Ear Con60 – Black Sun Burnin’


Yesterday the sun was black.  It will be like that for awhile, judging by how timeless ‘Memories of the Future’ the first album by Kode 9 and The Spaceape feels.  It still resonates with the freshness upon the first encounter.  The follow up work, ‘Black Sun’ rose yesterday.  It’s a environment that is not dissimilar to that which was presented via the film ‘Children of Men’ to which Kode9, The Bug, Digital Mystikz contributed music.

Kode 9 interview from Fader Magazine

We deliberately tried to make Spaceape sound like I’ve tuned in to him on some kind of frequency from another place, like he’s transmitting from another location. That location is this fictional world we tried to create, a world after an unknown, unclassified radioactive event. The album takes place in the repercussions of this event and what it’s done to the atmosphere. The album is really about populations dealing with the ecological consequences of this radioactive event. Now, that’s not an attempt to reflect what’s going on in the world. It’s distant in the sense that it’s a fictional world, that  we don’t know where it is and we don’t know when it is. The music evoked a world that we didn’t expect and now we’re just trying to work out what that world is.

Also contributing to the sunburn this week are Badawi, who did the artwork for the ‘Black Sun’ album, Martyn, The Bug, Ryuichi Sakamoto with Youssou N’Dour, Four Tet, Scratch DVA, Vision and the Riddler (thanks for that tip Manjeev), Silkie, The Gaslamp Killer with Gonjasufi on board.  And there are a few more gems in there, finishing of with the closing track from ‘Black Sun’ which features FlyLo.

Transmission tonight via (Black)Sunhole at 22h00 GMT and via eFM Radio Sarajevo on Saturday at 18h00 as part of The Magic Show.

Ear Conditioning 42 – Unsolved Mysteries

Photo: Albert Wilson

The countdown to the annual Womad gathering in Las Palmas is now beginning to gather steam. The line up for this year has been announced, so we begin this weeks edition with one of the acts I’m most looking forward to seeing live and direct, The Creole Choir of Cuba.  They are so un-typical of what we, or at least I, think of when it comes to Cuban music. The Creole Choir celebrate the history of their Haitian descendents enslaved to the Caribbean from West Africa.  They have revived the songs of their ancestors for modern times. “For us music is like food, it feeds the spirit and is a major inspiration for everyday life”.

The title for this weeks program comes from the unfortunate tale of R.L. Burnside, who recalls how his two brothers, his father and several uncles were killed in Chicago.  He relays this through RL’s Story.

Four Tet delivers an epic eleven minutes worth of remixology for Bob Holyrod’s African Drug. Thumb pianos dancing to an evolving 4/4 beat with percussion subtly doing its job.  It seemed like a perfect place to lay Linton Kwesi Johnson’s verbal tone over, with a couple pieces taken from his Live a cappella album.

Teebs, who I played over the last couple of weeks, brought the music of Laraaji back into my brain, something about Teebs’ sound has a certain quality that lends itself to a place of harmony, (sorry for that ‘Hippie’ moment!) so yes, I had to dig out Laraaji, who you may know for his albums from the En0-esque period of EG Records.

The original DJ Morpheus, Samy Birnbach, compiler of the groundbreaking Freezone compilations put together a comp’ for Tigersushi, I Can’t Live Without My Radio.  The ’80’s always seemed to get slammed for producing crap music, people were just looking at the obvious but we know there was inspiring, challenging, engaging music then.  So I pulled the title track, a cover by World Dom’ and Timezone with Afrika Bambatta and John Lydon for this weeks session.

I always liked the scope of the Language label that Tony (Moody Boyz) Thorpe used to run.  One act they brought to my attention was Italy’s Bio-Muse.  Noise, aggression, going completely against the grain of what was current or trendy.  Many heads on the electronic scene didn’t get it, fine, others did.

Tune in  via Sunhole tonight 22h00 GMT+1 and eFM / Radio Sarajevo on Friday, 18h00 CET

Ear Conditioning 42 – Unsolved Mysteries

Creole Choir of Cuba / Edam Chanté (Real World)

RL Burnside / RL’s Story (Fat Possum)

Stateless / Ariel (Ninja Tune)

Madvillain / Figaro (Stones Throw)

Illum Sphere / Sweat the Decent  (Hoya)

Bob Holyrod / African Drug – Four Tet Remix

Soil and “Pimp” Sessions / Pop Korn – Wafa Remix (Brownswood Recordings)

Linton Kwesi Johnson / Bass Culture / Tings and Times (LKJ Records/WEA)

Timezone featuring John Lydon and Afrika Bambatta / World Destruction (Tigersushi)

World Domination Enterprises / I Can’t Live Without My Radio (Tigersushi)

Bio-Muse / Socially Bankrupt (Language/Crammed Discs)

Burial / Prophecy (Nu Levels)

Laraaji / The Dance (EG Records)