Posts Tagged ‘Dub’
Bernd Friedman a.k.a. Burnt Friedman (and other uncountable pseudonyms) invited 20 musicians from Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Copenhagen, Cape Town, Santiago de Chile and Cologne to participate in making “Can’t Cool”, a fascinating blend of styles and sounds that always keeps you on the edge of your seat. This record provides another zest clue in introducing the means of Dub-music, but stop, not only in the classical dub way or in the modern meaning of dub productions with the mixer as the central method. “Can´t cool” introduces the means of Dub-music production to various genres: blues, soul, klezmer and afrofunk without spending time wasting sound-effects. The tracks are relatively short and compact although they contain a large amount of live instruments. The record is an exotic afro-dub hybrid with more than a blend of soulful songs with the featured vocalists Abi, Patrice, Lovetta Pippin and Theo Altenberg. Burnt Friedman appears to have put aside his penchant for shapeshifting games and jazz, but perhaps it’s still lurking there deep down under the mellifluous tones and guest vocals. Can’t Cool is a heavier, more richly melodic sound than his previous music.
Just listen to the opening track “fuck back” and take a comfortable seat in your virtuel coffee shop, awesome and there are eleven more tracks to come. “Can´t cool” from 2003 is a masterpiece and what seemed initially to be straightahead and smooth is revealed to be complex, detailed and a real work of art.
Let´s count the reggae releases in your collection which are not from Jamaica or at least from an jamaican artist. Not that much, right? Well, there are a lot of fantastic non-jamaican reggae artists and in a lot of countries all over the world a good reggae scene developed and more and more bands are growing from these roots. Ponto de Equilíbrio are an outcome from the brasilian reggae scene and with no doubt play at the international top level, with a lot of other non-jamaican bands, home-grown reggae acts have sprung up across the globe. Ponto de Equilíbrio were formed 1999 in Rio de Janeiro and blend traditional aspects of roots reggae with musical flavours from across Brazil into an utterly distinctive and highly refreshing individual sound. This band is not just an copy of jamaican roots reggae, it´s the brasilian version and a further development inside the brasilian music landscape.
Compared to other parts of the world reggae music came very early to Brasil and soon wasn´t only listened by the people, but also involved in the brasilian music. Just listen to the artists from the Tropicalia movement from the late 60s and early 70s, especially Gilberto Gil and you will hear a lot of reggae influences. Today reggae is in some parts of Brasil, the Northeast and also in some parts of the Amazon, a widely popular music with a lively local scenes. Ironically Rio de Janeiro isn´t really a hotspot of reggae music, but Ponto de Equilíbrio are for sure such a hotspot.
The group’s second album, “abre a janela”, conveys a diverse selection of moods and emotions, from deep, mellow grooves such as “janela da favela”, to summery upbeat songs like “verdaderio valor” or “tão bela”. The song “quem Sabe” even feeds Jamaican music back into the Latin Quarter of its roots, when it interplays between local styles and reggae mixes up a tasty cocktail of sounds. On “abre a janela” (open the window) afro-brasilian dance rhythms as well as dub and ska, are all underpinned by the constant spirit and feel of roots reggae.
Singer Helio Bentes plays the principal role with his richly animated and passionate perfect reggae voice, which is often accompanied by sweet female backing vocals. However, this does not deprive other band members of opportunities to express themselves.
A very talented band, benefitting from some fine production by Chico Neves and some of the few bands which lyrics are worth reading. “‘O Inimigo” (The Enemy), for example, is an attack on the brasilian state of society with its well-documented social segregation and racial discrimination which ravages the country. Spiky horn stabs punctuate the opening verses, and a later passage of rapped lyrics over minimal dub backdrop provides an interesting contrast.
Belém in the northern amazonas state Pará, Brasil, isn´t only a lovely city, but also has to offer a lively music scene with techno-brega as the most famous outcome. But it would be unfair to restrict Belém and its music only on that sound, especially for the great jazz scene and artists in the “Cidade das Mangueiras”. And it would be unfair to bands like Coletivo Rádio Cipó from the bairro Pedreira, which make a collective interference in the regional culture with the universal language of electronic music. Their music fuses Brazilian regional styles funk de morro, samba, carimbó and batucada with hip hop, dub, breakbeat, jungle, ragga – the result is a maconha driven dubby trip to modern urban sounds and comes with an angry political message, pissed off by the miserable conditions and daily violence in the streets, where a single life not even counts a penny.
Coletivo Rádio Cipó are Carlinhos Vaz (drums and effects), Rato Boy (MC), Rodrigo Jamant (MC and programming), Renato Chalú (guitar), Jared das Arabias (bass) and Luis Bolla (percussion), but as a collective many other artists and just the people from the streets can and did participate. Music made through the partnership with the community, integrating popular, as well as urban and peripheral understandings and influences, a process of growth and expansion of the free digital communication.
The record opens with the hipnotic instrumental “cowboy sem lei”, soon reaches with “foguete” the first but not last climax, gets more relaxed for some tracks and has with the aggressive dancefloor pusher “choque eléctrico piau” an impressive wake up call for the the last third of the record. Where it is getting almost jazzy with the out of space dub “amor brejeiro”, with the wonderful vocals of Dona Onete on the mic. She also participates on the mic the following track, “paixão cabocla”, a half samba-half dub, explores the world of Lee Perry and its adepts. The record closes with the 12 minute long “lourinha americana”, as great as the whole record.
Much more varied than all that baile funk stuff and also comes like a rararattattattatt-machine-gun-fire.
PS: M.L. – Música Livre (Copyleft/Creative Commons)!!!
I´m back and in the meanwhile urbanology reached the 100.000th visitor, hurray!
“Tranquilo” is Marcelinho da Lua´s, producer, DJ and singer from Brasil (or the moon?) first record and is anything, but not calm as the title suggests. I don´t want to spend to many words on this record (in fact I´m just to lazy to read all the informations about him, which are only in portuguese), just let you know the record includes a cover version of “Cotidiano” by Chico Buarque, woah. And Marcelinho da Lua is brewing a killer mix of electronic styles on his debut and beside the cover version of that classic brasilian song Seu Jorge and Gilberto Gil are participating. Woah for the third time today, an awesome ecclectic record and I guess you will say whoaah too, after listened to this record.
Why fuse rare breaks, hip-hop, early 70’s Soul and Jazz with roots reggae?
“Because nobody else has done it!” as musician, writer and producer Michael Hunter aka Butch Cassidy Sound System (formerly also known as Pablo) says. And he solved the problem of modern roots reggae with this release. Why? In my eyes there are a lot of fine roots reggae bands, but only a very few are performing a modern version of it (i.e. Groundation, who add a jazzy touch), most are boring retro groups. BCSS from Glasgow breaks out of the retro limitations and the results are pretty amazing. Look out for Michael’s diverse production, showing us why the Butch Cassidy project is far more than just reggae. There is soul, funk, r&b, hip-hop and house all on show. Despite the main reference for the album being a firm focus on 70’s reggae, Michael takes the individual tracks in very different directions, but the album in general veers far more towards classic dub reggae than new age fusion. That´s no surprise, because for the recording of this project, Michael collected together all the vintage instruments, compressors and effects. He also mastered the album from two inch tape, to achieve the authenticity of sound he wanted, and to create, a perfect mix of funk and reggae. And you have to hear the dub version of The Meters´ “cissy strutt”, which will keep most dance floors jumping.
Yesterday the new Roots Manuva record “Slime & Reason” was released by Big Dada and if you want to be convinced about the pure quality, check out the videos for the singles “again & again” and “buff nuff“. Of course you won´t find the new release here (why?), but if you aren´t into Roots Manuva until today, here is the perfect gateway drug: “run come save me”, his second record. Here are some words I arranged from the officiall Big Dada press kitt, sorry, to busy to write a own review.
In 1999, four years after the release of his first single, Roots Manuva dropped the instant-classic “Brand New Second Hand” to critical acclaim. The Independent called him “”the most significant and original new voice in hip hop” and in 2001 the second full length followed. On that record Hip hop is reimagined as a loose Scratch Perry skank, as electronic barrages of noise, as looped guitar feedback over minimal beats, as “that tropical shit,” as Specials-style lope. The range of the sound is a reflection of the Manuva mindset – seemingly disparate but all pushing in the same direction.
“It’s more focussed than Brand New Second Hand,” Smith explains, “Because I had specific ideas of what I wanted to pull out melodically from that record. I really wanted to just move a stage up to the sickest melodic structures that I could think of. The whole recording process involved more attention to detail and a lot more time to freak out and be totally creative. I was left to mess about. I felt like Quincey Jones! Just there giving Jamie [the engineer] orders – ‘I need this sound, I need that sound, set up these effects’. A total kid in the sweet shop.”
If you expect Smith/Roots Manuva to tell you what the record is about you’ve got another thing coming: “The definitions of the songs grow all the time and I don’t really see them straight away. I don’t always see them even a year after things are made. I listen to things that I made five years ago and go, ‘Oh, I understand where I was coming from.'” On the other hand, listen carefully and it’s all there – while Manuva may switch from seeming nonsense to narrative/anecdote to politics in eight bars and then back again, the fractured pieces still form a picture.
Charming, erudite, personal, experimental but always approachable… this is a benchmark for UK hip hop!
Rainbownorth is so kind to let us post Fat Freddy´s Drop “Live at the Matterhorn” here, thanks for your work!
From Sydney Morning Herald:
“Word of mouth alone saw their debut release, Live at the Matterhorn, sell 9000 copies (that’s a gold record in Kiwiland) in a few months. It’s doubly remarkable when you consider that it was a 70 minute CD with only four tracks on it.”
Though most of these songs are not played anymore, Runnin’ has become a live and fan favourite. This is not FFD at their absolute zenith, but is still a really tight recording. Trombonist Ho Pepa is not present at this point,but the horns section is still crisp and tight, the vocals smooth as always, and the keys are very nice. My personal favourite is Rain, though all of the songs are listenable.
Contrary to the current Fat Freddy´s Drop, on this recording from 2001 the band here is a little bit more into Jazz, today they are more into Reggae, seems they exchanged the emphasis. The recording quality of this live take is good.
And here is more to come, again provided by rainbownorth, a a radio session they did in the localised Wellington area, for a station called Radio Active FM. The quality is pretty nice all the way through (192 kbps mp3), all tracks are excellent, but my personal favourites are The Nod and Midnight Marauders: the first for its pure fat booty funk, and the second for its soulful beauty and incredibly beautiful lyrics and vocals. Hope and Midnight Marauders have been played before on other recordings (the first I have is a BBC session for Giles Peterson), but these are some of the most complete and extensive recordings, and they certainly sound as good as I’ve ever heard this band. Somewhere around there is a video for this session, and I’d kill to get it, but have no idea how I would ever see it, considering how few people I know have this…I haven’t even given it to all of my friends who follow this band. Anyway, hearing it is just as good, so enjoy!