Wednesday, 25 April 2007

False Media

Public Enemy completed their 58th tour with a performance here in Santa Cruz de Tenerife last Friday. Despite three flights, lost luggage and tired bodies, alert minds were present for the pre-concert press conference. Brother James, Professor Griff, Flava Flav and Chuck D stepped into the room, saying hello to all and shaking everybody´s hand….not sure how many musicians have presented themselves in that manner.

Connor, an Irish born, Canarian-raised radio presenter attending his first ever press conference, presented Public Enemy with a Canarian flag with the PE Logo embossed in the middle, nice touch. He raised the issue of immigration, I think trying to inform PE about what goes on here, and the media distortion of the situation. Either Chuck or Professor Griff, asked if there were people here before the Spanish came, and whether they were black or white. To the first part , several of us said yes, the Guanche, as to the second part of the question….somebody said they weren´t either, which threw a curve in Griff´s head, which was visible on his face, and the words “What does that mean?” came from his lips. I stepped to explain the Guanches roots, when some one else in the background interrupted to talk about the Phonecians. What the Phonecians had to do with Tenerife and the Guanches, who´se roots have been traced to the Berbers, I am not sure, and most of the other journalists in the room had that “What da fuck is he talking about?” face on them. Connor´s question never really got answered, but then it gave me the opportunity to raise the issue of False Media, presented by El Dia, one of the media sponsors/collaborators for the PE concert. The irony of El Dia being part of the PE concert, given their editorial stance and distortion under the banner of reporting when it comes to Africans arriving on Canarian shores seemed to wash over the heads of most, and the two promoters who book-ended the head table were quick to dispel any notion of political connections or sinister motivations, saying the link between them and the paper for the promotion on the concert had nothing to do with the editorial stance of El Dia. Griff said that they new nothing of El Dia´s history, which is natural, and that the promoter has to do what he was to do make sure he has the best promotion for his concerts, and take care of his business. I think I could have raised the issue in another manner, False media, we don´t need it do we? and hit it from another angle, however the shit did seem to hit the fan somewhat, creating a lively debate.

During the press conference we spoke about the N-word and the responsibility of us as artists, brothers, men, in trying to curtail the spread of niggativity. The two Russian visits we as Fun-da-mental had last year resulted in twice being greeted with this word or hearing it in a conversation between the vocalist Shamil and the promoter, who if I recall is a leading Hindu practitioner. I only think of going back to Russia now as an excuse for somebody to call be Nigger again, because that´s all they know. Yes, Fun-da-mental have been confirmed to play at an Anti-Racist event in St. Petersburg in July.

Chuck laid most of the blame at the feet of the corporate music labels whose number one priority is making ca$h money, social responsibility is of little consequence. Our responsibility at the end of the day has to overcome the corporations and PE are a classic example of doing it and leading by example.

Brother James spoke with me afterward on the origins of the word relating to dead, and that is how the white man considered us, since we no longer built Pyramids and were no longer scientists. The music we listen to dictates how we present ourselves and if all someone listens to is constant Nigga this and Nigga that, then that is what is going to be perceived as the norm. His iPod is loaded with classic soul and funk, Mavis Staples, Sly Stone, Funkadelic, Al Green, The Meters.

DJ Ripley hit me up a couple weeks back about the documentary by Byron Hurt,
Hip Hop - Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which examines the representations of gender roles that live and breath in hip hop and rap today.
Interview with Byron Hurt in Vibe magazine

I couldn´t help notice the Thugged out image for the ad for Vibe magazine, which is the main points of discussion of the film.

I asked Chuck about Don Imus, his one word response, ANUS.

Now, hears an head-shaker, Imus gets canned for calling some college women basketball players "nappy-headed hos" and yet Rush Limbaugh plays "Barack The Magic Negro" on his show and he is still on the air?

On a lighter note, check out ?uestlove on his Record Collection and why bootlegs are cool.

Chuck D on Flava Flav

Rich McLean aka Audio Shrapnel, who I consider one of the best DJ´s I have ever witnessed put together a 25 minute seamless mix of Fun-da-mental material from over the years for BBC Asian Network but they refused to transmit the mix. Mrs. Shrapnel gave me the news like this...

When I spoke to Aki he said "do a best of FDM, ya know, your own perception of what you think are the best material by us".
So Rich and I chose the tracks (16 tracks in 20 mins!!!), and I gave it to Aki the following day (tuesday).
By my understanding the asian network lot had it for at least 5 days but didn't listen to it. Fast forward to this tuesday and Rich gets a call saying they want to do a quick phone interview with him.
Rich being Mr Honesty says "so your happy with the content then?".
Meera from the show goes "what do you mean?"
Rich - "Well it's Fun-da-mental, it's got a strong political messages through it"
Meera - "Oh well, I have to get that cleared"
Rich - "Haven't you listened to it to check that?"
Meera - ""
A text was received by Aki from a bod at BBC Asian Network "if I knew about the content I would've got it cleared".

Clearly, no need for me to comment any further....

This week´s playlist....

Ear Conditioning at Radio Pimienta 100.3FM

24 April 2007

Radiohead · Climbing the Walls / Fila Brazillia Rmx (Parlophone)
Kode 9, Benny Ill & The Culprit · Fat Larry´s Skank (Tempa)
Mark One · Slope (Planet Mu)
Mike Ladd · Feb. 4 99 (For all those killed by cops) (Ozone)
DJ/Rupture · Descarriada / Rotator Rmx (Broklyn Beats)
African Head Charge Meets Professor Stretch · You Learn (OnU Sound)

Konono No.1 · Unguli Wele Wele (Crammed)
Sobanza Mimanisa · Kimwembo (Crammed)
Mad Tunes from around the world vol. 3 · Untitled and uncredited folk music from Greece (Metalanguage)

Grinderman · Depth Charge Ethel (Mute)
Wesley Willis · The Frogs (Sympathy for the record industry)
Kid Koala · Trick or Treat (Ninja Tunes)
Queens of the Stone Age · 3´s x 7´s (Interscope)
Queens of the Stone Age · Quick and to the Pointless (Interscope)

Little Axe · 15 to 4
Vernon Reid · Saint Cobain (Epic)
Georgia Anne Mudlrow · Patience (Stones Throw)
Public Enemy · Pump the Music, Pump the Sound (Guerilla Funk)
KRS-One · Sound of the Police (Jive)
Chuck D · Niggativity...Dare I disturb the Universe (Mercury)
Terrawrecka · Terradome (White label)

Fun-da-mental Radio Mix by Audio Shrapnel
Che bin 2
Cookbook diy
God devil
White tongue
Ja sha taan (jesus & mary chain remix)
Sliced lead
No more fear
Electro g-had
No more fear
English breakfast
Dog war
Mera mezab
Screbinicia massacre

The Roots and Lata Mageshkar · In the Music mix up
King L Man · Carcass featuring Arka /Tropico 28 and Scalper
Razhel the Godfather of Noyze · If your mother only knew
King L Man · One36 / El-P · I´ll Sleep When Your Dead Intro

Thanks to Audio Shrapnel, Aki, DJ Ripley, PE, Javi Jiminez, Dani, DJ MAD

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Post-OCA Festival Playlist · Ear Conditioning at Radio Pimienta

Last weekend we attended the OCA-Festival in the colonial town of La Orotava, and specifically in the Casa Lercaro, what a beautiful setting with a large garden and a cavern-like spot where I´d love to do something special. Friday was the launch party for the event, Randal Graves and G´sus supplied the sounds while others supplied the talk and liquids. I dj´d on the Saturday after the one called Jeff Automatic, who reminded me very much of Andrew Weatherall. As I was getting my records together, he would be telling me about the lyrics in the next tune he had lined up in his G5...."This one is about Aliens who come to earth, and ask ´What is woman?´ He also dropped some early New Order....Ceremony, I think....which I used to have, and is most probably still sitting in the basement of our house in Toronto, nearly 20 years later!

Time went pretty fast on Saturday, and it seemed as if it was only an hour after I started that organizer Carlos Robles gave me the five minute warning.....damn, I had at least three other tunes that had to be played before I retired for the night. Poison Idea´s version of the Go-go´s ´We Got the Beat´ had to be played...I promised Eddie Souzzo something hard and heavy, and the traditional Canarian song ´Punta del Hidalgo´ by Olga Ramos y Agrupacion, which Lee of DigiDub fame gave me just before I moved here. The last time I played ´Punta del Hidalgo´ in a club here, the thicknecked-nobrain security came up to me and said I wasn´t allowed to play that kind of music in their club. Well, that club no longer exists, and I´m still here, so they can sit on the middle finger and peddle. Big shout to those that made the party, from the bar staff, the organizers and crew, the people that paid good money to get in, the guests, and the new all made it gooooood!

I dropped an email to Le Volume Courbe as I came across her myspace page and she replied, saying that she has completed her new album and had a show in Glasgow we will have something new to look forward to very soon.

I felt the urge to dig out the first album from Dr. Phibes. For three musicians, they made a lot of noise....yeah, I know one person can on their own...however, indulge me for a sec´....they really turned their instruments inside out with what they delivered. I had the pleasure of working with these guys for their second album when they signed to Virgin Records, where I spent many a year. Their story had a tragic end on a personal note, but I hope Howard, the vocalist and guitarist has pulled through and a new chapter has been opened. Forward people!

More gems here than can be found in a deBeers gold mine......

Ear Conditioning
17 April 2007

Le Volume Courbe / Harmony (Honest Jons/Astralwerks)
Black Francis / What Happened to the Pong (4AD)
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion / She Said (Mute)

Asmahan / Yalli Hawak
Kinara / Abke na sawan barse (EMI India)
Indian Folk Music / Maharati

Curtis Mayfield / Pusherman (MCI)
Defunkt / Self Disclosure (Island)
African Head Charge / Positive Thoughts and Mind (OnU Sound)
Music from the Angolan Border / Women´s Initiation Song (Lyrichord)
Laventille Rhythm Section / Rhythm 1 (Honest Jons)

Dr. Phibes and the House of Wax Equations / Mr. Phatasy (50 Seel Street)
Dr. Phibes and the House of Wax Equations / Mirrors (50 Seel Street)
Bob Mould / Sunspots (Virgin US)
Grinderman / Go Tell the Women (Mute)
Public Image Ltd. / Careering (Virgin)

Inverse Cinematics / Seven by seven (Faces)
Overtone / Give it Again · Inverse Cinematics mix (Redbud)
Stereotyp / Jece Valadáo (Man)

The Roots / False Media (DefJam)
Public Enemy / Public Enemy No. 1 (DefJam)
Dalek / Antichristo (Ipecac)
Public Enemy / Brothers Gonna Work it Out (DefJam)
Basemental Platform / Gem wit Slugz
Daedelus / Fallen Love (Mush/Ninja Tunes)

Badawi / Enter the Heretic (Ashphodel)
Loefah / Bombay Squad (Reflex)

Photo courtesy of Miurihausen

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

The Volume Curve

Ear Conditioning
April 9 2007

Le Volume Courbe
translates as ´the volume curve´ and is apparently inspired by the do-it-yourself ethos of Nico among others.....(I don´t know too much about Nico to be honest, apart from the obvious Warhol and Velvet connection, and then recently read that she was a racist bitch,,2034607,00.html) but I digress....the album, ´I Killed My Best Friend´ is a true original piece of work aided by the likes of Hope Sandoval, Kevin Shields and Keith Tenniswood. The opening track´s vocals sound as if they were recorded on my original cassette player that my mum gave me when I was ten years old.....and that is not a dis´. The vocals are countered by a melody reminiscent of a harpsichord. There is also a cinematic vibe to the album...I hope she is getting lots of people looking her way and copping this album. This is definitely a punk record-very experimental, bilingual vocals, heartbeats, tender guitar notes and more...go seek. It just hit me as I write, if you liked Tricky´s ´Aftermath´ etc. you´ll dig it.

Stretch Armstrong, the legendary NY hip hop DJ used to have a radio program with Bobbito in the 80´s and 90´s and he has digitalized thousands of demo´s that were sent in. I bagged the demo of MF Doom, which apparently was recorded while Doom was staying at Stretch´s apartment.
100% Hip Hop purity.

That´s enough blurbage from me this week. The playlist of yesterday is as follows......

One Flew Over the Cuckoo´s Nest Soundtrack / Act of Love & End Credits
TV on the Radio / Wash the day · Live at Amoeba Music (Amoeba/Interscope)
The Clash / Car Jamming (CBS)
Talking Heads / Crosseyed and Painless · Live (Sire)

Benoint Pioulard / Together and Down
Le Volume Courbe / Who are You? (Honest Jons/Astralwerks)
The Melvins / Civilized Worm (Ipecac)
Las Ratas / Know your Rights (Rebelde)

Sonny Rollins / Wail March (Blue Note)
Miles Davis / Little Church (CBS)

Sons of Arka feat. Prince Far I / Throw away your Gun · Live (Arka)
Jah Woosh / Woodpecker Sound (Trance/OnU)
Primal Scream / Wise Blood from Echo Deck · Remixes by Adrian Sherwood (Creation)

MF Doom / Elite Scooby Doo Shit (mpfree)
Pete Rock & CL Smooth / T.R.O.Y. (Elektra)
Saian Supa Crew / Ring My Bell (Source)
Tes La Rock / Upside
Dub Gabriel / Mash Out (myspace.comslashdubgabriel)
Sofa Surfers feat. MC Santana / Selling Souls · The Bug Remix (Klein)
Burial / Nite Train (Hyperdub)

Doudou N´Diaye Rose / Rose Rhythm (Virgin France)
Fun-da-mental / The Truth Commision from The Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit/Nation)
The Roots feat. Dice Raw / Da Lesson Part 1 (Geffen)
Common / Funky for You (MCA)

Thanks to Errol at Astralwerks, Dub Gabriel, Javi Jiminez, Nacho, Twoey of Las Ratas, Stretch Armstrong, and the singers, players, DJ´s and producers.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Ear Conditioning 03 April 2007

Ear Conditioning Playlist
April 3, 2007

Accept no substitute

You sold weapons to Iraq, Great Britain
You sold your soul to America - the Devil, Great Britain
You haven't got no religion, Great Britain
Do you really believe in Jesus, Great Britain?
Thou shall not kill, Great Britain

from "Great Britain" by Scorzayzee

I am trying to play hip hop that does not denigrate the brotherhood by constantly referring to the N-word...but I missed a couple in the Dangermouse produced Grey Album feat. Jay-Z and The Beatles, apologies for that. Dug out the Like Water for Choclate LP from Common, and even that was littered chock full with da word...damn, a bit depressing as Common is supposed to be a brother that steps outside the usual boundaries of hip until I edit the track myself, it will have to stay on the shelf for now. His original name was Common Sense....uh?
I think we do have a responsibility as hip hop is a world wide thing, and it has got to a state where we can go to any country in the world now, and be called ´Nigga´....nah, not my cup of tea.
"Oh, your getting old!"
To that, I say, "Everybody is getting old, unless your dead!"

Finally got my hands on the self titled debut album from Vieux Farke Toure, and really into the sound of the calabash. One of the players on this album, Hassey Sarré performed with Afel Bocoum at last year´s Womad in Gran Canaria...and is well remembered for his smile which radiated throughout the venue for the entire concert.....and his playing of the njarka (spike fiddle) was not to be laughed at either.

I had one foot about to come into contact with the pavement outside Jumping Man Records the shop where I purchased the Farke Toure album, when Lupi the proprietor put on a piece of music that caused me to turn to ask who was? Stanton Moore was the reply. Never heard of him...until then. I happily passed some more money to Lupi. I wanted to ask him if he would present a session on Ear Conditioning, and he replied he too has a program, at a Radio Campus, which is part of the La Laguna university here in Tenerife...I´ll get him on one day though, maybe we can do an exchange, as our respective programs do not reach each others airwave space.

This coming weekend I will be DJ´ing at the OCA Festival, which is one of few events here that are not mafia run. Also on the bill.....Mini Market, Randal Graves (DJ Set), Tamgo, G´sus....(who used to work at the Rock City in Nottingham.....saw Ministry there yeah!!!!) Tamgo, Jeff Automatic and Harry S. Morgan to name a few. We are doing our thing at the Zona Kiu in La Orotava, so if yer in the area on Saturday April 14........

Public Enemy
are due to perform in Santa Cruz next week....I am not quite sure how the right-wing newspaper El Dia got involved as one of the sponors of the PE gig, as they do nothing but invent and publish lies about the immigration scenario regarding people coming from the African continent. I´d love to talk with Chuck about that, but it seems as if my requests for an interview with him have fallen on deaf ears, but I will continue to try. Has it been really been twenty years since I saw PE at Toronto´s Masonic Hall?

The day after PE perform, we will be returning to Santa Cruz for the Nick Cave solo concert. Does solo mean just him on his own? The word solo suggests as much, but I don´t think it will be just him. I´d like to experience Grinderman live. Please consider a return to these shores with your fellow Grinders, Mr. Cave. I always remember us passing each other on Portobello Road, London a few years back. Nick Cave, looked healthy, he had a tan, I´ll never forget it.....maybe I has this pre-concieved idea that he was paler than pale itself. Anyway what is important is his work, and it works.

Funkadelic / Funk gets stronger (WarnerBros.)
Dangermouse / Moment of Clarity from The Grey Album, Jay-Z meets The Beatles (mp3)
Scorzayzee / Great Britain (Out da Ville)
Murs & Z-Trip / We will rock you (Definitive Jux)

Vieux Farke Toure / Sangare (World Village)
Vieux Farke Toure / Tabara feat. Ali Farke Toure (World Village)
Circus Klezmer / Odessa Bulgarish (9é Circ d´Hivern)
Circus Klezmer / Belz (9é Circ d´Hivern)

Scott Ritter / Anti War (mp3)
"I call myself part of the anti-war movement even though I´m not a pacifist, I´m anti-war because I´ve been to war. War is the most horrible thing mankind can inflict on mankind because war is only about man killing man, that´s what it does. That´s what happens when you go to war."

/ Depth Charge Ethel (Mute)
Timezone feat. John Lydon & Afrika Bambaataa / World Destruction (Virgin)
Grace Jones / Private Life Dub (Select Cuts)
The Art of Love / The Perfect Man read by Sally Dexter (Virgin)

Exclusive Mix Session by Audio Shrapnel
N.A.S.T.Y. Crew / In the Place
Taz / Can´t Contain Me
Krazy Baldhead / Revolution (Para One Remix)
Freddy Fresh / Smokin´
2Digital / That Fucking Bongo Track
Vex´d feat. Orifice & Dubbledge / Bollocks
Bonde Do Role / Melo Do Tabaco
Slimting Recordings feat. L.O.C. & Shizzle / Represent
Sound Revolution / Last Wave
Bird Peterson & Chris Vodka / Bumptard
Damian Marley / Jamrock (Poj Masta Remix)
Moody Boyz / Witness the Day

Mix Sesssion by DJ Hatcha
Tracklisting temporarily unavailable, sorry, but I do know that the ever dependable Kode 9, Loefah and Digital Mystikz were in the mix.

Stanton Moore / Poison Pushy (Telarc)
Unkle / Guns Blazing · Drums of Death Pt. 1 (Mo´Wax)
400 Blows vs. 23 Skidoo / F.U. GI (TigerSushi)
Samuel L. Jackson /"AK47" taken from the film Jackie Brown
"When you positively absolutely need to kill every motherfucker in the room.....accept no substitute."