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/////

words by jace.

this is an archive page. click above for the now thing.

vinyl rescue service

» SULTAN OF TARAB

I was gonna post a song from a George Wassouf tape, but then I stumbled across his website, which offers a whopping 15 GB of free Wassouf downloads. Here's a direct link to the MP3 i had in mind.

        George Wassouf - El Hawa Sultan


Wassouf's high voice cuts like caffeine, wrapped in nimble string arrangements that soar and dip. (espresso rush romanticism?) It's a big early song from the Syrian-born Lebanon-based superstar. Recorded in 1984, the year Orwell confused with 2005. From an album of the same name.

  three comments |
» MAMI THE KID

Big tune from Cheb Mami. Off an Algerian CD comp called He Raï, a version also on his Larzag Saani album (purchaseable here).

        Cheb Mami - Raïkoum Raï Ma

It´s less juiced and electronic than the other raï I've been posting.

        Along with Khaled, Cheb Mami starred in 1997's 100% Arabica, a hard-to-find but required film if you enjoy this music. Rai vs religious fundamentalism in Paris ghettos! Body jokes! Sudden song routines!  It's like Mathieu Kassovitz' Le Haine (Hate) done up as a multiracial slapstick comedy, and directed by an Arab instead of Amelie's lover. In the language of UK online musicshops and the German online musicshops who appropriate their slang: Tip!

  No comments |
» ETERNAL MUSIC OUTSOURCE Prescient Tony Conrad, glimpsing a Karl Rove future way back in 1995, titled this searing sweet dronework The Heterophony of the Avenging Democrats, Outside, Cheers the Incineration. It's only “brutal” in comparison to the old-timey music Vociferous Slam usually posts.

  No comments |
» WELCOME TO... BROWNING SCHLOCK?

My usual resistance to (intrinsically counterrevolutionary?) retro-roots reggae was overcome by a hot new Punchline 7”, which blends Ini Kamoze's original with the Damian Marley single that sampled it & continues burning down dancehalls. Welcome to Jamrock. (Punchline hosts a sample of their refix, BreakingRanks offers a full Biggie bootleg version.)

Wayne explores the 'Welcome to Jamrock' idea-jungle here, elucidating a lot of my ambivalences & critiques of the hit song. "when it comes down to sonic force, welcome to jamrock is an undeniable hit. an almost perfect product... at the same time, when we get over the exhilaration of the musical experience (or, more likely, drift through associative frames while listening), we're faced with a bunch of negative cliches in sensuous form. marley breaks no new ground here.”

     I wish I could read Wayne&Wax as weekly newsletters: he writes these long linky posts that often defeat my internet attention span (gnat-like at best) but are consistently provocative and great. Maybe  Wayne can fax me his blog entries...

  one comment |
» IMMIGRANTS ON COURSE

I havent had time to write about Mutamassik's new album, but Shaken has. His post includes 2 MP3s from the (very rare) War Booty EP I released on Soot awhile back. 

(more)   one comment |

STORY OF THE WEEPING CAMEL

Sunday 31 July 2005 at 3:26 pm

A film about what happens when you sing a song in a spare landscape. How that harmony becomes gravity and everything bends a little bit towards it. Even the camels feel it.


        song sung to camel


This song-ritual constitutes the central scene of a nice lowslung slice-of-life documentary set in the Mongolian steppes. Worth watching if you like movies in which so little happens that every little happening gets a magic shine. A woman delivers vocals with her hand on the camel's back. A man accompanies her on a bowed two-stringed instrument (drone string, note string, i think). The camel makes camel noises.


Singing a song in an empty place changes that place.



    *   *    *

in other news, Tony IDs the spanish-language sample Timbaland used in Rich Boy's Get to Poppin!: La Verdolaga by Toto la Momposina. Turns out Timbo wasn't even the first to flip it.

    Note to the collective intelligence and/or Tony: send me the MP3 and I'll post it here.

THE LAND OF BLISTERING AMBIENCE

Tuesday 26 July 2005 at 6:10 pm

Here's a track worthy enough to follow Dopesmoker: Feedbacky guitar drone noise from Hototogisu. Think of the Velvet Underground's Heroin with all the nice parts removed. Strangely soothing! 

    Hototogisu - track 3 from Swoon Scream (11minute excerpt)


Two people pulled this sound into the air. Where they got it from is anybody's guess. Matthew Bower (Skullflower, Sunroof) and Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards). This is an 11 minute excerpt of an untitled song from disc 1 of their 2004 2cd-r release, Swoon Scream. Self-released on a label called Heavy Blossom, which is a nice way to describe their sound.


Hototogisu,” the cop shouts in a flash of recognition, pulling the gun out of his holster and waving it about, “that's no band, it's the Japanese little cuckoo, Cuculus poliocephalus!”

    We nod slowly, afraid to make sudden movements. He may be right, he may be wrong.

The cop continues:The night bird's sad cry heralds summer's arrival, and is often compared to that of someone searching for their separated lover.” He takes off the safety. “Or a message from the world of the dead.”



    *  *  *

Hototogisu MP3s here (the bird not the band) and real-audio streams of various Japanese birdcalls over here.


Snort, cackle, howl: directory of animal sounds on the web. Since we're spending the best years of our life online, bathed in monitor radiation and pushing a tiny arrow from pixel to pixel, we may as well use some of that precious time to download walrus grunting noises.

BLACK SABBATH & LEO AFRICANUS

Monday 25 July 2005 at 08:31 am

the cool thing about metal is that it fetishizes non-Negro blackness (not even poor gloomy Edgar Poe could say the same, much less yr average internet rap fan), preferring the white Sabbathy blackness of Ozzy and his bandmates' towering guitar phrases.

There is no marketing push or cultural capital based on uninhibited virile brown-skinned people across the world who dance good and like butts and//


        Sleep - Dopesmoker (8 minute excerpt)


I must get at least ten requests a day for stoner metal-- 'jace i really like your weird & useless little observations, but why dont you just shut up and post some DOOM METAL?' Well, here it is. Captivating heavy. The first 8 minutes of a mighty hour-long (!) track from their Dopesmoker album. Eventually they start singing about caravans and bongs and Nazareth, for real. It's an early version of a song they later released as Jerusalem.

   

 * * *

  Excuse me, sir, did you say 'get my grind on'?

  Didn't you mean to say 'make a withdrawal from my trust fund?'

  Please be patient: we're trying to act as black as we can.


 * * *


It comes as no large surprise to learn that the African White Stripes are blind, and actually married, and have never even met Renée Zellweger. Unlike Jack & Meg & myself.

Months after it ended, Renée keeps calling me up (once you go black you never...): “honey," she whispers into her triple-band Motorola bluetooth cellphone, "I know Bridget Jones was offensive... but let's read Julia Kristeva over a bottle of that dry Catalan white, just like we used to...”
    I don't want this blog to get too personal, so I'll stop here. Back to Africa:


        Amadou et Mariam - Toubala Kono


warm bluesy gentle, guitar and organ. from their 1998 album Sou Ni Tile


So not only are the White Stripes of Africa not white, they are from Mali, home of Timbuktu--legendary city of thousands of years of pan-African scholarship. Timbuktu gained its reputation as a dazzlingly remote & exotic place simply because Western explorers couldn't find it, or died trying, until the 20th century. That's not entirely true. Plagued by fever and Tuareg pirates, Scotsman Alexander Gordon Laing struggled his way to Timbuktu in 1826, but arrived bearing 24 wounds that tattooed his body like bad poetry.
    How do I know? Like Bridget Jones, Alex Laing kept a diary. He got there, stayed for 38 days under the hostile eye of Timbuktu's chieftain, and left. And died leaving. The wounds won.

Renée Caillié, a frenchman who spelled his name René Caillé, was the first non-Muslim and/or Westerner who was smart enough to make it to Timbuktu & back again. In 1828. Only 2 other Westerners would successfully repeat his trip in the 19th century. As any Tolkien fan will explain, its not just the There that's important, the And Back Again is critical too.

Like Jack White's former lover Bridget Jones on the edge of reason and the dead ambitious Edinburgh man before him, Caillié kept a diary. In it he wrote: “after a difficult journey of many months through the Sahara, disguised as an Arab traveller, I finally reached the fabled city of Timbuktu, with its roofs of gold. My greatest reward was the first sight of its famous mosque, its spires of heavenly mud pointing to the sky, its fabulous architecture a true wonder of the world.”  


    *note loudspeaker. in certain cultures it makes perfect sense to worship God using mud & loudspeakers.



El Hasan ben Muhammed el-Wazzan-ez-Zayyati aka Leo Africanus is a) a real person and b) not a Five Percenter.

Born in Granada when Granada was Moorish and Europe was barbaric and the bottom of Europe was Arabic, Leo Africanus did a lot of important stuff then got captured by Castillian corsairs and forced into slavery. He ended up in Rome. When the Italians realized that El Hasan ben Muhammed el-Wazzan-ez-Zayyati was a) a real person, and a smart, important one at that & b) not a Five Percenter, they freed him and gave Leo a real nice stipend so that he would have no incentive to leave Rome.
    Free the slave, then enslave him with gold's handcuffs. Less morally offensive than sharecropping!
Money plus gnocchi, da Vinche, mozzarella.


Yuhanna l-Asad al-Gharnati (aka John Leo of Granada) is what Al-Hasan b. Muhammad liked to call himself after Pope Leo X (aka Giovanni de Medici) baptized him with the name Johannes Leo de Medicis ('Giovanni Leone' is what Rome's fabulous pizza-makers would call him), this Christianized pasta-lover, Granada John Leo, a man you couldn't just ask “what is your name?” because he would need an afternoon to answer you, and besides, he was busy writing books like A Description of Africa, wherein he describes Timbuktu as follows:


There are in Timbuktu numerous judges, teachers and priests, all properly appointed by the king. He greatly honors learning. Many hand-written books imported from Barbary are also sold. There is more profit made from this commerce than from all other merchandise.”


    Books as riches.



Timbuktu. Dusty against the Sahara. Wealthy cities as ones with open libraries, even--especially--those shouldered against a desert.

A friend is going there to digitize manuscripts for a few months.




Saturday 23 July 2005 at 3:40 pm

    If there's been a way to build it

    There'll be a way to destroy it


    Things are not all that out of control

lit K K K + DATABREAKERBILDUNGSROMAN

Wednesday 20 July 2005 at 06:16 am
  • everybody who slept on my Low Income Tomorrowland mixtape or the BTTB mix live for german radio-- no sweat, the fancypants enhanced CD goes into production this week. Here's the jewel-box back artwork. the front cover art is a volcano





  • W&W digs up Boston Toneburst history. Includes links to DJ Flack's flash-music, and an excerpt from the first song (a rmx) I ever ever did, made using a cassette 4-track and vinyl and a cheap sampling mixer. Skeleton steps out of the closet, into the living room.

    Kameleon's komments host a good impromptu Toneburst history-summary by DJ C/Jake (& a less good one by me). here we are as young hobbit DJs.




  •  DATABREAKERBILDUNGSROMAN

I was talking to Pedro the other day. We got on the topic of how blogs can be like TV, insofar as images-information-sounds flash at you, fast and fragmentary, a type of fast-food consumer culture experience. I was telling him about how I never use the ´search´ functions on people's blogs, never browse through the archives. Perhaps that reflects the amount of free time I have, perhaps it is how most people extract info from bloglandia-- on the daily, fast, faster, and fastest. Overvaluing newness. A week is old.


But then Pedro brought up the example that someone will be researching  or trying to find out more about, say, grime, and all of the sudden several blog archives become quite useful resources, full of info, annotated snapshots of music-loving fandom & DIY kritical nosekrinkles. If fast-moving subcultures necessarily produce & are defined by ephemera, then blogs crystallize that; digital ephemera can easily turn permanent. He took it further, saying that some bloggers will offer guided tours through their own blogs. You know, a path thru a certain idea or style, even just a walk beside entries the author likes best-- read this post, then this one, then this one...


Currently, blogs use time to organize themselves (the ´new´ main page, the monthly archives). Some can subdivide the content into categories like posts on 'music', 'tech', 'politics', so you can just read/search the topic you like. Handy, but it's still not narrative. Language ensures that our brains crave storylines, the unstoppable constant telling rethinking performance of things done or not done. The first-person windowframe we can't break. Guided tours -- the phrase isn't ideal because i think of sunbunrt tourists squinting through their cameras -- present the idea of narrating the endlessly birthed rhizomatic weed-like little self-encyclopedias we call blogs. Basically,  I never browse blog archives but probably would from time to time of folks threaded a sharp story through their mountains of text.


Google can't create stories (it only harvests & documents each searcher's story: what you want, what you need to find & how you phrase your desires; far from anonymous, Google records everything you type into it, even--especially--your path through its links...) Unarranged data is useless, chronologies order things but not in a useful way. The tool happens (the story gets told) when you receive (or reshape) the right info in a functional order. Language as tool, telling as weapon: Leftenant's fine recommendation: Samuel R. Delaney's Babel-17.

NOSORDO = NOT DEAF

Tuesday 19 July 2005 at 06:03 am

OK, a new track o mine (about surfing, narrated by Gregory Whitehead, part of a rupture 7" to be released by kind bearded Swedes sometime between now and George Bush's impeachment) just came out on this Nosordo comp CD. The opening few songs on the compilation are deeply beautiful. They are so beautiful I'm gonna direct link to outsourced mp3s of the first two:


        Kristine Barrett - Marie Rosa

...trying to find someone who has heard anything else by Barrett, no luck so far. Cracked logic-circuit folk?


        Tuk - German Holidays

If I ran ClearChannel this song would be an international mega-hit. Bittersweet noisy pop processed guitar stuff, which makes Tuk sound boring, yet it isn't. (How does Fennesz work up the willpower to (get paid to) click his mouse on the Reaktor granular delay patch 'on' button when so many people whup his Austrian ass at both processed guitar texture and composition? Oh wait, he doesn't use a mouse!)

  ** EDIT: Mark from Subterranean Music in Amsterdam informs us that Tuk's "Germany Holidays" is based on big samples from the Scorpions track "Holiday".  i.e. he didn't make those amazing guitar & drum loops himself. Yikes! This is what I get for poking fun at Fennesz, surely. Details in the comments section...

    While yr at it, Subterranean offers various free mp3s (& buyable cds) of nice wild stuff, like the 10-minute baby goo larynx splatter of Maja Ratkje & Jaap Blonk´s 'The Abominable Crunch'. Out-Bjoking Bjork with namespelling and Hanatarashi gargles, Maja Solveij Kjelstrup Ratkje is awesome. There was a period in my youth where i listened exclusively to stuff like this.  Look where it got me.


  

BAD MATH,... & AMADOU ET MARIAM

Monday 18 July 2005 at 06:18 am

Obvious, perhaps, but, also, I feel, important: ain't nothing gonna stop as long as (terrible calculus) when a few dozen mostly white mostly westerners die in London it's a major worldwide front-page event, but when that level of atrocity is surpassed weekly -- often daily -- in Iraq, it barely makes a policy-altering or media-consciousness dent.
     British prime minister Tony Blair, for one, publicly denies any connection between UK/USA actions in Iraq & the attack in London.


I am not callous, I am simply exhausted. Unmetered grief at horribleness itself, and then the way various structures prop one horribleness & ignore its twin, the suspicion and racism and unreality of places you've never been to. And what it must feel like to live somewhere forgotten.


        Point & click and click away.


On a much lighter note (positivity, motherf--r, positivity), I just lost all respect for Nonesuch. Check out the UK&world version of Amadou & Mariam's album art versus the US version! I wonder if the Nonesuch execs even bothered to tell the blind couple from Mali that their dignified photo was gonna get a U.S. friendly, smiling African uplift treatment.

Amadou & Mariam were playing “Je Pense À Toi” (from their Sou Ni Tile album, mp3 appetizers & pay-for-download at Calabash) on the TV in Brussels after the Nettle/Nass gig, and it was absolutely incredible. No Manu Chao-isms, just supple guitar & vocal harmony--the same tune that Manu first heard, which led to his producing their new album. The  couple had quite a presence. Mariam kept rubbing Amadou's shoulder, holding on to him and communicating it seemed-- intimate and gentle and stylized, I understand how those chords made Chao an instant fan.

LAST WEEK IN BRUSSELS, or WITH AN ALMOST UNSETTLING FERVOUR

Monday 18 July 2005 at 04:31 am

By Nass El Ghiwane's third song people were throwing children into the air. Things were simply that crazy. The organizers reckon about 3000 people came out, the majority Moroccan. A whole lotta folks knew each song by heart. (I forgot that I had remembered to take my camera with me, so no photos...)

An email from Amsterdam sums it up: “Goddammit, did that gig kick ass! Rarely have I seen a crowd go that nuts. Made a lot of Moroccan friends that night... I was singing along, even though I only know the lyrics phonetically, and my hands were raw from clapping the next day. Danced my ass off, too.”


Here's a jazz blog entry with a festival writeup, flickerized fotos, nice words on Nettle, and a funny description of watching thousands of Arab immigrants freak out to music the blogger just wasn't feeling. "Nass El Ghiwane is apparently a legendary and politically radical Moroccan group from the '70s and '80s. I'll admit to having been more interested in the crowd's sociology than in the music. The first dozen or so rows were overwhelmingly Moroccan, young and male. They knew all the lyrics and reacted with an almost unsettling fervour, carrying each other on their shoulders and so on. Further back, the crowd became more European, feminine, and observational. After about 45 minutes I'd had enough and went for a walk."


Afterwards, backstage with NeG, I felt like a vicarious rockstar: fans were banging on the walls, trying to get in pay respect to Nass. Every so often someone would talk their past security, run inside, and just start kissing everybody. We had to wait about 45 minutes before we could leave, and even then a few dozen people pounced on Nass when they walked outside, including one guy who had lived in their neighborhood in Casablanca and was an admirer from back in '69 when they were simply a very young, cutting-edge theater group beginning to intergrate music into their performances.


LONDON NEEDLE EXCHANGE

Friday 15 July 2005 at 07:49 am

I was gonna write some grumpy comments on bloglandia style-subject-matter consensus. But the world doesn't need more grumpiness, it needs more bass. New grimy from Londontown, vinyl rips:


       Dexplicit - Might Be feat. Gemma Fox

this song might not encourage cannibalism like Dexplicit's Forward riddim did, but wow, when was the last time i was this psyched about a 4-on-da-floor 12”!? A bassline played across different octaves signifies grime as much as anything. Onward-


        Slew Dem - Grime E.P. - Wiley & instrumental

Synth riffs and gunfire: what more does an angry young man need?
 addictive gunclatter focus produced by Slew Dem's Waifer. nuff respect.


        Roll Deep - The Avenue (Heartache Refix - instrumental)

One of the best tracks on the Roll Deep album isn't on the Roll Deep album. The feel of summer-- that ain't a breeze, it's subwoofers displacing sinsemilla-spiked air!


being in England for too long makes me nervous. via
U Mean Competitor, here's links to some new southern u.s. hiphop fire (& brimstone)  The Xtremists - Break the Chains. Fast conscious thugs spit minor-key reality. And a pleasure-center-lighter-upper:  2 Slabz - Yah Yah. U Mean sez "I don't know what to make of this except to listen to it on repeat. It's like Ying Yang songcraft plus awesome high velocity rapping.”

 

                Happy weekend, kiss a cop for good luck!

TODAY MP(still un-)FREE TURNS 10!

Wednesday 13 July 2005 at 8:10 pm

Happy 10th birthday, MP3! (via Aurgasm) OK, celebration over-- now we're mature enough to ask: why on earth are we still rocking MP3s (a patented, corporate-owned algorithm for squishing digitized audio) instead of OGGs (a free, open-source algorithm for squishing digitized audio, one that sounds better than MP3s at equal filesize)? ...Ogg Vorbis files (OGGs) can't play on iPods, alas. 


Blogger slang 'MPfree' is a misnomer: it's proprietary corporate tech. Suits own those pirate-enabling math routines. Large amounts of money go to Fraunhofer for official use of their MPEG Layer-3 audio compression codec. A small percentage of every MP3 sale is earmarked for Fraunhofer coffers. OGG allows for free unregulated encoding/decoding, sale, streaming, etc.


On a related note:  open-source / free culture figureheads will be speaking at COPYFIGHT in Barcelona this weekend! Lawrence Lessig, BoingBoing´s Corey Doctorow, Downhill Battle, the Wikipedia crew, etc. Admission, naturally, is free & open to the public.
 


DUB FE DUB

Wednesday 13 July 2005 at 04:38 am

Vinyl cutters perform magic at the practical end of sound. They translate immaterial audio into black plastic (petroleum by-products!), literally slicing in soundwaves. Nuance is paramount and everybody rocks a different style. Some cutters aim for audiophile accuracy, others target volume, some write sound with bassbin dynamics in mind. Loud cuts eat up space; if there's too much low-end, the needle might wobble itself out of the groove; compression, EQ, tiny hammers and hairs inside the cutter's ear, a sliver of style weighed against years of experience that settle like dust.


A lot of people call Rashad Becker at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering the best cutter around. They may be right: as evidence, find a copy of Hecker's 3 track 12” (titled 2 track 12") on Mego (just realizing now that i may play it at the unintended speed of 33rpm, not sure). Hecker's music (vitriolic Florian not pastoral Tim) is dynamic rigorous spilling digital noise. Imagine a German computer's intestinal tract churning in attempt to process spicy Mexican food (¿data picante?) and you'll start to get an idea. The vinyl, cut by Rashad, sounds utterly gorgeous, alive and exacting, with all its frequency and volume peaks and cutouts. (D&M forms part of the Rhythm & Sound – Hardwax - Basic Channel Berlin über-empire.)


Many breakcore folk prefer Yann Dub at Reverse. If asked, Yann will push a riskier, louder sound. Usefully bruised EQs. A sound sculpted for performance, speaker slapdown. All the PeaceOff (Damage, Mutant Sniper, Bangarang) material goes thru Yann, as does the Soot.


Then there's the DUBPLATE thing. The one-of-a-kind record that dies a little each time you put a needle in its groove. Back in the day I'd meet up with I-Sound, and Ras Kush would take us down the Flatbush Ave dollar van route (Brooklyn, people) to a Jamaican studio whose name escapes me. To get 10” acetate dubplates. They patiently cut one-off dubs of I-Sound's and my music, which at the time was noisy teethbaring songs, with a little bit of bass and plenty of screetch. Traditional dubplates, cut on acetate, wear out after a few dozen plays. And are highly flammable.


These days the technology has changed, and I get most of my dubplates cut in England on one-off vinyl. The cutter is Henry at Bristol's DubStudio. I don't know how, but they do quality cuts on vinyl, so the dubplate has a longer-spinpan than its acetate forefather (but doesnt require the big expensive master stamper required for mass-produced vinyl records). Like all soft vinyl, the UK dubplates will sometimes get scratchy when you backspin, but A) I learned my lesson and cut a few extra bars of the beat in the beginning to scratch & cue and let it deteriorate there and B) other than backspins, they have held up just fine. When I play out it's all vinyl; I can't deal with CD players...


Last week I hit up Henry for another round of dubs. Because we live in 2005 and not late-90s Brooklyn, there is no more dollar van for me. We skype and I upload. Discorporate reality, etching riddim. And that's the big difference between digital and analog, isn't it? The miniature landscapes cut into vinyl are the sound wave, it's just a question of scale. You can use a needle and a paper cone to coax trebly sounds direct from an LP.


CDs compact sound into zeroes and ones. So if Tom Cruise is right about the aliens, or if Fox Mulder is right about the aliens, and one day they come to Earth and we optimistic barbaric humans have long since torn ourselves to pieces OR are working by the docks in tight jeans and leather (wistful, tough, homoerotic, Cruise brings out what Wells did not), they (the extraterrestrials not the longshoremen) will find vinyl and can examine it and figure out that the grooves = sound. Vinyl ain't no Rosetta Stone. Whereas they'll just see endless CDs pitted with zeroes and ones, sometimes equaling data, sometimes equaling music, but either way they'll need lasers and algorhythms to unpack it all, and these aliens probably listen to better music anyway, they can't be bothered, they have planets to conquer.

V.I.P.

Monday 11 July 2005 at 3:07 pm

The press had gone straight to his head. He believed in the self-image his publicist got paid to create. A few minor TV appearances and it was all over. Dude started carrying a red velvet cordon and two metal posts to hang it on: his own personal VIP area. Portable. He lugged this stuff around constantly and set it up whenever insecurity hit. I saw him walking back from the the supermarket. Sweat was pouring down his dark-tinted sunglasses. The combined weight of the groceries and the metal posts must have been a burden, especially in this weather. I tried to avoid him but he saw me and honed in; every performer needs an audience. He launched into an excited monologue about himself, talking too close to my face. After a few minutes he noticed that I wasn't paying attention. (To be honest, I was wondering where to buy a fingernail clipper. I think I left mine in Brussels. It was a good clipper too.)

“Sorry, man”, he said abruptly, stretching the little red cable across the posts. “You´re not on the list. You can't come in here with me.” People kept passing us on the sidewalk, clearly confused and a little bit angry at the red cordon they had to walk around. He muttered something else, eyes avoiding mine, but it was hard to hear him over the roar of traffic. Finally, I could leave. As I said goodbye he reached across the velvet barrier to give me the mythical multipart handshake he uses on all black men.

ARABS, ALBINI, AND...

Thursday 07 July 2005 at 12:16 pm
  • Euro-people: on Saturday my band Nettle plays a FREE, OUTDOOR show in Brussels with massively influential Moroccan group Nass El Ghiwane. NeG have requested a 2-hour set. Should be big! I´ll start DJing at 7:30, Nettle around 8pm, NeG after that.


  • ´My sound systems have bullet holes in them from police attacks´ announces DJ Marlboro in this baile funk piece. King Tubby's speakers did too.
    I´m supposed to play Brazil (& Columbia) in November, curious to see if everything's as outrageous as articles like this one paint it.


  • Unbelievable how popular vocoders are in north African pop. They rock it like reverb; vocoded and auto-tuned vocals have become the standard in rai-- it´s no longer a vocal effect, it´s the new realism.

            Cheba Fati - Walla Laouayydou

    ...From Style Aroubi vol. 2, a recent comp CD. Most of it sounds like this, synthetic Arabic ululations and all.


  • Industry-revealing, mathematically-proofed ire!: Steve Albini on the problem with major labels. No much has changed since 1994.

    He engineered the album of some friends, and after the mics were placed and the levels set and all that, the man sat back and read billiards magazines all day. Albini, they report, is a snooker fanatic. He keeps a heated pool table in the studio (for most even playing surface, they say). But the heat attracts his pet cat: hence the handheld vacuum next to the table to counteract the constant cat hair.


  • Wayne = patient zero for the unscrewed music concept. Take a screwed song, bring it back to regular speed but keep the slow pitch. Sludgy sounds, brisk tempos: another crunky wrinkle in time. Among others, he unscrews the screwed Roll Deep tune i chatted about here.

Thursday 07 July 2005 at 11:37 am

Charles Simic wrote a poem called GREAT INFIRMITIES.
The last stanza:



        An immense stillness everywhere
        With the trees always bare,
        The raindrops coming down only halfway,  
        Coming so close and giving up.

BOSTON BOUNCE

Saturday 02 July 2005 at 5:47 pm

Jake & I go way back. I´ll expand on this later... As many junglists & raggoid appreciatives already know, Jake = DJ C, the guy behind the Mashit label.


He (on left) just finished a Euro tour with Aaron Spectre (on right). C's website has plenty of mpfrees, including tasters of a his new 7” voiced by Quality Diamond for ScandalBag crew. I´m really into the 7” jungle thing.


Bristol's Toxic Dancehall may be Europe's wildest party, by the way. When I was there I DJed to a capacity crowd (who i couldnt see b/c of the camouflage netting..) & there was this fire outside and two other rooms of beats and noise and welcome weirdnesses. One table had free anarchist zines & info, the other sold mushrooms.