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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2019 » December » 02


A fresh electronic sound for the Netherlands, and urgent work to fight racism

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 2 Dec 2019 7:33 pm

In the Netherlands, electronic music isn’t just a sound, but a rallying cry. And you can answer that call from all around the world.

Racial discrimination can make people feel like outsiders in their own home, and can stand in the way of displaced people trying to make a new home. This time of year in the Netherlands and Belgium, that reality is as stark as ever, in a country that still celebrates Christmas with blackface and racial caricatures. (See reporting on Zwarte Piet from just last week, if you’re not already familiar with the phenomenon.)

Here’s where music comes in – it’s an expressive response, an organizing tool, a way of bringing people in to learning more and interacting on the issues, and can even support people working to create solutions on the ground. Music can have a role even without being explicitly containing a political text – the musical album around this effort is just a fantastic compilation.

And that seems to open the door not only to directly support our friends and colleagues in Amsterdam here, but also to see a model for music making a tangible difference. Okay, so before moving on, let’s get a soundtrack:

This story starts with that compilation – place: the netherlands is the latest in a series from New York’s Air Texture label, pairing musical compilations with local social causes. The Dutch edition is the work of Axmed Maxamed, self-described “queer diasporic Somali activist, organizer, and music nerd,” and DJ and radio host Jasmin Hoek (“Jasmín”), host of shows on Utrecht’s Stranded FM and Red Light Radio in Amsterdam.

The music already tells some story, but where this goes further is that the music is becoming a jumping-off point to activism. That means tackling twin issues – dealing with the worst aspects of Dutch immigration for its most vulnerable entrants, right as the country ramps up a tradition that mocks people for their skin color.

Axmed and Jasmin talk to CDM about what that means.

Axmed, Teddy, Jasmin – photo by Teddy Lyon, center, co-founder of Open Closet LGBT Netherlands.

CDM: Since this is a club music response – apart from the compilation and this activism, is there interaction now between the club scene and some inbound refugees? Is there a way that there could be more space in the club environment for that interaction?

Axmed/Jasmin: It’s important not to only welcome refugees, but go the extra mile to make sure they feel comfortable being in the space and to have people available at the club who they can approach if necessary. In addition to that, it’s important to make spaces available for refugees or people from other marginalized communities to host their own events. 

Zwarte Piet is a literal face of racism in the NL, and maybe one that’s tough for outsiders to come to terms with, too. What would you want people from the international community to know? What can we do to respond?

Axmed: The Netherlands and Belgium are inherently racist countries, and during this period – which goes on for about two months – it really comes to the surface. It is important to amplify the voices of people who are fighting this racist anti-black tradition called Sinterklaas. Ask your white Dutch and Belgian friends what they are doing to speak up against this racist tradition, especially those that have a platform, whether they be a DJ, label, venue, promoter, etc. Even in a city like Amsterdam, there are still a lot of stores decorated with racist imagery, so it is on white people living in the Netherlands who say that they care about change, to talk to shop owners. White people in the Netherlands and Belgium chose to make this into racist tradition in 1850, so it is now their responsibility to get rid of it. As a Black person, I do not want to be confronted with it anymore. 

Reforming how immigration works could build better and fairer societies; refugees occupy this especially difficult situation where they’re unable to work because of how the law is set up. Is there a way for us in creative industries to find some solutions there and work together? Definitely, reach out to initiatives such as Open Closet [ Open Closet LGBT Netherlands] that are for and by newcomers and set something up together with them, such as workshops, parties, dinners, and so on. Offer structural support and involvement within the work you’re doing, not something that’s just one-off. 

Ed.: This is obviously a deeper issue than we can cover here, as the situations vary country to country and have different organizations for responding, but – now with this out there, I hope we’ll hear from some of those specifics from our international audience.

Check DutchAfro’s music – she’s making amazing noises from deep in the Dutch underground. You heard her here first.

What’s next; what you can do

The easiest thing for readers of this site to do is to go buy the compilation, which supports active work on helping LGBTQIA+ refugees navigate a hostile immigration system – and gets you some great music, too:

https://musicandactivism.bandcamp.com/album/place-the-netherlands?

For the minority of readers in the Netherlands, there’s a launch party running daytime to nighttime on December 21. (Hey, maybe you lucked out and even have a transfer at Schiphol then.)

https://web.facebook.com/events/1885211238290392/

That event is itself a compelling model. Of course, local contributing artists play (Accuraat, Blusher, Cuboid Kiss, Dim Garden, DJ Bone, DutchAfro, Jarlentji, Loradeniz, Global Mind Surveillance, Pasiphae, Raj, Ranie Ribeiro, Rural Juror, and Zohar). But there’s also discourse, film, and food – a chance for interested music lovers to better understand the issues and get involved.

You can attend virtually and lend more support by buying a ticket:

https://thegreyspace.stager.nl/web/tickets/380668

For any criticism of club culture simply criticizing from the sidelines in a filter bubble/echo chamber, here are people getting out and doing something concrete, making a difference in the lives of refugees.

What these challenges can mean: essential reading

Axmed is a great example of how someone can be both a figure in the music scene and in activism, simultaneously. That energy he shares in bringing people together in nightlife he has channeled into rallying people behind making an impact on the larger community. A refugee of the Somali civil war at a young age, he says he’s now connecting with LGBTQIA+ refugees as he works in that community as they go through the asylum procedure.

As with so many people working on immigration worldwide, though, his stories about the system can be infuriating and heartbreaking. As he tells Glamcult:

In my work as an interpreter and translator, I have first-hand knowledge of how refugees in general are treated in the Netherlands, which is mostly from a starting point of not believing refugees. And in addition to that, LGBTQIA+ refugees have a specific burden of proof—together with having to prove that they are from their home country, they also have to prove their sexual and/or gender identity to the interviewer from the IND (Immigration Office). This process has been criticized as being too invasive and lacking important sensitivities needed to ask such personal and sometimes traumatizing questions. 

Yeah, you read that right – for anyone who has dealt with immigration, imagine having to prove who you are sexually or what your gender is. (Heck, it’s unpleasant enough doing that outside an immigration process.) More on this topic:

So much for Dutch tolerance: life as an LGBT asylum seeker in the Netherlands

By connecting with Open Closet, the music scene here supports volunteers dealing with that, but also a great deal more:

Open Closet not only ensures that incoming LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers are properly registered, but also provides help with food, support towards the procedures required, counseling and a family where everybody is welcome. They provide a place to come together and cover for traveling costs if needed. By organising meetings regularly, they create a sense of community and belonging for queer asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Open Closet also ensures that asylum seekers are properly informed of their rights and options.

Axmed Maxamed to Glamcult

This isn’t just another compilation to raise awareness – by connecting to an in-person event, Axmed and Jasmin are also bringing more people in to engage with the organization itself.

But clubland does network people. In the same Glamcult piece, there’s also a checklist for how clubs (and clubgoers) could better include refugees in our community. You should read the whole piece, but here’s a summary of what Axmed advises, for quick reference (to paste on your wall or whatever you like):

  1. Hire and empower the people affected to make decisions about dealing with unsafe spaces and exclusion.
  2. Have an awareness team people can go to directly.
  3. Make gathering spaces outside of clubs, too.

See the full story:

Music is an art built around listening. So we can use that power to listen to queer activists and – well, electronic music is all about amplification, so we can make that sound louder. For a place to start, Axmed keeps a running list of links of great reading:

linktr.ee/axmed

By the way, to look beyond the Netherlands – artists like Meklit are bringing together activism and music practice, both on immigration and even water issues (with some data sonification thrown in so – some of your CDM reader bingo cards just got filled). Meklit has also worked with the excellent Bay Area activist group Women’s Audio Mission.

And just in the past few days, artists have pulled music from Amazon to protest that company’s work with discriminatory US immigration practices.

Local efforts in your area? Questions? We would love to hear them.

The post A fresh electronic sound for the Netherlands, and urgent work to fight racism appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

THE HANGOUT FEST 2020 LINEUP IS OUT TOMORROW!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 2 Dec 2019 7:30 pm
Find out how you can find out!

AMFM Act Introduced in Congress to Impose Sound Recording Performance Royalty on Broadcast Stations

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Mon 2 Dec 2019 7:05 pm

Late last month, the Ask Musicians For Music Act (the “AMFM Act”) was introduced in both the House and Senate. If enacted, the AMFM Act would impose on over-the-air broadcast radio stations a performance royalty for the use of sound recordings in their programming. This is yet another bill proposing that the current royalty that requires that digital music services pay royalties both for the use of musical compositions (as already paid by broadcasters) and the sound recording (currently paid by broadcasters only for the Internet streams of their programming) be extended to cover all over-the-air broadcasts by radio stations. Extending the sound recording performance royalty to over-the-air radio has been proposed many times before (see, for instance, our articles hereherehere and here), but this is the first time that the proposal has been advanced in the current session of Congress. Similar bills were introduced last session before the 2018 elections but were never brought to a vote in either the House or the Senate – see our post here.

As we’ve written before, the royalties that broadcasters pay to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and even GMR are paid to the composers of music (and the copyright holders in the musical compositions, usually a publishing company). Sound recording royalties are paid to the performers (and the copyright holders in the performances, usually the record labels). These are the royalties that broadcasters pay to SoundExchange when they stream their programming on the Internet. Historically, in the US, broadcasters and other businesses who play sound recordings are not subject to a performance royalty for the use of those sound recordings (except for digital audio music services who do pay sound recording performance royalties in the US), though such royalties are paid in many other countries in the world. This bill proposes to make broadcasters pay for their over-the-air performances. Under the provisions of the bill, the Copyright Royalty Board would set these royalties along with those paid by digital audio services, and the royalties would be paid to SoundExchange.

The bill is relatively straightforward – eliminating the provisions of the Copyright Act that limit the sound recording performance royalty to digital performances – thus making it applicable to all audio transmissions. Interestingly, the bill does not propose to make the royalty applicable to television broadcasters or to any other business that plays music on its premises. So, under this bill, the royalty would not be extended to bars, restaurants or retail establishments (even though proponents of this royalty have, in the past, suggested the extension, see our article here). Perhaps the idea here is to attempt to isolate radio and attempt to get a royalty through for them, and later revisit the issue by seeking royalties from these other users of music in the future when the precedent has been established.

The bill also proposes other exceptions to soften the impact of the royalty. For example, for commercial stations with total revenues of less than $1,000,000, the annual royalty would be $500. Noncommercial stations licensed by the FCC would have royalties limited to $100 per station. Certain broadcasts of religious services would be exempt. But all other stations would have their royalties set by the CRB through the same process they use to set royalties for webcasters. All of the rules that apply to streaming – including the performance complement limiting how many times songs from the same artist can be played in given periods of time – would apply to broadcasters as well (see the discussion of the performance complement in our article here).

What is next for the bill? So far, there are no co-sponsors – the bill having a single sponsor in both the House and the Senate. The NAB also is nearing the point where they will have a majority of the members of the House of Representatives signing on to an anti-performance royalty resolution. With this show of opposition, it is likely that House leadership will be reluctant to take up this kind of controversial bill in a Congress that will be dominated by so many other major issues in an election year. Nevertheless, the bill lays down a marker showing that this issue is still alive and something that broadcasters need to think hard about. With smart speakers and other digital devices taking more and more radio users into the digital world, (see our article here about how listening on Alexa raises a station’s SoundExchange royalties), discussions with the recording industry to address this issue in some long-term fashion could be initiated. This will be an issue to continue to watch in coming years, as it clearly is not going away.

BOTTLEROCK FESTIVAL 2020 TICKETS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 2 Dec 2019 7:00 pm
The presale starts next week! Get the details!

Elon Musk’s Cybertruck is already rendered in Shadertoy 3D code

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 2 Dec 2019 5:46 pm

The Tesla Cybertruck unveiled last week already looks like some low-polygon-count 3D model. So of course it’s already some (free) shader code.

For those of you not in the know on the visual side, Shadertoy is a marvelous repository of community-shared shader code. Shaders are snippets of program language built specifically for the graphics subsystem on your computer. Nowadays, that’s of interest not only to gamers and 3D artists, but live visual performance, too – tools like Isadora have built-in support for Shadertoy specifically. You can even run inside Ableton Live, via Max for Live.

This particular Shadertoy gives you the requisite disco lighting and that suddenly-iconic, weird geometric form of a truck. (Thank designer Franz von Holzhausen, apparently.)

Mute your sound before you have a look at this link, though; there’s a blasting cyber-tune that plays automatically.

https://www.shadertoy.com/view/wdGXzK

Previous refresher:

Now go make the music video of your dreams, obviously.

The post Elon Musk’s Cybertruck is already rendered in Shadertoy 3D code appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

GOVERNORS BALL 2020 TICKETS ARE ON SALE

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 2 Dec 2019 4:00 pm
Weekend tickets are available as General Admission, VIP, VIP Luxe and Platinum passes!

FORECASTLE FESTIVAL 2020 TICKETS ARE ON SALE!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 2 Dec 2019 4:00 pm
They're available in General Admission, Yacht Club and VIP tickets as weekend passes.

HOPSCOTCH FESTIVAL 2020 TICKETS JUST WENT ON SALE!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 2 Dec 2019 4:00 pm
They're available as General Admission or VIP tickets as weekend passes.
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