Category Archives: maghreb

BEYOND DIGITAL: KICKSTARTER HOME STRETCH & ADIL EL MILOUDI

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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!).

BEYOND DIGITAL: MOROCCO

Earlier this year I tweeted: New Africa Proverb #137: It takes a village to make a crazed Auto-Tune fieldwork docu-art project. Well, I wasn’t kidding.

I’m teaming up with Maga Bo, Fader magazine photo editor John Francis Peters, and Taliesen Gilkes-Bower to explore musical innovation in Morocco via collaboration, teaching, documentation, and digital storytelling. It’s a monthlong art project, going down in & around Marrakesh this June.

Our focus? How creative adaptations of global digital technologies in Morocco — such as Auto-Tune use in Berber folk music — are helping to transform youth culture and suggesting powerful alternatives to Western concepts of digital literacy. To learn more & help out :
Beyond Digital: Morocco

CHAÂBIYA

Thanks to everyone who came to Zebulon and helped make last night special! Right before Nettle played I DJed a half-hour of Maghrebi material. Stuff like this, but slower:

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Sawamit – Dirilih Tilifoun

from the excellent album Chaâbiya, only $6 at eMusic!

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Sawamit – Aicha Ya Lalla

and this

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Hafida – track 1 (Fassiphone CD).
This Berber singer was first mentioned on Mudd Up! here.

and this

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Soiree Live -Zoubida (La Caravane du Rif)

SAHARAN CELLPHONES (pt 2) & DUTTY RINGTONES

phone+muddy

So I’ve been thinking a lot about cellphones lately. Portland’s Gulls just did an edit version of one of the tracks from ‘Music From Saharan Cellphones’ which I’ll be playing on the radio show tonight. Along with a Rita Indiana exclusive, new Stuff From Europe, tribal guarachero, superdeep cumbia rebajada, and, as always, more.

More is my favorite type of music, actually. Then comes 128kbps, one of my favorite musical genres. We are releasing a compilation called New York Tropical in a few weeks. Lots of new material by myself + Matt Shadetek, Lido Pimienta, DJ Orion, Kingdom remixing Rita Indiana, and more! You can download the entire album as ringtones (iPhone, etc) right now.

moral of the story: tune in to Mudd Up! Wfmu.org 91.1fm nyc, 7-8pm TONITE.

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Emsitka – autotune (Gulls edit)

In ‘Music From Saharan Cellphones’ the original tune is labeled ‘Niger – Autotune’. Chris from Sahelsounds has found out a bit more: the band is called Emsitka. They are indeed from Niger but live in Nigeria.

TAMIKREST – SAHEL SPACES

800px-Sahel Map-Africa rough

[Sahel map, wikipedia]

 

Silence like stone’s insides:

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Tamikrest – Aratane N’Adagh

Empty and full, shame the album isn’t as special as this song. Ousmane Ag Mossa sings and plays guitar, picking his way through a night composed of uncertain pieces. Mali.

tamikrest 1274119056 crop 500x422

I found this song via Sahel Sounds, a blog whose author uses the phrase “Black Moor” a lot. There’s an intriguing post on something I was speaking with Benjamin from Akwaaba about just yesterday: bluetooth cellphone mp3 transfers. Non-internet, wireless filesharing that requires physical proximity… A lot of folks use cellphones for only that, no need for actual talk/text service. So as cellphones across Africa get used for music and video playback, recording, and transmission more than talking/SMSing, it makes sense that Christopher from Sahel Sounds assembles a cassette compilation of Music from Saharan Cellphones [mediafire] – downloadable as mp3s, of course… Also worth hearing is his ‘Sahelsounds promo CD ‘ – leaning more towards field recordings from around the Sahara.

EID MUBARAK! plus MP3s

An Eid al-Fitr inspired post of songs from Yemen, Morocco, Algeria, and Spain. Yesterday I made the mistake of walking by the World Trade Center site – the crazies were already out! Already basking in media attention. Anyhow, music remains a gift and refuge:

first song comes from the dry but quintessential 17 CD box set, The Music of Islam. This is from vol. 11: Yemen

islam4frontff4

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VA – Taba’an Liqa (It Was Nice to Meet You)

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next, some recent Moroccan chaabi. Got this last January in Barcelona; the guy burned me a CD-r of tunes sans meta-data… It’s a stormer though! Performed live, crowd cheers included:

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Mudd Unknown – Moroccan chaabi excerpt

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now let’s turn to Juan Peña Lebrijano y Orquesta Andalusí de Tanger’s album Encuentros. In which the old school Flamenco don goes progressive with vocals in Spanish and Arabic and a backing band from Tangier. A major work here in Muddlandia! Highly recommended.

jp

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Juan Peña Lebrijano y Orquesta Andalusí de Tanger – Desafío

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last but not least, some Algerian jams from bootleg CD Style Arouri vol. 2, a compilation which will boost your tolerance for synthesizer trumpets:

43

[Cheba Fati]

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Cheba Fati – Walla Laouayydou

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Cheb Samir – Amhabletni

…for weirder Eid-related activity, Visual Aid’s Eid thingy

HIGH STANDARDS, LOW NUMBERS

library+b&w

Back from Madrid with a roller-case bearing obscure books and 1 € Maghrebi CD-rs…

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Khaled – Rai Arai (DJ SMS mix)

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speaking of books…

A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better. An American who read just one book this year was disproportionately likely to have read “The Lost Symbol”, by Dan Brown. He almost certainly liked it.

A World of Hits, The Economist

HUNGRY GHOST H.I.V.I.P.

spoek real african style

the only bad thing about receiving good music late at night is forgetfulness. i shoulda posted this before everybody else, but the internet isn’t (always) a race.

brand new mix from Spoek Mathambo of Sweat X and Playdoe (i first wrote about Sweat X for this Fader piece, they’re back on tour in ye olde Europe right now).

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Spoek Mathambo – H.I.V.I.P mix: Dezemba Liazonz (also on zshare)

I love mixes whose tracklists don’t make any sense, but are awesome anyhow

H.I.V.I.P mix tracklist:

CABARET VOLTAIRE – DECAY
SIDELELE – BIG NUZ (SPOEK MATHAMBO ‘BELL HOP’ REFIX )
IZINJA – BIG NUZ
GEENEUS – INTO THE FUTURE
DURBAN FUNK – BUBZIN
KHOLOI – BUJO MUJO
ANGICENGI –
SEDUCER – CNDO FEAT. BIG NUZ
GEENEUS – NIGHT REMIX
DJ SKHOKHO – 04
DJ BONGS – BANGA
GEENEUS – YELLOWTAIL (SPOEK MATHAMBO ‘MONATE FELA’ REFIX)
?? – NO STRINGS ATTACHED
CNDO – TERMINATOR
CABARET VOLTAIRE – VIBRATIONS
RISQUE RYTHUM TEAM – THE JACKING ZONE
DJ SKHOKHO – 08 (SPOEK MATHAMBO ‘AIDS IN THE HOSTEL’ REFIX)

HIVIP MIX1

OUDADEN MEMORY DEPOT

[français]

oudaden

Spacious and peaceful, gentle Amazigh production from one of the big groups in this style. Banjo, reverb, delay, more reverb, more delay, and those hard-panned drum machines.

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Oudaden – track 3

i’ve been jamming to this song for awhile, thinking it was something completely different… turns out I nabbed it from Awesome Tapes. Full k7 here.

Oudaden neglects what appears to be their own blog(s), and some fans neglect kindly maintain what appear to be Oudaden fan blog(s).

It’s interesting to think about the decay of online information – from dead links slowly cutting apart our little connective webs to fierce new spam algorhythms quietly gumming up the sites you visit – or mimicing them. Some hacker specializing in legacy databases breaks into your old WordPress admin board and replaces everything with links to discount pharmaceuticals. 10 years from now? 5? How do the InterNests age?

benzedrine

as we think about degraded webs (allegedly spiders on benzedrine but i’m skeptical)…

let’s listen to more peaceful Moroccan music: faraway-sounding Maalem Mahmoud Gania, also twelve minutes long, as long as it needs to be.

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Mahmoud Gania – Essaouira
Gania previously mentioned here.

guinea-cu4-4

CHAABI AND FLORA

version française

Moroccan chaabi cd(-r) circa 2005, i lost the case. Violin submerged in FX. Check the flamenco-oid breakdown at 4 minutes in!

the artwork displays two guys wearing identical outfits and four girls wearing schoolgirl/goth/tartan halter-tops and skirts. Everybody looks healthy, young, well-rested.

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Fiesta Chaabia medley 1 excerpt

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Timeblind has at least 173 unreleased tracks in his hard drive(s). You can hear some of them in his new mix, Flora .

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Odalisqued is less hard to link to than i remember. on post-scarcity, Anne writes :

So what is this when education, real estate, and health care are almost impossible to afford, but art and information are free to take? Does anyone have a name for this? It can’t be post-scarcity when we are living in such material inequality, at least not in the Marcusian sense. Or rather it is a particular type of post-scarcity, when books and music and films seem to appear to us as easily as food from a star-trek-replicator (leaving behind, in so many ways, the traces of the labor involved in their production — no maker’s hand on this machine), but our basic stuff of life is now so difficult to get. I’m nervous all the time, aware of what happens to the least of us. I still believe that the material conditions of one’s life influence one’s work in equal measure with all else, but once I thought freedom in one’s art only came from wealth or poverty: both in some way release us from the machine. Lately this is just anxiety as control.

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More Maroc. Jil Jilala! I love this song. Banjo & guembri take center stage. This video is a from a great period (I saw them in 2003 and it wasn’t so hot).