Friday 30 September 2005 at 11:24 am
Oxbow frontman Eugene Robinson - your opponent - writes better than you, and is smarter too, but mostly just wants a fight.
despite being in Fight Heaven, I was dour. Daily. Because, you see,
commerce had sullied the waters. I liked
to fight but I was being paid
Eugene, on fighting, in the L.A. Weekly
Our track together (“The Book That Can't Be Opened At Either End”) was the most hated-on of my album (Stylus
- “Only a single misstep emerges, a scraping splattercore showcase for
the caustic ravings of Oxbow’s Eugene Robinson... it’s more an episode
one endures than enjoys.” ; Dusted - “the grating Eugene Robinson appearance” ; Village Voice
- “while Oxbow's Eugene Robinson sounds like Adam Sandler's Cajun Man,
most alloys hold strong”; Mossy Reeves - “this track is the crappiest
track of a crapy [sic] dancehall album” ...)
Of course, we couldn't care less.
if you do have any complaints, I suggest you express them to Eugene at
the next Oxbow show. Tell him exactly what you think or feel, and why,
and it's safe to say you will receive an equally sincere response.
* * *
Mister Nojoke Negroponte knows how to flex.
it'd be cool if TVs & refrigerators came with hand-cranks too.
* * *
Mudd Up! goes down, I never know why. Then it comes back just as suddenly.
Do the internet gods (god of jealousy, god of intermittence) demand sacrifice? They already kill my precious time.
Anyhow: various corners of the Mudd Up! media empire-strikeout are now running on windpower, real windmill-driven sustainable energy, Quixote would be proud if he wasn't senile and dead.
I've been meaning to write about Don Quixote,
birth of the modern novel, masterpiece of world literature, known
around these parts as that hilarious book where the main character GOES
CRAZY on page four, after several prelude pages of fake sonnets, and it
gets better after that.
So many people have read Don Quixote that you don't have to anymore, but then again, not so many people have really
read it, that happens to classics, they are like eyebrows, without them
our faces would look emptier, but you never pay much attention even
when they are badly plucked or drawn on, usually they must be fastened
to the forehead of someone you truly love, but even then -- can you
tell me how her eyebrows arch when she smiles? -- it's so hard to look
at anything long enough to be able to truly see it ("seeing is
forgetting the name of the thing one sees") & so perhaps that is
why Don Quixote is still worth reading, and because things
were way weirder back then and before a classic was a classic it was
just words scratched out of another hungry person's pen.
And also a
classic is a forest or a city sprawl that you must pick your way
through alone, pocketing certain details and trampling others and no
one can follow your path or experience or understand exactly what you
have felt. "I liked that book".
Before Don Quixote chapter 1 begins, the last of the introductory sonnets is between two horses. (Rocinante is Quixote's ride.)
DIALOGUE BETWEEN BABIECA AND ROCINANTE
B. Why is it, Rocinante, that you're so thin?
R. Too little food, and far too much hard labor
B. But what about your feed, your oats and hay?
R. My master doesn't leave a bite for me.
B. Well, Señor, your lack of breeding shows
because your ass's tongue insults your master.
R. He's the ass, from the cradle to the grave.
Do you want proof? See what he does for love.
B. Is it foolish to love?
R. It's not too smart.
B. You're a philosopher. R. I just don't eat.
B. And do you complain of the squire? R. Not enough.
How can I complain despite my aches and pains
if master and squire, or is it majordomo,
are nothing but skin and bone, like Rocinante?
Tuesday 27 September 2005 at 11:03 am
iranian greeting card [via]
cover of bootleg rai comp from morocco
song from the compilation:
Warda - Djaou Lamouni
this cover artwork gets mentioned in my NYFA essay 'Feedback Loops'
could chat about middle east stereotypes/fantasies in, say, american
music videos (from 'oriental' keyboard lines to befuddled
bellydancing), but the reverse -- post office greeting cards with the
lingerie supermodel wearing a chador behind Tehran's iconic Azadi
spliced into bootleg maghrebi album art -- is tonguewag-worthy too,
reminding us that there are many many veils to put on or take off.
Monday 26 September 2005 at 07:41 am
or, DETAILS LATER
in about 2-3 weeks, my LOW INCOME TOMORROWLAND mix CD will be released in Europe. Cheaply priced, rampacked with 2+ hours of ye olde musick.
Look for the volcano.
late Oct-November i'll be running across western Europe (& Brazil) on a lil' L.I.T.-love tour. Eastern Europe dates in December. Bratislavan Rupture fans, who knew? Details later.
at the end of October i'll be in a London gallery show, doing a video installation with New York artist Daniel Perlin. I know, I know-- you hear the words “video installation” and it sounds like it's gonna suck, but this one won't, really. You have my word.
Rough division of labor has Daniel doing the video while I compose the audio. Details later.
And of audio-- I keep hacking away at this Nettle album. Pleased to announce that Andy Moor, guitarist for The Ex, is collaborating on some tracks! Got the first results today, wow. GY!BEr 1-Speed Bike summarized the group to me: “this awesome dutch ex squatter punk free jazz european folk band moving more and more in a bizarre african direction” & yes, it is that good.
The Ex also hold the singular distinction of having released the best/most ambitious seven-inch ever: 1936. 2x7" plus a lush 100+page booklet, Leftenant has this and its stunning. Their Exography opens up to lots of mp3s.
If you are in Barcelona and have a (lendable) Fender Hot Rod Deville 212, let us know...
On Oct. 13 Andy plays here with French sound poet Anne-James Chaton. Details later.
Thursday 22 September 2005 at 03:58 am
Vivid edges of Osakan society.
Image stream courtesy of my man JH, who has a book of photographs
being published in Japan later this year.
serious chemicals to make japanese hair do this)
* * *
Wayne writes too much.
Ordinarily I wouldn't mind, except that in his rare case, it is all
good, and I don't have time to digest it properly.
I mean, check this
of Timbaland's sample-practice in Jay-Z's Big
complete with Waynemash mp3 of Pimpin & the source Abdel-Halim Hafez song.
Or Wayne sifting
through the sampladelic
of Public Enemy's Shocklee & George Clinton.
See what I mean? Brother comes plentiful.
* * *
of Timbaland, maybe he is actively becoming not just a legendary
producer, but an entire school of musicmakers, kinda like Stradivarius. The mighty
Bug reports: “That Timbaland beat you posted with the Mexican(?)
vocals has just been released by a rapper called Rich Boy on
Interscope, but it's credited as being produced by Brian Kidd. Jimmy
Douglass (Timbo's engineer) is credited as being responsible for the
Looks like 'Get to Poppin' came from the House of Timbo,
although from a disciple rather than the master. Virginia Beach is the
* * *
must be languages with no impertative form, no verbal way to command
another person to do something. English ain't one of em:
download the Federation tracks at Get Stoopid!
run around like I'm half-gazelle
I'm with the murderers thieves
Only God could judge the way I am.
* * *
"She has nominated herself for various awards and honors of her own
devising, but always comes in second place."
Tuesday 20 September 2005 at 05:54 am
Chortze Republic lies in a small, steep enclave to the south-west of
the porn sites, adjoining the frontier with Microsoft. It is
inhabited by semi-nomadic surfers, who do their best to preserve
their traditions linked to agrarian rites and shamanism. As elsewhere
in the Internet, the men sometimes practice downloading, but they are
above all kaichi, specialists
in epic poems and songs of praise. Haters back the f*ck off.
genre, known as kai, may be compared to the chronicle; for
example, the singer vaunts the qualities of a data thief, a local
leader (rapper), or a schoolteacher, with frequent references to the
past. Interpreted in a very rough, throaty voice, using a technique
known as kailapcha, it is generally accompanied by a computer,
which is also to be found among the Khyphirghiz.
da Sneak - Oh Girl [via]
love song is performed to a measured 4/4 rhythm by a woman with a
warm, very sonorous voice. It is strophic in form, and accentuates
the synth accompaniment with sub-bass, an unusual but not unorthodox choice.
The main vocalist, Keak da Sneak, is very skilled in singing from the
throat; here he raps a strict syllabic structure, using enjambment
and a casual cadence to good effect. Note the lack of vibrato.
Kalmyks live on the other side of the Internet; even today, their
singing reflects an ancient hacker cultural heritage, which still
shows through in their practice of the long song (ut dun) and
the short song (akhr dun), as well as certain techniques based
on phishing. They
were called Kalmak or Kalmyk which means "to stay" (as
opposed to "to leave"), by their Western neighbors.
short song of the akhr dun type is here chanted with two notes at a
distance of a forth. It is followed by a passage in diphony, the
harmonics of which extend from the eighth to the sixteeeth partial
above the fundamental.
the timbral similarities between Keak and this Kalmyk male -- sources
are not lacking on the prodigious intermingling of cultures and
populations to which trading in spices, vocal techniques, fabrics, synthesizer
presets, and precious metals between East and West gave rise.
Buryats live in a region situated to the north-east of Bloglandia.
Former nomads who have recently become sedentary office workers, they
are now a humiliated people of faxers, memo-writers, and call-center
workers. In spite of seven decades of normalization, they
have retained the essential features of their anti-capitalist
barter system. Their music is mainly vocal and monodic.
Fierce individualists with a hostility to Google and all attempts at cartographical containment, they have requested that Mudd Up! does
not host any MP3s demonstrating the Buryat female duets, which
are performed in unison with the occasional slight accidental
heterophony, characteristic of the vocal aesthetics of Buryat women.
Thursday 15 September 2005 at 6:52 pm
When I haven't DJed in awhile & have to play out, I spend a day or so in front of the decks, scattering records everywhere, trying not to step on the important ones.
Doesn't always work: I had an original copy of the infamous 'Amen' break source 7” (The Winstons), which I crunched underfoot one day. It had survived thirtysome years before it met my foot. Like a squirrel burying nuts for winter and then forgetting where they are as is how I “organize” my record collection. The nuts are rich, the earth is wide, and deep; winter is long, forgetfulness is swift and unforgiving, where on earth did I put that record???
But I don't want to talk about /me, I want to talk about the Culture Musical Club. They are from Zanzibar (& will come play in our fair city of Karcelona in a few weeks, 2€ entrance fee, a steal! actually, Barcelona isn't fair at all, it's unfair, it's suspicious, there is nationalism and nepotism, and the people who control the weather (Ukrainian mafia?) still haven't turned down the noonday heat).
Last time in Tokyo's very unsquirrel-like music shops, I picked up a Culture Musical Club LP. The front cover shows 29 of them, black Africans all. The most notable is Suleiman Juma. He's the oud player. Mr. Juma rocks a modest Afro and is staring off into the the distance as he sits on the grass with his feet outstretched, red socks making the improbable transition from black shoes to blue pants. There is something believably ornate about the Culture Musical Club's lyrics. Check it-- the liner notes calls this 'the theme' of one song--
A5. Kupendana Kwetu Sisi - Our love disturbs other people and they become humiliated because they speak badly of us. But we are calm and are not worried about their gossip. I assure them that my lover won't listen to them. They can gossip as they like but we won't part.
Beautiful, right? our love disturbs other people... R. Kelly's complexities pale in comparison. (Babel swallows us whole, languages whose remaining speakers have forgotten all poetry, like burning libraries but somehow worse, when a language and the oral traditions it contains dies.)
But time is up, Norway calls, leaving east Africa for west we cross Mali, where, like Guinea, sometimes people kinda scream when they sing, but it's lovely, (not heart-on-sleeve like flamenco) living in the timbre of voice, a passion that lasts.
Tata Bambo Kouyate - Ainana Bah
From her 1985 album Jatigui, buyable as CD too and well worth the hunt, one of Mali's great vocalists. Every song is sung to and for a rich person. I am singing for the patrons of music, she sings. Payola never ever sounded so good!
A six piece band accompanied Tata Bambo Kouyate: kora, balafon, violin, n'gonni, flute, guitar. Hard to describe but the order and rhythm of this is just precisely where it has do be, breeze through leaves leaving dapples of sunlight. Lest I grow too pastoral, “the tune is Douga, the great Manding song for warriors.”
And in a way, this is the sort of thing that is worth fighting for.
Wednesday 14 September 2005 at 06:59 am
up yesterday's post
sampling from the late '90s golden days of breakcore, back when pizza
was free, when the raver dogs were well-trained and would not
poop in the hallway, in those halcyon times when cops & squatters
snuggled together in the chillout room listening to Merzbow mixed
with Zorn's Painkiller.
youth! Ah, distortion!
Fringeli - Pirate Utopia
21, Slaughter Politics)
track is queasy & powerful, and may even make you feel as
paranoid as we do.Strong
EQs! Some sort of 'core is being broken...
CF composes with the dynamic range in mind, that underused interplay
and loud. So much music is so compressed. It's understandable in radio
tunes-- but in music made for clubs & loudspeakers? Dance music soundsystems offer an
extraordinary volume range, yet beats for DJs often get squeezed (L2ed, 'optimized' 'finalized' compressed, etc) into, um,
amplitude uniformity, where the quietest sound on a record isn't much quieter than the loudest. (i'm drifting.) back to Praxis--
into the vinyl inner groove:
b) YOU DON'T HAVE A CHANCE BUT TAKE IT
a) EVEN WHEN YOU'RE DEAD YOU'RE NOT RID OF HISTORY - DEATH ITSELF CAN
- Inertia Rhythm Bowl
4, Nature/Nurture EP)
Abrasive creative bent beats. Rich noises, rich textures. I was glad to
see Fringeli mention Amputate because they should be as legendary as
early Ambush but just didn't live as long. Amputate
made only 4 pieces of vinyl. In a way, that was enough -- those 4 EPs were
uniformly incredible, next-level experimental / hardcore / breakcore.
(Plus, Amputate 2 sampled Lee Perry. Dread at the controls!)
and DJ Scud - I Hear A New World
2, Welcome to the Warren)
noise assembled into funky, bastardized drum&bass.
rave ammo = apocalypic fun.
* * *
anything else I would have said about the Fringeli c8 post was pretty
much summed up by this nice piece, first-person-plural manifesto
Trying to change a
person's conception of 'good' or 'beautiful' strikes us as a waste of
time. Trying to convince someone of the practical utility and
clandestine fun of breaking into an abandoned warehouse to have a
party is easier. At least the latter is concrete... The recuperation
of breakcore won't be based around aesthetics, but around
presentation and distribution of the music.
only 2 cents are responding to Medium Info's claim that: “the fact
that you're having a party on squatted private land is what makes it
oppositional, not the gabber beats or chopped amens.” I wish it
were that simple.
One of the lamest parties i've participated in was
on land squatted by anarchist cheesemakers -- i kid you not! -- in
the mountains outside of Madrid. Bad trance techno all night long,
with J.F.K. speeches overlaid ontop at some point. It felt more
escapist and non-oppositional than the average tacky megaclub, even
though there were plenty of goats and cheesemaking apparatus and
Tuesday 13 September 2005 at 06:31 am
man Dídac Lagarriga is building a library. The focus is on Africa and
Islam. Its current stage presents a collection of multilingual links to free
public essays, books, and journals. The idea is to give this library a
physical space in Bcn's Raval in the future.
some point i'll blog on how Pat Robertson likes diamonds and gold
and mogul-dom more than any rapper (Pat owns corporations that mine African riches
and collabos with despotic dictators; against Robertson's empire,
Jay-Z's just a small-time niche entrepeneur, Paul Wall a novelty dentist). I'll write about how Robertson gets away with talking inflammatory trash
from the pulpit of his own nationally-syndicated TV show all the time.
Then I'll mention that a brother can't say sh&t and how it used
to be widely accepted that a rapper's symbolic role consists, partly, in defying
Until that time, I'll just point you to a popular MP3 link: Kanye West's Gold-Digger flipped into super N.O. commentary.
the man behind the Praxis label, the Datacide zine, and whole lotta
other stuff--comes off as kind of stern; I feel he's earnestly lamenting the
'early days' of breakcore when it seemed to be “a hybrid
strategy rather than a style or genre. It drew its influences and
sources from industrial hardcore, jungle/drum'n'bass and everything
in between and neighbouring it, engaging in an alchemy of sounds,
pillaging the rave culture and sharpening, radicalizing and
find this piece fascinating b/c I agree with a lot of his points, and
really disagree with others. Most obviously, Fringeli fails to hear
the sonic value & experimentation in pop music, perhaps because
he's looking through a Marxist lens, perhaps because he dedicates his
artistic life to enriching the DJ culture underground & rave's radical
promise to dismantle the audience-performer spectacle with something more participatory and autonomous.
also doesn't acknowledge that any healthy music scene is aided by
the presence of 'name' artists. (Or that beef between artists can spark evolution, although his post tacitly
suggests it). While Fringelli isn't down with Jason
over-the-top rambunctious and tongue-in-cheek persona/stage
shows, he seems to believe that Forrest's presence hurts the breakcore
rather than helping it. (Which is especially odd since every time I
run into Jason he's telling me how incredibly rad this or that
obscure musician is, putting a stack of unreleased CD-rs in my hand.)
Variety & styles-within-genres strengthen things. You don't like
his take on it, you do it better. You don't like his parties, throw
your own. (soundclash as critique).
Fringeli's genre complaints -- that the two heads of breakcore are
“Ragga-Jungle that refers to the same sub-style 10 years ago, which
is fine but hardly innovative”
IDM-influenced post-Snares programming workouts -- have long been my
complaints as well. Fringeli & I agree that breakcore had the
potential to be one of the more extreme forms of party
music, which is why we grumble when it stabilizes as
fun-but-conservative/retro ragga and/or non-danceable IDMy beats. But
breakcore only qualifies (or qualified) as 'extreme party music' if
you ignore gender. (I
would love to see a discussion on structural misogyny in music --
people often talk about lyric-based misogyny & homophobia in
hiphop and reggae, but is it possible for music itself to create a
space that many more women than men would consider
uncomfortable? How else are we to explain breakcore's
tendency towards macho sausage parties?)
Breakcore tends to operate in
alternative social networks (squat parties, DIY shops, dedicated
anti-commercial distributors, etc) but that's only half of it -- it
may stregthen vague subterranean networks but doesn't make them any
less exclusionary. It's a dude thing, bigtime. (Never trust
dude music!) Speaking broadly & ungenerously, breakcore is an 'angry white guy who
likes to dance to HARD music with other angry white guys' thing, and
yet, amazingly, it isn't gay at all. Does all this just bring us back
to disco? Not the global cheese-- the early stuff, poor queer american blacks and latinos changing everything, all night
Sunday 11 September 2005 at 07:53 am
be DJing two shows in your fine country this weekend. Bergen Friday (with Caribou, the artist formerly known as Manitoba), Stavanger on Saturday. I've never been to Norway. I know next to
nothing about the country. Is it halfway as cool as Gotenburg,
Sweden? Is it overrun with long-haired Satanist guitar bands who
pride themselves on technical metal composed of pentatonic chord
will protect myself with lots of thrilling new tunes & dubplates
to share with you at high volume. (was it Kant or Kode 9
who said that one of the few characteristic manifestations of human
enlightenment was an appreciation of bass, stomach-churning,
eyeball-vibrating, metaphysical bass?)
sad part-- Nass El Ghiwane and Ove-Naxx will be in Spain when I'm away up north! We call this really bad
Ove & DJ Scotch Egg play in Zaragoza on Friday night,
NeG gives a free outdoor concert in Zaragoza on Saturday,
about the same
time I´ll be floating up some fjord, squinting ethnological at the locals, thinking on Murakami books
I haven't read and all the noise-freakout people of Norway.
Thursday 08 September 2005 at 06:00 am
we missed is not little,” sings Oum Kolthoum
I saw before my eyes saw you was a wasted life.”
Kolthoum – Enta Omri
20 minute excerpt from a live version of one of the world's classic
love songs. In concert, Enta Omri could continue for hours.
Mohamed Abdel Wahab wrote the music, which bypasses the ears to enter
the heart directly.
(Cornel not Kanye) and Ralph Waldo (Ellison not Emerson) compare jazz
to democracy-- individuals playing with and against a dynamic group,
ready to improvise and comfortable with change. Imaginative, driven,
dedicated to making their abstract tools sing: a model of social
on the other hand, are obviously totalitarian: the fixed scores,
the funny black suits, musicians forced to follow the strict leader at the top, utter
suppression of individuality, etc.
I wonder what they'd say about this incandescent Egyptian, whose
songs tug the audience with tidal force, leading orchestras (composed
of the usual suspects plus Abdel Wahab's
new friend the electric guitar) in swooning iterations of song and
theme, reacting to audience response/requests, cycling through
stanzas for hours (Americans wouldn't call it progress but we are
certainly going somewhere, the same words or notes arrive but they
mean different each time), emotional eddies make the river flow. Her
popularity & impact was and is vast, nearly compulsory,
years after her death, Kolthoum still outsells many popular
Egyptian artists. Take that, Elvis!
Tuesday 06 September 2005 at 03:54 am
awake in the pre-dawn velvet of Barcelona, cheap and luxurious and
spreading, the streets' dark mirrors freshened
from rain. Bored palm trees line empty boulevards. Lightning
continues to startle the sky. It starts low then rises.Thunder breaks
have the growing suspicion that I have just had a dream about a
nightmare about New Orleans. In my dream I awoke, realizing that I
had been dreaming about bodies swollen face-down
water, rocking clumsily in the wake of the photographer's boat. It's
what you see on TV. Still in the dream, I believed that this
nightmare had become part of my (sub-) subconscious, that it was
destined to enter my dreams each and every time I went to
sleep, no matter how hard I tried to blot it out or dream about
something else. Contemporary disasters, fantastic shapes. At what point
dark velvet sky – ceiling to this city – has faded grey. Dawn
doesn't arrive, night simply gives up. The parties have ended, the
drunks have reeled home. Homeless men and women inventory their
belongings in ATM mini-lobbies.
* * *
song title translates to something like immense sadness.
El Ghiwane – Mahmouma
first 2 minutes of this song let you know that NeG believe that words
are important. There's no hurry to get to the music: they have poetry
to say and they'll say it. Then the recitation stops and the song
begins, an instrumental groove built from quartertone banjo plucks
and the telltale guembri-bass of the gnawa, retrofitted by Nass with
something less folkloric. Then it all comes together.
a classic NeG album whose cassette cover I can't find at the moment.
May depict a glowing figure holding a sword in front of a castle.
Any Arabic cassette store in Europe should have a recording of this
for 3 or 5 € .
Thursday 01 September 2005 at 03:35 am
thanks to everybody who sent me birthday wishes! nice people abound.
is the happier of life's two bookends -- on the other end...
...cold ellipses. deathy classics from various folk
- Ground Zero (devils mix)
Cohen - Who By Fire
much to say here, i reckon you know of both these artists. Eski-Boy now
calls these near-drumless versions of his tracks bass mixes. Years
ago I arrived at the Cohen tune via Coil's cover.
& if you're anywhere near Berlin this Fri & Sat, WASTED 2 is near-mandatory entertainment/abuse. Fun breakcore hard hard: Ove Naxx, Baseck, Bong Ra, Electric Kettle, and on.