Thursday 30 June 2005 at 07:54 am
combination of Kevlar, smart fabrics, prototype weaponry, and a
kindly black man relegated to the basement will help him achieve the
ultimate white dream: just corporate governance. Over an entire city
with an unaccountable (in the Rumsfeld-Abu Ghraib sense) fly-by-night Jungian
vigilante sheen. Order 10,000 armor bat-heads from China and I will
make this place safe again. American Psycho.
slurs Mike Jones, “and the ability to enjoy it, is the true
measure of man.” “Mmmm, yes darling,” concurs Harold Bloom, massaging Mike's biceps with his ample fingers. “That's it
explains the poignancy at Bladerunner's
end, when the robot gets all poetic before dying. Talking of tears
through dingy neon 80s futurism, he makes us want to cry too. But
there's no reason to cry. Androids can't die. He crept backwards in
time, settling in a compatible near-future city, as underlit and
rainy and derelict as home, and found good work as a C.E.O. acutely
aware of the profit margins to be had in the defense sector.
in most movies involving wide-scale conspiracies regarding
psychosis-inducing drugs, the ghost of Philip K. Dick grinds his
benzedrine-blackened teeth in the script's corner. You can't hear
what he's saying, but he's probably right.
prettyboy American Psycho meets his superior in metrosexual Dr.
Crane. Blues eyes, baby face, brunette. 'Leggy' under the
professional trousers. Subtext: men who invest too much time in
personal grooming are psychotic, often homicidally so. Clause: unless
they roll with lesbian Europeans. If American Psycho had found
lesbian Europeans in time, none of this might have happened, his
fancy stainless-steel kitchen countertop and matching appliances
wouldn't remind us of a morgue. Counterclause: psychos are attracted
to Katie Holmes. Counter-counter-clause: only in real life, not on
celluloid. Plus it was a Freudian thing, and incest thing; they were
young, she was a sister figure, the price of cocaine in early 20th
century Vienna enjoyed surprisingly few market distortions and
to the movie, when people fight the bodies blur. Rade Serbedzija, the
homeless guy who receives the tweedy jacket (and whose name gets
misspelled in the credits) was in a great movie called Before the
Rain, which has the best violence/confusion scene I can remember:
all about gazes and jumpcuts, a guy walks into a restaurant and
something violent happens. But it's all about the edit, the swift
unsteady confusion of violence, the sudden irreversible unexpectedness. The editing wow-factor of Before the Rain's restaurant
scene is up there with moments like the sex scene in Don't Look
Now, or the sex-and-accidental-channel-surf scene of Midnight
Cowboy. When Bat-people fight the bodies blur and that's it. No
existential editing snipped and tucked at the cutting desk. Returning
to the movie--
moral of the story is that money is useful and you need a LOT of it
to do anything. And, preferably, a British servant. British
servants-- singly or in groups-- can be almost as useful as money,
provided they've served you long enough to be cringingly loyal.
Harold Bloom has spent so many years typing that he no longer has any
Wednesday 29 June 2005 at 05:40 am
been meaning to write about the experience of listening to shortwave
radio broadcasts for a few weeks now. It's like watching sunsets or
the last untroubled gesture of a lover before breakup, any of those
brief perfect fading moments of beauty, escaping. You hear a gorgeous
song and can't ask anybody what it is, fragile signal, can't understand the
language, can't locate it later to listen again and often don't even know
which country it is being broadcast from, static snarls and roiling
interference. Shortwave listening foregrounds the fact of
geographic distance (not to mention cultural distance) as well as the
tangible but tenuous possibilities for its overcoming. Sounds pass
through you; every single detail you will feel or capture from this
untouchable unownable music happens in the now, escaping...
some blogger tapes the stuff and posts mp3s on the web.
A new (cocky no-external-link) blog offering mpfree shortwave radio
excerpts. Of course, the optimal shortwave experience can
be had almost anywhere-- via shortwave you can receive music from just
about any country, and the radios themselves don't cost much. If low
on cash, you can always mug or pickpocket suits in the nearest
ClearChannel-owned radio-station or concert venue.
Tuesday 28 June 2005 at 11:05 am
style: the last 11 minutes of a recent Bossman DJ set at London's
Rinse FM. He stitches together shimmering blocks of grimy melodic
sound, busy on the crossfader, with a preference for effervescent
melody and the alien low-end weirdness that makes London pirate music
such wild fun. I already said: “Fast cuts n collages, lively beyond
belief, he builds this impressive mad energy just mashing up grime
- end of recent Rinse FM session
beats are made for MCs, things happen on the regular, in relatively
short loops of sound--every 8 bars for example. It's not about some
slowly evolving tune, it's a beat-clock for the MC to lock on to. The
first part of this Bossman Rinse tape (courtesy Simon
Platinumpoundpolygon) bumps out MC tracks, then there's this
instrumental end. Anyhow, the point is that solid beats for MCs are
also solid beats for DJs to cut up and do realtime edits & blends
on, and Bossman's mix takes advantage of that fact. A complete,
full-bodied song leaves a DJ little or no room to reinvent it. For
magic to happen, you gotta have some space, spontaneity, and a certain amount of unscheduled rawness.
wrote a relevant paragraph in All Tomorrow's Parties: The
handles of a craftsman's tools bespeak an absolute simplicity, the
plainest forms affording the greatest range of possibilities for the
user's hand. That which is overdesigned, too highly specific,
anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not
failure, the absence of grace.
Technics 1200s were just a radio station-favored turntable with strong torque until the Bronx exploded mid-70s.
think I´m trying to say that exciting music = velocities &
possibilities more than anything else, but it's too hot to think.
around 6:30 Wiley's Firefly bass mix comes in--I read somewhere that
he used to call these things devils mixes until he made a lot of
money selling them and bought a car, and crashed that car, and then
Wiley changed the name to 'bass mixes'. Makes a lot of sense,
tangible voodoo menace in his gutted no-beat mixdowns. I've been
playing Firefly bass mix out nonstop, it charges the air and makes
new movement possible.
a blog wakeup: Fine Turkish Tobacco, aka Jess is smokin' again! a
zinging & on-point way of writing about music.
Friday 24 June 2005 at 06:50 am
you live in Barcelona you may already be in shellshock. Today is the
Festival of Sant Joan (Saint John/San Juan). Presumably religious in origin,
the Catalunyan version of Sant Joan is now basically a reason to
explode fireworks. The louder and later into the night the better.
Last night my neighborhood was rocked with elaborate home-launched
projectiles until about 8AM, and which point the heavily armed youth
went home for breakfast or more fireworks and returned at about 11.
Needless to say, this a holiday where people lose fingers.
Madrid, people celebrate the night
mostly by lighting candles and making wishes. Ear-shattering
explosions don't really enter into it. People say that in smaller,
more traditional towns outside of Barcelona, folks make barnfires
from old furniture, then jump over those fires all night long.
Apparently things get wilder in Valencia, huge burning figures, but
that's another story.
most impressive manifestation of Sant Joan happens at Barcelona's
beach. Everybody goes there at night. You'll see entire
families who have emptied the contents of their kitchen and rebuilt
it on the seashore, preparing elaborate 4-course meals with gas
heaters and open fires. Little 7-year olds with lighters run wild,
gripping sparklers, launching whistlers, tossing M-80 firecrackers
moments before they explode. Pyromaniacs have a field day.
Groups of young adults sit around drinking coca-cola mixed
with wine, rolling cigarettes of corporate tobacco and
greymarket Moroccan hash. They talk quietly despite the constant
banging. Your ears will ring. Every few seconds there is a noisy
flash of light, but this does not bother the guy with a guitar
singing Manu Chao songs as some kind of protection against harm.
rockets color the sky with sparks. Drunks start plastic fires, get
bored, walk away. The subway runs free all night. New people,
increasingly wasted, refuel the beach
party. Healthy girls play volleyball in the dark, until the beach is
too crowded. Law-abiding illegal immigrants blast merengue and salsa.
They accelerate their language and its idiomatic velocities, bringing
back Latino slang that Castillian Spaniards subconsciously subdue.
Gunpowder, sea, smoke, cooked meat, sweat, and sex: this is what the
air smells like. Sant Joan at the Barcelona seashore is a startling
testimony to Spain's high tolerance for danger. The cops are
ill bums who ordinarily cower on the concrete pathway underneath the
boardwalk nursing sunburnt feet and 49-cent liter-boxes of Don Simon
red wine now stroll proudly along the shore: they are in their
element. As close to home as it gets. This gathering of people is far
crazier and more self-contradictory than any one person could ever
Thursday 23 June 2005 at 10:33 am
Wednesday 22 June 2005 at 07:37 am
mystical neo-folk from 1970s Morocco. In honor of Jil Jilala's
jam from Lemchaheb starts off with a bluesy rock riff reminiscent
of Mali's Ali Farka Toure. Or, more recently, Tinariwen.
Jilala - ch bikdaret lekdar
unhurried rumble from Jil Jilala. They manage to sound solemnly
spiritual and ramshackle at the same time. (compare with widely
exported crazy complex Egyptian arrangements) The
opening bassline maintains a timeless gnawa stride. It's not just
about slipping into a groove, it's edging towards a whole other way
of dividing up the days and activities caged inside them, extending a
moment, spreading concentric rings of community via hypnotic sounds,
call & response vocals; anything worth growing grows slow.
minutes of rooted vision from an important Mahgrebi band.
saw them 2 years back at a massive free Ramadan party outside of
Barcelona. 5000 Arabs, Jil Jilala, and rai group Jadwane. Serious!
Jilala & Nass El Ghiwane - Salamou Alaikoum
rip but a nice short collabo btwn the two groups.
but not least, a heady percussive Jil Jilala tune. Kinda weird, yep. Entrancing too. I'm out of space, so I had to Yousend
this one. Sorry!!
Jilala - Malgalbi dada mey
Monday 20 June 2005 at 12:19 pm
conversations with Abdel about things you can only learn by watching
old people play old music. Soon
afterwards we learned that Mahmoud Saadi, co-founder of Jil Jilala & brief member of Nass el Ghiwane, passed away
on June 13th in Casablanca. I´ll try to post some Jil Jilala music soon.
Monday 20 June 2005 at 07:20 am
can I say?-- The symphony orchestra thing was a blast. I nailed it
and had fun. No-headphones battle DJing with 75 classical
musicians at my back! Afterwards people kept telling me A. it was
too short and B. they were psyched to see me actually interacting
with the orchestra, rather than just laying voices or sounds on top.
was a total press coup in fact, my image was splashed across the
front page of the free Metro newspaper, and then again in the main
'cultural' page of El Mundo, one of Spain's major national
newspapers; in his SONAR summary article for the paper, big critic Javier Blanquez wrote: “...
Only DJ /rupture reached a high level of creativity by DJing noises,
field recordings, and abstract material over pieces by Webern, to the
point of being unable to distinguish between what was recorded and
what was played live... the hero of the night” Bang!
didn't get to see much else at SONAR except friends-- but I did receive
a stack of fresh Brazilian CDs & CD-rs from Marcos B, DJ
Marlboro's main man, running the gamut from baile funk to DJ mixes of
deep 70s material. look left for first rip...
Tuesday 14 June 2005 at 05:01 am
** i think my server capacity is being strained due to heavy traffic. this is both good & bad. apologies if Mudd Up! loads sloooow or not at all.**
Thursday & Friday night I'm performing with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra as part of the
SONAR fest. We've chosen 3 pieces by Anton Webern (nice heavy
Viennese composer killed by a mistaken
American as he fled Nazis in Europe). I'm doing turntablism ontop,
and then playing electronics for the final piece. Richie Hawtin
(Plastikman) and Dose-One of Subtle/cLOUDDEAD will also collabo with
the Orcs. After that, they play a suite
by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. Then they ransack the nearest available castle for
the glory of Lord Sauron.
Saturday Nettle will perform LIVE at the Clandestino festival in
Gothenburg, Sweden. New songs, new intensities. More time signatures.
More gear. We're getting flexible and savage and downright pretty at
times. This time around Nettle will be a duo--Abdel Hak on violin &
oud, me on plugs & switches. Sunday I participate in a panel talk on "Sounds of Dissent."
Filastine plays percussion in Nettle, but he's got his own gigs at the moment. FYI,
Filastine's beat “Judas Goat” (on my label, Soot), kicks off Low Income Tomorrowland.
you're in NYC, check Filastine this Friday at Subtonic
(the Bunker party), midniteish set.
for the rest
of Filastine tour dates in US & Europe with the Infernal Noise
Monday 13 June 2005 at 12:17 pm
look lemon-red for a brand new DJ mix of
mine, Low Income Tomorrowland.
McDonalds, shoes and shirt are NOT required)
minutes to make your summer go bump, a soundtrack for the heat.
My session kicks off Lemon-Red's monthly mix series, which (like its
parent blog) should be a quality source for beat-filled newness.
As for me, I keep giving everything away. Anybody wanna pay my rent? Low Income Tomorrowland will be up for grabs until July
4. Some point soonafter, an RIAA-related shadow label will release it
on CD with some other stuff, using all profits to buy handcuffs &
Aunt Jemima pancake syrup.
Sunday 12 June 2005 at 9:17 pm
always thought of screw music as a fine example of American Negro
Lazy Genius: take a song, slow it down,
then sell it. In the hands of DJ Screw this became contagiously brilliant, this
strange syrupy thing that probably wouldn't have been
possible in a country where whites didn't steal Africans and force
them to work for several generations. Grime is work-ethic music,
strivers' shouts. Screw is watermelon-patch process, droopy and
militant at zero reparations. Why should we sweat if we didn't
ask to be here?
cultures, even DJ cultures, place a high value on originality. Bugs,
flowers, and animosities just reproduce.
Sweden's main cultural export is IKEA, which means a million people
furnishing their rooms in the exact same way by personally putting
in millions of little screws and widgets and erecting tables chairs
desks beds and so on.
is a guy from the Swedish rap act Stacs of Stamina and some other guy
I don't know. We met in France, they videotaped Ove-Naxx exposing
himself and gave me a mixtape I lost. They also just 'screwed n chopped' the new
Roll Deep album, downloads here. (EDIT: 'Screwing' slows it down, 'chopping' adds cuts, edits, and backspins, etc)
a bunch of people will end up hearing the Roll Deep album in its
freely-distributed, slowed-down, Radioclit-branded form before they
wrap their ears around the intact original properly-pitched thing. I
love the way that interrupts the usual 'do you like it?'
question asked of an album, screw music is never about regular value
judgments; when you get yr lean on, its
just a question of how far you can tip without losing it (R.I.P. DJ Screw). Take “Remember the Days”-- the screwed version bends the
original's FM lite-meets-rave
melodies into something eerily minor, tones slipping off the piano's
deep end, sunk in the spaces between keys. The screw slows Remember's
sober inspirational down into a darkly psychedelic dirge. Viscous time.
It's possible to critique
an MC who's speaking directly to your lizard brain, but then you have
to ignore all the unnameable information your lizard brain slithers
back to you.
IKEA, you pick something large, something culturally large, and
loosen all the screws or put a wrench in the works and send back -- unbuyable
or hacked or narcotized or maybe just re-branded repackaged for resale --
into the world. Music just one window to toss a rock through.
Saturday 11 June 2005 at 06:56 am
ridiculous news: the Mondo Kims record shop on St.Marks Place in East
Village NYC was raided by cops for carrying CD-r bootleg mixtapes-- which
are pretty much a major label-condoned affair at this point. The
cops pigs arrested 5 employees,
charging them with counterfeiting. Various quotes at Catchdubs sum up the absurdity of it all.
Kims is one of NYC's very best one-stop record shops (which makes it, by extension,
one of the world's best). The press reports that manager Craig (who DJs as I-Sound, and makes music as one half of
Wasteland) is charged-- I was one of the many local
musicians & DJs whose music and homemade mixtapes Craig supports by
stocking at Kims. Brother goes out of his way to do some amazing
curation & big up underdogs, so this stings as a
particularly irrational and vicious slap in the face.
mixtapes-- primarily hiphop compilations with unique DJ blends, one-offs MC
freestyles, alternate versions, industry leak tracks, guest hosts,
and more-- are a world apart from, say, Canal Street's straight-up
bootlegged Vuitton bags and commerical albums & DVDs. The raid was due to a 'tip
off' by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Looks like
the RIAA's targeting a high-profile, low-threat 'adversary' to serve as an example to
other stores. Like Ayres mentions in the
Catchdubs blurb, 50 Cent's career was built on the strength of his NYC
mixtape appearances. Not only do mixtapes not
interfere with major label album sales, they function as this sleek
hype machine, a savvy A&R and distribution circuit in a
symbiotic relationship with the monied suits that the RIAA mistakenly
thinks it's defending by cohorting with the police to stomp down on Kims. Grrr.
Thursday 09 June 2005 at 8:06 pm
gonna bog about (my) GRIME AGNOSTICISM soon, but need to
rewind the Roll Deep album a few more times. Until then, here's a
burner off it, the most overtly ethnik manifestation their 'when i'm
ere' audio DNA to date
Deep - Heat Up
first 28 seconds sound like a sublime vision of local folk in one of
those semi-treacherous eastern european regions where the cop cars say
POLICIJA. Taliban Trim's verses help restore any flagging faith.
string players I work with perform here in Barça this weekend. Abdel
Hak, my partner in Nettle, will be at Harlem Jazz Club on
Saturday, playing violin with Abdeljalil Khodssi's group. Khodssi's
lineup shares a couple members with the maghrebi-jazz group Nass
Marrakesh. (Nass means 'brotherhood') Nass Marrakesh's sound is, on
CD, very smooth and jazzy.
Marrakesh - L Ham
The violin is Abdel. Khodssi's
group does like 3 Nass el Ghiwane covers. Periodically I feel bad
about my online NeG fever, but then I think of the others... U Mean's
Dipset Fixation, Chiasm's long Fall... and feel less alone.
Jenny Jones will bring her formidable cello skills to bear at Miscelanea (c/Guardia, 10) on Sunday, playing with
the Version Original string quarter. ¡¡FREE!! 9pm. Nos vemos.
Wednesday 08 June 2005 at 09:51 am
facts expressed via national flags. i.e. Brazil: green = people living
with less than $10 a month, gold = people living with less than $100
a month, blue = people living with less than $1000 a month, white =
people living with less than $100,000 a month.
man Nat Slang offers a poster of remixed flags, blending the flags of
various disputing regions (Spain & Basque, Turkey &
Tuesday 07 June 2005 at 06:54 am
El Ghiwane has a brand-new super not-informative website in French!! Very exciting,
dead links and all! It gifts us with many MP3s.
Try Fine Ghadi Biya
Khouya (Where Are You Taking Me, Brother?) or Mahmouma for starters... Info on our free Brussels gig here.
Monday 06 June 2005 at 10:34 am
was great, as suspected.
Village Band rocked despite an overly-talkative crowd. Big allure clarion female vocals! Oneida
'rocked' & pummeled, on a Sufi MC5 vibe, particularly the
shirtless drummer whose feral intensity reminded me of Animal the
Muppet, chopping up time by hitting things with sticks. Why have a 3
chord riff when you can make a song from a 2 note riff? Their final
song asked & answered that one.
Outside a bunch of guys disassembled a car with power tools,
processing & amplifying the audio. I forgot my camera.
a pleasure to hang out with Matt Elliott (Third Eye Foundation), and
catching another one of his live sets was a highlight for me. Like a
growing number of artists, he's not gonna tour the U.S. because of
the iris-scan - fingerprint - xenophobic U.S. border policy.
said, catch him if you can, melancholic deep contrapuntal
guitar & cello & drumkit that extends into walls of tuned
textured noise and a bit of those trademark 3rdEye skeletal breaks,
using loop pedals to build this complexity realtime.
his set this 7 males + 1 female Danish band called Efterklang played. Synced arty video, horns, violin, etc. You could tell they were big
into GY!BE. Not in a Godspeed-xerox way like Explosions in the Sky
though. Efterklang reminded me of Jhumpa Lahiri's prose-- generally
pleasant, workshopped, exceedingly well-crafted and balanced, but you
get to the end and realize that messiness and bad taste can be vital
often get a bad rap, especially in places like Scandinavia.
Bristol I heard the following songs pumping out of black guys' cars:
Lethal B's Forward, & David Banner's Rep to the Death. Cool
town. (Dexplicit, the guy who produced Forward, just remixed M.I.A., and it's
pretty much like a Forward rmx with choppy MIA vox, very lively!)
This being England, everybody else's ride was quiet,
and the only other citysound of note (apart from the torn-apart
car) was a Koranic reading belting out of Life Express Halal, counterpoint to the Irn Bru signage. Islam versus the most popular caffeinated drink in Scotland.
a warmhearted Banksy piece: THE MILD MILD WEST
at the Malcolm X center
Friday 03 June 2005 at 09:25 am
I look at myself in the mirror, I am not looking to find out if what
I see is an Ibo, a Central African or even a black American. The only
thing I can see is Samuel Fosso, who is trying to make himself as
handsome as possible before taking a self-portrait.
Wednesday 01 June 2005 at 6:36 pm
Wednesday 01 June 2005 at 6:01 pm
I dug around and found an English-language draft of the piece mentioned below. The mag, a glossy flossy fashiony one, titled it WEIRD GENUISES... here ya go