Friday, August 16, 2013

Various Artists | Kabylie Chantee



Reupped by reader request in 320 Kick Ass KBPS here.

[Originally posted May 23, 2011.] For a guy whose last name conjures up horrifying visions of torture, torment, agony, anguish, nightmare, misery, suffering and pain, Richard Hell is probably one of the sweetest people I've ever met. I can't remember exactly how we got in touch, although I think it had to do with a fake interview with John Ashbery that I ran in an issue of Readme, an online literary arts journal I edited from 1999-2001.

Whatever the case, we wound up having brunch--yes, brunch--a couple of times in the East Village in the mid-2000s. Richard claimed to be a fan of my comics; I said nothing about how I had always considered him one of the greatest people on earth for having come up with what I still think is the single greatest title of a pop song, ever: "Love Comes in Spurts." Or for having practically single-handedly inventing the whole punk-DIY aesthetic; I mean, I think that had everything to do with my having been an "artist" in the first place.

After we hung out, we exchanged CDs and tapes. He sent me a CD of TIME (his greatest hits along with a live CD) and I sent him a cassette tape of a bunch of music I'd found in bodegas--including some of the stuff I've posted here over the last year or so. Including, significantly, to me, the song you'll hear in the sample below.



I was convinced--*convinced*--that he was going to be bowled over by the raw pop power of that Kabylie song, and write me back, singing my praises as the Greatest Digger On Earth..("OMG! Where did you *find* this gem of etc. etc. etc.?!?") Well, that's not exactly what happened. But I've always remembered his response, which I think was one of the greatest tossed-off bits of philosophy I've ever read: To paraphrase (since I no longer have the e-mail), he basically said that it was incredible to imagine all of us, all over the world, walking around with each of our unique "life-soundtracks" going on in our heads. Something like that, but far more eloquently, if off-the-cuffedly--put.

It was a kind way of saying that my soundtrack wasn't his. But that he certainly respected that I had one. And that it was, finally, so different from his own. Or anyone's.

I admit, part of me was a bit disappointed that he didn't thrill to the Kabylie pop as I did, and still do. Pop music is such that, one wants to know others are not just listening to what you're listening to, but mesmerized by it. It isn't an art of intimacy.

So I offer it to you, anonymous reader and potential downloader. What do you think? What are you liking? What are you disliking? What do you want to hear more of? Let me know ...

As for this CD, I know almost next to nothing about it, other than I got it at Princess Music & Electronics in Bay Ridge, which closed sometime last summer. And that it remains one of my all-time favorite pop CDs, ever.

7 comments:

Holly said...

This happens not to fit in my soundtrack today ... but your sharing is much appreciated. And who knows about tomorrow? ;-)

Jessibird said...

yes, it's ear candy to me!

Alaa Sabar said...

Link died !

Please is it possible to reupload this album ?

Thanks ;)

Pierre said...

Wonderful! I can't imagine anyone not liking this to be honest.

Timmy said...

For reals... Greatly grooving my emotions....

David Wyatt said...

Thanks for this one! It's good to hear this type of thing from Algeria, to compare with the Berber styles of Morocco & Mali. Any chance you could upload a higher res front (and back) photo? I'm struggling to read the names on this one & so can't go searching for more!

Thanks again! Love the blog

David Wyatt said...

Thanks for this one! It's good to hear this type of thing from Algeria, to compare with the Berber styles of Morocco & Mali. Any chance you could upload a higher res front (and back) photo? I'm struggling to read the names on this one & so can't go searching for more!

Thanks again! Love the blog