Eyebeam Open Studios, this Friday 3-6pm in the Chelsea space. I will present a cumbia research project I’m working on as one of Eyebeam’s resident artists this season. La Congona New Cumbia will culminate in a mixtape CD + bilingual poster, and be documented on our blog of the same name.

So feel free to drop by and see/say what’s up. A very diverse group of people will be showing their work-in-progress. For example: while I’m doing weird cumbia distribution/circulation mapping & hotwiring bootleg networks, Ted Southern, pictured below, is building honest-to-God astronaut gloves. (the last pair he designed outperformed NASA gloves on NASA’s own tests). Astronaut gloves!

Open Studios continue on Saturday, although I won’t be able to attend.



Drake Portrait

Drake. Canadian, former child actor, biracial, raised Jewish, talks about his ’emotions’: could this be new face of hiphop?

Jon Caramanica will join me on WNYC’s Soundcheck today to discuss…

Yes- Round 2 of my WNYC Soundcheck hosting experience continues today. In addition to the chat with Caramanica, jazz bassist Stephan Crump will perform a few songs, and I’ll interview Josh Kun about Asian-Americans in US pop (check his recent article on Legaci). Broadcasting live: 2-3pm, WNYC 93.9 FM.

Hosting Soundcheck yesterday was a blast – and probably the only time you’ll hear me talking about the Beatles. You can listen here. Working with the full Soundcheck team is a radically different experience from my WFMU show. It’s like augmented reality: real voices in your head, a stream of digital info enhancing all that your senses take in, research crew, A/V wizards, Neumann mics, …

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If that is not enough… the multimedia storm/media hallucination continues later today as we debut the Dutty Artz Book Club, Ustreaming at 7pm EST, with a Dutty Artz radio session to follow. We’ll be rolling deep: Matt Shadetek, Lamin Fofana, Taliesen, and myself broadcasting live from the basement of Dubspot.

For the 1st edition of Dutty Artz Book Club, we’re gonna have a spoiler-free discussion of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. We love Octavia.


Octavia E. Butler

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In other news, since I am reading a book about cloning Carlos Fuentes (Cesar Aira – El Congreso de la Literatura), I decided I should read Carlos Fuentes – and the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe has a rich vein of second-hand Fuentes books for cheap. I bought two today (a bilingual edition of Aura, and A New Time For Mexico). Total cost: $9!!

Housing Works is the best. Oases, occasionally, are real.


Today I’m going to host WNYC’s Soundcheck from 2-3pm on 93.9FM, then at night – tonight, Wednesday June 23rd – I’ll switch into my DJ /rupture costume and shake up the Que Bajo party.

Tropical enthusiasts will not be disappointed: humid city, rich old cumbias, synthed-up new beats, we got you covered. Geko Jones and I trading off all evening. Santos Party House, $5, 11pm. Village Voice writeup.

para empezar: a nice ‘Cumbia de la Playa’ version, group unknown Poder Vallenato:


? – Cumbia

and a 6-minute medley from Ecuadorean genius, Polibio Mayorga. Mayorga’s telltale bounce goes through subtle musical shifts as shouts of encouragement animate a real or imaginary dancefloor. The guy who gave me this CD was worried that, back home, it was old people’s music – but, he said, it would get them dancing every time. There’s little bass in the original; you need to boost the low-end to get an idea of how it’s supposed to sound. “Bass weight”, in dubstep parlance…

I have a wonderful life-affirming Polibio Mayorga / soundsystem hoarding story from Mexico City, will share soon.

[audio:https://negrophonic.com/mp3/Polibio_Mayorga-medley .mp3]

Polibio Mayorga – medley



I’m pleased to announce that I will be guest-hosting a few episodes of WNYC’s Soundcheck this week! WNYC is New York’s flagship public radio/NPR station, and Soundcheck is the daily talk show about music. I’ve been on twice as a guest – once with Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein discussing myth & mystery in music in relation to our inclusion in the Best Music Writing 2009 book, and once for a live performance (which got bungled by the head of the label who put out Uproot, alas).

This Wednesday and Thursday, however, I’ll be hosting the show while regular presenter John Schaefer escapes NYC’s current heatwave on vacation somewhere undoubtedly nicer. You can tune into the live broadcast on 93.9 FM from 2-3pm, or catch the various incarnations as online stream, podcast, 10pm rebroadcast, etc.

Check Soundcheck’s site for information on the guests and live performers I’ll be speaking with. (Hint: undead Paul McCartney).

The following infographic should answer any additional inquiries you might have:


Radio – freely available music & talk about music delivered locally to anyone with access to a cheap FM receiver – played a huge role in my musical upbringing (I’m remembering high school evenings spent taping shows beamed out from Boston’s college stations); it’s an honor and a pleasure to participate with the Soundcheck team.

Further left on the dial, you’ll find WFMU 91.1 FM entering its summer season, where my weekly show maintains the 7pm Monday night slot. Tonight’s episode was fun…



[???? – Cleveland Museum of Art calendar screenshot]

Regrettably, I can’t understand or link to anything particularly useful on the Cleveland Museum of Art’s calendar/CMS/blog, but I am happy to say that I’ll be DJing a midnight set at this Saturday’s summer solstice party (whose pricing system resists simple understanding), taking an increasingly crunk crowd into darkness on the shortest night of the year. I play til close so we’ll have time to sink deep. Also on the bill, Javelin, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Omar Souleyman, etc.

Omar Souleyman plays dabke, and if you like his SubFreq-filtered brand of Syrian wedding folk-techno you should get yrself to a nearby Arabic Music Shop, because dabke is a hugely popular genre in several countries, and you’ll find gems like this 14-minute flute-float party number, here chopped off midway because I’m saving the best half for my Arabic mixtape, which will be coming “soon”.

I love all languages countries and people that have words or phrases for different denominations of ‘now’ and subtle variations on ‘soon’, like Mexican Spanish with ahora and ahorita.

Where where we? Brooklyn. Andy bought this CD in Bay Ridge. It’s either Palestinian or Syrian. The cellphone/music store has either sold or removed the ceramic black Sambo figurines it had on sale.


Mudd Unknown – lovely flute

& here’s another song I might play. Latin fight song! A 128bpm banger from Papi Sanchez, Dominican in Miami, complete with ragga English language intro courtesy of Shabakan. Drop this at the right time & place and you will be rewarded. Or bottled. Maybe both.

00-va-promo only tropical latin february-2010-front


Papi Sanchez feat. Shabakan – Guayamo’ o Peliamo’


desolation road

All Swing Radio was vampire music. In some towns to be caught listening to All Swing Radio would earn you a fine, fifty days community service, confiscation of the radio, or even a public flogging. It was the music of subversives, terrorists, anarchists who roamed the empty places of the world on their terrain trikes looking for microwave towers into which they could plug their illegal transmitters and broadcast their subversive, terrible, anarchic music to the kids in the dead-end alleys, the empty gymhalls, the backseats of rickshas, closed-down bars, shut-up co-ops, and little Annie Tenembrae/Mandella listening to the Big Big Sound of the New Music under the quilts at two minutes of two in the morning. It was the best music in the world, it set your feet on fire, friend, it made you want to dance, friend, it made the girls hitch up their skirts or roll up their overalls and dance and the boys somersault and back-flip and spin around the floor, or the concrete, or the packed brown earth: the bold, bad basement music of Dharamjit Singh and Hamilton Bohannon, Buddy Mercx and the King of Swing himself, the Man Who Fell Through the Time Warp: Glenn Miller, and his Orchestra. It was basement music from smoky cellars deep under Belladonna and hole-in-the-wall recording studios with names like American Patrol and Yellow Dog and Zoot Money: it was music that shocked your mother, it was All Swing Radio, and it was illegal.

It was illegal because it was propaganda though it carried no political message. It was subversion through joy.”

– from Desolation Road by Ian McDonald.

Martian magical realism from Belfast. Interconnected short stories arced into a novel. Heavy on the alliteration. A NonWestern.





[Postopolis DF, in the courtyard of Museo el Eco, from Aliviane’s twitpic]

Day 1 of Postopolis DF – blogger introductions & two presentations — went well: a full house despite the rain, a palpable sense of excitement, a magically stocked free bar, the whole thing dematerialized and re-transmitted via web streaming and realtime translation. Plus it’s hard to have a bad day that begins with fish like this:


[perch @ Contramar, photo from Wayne&Wax flickr]

I didn’t really introduce myself or my work in my brief self-introduction, but instead took the time to discuss the people I’ve invited to present, and explain my thoughts on vulnerability and discourse: namely that true interdisciplinary communication involves the speakers being outside of their comfort zones (I only-half-joked that this, for me, meant speaking in Spanish). Listening and talking at the edges of how we would ordinarily relate to something. 100% clarity and seamless understanding are not the goals; translation, epiphany, friction, realization of the underspoken boundaries of one’s typical modes of presentation are. (Speaking of friction: the audience at Postopolis was hot, right?)

So a big part of what Postopolis means to me, as an exploded discursive space, a meatspace and tweetspace phenom happening in one of the world’s largest urban centers, is that conversations about our shared situations in cities and beyond – and the delicious possibilities for collection actions, thinking across typical disciplinary or procedural divides – involve listening very carefully. With active patience and the curiosity of the young. Without linga franca or various ‘master’ discourses be it language or other. (Yo <3 espacios Spanglish.) Events like Postopolis allow us to improvise and generate not only discussion, but the very frameworks for that discussion. How far it reaches & who. The edges of things are where (and how) they interface with other things. Welcome to our exploded house. You’ll find windows everywhere.

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The opening party @ Rhodesia unfortunately had one of my least favorite spatial arrangements for a club: the DJ booth about 20 feet above the crowd, completely isolated from the audience. You want to play with the people, not at them, and it’s hard to avoid the latter if you are spinning from a lofty pulpit… This is the same problem with upstairs at Santos Party House in NYC and countless other venues. Architects: never ever design DJ booths in distant corners of the room. This problem – unnecessary separation – served to underscore the realtime pleasures of people meeting and making introductions in the Eco, where, later in the evening (I had to jump out for soundcheck, alas), heavyweight architect Fernando Romero and punk/cumbia singer Ali of Kumbia Queers (check my recent post! can’t wait for their album of originals, out this September) both spoke.

Things kick off at 4pm today and we’ll go until 10pm. Platicando platicando platicando…

I’ll end this post with a tweet-foto of Eco’s courtyard last night, from materia:


Self-organizing system #emergence #postopolis


Tomorrow begins Postopolis DF here in Mexico City, and after the daytime presentations, you can catch me as DJ /rupture, “el indiscutible campeon del clash sonoro mundial”, twice under the auspices of Postopolis, and twice in a rolling deep Dutty Artz formation. Four gigs in five daze – Mexico City No Sleep / all your tacos are belong 2 us. Here we go:

Martes 8 de Junio 8 @ the Postopolis Opening party at Club Social Rhodesia. DJ Rupture, Wayne & Wax, 8106, Noiselab DJs.


Jueves 10 de Junio @ terraza Centro Cultural de Espana (entrada gratis, come early). DJ Rupture, Wayne & Wax, Ximbo.

[no real flyer for this one, the place will ram up regardless, this is my 3rd time at CCE!]


then begins the Dutty Artz Micro Mexico Tour

Viernes 11 de Junio. In Toluca, outside of D.F. @ Foro Metepec. DJ Rupture, Taliesen, Wayne & Wax, DJ N-Ron, Sonido San Franisco.


and the gran finale, back in DF @ Mexinaco. DJ Rupture, Taliesen, Wayne & Wax, DJ N-Ron, Sonido San Franisco, Nimbo DJs.