SCATTERED HITS & THE READ SCARE

the main reason I haven’t written about Calle 13 is that (like all rap?) you need to understand what he’s saying to get an idea of what’s going on and why it’s so interesting,… and i don’t have time to translate Residente’s lyrics. In translation you often lose the wordplay as well…

anyhow, Reggaetonica took this time, and the result is a great post (& followup) on La Mala Rodríguez and Calle 13 – some of the most interesting Spanish-language rappers of the Old and New World, respectively.

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Awesome Tapes From Africa, a blog specializing in awesome tapes from Africa, shares a summer-speed mixtape of Slow Music from Africa. Thursday Born will guest on my radio show at some point this fall. Strictly cassette style.

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Wirewool ups Venetian Snares doing dubstep (or undoing it) with the help of damaged Sabbath vocals.

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in today’s simulacral news:

from the NYT, “Chinese Market Awash in Fake Potter Books”:

The iterations of Potter fraud and imitation here are, in fact, so copious they must be peeled back layer by layer.

There are the books, like the phony seventh novel, that masquerade as works written by Ms. Rowling. There are the copies of the genuine items, in both English and Chinese, scanned, reprinted, bound and sold for a fraction of the authorized texts.

As in some other countries, there are the unauthorized translations of real Harry Potter books, as well as books published under the imprint of major Chinese publishing houses, about which the publishers themselves say they have no knowledge. And there are the novels by budding Chinese writers hoping to piggyback on the success of the series — sometimes only to have their fake Potters copied by underground publishers who, naturally, pay them no royalties. …

Some borrow little more than the names of Ms. Rowling’s characters, lifting plots from other well-known authors, like J. R. R. Tolkien, or placing the famously British protagonist in plots lifted from well-known kung-fu epics and introducing new characters from Chinese literary classics like “Journey to the West.”

As to be expected, Howard French’s article misconstrues & somewhat overlooks the magic of all this. From the article title on down, French wrongly locates dozens of Harry Potter fan-novels and bootlegs and re-imaginings ‘in service of’ legality and capital-A authorship (not to mention insinuating that fraud and counterfeiting are Chinese national traits):

“Here, the global Harry Potter publishing phenomenon has mutated into something altogether Chinese: a combination of remarkable imagination and startling industriousness, all placed in the service of counterfeiting, literary fraud and copyright violation.”

this statement is so striking because it reverses the actuality, teleologically speaking. People don’t remix stuff because they like copyright violation! All the illegalities of remix culture are nothing more than incidental by-products (nail clippings from the Dead Author).

A more accurate version would be — Harry Potter novel mutation in China: “a combination of counterfeiting, literary fraud and copyright violation, all placed in the service of remarkable imagination and startling industriousness.” but even that doesn’t fully articulate the unhinged, Baudrillian essence of this…

4 thoughts on “SCATTERED HITS & THE READ SCARE”

  1. >A more accurate version would be — Harry Potter novel mutation in China: “a >combination of counterfeiting, literary fraud and copyright violation, all placed in >the service of remarkable imagination and startling industriousness.” but even >that doesn’t fully articulate the unhinged, Baudrillian essence of this…

    exactly. this is a similar process that most stories, tales and legends have gone through all over the globe since human speech and storytelling began. stories mutate and get re-adapted to fit the cultural, economic or creative needs of those using them in a given environment. this writer makes himself sound narrow because he has forgotten that up until fairly recently, stories were TOLD (usually for free)—not printed in 10s of languages and sold in more than a hundred countries all from one publishing entity, protected in the name of international (read: western) copyright law.

    no wonder homegirl is richer than the queen.

  2. with regards to calle 13, i went and saw them here in DC, and i don’t understand a lick of Spanish. it was still thoroughly enjoyable, but of course a bit frustrating. i first ran across them on a youtube clip of Tango del Pecado on squeezytunes. i then ran into them on wayne’s another crunk genealogy and heatwave’s la ola de calor. weird how the internet works.

    anyway, i’ve found that residente’s flow is so interesting and rhythmic, it doesn’t matter all that much to me that i can’t understand the vast majority of his lyrics. i wouldn’t really consider going to see any other “reggaeton” artists (maybe voltio), because i just don’t hear that same rhythm, voice, and flow. combined with visitante’s beats, and their overall aesthetic of pushing “urban” latin music in broader diasporic directions, i’m willing to live with the knowledge that i miss a lot of what they expouse via vocalization.

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