Thursday, 27 February 2014

Burundi Black • Burundi Black

I wasn't aware of this recording back in 1981 when it was re-released, but the bands it influenced like Bow Wow Wow ans Adam and the Ants were playing Burundi drums on these space age (to me) Staccato drum kits which have amazing sound. Now if anyone knows of any sampled Staccato drum sounds, drop me a line.


"Burundi Black" is a 1971 recording credited to Burundi Steiphenson Black.
Released as a single, it made #31 on the UK Singles Chart.
The single was arranged and produced by French pianist, arranger and record producer Michel Bernholc (1941 – June 5, 2002). He was a classically trained pianist who had previously worked with pop musicians such as Michel Berger, France Gall, Françoise Hardy and Claude François. For the "Burundi Black" single, he used the pseudonym Mike Steiphenson.
The record sampled a recording of drumming by 25 members of the Ingoma people in Burundi. The recording was made in 1967 by anthropologists Michel Vuylsteke and Charles Duvelle, and was released on the album Musique du Burundi on the French Ocora label in 1968. Steiphenson overdubbed his own piano and guitar rock arrangement onto the recording.
In 1981, a new arrangement of "Burundi Black" was recorded by drummer Rusty Egan and French record producer Jean-Philippe Iliesco, and released in the UK and US where it became a dancefloor hit, described by music critic Robert Palmer as "glitzy pop-schlock, a throwaway with a beat". Palmer noted that, although Steiphenson had retained copyright over "Burundi Black", the Burundian musicians made no money from any of the recordings.
The recording of Burundi drummers was also sampled by Joni Mitchell on her song "The Jungle Line" (1975), on "Zimbo" by Echo & the Bunnymen (1983),  the Def Leppard single "Rocket" (1987) and the Beastie Boys' "59 Chrystie Street" (1989).

1. Burundi Black (First Part)
2. Burundi Black (Second Part)

Drummers of Burundi
Additional Drums • Rusty Egan
Special Re-mix • J.P. Illiesco, Rusty Egan
Written by Mike Steiphenson

Label: Barclay ‎– BAX1, Decca ‎– BAX1
Format: 320
Country: UK
Released: 1981
Genre: Electronic, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Tribal, Experimental

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Black Arc • Black Rock | Cyberfunk | Future Blues

Black Arc was a short lived record label that Laswell set up through Rykodisc focusing on ‘Black Rock, Cyber Funk and Future Blues’, according to the released sampler.
This sampler contains the first five releases, three other releases followed.
Some of the albums were re-released on Laswell's Innerhythmic label.

1. O.G. Funk • Yeah Yeah Yeah
2. Zillatron • Bugg Light
3. Slavemaster • Godless
4. Hardware • Got A Feeling
5. O.G. Funk • I Wanna Know
6. Zillatron • Count Zero
7. Buddy Miles Express • Born Under A Bad Sign
8. Slavemaster • Each One Teach One
9. Hardware • Hard Look
10. Buddy Miles Express • Let It Be Me 

ZILLATRON • Lord Of The Harvest
is the creation of Boosty Collins and Laswell,
designed as a vehicle for radical
explorations of funk into the
virgin territories of Ambient,
Hardcore, Techno, and beyond

is an organic fusion of hard, Gothic,
Heavy Rock guitars with Funk and Hip Hop grooves,
led by bassist/vocalist Islam Shabazz
O.G. FUNK • Out Of The Dark
is raw, uncut Funk from original Funkadelics Billy "Bass" Nelson.
Screaming guitars, gutbucket grooves, nasty vocals and gritty production

HARDWARE • Third Eye Open
is a hard Blues/Rock power trio featuring Drummer Buddy Miles,
bassist Bootsy Collins and Guitarist Steve Salas,
With all three contributing vocals.

is hard Rhythm & Blues from veteran drummer/singer/ Buddy Miles
on his most powerful recording ever.

Released later, not on sampler:

Abiodun Oyewole: 25 Years

The Last Poets: Holy Terror
This is the P-Vine release version.

The Last Poets: Black And Strong (Homesick) Promo

Jerome Brailey and Mutiny: Aftershock 2005

Bernie Worrell's "Free Agent" was also released on the this label but in Japan only.
Domestic copies sold by Bernie do not show the Black Arc logo.

At The Center Of This Stands Creativity The Revolutionary Forces Of The Art Through Freedom The Only Aim Is Not Thinking The Only Result Is Communication The Repetition Of Familiar Form Is The Basis Of Ideology That Information Is The Model Of False Communication The Communication Of The Inauthentic - The Non-Living The Language Of The Whole Man Will Be A Whole Language Freedom Leads To Freedom Those Are The First Words Of The Truth
 Bill Laswell

Label: Rykodisc ‎– RCD 10313
Series: Black Arc
Format: 320
Country: US
Released: 1994
Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop, 

Rock, Funk / Soul
Style: Blues Rock, Funk Metal, Industrial

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Derek Bailey • guitar, drum 'n' bass

This interview with Derek Bailey was undertaken by Stefan Jaworzyn (of Shock records) in mid-1995. It originally appeared in the magazine Music from the empty quarter (an irregular publication), no. 12, 1995. 

Derek Bailey:
Well, I did some recording... The jungle music's by Ninj - a beautiful piece, about 50 minutes - in fact it's five pieces I think. He does mainly studio work I believe - an interesting character. So he'd done his thing... I got to the studio - all this had been arranged from New York by Zorn and Laswell - the day before we were supposed to tape it. The studio was run by Mick Harris, a nice little place... I set up and tried a few things, then said to him, "Have you got a chair because I sit down to play.' And he said, 'No'(!) then, 'Well, there's one in there' but it was no good because it had arms. So he didn't have any chairs - but there was his drum stool. So I said, 'Well, I'll try the drum stool' but the drum stool was broken and it kind of weaved around. It spun round, but not only did it spin round but it conducted a circle in which it would spin - it would spin round in a circle, if you see what I mean - the upright was not upright...

Stefan Jaworzyn:
It swooped...

Derek Bailey:
Yep. So it was a fairly skilful business just keeping upright on it. (I should have asked Zorn for a chair. I realise now that when I got to Birmingham I should have phoned him and said 'There's no fucking chair here John - get a chair!'). We got talking about the way to record, and he played me a bit of the jungle stuff and I said, 'Don't play it just now.' Then I went back to the hotel, and I remembered about the chair, so I rang him up and said, 'Tomorrow, get a chair'. And he said, 'It's impossible.' So I left it with him anyway... I turned up the following day and there's no chair! I used the drum stool. It turned out that the drum stool wasn't really a problem. What was a problem was that Mick didn't seem capable of mixing a DAT and a live instrument. There were also some things that went on that were somewhat in the chair vein - like I played with the first piece then said, 'I'll just have a listen to that'. he replied, 'I didn't record it.' and I said 'What the fuck do you think I was doing?' and he said 'I thought you were just getting used to it.' So we started again. Anyway, we finished after about 40 minutes - by which time I'd been into the control box a few times. And by, let's say the third take, it was possible to detect that there was a guitar player. Now I was playing comparatively loud, but that doesn't mean anything if you're mixing - you're at the desk with a DAT and a live instrument - but there was nothing there (on the DAT). Eventually, as time wore on, I could hear some plinking and plonking behind this very nice jungle stuff - a bit like rain falling on a roof, very softly. I said, 'Just turn the fucking thing up Mick, don't worry about what it sounds like.' but we never made it onto the tape; after about 40 minutes my spirits started to sag...

Stefan Jaworzyn:
Uh...(Longish pause) So...

Derek Bailey:
(Laughs) Ninj was there - I have to say his enthusiasm was the only thing that was sustaining me - he seemed knocked out by what was going on. It's just that none of what was going on was making it onto tape! So I finally said, 'We're going to stop this now.' And Mick - it seemed with some relief - said, 'Yeah. Maybe you could record it at Laswell's studio.' I bet I could. And they've probably got chairs too... So the two lads helped me down with my equipment and I got a taxi back to the station and that was the end of that session... It just completely baffled me - he seemed so relieved when I said 'Let's pack this up'... It was getting louder, but I was getting exhausted - when it finally got to the point where it was starting to register on tape I thought it should have been over!
Anyway, I've got the Ninj DAT and the aborted DAT, so I'll probably take it over to New York with me in September. I've talked to Zorn about it and the arrangement is that we'll do it with Laswell.

Stefan Jaworzyn:
So it's not as imminent as I'd originally thought...

Derek Bailey:
Oh well, these things... Zorn's releases are backed up to the turn of the century...

Stefan Jaworzyn:
So Laswell will engineer it?

Derek Bailey:
No, it'll probably be Bob Musso - he's very good. Plus I can borrow his amp - he's got a fantastic old amplifier...

Bailey says that what he'd really like to do most is play a concert with 'live' jungle (ie: with a couple of DJs and several turntables for an uninterrupted flow of music), but there are obviously many attendant problems - not least the (presumable...) incompatibility of jungle and improvised music audiences, not to mention the difficulty of finding a suitable venue. I find this idea most appealing, and it strikes me as closer to Bailey's aesthetics than producing a CD with specially composed jungle. Well, I guess it now just remains to be seen what actually emerges from all the apparent chaos...

1. N/Jz/Bm (Re Mix)
2. Re-Re (Up Mix)
3. Dnjbb (Cake Mix)
4. Concrete (Cement Mix)
5. Ninj (De Mix)
6. Pie (Amatosis Mix)

Derek Bailey

D.J. Ninj
drum programming

Bass and drums recorded spring 1995 in Birmingham, England.
Guitar recorded September 1995 at Bill Laswell's studio, NYC.

Label: Avant ‎– AVAN 060
Format: 320
Country: Japan
Released: 1996
Genre: Electronic
Style: Noise, Drum n Bass, Experimental

Monday, 10 February 2014

Buckethead • Day of the Robot

The most consistent and coherent-sounding of Buckethead's releases to date (two qualities usually absent from his earlier works). Most often referred to as his "jungle album" (it features rhythm tracks by U.K. beat scientist DJ Ninj), the hyperspeed breaks are actually the least interesting aspect of the album, which is instead notable for its steady and inspired, chaos-by-design integration of diverse elements (treated guitars, keyboards and pianos, loping bass, etc.). Much of the credit for this goes to Bill Laswell's excellent production.

1. Destroyer
a. Speed Flux Quadrant
b. Inclusion
c. Exhaust Release

2. Flying Guillotine

3. Quantum Crash

4. Collision

5. Caution Drop

Buckethead • guitars
Ninj (2,3,4,5) • bass, drums, keyboards
Bill Laswell • low bass, drums

Recorded at Coast Recorders, San Francisco, CA and Greenpoint Studio,
Brooklyn, NY
Rhythm tracks for 2,3,4 and 5 created in the UK by Ninj
Engineering in San Francisco: Oz Fritz
Assistant in San Fransisco: Mike Johnson
Engineering at Greenpoint: Robert Musso
Mastered by Robert Musso and Anton Fier

Produced by Bill Laswell

Label: Sub Meta ‎– SM 9804
Format: 320
Country: US
Released: 1996
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: Breakbeat, Drum n Bass, Heavy Metal