing’ Simphiwe
“Gray skies are just clouds passing over”. Benedic Lamdin and his octet of subversive Breathe Some Light is much like slipping octave voice is a glorious thing to behold
‘Physics Of A Bicycle’ and Busdriver’s the world stage. It’s here that Rocks brought to you by the Gotan Project’s Dana. Above all, though, it’s Aaron’s silky

68
REVIEWS 69
REVIEWS
production skills that shine through. The have been out of place on an Imagination James Yorkston all contribute straight-up a number of collaborations for this studio Ain’t Love’ does Phontigaloo allude to Ersatzmusika’s Voice Letter is distinctive,
string-filled instrumental cut ‘Marrakesh’ is album. However, it was ‘Glad To Know yet no-less poignant takes. Each artists album, including Robert Owens (whose the split (“Shit got major / we stacked offbeat, inventive and charming in a
an atmospheric yet urgent piece that leaves You’ that drew the ears of the New York has respected the open, down-to earth contributions to ‘Love Someone’ make it a little paper / now a couple years later manner recalling Francoise Hardy’s finest
you hoping Aaron won’t hide behind quite DJs, with its off centre vocal and spacey honesty inherent in Lal’s songs, weaving one of the strongest tracks on the album), / can’t get a phone call”). Other than ‘60s recordings. Imagine the French
as many guests on his second album. keys making it perfect for the post-disco their own magic into that which Lal had Mr J of Phuturistix fame on ‘Together’ and that, the two continue in their tradition of singer had grown up on the Black Sea
(Dom Servini) crowd. This wonky Larry Levan favourite already laid down. Sonar Kollektiv’s Clara Hill on ‘Before’. hilarious social satire (‘Good Clothes’), choosing to sing poems composed by
opens this excellent collection, which also (Lewis Robinson) The album production is solid, with hints self-deprecation (‘After The Party’) and Gulag prisoners alongside hymns to
Keb Darge Digs For…P&P Records takes in the spacey electro of ‘3,000,000 of Detroit techno, hip hop, house and the totally relatable everyman struggle to picking mushrooms. Ersatzmusika are
(Suss’d) Synths’, the killer boogie of ‘Feel Alone’, Prefuse 73 Preparations/ Interregnums more. Minimal beats, deep basslines and keep the lights on and the dreams alive. focused around the compositional talents V/A Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Bues
This third instalment in the P&P compilation and the visionary proto house of ‘Reve De (Warp) a heavy use of analogue synths, ensure Get Back is LB’s most concise album and of singer / keyboardist / conceptual artist 1970-6 (Soundway)
series is something of a hip hop producers Chevre’. Chaz Jankel – an innovator and Mix some vintage Prince Paul, Bomb these tracks will work on the dancefloor. a resounding credit to the North Carolina Irina Dubrovskaja, whose warm yet This excellent compilation unearths a selection of rare ‘45s and forgotten LP tracks
dream. Keb’s years of experience, originator. Squad production, Primo-esque chops, Creatively, however, he fails to really push MCs’ consistency against the odds. weary tone conveys a sense of loss felt from Africa’s most populous nation, cut during the musically daring and adventur-
knowledge and crate digging exploits are (Andy Thomas) Mantronix synth textures and a few any boundaries. It’s in the realm of remixes after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ous period of 1970-6. “The world over, this was the most fertile, progressive, quickly
conveniently and abundantly burnt onto psychedelic melody’s together in a blender that AtJazz really excels: Remember his Christian Prommer Drumlesson Vol 1 Accompanying band members are from evolving times in musical history,” says Soundway’s Miles Cleret, whose love of African
two jam-packed compact discs of raw ‘60s, V/A Migrating Bird – The Songs of Lal and you pretty much have Guillermo Scott superb remix of Kabuki’s ‘Tempest’ on the (Sonar Kollektiv) Russia, the Ukraine and Estonia. Doleful music dates back 15 years.
‘70s and ‘80s funk gems from the P&P Waterson (Honest Jons) Herren’s chopped and skewed pseudonym, Italian label Head2Toe? A big tune that Many will remember Christian Prommer accordions backed by circus organ and “The dark days of recession, and of Nigeria’s name becoming synonymous with
archive. Indeed, many of the tracks have Lal Waterson is one of England’s most Prefuse 73, or so we thought. For the new made nuff damage at the legendary Coop as one half of Fauna Flash and a member melancholic xylophone create a Slavic corruption, overcrowding and embezzlement, were yet to come,” says Miles in his
only ever been released on limited runs celebrated songwriters. Born in Yorkshire album Herren displays an alternative take club night. We suggest you look out for of the Rainer Truby Trio, both signed to sound imbued with an off-kilter spirit. informative sleeve notes. Ambitious young musicians were breaking away from the
and would cost yo’ ass somewhere in the in 1943 she began her career revisiting on the usual “going apeshit with the chops” his forthcoming 12’’ for Reincarnation and Compost. This solo outing features a Unlike the fusion of Balkan Gypsy flavours traditional house bands owned by clubs and hotels, swapping freshly pressed suits for
region of three grand should you choose classic British folk songs in family group methodology listeners have become future collaborations with Mark De Clive series of dance classics arranged for a with indie-rock championed by bands T-shirts and flares.
to acquire them the hard way. This double The Watersons. Lal passed away in used on ‘bonus’ disc Interregnums. Bright Lowe. jazz quartet, fusing Prommer’s passion such as Beirut or A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Traditional ‘50s and 60s highlife sounds (as heard on The Harbours Band ‘Koma
disc set has two very distinct feels; disc 1998 and this tribute album features piano’s twinkle, synths shimmer, strings are (Vince Vella) for electronic music with a reverence Ersatzmusica’s blend of psych-folk is a Mosi’) were fused with elements of rock, Afrobeat, jazz and soul. The Sahara Allstars’
one is raw – and at times psychedelic – as reinterpretations of her work by a selection plucked and operatic voices ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ for jazz. Tracks have been reinterpreted much more organic affair. The Marc Ribot ‘Feso Jaiye’ exemplifies this mix of styles, while Mono Mono’s ‘Emo Kowa Iasa Ile
heavy drums clash with the ‘‘huh’s” and of ardent fans, curated by club owner and to create a light and airy soundscape with according to the jazz rulebook, using style guitar licks work perfectly. Voice Letter Wa’ indicates the exciting new directions bands were eager to take. Victor Uwaifo (a
former wrestler) mixes up highlife with traditional Erkassa music of the Benin court and
psychedelic Hendrix guitar licks. (Look out for a forthcoming retrospective album of his
work on Soundway.) But as Miles explains, this experimental flourish was brief. “By
’76, Western records were flooding the market and it was harder for smaller bands to
do something different and make a way. Many reverted back to highlife.”
By no means a comprehensive history of the period, Nigeria Special presents a
series of snapshots, taking the listener down less traveled roads. “There’s no Ju Ju or
Afrobeat track,” says Miles. “Instead we’ve focused on rarities that might only exist in
obscure collections or people’s memories. Many of the artists featured only cut one 45.
A band might be given a deal based on an A&R man’s experience of them in a club. If
it sold well, they were given a second shot. If not, they moved on.”
Part of Miles’ intention was also to preserve vital music on the verge of disappear-
ing forever. “A lot the companies who own the master rights to this music have thrown
“ha’s” of crooning soul brothers and sisters musician Charlotte Grieg. Migrating Bird lashings of menace bubbling underneath. Little Brother Get Back (ABB) vintage equipment and recording methods is unlikely to make Roman Abramovic’s the tapes away. Many of the actual artists don’t even own a copy. I tracked down a
like Henry Brooks, Ella Hamilton and Otis is not only a wonderful tribute to Lal but Interregnums also provides the original It’s true that the Little Brother threesome to create an analogue sound. Ame’s playlist, but it’s definitely worth bringing in member of Mono Mono who now lives in Oakland, California. He hadn’t heard some of
Turner. Disc two has a disco focus, blasting also a primer on some of today’s most sample material for Preparations, the is down to a pair now that 9th Wonder has ‘Rej’ is given a polyrythmic melody, while from the cold. his early records in 25 years.”
with electronic basslines and futuristic interesting British and American singer- actual album. Here, Herren brings the MPC gone off to pursue his production career, Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans Europe Express’ (Garth Cartwright) Miles sourced many of the tracks from pirate tape shacks known as “recording
synths from ‘80s artists like L.J. Waters, songwriters. Charlotte’s careful selection to the forefront, meticulously chopping but listening to their third full-length album, undergoes a Latin treatment. But a real studios”, where vinyl could be recorded to cassette for a fee. Changes in technology
Kim Taylor and The Foster Jackson of artists who push the parameters of and layering sounds in his signature style. it’s clear the fuss was entirely unwarranted. highlight is Derrick May’s ‘Strings of Life’ RZA The Instrumental Experience have been sounding their death knell for the last ten years. Although there are still
Group. This is one for both funk loving folk music has afforded this collection a ‘Aborted Hugs’ resounds with futuristic Not to take anything away from 9th, but – a worthy tribute to the original. Giving (Think Differently) record collectors in Nigeria, vinyl is generally considered yesterday’s news. On several
partygoers and sharp-eared collectors. depth rarely found in compilations - her Moondog percussion while ‘Smoking Red’ for all his Pete Rock impersonations, that dance tunes a jazz work-out is not an Wu Tang Clan aint nuthin to uff with. With occasions Miles would arrive at a house, having been given a tip off, only to discover
(Johnny Pitts) minimal version of ‘Her White Glove’ is belts out some thunderous drumming soul sample steez comes a dime a dozen original concept, but where others have their new album getting heavy exposure the collection had been thown in a skip five years previously. He winces with pain at
one of the album’s highlights. Many of the courtesy of Battles drummer John nowadays. His sole contribution on Get failed (namely the cheesy Re:jazz series) recently, it’s time to dig out some of their the memory.
Chaz Jankel My Occupation (Tirk) album’s most arresting tributes are similarly Stainer, plus hard edits and swirling guitar Back is ‘Breakin My Heart’, and it’s pretty Prommer has excelled. But while these older material and this serious beat-tape is Bucking the Lagos-centric trend of most Nigerian music compilations, Miles
Founder member of the Blockheads experimental offerings that capture the feedback. ‘The Class of 73 Bells’, a track good but it will be the unlikely third verse tracks might stir a sophisticated club as good a starting point as any. The idea has cast his net further afield, including tracks from the Ibo-speaking southeast and
and the man who put the funk into Stiff broodiness of Lal’s work in a contemporary everyone has been banging on about, on it from Lil Wayne - this year’s most crowd, as stand-alone compositions they was engineered by Dreddy Kruger but the the Edo-speaking midwest. But the influences apparent in the music extend much
Records, Chaz Jankel is something of a way: King Creosote’s rotating-synth take comes as something of a disappointment featured rapper - which will probably attract lack the depth and complexity to really call beats are pure unadulterated RZA, with further; check out the hypnotic bassline on The Funkees’ afro-rock workout ‘Akula Owu
cult figure, whose early ‘80s recordings on ‘Fine Horseman’, Lavinia Blackwall with its thin whispery folk vox. Arguably not the most interest. Further, it seems other themselves “jazz”. the originals and the chops blended into a Onyeara’. “Nigerians have a reputation for traveling a lot,” explains Miles. “There are
have gained classic status for all the right and Alex Neilson’s avant-Medieval ‘So as melodically or rhythmically engaging producers Khrysis, Ill Mind, Mr. Porter (Vince Vella) funk-heavy instrumental throwback mix. musical influences from London and New York, while some tracks take homegrown
reasons. After adding his hard edged funk Strange is Man’ and Lindsey Woolsey’s as previous albums, Preparations is still a and Hi-Tek had a clear enough brief to (Brainz) Nigerian styles to another level.”
to Ian Dury’s more dancefloor friendly heartbeat-led ‘Song for Thirza’. Michael good record. No doubt it will prove a more work with to maintain the LB sonic ethos. Ersatzmusica Voice Letter Unlike past DJ-orientated compilations released through Soundway, Nigeria Spe-
cuts like ‘InBetweenies’ and ‘Spasticus Hurley, Jeb Loy Nichols and the Willard rewarding listen in months to come. ‘When Everything Is New’, for example, (Asphalt Tango Records) cial is a deeper affair, more suited to the home listener. Once again every track hits the
Autisticus,’ (a big Garage anthem of Grant Conspiracy all successfully convert (Michael Krasser) could have easily been lifted from the The ominous political chill between the mark, further cementing the label’s reputation as a trusted authority. Knowledgeable
course), the keyboardist / composer Lal’s English folk-tales into stateside Connected Foreign Exchange project. UK and Putin’s Russia shouldn’t allow sleeve notes (with extensive information on individual tracks) and stylish presentation
gave us ‘Ai No Corrida’, a glorious slice country-blues laments whilst UK folksters Atjazz Full Circle (Mantis Recordings) For their part, if Phonte and Big Pooh listeners to overlook this peach of an make this a worthy historical artifact. Much love to Soundway for sharing their secrets.
of early ‘80’s dance music that wouldn’t the Memory Band, Nancy Elizabeth and Martin Iveson, aka AtJazz, has reigned in are bitter it doesn’t show. Only on ‘This album. Berlin-based but Russian in soul, (Sarah Marshall)

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GEORGIE FAME & THE BLUE FLAMES


dleton, Gervase de Wilde, Benji B, Dee Science, Adeola Johnson, Phiona Okumu, Lady B, Orin
Walters, Paul Camo, Roger Robinson, Kyoko Ishima, Nicky Dracoulis, Andy Thomas, Michael

PHARAOH SANDERS
Krasser, Tamar Nussbacher, Matt Crossick, Al Burton, Pat Daly, Robert Strauss, James Goldcrown,
Rajinder Dudrah, 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, Sarah Marshall, Beatnick, Amar Patel, Max Cole, Andres Reyes,
Kay Suzuki and Sunil Chauhan. GURU’S JAZZMATAZZ
SPECIAL THANKS TO The Godfather Paul Bradshaw & big respect to Ben Immanuel. Jazzie B I Andy Smith I Gilles Peterson
Jehst I Funky DL I Guida de Palma & Jazzinho
SHOOK DJ Format I Floetry’s Marsha Ambrosius
130 Trent Gardens, Corduroy I The Sound Stylistics I Reel People
London N14 4QG
Ramp I Messin’ Around - Jazz CoTech Dancers
www.shook.fm Jamie Lidell I Richie Havens
info@shook.fm Antonio Forcione I Freak Power
Mad Professor I The New Mastersounds
BIG SHOUT OUT TO QUES FOR THE DETROIT ILLUSTIONS Little Brother I Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Originally from Lyon ( France ) Ques ( Charles Munka ) cre- Eddie Palmieri y su Orquesta I Galactic
ates the LCP United crew along with 2 art school friends. Omar I Kokolo I Gwyneth Herbert
Then quickly moves to Tokyo and then Shanghai where he takes
Terry Caliier I John Scofield Trio + Horns
part into the creation of the Feiyue Shoes project.
His music related works such as hip hop artists portrait series Dennis Rollins I Ike Turner I Natacha Atlas
brings him to connect with Andrew Meza and the BTS radio The Fabulous Thunderbirds I Salsa Celtica
project. He now lives in Shanghai and The Fatback Band I Jazz Jamaica
works for several clients such as Feiyue shoes,Look records ,
The Blackbyrds I Fertile Ground
Jazzy sport, Faces records... It’s all about the undeground!
Tinariwen I Seckou Keita I Tania Maria
www.lcp-unIted.com Ben Westbeech I Average White Band
www.myspace.com/illlord
Martha Reeves & the Vandellas

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