[photo by Erez Avissar]
Jace Clayton is an interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn. (Sign up to receive his monthly newsletter). Clayton’s activities have evolved out of his work as a DJ, built around core concerns for how sound, technology use in low-income communities, and public space interact, with an emphasis on Latin America, Africa, and the Arab world. In spring 2012, Clayton released Sufi Plug Ins v1.0, a free suite of audio software tools based on non-western/poetic conceptions of sound and alternative interfaces. In April 2013 he debuted The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner, a performance piece that restages two Eastman compositions using pianos and realtime electronic processing, accompanied by a new libretto about the job search for a Julius Eastman impersonator in New York City. The album version of this, entitled The Julius Eastman Memory Depot, was released on March 26 by New Amsterdam.
Performing as DJ /rupture, Clayton has DJ’ed in a band with Norah Jones, done two John Peel Sessions, and was turntable soloist with the 80-member Barcelona Symphony Orchestra. Recent collaborators include guitarist Andy Moor (The Ex) and filmmaker Jem Cohen. As DJ /rupture, Clayton has released several critically acclaimed albums and mix CDs, starting with 2001′s influential & groundbreaking live mix CD, Gold Teeth Thief, which earned a 4-star review in VIBE. His album Uproot was named one of the 10 Best Albums of 2008 by Pitchfork. Clayton maintains a busy international schedule performing in clubs around the world as well as venues such as The Whitney Museum, MoMA’s PS1, The Apollo Theater, the Pitchfork Festival and Spain’s SONAR. Rupture was featured on the cover of influential music magazine The Wire in November 2011. In 2012, Clayton was awarded a prestigious Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant.
These artistic activities find counterpart in his weekly WFMU (91.1 FM NYC) radio show “Mudd Up,” and grassroots curatorial projects such as spearheading 2011’s art-research residency Beyond Digital which took place in Casablanca and Tangiers, Morocco; hosting a book club; and a series of live radio shows incorporating video, held at Brooklyn’s Spectacle Theater.
Clayton is currently writing a nonfiction book on music at the dawn of the digital century to be published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. His essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Bidoun, and n+1, and he contributes regularly to Frieze and The Fader.
He has been an artist-in-residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. Clayton was a 2010 recipient of the Kindle Foundation’s Makers Muse award. Clayton maintains a long-running blog, Mudd Up!, and has given artist talks at GEL, Harvard University and other educational institutions in Europe and South America.
NICE THINGS PEOPLE HAVE SAID:
“Jace Clayton, aka DJ/Rupture, is a thoughtful pipeline for music from countless distant and obscure outposts.” — Jon Pareles, The New York Times
“he’s in the rare category of DJs who gives the impression that he is not just wading through music, but correcting it by building his own canon, and constructing an alternate history. It’s a place you would want to live.” — Mark Pytlik, Pitchfork **Best New Music 8.8; #10 album of 2009**
“A stunning, globe-trotting, three-turntable mix… bumping, brash, and without borders.” – Jon Caramanica, VIBE
“You won’t find another musician as agile and reckless as DJ /rupture.” — Mary Ann Hobbes, BBC1
“When most DJs mix, the aim is to blend and maintain whatever rhythmic pace has been established. For /Rupture, mixes are manifestos that dart, bob, and clash in tempo and continent because that’s what life does… /Rupture’s meticulously beatmatched juxtapositions give equal footing to their African, European, America, and Arabic parts.” — Hua Hsu, The Wire
selected online writings:
“Curiosity Slowdown” – Frieze, November 2010. This essay on the slowed-down tempos of screw and its influence on contemporary bands was selected by Alex Ross for inclusion in the Best Music Writing 2011 book.
“Tribal Guarachero: Mexican Teens & Aztec History” – The Fader, 2009. Clayton investigates the incredible new music phenomenon of tribal guarachero.
“Confessions of a DJ” – n+1, 2009.
“Slow Burn” – The Fader, spring 08. Buenos Aires to the Bay Area, 2008 is experiencing the explosion of cumbia, a bomb with a century-long fuse.
“Rock the Rai Now” – The National, November 08.
“Muslin Gaze” – Bidoun, 07. Long critical piece on Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze.
“Defending the Pig: Oink Croaks” – Mudd Up!, October 07. Later translated into Spanish and Italian and reprinted in Abitare.
“Search and Rescue” – Frieze, Sept 08. The hunt for rare African funk records raises questions about how the digitized music of the 21st century will be archived.