January 11th, 2010

Acid Washed Genes

I’m thrilled that Joro-Boro is due to join us tonight for a little Beat Research. A few months ago, I received a fortuitous email from him, linking me to a new mix he’d put together, full of what he called his “favorite local dirty sounds” — a familiar if distinctive melange of polyrhythmic electronic dance music from around the world, quite in line with the kinds of kulturmash I’ve here described as nu-whirled / global-gtech / world2.0, but notably, at least as focused on sonic significations of Euro as Afro:

Decompressia Tremens Mix by joro-boro

It was a fortuitously timed email because I had recently posted a note to this blog announcing the appearance at BR of Gypsy Sound System, and the comments rapidly turned into a debate about the use of the term “Gypsy” to promote music, especially by performers who are not themselves counted among the members of the “stateless diaspora” that Rozele trenchantly invokes. Far as I can tell, entrenched as particular positions get, there’s no easy answer on this one given how dispersed and diverse the so-called Gypsy / Gitano / R(r)oma / Sinti / Tsigane experience has been and continues to be. The argument is not unlike disputes over the use of nigga/er (or black for that matter), though obviously there are important differences between these terms and their historical and contemporary uses. Put simply, while some understand gypsy as a slur, others use it in a far more neutral manner, including acts of positive self-identification. I’ve seen countless examples of the latter (now leaping out to me) in the months since.

Contentious as the discussion was, I was glad we were able to have it — and I remain grateful for the conversations that can happen here (especially as my rate of posting dwindles in the face of having two-kids-under-two). I was definitely glad that Joro-Boro decided to add his experienced and thoughtful voice to the mix, like so:

i’ve been struggling with this issue since my early days in mehanata and the release of the compilation (which i wanted to call ‘new york gadjo underground’). i realized that there is a reason why it is problematic to find a name for this music and the reason is this: there is no such thing as gypsy music!

‘gypsy music’ is a name given from outsiders, it is a totalizing machine that forces unity onto divergent cultural forms based solely on the ethnicity of their producers. yes, there are stylistic proximities between a soleá and a russian gypsy ballad, the question is can we just leave them to ethnomusicologists, since they are already in heavy market use on the festival circuit (both in the u.s. and in europe)? this reminds me of the discussions on this blog about nu-whirled music and global ghettotech. similar excluding/exoticizing operations take place when one talks about “world music” and about “gypsy music.” can one talk about “black music” today?

it seems that there was (and still is) a need to argue the historic continuity of roma identity as a tool for gaining political recognition and building a pan-roma identity (toni gatliff’s ‘latcho drom’), but that is not the same as selling tickets or cd’s by advertising a “gypsy music”. a friend of mine from berlin – dj soko – has always managed to avoid the issue by presenting his music (released on three compilations already) and his party as ‘balkanbeats’. when he started using it, the term didn’t refer to just club remixes, but any danceable music from the region (including ska, reggae, jazz and folk). soko is the only one to officially feature a popfolk singer from bulgaria (azis) on a compilation, thus breaking the brass stereotype. and on that note, i only know of one european dj who freely includes chalga and turbofolk in his mixes – dj rasputin. if you happen to know of other ones, please let me know. balkan music is surely more than just brass bands and i usually try to focus on that “more”: the decompressia mix (thank you for posting it wayne!) does start with a shantel track (covering/remixing ciguli’s ‘binaz’), but then also includes examples of both popfolk (ivana with the party mix) and chalga (amet – dogovori) and closes with a fantastic dub track done by a romanian producer with sampled vocals from esma redzepova (zgomot’s miri kamli). i attribute this to the influence of the american environment of hybridity, since it seems that european dj’s usually stay within the confines of one style (i might be wrong – birdseed, can you help me on this?)

but back to gypsy sound system: yes, it is insensitive of them to use that name for the project. and yes, they are “remarkably nice, gentle, warm people” and also my friends, but that’s beside the point. what about gypsy punk? i still think that gogol bordello should have stuck with ‘immigrant punk’ as a much more appropriate name for their style. balkan beat box attempted a neologism with ‘nu-med’ – new mediterranean music (with influences from roma traditions as well as the entire mediterranean). a poster can surely advertise ‘olah music from hungary’ or ‘wedding brass band from bulgaria’ and use “gypsy” only in a footnote as clarification (eugene from gogol bordello usually justifies his use of “gypsy” with american ignorance and fear of the audience confusing it with romanian or italian – from rome – music).

With all of that in mind, and the mix above too, I recommend you to some additional disorientalism from Joro-Boro while you note the nuances, esp in light of the comments above, of his self-description:

Joro-Boro was born in Bulgaria.

He plays and promotes Etnoteck – the dirty and uninhibited side of globalization force-fed back into a party without borders, a three-day Balkan wedding in a post-national state where noise, libido and extasy detonate the market mono-culture.

He established himself during his seven year residency at the Bulgarian Bar (Mehanata) in New York City where he produced the compilation ‘New York Gypsymania’. He is a monthly host of MoGlo (Modern Global) on Radio New York WNYE 91.5 FM.

Joro-Boro is not an artist / charlatan / mythologist. Joro De Boro could be just the opposite.

Finally, I’ll close pace Jace’s strikingly germane (and Germanic!) recent comments on how brassy Europea has worked its way into WM2.0 —

Most world music 2.0 seems to envision itself sweating in unspecified sultry climes – the word “tropical” bloomed across countless flyers this year, clueing clubbers in to a fashion aesthetic of bright colours and a non-genre-specific approach to music. Schlachthofbronx whitens up the tropical, grafting Bavarian pride onto black bass influences. Their embrace of the Euro-exotic is at once perversely funny and functional: anyone who so wishes can now spice up an Africa-themed dance party with conservative Munich volksmusik – and the crowd won’t miss a beat.

Come to the Enormous Room tonight and we’ll count together how many beats we don’t miss!

25 Comments

  • 1. Gavin  |  January 11th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Genre terms are almost always marketing terms, and exoticism is more marketable than political correctness/historicism, the latter of which tends to lack the libidinal hook required of successful branding. Genres, like nations, have to collapse diversity and unpredictability into a comprehensible and attractive point of identification. Some genres survive by appealing to outsiders, and need something catchier and more descriptive, which explains the abundance of portmanteaus like “Etnotek” and mashup terms like “gypsy punk” designed to appeal to a large extent to listeners not enclosed by descriptors such as “ethnic” or “gypsy.” And often enough, the producers themselves aren’t entirely enclosed in these labels: tourist economies are usually rife with expats. When you look at in-group genre formation, labels tend to be much less descriptive: “ghettotech” was “fast shit” in Detroit; “tribal guaracha” is just “tribal” in Mexico.

    Almost as easy to combine genres as words in the digital age.

  • 2. rizzla  |  January 11th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    it seems so much of the nu-whatever sounds are attempting to tap into some notion of a global carnivalesque – but i suppose this opens a bunch of other questions as to where producers are looking for these sounds. Tropical, while loaded and problematic, is certainly a seductive local for escape. Tourism of liminality?

  • 3. The Incredible Kid  |  January 11th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Go Joro! Have a great show.

    IK

  • 4. ben soles  |  January 12th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    ahhhhhh rizzla im falling in love. liminal/tourist…lots of voyeurs as well? those that cant do…er…those that cant dance…er…wurld-equators and joseph campbell while we gaze at navels…

  • 5. Birdseed  |  January 14th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Great text Joro-Boro! One more I can think of: The Shalakazoo guys play turbofolk, if not necessarily chalga, in their sets.

  • 6. joro-boro  |  January 16th, 2010 at 5:35 am

    wayne, thank you again for hosting me – it was a pleasure to meet both of you and i had a fantastic time!

    birdseed, thanks for the answer! i love shazalakazoo – they are truly amazing producers. i’ve never heard their mixes though, so i had no idea, will look into it… it’s even trickier when it comes to turbofolk since in the last few years it became associated primarily with nationalist agendas (back in the early days of mehanata it was mostly a nostalgic wink to the pseudo-imperial past of yugoslavia), so i’m curious how they manage to incorporate it.

    it’s strange to me that while the ‘tropical’ scene embraced the genres that were already processed and “modernized” within their native culture (e.g. favela funk or champeta) – be it in terms of just samples or the overall use of software/hardware – and their appeal abroad is based (at least in part) on the fact that they are seen as “street” i.e. real, authentic.

    now, the brass sound that overtook europe from the east in the last few years is very purposely acoustic. yes, there is a big market for dj remixes and hybrid material (shantel), but that is still perceived as secondary to the performance of a roma brass band. so the “street” value of synth-heavy manele, chalga, tallava or turbofolk is not only not appealing, but perceived as inauthentic, as a bastardization of the musical tradition.

    i wonder if the tension between these different definitions of authenticity can explain the rise of the carnivalesque exotic aesthetic in question: a proto-apocalyptic global cultural circus (attali’s invocation of ‘the carnival and the lent’ comes to mind)?

    gavin, i loved your thesis on ghettotech and authenticity, what’s your take on this? tourism or liminality?

    as 2/5 bz brilliantly puts it “no touristic no exotic”, but is that even possible?

  • 7. Birdseed  |  January 18th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I think it might be even simpler than that. For those of us who’ve come at this from an emancipaton/class viewpoint balkan beats doesn’t fit into the picture, but it seems to a lot of people it’s very much a sonic rather than a conceptual thing, and the break with the previous generation of Manu Chao-style acts is not only less pronounced but in some cases non-existant, turn your head ever so slightly and it’s a continuity instead.

    Ponder, for instance, the similarity in timbre between outdated breakbeat/boombap on the one hand and dembow and tamborzao on the other. Is it a coincidence that two of the most popular “tropical” beats have a more “live”/funk feel than a lot of the synth stuff? Is it possible dembow and tamborzao have existed as points to flee to for old boombapers? Who’d have no ideological qualms about Balkan beats?

  • 8. rozele  |  January 21st, 2010 at 11:14 am

    i think rizzla’s “tourism of liminality” phrasing has a lot to it. both for electrified balkan genres, balkan and balkan-influenced brass, and for things like “baile funk”, “nortec” (remember nortec?!), &c, the marketing/commodification is partly based on a notion of the music’s “outsider” status in its context of origin. earlier parallels could be drawn to rastafari-oriented/roots reggae, to punk (as it moved from nyc to the uk and back), and even to the (anglo)folk “revival” of the 1940s-60s. in a way, the popularity of (and our obsessions with?) current genres we’re talking about are the pop culture / commodity culture analogue of the fetishization of the liminal within the ‘turn to culture’ in the academy. outsiderhood/liminality as the guarantee of authenticity/purity/&c, even when in the original context what makes a genre ‘outside’ is an understanding of it as ‘inauthentic’.

    the balkans, i think, are central to this in a few interesting ways:

    – the balkans as symbol of excessive border-ness (tangled state borders, micro-states, &c) in the u.s. and western europe since the 1990s;
    – the balkans as the ‘internal outside’ of europe, as the margins of the e.u., as the far reaches of christendom or the near reaches of dar al-islam;
    – rroma (and to some extent balkan muslims) as the permanent ‘internal outsiders’ of europe (all the more so for the absence of large jewish populations in eastern europe and the general, complicated erasure of the jewish presence in balkan music in u.s. settings*);
    – the rhetoric in europe and the u.s. since the 1800s at least of balkan peoples as ‘primitive’, ‘tribal’, ‘living fossils’, &c, including contradictory notions of hyper-pure (and purity-obsessed) ethnic and religious groups and hyper-mongelizations of race, religion, ethnicity, &c.

    there’s also a class-related element, i think, in this mythology of the balkans. the poorer region of europe being seen as thus ‘more authentic’, and chalga/turbofolk/&c as poor people’s genres all the more so. which enables an easy transition from trucker hats to ‘truck driver music’ in a certain chunk of the poverty-as-authenticity fetishistic hipster zone…

    another element that seems related, though perhaps more important to the particular crews i run with than generally, is the visibility of folks like azis as deeply queer and genderfuck popstars. drawing, interestingly, on elements of rroma and ottoman culture that simply aren’t part of u.s. understandings of sexuality and gender, but reading clearly as exactly the exciting kind of ‘liminality’/’transgression’ – and even more so because of the stardom involved….

    * there’s more to be said about this. i’ll just mention in passing the way that “balkan” and “klezmer” function as mutually exclusive marketing terms, and point to the near-complete absence of identifiably jewish music from both the annual (amazingly wonderful and epic) trad/post-trad nyc balkan music blowout, the Golden Festival, and from the standard mehanata mixes of the past few years (aside from a few tracks, mainly eugene hutz-connected ones).

  • 9. rozele  |  January 21st, 2010 at 11:15 am

    oh – i forgot to say: thanks so much for the shoutout, wayne!

  • 10. wayneandwax  |  January 21st, 2010 at 11:39 am

    thanks to me? no, no. thanks to YOU, rozele, for your sharp, informed, and deeply interesting commentary on all of this. i am grateful to you and joro and birdseed and rizzla and everyone else who has piped in and enriched the conversation.

  • 11. Birdseed  |  January 21st, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    The problem with rozeles great account – which rings unfortunately true for many of us, I think, although I would have put a more positive spin on it – is that it doesn’t seem to apply (as Joro-boro suggests) in a lot of contexts where it naturally should.

    Basically, the question I’m most puzzling over is this: why do so many clubs and DJs who play baile-funk and genge and UK funky and whatever NOT play the obvious balkan analogies like tallava or manele, but instead play “balkan beats”? If liminality is really the main appeal, why go for german-produced middle-class “gypsy” music instead of the music of the actual balkan poor?

  • 12. wayneandwax  |  January 21st, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I see your point, Birdseed. As well as how it relates to your recent post on the subject, at which I initially bristled (and still have some reservations).

    I actually think the crucial piece here is the question of *how* certain DJs get into/ahold of all this stuff. What are the circuits/networks/filters? I’m not so sure that it’s necessarily an ideologically-suspect aesthetic preference to go for the “balkan beats” stuff over, say, manele proper. But I do wonder whether it’s more a matter of manele “suffering” from poor distribution/promotion, at least outside the core manele scene.

    Now, that’s no excuse for DJs who don’t bother to do their digging/homework, but I think a critique of the kind of practices you find wanting needs to take into account the political economies of these various genres, how they circulate, by whom, who profits, and so forth.

    Also, to again note some exceptions, it’s simply not true that most DJs interested in, say, “baile funk” or kuduro are just playing Bonde do Role or Buraka Som Sistema in their sets; plenty of people find their way to music produced by/for the working classes in Rio, Luanda, etc. That’s why I find it a bit problematic, as sympathetic as I can be, to generalized critiques like the one you’re making.

  • 13. Birdseed  |  January 21st, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Absolutely true that there’s a great amount of digging done by the DJs in the genre! I’m always surprised by the amount of good stuff that is brought up from some of the more inaccessible areas of the world, often through direct contact, even travel. No disputing that!

    Which just makes it all the stranger that there’s not more Manele or Tallava played! Because these are REALLY EASY genres to get hold of. Kosovars and Romanians have huge torrent sites pumping out the stuff, illegal FTP servers, anything you like. I suspect you’re right that it’s a matter of access and channels, but so many other genres are dug up, why not these?

  • 14. wayneandwax  |  January 21st, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    It’s a good question, Birdseed. And I’m not really sure. If I were to speculate, I’d probably wager that those are not quite the right kind of Others. This is something I wondered aloud back when I posted about shaabi and its conspicuous absence in the global g-tech universe — see DJ /Rupture’s comments therein for some similar, curious indicators. I imagine it has a lot to do with US hegemony and our own peculiar racial demons. But that might be all in my imagination.

  • 15. joro-boro  |  January 22nd, 2010 at 4:45 am

    first, i want to share how giddy i get when i read these posts and comments – it is simply mind-blowing to me not only how much the blogosphere has affected the production/distribution/consumption of music from outside the united states (and from marginal subcultures within the states), but more importantly how wide and established the critical discourse within that blogosphere has become. it is fantastic to participate in trans-continental discussions on topics which previously (seemed to) interest only a small niche audience.

    second, onto the issues.
    rozele, thank you for the analysis – always a pleasure to read your opinion. the mutual exclusion of “klezmer” and “balkan” is curious indeed though it applies mostly (as you rightly observe) to the festivals (like the golden festival and the gypsy festival – each marketing its own idea of authenticity). when it comes to mixes and parties, klezmer has always been a (almost necessary) mixing tool – the first that come to mind from the new york scene are golem! and frank london (who collaborated with boban markovic). actually, i didn’t include a klezmer track in ‘decompressia tremens’ for exactly the opposite reasons – it seemed to me that the klez-quotes were becoming almost cliché (mostly because of the remixes of amsterdam klezmer band) and too easily grafted onto the balkan trope (most of my european dj friends include klezmer in their balkan beat sets).
    as for the nested orientalisms in the cultural dynamic between the u.s., europe, ‘the balkans’, and the roma, (and possibly on gender identity in the music of “the ottoman ecumene”) i’d like to invite you to a longer discussion (i have a specific project in mind) – please write me to 2joroboro at gmail dot com

    birdseed, excellent observation/clarification – that was precisely my point. if the class element “enables an easy transition from trucker hats to ‘truck driver music’ in a certain chunk of the poverty-as-authenticity fetishistic hipster zone…”, then why is balkan brass popular within certain parts of the hipster zone (some of which overlap with the carnivalesque/burlesque/tribal circles) and chalga almost completely disregarded? a lot of the bands that play chalga (or manele or tallava) are romani, so they should have at least the same claim to cultural liminality as taraf de haidouks.

    wayne, i am not sure it is essentially a matter of access and distribution – kuduro is not very easily accessible offline for somebody who doesn’t travel and/or live close to a significant angolan diaspora; and were kocani orkestar really all that accessible for the american mainstream at any point?

    i think what becomes hip in the global dance exchange depends primarily on how well that music product feeds into a latent obsession with a particular version of otherness (be it african “blackness”, balkan “tribalism”/”gypsyness” or “the latin tropical”). to twist jace’s example: balkan brass music played by a romani band wearing dark three-piece suits and fedora hats fits in an established ecology of the exotic related to that of the aboriginal red loincloths. it would be interesting to further analyze how particular streams of latent cultural fetishism become (fairly) mainstream in relation to their contemporary political context. 9/11 didn’t kill bellydance but did it ban it from the global g-tech?

    finally, it can not be just a matter of sound either. in the “tourism of liminality” everything is listenable/danceable (“without missing a beat”) when it’s framed in some general ‘4/4’ (even if it is not explicit in the music). there are deviations of course, but undoubtedly the average synth-chalga is much more digestible to western ears/feet than an advanced horo rhythm. similarly, strictly in stylistic and production terms, i’d bank on reggada, sha’bi, and choubi as likely candidates for the ‘next club sound’ of the west but so far it hasn’t happened, as wayne and jayce have noted. a few years ago maga bo, filastine and dj /rupture himself were including these styles in their mixes, but that did not seem to affect the blogosphere as much (as for example cumbia). which brings me to my last point: maybe at least a part of the what and the why in the nu-whirled music depends on those exact discussions that were making me giddy in the beginning of my post. blogs are not just openings of the public sphere, but also inevitably market tastemakers in their own right.

  • 16. joro-boro  |  January 22nd, 2010 at 5:01 am

    and in line with the responsibility that comes with participating in such discussions, i keep forgetting to include this in my comments and it’s as fascinating a candidate (for ‘the next sound that will never be’) as any of the other ones i mentioned:

    http://joro-boro.blogspot.com/2009/01/kolbasti.html

  • 17. Birdseed  |  January 24th, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Kolbatsi, awesome stuff! I’d love to hear more if anyone dug it up, the dance if nothing else is a great b-boy counterpoint to these kurdish b-girls from the year before. :)

    I think that in some ways the stereotype-ridden nature of this new world music – which also applies if not more so to the music that actually gets accepted – makes it less different from the “old” world music than we like to think. This sort of material, which after all is “almost” right, actually gets mentioned here but there’s plenty of examples of genres that would never even vaguely turn up because it embodies the wrong values… associates to the wrong, non-liminal people in our own environment or something. Mor lam sing, thai-laotian funk-metal-disco music, sounds more like duff Deep Purple than dancehall and so is never going to be accepted. etc.

  • 18. Birdseed  |  January 24th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Another charming release, which actually acknowledges the existance of Balkan music but constructively labels it “trash”. Charming.

    http://eastblok.de/ebm/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=339

  • 19. wayneandwax  |  January 25th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for keeping the conversation going. This is a rich one, with lots to speak to, so allow me to address a couple points as we attempt to tease these various strands out.

    Actually, first of all, thanks to Joro for the link to that kolbasti video — that is some amazing dancing on display there! (And I like that you talk about “keyboard fetishizing” genres, reminding that this kind of embrace of the [so-called] exotic — “nested orientalisms” sort of says it — is always running in multiple directions.)

    There are a lot of lines being drawn here, and I’m finding the conversation — interesting as it is — to be getting a little tangled. I think one helpful distinction we could draw which might help to sort out our critical perspectives on “nu world” matters is that a lot of the activity I tend to discuss — and indeed, which inspired the “global ghettotech” term — is centered on electronic dance music and DJ practices. Given that aesthetic orientation, it’s not surprising to me that certain traditional styles/approaches or non-technoey dance genres (e.g., mor lam sing, which reminds me of dangdut, esp the videos), despite their disco influences, might get left out of the circulation/conversation. (Though it is surprising to me that things like sha3bi and choubi have never really penetrated the ecumenical “Western” DJ scene.)

    I do think that Joro is right to attempt to disentangle the various kinds of otherness (blackness, gypsyness, latinidad) animating the various scenes we’re discussing, though we also need to examine the degree to which these categories overlap and inform each other, especially when there is direct overlap among practitioners/listeners (and I do think, for all their differences, that there are plenty of connections between the tropical / transnational bass and balkan beat scenes — just check Generation Bass, etc., or talk to Uproot Andy, who also used to play Mehanata before his Latin tropical productions took off).

    Birdseed is right to raise suspicious eyebrows at the kind of marketing/discourse that frames (nu) balkan beat (“balkanbeat2.0”) as full of “raw energy” and “wild passion” while distancing it from the “disco trash” of turbo folk and manele. What gets lost with that sort of smug, insular, bourgeois appropriation is precisely the sort of cross-class/cross-cultural connections which make the notion of “world music” and worldly encounter so appealing to so many people in so many places/positions/perspectives.

    This brings me to the last point I want to touch on: a crucial part of what makes new world music new is, of course, the internet’s unprecedented ability to circulate and connect. For that reason, ppl don’t need offline access to kuduro, if it exists at all. I’ll admit that I don’t know the first thing about how kuduro circulates in Luanda or in the Angolan diaspora, but I’m pretty sure it’s a digital music through and through (that is, existing on the internet and on mp3 CDs), and that’s true whether one is actually in Angola or the diaspora, or culturally and geographically quite elsewhere.

    But just because music is moving in unprecedented ways doesn’t necessarily mean that ideas about other people and other places will change accordingly. I like to think that they will, but this all remains very much unsettled. For the record, though, I have long attempted to show how WM1.0 and 2.0 are intimately related even as I’ve attempted to think about what might be radically and promisingly new about our current predicament.

  • 20. Birdseed  |  January 25th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I think the pathways of how kuduro reaches our ears are more complex and interesting than that rather simple account, Wayne. If nothing else, if it was intimately collected and impeccably in-catalogued in relation to the internet, we’d have a lot more of the early material available… No matter how “digital” it is, 90s kuduro is practically impossible to come by. And of course, it has its classic world music explorer (Galliano), and as you say (in another context) the connect to the diaspora from the blogging world is minimal-to-nonexistent. As usual.

    I’d love to see a study mapping kuduro’s network more specifically, actually…

  • 21. wayneandwax  |  January 25th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Me too. And I didn’t mean to imply anything too simple with “digital.” Informal or independent production of CDs (which is how I assume 90s kuduro got around), despite the digitality, is of course a lot more obscure in its way, though it may prove more enduring than ephemeral if the right archivist comes along (not sure whether that’ll be a Galliano or a grassroots podomatic type, tho). I’m definitely hoping that more 90s stuff will come online as Angola itself does.

  • 22. wayneandwax  |  January 26th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Wait — I think I may have spoken too soon about sha3bi; all of a sudden, this track seems tailor made for our discussion here:

    CHAABI BREAKS by DjBadre

    Incidentally, to offer a bit more connective tissue, I stumbled on this mix via the blogroll at the suggestively titled Global Tropical blog, which devotes itself to “Seeds, roots and fresh fruits, from DC to outernational…tropical bass pressure from the heart of Babylon…”

  • 23. joro-boro  |  January 27th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    nice find!
    and this sends the discussion right back to “tropical” and whatever it means

  • 24. wayneandwax.com » L&hellip  |  February 22nd, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    […] DJ Delay keeps the brass’n'bass connections going with his own “album” of remixes of, as he puts it, “mostly […]

  • 25. Brian May  |  February 24th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Hello all,

    I’ve only just been put onto this discussion (thanks wayne) and am quite overwhelmed by the depth ad breadth of the discussion…but very happy to see these subjects being discussed in a considered way.

    I’m living in Berlin at the moment so experience a lot of things happening in the “balkanbeats” world as the city is a focus point on the label/live/DJ side of things. There are definitely tensions along the lines of authenticity, “mojo-theft” and so on. The aforementioned press release for Balkan Grooves seems to be also motivated by “competitive envy” within the area here as much “smug marketing”.

    Jumping over to the notion of Tropical Bass music – this term has always made me equal parts chuckle and perplexed!
    Also, thanks all for introducing me to the word “liminality”! This was definitely not in my vocabulary before reading this blog.

    Well I need to digest more from this and the related posts now. I hope I can contribute to the discussion in a constructive way – i find it quite fascinating.

    Thanks.

Wayne&Wax

I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

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