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words by jace.

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

vinyl rescue service


Fat Planet has a nice Filastine & Soot writeup, with links to free Filastine mp3s! Maga Bo, his partner in the Sonar Calibrado project, performs this Tuesday @ Sidecar, Bcn. Early summer Bo & I will release new mix CDs on Soot.

This Friday Maga Bo and Filastine will play an excellent party in Zaragoza with Kode 9 and others (¡Chelis, enviame un link por favor!)

fans of Brazilian music should check Mago Bo's wide-ranging archive at Brazil Network. Samba, hiphop, roots, bossa nova, lots of sound around here. DJ as archivalist, archivalist as gift-giver.

  one comment |

Alice Coltrane's Journey in Satchidananda, french rap, Anthony & the Johnsons – all manner of album-sized gifts at Charivarious.

  No comments |

Here's an enchanting 1983 recording by mbira legend Ephat Mujuru, quite wonderful on its own but also interesting to listen to as the type of material Thomas Mapfumo started transcribing to electric 'rock' instruments to create his chimurenga sound, back when his country was called Rhodesia and his group was called the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band.

Ephat Mujuru & the Spirit of the People - Nyama Musango

on the back of the LP you can see that his mbira's deze & soundboard are ringed by bottlecaps: the resulting buzzing sound "is thought to attract ancestors spirits"

(most bands want to know: what type of sound is thought to attract A&R interest?)

  No comments |

"The internet itself stays resolutely dumb, and blindly passes packets of data between devices on the edges of the network, which can then be upgraded to new things."

  E-40 ft. Keak the Sneak - Tell Me When To Go
  (Trackademics remix)

Another hyphy remix, but this one's even weirder than most. Just realized that Nation of Thizzlam upped this before me but viral info & mixtape heaters have no real parents, no real beginning, no real end.

Lots of sky-high Bay rap creativity over at Thizz.

  No comments |

Ode to the beseiged lyric.

24 minutes of drone fever and free clatter, with truncated crescendos of the Beethoven stretch thrown in for good measure.

  WordtheCat monthly mix

"your voice sounds like a scorpion being pushed /
through a glass tube"

  Sweet Like A Crow, Ondaatje

  one comment |

beauty so sudden for that time of year

  Keletigui – Maderi

Kélétigui et ses Tambourinis take us 10 minutes closer to unimaginable beauty.

from the (highly recommended) Syliphone CD 40eme Anniversaire Vol 2.

wish somebody would cantstopwontstop on the last 4 decades of Guinean / West African music.

 So many books in need of people to write them.

  one comment |


Thursday 30 March 2006 at 3:03 pm

from 7-10pm spanish time today, you can catch us here or here. turntables, laptops, real & MIDI percussion, who knows? (dont worry about the drumming -- Filastine is a 'real' percussionist; the brother has studied with Zakir Hussein.)

the r23 site(s) distribute several radio streams in a decentralized manner..., to hear us, look for Riereta or somesuch. i believe it's the top of the list when they are live. the session may be archived and/or rebroadcast on a terrestrial pirate. Ahoy!

IMAZIGHEN pt. III, or Berber PureData Digitization

Wednesday 29 March 2006 at 2:22 pm

(**Filastine, Mago Bo, & I will do a live session at Radio Riereta tomorrow, Thurs, 7pm-10pm. Realtime internet streaming for diasporic ears. More info in a bit.***)


We spent saturday at La Riereta -- an open-source tech workshop/household in the Raval ("using free tools and providing it to the social movements framework") -- as Pedro shared gems from his Maghrebi cassette box, streaming and digitizing thru a PureData patch built for the occasion. English writeup here.

Handpicked Imazighen desert/mountain riches, archived as OGG files with artwork scans. (Y'all know about OGGs, right?)

  enjoy! these are more rootsy & acoustic than the other Berber tunes i've been posting. Lovely material that unfolds within a complex, easygoing groove. translate your pace to theirs and kick back:

         wonderful Berber cassette rips from PS*          

                 * it's not exclusively Berber; at the end of the session Cheb Hasni shows up.

The Berbers' use of pentatonic scales means that their music resonates (faintly or full-on) with other pentatonic traditions: Appalachian / Negro / Scottish folk, lots of African genres, etc. In Imazighen pt. II Omar Sayyed uses this scale to illustrate how every rooster in the world is Berber.

Fans of Buda Musique's Ethiopiques series should start with the Afrou K7 selection -- it sounds Ethiopian.

if you want fashion tips or the solo virtuosity of oud & vocals, check Rouicha

   & for those who prefer filters
direct links to some hastily chosen tunes --

       El Houcine El Baz - # 7

       Fatima Tachinoute -  # 4

       Afrou Kassid - # 1

       Rouicha - side A



Saturday 25 March 2006 at 02:17 am

Cinismo-Bcn: an excellent Spanish-language resource on Barcelona's disastrous slide into real estate speculation, eroded and policed public space, etc. aka Zero Tolerance Disneylandia. Mentioned here a few months back.

The only wall where graffiti was legal in Barcelona was just torn down, and a graffiti artist was fined 5000€ (the maximum fine for graffiti is now  21.000 euros, by the way)... unfortunately that only scratches the surface -- the situation grows more unjust the more you learn about the various troubling ordnances being ratified and enforced. (All the useful articles are in Spanish or Catalan, alas.)

but don't worry if you're a tourist with money to spend... new Barcelona performs backflips to ensure your comfort, usually at the expense of its own inner-city residents.

The town that built Barcelona's reputation fades fast from reality, so it becomes less important to visit; the city you wanted to see has been evicted, its belongings on the sidewalks and the cops running over to issue fines. If you can't pay the fines (first round, minimum fees), you must serve 72 hours in jail. This is what 'civic-minded' Barcelona does to its homeless, who are now illegal. Why protect the marginalized or preserve social networks when jackboots are cheap and the money lies elsewhere?

The streetcleaners are now accompanied by cops, who force them to hose down the cardboard homes of people who sleep in the rough. Difficult to distinguish the cops' form of cleanliness from harassment: the new policies unite these concepts. It is not the poor person's fault that s/he is poor, it is their fault that they are poor in downtown Barcelona. Can't they just go to the outskirts? Each of these examples only one among dozens. Cataluynan neoliberalism flexing its muscles. All these changes happen under the charge of Socialist major Joan Clos.

His local government is betting that the former city's reputation will linger over its replacement city long enough to continue attracting people to it. Hopefully richer people and fewer skateboarders (although skateboarders can be fined). A town turns cenotaph.


Thursday 23 March 2006 at 11:32 am
You don't get any points when you save your own life. Maybe you wake up and have a cup of coffee and the tear drops. Maybe it doesn't fall until you go outside. The wind hits you sideways, urges out a tear. On the corner a girl tongues a boy with zits all over his face. The bakery's selling pastries. The drunkard doesn't have to drink anymore—his face will always be red & nobody will ever fully understand another thing he says. This is the worst form of privacy.


Tuesday 21 March 2006 at 12:38 am

  • [thanks for the offers of help!! no more are needed as it's now under construction thanks to some generous people!]  Are you comfortable with WordPress templates and CSS and all that? This blog currently runs on Pivot. I'm looking for someone to transpose it to WordPress while maintaining the pivoty layout & functionality.

    In other words, i'm looking for an altruistic programmer to waste donate their time to help me waste use my time to help you waste wisely spend your time.

  • The minstrel talk of late seems misplaced, like -- right idea, wrong carriers. I'm much more interested in contemporary black minstrelsy: how far are 50 Cent's airbrushed abs and fiercely lit backstory from black facepaint? Topless grinning and greased.

    Several of my favorite rappers are minstrels. I'm cool with that; their mad (marketable) niggerishness doesn't interfere with my enjoyment-- probably enhances it. maybe because i understand that (we) black people are real and rappers (or DJs' public personas for that matter) are not, they are artists negotiating narrative and vicariousness, precariousness, whateva. Let's start theorizing from there, since we have already adopted the pro-minstrel stance. I'll take you to the candy shop. Mainstream rap exerts bizarre gravity on the soapbubble of the negro real.

  • Links aflame, Wayne on whiteness and the need to (be able to) talk about race without reifying it. I slur, therefore I am.

  • J Dilla - Anti-American Graffiti. from Donuts, a monumental album of fragment sketchpad genius solidity, woven bits of sample and string, swansong suggesting possibility, exit wound love flows from it.

Saturday 18 March 2006 at 7:41 pm

            in a statistical world they would've been dead already.


Friday 17 March 2006 at 1:15 pm

ESTA NOCHE (viernes 17 marzo) there is a free party @ La Makabra (an occupied building complex in Poble Nou, Bcn). doors at 11pm, some kind of band action, and DJs from 1am on.

    Filastine & I will be playing together, swapping sets with DJ Sevi.

it's a benefit for Miles de Viviendas, the waterfront squat in Barceloneta. La Makabra, c/ Tanger 43, (en la esquina de Tanger y Avila)


Thursday 16 March 2006 at 1:33 pm
  • 85% chance Filastine & I will be playing together at a free party @ La Macabra squat in Poble Nou BCN tomorrow. check back in a bit for details...

  • nobody out there can ID the grime track posted below? where my trainspotters at!?


Wednesday 15 March 2006 at 12:17 pm

a 7" on Ek-Ke is now available. I think i was feeling complicated when I made these tracks. Designer Dhowst hand-constructed the sleeves in Indonesia. 300 copies exist.

a super-sold-out mix of mine just resurfaced at the Tigerbeat6 online store. Radio Mix 58:46. This one has teeth.

just completed a remix of Bonde do Role for Diplo's new label, Mad Decent. another rmx of mine is on the debut 12" of Spanish label Kontakte.

    *   *   *

   dear grime aficionados -- can you identify this tune or the EP it's from? (lots of very unlabeled whitelabels lying around)

        unknown whitelabel track

sounds like Timbaland covering Slew Dem; the other cuts on the 12" are more their own thing.


Monday 13 March 2006 at 01:01 am

This March -- or perhaps this April or July or October -- we will be celebrating Lack History Month here on Mudd Up!

Lack History Month dedicates itself to folks whose storylines bend in ways which confuse the people who officiate histories. No hyperlinks will lead you to them. The window is open, the bed still warm. These are the unGoogleable.

Not "the unsung" (which implies passivity & external validation) but rather those whose singing -- if you are able to hear it -- doesn't lend itself to easy notation...

Lack History Month also embraces the mistranslated, the improperly overheard, the bastardized and the illegible, the person who speaks your language but you can't understand 'em because their accent is so darn strong.... "I thought you said Black Hist---"

Celeste Olalquiaga is a kind of xtravagant Lack Historian, here thinking on Imán's queer beauty (in an optimistic, pre-Giuliani NYC) via nimble Spanglish and drag ball slang--

from From Pastiche to Macaroni:

Imán's verbal crossing of not only two cultures but also, perhaps more importantly, at least two subcultures, is emblematic of the intricate web of codings that constitute cosmopolitan experience... While for some, Imán's androgyny makes him a freak of nature and his polyglotism a worthy descendant of the builders of the Tower of Babel, for others his skill for camouflage and change is only the sophisticated (and, in a world where subcultures are expanding by the minute, legitimate) version of instinctive survival strategies that enable him to live his difference with relatively few repressions. This infinite ductility and constant shifting of styles are characteristic of postmodernity, and, as such, they are often downplayed as superficial and arbitrary. Superficial because postmodern metamorphosis refuses a centered and systematic line of thought that would grant it historical depth and continuity, anchoring it to the fatigued hierarchies of class, gender and race. Arbitrary because postmodern versatility moves freely between multifarious discourses and styles, unapologetically choosing eclecticism over consistency. Yet it is precisely this mobility and heterogeneity that have burst open the binding strictures of ideological constructs at their seams, enabling the overflow of all that had been outcast as bizarre and distorted.

Imán's newly-found patter is one among myriad dialects and slangs in that Fourth World of homeless, exiles, refugees, immigrants, transvestites, punks, single mothers and other urban displaced. It is the product of a time when the artificial boundaries of nations and cities have collapsed under the weight of a diversity that could no longer be bound by uniform languages or monological discourses. It is the oral equivalent of the polysemantic clutteredness of Chinatown, Fourteenth Street and Times Square, whose shrewd merchants, Chinese, Arab or Jewish, transit fluidly between English, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew and Arabic--a macaronic verbality perfectly suited to a pastiched visuality. It is the vehicle of simulation and impersonation in a culture where fantasy and reality have become undistinguishable, and where abandoning the self to become another is among the most valued forms of gratification. It is profane, irreverent and illegal because it flourishes in the cracks of a mainstream culture determined to annihilate, by absorption or eradication, anything different from itself.


Thursday 09 March 2006 at 11:39 am

following up on the Berber post from a few weeks back... Morocco's most famous Berber musician is Najat Aatabou. You may have heard her sampled in The Chemical Brothers' 2005 single 'Galvanize'. Check the original:

         Najat Aatabou - Just Tell Me The Truth    [via]

Aatabou's debut cassette J'en ai Marre ("I'm Sick of It") sold a shocking half million copies, and sales of each subsequent release have only risen. Her lyrics are proudly, provocatively pro-woman, with a strong bend towards social justice (often at odds with tradition) throughout. “In my own, self-written traditional songs I try to sketch a fair picture of Moroccan women. I also try to defend their rights and to change prevailing views.”

Here's a song from a Sonya Disque album whose title seems to be Vedètte Marocaine de la Chanson Populaire. "For all your gala parties!" it advertises, phone number included.

         Najat Aatabou - Matfahmnach Ya Wald Ennass

     *   *   *

 new African music blog ups a Thomas Mapfumo live recording from 1986.

     *   *   *

                        EVERY ROOSTER IN THE WORLD IS BERBER

excerpt from an conversation between Omar Sayyed of Nass El Ghiwane and Elias Muhanna. Transition 94,

EM: One of my favorite things to do in Casablanca is to strike up conversations with people in cafés, and ask them what your shows were like in the 1970s. I have yet to speak to somebody between forty and fifty years old who had never been to one. The look they get in their eyes—when they describe that time—is priceless.

OS: The [Nass El Ghiwane] shows were really special, particularly the more intimate ones, because you felt like you were in the presence of a family. Everybody knew every word, the music tied us all together.

EM: People often talk about the difficulties of interpreting—let alone translating—your songs.

OS: You know, our parents spoke in a dialect, a vernacular that was very poetic. It was creative and complicated, and they had in turn learned it from their parents. That language is almost seductive in its descriptiveness, and it is full of proverbs, which are passed from generation to generation.

Anyway, this is the language we sing in, and if it sounds different to you than the ordinary dialect you hear on the street, that’s because it is older. Al-Mellih, one of Morocco’s greatest writers, once said that he loved Nass el Ghiwane because the language we used had a scent, a perfume. I think he meant that this language has the scent of an earlier time, before independence, before colonialism, when our great-great-grandparents were young. Most of our songs are written in that language, and we incorporated a lot of the images from the old proverbs. And you know, we took proverbs from all over the country, not just the most famous ones—not just Abderrahman al Majdub. And of course, we drew heavily from the poetry of the Amazighen, the Berbers. The creativity of the Amazighen is incredible; you don’t find it anywhere else. They have a very expressive language. You know, every rooster in the world is a Berber.

EM: Excuse me?

OS: When the rooster crows in the morning, he sings five notes. [Omar demonstrates]. The notes are identical to the ones in the pentatonic scale that all of Berber music is built on. No matter where the rooster is, in Russia, in Bolivia, in China, he sings five notes. That’s because the rooster is Berber.

EM: I’ll keep that in mind. Do you have a song about that?

OS: [laughing] No, but it isn’t a bad idea. Anyway, when we got up on stage, people were initially surprised to hear that the words we sang were from a different generation. But at the same time, they didn’t sound archaic, like the traditional music we’d heard growing up. Our music was fresh, but because we combined it with the dialect and intonation of our parents, the result was something that many Moroccans—especially young people in the city—found familiar.


Wednesday 08 March 2006 at 01:16 am

         Ali Farka Touré leaves us    with songs

          Octavia Butler leaves us     with stories

            & we are the richer for it

. . . . . . . . . . . .

1. Ali Farka Touré – Lobo from The River

2. << (“Abducted by aliens, forced into slavery, secreted to a strange land and forced to participate in bizarre genetic experiments” – is that the trailer for a new X-Files movie or a page from black history?) In Butler’s work the Afrofuturistic insight became solid and nodal and true, as opposed to what it had been before she crafted her amazing powerful stories: a hunch, a shadowy premonition shared by a range of people about a disconnected series of works. >>
           -- from


Monday 06 March 2006 at 3:08 pm



     A honest movie about race in America would be both mundane and indecipherable.

What is the impulse to make a 'comprehensive' portrait of a city-- to reduce endless social complexity to 90 minutes of celluloid? Just how much artistic hubris, outright cockiness, or postmodern colonial desires are present in the desire to present a complete fiction, a city crowded with so many representative slices of social friction that the various token characters can't help but smash into each other's cars? (And after they crash into each other, they hop out and hurl ethnic slurs at one another.)

Crash depicts racial tension on the grand scale. Director-cowriter Paul Haggis stumbles over himself in a breathless sprint to parade stereotypes as Los Angeles naturalism: the wealthy light-skinned black couple who bicker amongst themselves about their own lack of Negro authenticity; the corrupt white cop whose bias and bitterness is partially excused by a generational backstory; the volatile and commandeering Asian woman; the reformed Latino gangbanger whose relationship with his daughter is mediated by what appears to be imported magic realism; the Persian family (shopkeeper father, doctor daughter) surprised that their neighbors mistake Farsi for Arabic... Incredibly, the list goes on (and on).

Why attempt characters when caricatures will do? Haggis holds the answers. His script strings shallow types together, lives intersecting in unbelievable ways. Indeed, violence organizes and motivates Crash's narrative.

A honest film about race in America would be both mundane and indecipherable. It wouldn't be big, it wouldn't attempt to contain or explain multitudes.

Crash only works as a litany of white racial fantasies. In a certain sense, it's instructive as such. There are people (Haggis and the Oscar board at least) who see in this hyperbole a believable portrait of Los Angeles. And, within that, they value his attempts to entertain and instruct us about this portrait. The arrogance and unwillingness to listen that enables the film to succeed is darkly impressive. The grandeur of imagining society as pieces on your chessboard, manhandling them, then lecturing us about how those pieces behave.

So the question becomes: what is Crash trying to make real? Phrased differently -- what realities are masked by the dramatic, well-lit 'Reality' of Crash?

Does the movie's emphasis on cartoon bigotry help (real) racism's subtler forms to slide by unquestioned? If, as in Crash, the problem is people -- nasty irritable vulnerable insecure people rather than institutions or customs or status quo -- then does it become more difficult to identify or discuss structural inequality?

A bad movie is a bad movie, simple as that. But the strange thing about Crash is that it seems to want to congratulate anyone who is not like the characters: the 'bad' folks are the grandstanding, flamboyant bigots who shout ethnic insults, shoot each other, explode as their repression reaches its limit, etc etc. Everybody else is OK. By being anti-(imaginary/Hollywood)-racism, Crash may very well be pro-(actual)-racism, which is much harder to film, and much more implicated in everybody's daily life. The movie lets us off the hook, collectively.

Or perhaps it's simply that the other nominations for Best Picture were too sensitive. Meaning too gay or too political: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Munich, Good Night and Good Luck.

       *     *      *

Thinking back to Roman Polanski's classic noir flick, Chinatown... Throughout the film L.A.'s Chinatown is constantly alluded to as a place of ambiguous -- or absent -- morality. Even shady cops don't like working there: the place just doesn't make enough sense. The space is unreadable. Otherness, in Polanski's hands, really is other. His script respects a margin of foreignness. Difference isn't assuaged or explained away: it simply is. No attempts at Haggis-style omniscience. The action finally spills over into Chinatown at the movie's finish. There a tragic endgame occurs to a white family rent by incest, corruption, and power, the rancid patriarch shielded by crooked cops. A crowd of Asians gather to witness the brutality.

  Compare with Crash's finale, a refreshing new journey into L.A.'s new Chinatown: a black man goes there to free slaves!!

Haggis, happy


Thursday 02 March 2006 at 4:10 pm

..also tomorrow, a big Yo Mango party at a beachfront squat in la Barceloneta, BCN. Filastine will perform around 12:30. Food, entrance, + data 100% free, and you're encouraged to bring some to share. (speaking of Fila, we're gonna release his debut album in Europe on March 13th! we hope u buy it 2 or 3 times but won't be mad if you steal it)

Yo Mango deserves its own long post. 'Mango' is a popular Spanish clothing brand. 'Yo Mango' is slang for 'I steal'.

Yo Mango is smart & sexy activism straddling lifestyle choices and politics, an alternative / personal antidote to consumer capitalism -- so they make a LOT of sense in facile fun fashion-flattened BCN. Most of the info is in Spanish but here's

  10 Style Tips for a Yo Mango Life

manifesto stylee:

"YO MANGO is not the propagation of private property through other means. It does not propose accumulation. It consists in taking to the extreme the free circulation of goods... reappropriate and circulate, satisfy the desires and necessities of your loved ones. Have people over for YO MANGO dinners... YO MANGO turns the mall into a playground."

V = A = N = I = S = H

Thursday 02 March 2006 at 01:15 am

            (Or, "On errands of life, these letters speed to death.
                    Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!"

  • somewhere out there lies someone who'll listen to all the Magnetic Fields' music and send me an annotated CD-r containing the good stuff. Sindhu told me about this song &  album, but i never heard it until Wirewool swooped down: Papa Was a Rodeo. "a much superior substitute for watching 'Brokeback Mountain', and it's funny too."    
         that TVOTR track is real nice as well: hamfisted drum programming + horns + vox = something sublime + as exciting as their first EP.

  • tomorrow i DJ in Valencia (first time there!). Sala El Loco.