Monthly Archives: March 2009

INKSTAINS

two pieces of mine are currently in print:

“Laulu Laakason Kukista”, a consideration of Paavoharju’s 2008 album, can be found in the current issue of Frieze. (not online)

“Mould has conquered the cave studio”, reports Lauri Ainala.

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and Past Masters, a piece about the Master Musicians of Ja.. Jou…. Zahjhouka, in The National.

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[Brigitte Engl / Redferns]

It’s a hippie’s dream: a brotherhood of musicians live together, exempt from work. They hang out all day, drinking tea, smoking weed, jamming.

DUTTY DOWNLOADS

weekend heat from the Dutty Artz camp (OUR CAMP):

RCRDLBL offers up: Jahdan Blakkamoore – Go Round Payola (Matt Shadetek’s Bye Haters bassline rmx)

 

and XLR8R’s just unleashed a JD podcast, Full Hundred.

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Jahdan Blakkamoore- Full Hundred (mixed by Matt Shadetek)

for the DJs/remixers among us, we just released the Jahdan ‘Nice Green’ acappella into the wilderness. Those of you who care about this stuff will know just how difficult it is to find vox at 140bpm…

last but by no means least, Lamin keeps blazing away at the recession rap jams.

…Y SUS TESOROS

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Quantic & co. list up their 20 favorite Colombian records for FACT magazine.

There’s a long, evolving conversation we need to have, about record collectors, libraries (public access vs. collector hoarding), archives, and all that stuff. Sonido Martines & I talk about these things, but its a huge world, and complicated. Money, cultural heritage, a DJ’s weaponry, value’s slow dance with scarcity. Scorpions.

One way to begin this conversation is to compare the storied, historical micro-universe of the vinyl hunter-collector with the poorly-xeroxed digital multiverse of our current CD-r/MP3 economy. What do the diggers do with ill cumbia and salsa dura LPs when they find them? How to they fill them with value? And what about the diggers of champeta or Colombian rap CD-rs?

Is the lifespan/usefulness of the latter based primarily on (dwindling) newness (novedad so close to ‘novelty’), while the lifespan/economic importance of the former increases over time? Or, how deeply is meaning tied to medium — new Colombian music won’t attract hardcore collectors because its CD-rs and V-CDs and ZIP files simply aren’t durable (not too mention less than hi-fi sound quality for the audiophile crowd)? Or it is less material: does all pop date itself faster than before?

I’m quite interested in the stories record diggers tell about finding their records; the FACT piece contains a few:

“I have this image of sitting in a hotel room with Will listening to the records we found, our jaws hitting the floor as the notes leapt out of the portable turntable, just shaking our heads in disbelief, wondering how on earth these musicians got to be so funky.”

These stories fix or add meaning to music, by mapping out the Xs where one found gold. Finding is the first triumph. It’s a pre-Google pleasure. So what about the CD-r world, where the hunt is stripped of any myths (or realities) of rareness, uniqueness, and rescue? “I have this image of sitting in front of my laptop listening to the champeta I downloaded from some crappy site filled with ads, just like 14,734 kids before me…”

Enough questions for now, I’ll leave you with some of the article’s images, the lite n sleazy kitsch of classic Discos Fuentes album artwork:

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B’NET HOUARIYAT AHORA

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Tonight, in Washington D.C., B’net Houariyat will give a free 6pm performance as part of the Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World festival.

The ‘Daughters of Houariyat’ sing and play drums. Voices carry the melody as a tough percussion workout keeps things moving. The experience is autotune-free, rootsy & great. Ethnomusicological writeup here. Albums here.

These songs come from their 1993 ‘Love Poems of the Women of South Morocco’ album.

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B’net Houariyat – Salleou Âla Nabi L’habib

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B’net Houariyat – Li Der Fia L’khir

UPCOMING EVENTS

this month qualifies as crazy.

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Saturday March 7th, I’m DJing a party in Caracas, Venezuela.

Thursday March 12th, I’ll be speaking @ the Strand alongside Jedediah Purdy and Mark Greif – this is Jed’s evening, as he’s just published his 3rd (!!) book, A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom. They say: “Purdy will discuss his new book, along with politics, culture and the age of Obama with n+1 editor Mark Grief and DJ /rupture.”

Friday March 13, you can catch me DJing @ Tormenta Tropical in Los Angeles, an amazing club night which the Bersa Discos gang and I will take to San Francisco on March 14th. Bring dancing shoes.

Then it’s back to the east coast as my band Nettle will be in residency at Brandeis from March 19-21, culminating with a public concert on Saturday. In a small triumph — Abdelhak & Khalid were granted visas and Brandeis raised funds after having seen them slashed!! We’ll be a quintet, with Brent Arnold joining us on cello and Grey Filastine on percussion. Artist Daniel Perlin will join in with his live video projections. I love possee creativity. Plus – it’ll be half the band’s 1st time in America – very exciting! If you see Judy or W&W, hug them.

On Thursday March 26th Andy Moor & I will perform together in Mexico City, providing a live soundtrack to the debut of a Jem Cohen film which he shot on 16mm in D.F. this January. (it’s beautiful). The event forms part of a Jem Cohen retrospective. (NYCers can check Jem’s solo show @ Roger Miller gallery, opening on March 19th.)

Cumbia fans take note – El Hijo de la Cumbia will be on tour in Mexico at the same time, and we may do an additional event in D.F.

from Mexico it’s straight to Los Angeles for five days of Postopolis 2.

I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting… See you there! You can remind me of what I’ve forgotten.

NYC SONIDERA

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La Congona continues serving your cumbia needs (check my recent post on Tepito & the Superflex book), but MuddUp! wouldn’t be the same if i didn’t post up some jams here too.

Here’s an excellent NYC sonidero track. It’s basically a big advertisement enhanced by ill synths and that stomping sampled beat.

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Formula 5 – La Cumbia Maestra

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I’m really into La Vagancia and their vibe – dark dark dark. This song is about… The collapse of love across distance. Dwindling remittances from folks working in foreign countries (nearly 24 billion was sent home to Mexico by workers in America last year!).

Bleak realism, crisp percussion, minor notes stuck in the throat. “Urban cumbia… from town to city”

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y de la plata que el mando ya no queda nada / “and now nothing’s left of that money he sent”

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La Vagancia – La Historia de Linda y Roberto

K-K-K-UMBIA

[Vampi terraza foto by Sonido Martines]

here by popular request… an hourlong mix of cumbia. this is like my BBC session, proper full audio, with some edits and the vocal drops removed, etc. Harlem mixtape discface-printing CD-r slimline case style.

$8 includes shipping in the US, $11 includes overseas shipping. PayPal. On sale here this week only.

choose shipping location

BUENA ONDA NUEVA JORK

NYC’s latin radio was killing it this weekend. I’ve got evidence (mostly culled from La Mega).

Exhibit A starts off w/ ersatz Brazilian bassline then goes into a Max Romeo (Prodigy sample-source) edit which moves into a Mavado ‘So Special’ speedy house/baltimore remix thingy, and on. Heavy ‘buttbending’ mixology throughout. The Don Omar “Cuando yo me muera” jam – can anybody ID this?

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MuddUp Radio Rip – Exhibit A

If that’s not enough – to raise the bar a few notches – here’s 18 minutes of merengue de la kalle / mambo violento / Dominican gabba. Omega owns this session.

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MuddUp Radio Rip – Exhibit B