Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Joshua Abrams and Lisa Papineau.
Listed: Joshua Abrams + Lisa Papineau
While the Chicago music game continues to evolve and grow from its 90s instrumental rock roots to today's frenzied hodge-podge of noise/jazz/dj/folk/etc., few players remain. One that has truly swum smoothly through it all is bass player Josh Abrams. His initial claim to fame - that he was a founding member of The Roots - is perhaps the most outlandish mark on his resume. He has also been a regular member of Town and Country, Sticks and Stones, the Sam Prekop Band, and has toured with more bands than I can think of our count. His latest effort, a solo album (recorded under the name Reminder), is a mellow and focused affair that brings together the sum of his experiences and and talents.
1. Gary Bartz Ntu Troup - Harlem Bush Music (Taifa)
Part house party, part social conciousness this record from 1970 creates a world where jazz and soul music are not separate entities without sacrificing the strength or integrity of either. The liner notes tell us "the use of music reflects the all-pervading reality of man's oneness with nature. There is an awareness of man's position in the cosmological order. This is the musical approach used on this album. "Word."
2. J Dilla - Doughnuts
In the 50's Thelonious Monk was know as "The Genius of Modern Music". I think that title fits Jay Dee very well today, sadly in the afterglow of his life. If you haven't heard this record yet I could not recommend it more highly, it has had my ears on lock since the day it came out. In thirty years time I believe heads will still be turning to it for inspiration.
3. Abdul Wadud - By Myself
Hearing this record made me reconsider how I approach the bass. The range of sounds, emotions and ideas on the album is astonishing. He moves through extremes with grace, one moment playing intense abstract bowed passages and then change on a dime to some "Rainy Day Dreamaway" like strumming. Somehow Wadud's virtuosity does not overshadow all the music he's playing. If I had more time i'd start a fan club.
4. Kevin Drumm - live in Chicago
For those who arrived early enough, KD stole the show from Sunn0))) and Boris by providing the audience with a bass frequency internal organ massage. More than loud, it seemed like the whole room was vibrating with a warm sound that completely enveloped the listener. The best show I've seen so far this year.
5. Bridgett Fontaine + Areski - Je ne Connais pas cet Homme
I love how they were able to bring together so many elements into their music while maintaining a casual intimacy, and really do well by their influences too, not just on the surface. Art song, French folk, poetry, North African music, free jazz, and almost cinematically heavy string orchestration all figure into this beautiful record.
6. Tim Maia - Racional Vol. 1
Brazillian soul music from the 70's, great songs and production, smooth yet really strange. The songs in English seem to espouse some of the philosophy of the religion/cult he was a member of at the time of the recording.
7. Musiki Wa Kiasili (Folk Music of Kenya)
Sun Ra once said that any sound that can be produced electronically can be created acoustically as well. These recordings of folk music from Kenya make for a pretty good case. Compiled by George Senoga-Zake in 1974 and recorded clearly and without artifice (like ReverBBBB) it presents examples of many instruments and styles that go beyond conventional notions of "world" music. The Hugh Tracey recordings that document different families of African instruments are also mindblowing.
8. Sounds of the Indian Snake Charmer
Another example of acoustic music sounding electronic. The drums sound like some space age beat box and the breaks in the reed's drone come off like glitchy skips. Plus it is hard to mess with anyone who can charm cobras. While in Nepal in 2005, Aaron Dilloway recorded the Nath family in an alleyway of Kathmandu and released it on his Hanson label.
9. Cor Fuller Trio live
While playing at the Glasgow jazz festival i got to hear Cor's piano trio perform. At times he made the piano sound electronic, other moments like a gamelan or a drum, then snap into an abstract swing while playing leads on melodica. Han Bennick and Joe Williamson sounded great as well, and the feel and focus remained strong even in the music's most esoteric moments.
10. Heartworn Highway
A documentary by James Szalapski which flipped my perspective on country music. The film flows more like a record, no explanations just music , stories, and whiskey. The performances and conversations feel relaxed and unforced, episodes with Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Steve Young are some of my favorite moments.
Born in Providence Rhode Island, Lisa Papineau was raised in respective wilds of Massachusetts and Vermont. She is probably best know to Dusted readers for having been featured on a handful of songs on M83's Before the Dawn Heals Us, her new album, Night Moves, is out now on Sony/BMG.
Simple, but untarnished.
1. Sassafras root and its surrounding controversy
Paula Marquis and i spent an afternoon in the woods digging it up, and then tried to sell it on my dead end street for a penny a root. I didn't realize until last Monday that's it against the law in the USA. They (they!) make drugs with it. But it tastes so good.
2. Ricky Don' t Lose that NumberĒ
Even if it's about one of Donald's coke buddies. Hearing it for the 1st time as a little kid: having to sit down until it ended; I wept because it was so beautiful to me. I hadn't known until this point in time that songs could make one feel such things.
3. Meredith Monk - Songs from the Hill
Found it in the tape cassette(!) section in my school library. 4 voices, piano four hands, 2 soprano recorders.
4. Alexander Theroux - An Adultery
Despite my general timidity, I threw this book against the wall several times whilst reading it. How could Mr. Theroux use such sublime language to write about this whiny bastard of a protagonist? I guess I'll never know, but it was quite an invigorating read.
5. My first (and last) poem
It was about a whale. It didn't rhyme, the last sentence being: "because I'm free, and alive, and now."
6. Big Black - live
Right before they broke up. I had only discovered them just months before. the show was in Providence, Rhode Island during a blizzard; I was one of seven in the audience. I remember an ancient reggae guy dancing the same tempo'd skank to each and every song. Steve and the other slender fellows wore waist straps and made such precise disco noise. I was mesmerized.
7. What songs are about
A girl came up to me at a show and asked what one particular song of mine was written about. I started to try and explain, but she interrupted, and said, "no, in fact it's about a ghost that lives in my upstairs bedroom mirror." Very well.
8. Each first snowfall
Hokey, but nothing can sully this experience for me. Something about how the air smells. In Vermont, everyone outwardly grumbles, but Iím guessing itís just for show.
9. Ludwig Wittgenstein - Philosophical Investigations
The proverbial light bulb sputtering on in my head, as I suddenly comprehended the importance of leaving things in fucking context.
By Dusted Magazine