‘Although the idea of the “Anthropocene” — an Earth epoch defined by the emergence of urban-industrial society as a geological force — has been long debated, stratigraphers have refused to acknowledge compelling evidence for its advent.’
This week — tonight! — at Beat Research, we’re happy to have Brian Coleman in the house once again. Last time Brian came through, it was to pay tribute to Tim Haslett, and he rallied a whole bunch of DJs to the cause. Tonight Brian’s gonna keep the tribute rolling, and he’s invited several friends once again — including DJ Duo, David Day, and Brynmore — to help out. Should be a vibes.
Also, next week we’ve got none other than edIt of Glitch Mob infamy. Who’s bringing the subwoofer?
I’ve been playing Mavado’s “Don’t Worry” just about every week at Beat Research recently, and the other day a pretty obvious mashup occurred to me. So I couldn’t resist slapping this one together, even if it means I may not be able to show my face in Cassava Piece for a while —
“Understood according to the order of first causes … capital is parasitic upon the labor of the multitude. But existentially and experientially, the situation is rather the reverse: we are parasites on the monstrous body of Capital.”
a friend told me recently that while in JA this spring, his friend — an ol rasta chap — remarked about the recent trend toward tight pants, oversized belt buckles, and ‘metro’ fashion among young men, “me never know jamaica would have so much gay”
In my sha3bi searches last night I came across all kinds of odd & awesome stuff. And I don’t say ‘odd’ as an uninformed outsider (though I am one, relatively speaking), but b/c some of the cha3bi vids one finds are truly bizarre mashups of footage ranging from what looks like a Francophone African music video (Reunion? really?) to clips from Tom&Jerry —
But one of the best things I came across is a video of a more traditional — indeed, acoustic — mulid street performance than the soundsystem-propelled events portrayed in Jennifer Peterson’s article. According to the uploader, this depicts “men whoop[ing] it up on the streets of Al Hussein [Cairo]” in a post-mulid mood. One can certainly see connections to the recent/remix version of mulid/inshad/sha3bi, though one also gets to see/hear the improvised poetry a bit more, which inspires one commenter to call it “8 Mile on the Nile ;)” — watch the MC with the frame drum step up around 1:12:
The other thing I find uncanny about this clip — given the way that “ghettotech” has emerged in “nu-world” discourse — is how the call-response chants from 0:47 to 1:07 sound pretty much exactly like several ghetto-tech/-house/juke tracks. I don’t know what they’re saying (sounds like “yeah yeah”), but it would mix very well with any number of tracks that anchor themselves with a repeated “uh oh!” or “hold up!”
I know I’ve used it before, but, that said, I can’t resist ending with this gif —
Post Office says it’s too big for them to ship; UPS wants to charge me more than the thing is worth; and my most recent attempts to send it as cargo via airline (as recommended by my fren there) have been greeted by frustrating replies such as —
Unfortunately, we are unable to ship directly with Unknown Shippers.
After September 11th, strict guidelines were put into place and
unknown shippers, such as yourself, may only ship on aircraft’s that carry freight only.
As you know Virgin Atlantic is a passenger airline.
Cargo aircraft only operators include Federal Express, UPS and DHL.
These carriers are exempt from the “known shipper” rule and are more lenient
on the size and weight.
You can contact our Virgin reservations (1-800-862-8621) and ask for a quote on excess baggages.
If the pieces are too heavy or too large for Virgin Atlantic to carry, I’m sure one of the cargo aircraft only airlines would be helpful. The only other option is to contact with a freight forwarder. …
Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance.
Thank you so much for your inquiry
Best Regards Always,
Any recommendations? I mean, how do Botswanans living in the states send care packages back home? Surely they do.
— which not only, beyond some linkthink, merits a post of its own here (for a few reasons), but inspires some further thinking re: the whole whirled debate we’ve been having (which I’ll get to in a moment).
First, what I like about the article: the content. Peterson offers a richly contextualized (if awkwardly “scare-quoted”) portrait of the mulid remix scene — a Cairo-based circuit of bedroom production and street/soundsystem dance which reanimates the Sufi inshad tradition for an urban youth audience. I confess to knowing relatively little about sha’bi (alt., sha3bi / shaabi / shabbi / cha3bi / etc.) or baladi, though I’ve always got my ears perked & eyes peeled for any kind of musical-cultural phenom that brings together computers, giant stacks of speakers, time-honored traditions, and street dance.
Not only does Peterson offer a fascinating history and contemporary account of mulid/inshad and its relationship to pop/dance music in Egypt, she bolsters her account with some great audio and video examples — something that music journals are pretty (remarkably) slow to do in their migration online. Props to Arab Media & Society for supporting such a multimedia, widely accessible form of publication. They will be a better read and referenced and respected journal for doing so. (Though, I have to confess that my own jury’s out on whether their “peer-reviewed” commitment is retrograde or not — I understand what they mean, and I’m sure it’s useful for certain academics competing for status and resources, but I’d argue that “peer-review” on the internet is another thing entirely.)
Check the article for the examples, which are better encountered in the context of Peterson’s narrative. But do permit me to embed a couple awesome clips of mulid-related dancing —
What strikes my admittedly outsider eyes most about these is the presence of familiar figures — dance moves that would look more recognizable if the guy in the green were wielding a glowstick rather than a knife: sufi trance meets psy-trance…
This mulid remix scene is undeniably, as the practitioners themselves dub it, “haaaaaardcooooore” (gaaaaaaaaaaamid) and would hence seem to fit rather well into the global g-tech constellation, the ruffneck “nu world” music that constitutes a recurring concern on this here blog and others on the ‘osphere. And yet, I’ll be surprised to see mulid remixes, or sha3bi more generally, start to turn up with any frequency on hipster muxtapes.
I’m not sure exactly why that is, though I have a nagging feeling it has to do with race. It’s conspicuous that so many of the genres that have found favor among the bloggers and DJs and tastemakers and downloaders associated with this nu-whirl biz — funk carioca, kuduro, cumbia, reggaeton, dancehall, kwaito, coupe decale — are marked, implicitly or explicitly, as black. They’re either Afrodiasporic (“New World” innit) or straight-up African (of course, extricating the two is downright impossible at this point — see, e.g., kwaito). And this is something I was trying to get at with my “coinage” of “global ghettotech” — i.e., that race as much as class is a prevailing dimension of our engagement with these genres.
That’s not problematic in itself, I hasten to add, for aligning oneself / identifying with the struggles and triumphs of the black poor of the world is an obvious thing to do. But all this talk of “global,” of “world,” starts to seem like a crock when we look at the actual genres that accrue cachet. Where are the Asian, Middle Eastern, or even European standard bearers for the global proles, if that’s what we’re repping? (Or are we repping something else?) Sure, we may talk from time to time of Belgian jumpstyle or Malaysian shuffle, but when we look at the mp3s we share and play in our DJ sets and radio shows, the skewed representation is clear. So what’s the deal? Is it merely a matter of New World blackness retaining a certain resonance (for a variety of reasons, some more insidious)? Or is there a special sort of xenophobia operating here? Or both or neither? I’m more curious than rhetorical on this point.
After reading Peterson’s article I wrote to Jace/Rupture, who offers one of the more longstanding examples — among the usual suspects — of a DJ/blogger/middlemang based in the US/Europe digging for and sharing and grappling with and spinning/mixing/mashing Arab music. Considering the uptake that his cumbia blogging has received, I wondered how his forays into Maghrebi territory compared, online or in da club. His reply —
i would love it if when i
blog/play maghrebi + berber stuff it rcvd a similar blogospherical
echo as w/ the cumbia/etc … but it simply hasnt happened
Which is basically what I expected him to say.
I’m not sure quite what to make of it, but as someone who likes to make a lot — perhaps even make a living — on making mountains of meaning from molehills of music, I wonder what the world would be like (sound like?) if we could embrace the sha3bi remix scene like we embrace lots of other remix scenes. Could we, in doing so, remix our ideas about Muslim societies and cultural practices? Remix our foreign policy? Remix ourselves?
‘Drawing on the context of mulid festivals and Sufi inshad, the “mulid” trend samples, imitates and remixes elements of mulid festival music, lyrics, and cultural references into a distinct form of boisterous, youth-oriented dance music.’ :: great article
funny how the stars in jamaican pop — despite the enduring presence of singers — continue to come from more traditionally ‘peripheral’ roles: DJs (U-Roy), selectors (Tony Matterhorn), and now dancers (see post)
‘ “The ethnoids,” Mr. Lewiston said, using his joshing term for ethnomusicologists, “can’t stand me. They’ll review one of my records, picking every nit they possibly can. And then the final line will be ‘The sounds on this album are superb.’ ‘
“This service allows you convert a Flash Video / FLV file (YouTube’s videos,etc) to MPEG4 (AVI/MOV/MP4/MP3/3GP) file online. … It converts FLV to MPEG4 faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder.”
“David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, has been teaching Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume I for nearly 40 years, and his lectures are now available online for the first time.” h/t k/h
“Once considered outcasts, the b-boys now seem to embody precisely the kind of dynamic, dexterous and youthful excellence that the [Korean] government wants to project.” :: jeff chang on the rise of korean b-boying
“We try to shuck our inherited identity as tourists or consumers or Orientalists or neocolonialists, and build new identities in their places … that will assure us that our musical choices match up with our liberal politics”
‘In the trial of a pornographic Web site operator, the defense plans to show that residents of Pensacola are more likely to use Google to search for terms like “orgy” than for “apple pie” or “watermelon.”’ :: b/c teh net is teh spot for pie
“From Argentina to Nicaragua, Latin Americans have elected leftist leaders over the last decade who are challenging Washington’s aggressive war on drugs in the world’s top cocaine-producing region.” :: LatinAm’s newly “non-aligned” soft war on drugs