Max Reinhardt, one of our Associate Artists, has created an explosive playlist to blow away the cobwebs.

I guess music lists have become second nature to me over decades of selecting DJ club sets, song lists for theatre scores, band set lists, Inflight programmes, BBC World Service sequences and play lists for BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction. There’s always one or two surfacing in my stream of consciousness. OCM dangled a  new year/blank sheet before me....conjure up a playlist to blow away the cobwebs ...2018 is just so last year...and there’s always an online home for music that may not be welcome on broadcast territory. But in spite of all that fresh ocean breeze in my sails, I’ve navigated a list that rises up from the not too distant past, hovers on the doorstep of the year and eventually just manages to step into the new.

Maybe that's because some things take an appallingly long time to change... witness jazz trumpeter/radical composer Ambrose Akinmusire’s hauntingly gentle anthem to African Americans who have been fatalities of racism and police violence, from  his Origami Hrarvest album which was released in October. And some music is so radical when it arrives from its creator(s) that it sets the pace and stays ahead for half a century ...check Terry Riley’s Bird of Paradise and its tape manipulations of Chet Baker’s quartet in full cool flight, or Sun Ra’s Nuclear War, which remains prophetic as long as we subject ourselves to the threat and the risk of nuclear weaponry. It also remains currently unplayable on broadcast radio.

Gudrun Gut’s new album appeared just as the year ended and her post punk kraut rock experimentalism totally surprises, delights and still sign posts a way forward... just surf those rocking waves. Camilla Soderberg’s music takes you into more contemplative regions, while Burning Spear never ceases to catch a fire even in dub mode.

As Halim El-Dabh’s electronic piece from the reel to reel  reality of the sixties shape shifts into DJ Rashad’s 21st century digital Footwork , there’s one decade’s cult avant garderie flowing across the decades into extreme dancefloor radicalism. And that wave sweeps on across new terrain... savour the sublime digital transformation of singer/songwriterism in the work of Vicktor Taiwò.  

Meanwhile Maya Youssef’s virtuoso kanun piece brilliantly and beautifully taps a classical Arabic/Syrian acoustic continuum, in spite of all the ravages that a brutal civil war can throw at it. Alabê Ketujazz  on the other hand take the traditional, Brazilian Candomble, and take it into a jazz realm without dropping an orisha.

And finally (unless you hit replay and start all over again) almost  thirty years and the Atlantic Ocean may separate  Sonic Youth’s controversial Dirty album from Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba’s 2019 album Miri, but they share an intensity, inventiveness, and the sheer brilliance of their soundworlds.

Max Reinhardt, January 2019




Free White and 21 - Ambrose Akinmusire  

Bird of Paradise: Part 4  - Terry Riley    

Biste Schon Weg - GUDRUN GUT

Nuclear War - Sun Ra

Born to Loneliness - Camilla Söderberg   

I and I Survive (Slavery Days) - Burning Spear    

Leiyla and the Poet - HalimEl-Dabh

Let It Go - DJ Rashad    

The Seven Gates of Damascus - Maya Youssef    

Subducta. Psalm 69 - Vicktor Taiwò   

Vássi Para Omolú Em Si Bemol Menor -  Alabê Ketujazz    

Theresa’s Sound World - Sonic Youth

Deli - Bassekou Kouyate, Ngoni Ba