We’re halfway through the WFMU Fundraising Marathon! Two weeks out of the year when the commercial-free, fully-independent, listener-funded radio station interrupts its irregular schedule to reach out for support.
There are many ways to contribute, but the best is to donate during my show tonite, 7-8pm EST, when I’ll be giving out great muddy CD/book prizes to some of the lucky donors. For a gift of $75 you help out the best FM radio station in the world and receive a copy of my Mudd Up! ‘DJ Premium’, a data CD compilation with 320mp3s + cover artwork scans called After Tropical Comes Arid: “3 hours of high-quality Maghrebi songraft, with an emphasis on Morocco, shared between club-thump and mindbogglingly deep listening tunes. All non-interneted material, rips from DJ/Rupture’s cd/cassette/offline-gathered personal collection.” (I know this happens to be similar to one of the Kickstarter prizes, but there will be no overlap in tuneage so no worries for the altruistic. More Arabic music in the world is a good thing.)
The WFMU blog hosts an excerpted track from my DJ Premium.
And on next week’s show, Monday March 14th, get ready for special guests NGUZUNGUZU! Daniel and Asma are my favorite anthropomorphic canoe prow figureheads, and they’re coming straight from L.A. to discuss life, coyotes, DJing for MIA, building microutopias, bodies playing drum machines, and more, while sharing songs which are guaranteed to melt our brains, gently, with lots of love.
I’ve spent a good amount of time in Europe with The Ex, Getachew Mekuria, and Melaku Belay (one of the best dancers I’ve ever seen), but seeing these videos of them bringing it in Ethiopia last week adds a whole new level of intensity & multi-faceted awesomeness to their ongoing project.
I’m going into the wormhole. At least 120 of you are coming with me.
On Monday night at around 3AM, I received an email from our Barcelona point-man Carlos: I finally found out exactly who the guy is that sings that awesome Amazigh song that you played on Mudd Up! last night and is also on the Beyond Digital trailer thingy. It’s Cheb Adil El Miloudi (he says his name/big ups himself at the beginning of the song). I like his Dad-sweater!
Excited, I went over to the video, as nearly 1.5 million people had done before me:
Beyond Digital yielded its first fruits — my friend IDed an unknown singer on a semi-legit CD I purchased in Paris (containing no tracklist), and our favorite jam turned out to be that of a massively popular Amazigh vocalist – عادل الميلودي – with millions of Youtube pageviews and zero English-language biographical info online. CONTEXT! NAMING NAMES!
Even better: as I listened to his song, I learned that our Kickstarter project had just reached its funding goal! Which is a wonderful affirmation of not only Beyond Digital but the collaborative aspect of it that “crowdsourcing” (but we’re not a crowd, it’s more of an open community; the distinction is key) brings to the forefront. More generally, I feel like we’re all exploring this stuff together…via discussions on blogs and face-to-face recording sessions, via giving musicians props and excavating useful info, by being careful listeners and enthusiastic newcomers (like me) and in countless others ways — supporting this particular project among them.
As of this evening, more than a hundred people have contributed, ranging from $1 donations to some wise kids near Philly who pitched in $1500, a sum that secures them a DJ Rupture party there next month…
And it’s not too late to help out.
We’ve got 6 days left on the Kickstarter, so act fast if you would like to get mailed 3 extra-awesome CDs from Marrakesh ($25) or want Maga Bo and I to make a mixtape whose theme/topic/angle you pick ($750), or desire any of the other rewards — from an original photographic print by John Francis Peters to the have-Rupture-play-yr-party #swag #afrosheen option.
As we mention, the Kickstarter goal covers just a portion of our budget. We’re being super-efficient & frugal with our expenses, gearing up to do the maximum on a shoestring budget. Grant applications and other fundraising options are in process, as is the move to become a proper non-profit organization so we can continue Beyond Digital well beyond our June time in Marrakesh.
What I’m saying is: we can still use your support, we’ll put it to good use, and we would like to offer a huge thanks to everyone who has donated or helped spread the word thus far.
To close, here’s another Abil El Miloudi video. This one is more like the song from our Kickstarter video: Abil El Miloudi’s auto-tune vocals shimmer above bird songs (Amazigh pop loves rural signifiers and so do I) and the lovely, root-like (in appearance) acoustic guitar-type instrument called an ‘utar’ (my extremely limited Arabic/Tamazigh vocabulary gets transliterated into Spanish phonetic spelling, that’s how I learned from Abdel and Khalid in Barcelona, sorry!).
March tour, various projects, a lot of exciting sounds to soak up. Rupture is me, Nettle is five of us. The Ex is four people who perform with one brain-body and when it hits, as it always does, it’s incredible – a truly astonishing band to experience live. Malian singer Khaira Arby is Ali Farka Toure’s cousin but breathtaking in her own right. Nguzunguzu are so nice you’ll want to move to L.A. to hang out with them and Total Freedom and work on the practical implications of utopia. Morocco is where I go instead of SXSW.