Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Drastics Drummer & Producer Anthony Abbinanti Launches Happy As a Lark Imprint with Inaugural Releases, Noir+"What a Ting" & Noir Dub+"The Lick" (digital LP/physical 7-inches)

The Drastics drummer-producer and founder of Chicago-based Reggae imprint Happy As a Lark, Anthony "Nantee" Abbinanti sat down with fellow Chicagoan Richard Milne from 93XRT for a recent installment of his Local Anesthetic Podcast. Milne asked Abbinanti to define "Dub" and to clarify the difference between Dub and Rub-a-Dub. Anthony Abbinanti readily replied: "So, Dub is... I think you could apply to anything. I mean, I think The Clash dubbed their albums. So, it's just taking the track and adding the delays and the reverbs and sparing it up. Basically, Lee ["Scratch"] Perry called Dub "X-ray Music," which is a term I really like; where you kinda take the track and you see different layers at different times. Rub-a-Dub: the actual origins of it, I couldn't pinpoint exactly right now... but it sort of encapsulates more of a backbeat-style Reggae that was popularized more in the 80's. Gregory Isaacs' stuff, Roots Radics' back stuff—[Lincoln] "Style" Scott on that drumbeat, specifically." However, as a direct result of "many many... many...... many life events and obligations" currently keeping The Drastics from performing live and actively touring, Abbinanti and company recently decided to form a small label and Chicago-based imprint "to keep the music alive and distribute that music [they] love to make!" Abbinanti recently told me that the current plan for Happy As a Lark, still in its earliest stages of development, is to include one (if not two) 7-inches along with each corresponding full-length/EP digital release. Happy As a Lark's inaugural release was The Drastics' March-premiered fifth full-length, Noir with "What a Ting" 7-inch pressed on either limited edition black (250) or super-limited edition (50) green wax. I just wanted to take a minute to send a special shout out to Jamison "DJ Prestige" Harvey at Flea Market Funk for initially tipping me off to Michigan & Smiley's "What a Ting" 45 and Happy As a Lark, as it's truly a infectious and unique find!

"The newest physical release from Happy As A Lark is "The Lick" from MC ZULU backed by The Drastics. "The Lick" is a ruff reality/sufferer-style vocal cut over a rugged Rub-a-Dub instrumental in the vein of Roots Radics. The flip features an expertly-crafted Dub version ["Who Dare Live?"] that will take you to outer-space and back; incorporating vintage and era-appropriate tape delays, spring reverbs, and synthesized drum tones. Its accompanying digital-only full-length is a Dub version of The Drastics' Noir, appropriately titled Noir Dub and comes as a FREE download with purchase of the 7-inch. A super-limited number of copies are available on sherbert orange wax," Anthony Abbinanti explained within a recent email transmission on the morning of Noir Dub+"The Lick"'s release. Abbinanti is accompanied by his long-time Drastics bandmates: Tom Riley (Rom Tiley) on tenor sax, flute, and "cable-wrapping," Andrew Zelm (Baby Dre) on trombone, melodica, and "chord clusters," Luke MacRoberts (JTT) on guitar and "band eyes," Brian Citro (Citbro) on guitar and "legal precedent," Bijan Warner (Dr. Professor) on organ, Rhodes [piano,] and "mid-west Oregon Trails champion," Chris Merrill (Hundo) on bass and "30hz," Fada Dougou (Doubad) on vocals and "jukin'," and MC ZULU (The Bad Man) on vocals and "tough love" throughout both Noir, Noir Dub, and their companion pieces of wax. Noir+"What a Ting" and Noir Dub+"The Lick" 7-inches are currently available from Happy As a Lark's newly-minted Bandcamp page. I strongly suggest you mosey your way on over to The Drastics' personal Bandcamp page and pick up FREE digital downloads of Michael Jackson re-dubbing MJ a Rocker (2009) and MJ a Rocker No. 2 (2013) straight from, as they perfectly put it, "1982's future of 2187!"

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