Cot Damn Fall ’14 Masterpiece No. 3: Clap! Clap!

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Clap! Clap!
Tayi Bebba
Black Acre
Released Sept. 8 2014

Maybe it was the mysterious nature of the Italy-based producer behind Tayi Bebba, but the phrase ‘cultural appropriation’ is now probably the first thing dance aficionados associate with Clap! Clap!. That’s a shame. Let’s assume for a moment that the person is a white man; is this then an attempt to dress up someone else’s work – maybe that of a whole culture – as something original, and then profit from it, the way the likes of Pat Boone did by rerecording early R&B hits in a more ‘white’ style? I would argue it isn’t. For one thing, it’s clear that, although the samples of field recordings on Tayi Bebba pervade the album and give it its concept (an imaginary island), they’re arguably transformed into original work by the way they’re sampled and combined with synthesized elements to make a work that has merit in its own right. Of course, the work being interesting doesn’t absolve the creator of having swiped someone else’s ideas, but frankly, it helps. Nothing about Tayi Bebba feels tossed-off or exploitative; it’s a nuanced, well-constructed work. In a certain sense, I’d compare it to A Tribe Called Red; while ATCR obviously has a direct link with its native Canadian sample sources and Clap! Clap! may not, ATCR didn’t invent their culture from whole cloth either, they just brought vibrant new context and creativity to existing material. (I find it a little odd that dogmatic left-wing radicals are, in these cases, so hung up on the idea of inherited culture. They certainly don’t feel that way about inherited wealth.) While Clap! Clap! may not have come from the culture he or she is sampling, I don’t see any attempt to claim authority or authenticity in reference to the source material, so without knowing more, I’m willing to listen.

With that out of the way, boy do I dig this record. Clap! Clap!’s talent as an arranger and producer is unmistakeable; there’s nothing outwardly ‘ethnic’ about a song like “Conqueror (remorse/withdrawn),” yet it’s just as arresting and invigorating as the more obviously African-based “The Rainstick Fable” with its chants and kalimba melody plinking and plunking away over vivid manifestations of the low end theory. Read: bass. There’s no gimmick here, that I can see; just great, kinetic dance music that borrows liberally from garage, hip-hop and dancehall as well as its sample sources to create refreshingly original stuff. I love the half-time trunk-rattling rhythm of “Kuj Yato” and the almost Bhangra-like Jew’s harp groove of “Burbuka.” Oh hell, I love it all. If you’re a fan of Mo Kolours or Flying Lotus’ early stuff, your life will be vastly improved by this album.

New mix: JAWS

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This one is especially rugged – lots of raw, sort of distorted sounds, though there’s a nice mellow bit in the middle with the Mala single (which is gorgeous) and the SBTRKT/Jessie Ware collab. My favourite tune in here is definitely the DJ Big O remix of the BFlecha tune. I could mix a whole set of that. And don’t sleep on the Ill Blu tune either – Hyperdub just killing it with their comps lately…

Click here to download from Mediafire

Deemo – JAWS by Deemo on Mixcloud

1. DJ Hesburger – Roll Up Your Sleeves, Welcome to the Dance – …I Care Because You Don’t (Turbo)
2. Dusk + Blackdown – Back 2 Go FWD>> (Sweet 2 Go Sour Mix) – Back 2 Go FWD>> (Keysound)
3. Pev – Aztec Chant (Tessela Remix) – 12-inch (Livity Sound)
4. Ill Blu – Bellion – Hyperdub 10.4 (Hyperdub)
5. Mala – I Wait, Pt. 2 – I Wait (Pt. 2) (Deep Medi)
6. BFlecha – A Marte (DJ Big O Remix) – Beta Remixes (Arkestra Discos Holland)
7. AxH – Nano – Tempa Allstars, Vol. 7 (Tempa)
8. Aphex Twin – Syro u473t8+e (Piezoluminescence Mix) – Syro (Warp)
9. SBTRKT – Problem Solved (Ft. Jessie Ware) – Wonder Where We Land (Young Turks)
10. Mr. Mitch – Be Somebody – Don’t Leave [EP] (Planet Mu)
11. Chemist – Defiance (Rabit Remix) – 14 tracks: e-grime:emirg-e (Boomkat)
12. Sully – Concord – 12-inch (Hsuan)
13. Machinedrum – Hard 2 Be – Vapor City Archives (Ninja Tune)
14. Voltage – Gangsters – 12-inch (Natty Dub)
15. Scar – Ruby – 12-inch (Metalheadz)
16. Chimpo – Bun It (feat. Fixate) – Out An Bad (50 Weapons)
17. Fracture, Sam Binga & Rider Shafique – She Want It Ruff (Logos Space Jam) – 14 tracks: e-grime:emirg-e (Boomkat)

Mixed Nov. 11 2014 by Deemo

Cot-damn Fall ’14 masterpiece No.1: Distal

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Distal
Retrograde Space Opera
Anarchostar
Released: Oct 13 2014

Concept albums! Whyyyyy. It’s 2014, is there any need? And a sci-fi one that’s also a dance album? Did Jeff Mills, great as he is, not kill that hoary old idea dead with a single ambient snooze-button blow? Suffice it to say I was not ready to embrace Distal’s latest album like a long-lost relative emerging from an escape pod crash landed on a desert planet. But like a plucky young loudmouth discovering that his main squeeze is actually his sister, here we are, and there ain’t much to be done about it.

The basic jist is that we’re plunked into an apocalyptic future where the uber-rich have fled our dying planet and we’re under constant surveillance, when we’re not fleeing the predations of ruling tribes of gangsters. There’s a lavishly illustrated website to poke through if you want to dig deeper, but personally I’m more than satisfied with knowing the thrust of things and making up the rest through the music. Largely because the music is so very, very good.

The worst thing a dance LP can be is track-y. Nothing gets boring quicker than a disc, even one with great jams, that happen to be sonically similar and presented without any kind of arc or structure. Retrograde Space Opera obviously has a structure, but just knowing that the structure is there, even in an abstract sense, makes for compelling listening. Early in the disc, cuts like “Sewers of Gattaca” balance shimmering, hummable synths with brutal barrages of drums that are less beats than they are collections of light slaps in the face. ” The ultra-hard kicks and snares pile up like the best recent grime a la Mumdance or some of the Night Slugs guys, but with a better sense of form – you always feel like the beat is taking you somewhere, and there’s a natural funkiness that a lot of other producers can’t get across while they’re doling out total screwface ruffneck business. It’s kind of amazing how listenable “Jaws of Delroy” is, given how abrasive its component parts are.

The second half of the disc is less grime than straight-up techno, and Distal pulls off both sounds as easily as a farm kid bulls-eyeing womp rats. “Don’t Need Her” is soulful despite the almost footwork-like repetition and whip-crack snare sound – if DJ Rashad had lived, I wonder if that’s what his stuff would one day have sounded like – and “Holding Pattern” and “Look Mom No Hardware” would have a Detroit purist actually cracking a smile if they came on either side of a 12-inch with a picture of a robot on the sleeve. (Not if the robot was smiling though, that would just wreck the mystique OBVIOUSLY.)  The palette is consistent throughout, all haunting synth pads and prickly hand claps, so again, it’s almost miraculous how he makes it all work together.

Some records I feel like I need to be high to fully appreciate. I don’t think the drugs have been invented yet that would make Retrograde Space Opera make sense, in a “holy shit, the lunatics are on the grass/Dorothy is walking the fence” Dark Side of the Rainbow kinda way. But you don’t need to understand it to bug the fuck out to it. I’m living proof!

Mix: “Connecting”

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*cover art lovingly appropriated from the poster for the 1980 Japanese movie Crazy Thunder Road

This mix is not new, but it’s too much fun to sit on any longer. I feel funny big-upping my own stuff, I keep hearing the kid from De La Soul Is Dead going “it’s slammin! Yo, it’s slammin!” So I dunno, here’s some free music and stuff. Enjoy.

Click here to download from Mediafire

1. Jex Opolis – On the Cliffs – Zither EP (Good Timin)
2. Jamie XX – Sleep Sound – Sleep Sound (Young Turks)
3. Joakim – On The Beach (Joakim’s Cray76 remix) – On The Beach (Tigersushi)
4. In Flagranti – Outsider House – Ten Years of Phonica (Phonica)
5. Moodymann – Hangover (Moodymann mix) – Hangover (KDJ)
6. Fort Romeau – Pirouette – Her Dream (Live At Robert Johnson)
7. Florian Frings – Shift – Backspace (Minus)
8. Booka Shade – Crossing Borders feat. Fritz Kalkbrenner (Booka’s Dub Mix) – Crossing Borders (Blaufeld)
9. ZZT – Givin In – Givin In (Turbo)
10. Samo Sound Boy – Divine – Open / Divine (Body High)
11. Graze – Scrap – MWeapon (New Kanada)
12. Addison Groove – Bad Seed – Presents James Grieve (50 Weapons)
13. Golden Teacher – Love – Party People/ Love (Optimo Music)
14. Melchior Productions Ltd – Sightings – The Return Of The Cosmic Kids (Aspect Music)
15. The Black Dog – Too Many Isms – Sound Of Sheffield Vol. 01 (Dust Science)
16. Komon and Appleblim – Beach Trek – Jupiter EP (Aus Music)

Mixed April 19 2014 by Dave Morris for a-void.ca.

“Connecting” by Deemo on Mixcloud

Mix: Left and Right

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So many total face-melters here. Both tracks with Riko make the case that he might be the U.K.’s most ruffneck MC. Repping the local scene with Shi Wisdom, who really ought to have been on the Polaris long list (apparently the album was like two minutes too short). Stray, who I didn’t know previously, was a nice surprise – Exit Records holding it down. And the footwork flip of “Luck of Luchini” was urgent and necessary. RIP DJ Rashad, gone too soon.

Click here to download from Mediafire

Deemo – Left and Right by Deemo on Mixcloud

  1. Loops Haunt  – IIVA – Exits (Black Acre)
  2. Bok Bok – Howard  – Your Charizmatic Self EP (Night Slugs)
  3. Kowton – Jam01 (Beneath Remix) – Livity (Ghost-202 Remix) / Jam01 (Beneath Remix) (Livity Sound)
  4. Jacques Greene – No Excuse (Yung Gud Remix) – Phantom Vibrate Remixes (LuckyMe)
  5. Martyn – Forgiveness Step 3 – Forgiveness EP (Ninja Tune)
  6. Wen – Play Your Corner (feat. Riko) – Signals (Keysound)
  7. Durban – Chimes  – Chimes (Lit City Trax)
  8. Footsie – Tekky – King Original Vol 3 (Braindead Ent)
  9. Shi Wisdom – Fly Too – Stranger Things Have Happened (bandcamp)
  10. Heterotic – Boxes – Weird Drift (Planet Mu)
  11. VesperTown – Tuff Luv – Kaleidoscope (Donky Pitch)
  12. Jailo x Ganz – Casino Royale – Turquoise (Terrorhythm)
  13. Visionist – First Love – I’m Fine (Part II) (Lit City Trax)
  14. Stray – Fragile – Chatterbox EP (Exit)
  15. Nomine – Zen Circle – Enma (Tempa)
  16. Terror Danjah feat. Riko – Dark Crawler – Hyperdub 10.1 (Hyperdub)
  17. Ital Tek – Control – Control (Planet Mu)
  18. Traxman – Your Just Movin – Da Mind Of Traxman Vol 2 (Planet Mu)
  19. DJ Rashad x DJ Spinn x Taso – Luchini VIP – Teklife Till Tha Next Life Vol. 1 (Teklife)
  20. Dibia$e – Hold It Down – Schematiks (10thirty Records)
  21. DAMH – Black Night (DJ Koze Remix) – Black Night (Kompakt)
  22. J Dilla – Here We Go Again – Lost Tapes Reels + More (Mahogani)

Mixed June 7 2014 for a-void.ca by Deemo a.k.a. Dave Morris

Mix: Get Bodied

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Haven’t had time to do much in the way of posting lately, but I’ve got a couple of mixes on deck to share, starting with this one. That Evian Christ track in particular is a stormer. Get up on it like this.

Click here to download from Mediafire

 

Deemo – Get Bodied by Deemo on Mixcloud

1. Bjork – Virus (Hudson Mohawke’s Peaches & Guacamol remix) – Bastards (One Little Indian)
2. French Fries – U.M-An – Kepler (Clek Clek Boom)
3. Evian Christ – Propeller – Waterfall (Tri Angle)
4. Gladiator – Assembly Line (Original Mix) – Assembly Line (Fool’s Gold)
5. JT The Goon – Eski Moment – Twin Warriors EP (Oil Gang)
6. Mumdance & Rabit – Square Wave Shell Down – Boxed Vol. 1 (Boxed)
7. Arctic – The Sicilian – 14 tracks: Nexx Level Grime (Boomkat)
8. Bok Bok – Melba’s Call (feat. Kelela) – Melba’s Call (feat. Kelela) (Night Slugs)
9. Machinedrum – Back Seat Ho (Rustie Remix) – Fenris District (Ninja Tune)
10. Mark Pritchard – Makin a Livin’ – Bleep: The Top 100 Tracks of 2013 (Bleep)
11. DJ Clent – Don’t Leave Me (Baby) – Hyper Feet (Planet Mu)
12. Henry Rodrick – Hey Baby – Don’t Believe (Studio Barnhus)
13. Umbertron – Jackmi – Chicago Tek (Loose Squares)
14. Ital Tek – Universal Decay – Mega City Industry (Civil Music)
15. DJ Earl Heavee & DJ Taye – RubbaBANDZ – Audio Fixx 2 (Ghetto Teknitianz)
16. H-SIK – Sonic Rage – Sonic Rage / No Promises (Black Acre)
17. A Tribe Called Quest – Stressed Out (Bjork’s Married to the Mob Mix) – Stressed Out (Jive)

Mixed April 12 by Dave Morris a.k.a. Deemo for a-void.ca