SGR Classic #47 – Q Burns Abstract Message & Merlyn Martin



From our archives to you, Subdivisions Classic Episode #47 from July 2011. Join Merlyn Martin, and guest Q Burns Abstract Message from Astral Works, Slip n Slide, Eighth Dimension, Defected Records. This classic episode sounds as smooth, grooving, and deep now as it did in 2011.

Q Burns Abstract Message

About Q Burns Abstract Message:

Q-Burns Abstract Message, the alter-ego of manic producer M. Donaldson, is currently celebrating his sixteenth year of releasing records and DJing all over the freaking place. Perpetually busy and perplexedly funky, his eccentric sound has been a major force in the development of the US dance music scene.

In the realm of dance music, there are few producers that thrive on blurring the boundary between eclectic experimenter and populist ass-shaker as much as Q-Burns Abstract Message. Equally comfortable covering Krautrock legends Faust or dropping his favorite chunky house grooves into the mix, Q-BAM—known to his parents as Michael Donaldson—is indeed the rare auteur. Whether globetrotting as a DJ, co-running the Eighth Dimension Records label, remixing artists like Rabbit in the Moon, Fila Brazillia and Youssou N’Dour, or recording his own original productions, Donaldson is all about the coaxing the maximum soul out of the machine.

Based in Orlando since the early-’90s, the former record shop owner and college radio DJ has spent the past two decades developing a sound that is obsessively devoted to the funk. His animated, vodka-soaked DJ sets have won audiences for the well-traveled Donaldson from San Francisco to (literally) Siberia, and landed him primo opening slots for GusGus, Chemical Brothers and Meat Beat Manifesto.

However, it’s his playful rhythms, surprising melodic themes and not-so-surprising Eno-esque textures that demand attention. An accomplished indie musician prior to releasing his first single as Q-BAM—the breakbeat noir of “141 Revenge Street” in 1995—Donaldson is first and foremost a songwriter, albeit one that is just as enamored with the sheer power of the groove.

With a trusty Roland Juno 106 synth at his side, Q-BAM released three full-length albums via the respected electronic label Astralwerks, including Invisible Airline which featured several collaborations with vocalist Lisa Shaw. He has recorded numerous singles for house-centric imprints such as Brique Rouge, Slip N’ Slide, NRK and of course, Eighth Dimension. Q-BAM was also one of the talented producers on alt-country icon Jim White’s 2001 Luaka Bop release No Such Place. The album cast White’s stark vocals in a wasteland of dusty beats and ghostly slide guitars, with Donaldson’s tracks providing some of its most intoxicating moments.

Though his “endless summer” schedule—more than 100 DJ dates annually—and ongoing production projects would seemingly exhaust a mere mortal, Q-BAM rather enjoys this 120-BPM soundtrack. Accordingly, Donaldson and fellow Orlando producer/DJ Atnarko launched the deep house label EIGHT-TRACKS, dedicated to releasing “strange sounds that you can dance to,” says Q-BAM himself. Additionally, house imprint Agave Records tapped Donaldson to throw down a mix CD titled Agave Nectar Vol. 1, available in fine records shops worldwide.

Currently, Q-BAM is hard at work with his monthly Invisible Airwaves radio show (syndicated to over a dozen stations worldwide) as well as studio and label duties, and his constant DJ touring schedule. Recent Q-Burns Abstract Message singles include the Italian-horror film inspired “Chainsaw” for EIGHT-TRACKS, a collection of remixes by Cole Medina and Presslaboys of the classic Invisible Airline track “Innocent” (featuring the vocals of Lisa Shaw), and a revamped “Balearic Chainsaw” with mixes by Q-BAM pal Scott Hardkiss. As if there wasn’t already enough deliciously warm and gooey queso already piled high on his plate, Q-BAM is also hard at work recording a slew of tracks for an upcoming mystery project, to be launched sometime within the year.


Q-Bam On-Line

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Download the full 2-Hour SGR Classic #47 episode here (right click link to download)




(click to listen)


Merlyn Martin (Hour One)

1. Carl Taylor – Violet – EPM
2. Short Bus Kids featuring Cat – Day Party (Instrumental) – Bounce House Recordings
3. Grunbox – Mind Cue – Trapez Ltd
4. Ecco – Blue Water – Mint & Mustard
5. Paco Osuna – What That – Plus 8
6. Deepgroove & Thieve – Tell You Why (Steve Mac Remix) – Suara Music
7. Martin Landsky – Morning Caffeine (Organ Dub) – Mobilee
8. Elef – Keep It Physical (Florian Kruse Remix) – Dirt Crew
9. Heartik – Hola! (Steve Mac Remix) – Great Stuff
10. Luna City Express – In The Mix (Original Mix) – Clap Your Hands
11. Joe Morris – Take No Notice (Abyss Remix) – Baker Street Recordings
12. Fred Vision – Disco Mafia – Under Groove
13. Frank Johnson & Enrique Vela – Santeria (Original Mix) – AB


Q Burns Abstarct Message (Hour Two)

1. Steve Mill – The Happy Carriage – Urban Torque
2. Brett Johnson – The Build – Full Flavor Music
3. Scott Hardkiss – Beat Freak (Q-Burns Abstract Message Remix) – God Within
4. Fusion F & Come T – Jumpin – Fruit Machine
5. Makossa & Megablast : Soy Como Soy feat. Cleydys Villalon (Weisz & Schrenk Remix) – International DeeJay Gigolos
6. Justin Simmons – I Need My Disco Fix (Sleazy McQueen Space Coast Dub) – Eighth Dimension
7. Jevne – Following The System (Pete Dafeet Remix) – Eighth Dimension
8. Enrique Vela – Space Monkey – Low Pressings
9. Q-Burns Abstract Message – Balearic Chainsaw (Scott Hardkiss Dub) – Eighth Dimension
10. TJ Kong & Nuno Dos Santos – Something Happened (Instrumental) – Compost Black Label


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