Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The Return of the dB assault

Ear Conditioning / dB Acrobatics

September 4th 2007

I´ve had seven weeks off from the program due to gigs and family commitments so plenty to catch up on.

Oh, where to start? Let´s make it simple...i caught up with fellow band members for a couple concerts in Russia in July. We flew into St. Petersburg for a festival sponsored by the British Council. The feel of St. Petersburg is so different from being in Moscow. The city is located on the coast, and canals and rivers flow throughout the city, very much a Nordic feel, where as the drive into Moscow last year was depressing as hell due to seemingly millions of vehicles on the motorway belching out tons and tons of diesel and petrol fumes (yes, we were part of the problem too), the drive into St. P from it´s airport is a lot shorter and we were greeted by the sights of people riding horses in city....not sure what that was about, but it looked good and not the type of thing i/we were expecting at all.

We were in St. P to take part in the British Council-sponsored UK Flavours event, featuring local band I-Iaska, Lily Allen, the Dub Pistols featuring former Specials vocalist Terry Hall, Tigerstyle (thanks for the 12" guys), Mad Professor and Misty in Roots. Click here for footage of our Ministry of Defence contracted dhol-player doing his solo. Seriously, he cant´t talk about the work he´s done for the MoD, as he had to sign the Official Secrets Act. Do they know he plays with us?

After the show, we had to take the overnight sleeper train to yup, Moscow for the Krylia festival. Eight of us travelling, four compartments reserved, two people to each compartment right? Not when you have a new monitor engineer that can´t share his assigned compartment for some unexplained psychological problem. So bass-man Lloyd had to sleep on the floor of another compartment. If it were up to me.....but it weren´t so enough about that, and back to Krylia. The festival was targeted in 2004 by a couple female Chechen suicide bombers, who took about fifteen people with them into premature retirement, hence the security at the festival was heavy as fuck, every two meters there was a cop or soldier present. Once again we shared a stage with New York´s Hazmat Modine who we played with last year in Moscow. They had a horn player with them who had the biggest horn i have ever seen in my life, surely most of their wages went to pay excess weight. Russian hardcore group FAQ continued the mosh-pit action after us with an energetic performance....well, you would if your hardcore. Speaking of hardcore, i caught a performance by Bad Brains at the Rogers Picnic in Toronto courtesy of old friend Errol Nazareth. Also on the bill was The Roots. Maceo of De La Soul was spinning during the stage change over, and he killed us with tunes...practically every track he played was a funk, disco, soul classic. I definitely rate him as one of the best party DJ´s, alongside DJ Premier and Rob Birch of Stereo MC´s. During The Roots set, Maceo Plug Won and Lupe Fiasco came out for an impromptu jam session. Most of us went home content.

While back in LDN working my way back home, i stopped of at Soul Jazz, Rough Trade and Honest Jon´s record shops for my fix, and came across a cd with a familiar image. Scratch the head, and ponder for a moment....ah yes i realized it was the mighty /Rupture that first brought this record to my attention with his superb blog. Choubi Choubi, Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq, you know that had to be acquired.

Dubstep, or bass-lead music comprised the majority of purchase this time around, but it´s gonna be hard to find a system here in Tenerife that can handle the bottom weight. I will have to search hard, low and high to find a capable system so folks here can be ear-conditioned proper. in the meanwhile we in Tenerife must be satisfied with radio offerings such as the last 30 minutes of the program or DJ Mad´s selection on his Mextura2 program, also at Radio Pimienta. Other new joints include the Gaudi produced Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan album, and the cumbia of Lito Barrientos, high energy latin fiyah!

It all makes a lovely stew.....

FAQ / Intro (RebelRecordsRussia)
Ja´afar Hassan · They taught me /
from Choubi Choubi(Sublime Frequencies)
Gaudi meets Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan · Dil da rog muka ja mahi (Six Degrees)
Unknown Artist · Segue Bezikh / from Choubi Choubi (Sublime Frequencies)
Unknown Artist · Oh Mother
/ from Choubi Choubi(Sublime Frequencies)

King L Man · When will Turkey apologize for the first holocaust of the 20th Century? (Ear Con)
Mighty Zulu Nation · Mdavu the Man (Nation)

Dodo · Electric Love (Freshly Squeezed)
Lemon · Batman (Freshly Squeezed)
Liars · Plaster casts of everything (Mute)

Bad Brains · Give Thanks and Praises (Oscilloscope/Megaforce)
Bad Brains · Jah People make the world go round (Oscilloscope/Megaforce)
Bad Brains · Pure Love (Oscilloscope/Megaforce)
FAQ featuring Max Cavalera · Killing Song (RebelRecordsRussia)

Madlib · Enter Hot Curry (Stones Throw)
Lito Barrientos y su orquesta · Cumbia en dos menor (Soundway)
Tigerstyle · El Tiburón (Soldier Sound)
Buraka Som Sistema feat. Petty · Yah! (Modular)
State of
Bengal · Breathe in (Betelnut)

John Lee Hooker · Walking the Boogie (Chess)
Manu Dibango · Soul Makossa (
Papa Levi · Mi God Mi King (Fashion)
Laurel & Hardy · You´re Nicked (Fashion)
The Beat · Noise in this world (Go Beat)

Prince Fatty · Milk and Honey (The Moody Boyz remix)
LV featuring Dandelion · Takeover (Hyperdub)
Coki · The End (dmz)
Skream · Moving Snares (Disfigured Dubs)
Coki · Sponge Bob (dmz)
ANS · New Worlds (Studio Rockers)

Thanks to Errol Nazareth and family for the time and presents, The Bug for busting some new tunes for me, Steve Goodman for the LV 12", quite possibly one of the year´s best releases. Also shouts to Mala - Digital Mystikz for a generous package and a good lunch and Marta at EMI/Mute España.

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