WTM #1109: Ari Up is Down

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies

25 Oktober 2010 // 17.00-18.30

listen to the show at Wreck Mixcloud ~

“I’d been listening to her a lot lately (her with New Age Steppers), while driving around town here – listening to her has been among the things I do to help me cope with the backwardness here [Virginia]…”
Jose Padua

“The rich are getting richer every day / it shall be taken away”
Ari Up

A Piece of the Earth Adrian Sherwood
In the Beginning > Slits
I Heard It Through the Grapevine > Slits [single / Antilles]
Some Love >New Age Steppers [Foundation Steppers / On-U]
Fade Away > New Age Steppers [The New Age Steppers / On-U]
Love und Romance > Slits [Cut / Antilles]
Mr. You’re A Better Man Than I > Mark Stewart vs Ari Up [EDIT /Crippled Dick Hot Wax]
Typical Girls > Slits [Cut / Antilles]
Adventures Close To Home > Slits [Cut / Antilles]
Guiding Star > New Age Steppers [Action Battlefield / On-U]
Typical Girls > Slits vs Dennis Bovell [Wild Dub Dread Meets Punk Rocker Downtown / Select Cuts]
Instant Hit > Slits [Cut / Antilles]
Island Girl > Ari Up vs Dubbelstandart [Immigration Dub / Collision]
Spend, Spend, Spend > Slits [Cut / Antilles]
Problems > New Age Steppers [Action Battlefield / On-U]
Shoplifting > Slits [Cut / Antilles]
My Whole World > New Age Steppers [Action Battlefield / On-U]
Night Nurse > Gregory Isaacs [Night Nurse / Mango]
Chase the Devil > Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & Ari Up vs Dubbelstandart [Return From Planet Dub / Echo Beach]
Animal Space > New Age Steppers

Despite some recent sonic missteps where Ari seemed to lose the rhythm and rhyme, seemingly distracted by her health perhaps I continue to like her, her sound, her stance, her associations/alliances with On-U, the notion that radical sounds CAN indeed alter consciousness – we have to have hope.

I saw her several times live – once for the Clash – and she always out herself out on the edge of the stage of the world of controversy and managed to combine stance, politics, and sound in a way that few women vocalists have since then [not even patti smith]. I loved her early loping vocals in those absorbingly insouciant early On-U productions where you thought you were hearing the future and she was part of that future – polemic plus great production would somehow save the world where Woody Guthrie, Victor Jara, et al. Had failed before them.

Those early dub vocal excursions by Ari & sherwood & Co. Were truly the sound of the future and when you listen to the New Age Steppers et al. Today, you still think they are part of a future, their sound has – generally – not diminished and their sound still makes the faint of heart, the conventionally bound listener, the trendies uncomfortable and it is precisely at this juncture of enchanting rhythms that make others uncomfortable that I find the most important work which is often in the realm of dub or post-dub-influenced – like some of today’s hardcore [DJ Scud sounding like Mark Stewart’s illegitimate spawn], or the best of dubstep, when it doesn’t sound like sophomoric doom-n-gloom but actually becomes a dark smoky mirror of our present dilemma…

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