COLONIAL VIGOR

Port outward, starboard home

ROBERT SCHROEDER “The Turn of a Dream” (1987)


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Late ’80s synth washes from a guy who built electronics for Klaus Schulze in the ’70s, ideal for isolation tank or Carl Sagan soundtrack.

I had this on the earphones a couple of weekends ago as I was sloshing through the sleet on my way to the incredible Burtynsky Oil show at the Corcoran and it was perfect inside and outside.

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NINA HAGEN BAND “African Reggae” (1979)


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Sorry for the radio silence, I’ve been very busy playing Modern Warfare 2 online.

Nina Hagen was from East Berlin, a dissident’s stepdaughter. Apparently the East Germans gave up trying to block West German television and radio broadcasts in the ’60s; this must have made it a much weirder place to live than, say, Bulgaria because the counter-narrative is right there, you don’t have to seek it out.

And so, viz: Nina Hagen. I guess all the late ’70s punks were about epater les bourgeoisie but Nina’s even weirder, even after she went to the West: epater les nomenklatura?

GHETTO BLASTER “Ghetto Blaster” (1985)


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Thanks to Jane Kramer for the tip about Ghetto Blaster.

Europeans, a collection of Kramer’s old New Yorker pieces, includes a fine essay about these Lagos scenesters who went to Paris and rode the mid-80s African music craze for a while but never quite made it to the Youssou N’Dour big time.

There is also a 12″ on Island I’d quite like to get my hands on…

From the Archives [sic]: DON CHERRY “Until the Rain Comes” (1990)


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I’ve been a big, big fan of Don Cherry’s ’80s and ’90s stuff for a little while now. “Until the Rain Comes” was definitely a summer jam for me last year but it’s still doing the job on a howlingly windy day in November, for sure.

OSCAR NEVES “N’zambi” (197?)


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Music from Lusophone Africa is pretty much unknown to me; other than a few stray tracks I’ve heard here and there I’m wholly ignorant.

Good thing for me that San Pasquale Entertainment has shared this criminally OOP comp of Angolan jams. It’s full of modest charmers like Oscar Neves’ “N’zambi”, which, between the table top percussion and the whistling in the fade-out, I’m totally digging.

ERIC BURDON & WAR “The Vision of Rassan: Dedication/Roll on Kirk (1970)


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I really like War, but I never listened to Eric Burdon Declares “War”, because of the over-familiarity of a certain chestnut on the record.

As usual, I didn’t know what I was missing.

GUCCI MANE “Lemonade” (2009)


Free Gucci

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Just in time for his album to come out, Gucci goes and violates himself back into six months in jail.

If this amazing kids’-chorus-and-piano jam– and some of his recent features— are indicative of where he’s headed, here’s hoping he gets time off for good behavior.