Monthly Archives: November 2007

MAHMOUD GANIA

Maâlem, MC, master of ceremonies…

gania

this cassette rip is a double rescue – I dubbed it to digital before lending the tape to C, who briefly enjoyed the gnawa tape before getting robbed in El Parque de la Ciutadella by a quiet purse-snatcher.

the leader is Mahmoud Gania, one of the more famous members of a famous family of musicians in Essaouira, Morocco.

Maâlem Mahmoud Gania – cassette side

The except is 18 minutes long. A big part of gnawa is how it sidesteps time… i still don’t know. 18, 30 minutes. 4 hours. Sundown to sunup. What do you call something that could almost always go on for longer? Songs have beginnings and ends. These are not songs.

Gnawa music has flourished in the Western imagination completely out-of-scale with its popularity in Morocco, partly because of the basslines which can be appreciated in a dubby/reggae context by Western ears, and partly because of its backstory — the music of African slaves in the Maghreb, colonial music in the truest sense, Afro-Arab, ritual sounds used to cure snakebites & heal & cast out ill spirits in all-night ceremonies, etc.

30 or 40 years ago gnawa was very much looked-down upon in Moroccan society. Nass el Ghiwane’s massive success did a lot to popularize the instrument and dislodge its poor/black/marginal stigma, in a Moroccan context… My bandmate Khalid tells of the difficulty in finding a guembri when he was young, then getting scolded by his mother for having any interest in the music at all.

GIVE THANX

Today is my first Thanksgiving in America in ages. 5 years? more? It’s a nice DIY holiday, not about buying buying but rather about staying home and cooking your own food and sharing it. So that’s nice.

Violeta Parra’s Gracias a la Vida is a generous, poignant song whose meaning grows sadder and deeper the more you learn about the Chilean artist’s life, and how she ended it herself, and how its poetry survives her doubly, sung into international fame by Mercedes Sosa and Joan Baez, converting itself into a himno humanitario.

The kind that locates pain in an honest way – next to a beauty so full and embodied that its absence can be lethal. Going to another country in search of her lover. Finding him, married. All that depth of feeling unrequited.

So everything is delicate. Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto… The song graces its original singer, still, better than all the subsequent & less fragile versions.

Violeta Parra – Gracias A La Vida

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Sizzla is generous too — or at least hard-working. And that’s the thing about Mr Kalonji: when he is off he’s screaming some too-loud Bobo Ashanti pulpit whatever, but when he is on, he’s deliriously good, overflowing with unquantifiable vocal power which lights from surprise to surprise. Here Sizzla rides the foundational Truth & Rights riddim as versioned by Brooklyn’s Massive B.

Sizzla – Give Jah Thanx

SHE’LL FLY AWAY

usually when i post music is it relatively obscure, hard-to-find stuff. Not today. This i picked up at a Spanish supermarket chain. She’s the best!

Nina Simone – See Line Woman (live)

If I could have, say, lunch, and then work on a tune with anybody ever in the whole world, it would prob be Nina Simone. But I can’t, so that’s that.

800px-Nina Simone14

ok, back to relatively hard-to-find.

I picked this up at Rachid’s Nassiphone shop in BCN last week. Rollicking chaabi marocaine, check the beats! The album — whose title (transliterated Arabic put into French grammatical structures) means Arabic Beats — is buyable at eMusic.

Fawzia Lahrizia et Titou – Loukan Saêftini

fawzia

DUB FI DUB

wanna win a pair of tickets to tomorrow’s Dub War in NYC?

Name this riddim. First person to e-mail the correct name/info to nettlephonic at yahoo dot com gets free tickets. If you think nerds don’t deserve free tickets, send me a pretty song instead and we’ll see.

??? – ???? (Mudd Up! DubWar ticket giveaway)

It’s a record release party for my man Raz Mesinai. As mentioned earlier, his new album contains remixes by Filastine, Kode 9, Marina Rosenfeld, and yours truly.

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dubwar nov full

PLURILINGUALITY HOY & FOREVER

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Poet Caroline Bergvall stops by the radio show today! (my first guest without a MySpace page?!) In addition to reading some of her works and presenting some sounds, we’ll chat about plurilinguality. About face. About figs. About pets.

tune-in or catch her live (different words, same time) at MoMA’s Hell.

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In other news, I did a remix for Raz Mesinai’s Unit of Resistance album, out now on ROIR. This Friday there’s a record release party at NYC’s DubWar.

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Diplo blogs cumbia over at MadDecent. (yes, Zizek is named after Zizek.)

here’s some Tejano screw from a flanger-heavy Sabor Kolombia mixtape de hace unos años:

Sabor Kolombia – Cumbia Rebaja

este cumbia rebajada es la pura verdad

this slowed-up cumbia is the straight truth

&, more disturbingly, DeD:

Dick El Demasiado – Cada Curva Tiene Sus Derechos from Al Perdido Ganado