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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » hip-hop


Maschine with audio arrives; here’s how to get the most of it

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 18 Dec 2017 8:47 pm

Maschine’s Audio module has arrived, with looping and time stretching. And that makes the perfect time to look at some new ways of playing Maschine.

Maschine has had a year full of growth – new features, new ways of working from the community. As of Friday (well, after some glitches with the update server), that also includes an update that delivers a feature Maschine users have been asking about the longest: pitch-independent time stretching and looping.

The bad news is, this isn’t integrated with Maschine’s existing Sampler module. The good news, perhaps, is that this means the new module is focused on its own set of functionality, and won’t disrupt what’s already there. (I’m going to play around with it a while longer to reach my own conclusions on how I feel about this decision, but it certainly does keep each module cleaner and simpler.)

I’ve seen a lot of people posting the sentiment lately that music making isn’t just about updating to the latest-and-greatest — and I certainly agree with that, that’s fair. But some updates do come from real user needs and remove technological barriers to things you want to do.

On the human side of the equation, of course, you’ve got all the ways people pick up an instrument and make it their own. And the Maschine community this year has been astounding – all the reviewers, users, experts, trainers, and yes even the Maschine team themselves.

So, for starters, here’s a great demonstration of how that Audio Module works:

(Ha, that musical example is a bit wacky, but… you can of course apply this to whatever music or genre you want; I’ve done some really experimental stuff on Maschine that I suspect no one would guess was that tool)

From the same creator (“loopop”), here’s a unique take on how to use Maschine Jam, the clip launching grid + touch fader hardware for Maschine, alongside the traditional Maschine hardware. He takes on Jam as a “virtual conductor,” a mixer for different parts, and even an easy way to strum instruments. It’s a reminder that it’s best to think of Maschine as a live interface, not something specific to a particular genre. And the result is something different than what I’ve seen from other interfaces (like Abletoh Push), demonstrating how many different directions live interfaces for computers can go.

Maschine has also worked well as a hub for other instruments – hardware and software alike. It can be a trigger for snapshots in Reaktor, as we saw in our run-down of Belief Defect. (I’m reprogramming my own Reaktor-based setup, so I’ll do a more complete tutorial soon.)

And you can use snapshots and morphing with hardware, as loopop shows in this video. This was initially a Jam feature, but it has extended to other hardware controller.

(I just played right before Grebenstein Friday night, and he was using a Maschine MK1 alongside the Vermona as his live rig, so more possibilities with this setup. It blew me away; it was really tight.)

This next example is worth another story on itself – I’m a huge fan of Reactable’s recent, overlooked apps for sequencing and drum pattern creation. The latter, SNAP, has integration with Maschine Jam. The upshot: instead of repeating the same old loop over and over and over and now I’m bored, you can work in a fluid, live way to create more human, varying patterns. Watch – the Jam stuff kicks in part of the way through:

Stepping outside of one genre can often help you to better understand techniques and musicality. So here’s DDS with a great series on Maschine from the perspective of a hip-hop producer. (If you make hip hop-influenced music, that’s already relevant – but even if not, listen to the producers of the genre that gave you so much of how we think about this hardware in the first place!)

Finally, worth a read:

BEHIND THE SCENES: V.I.V.E.K ON WORKFLOWS WITH MASCHINE

If you have more tips / tutorials or videos to share, send them in and I’ll update the article here.

And in the interest of fairness, we’ll have a bit more on the Akai side of the equation shortly, too; it’s also been a good year for the rival MPC.

More soon.

The post Maschine with audio arrives; here’s how to get the most of it appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Kitty Empire’s best pop of 2017

Delivered... Kitty Empire | Scene | Sun 10 Dec 2017 1:00 am

From Jay-Z to Taylor Swift, it’s been a year of high political and personal drama in the worlds of rap, pop and rock

• Observer critics’ reviews of the year in full

With a couple of weeks to go until the new year, a number of significant records still teeter on the edge of an unannounced drop in 2017. Rihanna, for one, loves a fourth-quarter release; and Frank Ocean has hinted tantalisingly that he did make his promised five albums before he turned 30 at the end of October – he just hasn’t released one of them.

But the past 11 and a bit months have already seen more than enough melodrama: heartache and soap operatics, lawsuits and moral victories, and everywhere a political climate that was impossible to outrun. There were albums that engaged explicitly, from Hurray for the Riff Raff’s The Navigator to Joey Bada$$’s All-Amerikkkan Bada$$.

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Queering Hip Hop Beat by Beat

Delivered... Theresa Beyer from Norient | Scene | Fri 8 Dec 2017 11:00 am

Hip hop is always changing, and recently LGTB and Queer Hip-Hop – for long time out of sight – has seized the stage. Not as a subgenre, but a part of hip hop culture that has a long history. It’s a history about activism, too, in the USA and worldwide. A short historical round up. An article from the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

The rapper Mykki Blanco performing at Rhinoceropolis in Denver. (Photo © by Imnotcmjames/ Wikimeadia, 2014)

In 2012 rapper Frank Ocean declared on Tumblr that his first love had been a man. Surprisingly, this small statement triggered a tremendous reaction from mainstream hip hop, which caused it to start stumbling across its own institutional taboos. By now, Ocean’s admittance should be considered banal; however, queer rappers such as Mykki Blanco and Zebra Katz came into the center of media attention. The two New York-based rapper marked a turning point in hip hop: they are intellectuals, rooted in poetry and performance art, with gender-bending performances that resonate with voguing and the Ballroom culture. Their music is fast rap over minimalistic electronics; their videos heavily edited and visually stunning and sample the pleasure of multiple identities. During the same year, Brooke Candy and Angel Haze joined the new playground of queer hip hop and gained mainstream success. Since 2012 it seems, hip hop is officially no longer a heteronormative bubble.

No, I am not gay
No, I am not straight
And I’m sure as hell not bisexual, damn it
I am whoever I am when I am it
Loving whoever you are when the stars shine
And being whoever you be when the sun rises
Angel Haze, «Same Love,» quoting
genderqueer poet Andrea Gibson
(USA, 2013)

Self-Empowerment

It never was. 1981, a gay center in Los Angeles: John Callahan and David Hughes met and founded «Age of Consent». In their song «Fight Back», the white duo was rapping «I’m a faggot through and through». In an era in which hip hop was still perceived as primarily belonging to black culture, the duo decided that hip hop was a more suitable mouthpiece for gay rights than disco culture. More than 15 years had to pass until LGTBQ rapper such as Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Queen Pen, and Rainbow Flava gained recognition in music business. LGTBQ hip hop arose not just in the US, but also in Cuba. Queer and vegan activists Las Krudas Cubensi teamed up for rapping in 1996 in Havana and became part of the local hip hop scene. As the popularity of the three women grew, they wanted to link up with other queer scenes in Latin America. However, because of the harsh immigration policies they initially couldn’t answer invitations to give concerts outside of Cuba’s borders; so, they moved to Texas.

Well pardon me for not being a mermaid that
bewitches and seduces and then poisons.
I am ball, whale, turtle, how cool, yellow, brown,
natural.
Las Krudas, «Sy Ke Ser» (What could
this be) (Cuba/USA 2006)

Activist Agenda

There was a good ground to continue, prepared by God-des and She, queer activists, that gained cult status with their song «Lick it». Important for the visibility of these artists in the US and UK was the PeaceOut-Festival (2001-2007) and the documentary «Pick Up the Mic» (2005). Both helped to link and mobilize American LGTBQ rappers in a physical space. What these rappers continue to have in common is a clear activist agenda, the aim to empower and to turn hip hop vocabulary and imaginary into their own. As in many countercultures, subversion is an effective strategy for this. In «Lealef et ha soreret» (2007), for example, the lesbian rapper Shorty from Israel raps over arabesque samples, stating that she has nothing to apologize for and will never hide herself. In the video she sits on a car and depicts herself as a pimp. She turns the tables and slips into the poses of a character that in hip hop is a code for male dominance. In their song «Pro Homo» (2011), Sookee and Tapete (Germany) emphasize that hip hop can be just as homophobic as is their society. They chose a clever way to subvert: with the slogan «pro homo» they reframe the hip hop, typically homophobic slang phrase «no homo».

Cause they wanna know details
And label us
They want our private life
To be a public fuss
Scream Club feat Nicky Click, «You Make
Me Smile» (Germany 2011)

However, subversion can only work if one is being heard. In many countries, LGTBQ rappers risk their lives when they defy convention. The lesbian rapper Saye Sky is from Iran, where it’s forbidden for women to sing in public. YouTube and Facebook are also banned, so in 2009 she gave a CD to a Canadian friend and asked her to upload her song about LGTB rights. Right afterwards the government started following her and she had to emigrate. This example show that hip hop stays the voice for the oppressed and is often twinned with activism, but the frames and resources are extremely different — there is still much in the dark.

Now, I know I’m talkin’ blasphemy
Knocking gay culture with a capital «C»
But it never was my sort of scene, you see
I don’t want to be a faggot professionally
Age of Consent, «Fight Back» (USA 1981)

Looking back to the US-American queer hip hop in 2015, the clear political agenda from before seems to have vanished and is being replaced with fun: with the attitude of post-digital pop, Big Dipper, for example, raps «show me your penis» and is playing around with his sexual orientation. Maybe in this context there is no need anymore to use terms such as queer hip hop or homohop. They have helped to promote a space and a community within the hip hop culture. However, they have led to othering as well. Let’s hope they will become superfluous soon.

This text was published first in a very short version in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds. Click on the image to know more.

Read More on Norient

> Theresa Beyer: «Queer Hip Hop Clips From 8 Countries»
> Kalle Berggren: «The Queer Star of Swedish Hip Hop»
> B Camminga: «Queer and Of Here»

The top 100 tracks of 2017

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Mon 4 Dec 2017 12:00 pm

In the year the album’s power eroded, we collate the 100 best songs of 2017 as voted for by Guardian critics – and put them in a giant playlist

Many listeners are still in love with the album: a piece of work that allows a musician to fully sketch out their current worldview. And we’ll be counting down our favourite 50 albums of the year over the next three weeks.

But others have made a decisive shift away from albums and towards playlists on streaming services – often curated by Spotify or Apple themselves. We explored the phenomenon here – as well as how albums are mutating in response – and started our own monthly playlist.

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The top 100 tracks of 2017

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Mon 4 Dec 2017 12:00 pm

In the year the album’s power eroded, we collate the 100 best songs of 2017 as voted for by Guardian critics – and put them in a giant playlist

Many listeners are still in love with the album: a piece of work that allows a musician to fully sketch out their current worldview. And we’ll be counting down our favourite 50 albums of the year over the next three weeks.

But others have made a decisive shift away from albums and towards playlists on streaming services – often curated by Spotify or Apple themselves. We explored the phenomenon here – as well as how albums are mutating in response – and started our own monthly playlist.

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Grammys 2018: Britain’s reign comes to an end as diversity flourishes | Ben Beaumont-Thomas

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Tue 28 Nov 2017 5:03 pm

With Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris and various One Direction members snubbed, it paves the way for one of the most ethnically diverse Grammys ever – though female musicians have been sidelined

The iconic moment of the 2017 Grammys was Adele beating Beyoncé for album of the year, and the former acknowledging what a force of nature the latter is. “The way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering,” she said. “And you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you.” She vocalised what everyone else already knew: that Beyoncé, and indeed black American music, had become culturally dominant in the US.

Related: Grammy awards 2018: Ed Sheeran snubbed as Jay-Z leads nominations

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Gorillaz review – Damon Albarn refuses to be pigeonholed in hip-hop jamboree

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Tue 28 Nov 2017 2:04 pm

Brighton Centre
The Blur frontman brings his animated band’s world tour to the UK, and it’s the house vocalists – such as Peven Everett and Jamie Principle – that really shine

The first Gorillaz tour in seven years is an event that arrives in Britain trailing a certain degree of hype. It is apparently the fastest-selling tour that Damon Albarn has been involved in: not even the re-formation of Blur shifted tickets around the world so quickly, testament perhaps to the fact that, initially at least, Gorillaz achieved the kind of multiplatinum success in the US denied to Albarn’s original outfit. There has been much talk of the vast, continually rotating cast involved: in addition to Albarn, a band that features in its ranks two drummers and six backing vocalists, there’s the ever-changing menu of guest stars to contend with. Over the course of its American leg, the Humanz tour variously featured appearances from Carly Simon, Kelela, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Yasiin Bey, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano and Savages’ Jehnny Beth, while last weekend’s shows in Paris brought Popcaan to the stage for an encore of Saturnz Barz.

Tonight, however, the Jamaican MC is merely on a big screen at the rear of the stage, while Chicago brass bands and indie frontwomen are noticeable by their absence. The supporting cast is stripped down to something approaching a skeleton staff: depending on your taste in hip-hop, the biggest names present are either Long Beach rapper Vince Staples or two-thirds of De La Soul, the latter performing a rapturously received version of Feel Good Inc. The visuals featuring Jamie Hewlett’s familiar animated figures are strong, but not quite as eye-poppingly innovative as the show’s excitable advance billing might have led you to believe – amid the synched videos and interstitial cartoons, there’s nothing quite as visually arresting as the moment during their 2005 shows when the children’s choir who sang on Dirty Harry unexpectedly broke first into synchronised dance moves, then gleeful body-popping.

Related: Gorillaz, Oxfam and a tarot fool: the art of Jamie Hewlett – in pictures

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BBC reveals its Sound of 2018 longlist

Delivered... Guardian music | Scene | Mon 27 Nov 2017 12:51 pm

Artists on the broadcaster’s annual poll of musicians tipped for success next year include Norwegian singer Sigrid and London rapper Not3s

The BBC have revealed their annual Sound Of … list, which predicts the musicians likely to make waves in 2018.

This year’s crop include representatives from genres including rap, R&B, indie, dance and pop. The list was voted for by 173 critics, broadcasters, DJs and other music industry figures, with the poll’s winner set to be announced on 12 January on Radio 1.

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Thurston Moore, Holly Herndon and more on today’s musical underground

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Mon 27 Nov 2017 11:00 am

Thurston Moore, The Black Madonna and other underground musicians discuss how the scene continues to mutate – and why quantum physics is where today’s avant garde truly resides

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‘We could build something revolutionary’: how tech set underground music free

Delivered... Eamonn Forde | Scene | Wed 22 Nov 2017 10:50 am

YouTube, social media and even Bitcoin are allowing musicians to reject major labels and go it alone – but the industry is fighting back. Can artists use technology to stay truly independent?

In the 20th century, the vast majority of music you heard and bought was controlled by a small number of companies: record labels, radio stations and other dominators of the media. Artists needed them to reach the public and the public’s choice was prescribed by what these gatekeepers believed could best turn a profit. You liked it or lumped it. Now, however, a networked world is giving artists and audiences the tools to reject those companies for ever.

Think like an entrepreneur

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Tommy Vercetti: «Wieso immer dieses Lokalkolorit?»

Delivered... David Hunziker | Scene | Mon 20 Nov 2017 7:00 am

Simon Küffer alias Tommy Vercetti ist einer der wichtigsten Schweizer Rapper. Seine sozialkritischen Texte gehen einher mit seinem politischen Engagement als bekennender Marxist. Folkloristisches Lokalkolorit findet er widerlich.

Simon Küffer alias Tommy Vercetti in Zürich 2017 2017 (Photo © by Ursula Häne)

David Hunziker: Tommy Vercetti, wieso ist es Ihnen wichtig, auf Schweizerdeutsch zu rappen?
Tommy Vercetti: Es gibt verschiedene Gründe. Zuerst einmal ganz pragmatisch: Wenn du rappen lernst, dann am besten so, wie dir der Schnabel gewachsen ist. Das hat mit Koordination, Sprachgefühl und Slang zu tun. Und das Zweite: Hochdeutsch ist, zugespitzt gesagt, für uns eine Fremdsprache. Es kommt mir nicht flüssig über die Zunge.

[DH]:Limitiert das Schweizerdeutsche auch?
[TV]:Nicht direkt. Aber es schwingt bei mir oft eine Trauer mit, dass meine Texte nur in einem sehr kleinen Gebiet verstanden werden. Auch deshalb habe ich mir schon überlegt, das Medium zu wechseln und Bücher zu schreiben.

[DH]:Die Frage ist auch ökonomisch relevant. Aus Anlass des Todes von Polo Hofer wurde neulich diskutiert, ob Musik in Mundart als Geschäftsmodell ausstirbt, weil Plattenverkäufe zurückgehen und der hiesige Konzertmarkt klein ist.
[TV]:Ja, für Mundartmusiker geht es ums Überleben. Aber ich fände es schade, wenn es weniger Musik in Mundart gäbe. Das hat nichts mit Nationalismus zu tun, aber es ist eine lebende Sprache, die sich auch musikalisch ausdrücken will. Gerade im Rap, wo die individuelle Lebenssituation und damit auch die darin gesprochene Sprache eine entscheidende Rolle spielen.

[DH]:Aber mit dieser Authentizität hat die Schweizer Musikszene ja auch ein Problem. Wieso ist ein Grossteil davon irrelevante Folklore?
[TV]:Weil das leider kommerziell funktioniert. Aber ich stelle mir diese Frage auch, nicht nur in Bezug auf die Musik: Wieso immer dieses Lokalkolorit? Man kann doch genauso über globalisierte Lebensrealitäten in Bern sprechen wie anderswo auch.

[DH]:Jedoch: Wenn du eine Strassenszene in London auf dein Plattencover druckst oder ein Rapvideo im kalifornischen Compton drehst, scheint das einfacher global anschlussfähig zu sein, weil das schon ikonische Orte sind. Fehlt vielleicht auch eine Tradition, an die man anschliessen kann?
[TV]:Die Frage ist, wann Tradition ideologisch wird. Wenn Bligg zum Beispiel Handörgeli und Sennechutteli auf die Bühne bringt, hat das ziemlich sicher nichts mit seiner Zürcher Lebensrealität zu tun – es ist ein nationalistisches Konstrukt. Compton ist ein gutes Beispiel: Das ist ja einer der Orte, die von der offiziellen Geschichtsschreibung ursprünglich gerade nicht nach aussen gekehrt, sondern im Gegenteil verdrängt wurden.

[DH]:Was wäre ein Schweizer Pendant dazu?
[TV]:Bümpliz.

[DH]:Sie haben dort ein Video gedreht.
[TV]:Genau, vor dem Kebabladen von Umut. Das ist ein super Beispiel: Lokalkolorit, mit dem ich kein Problem habe.

[DH]:Aber dann ist es doch kein Kolorit, sondern einfach lokal.
[TV]:Es gibt zwei Prozesse, wie Orte eine Bedeutung erhalten können. Man kann das mit dem Mythenbegriff von Roland Barthes erklären. Compton war einmal schlicht eine Lebensrealität. Unter anderem durch Rapper wie N.W.A wurde der Ort in einem subversiven Akt an die Weltöffentlichkeit gebracht, dann kippt es, und er wird zu einem leeren Zeichen. Touristische Orte bestehen fast nur noch als Zeichen: Das Chalet ist da für die japanischen Touristen, aber es lebt niemand mehr darin. Diesem Prozess ist potenziell alles unterworfen, auch der Kebabladen in Bümpliz.

[DH]:Wieso überhaupt diese Schablonen?
[TV]:Folklore ist verführerisch. Oft kommt bei «schweizerisch» sogar einem liberalen Linken noch ein Chalet in den Sinn. Das widert mich an. Diese Tendenz gibt es sogar bei guten Rappern: Man fühlt sich besonders authentisch, wenn man ein altes Dialektwort verwendet, das nur noch der Grossmutter geläufig ist.

[DH]:Was halten Sie von Anglizismen?
[TV]:Was bei der Kritik daran immer unterschlagen wird: dass diese Begriffe ja neue Bedeutungsebenen einführen. Ein schönes Beispiel ist «chillen». Es gibt schlicht kein deutsches Äquivalent dafür. «Ich habe mich zu Hause gemütlich hingelegt» oder «rumhängen» treffen es eben nicht.

[DH]:Geht es Ihnen auch darum, alltägliche Sprache quasi literarisch zu adeln?
[TV]:Ja, das spielt eine Rolle. Aber es muss nicht gleich hohe Literatur sein, nur schon eine faire Beachtung wäre schön. Ich glaube, der Rap wird erst noch richtig entdeckt. Aber die Bedingung dafür wäre, dass die gesellschaftlichen Konflikte, die sich darin spiegeln, beigelegt sind.

[DH]:Kann man das noch behaupten, wenn die Alben von Kendrick Lamar zu den besten des Jahres gewählt werden?
[TV]:Lamar ist ein Feuilletonliebling, die gab es immer. Das hat auch damit zu tun, dass seine Musik etwa mit Jazz hochkulturell aufgeputzt ist. In der Breite ist Rap immer noch zu belastet, es geht dabei noch zu direkt um politische Konflikte. Mit der Auflösung solcher Konflikte verliert Kunst ihre Brisanz, dafür darf sie ins Museum. Dieser Prozess ist durch ihre ganze Geschichte hindurch zu beobachten.

Dieser Text erschien zuerst in der Schweizer Wochenzeitung WOZ, in der Ausgabe Nr. 35/2017 am 31.08.2017.

Lesen Sie Mehr im Web

> Ugur Gültekin: «Wie stehts um Mundartrap, Tommy Vercetti?»

The Gaslamp Killer sues over rape claims

Delivered... Guardian music | Scene | Wed 15 Nov 2017 11:47 am

The US producer is taking legal action following allegations that he drugged and raped two women

Music producer the Gaslamp Killer is suing two women who have accused him of sexual assault.

In October, the musician, born William Benjamin Bensussen, was accused of drugging and assaulting the women via a Twitter post. Bensussen denied the claims, issuing a statement in which he said: “I would never drug a woman, and I would never put anyone in a situation where they were not in control, or take anything that they weren’t offering.” The alleged assault took place in Los Angeles in 2013.

i've been silently suffering over this for many years. the gaslamp killer drugged and raped my best friend and myself 4 years ago pic.twitter.com/yvJM5HEJay

Related: Flying Lotus apologises after defending the Gaslamp Killer over rape allegations

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Rapping the News in Senegal

Delivered... Aisha Deme | Scene | Wed 15 Nov 2017 7:00 am

Since 2013 the Senegalese news show «Journal Rappé» merges rap with daily news. The concept of the two hip hop pioneers Keyti and Xuman is innovative and creative, as our authors think. The means of parody has thereby become a crucial piece: powerful aesthetics whereby the artist goes even further into the derision of national polictics. A commentary from the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Film still from Journal Rappé (Music) and Xuman (Video): «Formidable comme Karim Wade» (Senegal 2014)

In Senegal, hip hop is a sentinel for the social and political interests of the people. It does so via committed activism, the actions of its participants on the ground, and what it does best: the music and its messages. From «Fass», a popular area in Dakar, Xuman is one of the pioneers of this movement, a key player for over twenty years, and quite popular among Senegalese youth. His success comes from his dedicated activism, his eloquence in denouncing a perverted system, his brilliant capacity to describe the society, and his distinctive way of doing it all with humor, subtlety and fine details of his own.

Appropriating the Political Debate

With such an explosive cocktail, the hip hop star initiated the «Journal Rappé» (JTR) in April 2013, with another hip hop pioneer Keyti. JTR is an innovative and creative concept in which the two artists produce a show that covers a selection of national and international news. Born on YouTube with no sponsors, and before being aired on the second TV channel in Senegal (2STV), the JTR has gained the support of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and has been launched in the Ivory Coast in 2015. Institutional politics in Senegal generally don’t aim at laying the ground for an informed political debate; rather, they are more preoccupied with and focused on partisan interests. As such, the JTR uniquely fills in a considerable gap between the official politics and a great part of the population by providing a fun and alternative political reflection. Appropriating the political debate and informing the broader population through distinctive critical lenses, it renders public debates accessible, especially to the youth (in Senegal and abroad) that are huge hip hop lovers.

The Derision of National Politics

Xuman’s parodies have become crucial pieces of the JTR: powerful aesthetics whereby the artist goes even further into the derision of national politics. This episode is about Karim Wade, the former President Ablaye Wade’s son who, appointed «super minister» by his «powerful» father, was recently sentenced to six years in prison for wrongfully acquired properties. Xuman couldn’t have chosen a more powerful song than the one of Stromae to tell the story of a «fallen prince», to whom the father dreamt and literally planned to offer the country on a silver platter. It was unthinkable for son and father that one day the people could hold him accountable. His astonishment, his unconsciousness, and his arrogance, are wonderfully staged in this parody, a parody that is just formidable!

This text was published first in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds. Click on the image to know more.

Read More on Norient

> Jenny Fatou Mbaye & Aisha Deme: «Xuman: Mocking the Powerful»
> Jenny Fatou Mbaye: «Five Video Clips from Senegal»
> Georg Milz: «Politrap aus dem Senegal»
> Maxime Pasques: «A ‹Formidable› Hype in Brussels»
> Wanlov The Kubolor: «In Ghana, Stromae Wouldn’t Be Lonely»

The month’s best music: Fever Ray, Giggs, Linda Perhacs and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Mon 6 Nov 2017 6:01 pm

From Errorsmith’s hyperactive take on Jamaican rhythm to Rina Sawayama’s shiny power balladry, here are 50 of the month’s best tracks

Our monthly roundup of the best music continues, with a 50-song playlist hosted on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music, and 10 highlights picked out below. Subscribe and listen via the widget, and suggest your own faves from this month in the comments.

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45 songs by Chris Brown, anyone? Why albums are getting longer

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Tue 31 Oct 2017 11:25 am

R&B and hip-hop albums frequently number 20 tracks or more, while dance artists are making records that last five hours. Are musicians spreading themselves too thinly?

Lock the doors, shutter the windows and keep the lights on, because something truly terrifying has descended upon us this Halloween: Heartbreak On a Full Moon, a Chris Brown album that has been allowed to witter on for 45 songs.

Brown’s amorality, trust issues and joyless acquisitiveness have occasionally made for unwittingly spellbinding songs (Deuces, Loyal), and he made for a convincing EDM-pop frontman, but our era of Latin pop and bleak rap has him flailing. Questions, the big lead-off single from his bloated opus, features karaoke versions of dancehall hits in lieu of a chorus; its creative redundancy has stalled it at a high of No 84 in the US charts. The calculated humility of a recent documentary meanwhile, in which he finally discussed his abuse of Rihanna, merely nauseated as he admitted: “I’m [going to] be me, and be evil … She tried to kick me … and I really hit her, with a closed fist, I punched her.”

Related: 'They could destroy the album': how Spotify's playlists have changed music for ever

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