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Eight-hand sets and holy steps

February 6, 2016

various artists – eight-hand sets and holy steps: traditional black music from north carolina (crossroads lp, 1978) mirror

Hey! Good to see you… pull up a chair.Eight-hand sets and holy steps” is the result of years of  ethnography and recording the people that were still playing music typical of the culture and history of the black inhabitants of North Carolina. As far as I can gather from my transatlantic position,  this 28th most extensive and 9th most populous American state has long known communal traditions revolving around working the land, seasons, religion and celebrations.  And before I digress into stuff like the musical compositions specific to corn-chucking, I have photographed the detailed liner notes that came with the album and included a pdf-booklet in the link above.

During 21 tracks, Algia Mae Hinton, Joe & Odell Thompson, the Badgett Sisters and a host of others get into it using their  voices, hands, guitars, feet and some chicken bones. Until recently, I had no idea this album existed – and I’ve been into this sort of thing for a bit. Great stuff, especially during grey and shapeless winter days.

Thanks go out to Noah Angell for the assist in securing a copy.  


Haitian Etudes

January 24, 2016

frantz casseus, guitar – haitian dances (folkways records 10″ mini-lp, 1954)

Gentle solo acoustic guitar from Haiti. Composed and played by Frantz Casseus, and a companion piece to Lolita Cuevas’ Haitian Folk Songs he accompanied a year earlier. Sparse and melancholic compositions, perfect for both rainy mornings and wistful late nights. Play.

casseus blog shot

Planet earth is blue

January 11, 2016

biff rose – fill your heart (1968)

Rest in peace to a fearlessly creative individual. You soundtracked my life and will continue to be an inspiration. Fill your heart!


[mix] Niles

December 22, 2015

va – niles, a winter jazz mix by cortez


Another mix? Already?

When it rains, it pours. Deep and soulful winter jazz runnings, have at it!

1. derek gripper – ’56
2. michael garrick and shake keane – sun maiden
3. alice coltrane – blue nile
4. doug and jean carn – power and glory
5. jimmy heath – one for juan
6. phil cohran and legacy – white nile
7. steve kuhn – time to go
8. bobby jackson – desiree song
9. camille soprann hildevert – soprann aux antilles


Something in the air

November 29, 2015

deus – suds & soda (from “worst case scenario“, 1994)

This has aged really well, hasn’t it?

While watching Off the record, a series from Belgium in which musicians reflect on the (physical) records they love, Chantal Acda surprised me by playing this song. Excellent series btw, gaat dat zien!

I had forgotten that I too was a dEUS-devotee in 1993/1994. The chemistry of this weird band of brothers was phenomenal, and their best known track is a testament to that: in five minutes band and song hit dynamic peaks and valleys, narrowly avoiding both internal combustion and external crashes.


[mix] staring out the windows is for love songs and house flies

November 13, 2015

va – staring out the windows is for love songs and house flies, a mix by cortez

mp3 / mixcloud

A new mix – first one since 2012. Other than that, it’s business as usual… feedback from friends and family leads me to believe this 12-track effort is musically very much in line w/ earlier stuff. Enjoy!

the ordells – sippin a cup of coffee
louis o connor – lonely and black
elyse weinberg – my, my, my
flako – eclosure
woo – 1001 decisions
erasmo carlos – largo da 2a feira
dennis brown – jah is watching you
dillinger – flat foot hustling
moritz von oswald trio – sounding line 3
mariah – utakata no hibi
lnrdcroy – i met you on BC ferries
daryll-ann – untitled
jay electronica & latonya givens – better in tune with the infinite


Great Expectations

October 27, 2015

pearson sound – freeze cycle (self-released, 2015)

UK producer David Kennedy in fine form. I must’ve played this track (and its companion) 20+ times over the last week. The sounds keep shifting and refuse to settle, offering unexpected sonic angles with what are really pretty limited means. Dig in to hear if the cycle locks you in as well.

buy these tracks direct from their maker here.



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