Matt’s halloween post on illbient was an interesting read for me because I’d just started getting back into that end of things myself during the change of the seasons.
I was never really into DJ Spooky and don’t own any Asphodel records, but did spend considerable time melting into Kevin Martin’s compilations for Virgin like Macro Dub Infection and Isolationism. These lead me down so many paths that it’s worth another post in itself, but one of them ended up at an alleyway in downtown Crooklyn where I’ve always imagined the Wordsound HQ to be.
WordSound is not a record label in the traditional sense. We are not concerned with hitting the charts, breaking groups, or making hits. WordSound is a guerilla think tank banded together for the purpose of continual creativity…
WordSound was started to harness the energy of the underground–those creators whose radical approach to the word, sound, and vision has been suppressed by the domination of the corporate overlord.
We are here to provide the people with a true alternative to the commercialized arena, and hijack institutions that choke free expression….
Our name comes from the Rastafarian expression: “Wordsound have power,” which acknowledges the spiritual energy emanating from the combination of words and sounds, lanquage and rhythm, text and ambience. WordSound is the word of sound–how the music speaks to us subliminally, and what it says…
Wordsound albums were never that easy to get hold of in the UK, but I did eventually managed to grab a complete set of their Crooklyn Dub Consortium compilations. Dark dubby downtempo hip hop for outernational heads, they were a bit of focal point for a certain post post post punk experimentation which took off from where sections of Macro Dub Infection began.
Wordsound managed to seamlessly absorb, predict and dub out whole swathes of musical mythology: rasta, Wu-tang, cut ups, dubplates, Hassan I Sabbah, soundsystem, Moorish Science Temple, occulture, a wilting daisy age, Sun Ra, afronauts, you name it.
The bewildering roster uncovered unknowns as much as it covered up the pseudononymous monikers of the famous. Like a soup kitchen for Control Agents worn out by contracts, paperwork, bills, overheads, spreadsheets, demographics, meetings, ass-lickers.
Ex-members of SWANS rubbed shoulders with De La Soul collaborators as if it was the most natural thing in the world…
After a while the Crooklyn vortex sucked me in like Burrough’s Interzone. I felt a bit suffocated by it all, but still vowed to return. Another wave in the global capitalist crisis paved the way for my re-entry. Two things, really. The pound’s strength against the yankee dollar, and the hardship of independent record labels.
Wordsound have a sale on right now, with most of their albums marked down to six bucks. That means if you buy one it will cost you a fiver UK money, including shipping to your house. Five quid – to your door! Yes they got sound samples, yes they take paypal, yes shipping is speedy. Grab them while you can – put some food on Skiz’s table so he can carry on with his thing.
Reviews to follow.