tomorrow on Mudd Up! radio, tune in for the Eid al-Fitr/Ramadan Special! from breathtaking old recordings of religious music to brand-new celebratory beats from the Muslim world.

upcoming guests in Oct/early November include: banjee bass visionary Kingdom


[Kingdom at home in technicolor]

and the amazing & engaged artist Paul Chan. Check this NYT article on Paul & ‘Waiting For Godot in New Orleans’ for background.

Zeitgeist, people. It’s our age – we may as well haunt it.


[Paul Chan, from]

and funk carioca MPC wizard Cabide DJ, straight from Rio to do a live sampling/baile funk mayhem set. Seems like his homemade ‘fire sampler’ won’t be allowed in the station. Or the country:


busta l

Loudmouth cross-cultural outreach has long been a part of Mister Rhymes oeuvre, this we know.

But he just cranked it up a notch, rapping a timely rap about sound finance and geopolitics in light of a derailing US economy. On a lesser note, I get the feeling that he visited Dubai and stayed in the Burj Al Arab, what with the 7-star reference, etc, though he seems to think Arafat isn’t dead.

I’m not including the song title or full artist name because I want you Mudd Up! readers to listen to this track at your leisure — a cease-&-desist letter from Google-Alert wielding major label lawyers would interfere with our contemplation. (shout to Todomundo for the tip!)

autotuned oriental-rap implosion (is the chorus real or ersatz Arabic?)


This brand new single is major because it unites (presumably by force) what I consider to be the two major fields receiving autotune enhancement: namely black American rap/R&B and Maghrebi popular music (where its use spans genres & languages).

There’s a lot more to be said, but it’s late, lets enjoy some autochthonous Algerian autotuneage:

Cheb Abbes – track 6 from the mp3 CD Dub1 sent me (thanks!)


Ramzi – track 11 (thanks Andy!)



alexandria library
[Alexandria Library, from WikimediaCommons]

My Own Private Alexandria. hours of listening, plus Paul Chan’s shapely metadata –

KEYWORDS: Philosophy, anti-philosophy, phalanx, food, build temporary buildings, difference between writing and idea, critics can go to hell, the coming future.

KEYWORDS: Art, thunder, noise against kids, hating kids, hating school, the awful effects of memory.

KEYWORDS: History of silent film, no such thing as silent film, shoot the piano player, fixing emotions, Benshi, love of Clara Bow, large faces, color as sex.

KEYWORDS: Cultural criticism, daily sense of history, New York Times as the most overrated newspaper on Earth, truth of our age in obituaries, institutions as sole grantor of legitimacy, progress as ideology.


Folk Music SMB is a nice site for… oudcentricity.
lots of middle eastern/arabic albums with scanned liner notes!, including Gnawa Diffusion’s Bab El Oued Kingston (which several folks emailed me about after I posted the Radioclit sample-source tune from it).


A taqsim clears the space. It sweeps to the edges of what’s possible in what’s to come. He coughs – clears his throat. Then begins.


Hassan Aoni al-Ajami – Vocals and Sanaa ‘ud

the Mudd Up! Ramadan special radio show will be moved to next week, this song is an appetizer. Lyrics below.

…because today we have a very special guest on the show: British music journalist Dave Stelfox! Widely regarded as one of the leading writers on reggae, Stelfox covers reggae and regional US hiphop for a number of publications, including The Guardian and Wire. Here’s his farewell ‘This Month in Reggae’ column for P-fork, and a Guardian piece on the end of vinyl production in Jamaica (!)

Today Stelfox will share a special selection of British ‘deejay’ music, “lots of fastchat and maybe a little grime”. Expect: wow-thing tunes, deep crates, and the writerly insight to match.

lyrics translation :





I wish my dreams felt like this piece by Nico Muhly, who, in addition to being famous and composing, edits the wikipedia entry on Tricky Daddy’s “Nann Nigga” and invokes idaafa to close-read him. One of the many fascinating items you’ll learn reading his polymath blog, lovely despite its McSweeney’s-aping design.

Dreams fade quick. Let’s try to hear or remember:


Nico Muhly – Mother Tongue pt 1. Archive

…even in the midst of data-overload shimmering through oneiric drift, everything seems so resolved .

but instead of sounding/feeling like this, either I don’t remember my dreams (this is what usually happens) or they are documentary-realist dreams about insects, because I live in New York City. Those are the kind of dreams you are allowed to have here.

The other day I kicked a rat the size of a small dog – not because I wanted to! I was walking past a trash can (and models: the Meatpacking district at 7pm) and must have startled the animal – it bolted across my shoe, skidded, then ran to hide in another mound of rubbish.


we’re in the middle of Ramandan (“they” are in the middle of Ramadan), so – among many other things – it’s a decent time to catch Arabic music performances around the world. That’s the good news.

The bad news: many Arabic and “world music” events in New York City target an audience who can afford $40 tickets. For example: Damascus sufi Hamza Shakkur with the Al-Kindi ensemble and The Whirling Dervishes of Damascus, this Sunday, $37-42. Steep!

Here’s what we of the hungry wallets will be missing:
Hamza Shakkur – Al-Salam Al-Rabi (14.5 MB) [via]

whirling dervishes and hamza shakkur


[cross-posted to Dutty Artz]


Big thanks to everyone who came out to Fiesta Soot, especially La Yegros & Fela crew. We were so busy with that and recording and whatnot that a bunch of us got sick. Germs, bacteria, cough cough, viral.


JahDan Blakkamoore’s Noble Society & 77Klash get a great cumbiambero refix treatment via La Familia Dub:


The Swarm Zuzuku Cumbia Klash remix

(i posted up the original version awhile back)




Gateway – Frederik Pohl. Don’t let the cover fool you.This isn’t a novel about space or brave men doing fancy things, it’s a novel about waiting around in a cramped, miserable future, where people pay enormous amounts to take lethal gambles using technology left behind by a vanished alien intelligence, cryptic technology which starving humanity needs but can’t understand. The protagonist is a man called Robinette Broadhead. Robinette spends much of the novel talking to his robot psychoanalyst, Sigfrid. Each chapter contains clippings from the mediasphere of the time – classified ads, lecture fragments, etc. Ennui and risk, psychoanalysis and artificial intelligence, sex and boredom. (Pohl edited Dhalgren, btw, and his take on sexuality is like Delaney drained of wonderment.)

There’s very little ‘action’ in Gateway; sci-fi tropes get mostly discarded, and there’s no technophilia in sight – the aliens are long-gone and left no trace except for random pieces of weird equipment, the space travel sections are all about how awful it is to spend months in a vehicle the size of a Lower East Side apartment living room with four other people, etc. The sequels probably try to bring in action, which would tip the scales and make this less special…


NYC Radio airwave sweep, Sunday Sept. 14th.


here’s the first selection. Think about this recording in situ: three days after the September 11th commemorations (most visibly, the twin spotlights in the sky marking the World Trade Center’s absence with their enormous shafts of white-blue light, often framed with Olafur Eliasson’s waterfalls in sight – waterfalls which, lovely though they may be, intimate some large dysfunction: impossible waters, the urban landscape disobeying natural law, and then you see that the stated purpose is that of aiding gentrification and tourism, another kind of ending) on an ominously hot and humid mid-September eve, with the commentor talking nonstop about the end of the world, asking you to contemplate it, call us and tell us what you’d do if the world ended tomorrow.

Then he plays a chilling autotune minor-key violence anthem from the hornets’ nest that is Kingston Jamaica, in a post-hurricane Carribbean (there are also commercials asking for aid to Haiti). This Mavado-inspired tune cuts immediately to a Wal-Mart advertisement (“save money, live better: it’s Wal-Mart!”). One type of destruction sells itself attached to another. Adjacency is aid, which is another way of saying that on corporate NYC radio, Wal-Mart ads and Mavado darkness come to us wrapped in the same blanket. The space that is radio here = the system where these things intertwine. So I think to myself: this is what – and how – capitalism sounds like. This music is, to me, incredible; Mavado has hit a nerve, and he and his followers keeping hitting it… And when a station like Hot 97 asks you to call in, they want listener feedback, they want marketing demographic information, that are externalizing the city’s nervous system as they simultaneously hotwire it with the bizarre combination of advertisements (for: usurious ‘debt relief’, the military, used-car pickup, concerts, etc) alongside the latest entertainment offerings from record labels who can afford payola in today’s hemorrhaging (music) economy, palming it on us as populist, which it is, but skewed more towards top-down than ground-up.

After Wal-Mart comes Yankee B’s amazing live performance of Christian dancehall with a strong anti-materialist stance, rhetorically executed so it sounds just like the badman chat it condemns. I’m tempted to get (more) Jamesonian but let’s put that elegant thinker and awkward writer on pause and listen to the radio, which I recorded with my cheap Chinese mp3 (and Ogg, FLAC, etc) player:



+ + +

this next section is notable for 2 reasons: the first piece, about teenage mothers, is the quietest I’ve ever heard Hot 97 – a whole five minutes with just women speaking, without any background music!(in a weird way we may have Palin to thank) Then, its Di Genius, Mavado (singing “we shall overcome”) & others over new Stephen MacGregor.