Monday, November 24, 2008

Interview - Lubo Alexandrov - Nov. 26

image courtesy of Lubo

It will be my great pleasure to welcome Lubo Alexandrov, Montreal's purveyor of the choicest Balkan Beats, to the Abstract Index this coming Wednesday.

Lubo's new disc, now credited to himself and band Kaba Horo, is called Contrabanda. It's one of my favourite Canadian releases this year, a clear progression from his Juno winning debut. He and the band are launching the CD at Lula Lounge the following night in what promises to be a rollicking good time of trying to make sense of those snaky rhythms.

I'll be speaking with him over the phone at 7PM on Wednesday night - he'll let us know what we're in for.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - November 19/08

It was a cold November night outside last Wednesday. I prefer doing radio after the daylight savings fallback of late October. The dark, bleakness outside sets my Canadian soul aglow, or something like that.

On the whole, I play less beat oriented material during the winter months, and maybe it gets a shade darker. After seven years doing this show and I really notice the effect that seasons have on the programming sensibility. Of course, it's rewarding to be able to have freedom to do this, and to have regular callers who tune in, notice and appreciate my own seasonally affective DJ disorder.

A prime candidate for a show like this is Norway's MoHa! I first heard of them due to their last album which was fairly freeform, supercollider-generated guitar and drum aggression. Their latest, One Way Ticket To Candyland, sounds like a more lighthearted record from the title alone. It is more accessible, there are regular beats and riffs, but it's still only marginally removed from an inpenatrable steel wool audio of roughed up strings and skins. Still, though, for a couple of minutes at a time, the thrash potential is medium to high, particularly in the almost danceable "Sopp Pa Kugen", featured on this show. Given the country's similarities in climate to Canada, it might reach quite a few ears, as long as people remove their toques before partaking.


november night - jim mccauley/alex cline (drip audio)
journey - louis moholo-moholo/marilyn crispell (intakt)
variations/gold and what's gleaming - art af oryx (berlin moves)
floating island - the peggy lee band (drip audio)
copper pennies - pit er pat (thrill jockey)
ninki nanka - jayme stone/mansa sissoko (no label)
algahem taxat - etran finatawa (riverboat)
state terrorism - souljazz orchestra (do right)
willie pass the water - ripple (collectibles)
color in between the lines - greyboy feat jeremy ellis (ubiquity) capricious horse (who leads the) - von magnet (jarring effects)
sopp pa kugen - moha! (rune grammofon)
i didn't sleep - parkdale revolutionary orchestra (no label)
camper giorno - yeah no (squealer)
across the pond - shawn lee/clutchy hopkins (ubiquity)
yellow orange and red lightning - insideamind (ptr)
shaka - twilight circus rmx by alter echo (m)
bodium - mikkel metal (echochord)
hydroponic dub - subatomic sound system (nomadic wax)
a touch of romance - prince charming (wordsound)
king tubbys badness - king tubby rmx by bill laswell (trojan)
a yah we deh - barrington levy (trojan)

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - November 12/08

In the November issue of Exclaim, I wrote a profile of Jean Martin's strange and amazing recording/composition space, the Farm. Actually the Farm is his and Christine Duncan's loft, and is not rural in the least.

Martin's label, Barnyard Records, is about to drop a titanic trio of records on an unsuspecting audience at the Lula Lounge on Dec. 3. Like the Rat Drifting label, Barnyard likes to release many discs at a time - perhaps like RD in order to concentrate the amount of promotion activity associated with the label.

The three discs are the Martin/Justin Haynes ukulele/suitcase (that's right, Martin plays suitcase exclusively on the disc. I've seen the suitcase. It isn't pretty) duets of Myk (St. Dirt Elementary School) Freedman, a duo composed of Anthony Braxton and his padawan Kyle Brenders, and this inflated bit of whimsy with an awesome name: Blah Blah 666.

This is something of a Tranzac supergroup composed of Tania Gill, Nick Fraser, Ryan Driver (aka 3/4 of Deep Dark United) with Haynes and Martin. St. Dirt's junkyard jazz certainly plays a part in this music, as instruments like 'defretted electric guitar' and 'street sweeper bristle' would fit right in to Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids. The music, however, may be best described as 'avant mariachi' cause you ain't never heard a Mexican hat dance done quite like this. The music is usually quite zany, in a found sound meets hot jazz sense, with a dash of Beefheart on the side. It's a testament to the madcap nature of this disc that I played it after Sun Ra this week and Mr. Blount sounded humourless by comparison.

I can't say that it's my instant favourite record of the year, but I also anticipate an epiphany at some point at which point I won't be able to stop listening to it for days or even weeks at a time.

Certainly Rube Goldberg is smiling on this from somewhere.


dawn - sun ra arkestra & salah ragab (golden years)
chico lympico - blah blah 666 (barnyard)
wasana - chaan siang phin (sublime frequencies)
lyman place - steve reid/kieran hebden (domino)
nyame mboa - eric agyemang/a.b. crentsil (world art)
ya fama - toumani diabate symmetric orchestra (nonesuch)
serkan's tale/trans roman - lubo alexandrov (ccm)
landscape - the mohawks (vampisoul)
cold weather - the upsetters (trojan)
sankofa - tony allen/hypnotic brass ensemble (honest jons)
holy thursday - david axelrod (vampisoul)
corner of your smile - koushik (stones throw)
crabapples - bruce peninsula (bruce trail)
doce guia - 3 na massa (nublu)
brown sueter - a filial (verge)
iarna iarna - aura urziceanu (sonar kollektiv)
you'll never find a love like mine/dub - john holt/king tubby (trojan)
the same song - paragons (treasure isle)
carpenter rebuild - meditations (greensleeves)
jeman - mikkle metal feat. paul st. hilaire (echochord)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - November 5/08

Just belatedly getting around to this blog post ...

First of all, THANK YOU to all who donated last week - I made my quota of 20 membership level pledges over the course of the show. As I have frequently said, I couldn't do this show without you.

No downloadable or streamable podcast this week - the show was full of fundraising pitches which sounded nice at the time but don't play well over an Ipod.

As for the record of the week - everyone loves the Mohawks! Whether you just heard the 'throw your hands in the air' sample of "The Champ" or some of the more frat party grooves of this 1968 corker re-released by Vampisoul, the Mohawks are an instant party. You'd never guess they were British unless you're a real student of 'back in the day' hip hop culture. The Mohawks featured the ever versatile Alan Hawkshaw, and the crew behind this record played on a million UK sessions over the years. In the early seventies, they were behind one of my fave reissues of the last few years Moody's "The Gentle Rain" (which I blogged about here).

The Champ (with bonus tracks on this reissue) is one of those no nonsense grooveathons that sounds so, so great on repeat play...

the champ - the mohawks (vampisoul)
when love comes home - chet ivey (perfect toy)
legs - darondo (ubiquity)
sankofa - tony allen rmx by hypnotic brass ensemble (honest jons)
the next spot - the herbalizer (ninja tune)
every day I have my blues - fela ransome kuti (vampisoul)
freedom in africa - duke (strut)
opa jones - lubo alexandrov (ccm)
the nervous track - christian prommer (sonar kollektiv)
perdon pan tone - pan/tone (cereal killers)
church music - chris mcgregor (fledg'ling)
moment of truth - marilyn crispell/louis moholo (intakt)
untitled - gravitons (no label)
untitled - huelepega sound system (no label)
clash of steel - carlton patterson and king tubby (hot pot)
champion sound - dubmatix (7 arts)

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