Monday, March 21, 2005
Musique Nonstop :: March Madness Edition (a growing entry)
You get out of practice. Then everyone else nabs the assignment before you can get to it. So...here's some current heavy rotates:



Konono N°1 :: Congotronics

Lubuaku was the appetizer, but Congotronics is the killing joke. And Lubuaku was one of my favorite records last year. Recorded by Belgian producer and sometime Laswell collaborator Vincent Kenis, Konono's percussion burns while their distinctive likembe lines loop and surge like a river in winter-melt. Sometimes, an almost second-line style trap drum surfaces with a driving martial beat. The whole thing blasts forward at "Planet Rock" tempo.

But most of all, Konono's Congotronics kicks mad bass pressure. The effect is not far from say, the b-boy throb of "It's Just Begun". When on "Masikulu", the bassline drops out, you take a deep breath, because you know it's coming back. It's like ducking a big wave on the inside while you're paddling furiously back out to lineup and you know the big sets are still rolling in. Huge rollers of blissful noise. If Lubuaku was raw power, Congotronics is high drama. You won't be able to remain motionless.

Expect mad reviews on Konono by the end of the spring, and the promised Congotronics 2 to start a global metropolitan craze. Just remember you heard it hear second or third--after the homie, the burb killa Christopher Porter.



Keith Hudson :: The Hudson Affair

Trojan 2-disc anthology expands on Steve Barrows' loving and essential Studio Kinda Cloudy comp into 2+ hours of pure Dub Dentist bliss. This is why he's one of my favorite reggae producers of all time--groove, space, and an unshakable intensity.

This comp captures the first half of his career, mainly through 1974. He introduced the world to lights like Ken Boothe, Big Youth, Dennis Alcapone, and U Roy. They all left him for bigger success. He dropped one of the classic dub albums of all time, Pick A Dub, and the existentialist manifesto, Flesh of My Skin, Blood of My Blood. Then, he retreated and mainly recorded himself. For many, that's when he went off the deep end.

His post-74 output is less consistent, for sure, but as the music deepens its sense of alienation, he's also quite often brilliant. If you understand the second half of his career as an exile's reaction to the Kingston scene, as an outsiders' sound, it makes more sense. Hudson is almost the anti-Bunny Lee, even the anti-Scratch. He's deliberately obscure and anti-pop.

Keith Hudson rarely fits into the grand narratives of reggae history these days because of these idiosyncrasies--yes, and you thought Scratch was weird--and because by the late 70s, he is floating between London and New York while fixing teeth on the side and experimenting with disco and funk. But there's no denying the vision of Rasta Communication, the clarity and rhythmic drive of Brand (apparently out of print once again), or the emotional pull of Flesh of My Skin, Blood of My Blood.

In any case, this anthology is the exuberant Hudson ("Old Fashion Way/Dynamic Fashion Way"), the ready-to-conquer-the-world Hudson ("S.90 Skank"), the-more-haunted-than-Burning-Spear Hudson ("Melody Maker"/"Don't Think About Me (I'm Alright)"), and also, inevitably, the brilliantly iconoclastic Hudson (yes, the infamous "Theme From Satan Side"). That last one, yo, it's one of the best songs ever recorded.

More reviews here as I feel the spirit.

Down with Dook!

posted by Zentronix @ 9:41 PM   0 comments links to this post

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

 

Previous posts
The Quannum Story
On KQED
R&B Singer Lyn Collins Dies
Still Fiending For The Mixtape?
Back!
Tour Diary? What Tour Diary?
High Court Ends Death Penalty for Youths
Of 50 and More Hot 97 BS
The Best Hunter Thompson Tribute Ever
New Yorker review!


select * from pages where handle = "BlogLinks" #content#

Archives
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
 

Email list

Add me to the Can't Stop Won't Stop email list, an irregular update of what's new in our world:

Submit