This Sunday, July 19, 2009, at precisely 4:30pm, I will play a set at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago’s Union Park. I would tell you to come, but Sunday tickets have been sold out for a month.
So my advice is more specific: gather at ‘Balance Stage’, up close and on time! Especially because it’ll be a short “45 minute set – STRICT set length”. (in Band time, 45 minutes is often enough; in DJ time it passes so quickly.) Which means we will have go in deep, together, from the very beginning, at once and completely.
At first I was a bit worried about being the only DJ at a big 3-day festival. I was gonna invite an MC, or a video artist for projections, or a cellist… Then I decided no. I’m just gonna DJ, as I always do, and if I’m not as exciting to watch as, say, every other act at the festival, then that’s that — you should be dancing anyhow. Life in DJlandia evolves via participation (bouncing around, dutty wine, grinding, etc) not spectatorship, in part because the crowd’s energy & responsiveness to certain tunes or moods actually changes what will get played. A feedback loop. A symbiotic relationship.
Put another way: let’s dance!
OR, it’s better to think of DJs a mediums (rather than performers or Artists or whatever). Grabbing the dictionary…
Medium – (1) a substance regarded as the means of transmission of a force or effect (2) a channel or system of communication, information, or entertainment — compare mass medium (3) an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits (5) a condition or environment in which something may function or flourish.
but mostly, these days, it’s about cumbia. and our homegrown beats. and Kassav’! (Also – where are the cumbia / Mexican music shops in Chicago?)
A week from today I’ll be back home in BROOKLYN, playing the latest installment of New York Tropical. Think hummingbirds.
this Friday, come join us @ Glasslands in Brooklyn for another installment of the Dutty Artz party, New York Tropical.
Expect cheap dutty fun, populated by healthy pterodactyls and pansexual tiger cubs. We like Glasslands because it’s on the edge of things. I’ve been out of town for the last 4 or 5 of these, am looking forward…
Fri. June 26th BROOKLYN
music by: DJ /rupture. Matt Shadetek. Geko Jones. Lamin Fofana.
Glasslands, 289 Kent. williamsburg $5 before 11pm, $8 after.
Busy on tour, the blog gets a bit neglected… Andy & I are playing Tuesday through Sunday, a show (or two) each night. This much real-world sound translates into online silence (I don’t have an iPhone).
Warding off that soundlessness, here are two ultra-fresh new jams ::: MAJOR LAZER ft. Jahdan & a SWEDISH PIRATE CUMBIA REMIX by yours truly.
first up: June is a good month for Dutty Artz’s Jahdan Blakkamoore, he features on Diplo and Switch’s reggae project ‘Major Lazer’ (album streaming now, out next week), and Jahdan also drops some verses on a Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry 12″. Here’s our man nicing up a Major Lazer tune.
It’s a pleasant surprise to hear Dip & co. workin with JD in a conscious roots reggae mode (JD’s roots roots run deep). Cash Flow is a very satisfying appetizer to the incoming Jahdan Blakkamoore album Buzzrock Warrior (produced by Matt Shadetek, myself, and the Dutty Artz family, out this September on Gold Dust). Which will crush everything.
+ + +
I’m in love with D.F., Mexico City. Forget leafy Berlin, let’s all move there, sísísí!
When Geraldine Juárez, one of my favorite piratas/artistas, asked me to remix a Swedish piracy jingle to accompany a video of Mexico City’s young Internet Embassador, Mila, playing in an Embajada Pirata / Embassy of Piracy — made from repurposed US postal service envelopes and constructed in a D.F. park — I said claro k si! (Piracy? Distribution. I have been known to defend the pig.)
Speaking of Sweden – as Europe swings even further to the right, at least the Swedish Pirate Party won a seat in European Parliment! Kinda crazy! But nowhere near as crazy as, say, Dutch far-right or British National Party gains.. Anyhow, before we resume fighting the power, check Geraldine’s sweet video with my sweaty cumbia refix soundtrack:
Esopus is an art magazine, in the sense of magazine-as-art. The current issue contains a CD. They asked a group of musicians to select a black & white film to serve as inspiration for a song. I chose Luis García Berlanga’s El Verdugo (1963). It’s worth seeing. Berlanga made several impressive movies, not an easy feat under Franco, and much can be said about this one, although not by me at 2am…
7. ‘El Verdugo’ by DJ/RUPTURE. The business of death is the central framework of El Verdugo (1963), the pitch-black comedic tale of José Luis Rodríguez, in which a young undertaker (Nino Manfredi) agrees to take on the job of a retiring executioner in order to marry his daughter Carmen (Emma Penella). Through his characteristically brilliant use of samples (including the evocative creaking of a cemetary gate he recorded in Lodes, Spain), DJ/rupture holds a sonic mirror up to the dark, fractured world of this cult classic.”
[El Verdugo screenshot]
the Disquiet blog hosts a brief excerpt. Listening back to it makes me want to gather the noise/ambient/texture pieces I’ve done, make some new ones, and release them as an album. Tentative title: Soap Bleach Softener.
(In other non-news about albums which don’t yet exist: an offhand comment by Geoff at Postopolis has sparked a massive ‘preemptive soundtrack’ concept… recording starts in June, details soon. Think ‘resplendor’.)
Esopus is having an issue launch party at NYC’s Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (an oasis of sorts, great place) this Wednesday, May 13 7-9pm.
When Crofton told me about his new online ‘journal’ I thought — just say it, say ‘blog’! Yet it turns out he’s won the right to call it journal: long, bibliographically-enhanced pieces on stuff like tarantism, gnawa & black diaspora, and creaky Moroccan folk music! “dedicated to sound system culture and to African, Caribbean and other music.”
Spoek Mathambo is my favorite African rapper/cryptozoologist. This is his ALL CAPS BLOG. You’ll find mixes (like the excellent new installment of H.I.V.I.P. series, Devil House Mafia 2), pictures, and youtubery.
out of Mexico City, mp3s accompanied by thematically related prose poems and photos. I like the impulse to not explain or describe the music in any direct sense (the music is already there, ‘right click to download’). I don’t download the mp3s, or I do but I forget to listen to them, but I like this blog nevertheless.
Quickie translation of the post w/ Deerhunter’s “Nothing Ever Happened”
Tomorrow we’ll leave the city on a highway that nobody knows, that’s empty because nobody knows it, and because it’s empty we can go as fast as we want — we always can, but whatever. 150 MPH in a twisted car. Doesn’t matter: there was never anything here. We’ll go from one extreme to another; before and after there’s a place full of stuff where nobody fits. But what do I know. Only speed and the night and the dead world know anything, they’ll tell us that until we stick our heads out into the deafening wind.
quick reminder that I’ll be speaking alongside Jedediah Purdy @ the Strand tonite, in a discussion moderated by Mark Grief, editor of n+1. Says Mark: “Audience participation is very much invited. Do you want to know why it’s better for Jace to deliberately hand his music over to bootleggers with names like ‘Vampiros’ than go through record distributors? Or why Jed, liberal stalwart, seems in his new book to be telling everybody to go read Edmund Burke and Adam Smith?
Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway at 12th Street, THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 7 PM.
With all due respect to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz– in this sludgy powerful reggae riddim with a Malcolm X sample I hear a call for structural violence… Because that’s what’s happening to the music (and the words in it): the Roots Radics dub version kicks out this time-worn riddim’s walls to let in psychic/studio space.
“Turn the other cheek revolution” – the DJ cut brings in a hint of ambiguity, leans (slightly) towards the post-Mecca El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz worldview. Malcolm’s full sentence was, of course: “There’s no such thing as a turn-the-other-cheek revolution.”
Structural violence as freeing up discursive space. This can happen in many ways, like when you usher unseen narratives into visibility (Toni Morrison’s early work as an editor bringing black women’s writing to a mainstream readership in the 1970’s is an awesome example); communicating across a hostile silence which didn’t serve y/our purpose, or – dubwise – inserting a silence which does.
(& i love 7″s for their combination of brevity and effort – after 3 minutes, you need to get up and stop the record. This mp3 loses that.)