This is the artwork for a small-run tape / cassette-art project initiated by Simone Bertuzzi. One side features his recordings from Tangiers and the Joujouka Festival in Morocco, and the flip side contains a mix that Maga Bo and I arranged while on a train from Casablanca to Tangiers during Beyond Digital. Simone asked us to select tunes, keeping in mind that the tape would be inserted into Moroccan “bootleg” distribution networks, given out for free in Joujouka, as well as being avaible to all you lovely internet creatures via a 10euro paypal order.
For more on The Master Musicians of Jajouka and/versus The Master Musicians of Joujouka, check out my piece for The National, “Past Masters.”
Simone’s project intrigued me however, as he was more or less sidestepping the aura of arty mysticism around Joujouka and working with what you might call distributional aesthetics — something I think about a lot as well.
[artwork from the notorious lost Fesmaatic edition]
Bertuzzi writes: “My main goal was to have a sort of non-official distribution in Morocco, things are quite interesting in terms of bootlegging, cd-r and distribution in general in Morocco. I wanted to let locals listen to both the music of the Master Musicians of Joujouka (very known in the rest of the world, but more or less unknown within Morocco) and the eclectic mix of music by Rupture and Maga Bo. This is also why I didn’t decide to focus specifically on Morocco and moroccan music, but I asked the djs to put as much music as possible from many different countries and epochs.”
Seems like each time I tab open a news item, bad news screams out. History boomerangs – keep a steel helmet handy. Profits down, unemployment up, strange fruit ripening, and I’m in the middle of a NYC apartment hunt (HELP!), which is never fun.
Then there’s Luzmila Carpio. Voice like light, voice like a bird. Es musica muy sentida… Where the strength and sadness and positivity twine together. She’s a Bolivian, “Voice of the Andes”, and most of her songs are sung in Quechua. And then she’ll push her voice higher. The occasional Spanish-language song keys you into her main concerns: respect for indigenous knowledge and ways-of-being, ecological harmony, women’s rights.
This spring I played a great outdoor party in Milan sponsored by Domus magazine – a crew of Chileans said hello, and N-ron and I ended up late night careening around the city with them. At some point I was passed Luzmila Carpio’s music. I’ve been in love ever since.
2 weeks ago we learned that the program that was bringing my band Nettle to the U.S. next March was cancelled – terminated – due to financial crisis. ‘It’s no small irony that a program inspired by 9/11 as a way to (re)connect with the wider world now finds itself without support thanks, if indirectly, to the disastrous policies of the Bush administration.’
It was quite a blow, especially as we needed something like this to make a US trip possible; people with Arabic writing on their passports are having a worse time than ever entering America, even with serious visa sponsorship.
This unpleasant notice gives us renewed determination to put the album out during the week when we should have been doing shows in America, Abdel & Khalid’s (& Wren’s) first time there. Strangely enough, the cancellation gives a new heft to it’s working title: In The Heart of the Heart of the Country . Plus, at some core level, it’s music about friction, at least to me.
THE GOOD NEWS is that i just confirmed a Rupture South American tour for late November/early December. Events in Bolivia (La Paz, El Alto) and Lima, Peru. Details TBA.
elsewhere on the continent, Rukula directed me to a full-length, embeddable version of the Musquito animation, thanks!
Esa Cumbiera Intelectual (en español) – …another long article on cumbia , out today in the Argentine newspaper Página 12. (aside: as we drove, Pablo Lescano played me some of the upcoming Kumbia Queers album he produced and it sounded great, Andean-style vocals !, all in all unlike their current album’s dull rock covers.) shout to Sonido Martines for the tip.
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Musicans have to tune to something, and “in-tune” versus “out of tune” is a matter of relativity, so you might as well tune to the rooster.
Vibracatheral Orchestra has a nice album by that name which i blogged about 2 years back (“hangin’ out in another corner of the astral plane parking lot…); today i found its likely namesake: