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


Debate: Archive and Sampling

Delivered... norient | Scene | Wed 23 May 2018 6:00 am

Today the copying and sampling of not just sound but of all material from infinite sources challenges the «spectacular aura» of the pre-recorded original in order to claim autonomy. We asked musicians from the Norient network: How Does the Digital Availability of Sources Change Music? A virtual debate from the Norient exhibition Seismographic Sounds (see and order corresponding book here).

Abandoned School Archive (Photo © by publicdomainpictures/Lode Van de Velde, 2018)

Complete Debate: The Video

Quotes

«My sample library is full of glitchy sounds. I started to build it years ago and I’m continuously updating it. It works like this: I make recordings from prepared instruments or amplified objects, or I record jams with digital instruments. Then I work with these sounds, paying close attention to details. I can spend hours designing just one three hundred milliseconds glitch, or I can build a huge wall of sound out of intersecting layers. These layers create beautiful and dense textures that I’m gradually transforming in my software by changing many parameters at each moment. I edit my samples to the point that they gain a totally new identity — all associations are gone and in the end just their aesthetic qualities count. Success is when I can make thousands of variations from a single sample. These sounds define my library. I think that gives a certain stamp to all of my works.»

Svetlana Maraš, composer and sound artist (Serbia)

«I sample my own music. It helps to exaggerate my egomania. By recombining myself my self-referential cosmos grows day by day.»

Christoph Ogiermann, composer, singer, instrumentalist and conductor in the fields of of contemporary music and free improvisation (Germany)

«Everything is a remix.»

Joe Bennett, Popular Music Scholar (Great Britain)

«Art and music in an archive will function like words in our minds. In the near future we will reuse them at will, just like we create sentences.»

Eduardo Navas, Remix Studies Scholar (USA)

Video Debate Credits

Statements by
Eduardo Navas, Remix Studies Scholar (USA)
Joe Bennett, Popular Music Scholar (Great Britain)
Christoph Ogiermann, composer, singer, instrumentalist and conductor in the fields of of contemporary music and free improvisation (Germany)
Garo Gdanian, Metal Musician (Lebanon)
Svetlana Maraš, composer and sound artist (Serbia)

Video Cut: Stephan Hermann, Coupdoeil

Some quotes from this debate were published in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds. Click on the image to know more.

Read More on Norient

> Eduardo Navas: «Regenerative Culture»
> Hannes Liechti: «Perspectives on Sampling»
> Thomas Burkhalter: «The Sample Shapes the Song»

Debates from Seismographic Sounds

> on Bedroom Producers
> on Power and Positions
> on Music and War

Speaking in signal, across the divide between video and sound: SIGINT

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Wed 16 May 2018 5:58 pm

Performing voltages. The notion is now familiar in synthesis – improvising with signals – but what about the dance between noise and image? Artist Oliver Dodd has been exploring the audiovisual modular.

Integrated sound-image systems have been a fascination of the avant-garde through the history of electronic art. But if there’s a return to the raw signal, maybe that’s born of a desire to regain a sense of fusion of media that can be lost in overcomplicated newer work.

Underground label Detroit Underground has had one foot in technology, one in audiovisual output. DU have their own line of Eurorack modules and a deep interest in electronics and invention, matching a line of audiovisual works. And the label is even putting out AV releases on VHS tape. (Well, visuals need some answer to the vinyl phonograph. You were expecting maybe laserdiscs?)

And SIGINT, Oliver Dodd’s project, is one of the more compelling releases in that series. It debuted over the winter, but now feels a perfect time to delve into what it’s about – and some of Oliver’s other, evocative work.

First, the full description, which draws on images of scanning transmissions from space, but takes place in a very localized, Earthbound rig:

The concept of SIGINT is based on the idea of scanning, searching, and recording satellite transmissions in the pursuit of capturing what appear to be anomalies as intelligent signals hidden within the transmission spectrum.

SIGINT represents these raw recordings, captured in their live, original form. These audio-video recordings were performed and rendered to VHS in real-time in an attempt to experience, explore, decipher, study, and decode this deeply evocative, secret, and embedded form of communication whose origins appear both alien and unknown, like paranormal imprints or reflections of inter-dimensional beings reflected within the transmission stream.

The amazing thing about this project are the synchronicities formed between the audio and the video in real time. By connecting with the aural and the visual in this way, one generates and discovers strange, new, and interesting communications and compositions between these two spaces. The Modular Audio/Video system allows a direct connection between the video and the audio, and vice versa. A single patch cable can span between the two worlds and create new possibilities for each. The modular system used for SIGINT was one 6U case of only Industrial Music Electronics (Harvestman) modules for audio and one 3U case of LZX Industries modules for video.

Videos:

Album:

CDM: I’m going through all these lovely experiments on your YouTube channel. How do these experiments come about?

Oliver: My Instagram and YouTube content is mostly just a snapshot of a larger picture of what I am currently working on, either that day, or of a larger project or work generally, which could be either a live performance, for example, or a release, or a video project.

That’s one hell of an AV modular system. Can you walk us through the modules in there? What’s your workflow like working in an audiovisual system like this, as opposed to systems (software or hardware) that tend to focus on one medium or another?

It’s a two-part system. There is one part that is audio (Industrial Music Electronics, or “Harvestman”), and there is one part that is video (LZX Industries). They communicate with each other via control voltages and audio rate signals, and they can independently influence each other in both ways or directions. For example, the audio can control the video, and the control voltages generated in the video system can also control sources in the audio system.

Many of the triggers and control voltages are shared between the two systems, which creates a cohesive audio/video experience. However, not every audio signal that sounds good — or produces a nice sound — looks good visually, and therefore, further tweaking and conditioning of the voltages are required to develop a more cohesive and harmonious relationship between them.

The two systems: a 3U (smaller) audio system on the left handles the Harvestman audio modules, and 6U (taller) on the right includes video processing modules from LZX Industries. Cases designed by Elite Modular.

I’m curious about your notion of finding patterns or paranormal in the content. Why is that significant to you? Carl Sagan gets at this idea of listening to noise in his original novel Contact (using the main character listening to a washing machine at one point, if I recall). What drew you to this sort of idea – and does it only say something about the listener, or the data, too?

Data transmission surrounds us at all times. There are always invisible frequencies that are outside our ability to perceive them, flowing through the air and which are as unobstructed as the air itself. We can only perceive a small fraction of these phenomena. There are limitations placed on our ability to perceive as humans, and there are more frequencies than we can experience. There are some frequencies we can experience, and there are some that we cannot. Perhaps the latter can move or pass throughout the range of perception, leaving a trail or trace or impressions on the frequencies that we can perceive as it passes through, and which we can then decode.

What about the fact that this is an audiovisual creation? What does it mean to fuse those media for a project?

The amazing thing about this project are the synchronicities formed between the audio and the video in real time. By connecting with the aural and the visual in this way, one generates and discovers strange, new, and interesting communications and compositions between these two spaces. The modular audio/video system allows direct connection between the video and the audio, and vice versa. A single patch cable can span between the two worlds and create new possibilities for each.

And now, some loops…

Oliver’s “experiments” series is transcendent and mesmerizing:

If this were a less cruel world, the YouTube algorithm would only feed you this. But in the meantime, you can subscribe to his channel. And ignore the view counts, actually. One person watching this one video is already sublime.

Plus, from Oliver’s gorgeous Instagram account, some ambient AV sketches to round things out.

More at: https://www.instagram.com/_oliverdodd/

https://detund.bandcamp.com/

https://detund.bandcamp.com/album/sigint

The post Speaking in signal, across the divide between video and sound: SIGINT appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Einsamkeiten und Verfall

Delivered... Holger Lund | Scene | Wed 9 May 2018 6:00 am

Soziale Gefüge benötigen beides: Zusammenhalt und Platz für den Einzelnen als Einzelnen. Ist diese Balance noch gegeben? Letztlich verhält es sich ambivalent: Vereinzelung wird als Gefahr erlebt, Einsamkeit jedoch auch als Befreiung. Aktuelle Musikvideos zeigen das Ringen um eine soziale Positionierung. Aus dem Norient Buch Seismographic Sounds (hier bestellbar).

Selbst Skulpturen sind manchmal einsam (Photo © by Pxhere, 2018)

Norients Anfrage für einen Text zum Musikvideothema Einsamkeit war mit der Frage verknüpft, ob «Einsamkeit wirklich ein Thema ist, das die Musikschaffenden beschäftigt». Vor Sichtung der von Norient ausgewählten aktuellen Musikvideos schien es mir, das Thema würde womöglich eher das Publikum beschäftigen. Denn die Entsolidarisierungsstrategien des Neo-Liberalismus zielen ja darauf, vereinzelnd jeden gegen jeden loszulassen, zum Wohle des Kapitals. Digitale Egopornobastelstuben wie Facebook und Instagram liefern dafür den traurigen Beweis in Selfieform. Mithin vermutete ich: bei dem Thema könnten sich Musikschaffende sicher sein, ihr Publikum gut abzuholen. Denn es ist schon da: in der Einsamkeit.

Nach Sichtung der Musikvideos ergab sich dann ein entsprechendes und doch etwas anderes Bild. Denn es handelt sich um ganz verschiedene Einsamkeiten. Sie haben unterschiedliche Ursachen und Kontexte. So macht es für die Bewertung des Phänomens einen Unterschied, ob Einsamkeit erwünscht ist oder gemieden werden soll. Zumal Einsamkeit nicht nur ein soziales (Negativ-)Phänomen ist. Einsamkeit inmitten vieler Menschen ist ein Phänomen, dem man ebenso positiv (Video Nr. 33) wie negativ gegenüberstehen kann (4). Und was ist mit Einsamkeiten, die gänzlich ohne Menschen auskommen, wie die Landschaften und Tiere bei Eric Holm (13)? Was ist mit gewünschter Einsamkeit? Dem eigenen Tod, wie bei Mondkopf (25), oder dem Tod anderer, wie bei Willis Earl Beal (34), der eine befreiende Einsamkeit erzeugt?

Partikularisierung als Haupttendenz

Auf den ersten Blick ist eine thematische Zersplitterung der Phänomene zu verzeichnen. Nicht immer ist Einsamkeit dabei das Hauptthema, oftmals handelt es sich nur um einen Aspekt von gewichtigeren Themen wie Liebe, Krankheit oder Tod. Vom albtraumartigen Gejagtwerden von unsichtbaren Feinden (3), dem Sich-Verlieren in sozialen Rollen und Maskierungen (4), den vergessenen Menschen, die erschöpft die Linie einer Mailänder Strassenbahn bevölkern (6), der unheimlichen Einsamkeit auf einer verlassenen Strasse im nächtlichen Wald, changierend zwischen Caspar David Friedrich und Blairwitch Project (11), der zufriedenen Einsamkeit des älteren Mannes auf seinem Board im Meer (9), dem Astronauten, der planetensehnsüchtig auf der Erde herumstreift (24), der sexuellen Einsamkeit im Gender Trouble (17), über die robotische Einsamkeit (12), die imaginierende Einsamkeit (15) bis hin zur minimalistischen Einsamkeit (27) – all diese Einsamkeiten sind unterschiedlich motiviert. Sie werden bereits in den Videos von den Betroffenen oder Agierenden unterschiedlich bewertet, und so mit Sicherheit auch von den Betrachtern. Die Videos spiegeln dabei die diagnostizierte gegenwärtige soziale Vereinzelung sowie das Fehlen von sozialen Bindemitteln.

Zwar lassen sich kleinere thematische Cluster bilden, wie etwa zu den Themen pubertäre Einsamkeit ((16), (21)), Liebeseinsamkeit ((8), (30), (31)) beziehungsweise die Annäherungen und Distanznahmen beim Pas-de-Deux mit dem Auflösen von Einsamkeit in Zweisamkeit und umgekehrt ((10), (26), (29), oder Einsamkeit wegen Drogenkonsums ((1), (2), (18)). Doch umfassendere, klare Tendenzen lassen sich so noch nicht dingfest machen. Eher ist die Absenz von deutlichen Tendenzen als Zeichen von Partikularisierung die klarste Haupttendenz.

Die Einsamkeit des Vergessens

Erst auf einem abstrakteren Niveau könnte man von einsamkeitsrelationierten Tendenzen sprechen. Eine derartige Tendenz wäre die Auffassung von Musik als Gegenwelt oder als Welt in der Welt. Es verhält sich ähnlich wie beim Musikhören in der Stadt mit Kopfhörer: Die natürlichen Geräuschquellen werden ausgehebelt, eine artifizielle und fremde musikalische Geräuschumgebung wird der erlebten visuellen Welt beigestellt. Musik kann hierbei als trennende Kraft wirken, lösend von banalem Alltag, sogar magisierend. Beispiele dafür wären Stromae (30) und Kwab (20). Einwenden liesse sich: Das gilt per se für alle Musikvideos, die akustisches Geschehen von visuellem Geschehen entkoppeln, nicht nur für diejenigen, die Einsamkeiten thematisieren. Nur wird bei letzteren das Phänomen geradezu verdoppelt, weil es strukturell (akustisch-visuell) und thematisch erscheint. Das wäre dann die Einsamkeit des Musikvideos qua medialer Struktur, welche jene der behandelten Themen verstärkt.

Eine weitere umfassendere Tendenz ist jene zur selbstfixierten Einsamkeit. Sie erscheint in mehreren der Videos, oftmals verbunden mit Tanz ((7), (14), (22), (24), (28), (30)). Auch diese Einsamkeit kann unterschiedlich motiviert sein. Was jedoch auffällt, ist das Sich-Drehen um sich selbst, die Selbstfixation, die ein Zugehen auf andere einschränkt oder gar verhindert. Die selbstfixierten Momente in den Videos verweisen dabei wiederum auf die Vereinzelung als Anschlussunfähigkeit in sozialen Gefügen. Vielleicht ist es jedoch auch sinnvoller, sich jener Fälle besonders anzunehmen, die eine spezifische Atmosphäre schaffen oder eine speziell intensive Atmosphäre. Etwa die groteske Einsamkeit einer singenden Reinigungskraft bei August Schram (5). Oder die prollig-tragische Einsamkeit bei Koudlam (19). Hier wird der selbstfixierten Einsamkeit von Menschen in der Menge die Monotonie des Textes beigefügt. Zu sehen sind Menschen, die zusammen sind und doch isoliert, die emotionalen Ausdruck suchen, der doch nur in Leer- oder Klischeeformeln zerfällt. Wir sehen eine Feierkultur mit einer (Selbst-)Vergessenheit, die in einer Einsamkeit des Vergessens – und nicht in einem Vergessen der Einsamkeit – mündet.

Zuletzt sei Max Cooper ((23) herangezogen. Das Video zeigt den Idealmenschen 4.0: vernetzt, selbstoptimiert, überwacht und konsumierend. Der Mensch ist dabei nicht nur Teil eines Räderwerks, er erscheint selbst als Räderwerk. Die Entmenschlichung des Menschen ist dabei die Einsamkeit, um die es hier geht: Die Einsamkeit der scheinbar idealen Maschinerie. Nicht nur diese verweist auf den neoliberalen Kapitalismus, der von Videos wie bei The Bug (32) in eine verfallende post-kapitalistische Dystopie überführt wird. Nimmt der sozial isolierte Räderwerk-Mensch seine Wirklichkeitsdroge in Pillenform einmal nicht, so bricht die Matrix sogleich auf fulminante Weise zusammen, den faulen Zauber in seiner verfallsträchtigen Fäulnis offenbarend.

Erwähnte Musikvideos (alphabetisch nach Vornamen)

[1] Adana Twins: «Strange (Acid Pauli & NU Remix)»
[2] All Leather: «An Insufficient Apology»
[3] alt-J: «Hunger of the Pine»
[4] Ariel Pink: «Picture Me Gone»
[5] August Schram: «August sings M.-A. Charpentier Triste Déserts»
[6] Avatism feat. Federico Rizzo: «Laments»
[7] Baby Alpaca: «Sea of Dreams (Turbotito Remix)»
[8] Bad Blocks: «Circulate»
[9] Christophe Calpini: «Descent»
[10] Colin Stetson: «Who the Waves Are Roaring For»
[11] Cubby: «Steady Now»
[12] Damon Albarn: «Everyday Robots»
[13] Eric Holm: «Stave»
[14] Flume & Chet Faker: «Drop the Game»
[15] Flying Lotus: «Tiny Tortures»
[16] Goldfrapp: «Annabel»
[17] Iceage: «Against the Moon»
[18] Jaloo: «Bai Bai»
[19] Koudlam: «Negative Creep»
[20] Kwabs: «Pray For Love»
[21] Lil Silva: «Mabel»
[22] Lump200: «LaMoon – Beata Version»
[23] Max Cooper feat. Kathrin deBoer: «Numb»
[24] Merz: «Postcard From a Dark Star»
[25] Mondkopf: «We Watched the End»
[26] Oceaán: «Veritas»
[27] Olimpia Splendid: «Jukka-Pekka»
[28] Sia: «Chandelier»
[29] Sigur Rós: «Valtari»
[30] Stromae: «Formidable»
[31] SZA: «Babylon»
[32] The Bug: «Function / Void»
[33] The Gregory Brothers: «DJ Play My Song (No, Leave Me Alone)»
[34] Willis Earl Beal: «Evening’s Kiss» (unofficial video)

Eine kürzere Version dieses Textes wurde erstmals publiziert im zweiten Norient Buch «Seismographic Sounds». Klicke auf das Bild, um mehr zu erfahren.

Mehr zum Thema auf Norient

> Angie Balata: «Escaping Loneliness Online»
> Kaspar Aebi: «Gemeinsam einsam – Laptop-Musikvideos»
> Sandeep Bhagwati: «On Native Aliens»

Debate: Music and War

Delivered... norient | Scene | Mon 23 Apr 2018 10:30 pm

War is the most horrible drama of human kind. Yet the noises of war — everything from swords clanging to modern machine guns and bombs — have fascinated musicians and composers for centuries. We asked musicians from the Norient network how to make a war audible. A virtual debate from the Norient exhibition Seismographic Sounds (see and order corresponding book here).

Complete Debate: The Video

Quotes

«By sampling footage from contemporary sci-fi and action films, the video emphasizes that ‹the world is at war.› It analyses the violence and destructive culture surrounding us. Does life imitate art and are we heading along the path of what is prophesied in these films? Or will we choose a more sustainable mode? Sources are sampled for demonstrational use only.»

Jude MC, visual artist, producer and director of the «Mecca» video for Nguzunguzu (USA)

«I never felt the need or desire to translate war into music.»

Sharif Sehnaoui, a free improvising guitarist from Beirut. Since 2000 he has co-organized Irtijal, the International Festival for Experimental Music in Lebanon. He co-runs several labels: Al Maslakh devoted to «publishing the un-publishable» on the Lebanese musical scene; Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu dedicated to rock-oriented experimentations; and Annihaya, which focuses on sampling, recycling, and the displacement of various aspects of popular culture.

«Communities can use silence to protest against the omnipresent noise of politics.»

Kamen Nedev aka Acoustic Mirror, Madrid-based sound artist (Spain)

«In western videos you get an exotic and romanticized version of war: the strong army, the beautiful soldier, the massive weapons. I experienced war: the real noise of it, the smell of fire. War is hell. We shouldn’t make it look adventurous and sexy.»

Zeid Hamdan, Beirut-based musician, producer, founder of the duo Soap Kills with singer Yasmine Hamdan, and is a pioneer of alternative music (Lebanon)

«Pop emerged in western liberal societies that haven’t experienced war on their territory in the last seventy years. For these societies war is not a reality, but just an image. Naturally it can be played with, just like any other image. Maybe we need a whole new musical language to construct a musical response to the reality of war and not just to an image of war.»

Nadav Appel, cultural critic and popular music scholar, Bar Ilan University, Open University of Israel and Sapir Academic College (Israel)

«The Khabees are my personal favorite. They are an anonymous noise/industrial act from somewhere inside Pakistan who seek to explore our fetishist fascination with religion and our everyday reality: terrorism. I like The Khabees because of how uneasy they make me feel. It is easier to dismiss Westerners exploring similar themes. The Khabees’ work, on the other hand, is hard to ignore. No edgy BDSM references, no borderline paedophilia, or rape fantasies. Real death and misery.»

Asadullah, Karachi-based musician, part of Lower Sindh! Swing Orchestra, Myosis and Kafir-e-Azam, and co-founder of the now defunct extreme music blog The Iron Markhor (Pakistan)

Musicians and the Revolution

The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and the political turmoil in the years since have changed the country. How did underground musicians, DJs and songwriters from Cairo react, and how did the events influence their art? Thoughts recorded by Thomas Burkhalter in Cairo.

«I cannot concentrate. I can’t stop thinking. Normally I translate daily life experiences into my songs, at the moment I cannot do so. I’m paralyzed. My role as a musician was more important before the revolution. I provoked and asked questions that were taboo. This was more challenging than today. I don’t even want to try to document the revolution. It is not finished yet, and I don’t want to document it wrongly. In these times I am a citizen of Egypt first.» (4.3.2013)

Maryam Saleh, singer and songwriter from Cairo who tours internationally

«Just because I’m an artist doesn’t mean that I have to make music about the revolution. An artist should just be an artist and create his personal artistic world—without any guidelines.» (6.3.2013)

Hussein El-Sherbini, part of the electronica collective Wetrobots. He co-runs the Epic 101 studio in Cairo

«This was the most emotional time of my life. I did not dare translate these strong experiences into music yet. They were holy in a way, so you cannot just make a track out of it. I brought my recorder to Tahrir Square though. One day, maybe, I’m going to use those recordings.» (7.3.2013)

Mahmoud Refat, experiments with field recordings and electronic music. He runs the label 100copies and the 100copies music space in Cairo

«Many songs were created on the spot. They were not meant for eternity. It was about freedom of expression. This is what made these songs important.» (10.3.2013)

Dina El-Gharib, visual artist from Cairo. She DJs weekly in the After Eight club in downtown Cairo

«With the start of the revolution, international media became fascinated with our female metal band. Now we give loads of interviews and we perform abroad often.» (8.3.2013)

Sherine Amr, front singer of the metal band Massive Scar Era

«My dream is to have a passport. I want to travel, to develop and show my music. I live for my music.» (10.3.2013)

Islam Chipsy, received his Egyptian passport in 2014. Today, the keyboard player tours abroad regularly—he also performed at the 6th Norient Musikfilm Festival in Bern, Switzerland

Video Debate Statements by

Sharif Sehnaoui, musician (Lebanon)
Kamen Nedev aka Acoustic Mirror, sound artist (Spain)
Nadav Appel, cultural critic (Israel)
Asadullah, musician (Pakistan)
Maryam Saleh, singer and songwriter (Egypt)
Zeid Hamdan, musician (Lebanon),
Yasmine Hamdan, singer (Lebanon)
Hussein El-Sherbini, musician (Egypt)
Dina El-Gharib, visual artist (Egypt)
Sherine Amr, musician (Egypt)
Islam Chipsy, musician (Egypt)

Video Cut: Stephan Hermann, Coupdoeil

Some quotes from this debate were published in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds. Click on the image to know more.

Read More on Norient

> Norient: «Who Is Being Heard in Global Music?»
> Arie Amaya Akkermans: «Fantasies of War»
> Norient: «Debate:Bedroom Producer»
> Norient: «Sonic Traces: From the Arab World – Release»

Debate: Bedroom Producer

Delivered... norient | Scene | Wed 24 Jan 2018 8:00 am

In the 21st century, the world’s musical hits and trends are often created in bedrooms, where musicians exchange files online without meeting and jamming together. Therefore we asked people from the Norient network: can a bedroom producer change the world? A virtual debate from the Norient exhibition Seismographic Sounds (see and order corresponding book here).

Bedroom inside Castle Howard in Yorkshire (Photo © by Mdbeckwith)

Complete Debate: The Video

Excerpt: Quotes

«Bedroom, toilet. Mega studio, dungeon. It doesn’t matter. It all starts and ends with the head. The problem stays with the platform on which the materials are being projected. YouTube, SoundCloud and such… this is not enough. Realtime physical interaction is the crucial generator of change. You all know that.»

Meira Asher, Sound Artist (Israel)

«I don’t think so, if you stay in your bedroom. Making a bedroom production is like making a CD or a vinyl release; it is just one step. So, if you upload a video do not expect – as some people do – to have done all your work; do not wait for success, or wait for the world to change.»

Geert-Jan Hobijn, Founder of the Label Staalplaat (the Netherlands)

«The question is: can there be seven billion different forms of expression? I guess so. The bedroom is a great and safe place to test this out, so go ahead.»

Antye Greie-Ripatti aka AGF/Poemproducer, Musician (Finland)

Antye Greie-Ripatti performing at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London with Gudrun-Gut (Photo © by GanMed64, 2010)

«You might worry your song is not being heard, that it's just a little grain of sand. But think about what the beach is made out of.»

Minuit De Lacroix, Singer, Producer and Multidisciplinary Artist (Mexico/Germany)

«With enormous talent, perseverance, and lots of luck, a bedroom producer can change the world. Most of the evolution I notice in music stems from the work of bedroom producers. Often they are very young with little or no experience with professional music, no concern for how their music should sound or where it might fit. They just create what they want to hear. However I don’t believe anybody can change the world alone. The greatest beat is most likely to get immediately lost in the shuffle online unless a core of people, or better yet, an influential figure, sheds light on it.»

Benjamin Lebrave, Producer (Ghana)

«Change happens from the most insignificant things and bedroom producers can do insignificant things. So, change is not just a big bang. It’s usually kind of a phased change.»

Jesse Samba Wheeler, Ethnomusicologist (USA/Brazil)

«Maybe they can’t change the world, but they give more details to it.»

Effy B, Radio Producer (France)

«Change comes locally and individually. And that will hopefully have a butterflyy effect and change the world for the better.»

Salome MC, Rapper (Iran/Japan)

Video Debate Statements by

Meira Asher, Sound Artist (Israel)
Effy B, Radio Producer (France)
Giacomo Bottà, Scholar (Finland)
James Costello, Artist (Ireland)
Minuit De Lacroix, Composer and Singer/Songwriter (Mexico/Germany)
Rona Geffen, DIY Musician & Artist (Germany)
Gregg Michael Gillis aka Girl Talk, Mashup Artist (USA)
Antye Greie-Ripatti aka Poemproducer/AGF, Musician (Finland)
Geert-Jan Hobijn, Founder of the Label Staalplaat (the Netherlands)
FrankJavCee, Blooger and Musician (USA)
Benjamin Lebrave, Producer (Ghana)
Wayne Marshall, Technomusicologist (USA)
Salome MC, Rapper (Japan/Iran)
Merz, Artist (Switzerland/UK)
Javier Polo, Director (Spain)
Marilou Polymeropoulou, Graduate Student University of Oxford (UK)
Cande Sánchez Olmos, Music Scholar University of Alicante (Spain)
Bit-Tuner, Musician (Switzerland)
Jesse Samba Wheeler, Ethnomusicologist (USA/Brazil)

Video Cut: Stephan Hermann, Coupdoeil

Some quotes from this debate were published in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds. Click on the image to know more.

Read More on Norient

> Jesse Samba Wheeler: «Directed by Forty-Five Directors»
> Portia Seddon: «MP3 Blogging and the Urban Soundscape»
> Thomas Burkhalter from Norient, Dejot and Bit-Tuner: «South African Gqom Pushes Limits»

Watch Moogfest kick off with epic 50-hour livestream, lineup – minus men

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Events,Scene | Wed 6 Dec 2017 6:20 pm

Women and transgender artists have too often seen their work in electronic music pushed to the margins. Moogfest’s launch this year puts them first.

Moogfest this year promises to have the mix they’ve been brewing in the latest editions: part music festival, part conference, with music and music technology meeting up with larger themes around science and innovation. The difference is, instead of the presence of female and transgender artists being just another box for curators to tick — “hey, look, we booked some women” — here, they’re leading the announcement. That includes both a 50-hour livestream of back-to-back sets from a pretty amazing and diverse set of artists, plus the first wave announcement of artists.

Here’s Madame Gandhi explaining the idea:

The result is a mixture of people you know really well (legends like Suzanne Ciani, Moor Mother) alongside a lot of artists who are almost certainly new to you – particularly as they’ve been drawn from disparate genres and geographies. Indeed, these are the kind of people who have been quietly pushing music in new directions, but who might get lost in the fine print of music programs, or pushed to the side in music headlines. In fact, I think the upshot is a potential victory not only for gender equality, but for independent and out-of-the-mainstream music, too. And knowing CDM readers, irrespective of your gender, I think that’s a value you’re likely to enjoy seeing represented.

As Ciani tells The New York Times:

For Ms. Ciani, the theme for Moogfest 2018 is only natural. “Women have long been intimately connected to electronic music, perhaps because it offered a path outside male-dominated conventional music worlds,” she said. “What has changed is an awareness of women in the field historically as well as a huge influx of contemporary talent.”

Moogfest Shines a Spotlight on Female, Nonbinary and Transgender Musicians

To that I’d add that it’s worth noting that the “influx” and “contemporary” parts are also closely tied to international artists. Our own CDM contributor will have a conversation with a fellow Romanian woman in the Bucharest scene for one link to that; I’ve also had conversations recently with a some Iranian artists about the situation for women making music there (and the resulting international scene as they travel), and … well, look down the list of countries below.

Moor Mother, the ground-breaking experimental project of Philadelphia’s Camae Ayewa, is one of many people deserving of first-wave headliner recognition – and now getting it.

We’ll have some interviews with artists shortly, so Moogfest’s lineup is your gain, wherever you are.

To watch the livestream:

You can watch from anywhere beginning at 12pm ET on Wednesday December 6 until 2pm ET on Friday December 8.
http://AlwaysOn.Live

Or watch here:

I’m also cross-posting to our CDM Facebook page.

The beginning is – starting very radical, in a nice way! Unfortunately, upstream bandwidth / encoding looks … very choppy. Hoping some of the artists sort that out better. (This is a real roadblock of livestreaming, but that’s a topic for another time.)

Livestream artists:

Admina
(Bucharest, Romania)
Adriana T
(Athens, GA, USA)
Alissa Derubeis
(Asheville, NC, USA)
Amy Knoles
(Valencia, CA, USA)
Ana Paula Santana
(Guadalajara, Mexico)
Andrea Alvarez
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Annie Hart
(Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Awaymsg
(Durham, NC, USA)
Aseul
(Seoul, South Korea)
Bells Roar
(Albany, NY, USA)
Caz9
(Dublin, Ireland)
Club Chai (8ULENTINA & FOOZOOL)
(Bay Area, CA, USA)
Despicable Zee
(Oxford, UK)
DJ Haram
(Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Dot
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Ela Minus
(Bogota, Columbia)
Elles
(London, UK, USA)
Emily Wells
(New York, NY, USA)
Fari B
(London, UK)
FOSIL
(Chile, Santiago)
Galcid
(Tokyo, Japan)
Jil Christensen
(Durham, NC, USA)
KALONICA NICX
(Bandung, Indonesia)
Kandere
(Melbourne, Australia)
Katie Gately
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Kim Ki O
(Istanbul, Turkey)
Lauren Flax
(New York, NY, USA)
Lilith Ai
(London, UK)
Lucy Cliche
(Sydney, Australia)
Lya “Drummer”
(London, UK)
Madame Gandhi
(New Delhi, India)
Mileece
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Moor Mother
(Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Nazira
(Almaty, Khazakhstan)
Nesa Azadikhah
(Tehran, Iran)
Nicola Kuperus
(Detroit, MI, USA)
Nonku Phiri
(Johannesburg, South Africa)
OG Lullabies
(Washington, DC, USA)
OTOMO X (Fay Milton & Ayse Hassan)
(London, UK)
PlayPlay
(Durham, NC, USA)
Pulpy Shilpy
(Pune, India)
SARANA
(Samarinda, East Borneo)
Sassy Black
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Stud1nt
(Asheville, NC, USA)
Sui Zhen
(Melbourne, Australia)
Suzanne Ciani & Layne
(Bolinas, CA, USA)
Suzi Analogue
(Miami, FL, USA)
Therese Workman
(New York, NY, USA)
Vessel Skirt
(Hobart, Tasmania)
Zensofly
(Durham, NC, USA)

Of course, even better than live streaming is – being there in person. (No buffering issues! Or… if there are, seek medical attention!)

Here’s the first-wave lineup announcement, including a couple of friends (and a couple of idols)!

Amber Mark
Annie Hart
Armen Ra
Aurora Halal
Bonaventure
Carla Dal Forno
CEP (Caroline Polachek)
Caterina Barbieri
DJ HARAM
Ellen Allien
Emily Sprague
Fatima Al Qadiri
Fawkes
Gavin Rayna Russom
Helen Money
Honey Dijon
Jamila Woods
Jenny Hval
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Karyyn
Katie Gately
Kristin Kontrol
Kyoka
Lawrence Rothman
Madame Gandhi
Maliibu Miitch
Midori Takada
Nadia Sirota
Nicole Mitchell
Noncompliant
Pamelia Stickney
Sassy Black
Shanti Celeste
SOPHIE
Stud1nt
Umfang
Upper Glossa

The post Watch Moogfest kick off with epic 50-hour livestream, lineup – minus men appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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»

Xuman: Mocking the Powerful

Delivered... Jenny Fatou Mbaye | Scene | Fri 10 Nov 2017 7:00 am

With his rapped news show «Journal Rappé» (currently in its fourth season) Senegalese hip hop pioneer Xuman mocks the powerful. In this clip from 2014 he used the famous hit «Formidable» by Stromae and turned it into a parody on a fallen local politician. Our two authors consider that as «a thoughtful critique of the persisting disconnect between people and their governing representatives». 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)

How can popular music move citizens in an aesthetically appealing, though still critically engaging way? Parodia: Greek term for a counter- (para) song (oide). To resonate with the general public’s sense of humor, satiric imitations need familiar references. The recipe that Senegalese rapper Xuman uses in this parody is a mix of global sounds with a discursive and body performance distinctively situated in time and place. Hence he resorts to the musical product by the internationally-acclaimed Stromae: the métisse figure of pop music, an unintentional subject of African pride, a reflection of its diaspora and composite European heritage. Stromae’s song in particular, whose video clip went viral, shows him wandering and drunk, lamenting the loss of his girlfriend. The soundtrack is popular and its chorus is now familiar to many (see here and here).

The Fall of Karim Wade

But for a parody to be effective, the context must be recognizable. Appropriating the global hit about a fallen man, Xuman polemically references a quite local and specific reality: the one of a fallen political prince (we still have those on our dear continent!) on his way to his trial for «wrongfully acquired properties» during his mandate as minister under his father’s presidency. The performer uses past events in his discourse: Karim Wade’s fall was real, and the ingratitude and lack of understanding from Senegalese people, as well as the jealousy of a previous political opponent – now president – are the reasons behind his descent. Dressed up as a businessman after a nightlong party, with archival footage surrounded by Wade’s «great works» (hotels and roads), Xuman humorously mocks the once-upon-a-time political heir, blaming Senegalese people for forgetting about him and what he accomplished for Dakar: the city «looked like trash and, thanks to me, it’s more beautiful now.» They should not have judged him on the amount of money he spent, for «what matters is the result» and as such, he should be rewarded. The fallen prince, son of a presidential king, was wonderful, formidable, but misunderstood, as the parody ironically states.

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

Denouncing Political Legitimacy and Accountability

Xuman’s performance shows how humor is key here. He is fun to be serious, light to be deep, and through the joking about the absurdity of that delusion lies a thoughtful critique of the persisting disconnect between people and their governing representatives. The powerful aesthetics of a satiric video clip – it’s a wonderful parody – effectively denounce derailed political legitimacy and accountability.

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: «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»

Xuman: Mocking the Powerful

Delivered... Jenny Fatou Mbaye | Scene | Fri 10 Nov 2017 7:00 am

With his rapped news show «Journal Rappé» (currently in its fourth season) Senegalese hip hop pioneer Xuman mocks the powerful. In this clip from 2014 he used the famous hit «Formidable» by Stromae and turned it into a parody on a fallen local politician. Our two authors consider that as «a thoughtful critique of the persisting disconnect between people and their governing representatives». 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)

How can popular music move citizens in an aesthetically appealing, though still critically engaging way? Parodia: Greek term for a counter- (para) song (oide). To resonate with the general public’s sense of humor, satiric imitations need familiar references. The recipe that Senegalese rapper Xuman uses in this parody is a mix of global sounds with a discursive and body performance distinctively situated in time and place. Hence he resorts to the musical product by the internationally-acclaimed Stromae: the métisse figure of pop music, an unintentional subject of African pride, a reflection of its diaspora and composite European heritage. Stromae’s song in particular, whose video clip went viral, shows him wandering and drunk, lamenting the loss of his girlfriend. The soundtrack is popular and its chorus is now familiar to many (see here and here).

The Fall of Karim Wade

But for a parody to be effective, the context must be recognizable. Appropriating the global hit about a fallen man, Xuman polemically references a quite local and specific reality: the one of a fallen political prince (we still have those on our dear continent!) on his way to his trial for «wrongfully acquired properties» during his mandate as minister under his father’s presidency. The performer uses past events in his discourse: Karim Wade’s fall was real, and the ingratitude and lack of understanding from Senegalese people, as well as the jealousy of a previous political opponent – now president – are the reasons behind his descent. Dressed up as a businessman after a nightlong party, with archival footage surrounded by Wade’s «great works» (hotels and roads), Xuman humorously mocks the once-upon-a-time political heir, blaming Senegalese people for forgetting about him and what he accomplished for Dakar: the city «looked like trash and, thanks to me, it’s more beautiful now.» They should not have judged him on the amount of money he spent, for «what matters is the result» and as such, he should be rewarded. The fallen prince, son of a presidential king, was wonderful, formidable, but misunderstood, as the parody ironically states.

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

Denouncing Political Legitimacy and Accountability

Xuman’s performance shows how humor is key here. He is fun to be serious, light to be deep, and through the joking about the absurdity of that delusion lies a thoughtful critique of the persisting disconnect between people and their governing representatives. The powerful aesthetics of a satiric video clip – it’s a wonderful parody – effectively denounce derailed political legitimacy and accountability.

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: «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»

A Bad Copy of Serbia

Delivered... Shonegrad O'Connor | Scene | Wed 1 Nov 2017 7:00 am

«Esi Mi Dobar» by Serbian rap group Bad Copy tackles issues of contemporary Serbia head-on by providing us with an image of contrast and contradiction. The 2013 video resembles a moussaka dish: a layer of meat, a row of potato, a layer of meat, covered with… more potato. It is simple and easy to swallow, but you need to have a stomach for it. A commentary from the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Film still from Bad Copy (Music) and Djolodjolo (Video): «Esi mi dobar» (Serbia 2013)

Kotez, the location of the shooting, is the actual neighborhood where two of three members of Bad Copy live. The gipsy cardboard houses and the kids you see in the video are true and real. The trashy paintings showing politicians and folk singers are the same as you see on every wall here. Fake tattoos and handmade vehicles are an everyday thing too. These elements from daily life receive new meanings when shown in the video. Director Djolodjolo plays with the imagery of gangsta rap as well as with the exotic Balkan representations of Emir Kusturica movies, and he comments ironically on everyday politics in Serbia. The effect is striking: seeing cute poor kids carrying big guns around and acting cool is a message that is very disturbing when true (remember the movie City of God that was shot in the favelas in Rio De Janeiro), but it is also a laughing matter when looked at as fiction. So what Bad Copy do is create drama where there was none in the beginning.

Form without Function

«Esi Mi Dobar» (How you doin’?) is a shout-out, a greeting, that usually carries absolutely no weight or meaning. Now take that and put it in the ghetto, add kids with guns, SWAT teams and wannabe gangsters. You get a sort of philosophy that relates not only to local politicians and turbo-folk musicians featured on the graffiti stencils, tattoos and t-shirts, but it speaks to a global phenomenon as well: form without function. Everyday talks and political promises without substantial content. Love songs of despair and lives full of disappointment, all empty and unfulfilling.

In hip hop today, most performers try to present themselves as macho and over-masculine in an attempt to disguise their own sexual and lyrical insecurity. Bad Copy has always seemed different: In «Esi Mi Dobar» they criticize Serbia, but also themselves – they are a Bad Copy of Serbia. It is a statement of the marginalized and it is nothing at the same time. It is an ode to simplicity, both in life and music, but also, it is only hip hop. Raw and uncompromising.

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

Read More on Norient

> Shonegrad O’Connor: «Sarcastic Rap Experiments from Belgrade»
> Vladimir Lenhart: «Bad Copy: Serbian Satire»

Haftbefehl: Scheine statt Pumpgun

Delivered... Marcus Staiger | Scene | Fri 27 Oct 2017 6:00 am

Überall Geldscheine. In rauen Mengen. Hip-Hop Videos greifen gerne auf dieses Gestaltungsmittel zurück (wie zum Beispiel bei diesem Klassiker hier). 2014 machte der deutsche Rapper Haftbefehl mit dem Video zu «Ihr Hurensöhne / Saudi Arabi Money Rich» von sich reden. Ein Video der Superlative, nicht nur was das Produktionsbudget betrifft: Bis heute haben es über vier Millionen User auf YouTube angeklickt. Das Video selbst zeigt einmal mehr fliegende Moneten, orthodoxe Juden im Alkoholrausch und eine Muslima in Luis-Vuitton-Burka. Es provoziert und hinterlässt Fragen. Wir haben Rap-Experte Marcus Staiger gefragt, was er von diesem Video hält. Aus dem Norient Buch Seismographic Sounds (hier bestellbar).

Filmstill aus Haftbefehl (Musik) und Chehad Abdallah (Video): «Saudi Arabi Money Rich» (Deutschland 2014)

Was bleibt, wenn man das Video des deutschen Rappers Haftbefehl zu seinem Song «Saudi Arabi Money Rich» gesehen hat, sind Ming-Vasen, die von Models in Coco-Chanel-Hasskappen zertrümmert werden, Champagner, der aus Gartenschläuchen spritzt, eine Muslima, die eine Luis-Vuitton-Burka trägt, orthodoxe Juden, die im Rausch auf einem stillgelegt Flughafen Burn-outs veranstalten und ein echtes Krokodil – Lacoste lebt. Offensichtlich geht es hier um Luxus und Geld. Geld, das vereint, auflöst, zersetzt, zusammensetzt, in einer wegwerfenden Geste verachtet wird und doch so offensichtlich im Vordergrund steht. Der internationale Hedonismus macht sie alle gleich: Die Muslime und die Juden, die tennisspielenden Millionärstöchter und goldbehängten Schwarzafrikanerinnen. «Saudi Arabi Money Rich» zeigt, worauf es ankommt in dieser Welt. Das Video ist ein Schlag in die Fresse der bildungsbürgerlichen Gesellschaft, die hinter ihrem plumpen Materialismus immer noch behauptet, dass es um mehr gehe als ums schnöde Geldverdienen.

Eine Low-Budget-Produktion?

So offenherzig im Video über Geld und imaginären Reichtum schwadroniert wird, so bedeckt geben sich die Akteure hinter den Kulissen. Die Produktionsfirma des Clips wollte aus Rücksicht auf die Geschäftspartner nicht sagen, wie viel Geld sie für das Video ausgegeben hat. Konkreter wurde die Plattenfirma Universal, bei der Haftbefehls Album Russisch Roulette erschien und die Videoclip und Produktion des Albums finanziert hat. Neffi Temur, Senior Director Urban A&R/Marketing bei Vertigo/Capitol, gab an, dass «Saudi Arabi Money Rich» mit 5’000 Euro der teuerste Einzeltitel des Albums gewesen sei, da dieser vom deutsch-afghanischen Erfolgsproduzenten Farhot produziert worden sei. Für den Videodreh habe man mit der Produktionsfirma einen Paketdeal für sämtliche Clips des Albums ausgehandelt. Den Anteil für das Video zu «Saudi Arabi Money Rich» schätze er auf 45 Kilo, was ausserhalb der Musikbranche so etwas wie 45’000 Euro bedeutet. Noch vor einigen Jahren hätte diese Summe keine weitere Beachtung verdient und wäre als Low Budget verbucht worden. Seitdem sich die Kosten für Musikvideos aber im freien Fall befinden, gehört «Saudi Arabi Money Rich» definitiv zu den teureren Produktionen.

Die Jagd nach dem Stoff, um den sich alles dreht

In diesem Video dampft Haftbefehl die Welt, wie sie sich ihm darstellt, auf das Wesentliche ein und erklärt, wie Integration tatsächlich funktioniert – mit einer Menge lila Scheine. Statt mit der Pumpgun will er sich den Zugang zur Upper Class mit Geld erkaufen. Woher die lila Scheine dafür kommen, ist allerdings egal. Dabei zeigt er an jeder möglichen und unmöglichen Stelle, wie sehr er auf das Papier, das für ihn die Welt bedeutet, scheisst. Wieso, ist doch nur Geld, und die Scheine regnen achtlos vom Himmel. Was Familie Quandt? Was Familie Mohn? Was Familie Porsche und Piech? [1] Wer sind diese Familien? Ich ficke sie! Hier kommt Baba Haft, ich gehöre dazu, und wenn ich so viel Zeug von dem habe, das ihr Geld nennt, dann müsst ihr mich akzeptieren, ihr Pisser – ein Gedanke, so richtig wie falsch. Denn natürlich gehört der Mann aus Offenbach nicht dazu, egal wie viel Dom Pérignon er verspritzen lässt und egal wie viel Markenware im Video gezeigt oder zerstört wird. Ein paar lila Scheine zu besitzen, ist eben noch lange nicht gleichbedeutend damit, Eigentum sein Eigentum zu nennen, und dennoch bringt das Video eine ganz andere Wahrheit zum Vorschein: Viel weniger als das Haben ist die Jagd nach dem Stoff, um den sich alles dreht, das verbindende Element.

«Wie der Hirsch schreit nach frischem Wasser, so schreit seine Seele nach Geld, dem einzigen Reichtum», schrieb Karl Marx über die Geldversessenheit der Bourgeoisie. Ein Prinzip, das unterschiedslos auch auf Rüstungsproduzentinnen, Diamantenhändler, Bankangestellte, Drogeriefachmarktverkäufer oder kleinkriminelle Drogendealerinnen anzuwenden ist. «Saudi Arabi Money Rich» macht Schluss mit dem guten Gewissen der Klassengesellschaft, macht Schluss mit der bürgerlichen Vorstellung von Moral und beschränkt die Botschaft unserer Gesellschaftsordnung auf das, was zu hören ist, wenn man genau zuhört: Setz dich durch! Rücksichtlos! Und fick deinen Illuminatentrip!

Anmerkung

[1] Familien mit grossen Vermögensanteilen und Einfluss in Deutschen Industrie- und Medienkonzernen.

Dieser Text wurde zuerst publiziert im zweiten Norient Buch «Seismographic Sounds». Ein Klick auf das Bild verrät mehr.

Weiterlesen im Internet

> Toni Lukic: «Haftbefehls ‹Saudi Arabi Money Rich› ist die perfekte Provokation» (Noisey)

Bad Copy: Serbian Satire

Delivered... Vladimir Lenhart | Scene | Wed 25 Oct 2017 6:00 am

What might look exotic is bitter reality. In a shanty town in Serbia kids play with big guns for the camera. Three rappers enjoy doing nothing and show off with drugs and alcohol. The 2013 video «Esi mi dobar» by Serbian hip hop group Bad Copy is a persiflage on postwar Serbia where the true gangsters are not getting caught and no one seems to care. A commentary from the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Film still from Bad Copy (Music) and Djolodjolo (Video): «Esi mi dobar» (Serbia 2013)

«Stop, I say stop it boy, you’re doin’ a lot of choppin’ but no chips are flyin’.» (Foghorn Leghorn)

The Song «Esi mi dobar» (Doin’ ok? or Are you good, mate?) comes from the frustration of being born and living in Serbia. Ordinary life sucks here, but people keep asking the same rhetorical question – «How are you doing?» – millions of times a day, when nothing is alright. Serbian hip hop group Bad Copy counter-attacks with idiotic, absurd but funny answers: «I’m doing ok like Bruce Wayne’s batman, I’m doing ok like president Toma’s diplomas.» To beat the lethargy of the everyday, Bad Copy adds verses about what makes the little man in Serbia ok – «I’m doing ok like it was payday; I’m doing ok like the full bottle; I’m doing ok when I’m not leaving the hood.»

Film still from Bad Copy (Music) and Djolodjolo (Video): «Esi mi dobar» (Serbia 2013)

Flea Markets instead of Shopping Malls

The hood is clearly at the center of this narration: the setting of the video, story, slang, jokes, values, and lifestyle. Hoods, I believe strongly, represent how people live in a country. Flea markets and not shopping malls are the true mirrors of economy in a society. In the hood people are also not ashamed to publicly show their adoration for icons of corrupted state leaders (in the Serbian case, and in this video: Slobodan Milošević), musical trendsetters (Saša Popović), world mega fighters (Rocky Balboa), and hip hop legends (Tupac Shakur). But no worries! Gypsy kids in our Serbian hoods do not usually carry guns. Bad Copy invented this scenario in their clip, possibly making these kids’ dreams come true. The SWAT teams in the video seem surreal too. However, the video reminds me of a far too real incident in Albania in 2014, when locals in the village of marijuana grower Lazarat opened fire on the police. Forty-three metric tons of ganja were seized. This video might be more than fiction.

Between Mainstream and Underground

The video contains the typical black humor, satire and irony I know from several Serbian hip hop bands. They use humor to talk about life here – and they probably need it to stay positive in their local and niche non-market. Bad Copy is one among them. Others such as Prti BeeGee, Bvana, D-Fence and Duboka Ilegala, while Beogradski Sindikat, Juice, THC la Familija or Marchelo work around politics in more direct ways. In the Serbian music world it is naïve to think you might find producers, journalists or cultural workers who will support you. «How are you doing», they might ask. It’s one reason why you can also not draw a line between mainstream and underground here. Rappers have to work in various and often very different projects simultaneously. Wikluh Sky of Bad Copy is one of the most talented musicians on the Serbian music scene, but he produced some really sleazy «summer hits». Is he doing ok?

If Bad Copy wanted to become an international act and rap in English, I fear they would lose their unique language and inspiration. At the same time, I feel that global recognition for local music is growing. Maybe we will see Bad Copy on the worldwide charts in the future. They truly deserve it.

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

Read More on Norient

> Shonegrad O’Connor: «Sarcastic Rap Experiments from Belgrade»

The Politics of Folk Dances

Delivered... Johanna Hilari | Scene | Wed 18 Oct 2017 6:00 am

«Somos Sur» by Ana Tijoux, featuring Shadia Mansour, is an anti-colonialist statement of autonomy. To underline this, the video clip re-contextualizes two significant folk dances, which historically are linked to both socio-political identification and struggle. From the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Film still from Ana Tijoux & Shadia Mansour (Music) and Ana Tijoux (Video): «Somos Sur» (Chile/Great Britain 2014)

Tinku is a South American folk dance, which is an adaptation of an Andean ritual from the Bolivian region of Northern Potosí. The Quechua word «tinku» means encounter, and its ritualistic practice is obviously older than Spanish colonization. Accompanied by festive music and dance, one aim of this ritual is the corporal fight between members of different communities («ayllus»). Any blood shed during these violent hand-to-hand duels is considered a sacrifice for mother earth («Pachamama»). When translated from ritual to folk dance, the choreography became frontal directed. It operates with offensive and provocative dance steps, maintaining a cheerful and festive character.

Originated in a Peasant Social Practice

The Arabic «dabkeh» is shown mostly during Shadia Mansour’s part in the video. This folk dance is practiced largely in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan and is originally part of joyous social encounters, such as weddings. Male and female participants dance together in a round or a line holding hands or shoulders. As a synchronous performing whole, the dancers combine different jumping, stamping and kicking sequences. More specifically, the dabkeh also plays a major role in the construction of a national and political Palestinian identity, since it is declared a national dance. It therefore developed from a peasant social practice to a performative collective identification.

Film still from Ana Tijoux & Shadia Mansour (Music) and Ana Tijoux (Video): «Somos Sur» (Chile/Great Britain 2014)

Towards a Coherent Community of the Global South?

«Somos Sur» represents Arabic and South American communities identifying themselves through cultural practices of pre-colonial origin. The two folk dances tinku and dabkeh aim to highlight the insubordinate character of a heterogeneous but nonetheless coherent community of the global South. Social cohesiveness is staged through a joyful and combative manner. While Ana Tijoux and Shadia Mansour appeal to autonomy in their lyrics, a cheerful tinku and dabkeh dancing crowd visualizes the fighting spirit of their words.

Watching the video clip «Somos Sur,» the impression of a joyful and festive but also very confident and determined southern entity is given. However, is this video a pure and generic demand towards western societies for a more autonomous South? Does it more essentially voice the desire for the construction of a unitary political identity of the South? And if so, how does this reflect on the cultural heterogeneity of southern societies?

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

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> Ariel Altamirano V.: «The CNN of the South»
> Ariel Altamirano V.: «Five Video Clips from Chile»

The CNN of the South

Delivered... Ariel Altamirano V. | Scene | Fri 13 Oct 2017 6:00 am

In Chile the video clip has become an important artistic tool and a socio-political weapon. Our author Ariel Altamirano V. from Discos Pegaos comments on a 2014 music video by Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux. From the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Film still from Ana Tijoux & Shadia Mansour (Music) and Ana Tijoux (Video): «Somos Sur» (Chile/Great Britain 2014)

The «industry» of video clips in Chile is made up of a handful of young and middle-aged directors who enjoy music as much as the musicians. In fact in hip hop, many of these filmmakers are rappers themselves. They produce their own clips, without big budgets or support from big companies. Thanks to these directors the video clip has become an important artistic tool and a socio-political weapon – a newsreel of what is happening in Chile, similar to «The CNN of the Ghetto», as Public Enemy called it. Many clips resemble short documentary films, executed in limited time. «Traidores» by Salvaje Decibel, «Be Proud» by Jonas Sanche & Hordatoj, and «Somos Sur» by Anita Tijoux are good examples here. The producers of Tijoux’s clip are well-known locally and abroad: Aldo Guerrero, director of many Chilean hip hop videos, and B + from the Brian Cross collective Mochilla in the US.

A Typical Latin American Party

Ana Tijoux is Chile’s most popular rapper. She has released three albums addressing issues social and political in nature over the last eight years. Through her songs she fights for the rights of women and protests against the savage capitalism in Chile. In «Somos Sur» she speaks about important aspects of our identity and culture. She quotes «El baile de los que sobran» (the dance of the ones left behind), a pop anthem from Los Prisioneros, Chile’s most popular band in the 1980s, to underline the fighting spirit of her lyrics. The participation of Palestinian rapper Shadia Mansour is crucial – the fact that they meet I see as one of the positive aspects of globalization. «Somos Sur» fuses Andean sounds with the universal language of rap. It offers space for powerful content, delivered through the virtuous and dynamic rhymes of a French-born Chilean and a Britain-based second-generation Palestinian. The video speaks to the common people, especially to the urbanized youth in our cities – it does not stay «hidden» in underground music circles. The raw Photoshop-style images (manipulated with cheap filters, kaleidoscope and pattern effects) visually reference life in our noisy cities. «Somos Sur» is set as a typical Latin American party, yet it is transnational and contemporary – a colorful version of what could happen in social struggles of the Latin American people. It is positive and even playful, but no less brave and rebellious as it celebrates the strength that comes from the unity of people.

Other Videos from Chilean Underground Rappers

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

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> Ariel Altamirano V.: «Five Video Clips from Chile»

Karima 2G: A Racist Antidote

Delivered... Emma Dabiri | Scene | Wed 27 Sep 2017 6:00 am

With her video «Orangutan» Italian artist and activist Karima 2G responded on racist comments of Italian politicians in the context of the election of Italy's first black government minister Cécile Kyenge in 2013. Our author comments on this strong music video as a «cutting and resoundingly tongue-in-cheek rejoinder». A commentary from the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Film still from Karima 2G (Music and Video): «Orangutan» (Italy 2014)

The response to the election of Italy’s first black government minister Cécile Kyenge in 2013 provided a solemn reminder of the overt racism that still flourishes in parts of Europe. Mario Borghezio, a member of the European parliament for the Northern League, made the staggering claim that Kyenge would «impose her tribal traditions from the Congo» adding «she seems like a great housekeeper but not a government minister». Another Northern League politician, Roberto Calderoli, suggested that Kyenge had «the features of an orangutan», while former politician Dolores Valandro went as far as to call for the rape of the minister.

Undermining the Racist Rhetoric

«Orangutan» is artist and activist Karima 2G’s cutting and resoundingly tongue-in-cheek rejoinder. With a daring multimedia video, which intersperses images of wildlife with black power (risky, but it works) and a catchy hook that demands «Who the hell is? Orangutan O Orangutan Orang Orangutan», Karima skillfully undermines the Italian politician’s racist rhetoric. Karima appears incredulous at the comparisons between black people and monkeys when she sings: «I’m a supermodel. Here comes the big show. Smile, take take take my picture.» By responding in this way, she executes a mortal blow to any attempt that would seek to reduce Africans to sub-human status.

Growing up with a Nigerian father and an Irish mother in Ireland in the 1980s, I am all too familiar with this type of dehumanizing narrative. Certainly, a track like «Orangutan» would have provided a powerful antidote as I struggled to make sense of my identity in a land that was arguably my own, but simultaneously felt like it could never be home.

Film still from Karima 2G (Music and Video): «Orangutan» (Italy 2014)

Music as a Tool for Social Justice, Change, and Transformation

This track demonstrates the importance of what it is that Karima 2G does. Her name 2G stands for second-generation, a direct reference to the phrase used to describe Italy’s exclusionary immigration policy. The racist policy, officially known as jus sanguinis, prevents children born to immigrant parents from obtaining Italian citizenship until they are at least eighteen years of age, after which point citizenship is still not guaranteed. Utilizing music as a tool for social justice, change, and transformation, Karima gives voice to Black Italians, while also encouraging them to celebrate their African heritage. Karima’s work is meaningful to people throughout the African Diaspora, but especially important to those from countries such as Ireland or Italy where their very presence is denied. Unlike countries such as the UK, which has a distinctive black British culture, there remain many other European nations in which Black people are discouraged from ever really belonging (legally and/or culturally). The sense of liminality is often compounded by the lack of a recognized black national identity in many such nations. For Afropeans from such spaces – where identities are effectively erased through an intersectional denial of their existence – whose lives are marked by invisibility, the contributions of artists such as Karima remain absolutely necessary.

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

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> Luca Grincinella: «Un Cortocircuito Tutto Italiano»

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