Thursday 30 March 2006 at 3:03 pm
7-10pm spanish time today, you can catch us here
turntables, laptops, real & MIDI percussion, who knows? (dont worry about the drumming -- Filastine is a 'real' percussionist; the brother has studied with Zakir Hussein.)
the r23 site(s) distribute several radio streams in a decentralized
manner..., to hear us, look for Riereta or somesuch. i believe
it's the top of the list when they are live. the session may be
archived and/or rebroadcast on a terrestrial pirate. Ahoy!
Wednesday 29 March 2006 at 2:22 pm
(**Filastine, Mago Bo, & I will do a live session at Radio Riereta tomorrow, Thurs, 7pm-10pm. Realtime internet streaming for diasporic ears. More info in a bit.***)
We spent saturday at La
-- an open-source tech workshop/household in the Raval ("using
free tools and providing it to the social movements framework")
-- as Pedro shared gems from his Maghrebi cassette box, streaming
and digitizing thru a PureData
patch built for the occasion. English writeup here.
Imazighen desert/mountain riches, archived as OGG files with artwork scans. (Y'all know about OGGs,
enjoy! these are more rootsy & acoustic than the other Berber tunes i've been posting. Lovely material that unfolds within a complex, easygoing groove. translate your pace to theirs and kick back:
cassette rips from PS*
* it's not exclusively Berber; at the end of the session Cheb Hasni shows up.
Berbers' use of pentatonic scales means that their music resonates (faintly or full-on) with other pentatonic traditions: Appalachian / Negro / Scottish folk, lots of African genres, etc. In Imazighen pt. II Omar Sayyed uses this scale to illustrate how every rooster in the world is Berber.
of Buda Musique's Ethiopiques
series should start with the Afrou
-- it sounds Ethiopian.
if you want fashion tips or the solo virtuosity of oud & vocals, check Rouicha
those who prefer filters
direct links to some hastily chosen tunes --
El Houcine El Baz - # 7
Fatima Tachinoute - # 4
Afrou Kassid - # 1
Rouicha - side A
Saturday 25 March 2006 at 02:17 am
an excellent Spanish-language resource on Barcelona's disastrous
slide into real estate speculation, eroded and
policed public space, etc. aka Zero Tolerance Disneylandia.
a few months back.
only wall where graffiti was legal in Barcelona was just torn down,
and a graffiti artist was fined
(the maximum fine for graffiti is now 21.000 euros, by the way)...
unfortunately that only scratches the surface -- the situation
grows more unjust the more you learn about the
various troubling ordnances being ratified and enforced. (All
the useful articles are in Spanish or Catalan, alas.)
don't worry if you're a tourist with money to spend... new Barcelona
performs backflips to ensure your comfort, usually at the expense of its
own inner-city residents.
The town that built Barcelona's reputation fades fast from reality,
so it becomes less important to visit; the city you wanted to see
has been evicted, its belongings on the sidewalks and the cops
running over to issue fines. If you can't pay the fines (first round,
minimum fees), you must serve 72 hours in jail. This is what
'civic-minded' Barcelona does to its homeless, who are now illegal.
Why protect the marginalized or preserve social networks when jackboots are cheap and the money
The streetcleaners are now accompanied by cops, who force them to hose down the cardboard homes of people who sleep in the rough. Difficult to distinguish the cops' form of cleanliness from harassment: the new policies unite these concepts. It is not the poor person's fault that s/he is poor, it is their fault that they are poor in downtown Barcelona. Can't they just go to the outskirts? Each of these examples only one among dozens. Cataluynan neoliberalism flexing its muscles. All these changes happen under the charge of Socialist major Joan Clos.
His local government is betting that the former city's reputation will
linger over its replacement city long enough to continue attracting
people to it. Hopefully richer people and fewer skateboarders (although skateboarders can be fined). A town turns cenotaph.
Thursday 23 March 2006 at 11:32 am
You don't get any
points when you save your own life. Maybe you wake up and have a cup of coffee
and the tear drops. Maybe it doesn't fall until you go outside. The wind hits
you sideways, urges out a tear. On the corner a girl tongues a boy with zits
all over his face. The bakery's selling pastries. The drunkard doesn't have to
drink anymore—his face will always be red & nobody will ever fully
understand another thing he says. This is the worst form of privacy.
Tuesday 21 March 2006 at 12:38 am
[thanks for the offers of help!! no more are needed as it's now under construction thanks to some generous people!] Are
you comfortable with WordPress templates and CSS and all that? This
blog currently runs on Pivot. I'm looking for someone to transpose it
to WordPress while maintaining the pivoty layout &
other words, i'm looking for an altruistic programmer to
donate their time to help me waste use my time to
help you waste wisely spend your time.
talk of late seems misplaced, like -- right idea, wrong carriers. I'm
much more interested in contemporary black minstrelsy: how far are
50 Cent's airbrushed abs and fiercely lit backstory from black
facepaint? Topless grinning and greased.
of my favorite rappers are minstrels. I'm cool with that; their mad
(marketable) niggerishness doesn't interfere with my enjoyment-- probably enhances it. maybe
because i understand that (we) black people are real and rappers (or
DJs' public personas for that matter) are not, they are artists
negotiating narrative and vicariousness, precariousness, whateva.
Let's start theorizing from there, since we have already adopted the
pro-minstrel stance. I'll take you to the candy shop. Mainstream rap
exerts bizarre gravity on the soapbubble of the negro real.
Dilla - Anti-American Graffiti. from Donuts,
a monumental album of fragment sketchpad genius solidity, woven bits
of sample and string, swansong suggesting possibility, exit wound love flows from it.
Saturday 18 March 2006 at 7:41 pm
in a statistical
world they would've been dead already.
Friday 17 March 2006 at 1:15 pm
(viernes 17 marzo) there is a free party @ La Makabra (an occupied
building complex in Poble Nou, Bcn). doors at 11pm, some kind of band
action, and DJs from 1am on.
& I will be playing together, swapping sets with DJ Sevi.
a benefit for Miles de Viviendas, the waterfront squat in
Makabra, c/ Tanger 43, (en la esquina de Tanger
Thursday 16 March 2006 at 1:33 pm
Wednesday 15 March 2006 at 12:17 pm
7" on Ek-Ke is now available. I
think i was feeling complicated when I made these tracks. Designer Dhowst hand-constructed the
sleeves in Indonesia. 300 copies exist.
super-sold-out mix of mine just resurfaced at the
Tigerbeat6 online store. Radio
Mix 58:46. This one has teeth.
just completed a remix of Bonde do Role for Diplo's new label, Mad
Decent. another rmx of mine is on the debut 12"
of Spanish label Kontakte.
* * *
dear grime aficionados -- can you identify this tune or the EP it's
from? (lots of very unlabeled whitelabels lying around)
unknown whitelabel track
sounds like Timbaland covering Slew Dem; the other cuts on
the 12" are more their own thing.
Monday 13 March 2006 at 01:01 am
March -- or perhaps this April or July or October -- we will be
celebrating Lack History Month here on Mudd Up!
History Month dedicates itself to folks whose storylines bend in
ways which confuse the people who officiate histories. No hyperlinks
will lead you to them. The window is open, the bed still warm. These are the unGoogleable.
"the unsung" (which implies passivity & external
validation) but rather those whose singing -- if you are able to hear
it -- doesn't lend itself to easy
History Month also embraces the mistranslated, the improperly
overheard, the bastardized and the illegible, the person who speaks
your language but you can't understand 'em because their accent is so
darn strong.... "I thought you said Black Hist---"
is a kind of xtravagant Lack Historian, here thinking on Imán's
queer beauty (in an optimistic, pre-Giuliani NYC) via nimble Spanglish and drag ball slang--
Pastiche to Macaroni:
verbal crossing of not only two cultures but also, perhaps more
importantly, at least two subcultures, is emblematic of the intricate
web of codings that constitute cosmopolitan experience... While for
some, Imán's androgyny makes him a freak of nature and his
polyglotism a worthy descendant of the builders of the Tower of
Babel, for others his skill for camouflage and change is only the
sophisticated (and, in a world where subcultures are expanding by the
minute, legitimate) version of instinctive survival strategies that
enable him to live his difference with relatively few repressions.
This infinite ductility and constant shifting of styles are
characteristic of postmodernity, and, as such, they are often
downplayed as superficial and arbitrary. Superficial because
postmodern metamorphosis refuses a centered and systematic line of
thought that would grant it historical depth and continuity,
anchoring it to the fatigued hierarchies of class, gender and race.
Arbitrary because postmodern versatility moves freely between
multifarious discourses and styles, unapologetically choosing
eclecticism over consistency. Yet it is precisely this mobility and
heterogeneity that have burst open the binding strictures of
ideological constructs at their seams, enabling the overflow of all
that had been outcast as bizarre and distorted.
newly-found patter is one among myriad dialects and slangs in that
Fourth World of homeless, exiles, refugees, immigrants,
transvestites, punks, single mothers and other urban displaced. It is
the product of a time when the artificial boundaries of nations and
cities have collapsed under the weight of a diversity that could no
longer be bound by uniform languages or monological discourses. It is
the oral equivalent of the polysemantic clutteredness of Chinatown,
Fourteenth Street and Times Square, whose shrewd merchants, Chinese,
Arab or Jewish, transit fluidly between English, Spanish, Chinese,
Hebrew and Arabic--a macaronic verbality perfectly suited to a
pastiched visuality. It is the vehicle of simulation and
impersonation in a culture where fantasy and reality have become
undistinguishable, and where abandoning the self to become another is
among the most valued forms of gratification. It is profane,
irreverent and illegal because it flourishes in the cracks of a
mainstream culture determined to annihilate, by absorption or
eradication, anything different from itself.
Thursday 09 March 2006 at 11:39 am
up on the Berber post from a few weeks back... Morocco's most
famous Berber musician is Najat Aatabou. You may have heard
her sampled in The Chemical Brothers' 2005 single 'Galvanize'. Check
Aatabou - Just Tell Me The Truth [via]
debut cassette J'en ai Marre ("I'm Sick of It")
a shocking half million copies, and sales of each subsequent release
have only risen. Her lyrics are proudly, provocatively pro-woman,
with a strong bend towards social justice (often at odds with
tradition) throughout. “In my
own, self-written traditional songs I try to sketch a fair picture of
Moroccan women. I also try to defend their rights and to change
a song from a Sonya Disque album whose title seems to be Vedètte
Marocaine de la Chanson Populaire. "For all your gala
parties!" it advertises, phone number included.
Aatabou - Matfahmnach Ya Wald Ennass
* * *
new African music blog ups
Mapfumo live recording from 1986.
* * *
ROOSTER IN THE WORLD IS BERBER
from an conversation between Omar Sayyed of Nass El Ghiwane and Elias
One of my favorite things to do in Casablanca is to strike up
conversations with people in cafés, and ask them what your
shows were like in the 1970s. I have yet to speak to somebody between
forty and fifty years old who had never been to one. The look they
get in their eyes—when they describe that time—is priceless.
The [Nass El Ghiwane] shows were really special, particularly the more intimate ones,
because you felt like you were in the presence of a family. Everybody
knew every word, the music tied us all together.
People often talk about the difficulties of interpreting—let alone
You know, our parents spoke in a dialect, a vernacular that was very
poetic. It was creative and complicated, and they had in turn learned
it from their parents. That language is almost seductive in its
descriptiveness, and it is full of proverbs, which are passed from
generation to generation.
this is the language we sing in, and if it sounds different to you
than the ordinary dialect you hear on the street, that’s because it
is older. Al-Mellih, one of Morocco’s greatest writers, once said
that he loved Nass el Ghiwane because the language we used had a
scent, a perfume. I think he meant that this language has the scent
of an earlier time, before independence, before colonialism, when our
great-great-grandparents were young. Most of our songs are written in
that language, and we incorporated a lot of the images from the old
proverbs. And you know, we took proverbs from all over the country,
not just the most famous ones—not just Abderrahman al Majdub. And
of course, we drew heavily from the poetry of the Amazighen, the
Berbers. The creativity of the Amazighen is incredible; you don’t
find it anywhere else. They have a very expressive language. You
know, every rooster in the world is a Berber.
When the rooster crows in the morning, he sings five notes. [Omar
demonstrates]. The notes are identical to the ones in the pentatonic
scale that all of Berber music is built on. No matter where the
rooster is, in Russia, in Bolivia, in China, he sings five notes.
That’s because the rooster is Berber.
I’ll keep that in mind. Do you have a song about that?
[laughing] No, but it isn’t a bad idea. Anyway, when we got up on
stage, people were initially surprised to hear that the words we sang
were from a different generation. But at the same time, they didn’t
sound archaic, like the traditional music we’d heard growing up.
Our music was fresh, but because we combined it with the dialect and
intonation of our parents, the result was something that many
Moroccans—especially young people in the city—found familiar.
Wednesday 08 March 2006 at 01:16 am
leaves us with songs
leaves us with stories
& we are the richer for it
. . . . . . . . . . .
Ali Farka Touré – Lobo from The River
<< (“Abducted by aliens, forced into slavery, secreted to a strange
land and forced to participate in bizarre genetic experiments” –
is that the trailer for a new X-Files movie or a page from black
history?) In Butler’s work the Afrofuturistic insight became solid
and nodal and true, as opposed to what it had been before she crafted
her amazing powerful stories: a hunch, a shadowy premonition shared
by a range of people about a disconnected series of works. >>
Monday 06 March 2006 at 3:08 pm
honest movie about race in America would be both mundane and
is the impulse to make a 'comprehensive' portrait of a city-- to
reduce endless social complexity to 90 minutes of celluloid? Just how
much artistic hubris, outright cockiness, or postmodern colonial
desires are present in the desire to present a complete
fiction, a city crowded with so many representative slices of social
friction that the various token characters can't help but smash into
each other's cars? (And after they crash into each other, they hop
out and hurl ethnic slurs at one another.)
depicts racial tension on the grand scale. Director-cowriter Paul
Haggis stumbles over himself in a
breathless sprint to parade stereotypes as Los Angeles naturalism:
the wealthy light-skinned black couple who bicker amongst themselves
about their own lack of Negro authenticity; the corrupt white cop
whose bias and bitterness is partially excused by a generational
backstory; the volatile and commandeering Asian woman; the reformed
Latino gangbanger whose relationship with his daughter is mediated by
what appears to be imported magic realism; the Persian family
(shopkeeper father, doctor daughter) surprised that their neighbors
mistake Farsi for Arabic... Incredibly, the list goes on (and on).
attempt characters when caricatures will do? Haggis holds the
answers. His script strings shallow types together, lives
intersecting in unbelievable ways. Indeed, violence organizes and
motivates Crash's narrative.
honest film about race in America would be both mundane and
indecipherable. It wouldn't be big, it wouldn't attempt to contain
or explain multitudes.
only works as a litany of white racial fantasies. In a certain sense,
it's instructive as such. There are people (Haggis and the Oscar
board at least) who see in this hyperbole a believable portrait of
Los Angeles. And, within that, they value his attempts to entertain
and instruct us about this portrait. The arrogance and unwillingness
to listen that enables the film to succeed is darkly impressive. The
grandeur of imagining society as pieces on your chessboard,
manhandling them, then lecturing us about how those pieces behave.
the question becomes: what is Crash trying to make real?
Phrased differently -- what realities are masked by the dramatic,
well-lit 'Reality' of Crash?
the movie's emphasis on cartoon bigotry help (real) racism's subtler
forms to slide by unquestioned? If, as in Crash, the problem
is people -- nasty irritable vulnerable insecure people rather
than institutions or customs or status quo -- then does it become
more difficult to identify or discuss structural inequality?
bad movie is a bad movie, simple as that. But the strange thing about
Crash is that it seems to want to congratulate anyone who is not like
the characters: the 'bad' folks are the grandstanding, flamboyant
bigots who shout ethnic insults, shoot each other, explode as their
repression reaches its limit, etc etc. Everybody else is OK. By being
anti-(imaginary/Hollywood)-racism, Crash may very well be pro-(actual)-racism,
which is much harder to film, and much more implicated in everybody's
daily life. The movie lets us off the hook, collectively.
perhaps it's simply that the other nominations for Best Picture were too sensitive. Meaning too gay or too political:
Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Munich, Good Night and Good Luck.
* * *
back to Roman Polanski's classic noir flick, Chinatown...
Throughout the film L.A.'s Chinatown is constantly alluded to as a
place of ambiguous -- or absent -- morality. Even shady cops don't
like working there: the place just doesn't make enough sense. The
space is unreadable. Otherness, in Polanski's hands, really is other.
His script respects a margin of foreignness. Difference isn't
assuaged or explained away: it simply is. No attempts at Haggis-style
omniscience. The action finally spills over into Chinatown at the
movie's finish. There a tragic endgame occurs to a white family rent
by incest, corruption, and power, the rancid patriarch shielded by
crooked cops. A crowd of Asians gather to witness the brutality.
with Crash's finale, a
refreshing new journey into L.A.'s new Chinatown: a black man goes
there to free slaves!!
Thursday 02 March 2006 at 4:10 pm
tomorrow, a big Yo
at a beachfront squat in la Barceloneta, BCN. Filastine
will perform around 12:30. Food, entrance, + data 100%
free, and you're encouraged to bring some to share. (speaking of Fila, we're gonna release his debut album in Europe on March 13th! we hope u buy it 2 or 3 times but won't be mad if you steal it)
Mango deserves its own long post. 'Mango' is a popular Spanish
clothing brand. 'Yo Mango' is slang for 'I steal'.
Mango is smart & sexy activism straddling lifestyle choices and
politics, an alternative / personal antidote to consumer
capitalism -- so they make a LOT of sense in facile
fun fashion-flattened BCN. Most of the info is in Spanish but here's
Style Tips for a Yo Mango Life
MANGO is not the propagation of private property through other means.
It does not propose accumulation. It consists in taking to the
extreme the free circulation of goods... reappropriate and circulate,
satisfy the desires and necessities of your loved ones. Have people
over for YO MANGO dinners... YO MANGO turns the mall into a
Thursday 02 March 2006 at 01:15 am
"On errands of life, these letters speed to death.
out there lies someone who'll listen to all the Magnetic Fields'
music and send me an annotated CD-r containing the good stuff.
Sindhu told me about this song & album, but i never heard it
until Wirewool swooped down: Papa
Was a Rodeo.
"a much superior substitute for watching 'Brokeback Mountain',
and it's funny too."
that TVOTR track is real nice as well: hamfisted drum programming + horns + vox
= something sublime + as exciting as their first EP.