Sunday, August 29, 2010

Music of the Week

Bill Laswell's Axiom Sound System w/ Pharoah Sanders (live)

(Pharoah Sanders - sax; Toshinori Kondo - trumpet; Hamid Drake - drums; Abegasu Shiota - keyboards; Bill Laswell - bass; Foday Musa Suso - vocals & kora; Aiyb Dieng - percussion)

Friday, August 27, 2010


(Retrograph by Alan Jaras, from I Want You magazine)

The Ishmaelites weblog team were blessed to receive a message from 'within the palace walls' themselves recently. Palaceer Lazaro promised even more unique material in photo and video form in the future... The subject of this his first communique was, fittingly, the title of his latest project and the Source of his ideas:


the title palaces of light was as all my ideas are a divine inspiration. i see them in my mind. they look like everything and nothing. unanimous before my perception. vast challenges to my ability and understanding. vast accelerants to my creativity. vast oceans of definite endlessness. the jewel from the mother you sent me made me think of it. i dont know where my ideas come from i only know they come from light. even, especially the "dark" ones tho i never think or feel dark when i make.


Ample food for thought here. Hopefully we'll have time to really get into serious discussion of these issues soon, but let's not delay; what do you dear readers make of this enigmatic offering?


Q: What's the "jewel from the mother" he refers to?
A: That is the well-known mystical verse of the Recitation which I had sent him, the Sign of Light:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Live and Uncut

'Digable Planets v.3' play tonight at the Distillery in Calgary, Canada. Appears SP's no-promotion approach is being extended to DP shows too.

And on Friday September 17th, a very special night in Seattle:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Freestylin all week

Dear readers, accept my apologies for the dry spell please. I flew the family nest, crossed the atlantic, and have been in various locations in the UK taking care of various things before a honeymoon in Turkey (Istanbul!)in a couple of weeks. Plus I have no laptop. And: Ramadan.

So here's a nice clip of Ish and Common freestyling at University of Washington earlier in the year. Needless to say Lazaro's style was infinitely freer with his limitless creativity. Respect to Common but performing besides the man did him no favours. Most don't know that Ish is probably one of the best straight freestylers around... no corny manic word gymanstics, no clicheed phrases, just an all-out attack from all sides. Most need to concentrate so hard on the lyrics their flow just plods along but to mess with both so effortlessly and then bring all the different life experiences, worlds and influences together so poetically. Overall you get the impression of unexpected lights, jewels, wonderment, transcendence.
This is definitely not your average freestyle couplet,

Ice look dazzlin'
Seats on the laid-back; time on javelins

Are you serious?? Too sick.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

City of the Week

Bill Laswell - Kashi (City of Light, 1997, Sub Rosa Records)