Category Archives: dubai

BOMB: THE BUG

cross-posted to Dutty Artz

Check the latest issue of BOMB magazine for an in-depth interview with Kevin Martin AKA The Bug. BOMB has just upped an excerpt & audio clip. Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:

Jace Clayton: You told me this anecdote: you were at a dub night in London; it was lit by one lightbulb. That’s how I remember you describing it—

The Bug: Oh, yeah. That was again a very pivotal moment for me. Just after I moved to London I went to see Iration Steppas and The Disciples do a “sound clash” together. I didn’t know what the hell to expect. It was at a warehouse in the East End. Literally, there was a sound system on either side of a quite small room with a lightbulb hanging above each, no stage, the audience trapped in the middle, and this head-shredding volume and over-the-top psychedelia. Every mix that each producer was playing would get more and more out-there. At first you would think, Oh, this is a nice reggae tune, and by the end you’d be thinking, Holy shit, this is electro-acoustic madness! People were looking stoned, shell-shocked, or both by what was hitting them. (laughter) It almost altered my internal DNA and how I appreciated music. Before I moved to London, I’d seen a very early Swans show and had realized just how much I loved physical impact in sound.


Photo by Niall O’Brien. Courtesy of Ninja Tune.

JC Funny, every time we’ve played together I’ve always tried to leave the building when you were sound checking. It’s massive volume and you take it so seriously; oftentimes if the sound guy is not up to speed, you’ll let him have it. Can you talk about the importance of getting the sound you want in a live situation?

TB Boy, I guess I’ve got a bad reputation for being a bit finicky and demanding. Once you’ve had the experience of what music can be like, if you are a perfectionist and obsessive (like I realize I’ve become), you don’t want to compromise. I don’t follow the idea of making any type of compromise in my life, and definitely not in my music: music is my life. If you’re happy to shut up and let someone water down what you want, then you really shouldn’t be making music. It’s not important enough to you, you know? I believe in a hard-core mentality. Any art should be a pure reflection of the intention of the person making it, and any degree of compromise along the way is just going to lessen the impact of what that person is trying to do. As far as I’m concerned, the physicality of sound is crucial; it takes you beyond intellectual discourse, to very primal, psychological confrontations. I like what it can do to you: it can be seductive, it can be sexy, it can be aggressive, it can fuck you up, it can flatten you, it can wake you up. Intense musical experiences have changed how I live my life, full stop. To some people this may sound a bit over-the-top. My passion is music, and that is reflected in how I approach the live arena. Now, increasingly, when record sales are shrinking, it’s important to leave a statement, to walk away having done something memorable. Volume in itself isn’t memorable; anyone can turn the volume up to 12 and crush someone with it. That’s not impressive. It’s the constructions within the music that are important.

THURSDAY CANTABRIDGIAN

i’m sick. this post is pure cut&paste. i’ll be participating in lively talk @ Harvard this Thursday followed by a special edition Beat Research, relaxed tagteam session w/ Boston bredren DJ Flack & Wayne&Wax. BOTH EVENTS ARE FREE. ////

APRIL 3
Dubai: The Post-Critical Landscape?” with NEGAR AZIMI,
JACE CLAYTON, and JOSEPH GRIMA
Sert Gallery, 3rd floor, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard U., 24 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA. 617.495.3251 for info.

7:30 pm
drinks and dinner

In recent years, Dubai has been posited as a spectacularized, almost virtual landscape whose rapid expansion has made it impossible to grasp, much less critique. Rhetoric about Dubai has rendered it “post-critical” and “post-ideological;” beyond critical theory’s capacity to adequately engage. Negar Azimi, Jace Clayton, and Joseph Grima will offer strategies for dismantling this disabling rhetoric, using their work in and about Dubai to consider the currency of the “post-critical” and “post-ideological” in Dubai and within the contemporary critical landscape more broadly.

Azimi, senior editor of the Middle Eastern arts and culture magazine Bidoun, will discuss Bidoun’s reconceptualization of the glossy magazine as a site for criticality. Clayton, a sound artist, DJ, and critic who often writes about and works with North African and Middle Eastern music, will consider sampling and remixing as artistic strategies within and outside of DJ culture. Grima, the director of Storefront for Art and Architecture, will contrast Storefront’s interventions in consumerist SoHo with the myriad difficulties Storefront has faced trying to establish an outpost in Dubai.

(after this chat, we relocate & turn up the music. Never trust a critic who can’t dance!!!)

April 3rd
Special THURSDAY
BEAT RESEARCH
with DJ /Rupture
-
Our old friend DJ /Rupture will be in town and was looking for a low- key space to play some of his favorite musical treats including some of the choice Cumbia tracks that he has been collecting lately.

He, Wayne and Flack will chillin while tag teaming on the decks (and Laptop) throughout the night.

@ The Enormous Room, 567 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
9pm to 1am, 21 plus, Free

TRAVEL LOCKDOWN

Sigh.

U.A.E., home of Dubai, sends a tourist to prison for 4 years [BBC]– because he had 0.003g of cannabis stuck to his shoe. At a pre-outrage level, i find it amazing that 0.003g of anything can be legally illegal. As the BBC reports, the mandatory 4-year sentence can be levied to those with bloodstream or urine traces and other micro-amounts (or instrument misreadings!!). I won’t even mention the Swiss doing his 4 years for having breadroll poppyseed crumbs on his clothing etc. Secret Dubai Diary tells it like it (always) is.

Meanwhile George Bush — no stranger to drug & alcohol law evasion — is trying to put armed men on an transatlantic flights [Guardian] and bullying European airlines for other ridiculousness. Anyone who’ll feel safer with a patriotic American cop packing heat on an airplane, please use the emergency exit.

Seriously, as someone who travels a lot and knows many individuals (including some amazing musicians) who simply won’t enter the USA because of the fingerprinting and photos and rigamarole, it is crushing to watch borders tighten, suspicion a coral reef turning us island.

* * *

returning to Dubs: On thursday April 3rd, I will be participate in a panel discussion at Harvard University about “the unique challenges the landscape of places like Dubai present to our ability to talk about or theorize them.” Followed by a low-key afterparty with… Details soon.

Next thursday, feb 21 I’ll be giving a talk on globalization & music at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands). followed by a duo set with Andy Moor on guitar.

and on saturday feb 23, i’ll be DJing on a boat in Copenhagen. I’ve never been to Copenhagen! Reports say the boat people are good people. A small crew of New Yorkers are coming out for this, should be lively.

* * *

Yes, DA TV #3 just lept out! This one focuses on Dexplicit, club footage preceding an interview excerpt. i broadcast the interview on my radio show last week [streamable in its entirety, edited podcast version of the show goes out this wed.] Cincinnati listener DJ Empirical taped the show, then removed the most of words and music, leaving us with 2 weird minutes: um, uh, mmm, er.