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)

Ear Conditioning 32 – Adjust the Treble and Bass

Crash, bang, wollop.  Today’s program was almost wrapped up until I checked the inbox.  Freshly minted beats and rhymes from the Foreign Beggars.  Following on from their ‘United Colours of Beggattron’ album, Beggatron REmixed 2, a package that’s pushing some weight. Detroit legend Dabrye, Om Unit, Planas (Ranking Records), Blue Daisy (Black Acre), Diverse Concepts and world dj champ and producer DJ Troubl & Dj 2 Tall. Guest vocalists include rappersJehst, Kashmere, Ben Sharpa (Pioneer Unit South Africa), American soulstress and ex – Macy Gray/Plantlife vocalist Audra Nishita and newly celebrated Graziella of Miss Frank

Starting the proceedings this week however we have Mech, a producer from Gran Canaria.  For his contribution to the program, he’s taken a classic isa and rewired the components to bring traditional Canarian folk music into the age of now.  Mech is part of the Colectivo +0 crew, who are in the midst of putting together an event featuring Mech and myself in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria at the beginning of October.  More details as they come in.

Ninja Tune are celebrating twenty years in the game, and hence they are about to release an absolutely massive box set, featuring lord knows how many tracks.  The package clocks in at around 60 tracks or something.  In line with this, Ninja are giving away a track a week via their website, hence The Herbalizer contribution, remixed by Roots Manuva, who also has his own remix package coming out next month.

Sitting on my shelf is an album by the folks that put together the All Tomorrow’s Parties.  I haven’t dug this album out in a long time, which is a crime.  Who is on it?  Boards of Canada, Autechre, Mike Ladd, Co Flow, Cannibal Ox, Prefuse 73, Tortoise for starters.  Seek and enjoy.

Without a doubt, one of the pioneers in electronic music was World Domination Enterprises.  They captured a vibe that was present in London in the late ’80’s, alongside the likes of Renegade Soundwave, Mutoid Waste Company, and that Jack Dangers produced band whose name as presently escaped me, Meat Beat Manifesto.  While recently in London, I passed by the building that used to be home for the Mute group of labels.  Mute have now moved within the offices of EMI, however the new building on the former Mute site, is now called Miller House, in honour of Mute founder Daniel Miller, how about that?!

Coming back to now, we have a track from the long player from Mala, a collection of three vinyl slabs for you to meditate on.

Well that should do you for now.

Tune in via Sunhole dot net from 22h00 GMT tonight.

Oh, in case you do feel like showing up, I’ll be at Txola este viernes desde 23h00

Ear Conditioning 32 – Adjust the Treble and Bass

Mech / Isa antigua de Valsequillo
Foreign Beggars / Asylum bound featurng Ben Sharpa – DJ Trouble Remix (Dented)
The Herbalizer / Something Wicked / Roots Manuva Dub (Ninja Tune)
Foreign Beggars featuring Dabrye and DJ 2 Tall / Gravity (Dented)
Boards of Canada / In a beautiful place ou tin the country (ATP)
Fe Mi Time / Mother Liza (Pressure Sounds)
World Domination Enterprises / Jah jah call you (Product/Mute)
Mala / Mountain Dread March (dmz)
Shoes / Saving Mr. Billy’s Soul / We Don’t Row Enough / Cosmic Clock / Which Jesus Am I / Shit / So Much For Loving You, Baby / Everything (Shoes)
Andreya Triana / Lost where I belong – Flying Lotus Remix (Ninja Tune)