Fiesta Soot en NYC today, Friday Jan 5. Flavorpill writes it up.
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ALBUM OF THE YEAR
here, was probably J. Dilla’s mighty swansong Donuts. Repeat listens still open new vistas for us. we shouldnt talk about it too much cuz we might not stop. It’s the sort of record you put on and then all sorts of people come up to ask “what is this?!” with a smile on their face. I hope to one-day live in a world where this album appears at the top of the Google page rank when you type in “donuts.” Donuts! (Has anybody discussed the difference between the CD artwork and the LP artwork?)
We also listened a lot to God’s Money by Gang Gang Dance but maybe that came out last year. So hard to keep up! We felt real good about JME’s Boy Better Know label too, upping the grime game by focusing on sonically generous, lyrically ambitious artist albums.
JME – A.W.O.H (Boy Better Know)
from Shh Hut Yuh Muh
LABEL OF THE YEAR
Skull Disco, right? intrepid xplorers Shackleton and Appleblim just kept on moving, way past dubstep convention into something airy earthy and mythic, what with all those skeletons waltzing atop ground-up soundboy duppies, and that’s not even mentioning the Ricardo Villalobos remix of Shackleton’s “Blood On My Hands.”
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
a three-way tie! Skream and Cheihka Remitti and our brave Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed.
Cheihka Remitti – track 5 from Trab Music
Skream upped the wobble-bass game AND the plastic reggae game. his album was whatever but the stream of singles just seemed very massive and fwd-thinking; as a presence he was a producer’s producer, like, if you were making a dubstep/grime track you’d have to pause and be like “uh oh, if i don’t give this 115% then that teenager on Tempa gonna kick my ass”
Remitti passed early in 2006 but her musical legacy is just enormous enormous, plus she was so obviously braver & bolder than anybody else…
…Except maybe Ethiopia’s Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed, another giant who left us in 06. Jimmy was a fragile blind man with a glorious voice who lived it up right til the end, touring with The Ex just a few weeks ago. Ex guitarist Terrie runs the Terp label, which produced a beautiful album with Jimmy in 2006, made all the better by lush photos and a very informative booklet.
CONCERT OF THE YEAR
The Ex, in any number of U.S. cities. Anarchopunks who make this incredibly potent groove-based music, sweet & low & heavy, more in tune with African sensibilities than rock ones, why aren’t they the most famous guitar band in the world?
if you’ve only heard them on recordings then please remedy that in 2007 and check The Ex live. Unsung Hero award to soundman Colin and Unseen Hero award to the one-woman-rhythmachine of Kat, hidden behind her drums in venues with bad sightlines.
OVEREXPOSURE OF THE YEAR (BEST)
The Knife! we first heard them in Europe, when they were largely indistinguishable from the kind of acts you see on late-nite northern European music video shows, where a platinum blonde lady wearing a shiny bikini-spacesuit sings in German-accented English over synth arpeggio-driven techno while SMS-dating numbers scroll on the bottom of the screen.
But once we realized that The Knife had sidestepped these connotations and managed to enthrall American hipsters, it was like wow! They really do deserve all that praise! Let’s listen to Forest Families again!
OVEREXPOSURE OF THE YEAR (WORST)
Joanna Newsom. Nearly everything we liked about her previous album went missing on the new one. Instead we got pompous strings and an extremely aggressive marketing/publicity push. Ah, humanity!
SANDWICH OF THE YEAR
El Jibarito, somewhere in Chicago. Wayne took us there, to experience this Puerto Rican culinary innovation: a great greasy mega-sandwich but INSTEAD OF BREAD, there are two slabs of fried plaintains. Ay! Ay!
WORST MOMENT WITH STATE OFFICIALS OF THE YEAR
1/3 of Nettle getting deported back to Spain upon arrival in London for a weeklong tour.
How much do we detest borders? And inept UK customs ‘officers’ who amplify them at will? And island mentalities? A strike against geography indeed.
BEST MOMENT WITH STATE OFFICIALS OF THE YEAR
N.Y.C. cops* nearly arresting Andy, Konstantin, and Rupture for soliciting prostitutes at 3AM in the West Village (“Are you aware that these are female impersonators?!”) then realizing that we were just trying to find a cab, and proceeding to hail one for us, in an agitated, tense-faced hurry.
* Maybe they weren’t real cops. Maybe they were cop impersonators… Driving a regular van painted to look like a police van with working sirens & flashing lights.