So the music of Abidjan’s CIAfrica crew does sound a bit like a grimey, glitchy elephant staring you down as angular new-money architecture burns or smolders or looms in the background and the sky’s color stumbles from white to black with a few lasers for good measure, because we’re not living in the future, they are.
Sometime last year the visionary ringleader, Amadou aka Green Dog (RZA to their Wu) gave me access to their deep hard drives — packed with singing, rapping & fwd-thinking beats. Thrilling material. I pulled out my favorite 17 songs for a CD which will be released physical/digital on August 24th, DJ Rupture presents CIAFRICA. This coincides with CIAfrica, Nettle, and myself performing at Gotenburg’s Sweden Way Out West festival next Friday, August 13th. I’ll be DJing separately from them, in a party with Sleigh Bells and Fool’s Gold (the band). It’s a 3-day affair, with folks like Wu-Tang, M.I.A., Jay Electronica, The xx, etc performing, so if yr in Scandinavia, might be worth the trip… & I’ve found that drunk Swedes tend to still be really nice, at least in Gotenburg.
It will be the first time the CIAfrica MCs and vocalists perform outside their Côte d’Ivoire/Ivory Coast home base! They have this awesome Pam Grier video for one of their female MCs, Nasty, but it keeps getting censored by YouTube. So here’s a vid from one of the guys coming over, Manusa:
I was going to post some music from my upcoming CIAfrica mixtape, but it’s late, I’ve got headphones in, and life gravity pulls me towards this contemplative acoustic stuff right now, so that’s what we get. Hawzi/chaabi from one of Algeria’s finest non-rai vocalists, Nadia Ben Youssef (French bio). :
Hawzi functions like a bridge between classical Andalusian music and contemporary Algerian chaabi. A bridge. Between Africa and Europe there’s only a few miles of water — in instances like these a boat or residency permit is a bridge and a continent offers a life of movement, possibility. Or its opposite:
Here’s the trailer for friends’ documentary film on Punjabi immigrants suffering years of legal limbo in Ceuta (Spanish town inside Morocco), where they wait in the forest. Stranded in the Strait. Some of these men left their homes over four years ago. The independent filmmakers are looking for funding to complete the doc’s post-production this fall – you can help out here.
For three years now I’ve hosted a show on WFMU (it’s rebroadcast weekly on a number of stations in Europe, such as Marseilles’ incredible Radio Grenouille 88.8 FM). FMU is a very progressive FM radio station when it comes to extending outward into the often-confusing world that Mr and Mrs Internet are building around us like an airy cage. WFMU’s archives are formidable – including the very useful accuplaylist function. Many shows (such as mine) are podcast, and our FREE iPhone app is, to put it humbly, utterly kick-ass. Now there’s a new version!
The biggest feature in version 2.1 is the ability to download shows for offline listening. For the cloud-averse among us, this is very good news. I like being offline (despite appearances to the contrary). In fact, I rock a jailbroken iPhone with a ‘regular’ phone service precisely so I can get the fun trix/touchy user interface and *not* have to pay for an AT&T constant internet “data plan.” Because the idea of constant internet is vaguely terrifying. Because data diets can be as sexy/healthy as real diets. Because everything deserves an off-switch, or at least a pause button, especially if huge undersea cables and wireless beams of zeros & ones and post-panoptic auto-surveillance is involved. #JustSayin.
There’s also some twitteration & facebookability built in, plus the ability to leave live playlist comments, and a few other delightful whistles and useful bells. So.