Category Archives: reggae

SWARM

 

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77Klash, the man behind the beat on Turbulence’s Notorious, has a new riddim out — The Swarm. Released on his Klash City Records and served in 7″ form by Tuff Gong. Vybz Kartel & a bunch of others have versioned it, here’s a hometown one by Brooklyn’s Noble Society:

Noble Society – The Swarm (buyable on itunes

9-year-old Makonnen designed the Swarm cover with a little help from Marcus of RockersNYC.

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in other newz, the U.S. dollar keeps dropping in value. Or, as the BBC phrases it today, “Euro bursts to fresh dollar high“. Something sinks, something else rises up. Makes me think of Bruce Sterling’s Distraction:

Yes, it was true that the nation was broke, but other countries had seen their currencies annihilated and their major industries rendered irrelevant… In many ways, Oscar had to give the Chinese credit for their cleverness in making all English-language intellectual property available on their nets at no charge. The Chinese hadn’t even needed to leave their own borders in order to kick the blocks out from under the American economy.

In some ways, this brutal collision with Chinese analog reality could be seen as a blessing. As far as Oscar had it figured, America hadn’t really been suited for its long and tiresome role as the Last Superpower, the World’s Policeman. As a patriotic American, Oscar was quite content to watch other people’s military coming home in boxes for awhile. The American national character really wasn’t suited for global police duties. It never had been. Tidy and meticulous people such as the Swiss and Swedes were the types who made good cops. America was far better suited to be the World’s Movie Star. The world’s tequila-addled pro-league bowler. The world’s acerbic, bipolar stand-up comedian. Anything but a somber and tedious nation of socially responsible centurions.

HI-POWER CUT

 

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Power Cut Version + Nikki B – Get High (buyable here)

…and to think that some unfortunate people stil turn to Bob Marley for their weed anthems. The Stephen McGregor riddim voiced here (after the instrumental plays for a minute or so) is about one of the things it tells us it is about: network disruption, knocking out an important signal. The holes left by his cut-up guitars and intricate, rickety beat remind me of Steely & Cleevie’s classic Streetsweeper riddim – both tunes fight for rhythmic space and win, staccato, percussive, in a fullness they tore apart.

 

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VAMOS A JUGAR POR LA PLAYA

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I first heard of DJ Playero in this long, excellent post from Wayne.

Playero a key player in Puerto Rico’s rambunctious proto-reggaetón scene of the early 90s (think hiphop-jeepbeat-reggae DJ-mixed madness, with rapid-fire singalong vox en español & that low-slung bass reminding you to celebrate your ass’s rhythmic possibilities, which are many). [All 4 MP3s in this post come from Playero’s Greatest Hits vol. 2 mix.] i responded to Wayne’s article, saying, among other things:

Wayne’s piece raises provocative questions on the transformation of ‘música negra’ (black music) to ‘reggaetón latino’, where the “receding presence of hiphop and reggae, this disappearing sonic blackness” gets supplanted by the sounds and stances of pan-Latino cultural nationalism.

Do the soft laws of of authenticity and community anticipate, provoke, or reflect this shift?

H.C.P. – Soy Un Criminal

Or is trying to read causality into viral culture, street culture, a losing proposition from the start?

DJ Playero – 37 Remix

Mutation, not birth.

DJ, not Author.

3-2-Get Funky – Se Te Hundió El Barco (note the sung melody from this track – riffing on Junior Reid’s infamous ‘One Blood’ vocal line, recently sampled in The Game’s single of the same name. then, 10 seconds later, RZA’s beat for Method Man crashes in…)

Ownership requires strict timekeeping – the original came first, the dude we’re gonna sue for copyright infringement came later. But ‘derivative’ culture (DJ culture, webbed thoughts) is a miasma of signifiers and style, dancing in the omnivorous, sensual now. Listen to the way his mixes pull in black music from all around… Lots of the DJ Playero tapes sound as fresh today as they ever were. Maybe fresher.

The swamp, the sampler, the street. Heat become environment, the air in your lungs.

Yesterday a tornado passed thru mi barrio.

HOT BLOODED

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Reggae vocalist Junior Reid (“Mr One Blood”) teamed up with DJ Power to put out a mixtape which succesfully defends the (mediocre) title: Why I’m Hot. It’s really good, especially the first quarter — street rap thuggery & synth beats coexist with conscious lyrics, sweet vox, etc. “Superstar reggae music singer” according to his MySpace ‘Occupation’ field.

buyable here (itunes). 47 tracks (!), several barely over a minute, several mislabeled, its hard to know where to begin….

Junior Reid – Restraining Order

Benisour ft. Junior Reid – Shining

BANKENSTEINSKI + BASS CLEF

prior to reading his New Yorker profile, it had never occured to me that Banksy hired publicists. Banksy.

Steinksi. real unbuyability (for better and for worse) a pivot in his work. Hiphop cut&paste blueprint legend. He came to my WFMU dj set at Southpaw–great to meet him! turns out he blogs with the strength of ten.

this 1986 Christgau profile has its strange elements, but is largely intelligible.

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this is a song called Hilda. RLF has turned into Bass Clef. from A Smile is a Curve That Straightens Most Things. folk strum on sample & hold. rest of the album is dubstep with its tie loosened.

Bass Clef – Hilda (Blank Tapes)

Bass Clef’s DJ mixes dub out digi-dancehall instrumentals here & here.

AMAZING GRACE

it’s true: Movado’s elaborate and evil nature makes you look for classical references to describe it adequately, duppy machiavellian. and then there’s the cold stare of power achieved by naming a song ‘Amazing Grace’ and plastering your long haunting void melodies on top of the church notes.

Movado – Amazing Grace

this replaces a popular hymn. it’s the opposite of what you do when you do a cover version.

the Vybz Kartel track on this riddim – Tremor – is hotter but Movado’s is colder.

The other thing is that: real gangstas use vocoders. (vocoded Imazighen rural pop coming soon). Image below from The Fader’s Movado cover story, downloadable.


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COUGH COUGH. ARE WE ON?

post a GIF from 2005, walk away, then BAM — BoingBoing sends 25,000+ new visitors in the space of a few hours. Viral culture goes to whoever coughs the most.

I just finished remixing Architecture in Helsinki. their super-strong original tune required the heavy artillery so i brought in my favorite Trinidadian Brooklynite Mr Lee G for rmx vocals and fires broke out! i’ll play it, along with some other exclusives & dubplates, on WFMU this Saturday, 9am-10am. Listener hour! when civilians like me are allowed to take over the airwaves. worldwide streaming furthers diasporic bass. Trying to lock down some special guests, too…

Droid beefs up the Blogariddims series with an hour of late80s-early90s digital dancehall!! I love this stuff. The first song, a leftfield classic by Papa San, warrants the whole download.

ok…, must report to the water cage, more turkish music soon come

DR RODIGAN, or

HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BASS

plus, video version of a flamenco song i posted here. Notable for the old ladies dancing! When even the old people dance anything is possible.

ps. if you want to download and playback the resulting FLV file, the free VLC player is yr best bet.