the second time i post this image, now feels geopolitical.

Jamás is Spanish for ‘never’. It sounds the same as Hamas.

More specifically, you use jamás after or in place of nunca to intensify the never-ness. Like a serious ‘never-ever’, it deals with things that can’t, or won’t happen. It’s a stubborn word thick with the powers of negativity.

* someone send me Scud & Nomex’s ‘Total Destruction’ & I’ll post it here.*
DJ Scud & Nomex – Total Destruction (thanks Clobbersaurus!)

& here’s an anti-war New York cumbia tune about the gringo response to the World Trade Center attack, from 2002. There’s a classic rock riff I recognize but can’t ID right now from The Beatles’ ‘Get Together (thanks Googlefritz).


2nd de la Cumbia Bin Laden

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Franco is Spanish for ‘dead dictator’. It sounds the same as Franco, one of Africa’s most famous guitar players, also dead. A new compilation, FRANCOphonic, commemorates his life work with 2 CDs and copious liner notes. I’ve got some Franco vinyl but these CDs are better.

[audio:Franco_Ku Kisantu kikwenda ko.mp3]

Franco & Le TPOK Jazz – Ku Kisantu kikwenda ko


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Spanish seasonal joke from Cruz y Raya: Instead of holiday classic Que Bello Es Vivir, we now have Que Bello Es Sobrevivir.



Grey Filastine spent the holiday season doing an incredible DIY tour of Indonesia. Better yet, he’s writing about it (rather eloquently), posting video and photos — in short, Filastine has started a blog, and it looks to be a good one: Filastine Frequency.

here are 2 dreamy floaty tracks from his Burn It album

(buyable: eMusic | Amazon | iTunes US , UK)


Filastine – Palmares


Filastine – Ja Helo



Plan B just published the full text from interview I did for a short feature about the role of the internet in the work of artists/labels releasing “outernational” music. I’m glad they upped the entire interview.

Here’s an excerpt. [full text]

Plan B: People also talk of the “fetishization” of non-Western music by Western listeners…

“I don’t care what ‘Westerners’ fetishize. They’ve been fetishizing black people for centuries now, who cares? You simply exist in all your complexity and let them deal with it. Fetishism is so vague. I care a lot when Westerners rip off non-Western musicians, even by rendering them anonymous like Sublime Frequencies often does, but random concepts of fetishization don’t really mean much. It’s almost too abstract to matter.

“Musicians like getting paid to play, they like getting credited for their work, and if they’re singing or rapping, they want you listen to their words. It’s simple. I think Western fetishization is an awesome thing if it means, say, more African bands can travel and make a living outside of their home countries. Who’s to say what’s the difference between fetishization and interest? How many kids fetishize Bjork or Radiohead? Is use of the term “fetish” racist in and of itself, would you just be talking about ‘fans’ if it were Western bands?”

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OK. Time for a song about an elephant.

[audio:O Elefante – Ray Barretto – SHH Remix.mp3]

Ray Barretto – O Elefante (SHH remix)



[new year’s eve from DJ Vampiros’ rooftop in Bajo Flores, Buenos Aires]

¡si señor! we’re presenting a new bilingual blog where we’ll try our best to spread the word about this big pantropical kountry kalled kumbia. LA CONGONA NEW CUMBIA.

(maybe the design will get better. MAYBE IT WONT.)

version française

It’s time to get our Babel on: Mudd Up! will now be available (sometimes) in French!! You might have noticed the version française link on the last two posts…

Please give a big ongoing merci to Vince. In addition to being a full-time super-hero, he is a great translator and our Parisian point-man (hold tight for some Maga Bo/Soot parties over there in early 09).

New-Map-Francophone World


[map of Francophone world]


version française

Alexander-Ficre Ghebreyesus

I’d already designed the watermelon bullet icon when, years ago now, the Washington Post sent me an advance copy of Elizabeth Alexander’s Antebellum Dream Book to review. (Once upon a time I wrote about poetry.) That book floored me…

Years later we would meet, and out of that collaboration came the 1st track on my ‘Special Gunpowder’ album, which featured Elizabeth reading her poem ‘Overture: Watermelon City’.

The city is burning and watermelon is all that can cool it…

and now… Elizabeth Alexander will be reading her work at the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama – AMAZING!!!! I don’t have enough exclamation points. I should dig up the Post review…

suffice to say the Elizabeth is one of those rare poets whose work you live with, phrases and verses remain in memory and keep transmitting long after the book is closed. She’s great. The fact of her reading real poetry from a platform like this is simply fantastic, I hope she sells a million books. gObama! go Elizabeth! Go poetry! (thanks, Carol, for the tip)



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.

[audio:fiesta_chaabia wah.mp3]

Fiesta Chaabia medley 1 excerpt

+ + +

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

+ + +

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).


Little is illuminated. Sometimes nothing. Each bird looks at the other, heads like poppies, bones thin as air.

Peruvian cumbia picked up the guitars and held on. Here’s one without any.

[audio:Los Ases de Huarochiri_El Pescadito.mp3]

Los Ases De Huarochiri – El Pescadito

Los Mirlos’ songs are disturbing and beautiful the the way Van Gogh’s canvases are: thickly alive, altered perspectives parading as normal, windows onto an unreconciled time & space. You can hear weird electricity under the composition’s skin even when they switch off the Moog.

[audio:Los Mirlos – La Danza del Lorito.mp3]

Los Mirlos – La Danza del Lorito

They capture something. It resonates. The music of Los Mirlos (the blackbirds) passes into public memory. Covers and versions flourish. A song written by someone becomes, effectively, a song written by everyone. This sonidero crew straightens them out, three decades later in New York or LA:

[audio:Viento Sur – La Danza del Loro.mp3]

Viento Sur – La Danza del Loro


DJ /rupture end of set @ Telefónica in Lima, Perú. December 5, 2008. thanks to Sonido Martines for the video!

In the green player below, an enchantingly beautiful new song, “Fitnah”, from Filastine’s upcoming album debuts on the Pitchfork-cast! Stu ups another new Filastine track over at Discontent.

and if you want more, Maga Bo did a piece on me as part of his mini doc series (check Bo’s youtube channel for chats with Diplo, Xuman of Pee Froiss, etc)

and if you want more (of everything), try the Extra Music blog [via]. Dubstep, techno, grime, etc. Pirates stuffing our stockings, bellies, ears.

Now let’s talk about value in a post-scarcity music environment.