Andy plays guitar in The Ex. Anne-James is a sound poet. Together, and sometimes with Carsten Nicolai/Alva Noto, they make incredible music, built around A-J’s insistent/hypnotic voice interacting with Andy’s spiky, agile guitar playing. Today – An Olympic Day! – they release a free single & video called “Break the Record.” GET IT HERE.
As they explain, this piece references “…what has happened to the Games, and the situation of people, the great sportmen and women, and their loving public, in respect to an event bombarded by advertisement, branding, and security arrangements, and how London has come to resemble something close to a city in a state of war.”
French version features Anne-James’ vocals; they enlisted me to voice the English version. Yannis Kryiakides did a minimal video piece as well, both are below-
I just finished a new hour-long mixtape, made with writer Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts and inspired by the sounds of Harlem. The project is the second edition of the Cities Mixtape series by Milan-based DOMUS, a magazine focusing on design, architecture and urbanism. This mix is titled “Harlem Is Nowhere”, after Sharifa’s new book which, in turn, borrows the phrase from a 1948 essay by Ralph Ellison. You can stream or download the mix here, and read our write-up, which begins:
Once, a group of tourists were asked what came to mind when they heard the word “Harlem”: some said “music” and the others said “riots.” The connection between the two is a story for another time. This Harlem mixtape is born of our own free associations: For Rupture, Francophone songs sold by scowling Africans along 116th, or old soul and R&B memories being hawked alongside the now-thing bootlegs across 125th; for Sharifa, church sounds tumbling onto the streets and distorted strains of jazz heard from a boombox carted around by a wandering neighbor.
“We are all only temporary curators of our present bodies, which will all decay, sooner or later. In a hundred years or so all the humans currently alive will have died. I take great comfort in knowing, with certainty, that thing that makes us special, able to enrich our own lives and those of others, will not cease when our bodies do but will be just starting a new (and hopefully even better) adventure … ” – Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson
Coil was great. I can’t really explain it here. Just returned to NYC after a productive absence but today is one of those “days” where I’m “home” for less than 24 hours. His post– post– Throbbing Gristle project X-TG was slated to play at the GY!BE ATP this weekend, we were looking forward to that…
although his work that really opened my young self up was Coil.
Red Slur is the first Coil song I ever heard. Sometime in high school, these 3 minutes made an indelible impression. It remains one of my favorite songs.
It’s not unreasonable to compare Richard Cowie to Bob Dylan or Miles Davis. It’s not like he’s not churned out a lot of shoddy material, like other legends, but his ability to adapt and find new ways of nuancing his skills is astounding. Wiley’s compulsive about music, and compulsively restless in the way he makes it. His plans change like the weather, he’s constantly unavailable, constantly changing his various mobile numbers: famously he’s like the 38 bus, cos he never turns up. He’s had beefs, fall-outs, and hissyfits galore, been stabbed 14 times, retired at least twice, and never released an album without denouncing it at some point, often before it’s been released. But each time you think he’s too bitter or dejected or exhausted to keep on making music (or at least, to keep on making good music), he hibernates as a ‘studio rat’ and comes back with some fresh wonder. He can’t help himself.
It’s worth noting that the new album The Elusive, was slated for release on a major, Island/Universal, as part of a 4-album deal he signed last winter. (Punk’s not dead!) Wiley is a major force of change, fearless, constantly imagining how things could be Very Different (music industry norms, synth settings, common sense etc) then making his fundamentally ‘other’ vision real.
from A Life Without Fear, a strange and rewarding album… Deathy, process-based, disorienting. An examination of “the blues” as a state of undoing. Memento Mori as eviscerated audio files.
While much of A Life proceeds via overt deconstruction of recognizeably ‘bluesy’ material, this sweet and sharp instrumental leans towards abstraction. Its guitar processing is reminiscent of Yannis Kyriakides & Andy Moor’s rembetika project – original post, Yannis & Andy live on Mudd Up!
…The movies are all in English – the subtitles are in Icelandic. So everyone is watching a subtitled film but me. Everywhere in the world. This is not supposed to be something to cheer about but it is a bland American premium. We may not have health insurance but we have made our language the equivalent of free hot dogs everywhere. For us.
1985 Huasteca, Mexico. Sliding folktones as the fiddler fiddles the guitarist plucks and the singer pushes, yodels his voice around this tale of lost love. It opens at the seashore: he’s jealous of the waves which don’t know what love is… why did you give me life if you had to forget me? En la orilla del mar contemplaba las olas dichosas eran las olas no sabian lo que es amar… Porque me diste vida si habias de olvidarme?
Juan Son in concert. I’m still learning about Mexican mustache semiotics…
Last month I began my radio show with “Las Hadas” (The Fairies) by Juan Son. I was in Mexico at the time, and I didn’t manage to write down the songs I played. Many listeners asked me what it was. Yesterday, after yet another email inquiry, I decided to listen back. (The full tracklist is now up, the show is streamable and podcastable).
I had no recollection of airing this song, or even hearing it before. And it’s lovely! A gently twisted piece of gauzy pop. How had I forgotten this? Easy, actually, but that’s another story… The upside of constant forgetfulness is nonstop surprise.
Even more strangely, as my radio show was airing on WFMU, I was sitting in the airport beside Gerardo Naranjo, director of Voy A Explotar – the film whose soundtrack my friend gave me the day before. Not talking to him about this music. Missed connections.
As bodies fall through the air. The sounds of children playing. Field recording ambience from Mexico City’s Childs:
for our upcoming mix CD, Solar Life Raft, Matt Shadetek & I reached out to some local musicians whose work we love, folding their sounds & voices back into our world via the magic of dutty artz remixology.
For additional burners, check the Village Voice blog Sound of the CitY. They just upped a Jahdan interview & exclusive MP3 of ‘The General (Remix)’ featuring Smif-N-Wessun’s General Steele.
A grimy mix of hip-hop, dancehall, electronic, dubstep,and pretty much anything else with chest-caving bass, Brooklyn’s Jahdan Blakkamoore is a vocalist who’s taking that pan-global headknock from neon-coated Philadelphia warehouses back to NYC, where cohort DJ /Rupture kicked this shit off almost a decade ago. It helps that he’s dragging it kicking and screaming through the streets. Blakkamoore’s Buzzrock Warrior has a hip-hop-centric noir feel that matches the darker, moodier topics it covers:… – Village Voice
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).