Thursday, April 25, 2013

cooled out and warmed up

I wanted to give a belated shoutout to the cats of Cool Out! The party I played last weekend in Bushwick. (nice write-up here) I was invited to focus on the more strictly Jamaica-centric aspect of my musical repertoire.

I decided to take the chance to do a set of all vinyl --not because I fetishize its audio quality, but because I have stacks of records - 12"s, 7"s and 10"s - which are not digitized (or I haven't tracked down good quality audio files for), and I haven't had a chance to play out in years. It was also the only set I've played in AGES to stay sort of within a genre, but it really gave me a chance to explore the delights of 1990s dancehall in particular. It is still one of the most creative, wacky, experimental genres, especially in terms of sonic variation, plus there are so many lyrical and vocal innovators playing around with sounds.

Some of my favorite moments were:

I opened with

And mixed into my favorite find, Lady Saw on the same riddim, singing "pumpum before gun" which is a great sing that begins with the time-honored phrase "SALUTE DI COOCHIE."

And another favorite - I had to drop some UK tracks - was Top Cat's "Pirate Radio Station"

WE wandered all around through some of my favorite riddims from "heavy metal" to "shanghai" to "grass cyaat" and a little hop to Germaica for the Pharoah Riddim.. It was not your typical dancehall set, I think I have a pretty unique take on it. Besides the hard, dark, wiggy, percussive vibe, themes included: some of the great female vocalists: Tanya Stephens,  Lady Saw and the underrated (in the US I think) Macka Diamond probably dominated, but Lady G, Cecile, Patra and others got a look-in. One other favorite from that night:

The whole night was perfectly sweet and ran till 4 or so... Dj Oliver Rivard (Cluster Mag) held down a nice rocksteady opening. Regent Street played pretty much all the crucial 4/20 appropriate tunes, and I was followed by Max Pearl (Cluster Mag) playing classics from various eras.

Big thanks to the three hosts for giving me a chance to revisit my collection with fresh ears!

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