Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sources: The Lineage of Riddims

As we already noted, Criminal Minded was on the tables w/ our coffee. We found ourselves caught up in a giant syncretic tangle in the fabric.

It goes w/out saying that the rekkid makes its mark in part by slanging a dancehall vibe loosely around the room. All good. All good.

But we got "Remix for P is Free," and we were reminded of brilliant work by Wayne over @ Wayne and Wax, one of our role models. He pulled the Madmad/Alton Ellis/Zunguzung/Yellowman thread out of the tune and used it as a way to chase the local references all over the hiphop/dancehall house. From our perspective, Wayne's work grants the material with the seriousness it deserves: it is a way of being in the world, and, as such, deserves the kind of 'spect we give breathing, painting, eating, givingthankstotheloas, etc. It is how we make our place in the world. It is the creolization of other peoples' musics into something else and something at the same time rooted in its similarities. and And while it is by no means exclusive to the tradition the AEC calls "great black music, ancient to future," this kind of syncretism, this kind of signifying, is something that makes that tradition into a tradition.


As we dug the crates, we found some interesting sources of the same kind of energy:
  • Riddim Guide. There're some people out there who got the time to roll up stats like this on the Mad Mad riddim. We are compelled to 'spect the pages of connections that remind us just how high and low is so high you can't get over it, so low you can't get over it.
  • Jamaican Riddimdirectory. A bit more one person's work (we think),and a bit harder to work around, it still is another important reminder of how much is in the locker.
This is relevant to the pile of stones that we are building in 'spect for OB4CL. Most important, that rekkid is a much much brilliant example of the same kind of syncretism that Wayne/Riddim Guide/Riddimdirectory all document. The challenge w/ OB4CL, though, is that it has spread its being over so much more territory. For us, the primary pleasure of OB4CL is the mapping of that territory.

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