Posted by Chris on October 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm
Space Ape – On the Run // blog
Don Cherry – Brown Rice
Space Ape – On the Run // blog
Don Cherry – Brown Rice
so, we up on the mountain right now, taking stock of what’s been happening at sea level. these mixes are three sisters, bound by attention to texture, attention to radio and attention to voice. <caveat>the last mix being from myself</caveat>
first up, Lamin Fofana’s pleasure mix. the mess giving the form more form. space and interruption. Lamin also has a really strong release (‘Africans are real’)forthcoming on Dutty Artz backed with remixes by DJ /rupture, Spoek Mathambo and Chief Boima (‘Africans are myth’ mix). You can hear the original here.
next up Joe Ruckus who posted this rising and falling density, shimmering noise of folk kind of thing called World of Petrol.
finally, i just left london. i’m here for a bit. this mix is my goodbye. no tracklist and absolutely no fucking around. lots of homemade specials, american boys and j-pop brightness. NO THEME ヘ(^_^ヘ)(ノ^_^)ノ NO SURRENDER /-/ (=^_^=) *にゃ*
nas’s ‘the don’ is a pretty serious tune. salaam remi on production. cv of a big producer since here comes the hot steppa, fu-gee-la, made you look, bust your windows and luv a dub. this one’s a slow burner for slow summer. Nas interview here.
massive attack introduce a lot of space. live (sounding) snares evoke that a-la-mode mid 90s hip hop, but the amount of variation on tone and reverb really opens it out and gives the track more breath.
hot city’s remix brings a different level of density. jump up and bashy as fuck.
vybz kartel carries many different faces: skin bleacher, tattoo wearer, sex tune don, mavado feuder, conscious songwriter, skinny freaky looking man, biggest dancehall entertainer of recent times, world boss, teacher, reality tv star… he wears different cloaks for different occasions. meaning doesn’t stick to him easily, he’s always switching up his presence. since last autumn he’s been in jail, initially on ganja charges. those charges have been dropped, but he’s now facing two murder charges. he’s a magnet for messy, contested meanings and controversy. he’s also a master lyricist and storyteller. the symbolism is always deep. his crew is called gaza. notorious across the carribean for ‘obscene’ lyrics (banned on numerous radio stations) and for his use of skin bleaching cake soap, a few months before his arrest in May 2011, he issued the statement below [full version]…
“See Jamaica, Vybz Kartel has been carrying a secret for a very long time and I think it is time that I reveal it before persons try to derail the projects that I have put together by continuing to make false reports about me in their attempt to have me muzzled.two years ago, I had an epiphany whilst on stage. I saw thousands of people screaming for Kartel, jumping up and down, listening to ever word that I uttered on stage, it was like the people were eating out of the palm of my hands. At that moment, something strange came over me, as I heard the people screaming for more, I suddenly realized that my calling was to be more than a Deejay.
I realized that the people were not eating out my hands but they wanted to hear Kartel speak because finally somebody was telling their story in a profound no holds barred manner. Whether I was addressing sexuality,poverty, police brutality, injustice,the trials and tribulations of the ghetto I was finally giving ghetto people a voice – a big voice like society never heard before.
I know I am not the first that has ever attempted to do this. Because when I researched I saw that Marcus, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle all spoke directly to the powers that be on behalf of the people but were ostracized and in some cases killed. Later, Marley, Tosh, Jacob Miller did the same thing and all died young under unique somewhat mysterious circumstances. I have seen what they have done to ancient Rastamen, People’s Telecom, the Marcus Garvey Political Party and other entities that attacked Babylon head on.
I did not want the same fate to reach me at the time, I did not want them to muzzle me also, so I took a decision that I felt I had to, I had to trick Babylon. I realized if I kept doing outrageous and outlandish stuff, they would write me off as just an attention seeking artiste and not realize that since July 26, 2009 behind closed doors I have been writing my book and setting up my GEL (Gaza Education and Literacy) program. So they put the spotlight on me, not knowing that they were actually putting the spotlight on themselves because Vybz Kartel is not about braces, bleaching and hairstyles but I am about elevating the cause of Ghetto people.
Please understand Jamaica sometimes you have to trick Babylon with confusion. If I revealed my intentions two years ago, do you think the people that control the media would report everything I do? Babylon, you have been tricked. For 500 years, the system has been using reverse psychology to trick my people,I have now used reverse psychology to trick them Let’s see societal hypocrisy for what it is. Now that my book is going to be released, now that most of my songs will have a more cultural overtone as i have already taken the decision to stop deejaying gun lyrics, now that I am going to be providing educational opportunities for young people,will you be giving me the same attention?”
for me, to ask whether he’s for real or not kind of misses the point, he’s blowing smokescreens any which way, moving undercover and channeling something deep and chaotic. i’ve been working on an experimental radio/sound art piece called ‘kartel on kartel’. culled from the digital deritus of youtube videos, road DVDs and pirated mp3s, this piece is cut with news reports of his arrest last year and heavily processed re-interpretations of his songs. much of the work was done on audiosculpt which allows you to map visual images and text onto the parameters which effect sound manipulation. this piece was made for Human Fiction Tartini presents Sonic Hologram (an hour of listening) at Apiary Studios, London in July 2012. the embed is below:
ruins form a very different function to lived spaces. this much is clear. they are objects of spectacle. the victorians built ruined buildings in the grounds of country houses, cemeteries and woodland to walk to and admire. they are buildings without people, buildings that suggest the post-human, buildings that provide a limit case against which to make sense of being alive, being present. this is what makes them romantic.
this production of meaning is one thing for buildings which are built as ruins and another thing entirely for buildings that recently had a human function. these more recent ruins are evidence not of humanity, but of a process that stripped them of their humanity. chernobyl/pripyat is a dramatic example. more subtle examples would include the centre of detroit, abandoned japanese theme parks or the heygate estate in south london (more on the heygate in the next post).
spaces like these encourage both physical exploration and digital exploration via an insane overproduction of images. there’s some extent to which people are looking for psychic traces of history in these spaces, but i think it mostly comes down to the tyranny of the present. here is the present. here is a building. there are no people here. we can call it what we want. we can describe it how we want. there’s no-one here any more to make that difficult. the present can eat the past because the past has ended. here is the physical proof that the past has ended. the proof is on a huge scale. the meaning must therefore be on a huge scale. ruins are a physical manifestation of meaning, meaning on a fundamental level which says ‘we are here looking at this. we survived’.
the architizer blog has a collection of images from ruin photographers over here.
London is a city built on power and restraint. Class strictures and verticality. The unending rise of the Shard, a physical metaphor for a brave new end of economic boom and bust driven by Qatari sovereign wealth. In its shadow, people are trying to live as they have done for the past forty years in state owned council housing. Over the past few months I made a couple of radio programmes about two estates in Southwark, the borough that hosts the Shard. They stretch south from Elephant and Castle, an area that is currently subject to a £1.5 billion urban regeneration project (the biggest in Europe). The Heygate estate is itself part of this regeneration plan, formerly housing around 4000 people, there are now two households left. It sits monolithic and largely empty, windows sealed with metal sheeting and electricity disconnected. Much of it is still open to the public, however and a visit will show you allotments which local residents have carved out of the open spaces, free runners climbing the concrete walkways and ruin tourists taking pictures on high end DSLRs.
I’ve been making a radio documentary over the past five months about the Heygate as it stands now, its past and its possible futures. It’s composed from the soundscape of the area and the voices of former and current residents of the estate, the original architect, a former leader of Southwark council, the head planner for the Elephant and Castle regeneration, academics and researchers. (stream below or listen here)
During this time I also worked on a hour long current affairs programme that looked at council housing and affordable housing london-wide. It was composed of some recordings from the Heygate, but also from the Aylesbury estate, a little further down the road from Elephant and Castle. This is one of the largest public housing estates in Europe and provides homes for around 10,000 people. Parts of the estate are being demolished and re-built according to a new rubric of ‘mixed communities’ containing ‘affordable housing’. Both of these are very slippery terms and, to put it mildly, there are serious concerns about how socially inclusive any new housing on the site will be. The programme was broadcast on London-based station NTS radio last month. you can listen here.