Fiesta Soot en NYC today, Friday Jan 5. Flavorpill writes it up.

+ / + / +

it’s been documented: i don’t like rank. but i do like reflection.
(cross-posted to the Soot email list):


here, was probably J. Dilla’s mighty swansong Donuts. Repeat listens still open new vistas for us. we shouldnt talk about it too much cuz we might not stop. It’s the sort of record you put on and then all sorts of people come up to ask “what is this?!” with a smile on their face. I hope to one-day live in a world where this album appears at the top of the Google page rank when you type in “donuts.” Donuts! (Has anybody discussed the difference between the CD artwork and the LP artwork?)

We also listened a lot to God’s Money by Gang Gang Dance but maybe that came out last year. So hard to keep up! We felt real good about JME’s Boy Better Know label too, upping the grime game by focusing on sonically generous, lyrically ambitious artist albums.

JME – A.W.O.H (Boy Better Know)

from Shh Hut Yuh Muh


Skull Disco, right? intrepid xplorers Shackleton and Appleblim just kept on moving, way past dubstep convention into something airy earthy and mythic, what with all those skeletons waltzing atop ground-up soundboy duppies, and that’s not even mentioning the Ricardo Villalobos remix of Shackleton’s “Blood On My Hands.”


a three-way tie! Skream and Cheihka Remitti and our brave Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed.

Cheihka Remitti – track 5 from Trab Music

Skream upped the wobble-bass game AND the plastic reggae game. his album was whatever but the stream of singles just seemed very massive and fwd-thinking; as a presence he was a producer’s producer, like, if you were making a dubstep/grime track you’d have to pause and be like “uh oh, if i don’t give this 115% then that teenager on Tempa gonna kick my ass”

Remitti passed early in 2006 but her musical legacy is just enormous enormous, plus she was so obviously braver & bolder than anybody else…

…Except maybe Ethiopia’s Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed, another giant who left us in 06. Jimmy was a fragile blind man with a glorious voice who lived it up right til the end, touring with The Ex just a few weeks ago. Ex guitarist Terrie runs the Terp label, which produced a beautiful album with Jimmy in 2006, made all the better by lush photos and a very informative booklet.

Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed – Aykedashem lebe (Terp)

from Takkabel!


The Ex, in any number of U.S. cities. Anarchopunks who make this incredibly potent groove-based music, sweet & low & heavy, more in tune with African sensibilities than rock ones, why aren’t they the most famous guitar band in the world?

if you’ve only heard them on recordings then please remedy that in 2007 and check The Ex live. Unsung Hero award to soundman Colin and Unseen Hero award to the one-woman-rhythmachine of Kat, hidden behind her drums in venues with bad sightlines.


The Knife! we first heard them in Europe, when they were largely indistinguishable from the kind of acts you see on late-nite northern European music video shows, where a platinum blonde lady wearing a shiny bikini-spacesuit sings in German-accented English over synth arpeggio-driven techno while SMS-dating numbers scroll on the bottom of the screen.

But once we realized that The Knife had sidestepped these connotations and managed to enthrall American hipsters, it was like wow! They really do deserve all that praise! Let’s listen to Forest Families again!


Joanna Newsom. Nearly everything we liked about her previous album went missing on the new one. Instead we got pompous strings and an extremely aggressive marketing/publicity push. Ah, humanity!


El Jibarito, somewhere in Chicago. Wayne took us there, to experience this Puerto Rican culinary innovation: a great greasy mega-sandwich but INSTEAD OF BREAD, there are two slabs of fried plaintains. Ay! Ay!


1/3 of Nettle getting deported back to Spain upon arrival in London for a weeklong tour.

How much do we detest borders? And inept UK customs ‘officers’ who amplify them at will? And island mentalities? A strike against geography indeed.


N.Y.C. cops* nearly arresting Andy, Konstantin, and Rupture for soliciting prostitutes at 3AM in the West Village (“Are you aware that these are female impersonators?!”) then realizing that we were just trying to find a cab, and proceeding to hail one for us, in an agitated, tense-faced hurry.

* Maybe they weren’t real cops. Maybe they were cop impersonators… Driving a regular van painted to look like a police van with working sirens & flashing lights.


2007 gives us its goat stare. The incoming year’s theme is:




(you feel me?)


if you (live in or near Vancouver and) want to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style then come on down. I’ll be DJing along with Kuma and Jesse Proudfoot. Xtra bassbins & bellydancers for real!

out w/ ‘the b-more remix of the mainstream hit song’, in with baladi, arabik pop, and every dance music whose time signature ain’t divisible by 4.

N.Y.C. citizens take note: a Soot party hits SubTonic Friday January 5th, on the occasion of The Bunker’s 4 Year Anniversary. 3rd person hype: DJ Rupture, Timeblind (his 1st live set since moving back to NYC & flooring ‘everybody’ w/ the Ghostification EP!!!), Maga Bo, (making a rare appearance from his Brazilian homebass to check his email LIVE!!!) and Bunker residents. five bucks!

(i’m looking fwd to playing a PARTY — doing these compressed pre-Ex sets around the States was a blast but didn’t quite up the booty quotient.)


Shaviro explores Delany’s porn side. (more here) I chime in the comments. The three people who pilot Delany’s spaceship must also be in love. Anne kills squirrels.

Difficult Ways to Publish Poetry

odalisqued reclines of the chaise-lounge of language, erasing the emir & inverting his palace

Arrange animal corpses in the shapes of letters in the shapes of words in the shapes of the lines of a poem. Wait for carrion to eat flesh off bones. Using crayons and a giant sheet of newsprint take rubbings of the bones. Scan rubbings into the computer. Print on iron-on photo-transfer paper. Iron photo transfer paper onto an apron. Embroider. Give to chef to wear on tv cooking show. Your poem would be published on tv!”

FOUR CANDLES: a Mudd Up! Holiday Tale

Four candles burned. The ambiance was so soft, one could almost hear them talking…

The first candle said, “I am Peace!” “The world is full of anger and fighting. Nobody can keep me lit.” Then the flame of Peace went out completely.

Then the second candle said, “I am Faith!” “I am no longer indispensable. It doesn’t make sense that I stay lit another moment.” Just then a breeze softly blew out Faith’s flame.

Sadly the third candle began to speak. “I am Love!” “People don’t understand my purpose, so they simply put me aside. They even forget to Love those who are nearest them. I haven’t the strength to stay lit.” And waiting no longer, Love’s flame went out.


A child entered the room and saw the three unlit candles. “Why aren’t you burning? You’re supposed to stay lit til the end.” Saying this, the child began to cry. Then the fourth candle answered, “Don’t be afraid, I am Hope!” At that moment someone in a nearby apartment started banging the wall with what sounded like a hammer. The candle said “while I am still burning we can re-light the other candles.” The banging grew louder.

With shining eyes, the child took the candle of Hope and lit the other candles. Then a fifth candle materialized. “I can’t feel my fingers” it said. Then the fourth candle tipped over. It shared its flame with the curtains, saying, “Try to night on fire!” “Love has seen so many bad things. How can you learn to be a candle in a downpour?” And waiting no longer, the fifth candle’s flame grew bright.

Smoke filled the room and the child could no longer see. The wallpaper started to make a horrible crackling noise.

The child doesn’t flinch. He’s transfixed by Love’s flame, which has spread to the walls and grown up around him like responsibility. The flame offers to take him to a world of steadiness whose heavy maternal vibe oozes Freudian comfort. A place where the very idea of injustice is unthinkable. The child smiles, eyes lit as if by batteries. Faith says, “Isn’t my whole thing about the notion that it is spiritually beautiful and even necessary to believe in something you can’t see or touch?”

Outside, the wind pushes dead leaves across a cold earth where people stagger home with unwrapped packages. Their foreheads closed. The Mayor fingers a tiny wax-paper package stamped with a blue scorpion. His package. His office.

Each person at home. Each home as lonely as a person in a hospital room with a stranger snoring beside them. A cockroach scurries up the wall on at least eight spider-like legs. Bugs! “Made from chemicals, brass, plastic cables.”

“… need Faith” says Truth to Love, troubled at the thought that Faith hasn’t said anything since the child grabbed Hope and lit it like a cubist Xmas tree or a rainbow of ice cubes thrown up in the air and frozen. Suddenly the hammering stops. Conversation freezes. Awareness spreads that the door has been forced open. By what? After a tremendous crash there is nothing. So quiet! No candle dare speak. Someone throws open a window. Smoke billows out. The child stops coughing. The candles soften. One can almost hear Hope say “We need Faith,” to Love, to combat a forever silence.



plus, video version of a flamenco song i posted here. Notable for the old ladies dancing! When even the old people dance anything is possible.

ps. if you want to download and playback the resulting FLV file, the free VLC player is yr best bet.


Touring with The Ex was a wonderful experience, even in cities like Chicago where a predominantly ‘rock’ audience has overtrained themselves into a ‘stare-at-the-spectacle-onstage’ template. Minneapolis and Baltimore were the best — folks got loose during my set and the energy just kept mounting as The Ex took over. “I saw The Ex last night, and they were probably better than any band I’ve seen in the last five years!There’s talk of us touring Ethiopia together, stay tuned…

Here’s a more recent Ex track, from their 2004 CD, Turn.

The Ex – Huriyet

i’ll write more about the tour later, mmmm, maybe even review a review or two. Because I am not down with music journos who both can’t I.D. any of the tracks The Ex played and write about my set only referencing the tunes they can recognize. Epistemological corniness will not be tolerated…



Met up with Michael Taussig and Marcus the other day. On the way over I was leafing through Taussig’s My Cocaine Museum — one of those asymptotic books that i haven’t finished, because it is too good; the closer to the end the slower i go — and was reminded, yet again, of just how special the darn thing is. The rigor, rhythm, and quickmix effervescence of his prose underscore the conservatism (structural if not social as well) of most lauded contemporary fiction writers.

(What other artistic form has changed less over the past 100 years than that of the literary novel? Opera perhaps?) Of course, Taussig isn’t writing a novel; he writes anthropology but bends it deliciously, a slide through thought and heat. The chapter A Dog Growls begins:

A dog growls in the doorway of the house where I am staying in Gaupí. I have never heard this dog growl before. I look out into the street, There are two armed soldiers walking by on patrol in standard-issue camouflage. Strange how the dog picks up what most of us feel but do not express. What would happen if we all growled when soldiers walked by? A whole town growling! How wonderfully appropriate to growl back at the state, mimicking it, growl for growl, watching it magnify in the fullness of biological prehistory, writing being but another form of hair rising on the back of the neck. Slap up against the wall of the forest, you get an acute sense of the thing called the state. To me this is more than a heightening of contradiction exposing something hidden. I think of it as natural history, the natural history of the state.

Writing is sixth sense, what does are supposed to have, same as what filled the space between the words. …

Unleashing dogs on Indians was, like the use of the horse, a principal weapon of conquest by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. J.H. Parry tells us of mastiffs — the name alone makes my hair stand on end — weighing up to two hundred and fifty pounds. Is that possible? Could a dog be that big? Two hundred and fifty pounds of vengeful teeth ripping Indians apart in one leap? These are the canine ancestors of those you see today sniffing in airports, leaping at baggage carousels, and asleep at the feet of guards in black Armani-like outfits in the doorways of pharmacies in Bogotá and Mexico City. “Their dogs are enormous with flat ears and long, dangling tongues,” says a sixteenth-century Native American text found in the Florentine Codex. “The color of their eyes is a burning yellow; their eyes flash fire and shoot off sparks. Their bellies are hollow, their flanks long and narrow. They are tireless and very powerful. They bound here and there, panting with their tongues hanging out. And they are spotted like an ocelot.¨

What beauty there is in these monstrous dogs of prey! And note that other mimesis, not just the one that converts cruelty into hollow-bellied fire, but the fear on the part of at least one conquistador that the Indians might raise dogs to attack the Spaniards! Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, fabled conquerer of what is today called Columbia, told his kind early in the sixteenth century that as the Spaniards had made gifts of dogs to Indians, there were now many villages with five hundred to a thousand dogs. He envisaged a day when the country as a whole might rise up “because they could use their packs of dogs against us.” A whole town growling! How wonderfully appropriate to growl back at the state, mimicking it, growl for growl, watching it magnify in the fullness of biological prehistory, writing being but another form of hair rising on the back of the neck.


which reminds me, tomorrow is as good a time as any to quote Galeano on Pinochet, who is dead.


welcome to Mudd Up v1.9! This probably doesn’t look good if you are using IE (in which case you should switch to Firefox). But maybe it doesn’t look good anywhere…So let me know if anything is weird with usability or RSS feeds or whatnot, and i’ll apply my caveman coding skills in attempts to fix/improve/destroy it.

ok. i’m in the middle of a tour with The Ex. suffering through Christmas carols in a Baltimore Starbuxx. In honor of that (the tour not the multinational) i bring you

The Ex – El Tren Blindado

This song is from 1986’s incredible 1936: The Spanish Revolution 7″ which contains a bilingual book which beautiful photos from the anarchists’ archives. Los libros anarquistas son armas contra el fascismo. Fans of Federico Garcia Lorca will find El Tren Blindado particularly endearing because it is based on his arrangement of a popular song. And of course the sweetness of not-quite-in-tune vocals with the not-quite-Spanish accent singing in full Castillian.

“i wanted nothing and don’t want anything to do with order, rank orders and commands. i am as i am, a peasant who learned to read in prson, who experienced pain and death closeby, who was an anarchist without knowing it, and today, now that i know, i am even more anarchist than yesterday when i killed to be free”

– from Nosotros, anarchist daily 1936

The book is a trip if you know Barcelona b/c you’ll recognize several prominent buildings, most of which currently house cellphone shops and places for tourists to either eat pizza or buy pottery.


And then there is Mavado.

Mavado – Weh Dem A Do: DJ Mad Mash Up

gun me nuh borrow, me money buy, a boy will die

Plaintive gunsong multiplied by DJ Mad‘s club-maxximizing edits: Timberlake, ‘spanish’ guitars, airhorns, old school house samples, sinuous flamencoid claps that Wayne is counting out, whoosing noises, a soundbitten Sean Paul (i think), and the word ‘die’ extended with tunefulness that grips you, alive and ambigous. Did i mention a vocoder (put to the same use as in Arabic pop, greasing the curves between notes you might not find on piano)? In short: sonic DNA slippery as oil but the bastard child can dance. These types of bodies only live on substances that DJs eat.

I’ve got a lot of these 12″s; the reggae-house-club edits in particular can get very strange and unintentionally avant-garde.


you can’t get mad at any list whose #1 position is occupied by Albanian Folk Iso-Polyphony.

Does the web count as “oral and intangible heritage” yet?

ok. c u in the clubb.