Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This Old House - A Special Nuit Blanche Broadcast

That's the name of CIUT's Nuit Blanche extravaganza. Next year, CIUT vacates its home of more than 40 years. This is a tribute to the intense creativity that's passed through the building over the years. We're using all three production studios and an outdoor stage (until midnight).

It's a 12 hour clusterfuck of music from 7PM-7AM on Saturday October 4. Here's how it's gonna go down:

7PM: DJ sets by Guy Stevos, David Dacks + surprises

8:30PM: NAW (Noise Factory, dubby micro IDM) - live in front of 91 St. George St!

10PM: Dubmatix (live dub, new disc features Michael Rose, Sugar Minott, Alton Ellis) - live in front of 91 St. George St!

11PM: Huelepega Soundsystem (Sergio “Dos Mundos” Elmir & David “Abstract Index” Dacks dub out chopped and screwed cumbia Monterrey style plus Amadeo & Ernesto Ventura (keys and percussion))

midnight: INSIDEaMIND (turntable conceptualists, doing a special freaked out version of CIUT’s VINYL FROM THE CRYPT)

1AM: No Beat Radio Soundsystem (OK, maybe not a soundsystem exactly - but holy heck what a racket!)

2:45AM: Guayaveras (Eric Chenaux & Ryan Driver get into some deep post-punk electro improvisation)

3:45AM: Christine Duncan (voice; Barnyard Drama, Element Choir) & Brandon Valdivia (percussio; Not The Wind Not The Flag, Friendlyness & Human Rights)

4:30AM: Daniel Nebiat (Eritrean power pop & folk)

5AM: Gurpreet (The Tabla Guy) Chana (solo tabla alchemy)

6AM: Tradition (psych-folk is only the beginning…)

Throughout the night: visuals by Trevor Haldenby on the exterior of the building
Spoken word cutups by Ryan Longo

Let's put it this way... I've never put so many labels on a single post.

Yes, it's super diverse, but that doesn't mean it's going to be lowest common denominator entertainment. Be prepared for your mind to be continually blown for 12 hours straight.

Not living in Toronto is no excuse - log on to www.ciut.fm and listen live, or check back here for live blogging throughout the night.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - September 24/08

Dub Gabriel's always had a way with artwork. Without question, Anarchy and Alchemy is the best music I've heard from him. He has really sharpened up his sound and at times, he achieves results that rank with some of the best dance music of this year in any genre. The bass presence on this album is constantly menacing. Every single ragga-voiced track on this album hits hard with atypical rhythm programming offseting the immovable bass foundation. The tracks get better and better over the first half dozen selections with abrasive lyrics and elegant deliveries enlivening these focused and brutal rhythms. Dr. Israel’s hypnotic singjay style on “Battle of the Righteous Man” was a multiple times-daily favourite of mine a couple of weeks ago (I'm still feeling Dr. Israel's Inna City Pressure after all these years). I'm not won over by every track on the disc but the highs have staying power.

let's go - ken aldcroft (trio)
bloody nose - capillary action (pangaea)
bacchanal - pigeon funk (risquee)
mashout - dub gabriel feat jukali (destroy all concepts)
like a baby's kiss - a filial (verge)
defenestrado - sonantes (six degrees)
i believe in you - amp fiddler/sly & robbie (strut)
bani - toubab krewe (upstream)
bokoor sound special - lightning head (lion head)
first communion - gang gang dance (social registry)
the peacemaker's chauffeur - jason wilson (no label)
cameo - lina allemano four (lumo)
i'm thankful - quantic feat. spanky wilson (ubiquity)
jericho skank - jackie mittoo & ernest ranglin (studio one)
surfin' - ernest ranglin (antilles)
denko - oumou sangare (nonesuch)
warrior - jason wilson (no label)
picture book in dub - simply red rmx. by adrian sherwood (echo beach)
hold on - sugar minott (moll selekta)

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wranglin' Ernest

It's going to be an upfull night of interviews on the Abstract Index radio show.

I am sincerely looking forward to speaking with one of the greatest musicians ever to come from Jamaica: the truly legendary Ernest Ranglin. Live - IN PERSON. For those who don't know - Ranglin is a founding father of Jamaican pop music. He was present for its birth in the late 50s, was a major part of Studio One and later the Black Ark, and now has forged a unique jazz reggae sound which has led to great acclaim at this august stage of his career.

He's in town to help out Jason Wilson with the CD launch of Wilson's new disc "The Peacemaker's Chaffeur" on Sept 25 at Hugh's Room. Tune in at 7PM this Wednesday!

It's going to be a busy night coz I'll also be speaking with Carolinian kora crew Toubab Krewe at 6:30. Actually, they're not focused on the kora exclusively, but that description kinda rolls off the tongue. They will be playing on Sept 28 at Revival.

Both shows are part of the Small World Music fall festival.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - September 17/08

I blame Medeski Martin and Wood for turning the keyboard jazz trio inside out. For MMW begat the Bad Plus begat EST and Triosk and so on. All of these bands have taken the format of a rhythm section plus keys and blowed it up real good. Nowadays, It's just as likely for a piano to play a rhythm bed over which the drums may express a melodic or textural statement, or for the bass to take the lead, or for fascinating unison passages. Throw into that a tendency for unlikely cover material (I do have an affection for the Bad Plus' bombastic cover of "Tom Sawyer") and you've got the sound of the modern day equivalent to the Ramsey Lewis Trio - a jazz project unafraid to put rhythm up front, make people dance, and withstand the scorn of purists.

This show featured a new release on Sonar Kollektief by Christian Prommer. He's a producer, mostly, with the Truby Trio and Fauna Flash. The band he's assembled isn't exactly a trio, but it's piano, percussion and bass with some electronic elements taking the backseat - except in the choice of material. There's some serious chutzpah in taking on some of the most beloved techno and house classics, but it's done with zest. Toronto's Freedom Time jazz dance party should be freaking out over these versions of Derrick May's "Strings Of Life", Masters At Work's "The Nervous Track" and Kraftwerk's "Trans Europe Express" heard this week, sounding like Matthew Shipp riding a torrid bossa groove. Expect to hear this several times over the coming weeks.


all night long - mike osborne (reel)
fire knows no one house; fire knows no one woman or man - kingdom shore (black bough)
the moving song - 17 hippies (hipster)
djarabi - toubab krewe (upstream)
kor limoncu - baba zula (doublemoon)
in a green space - koushik (stones throw)
not gonna - pigeon funk (risquee)
blue nile - gang gang dance (social registry)
spirit made flesh - dub gabriel feat karen gibson roc (destroy all concepts)
lost highways - pan/tone (cereal killers)
blackhouse (paint the white house black) - amp fiddler/sly and robbie (strut)
gomo - chiwoniso (cumbancha)
trans europa express - christian prommer (sonar kollektiev)
the mod scene - eddie palmieri (mp)
the hayride - lina allemano four (lumo)
when the bird calls - eccodek (white swan)
one in the spirit - sister frica (shanachie)
stoned immaculate - dub syndicate (on-u sound)
rasta dubplate - perfect (groove attack)
lonely - amp fiddler/sly and robbie (strut)
pick up the pieces - the royals (studio one)

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - September 10/08

Lately, I've cottoned on to a few recommendations by my colleague Cam Lindsay who is Exclaim's Associate Editor.

I've seen this album compared to Outhud and LCD Soundsystem and I can get with that. But there's more going on here without being too self indulgent. I'm a fan of any artist who will use a wide variety of rhythms, sounds and songwriting ideas - regardless of genre. Having not paid much mind to GGD's (purportedly more experimental - I'll have to do some digging) work before this, Saint Dymphna presses all my buttons. Grooves bounce from the punk-dub of this week's track "Desert Storm", to fractured Afrobeat, to a "Darling Nikki"-type groove, to a loopy if not entirely succesful collaboration with grime-y vocalist Tinchy Stryder.

When the inevitable 80s inspired synths hit like a sledgehammer, at least they make interesting music rather than barf up semi digested Depeche Mode or Arthur Baker riffs. But the range of ideas impresses, and the flow of the disc is superb. Expect more airplay...


demented lullaby - adam niewood (innova)
recall - lina allemano (lumo)
pollen and spores - secret frequency crew (schematic)
desert storm - gang gang dance (social registry)
baiao one two - a filial (verge)
ohlos coloridos - sandra de sa (milan)
la mareada - spam allstars (riverboat)
brother man sister ann - clemon smith (charly)
tour to africa - tarig abubukar & the afro nubians (no label)
secret - adrian miller (black night)
ma hine cocore - vieux farka toure rmx. by yossi fine (modiba)
ahe sira bila - issa bagayogo (six degrees)
18" speaker - ragga twins (soul jazz)
army arrangement (bill laswell version) - fela anikulapo kuti (celluloid)
battle of the righteous man - dub gabriel feat. dr. israel (destroy all concepts)
jah jah live forever - johnny osborne (light in the attic)
don't look back (don't space out) - peter tosh & mick jagger (rolling stones)

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Other Killer Miller

Not the late great Jacob Miller. Talking about Adrian Miller.

Kevin "Sipreano" Howes' Jamaica To Toronto project has shed much light on Toronto's reggae history prior to 1980.The last release in the CD series (stay tuned for a documentary film...) was Earth Roots And Water's "Innocent Youths" from 1977, featuring Adrian on lead vocals.

Adrian's never left the scene. Now, thanks to the reissues, his career is getting a well-deserved bump.

Allow me to bump some more. Tune in Wednesday Sept 10 at 6:30 (or thereabouts, this time is not set in rockstone) for a conversation with Adrian about the past, present and future of Toronto reggae.

Immediately in the future is a gig at the Phoenix on September 12. Go check him out!

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Monday, September 08, 2008

I Want To Write About It, If Not Be A Part Of It

My feature articles from the last month are all about NYC.

First up, in Exclaim, is an interview/review with someone I have been very impressed with for the last three years - non-native New Yorker Andy Haas. He's one of the most accomplished improvisers I know who merges conventional musical ability with live electronics. Moreover, his explorations (and extrapolations) of folk forms from around the world give him a rich vocabulary with which to explore new ideas in saxomechanical interfaces. Did I mention he was a mainstay of Martha And The Muffins back in the day?

Also, I was surprised to see one of my pieces on the Paste magazine website. I have written for them off and on (I wish I could find my Feuermusik/Larry Wright piece somewhere...), but the magazine seems to limit its online content. Last month's compare-and-contrast piece on two NYC clubs cum labels pitted Nublu and Barbes against each other. Who won? Everybody who loves to dance.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - September 3/08

Back to school! Merzdub will clear out any remaining summer doldrums.

I don't know why this release just came my way now, it's about 2 years old. But it's hardly an exercise in nostalgia.

It's exactly as you would expect - Merzbow's inimitable noise grandeur absolutely swamping the few hints of dub.

I was as excited to see Jamie Saft's name on the disc as Merzbow's. Saft is one of the best Hammond organ players I can think of these days (and he's playing with John Zorn this Sunday at the Guelph Jazz Festival). His ability to create big menacing drones from the instrument serves him well in the many jazz contexts in which I've heard him.

On "Visions Of Irie" from this week, Saft, who's in the driver's seat as the mix engineer & producer, comes armed with maybe 2 rhythmic samples and a whole lotta attitude on the effects. Grooves are never established for very long (and not taken very seriously), but neither does pure noise take over for lengthy periods. Merzbow's sound is shaped as if it were a digital delay feeding back at 100% - it's sculpted in and around the beats, but it's omnipresent drone that dominates even from the background. Great stuff.

Downloadable Podcasts are back - check here!

rivers and tides - blink (thirsty ear)
uncle limps (turkish version) - imps (mule)
transit - rumpistol (rump)
out my window - koushik (stones throw)
dreaming of betrayal, awakening refreshed - fond of tigers (drip audio)
alviverde - jun miyake (do right)
musik - val inc (innova)
hebvark - fond of tigers (drip audio)
double suicide - sandro perri (constellation)
unknown rebel - matt steckler (innova)
save music - daniel meteo (meteosound)
visions of irie - jamie saft/merzbow (caminante)
backwater dub - sub swara (low motion)
thieving dub - the red eyes (echo foxtrot)
i man a levi - i jah man levi (mango)
far east - isax injah (jah mix)
bring de couchie come - reggae crusaders (trojan)

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Guelph Is For Lovers

...of jazz.

CIUT will be hot n' heavy for 11 hours on Saturday Sept. 6 (from 1PM to midnight) bringing you sounds and stories from the Guelph Jazz Festival's jazz tent on Upper Wyndham St.

I'll be at the controls, joined by Ken Stowar. Tune in for a great assortment of interviews with many of the performers and a few mystery guests. As I've said many a time, you never know who's going to be around at these events, so CIUT is in a perpetual state of readiness should interesting conversation break out...

Come visit us at the tent - maybe YOU'LL end up on air.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fond Of Lyons And Tigers

Tune in tomorrow on the Abstract Index radio show at 6:30PM for a conversation with Stephen Lyons of Vancouver powerhouse Fond Of Tigers. They are that rare band that balances power with intracacy, bludgeoning ensemble work with inspired soloing, and cover bases from rock to jazz to free improv without the self-consciousness which so often afflicts genre-hoppers.

We'll be speaking over the phone as Lyons prepares for an FOT performance in Montreal.

They'll be playing Toronto at the Tranzac on Thursday Sept. 4 (with Sandro Perri and Canaille), then it's off to Guelph the following night for a late night jamdown at the Guelph Jazz Festival.
Speaking of the GJF, I'm going to be the anchorman for CIUT's 13 hour marathon coverage of the festival's jazz tent sked on Saturday September 6th. It starts at 11AM (maybe later) and goes straight until midnight. Expect a lot of adventurous music and interviews, all in that spontaneous, freewheeling CIUT live remote style that's not often imitated, and certainly never duplicated...

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