[Photo by Josh Rogosin]

Over the weekend, NPR (national public radio here in the US) aired a profile of me on their Studio 360 arts & culture show. Very exciting to get beamed into the ears of a million or so Americans… Host Kurt Andersen came out to my studio for a few hours of talk & filming. You can listen to the audio below or download from their site. There’s also a nice writeup includes a video of me showing Kurt the DJ basics.

To accompany the radio piece, we are staging a “DJ /rupture Remix Challenge.” They explain:

We want you to take the stems to “L’Avion,” by Nettle (DJ /rupture’s band project), and create your own remix — he’ll choose the winning remix and we’ll play it on the show.

The deadline to be considered for our contest is Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 11:59 EDT.

You can stream the song below and download a ZIP of the stems. Hint: the tempo is 86bpm and the time signature is 6/8 (kinda). I’m really looking forward to hearing how people reinterpret this material. The separated audio stems include voice, banjo, cello, percussion, electronics. Have fun with it! – risks will be rewarded. Or to put it more bluntly: THIS IS A GOOD CHANCE TO GET YOUR WEIRD MUSICAL IDEAS ONTO NATIONAL RADIO, FRIEND.

Here’s a video of an early version the song, “L’Avion,” which we wrote + first performed in Tangiers Morocco.

And last but not least — walking Kurt Andersen through the basics of DJing with a little help from Kelly Rowland:


Last week Nettle gathered at DJ N-Ron’s studio in downtown Brooklyn to record several new songs. Here is a snapshot of the control room magic, creativity captured in full swing.

And here’s a quick montage from filmmaker Sam Fleischner. Sam, director of Wah Do Dem, was recently in Mexico City. I gave him some tips, and he ended up using “Soy Sonidero” from Mudd Up! to cut his footage to. It’s a kind of a meditation on state power vs the power of the people’s daily rhythms. Everybody knows there’s something tragically Freudian about the size of that flag in Zocalo.



Join us for an intimate night of sound & celebration on Saturday, December 3rd @ Vaudeville Park in Brooklyn (L to Graham). Mint tea, dates, and homemade deliciousness will be served.

We are celebrating the release of Nettle’s new album on Sub Rosa, El Resplandor: The Shining in Dubai. (get it at: iTunes Amazon Boomkat eMusic actual record stores, etc)

“Dubai may be a cipher masquerading as a city, but it’s not a complete blank slate unencumbered by theoretical and contextual baggage, and El Resplandor depicts it as you might expect: ancient and dignified ‘Middle Eastern’ airs buffeted by howls of the ghosts in modernity’s machine. This is not to say that the album is merely conventional, however, for El Resplandor contains some of /Rupture’s most vivid and striking music… provocative and as chilling as anything in the real Shining” – Peter Shapiro, The Wire Nov 2011

Sat. December 3rd: Nettle (live), Lamin Fofana (dj). Vaudeville Park, 26 Bushwick Ave. Bklyn. doors at 8:30pm $8. Come early warm bodies shining ghosts.


Busy season… I’ve been meaning to post about September, when Nettle, Maggie and Juan, and Hassan and Abdellah and I met up in Tangiers Morocco for a week. Until I get the time to explain more about that, here is a video which captures the spirit and sound of what happened:

This September 2011, Hassan Wargui (Imanaren) from south Morocco met the group Nettle from New York City in Tangiers. A week of collaborative songwriting and recording led up to a concert outside the Cinematheque de Tanger in the medina. This is “L’Avion”, one of the songs they wrote during this time.

Imanaren. and their album, out now on Dutty Artz.

Nettle. And their album, out now on Sub Rosa.



[Image: From “Animal Superpowers” by Chris Woebken and Kenichi Okada; Woebken will be speaking at Thrilling Wonder Stories 3 at Studio-X NYC]

This Friday afternoon, Lindsay Cuff & I will be speaking at Thrilling Wonder Stories, a free 2-day event exploring the interdepedence between architecture and narrative from a variety of perspectives (architecture, cinema, sound design, comics, etc) as well as examining science and science fiction’s spatial impact on design. Emphasis on stories, emphasis on wonder. It happens simultaneously in London and New York.

Lindsay & I will discuss our experience in Nettle, creating a speculative soundtrack for an unmade remake of The Shining, set in a luxury hotel in Dubai…

Here in NYC, Thrilling Wonder Stories goes down at Studio-X, with a mind-expanding lineup brought together by new Studio directors Geoff Manaugh & Nicola Twilley. I mean, what other event could have Nettle talk on the same day as a historian of the iconic Apollo Spacesuit, novelist Hari Kunzru, and architect Bjarke Ingels?


Thrilling Wonder Stories is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please register in advance.


In just a few days I leave New York City for a season. Beyond Digital in Casablanca, then shows in Poland, Denmark, Italy, and I think Croatia… But there’s one last event to shake things up in NYC before I go: a concert at 92Y Tribeca.

This Saturday will be Nettle’s last stateside show until our new album comes out this fall. (Details on the album soooon). We’ll be performing with Debo Band, an Ethiopian group based in Boston who I’d heard about via mutual friends for awhile; and Alsarah & the Nubatones, a Brooklyn-based Nubian soul crew. (Nubian like Ali Hassan Kuban, whose song is still up.) I’m excited!

Here’s a beautiful Alsarah tune, “Rennat”:

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Saturday night should be special. KEYWORDS: pentatonic, love, darbouka, max/msp, soft-synth

Event info:

Saturday, May 28, 8pm doors, 9pm show

Debo Band / Nettle featuring DJ/rupture / Alsarah & The Nubatones / DJ E’s E of NYC Trust
92YTribeca, 200 Hudson (just south of Canal), NYC. $16



[Khaira Arby]

On Saturday March 5th, Nettle will perform at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Info. Nettle, flexible and growing, is currently a 5-piece. We’ve even started using words and a guitar – although not too much of either.

Malian singer Khaira Arby will headline. The event is a benefit for ASSOCIATION OF THE SAHEL TO AIDE DECENTRALIZED DEVELOPMENT (ASSADDEC), a collection of 71 women’s groups in north Mali, supporting women’s small business enterprises, HIV/AIDS awareness and more. Which is awesome. Also performing: The Sway Machinery and DJ Israel Soulico.

Here’s a nice clip of Khaira and her band performing on KEXP — note, at least three of her musicians are rocking WFMU stickers! A wise band with excellent taste.