The Amplification of Souls (review)

Gilles Aubry’s The Amplification of Souls is a meticulously composed and conceived “audio-essay” (Aubry’s term) on Kinshasa’s charismatic churches and the broader soundscape they inhabit and inflect. I reviewed the CD, along with its 80 page booklet, in Issue 371 of The Wire (January 2015). As usual, I am posting the final draft I sent

Gone Farmin’

It’s been *crickets* here on the blog for a while, and the main reason is that I’ve been spending more time behind a tractor and less in front of a laptop. And loving it. I don’t spend very much time on the tractor, actually, because the work I do at Belmont Acres, a 5 acre

Summer of Technomusicology

The Summer of Love is way behind us, as is the Second Summer of Love, & perhaps the Third and Fourth. The Summer of Technomusicology, however, will soon be here! I’m thrilled to report that I’ll be offering my favorite class to teach in the world right now, as premiered last year at Harvard U,

Boston Mashacre

On the 243rd anniversary of the Boston Massacre (bigup Crispus Attucks!), I’m reposting the merely titular-pun-related mix of Boston-associated songs I cooked up for the Somerville Art Council back in 2005. This is also (barely) germane to the day given the currently flaring debate over Massachusetts’ official rock song. (As they say around here, I

Selected Student Essays, Transduced

I’m happy to report that the semester has been going swimmingly. Sorry for the dearth of posts here, but I’ve been rather engaged with reading, for one course, across a vast and dense literature on music, race, & nation while exploring, in another, the history and potential of music’s (and sound’s) deep entanglement with technologies

Jivin’ Ladybug Picnic

Today I’ve got a Q&A with Jared Demick at his site The Jivin’ Ladybug, a “Skewered Journal of the Arts” or in slightly plainer terms, “an online arts journal devoted to word-whittlers, picture-pizzazzers, & sound-slingers, all over this here globe!” Though the latter most obviously describes me, and the middle option may seem more dubious,

Feeling the Unheard

The following text is the comment I delivered as the discussant for Steven Feld’s presentation this past Friday at Sensing the Unseen, a year-long seminar at MIT seeking “to join more familiar attention to material culture with an innovative focus on immaterial culture” in order to explore, in a variety of ways, the realm of

nature mashing (riddim meth0d repost)

In anticipation of tomorrow’s opening session of MIT’s Sensing the Unseen series, which, in October, will bring to campus Steven Feld — a scholar of music and sound who has deeply influenced both my field (ethnomusicology) and my own work — I am re-posting yet another riddimmeth0d mashup. This particular mash was even more of

Seeding the Sound Cloud

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the soundscape recordings people have made and are making — from soundwalks, to radio captures, to ambiences — were available as GPS-pegged audiostreams that could be accessed, say, on one’s phone, a la the “locative art” in Gibson’s Spook Country? A step further (if away from the curatorial), the

linkthink #5184: Mariachi Bhangra

A Backlash? – New York Times race-based feelings about the dem candidates, post-race-card BS :: this chart speaks volumes (tags: race election08 chart obama clinton nyt) El Nuevo Día – Todo sobre la leche felix jimenez on lipstick, leche, and the war in iraq (tags: spanish op-ed cultcrit war iraq puertorico) YouTube – An Interview

linkthink #60989: Calypso Consigliere

Soca Mafia in Trinidad and Tobago – Reality or myth? :: re: payola in T&T (tags: trinidad soca payola industry) The House the Kids Built: The Gay Black Imprint on American Dance Music, by Anthony Thomas “The following article was originally published in the US magazine Out/Look in 1989, and looks at house music’s

linkthink #95363: Color Guard

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) PALAOA – Livestream streaming sound from the antarctic ocean (via bldblg) (tags: audio science sound soundscape nature antarctica) Canyon Cody el canyonazo, studying music in grenada via fulbright, promises to live-blog the making of an al-andulus inspired album, w/ such collaborators as gnotes, over the month

What Chew Know About Down in the Hole?

I’m not really a TV watcher. Really. I mean, sure, I’ve watched something like 2000 videos on YouTube over the last couple years (and I don’t think that even counts videos embedded in blogs, etc.). But I probably watch OldTube only a couple hours a week at best — like if, say, a big Bawstin

Just Call Me Mr. Meme Maker

when i say that ghislain poirier is one of my favorite global ghettotechies®, i think i mean that unsardonically, but i’m not sure where that leaves us ghislain’s music, however, usually leaves me grinning if not spinning keep it blazin, g —

Book Review: Michael Veal’s Dub

As promised last week, what follows here is my review of Michael Veal’s recently published book on dub. It won’t appear in print for perhaps another year, which is a little silly and unfortunate, but that’s how it goes. I see no reason, at any rate, not to share it now that it’s written, especially

Ethnomusicology Meets King Tubby Inna Barnes&Nobles

Been working on a review of ethnomusicologist Michael Veal’s recently published book on dub (it’s called Dub [BUY!]), which I will share with y’all before too long; meantime, as I jot down some excerpts, I thought I’d share some of my favorite passages — insightful thoughts and neat narratives and such. To wit, a nice

Maga Maga Maga! Bo Bo Bo!

It’s a Sooty month at Beat Research. Last week we had the pleasure of hosting Filastine, and tonight we’ve got the mighty Maga Bo! Readers of this here blog surely need no introduction to Mr.Bo. He’s been making waves for a while now with his world-whirling, genre-busting mixes — not to mention his excellent series,

12 Inches of Pleasure meets 12 (or so) Weeks of Hi-Tech Hands-On Electro-Class Hermeneutics in Cambridge Technocity, Massachusetts

This Friday night, here in Cambridge (on the banks of the Charles no less), techno legend Juan Atkins will make the music move the people c/o a new effort in town called 12 Inches of Pleasure. This is very exciting for those of us who like our four-on-the-floor as much as our funky-drummer. I’m quite

Dancefloor Friktion, Almost From Any Font

The Frikstailers first came to my attn via DJ Ripley and Stu FatPlanet, both of whom seemed to admire their “fidget groove” (thx, stu!). I too was instantly enamored with their glitched-up, tech-housey (blog-housey?), syncopated dance traxx. They helped me to imagine Argentina in a different way, hearing Córdoba as another outpost of the EDM

Hear Here

Reppin’ Salone (Sierra Leone), Wisconsin (Milwaukee and Madison!), and the Bay Area, DJ Boima holds down a whirled music dance party in San Fran, moving the massive with a mix of (pan-)African and (pan-)American pop / hip-hop / club / etc. Readers of this here blog might have noticed his name in a flurry of


Two other entities in the (other)worldly spirit I was speakin of — and I mean that in a good way — would seem to merit some shine on em, ‘specially since one’s got a new mix up & out :: London’s Heatwave crew bring the picante to the blogaparty, lacing together Spanish rap y reggae

Nu Whirl Music, Blogged in Translation?

In a recent issue of the SEM Newsletter (March 2007, to be precise), Phil Bohlman addressed the issue of cultural translation and how it presents a paradox to ethnomusicologists — or perhaps more broadly, to those of us who mediate musical representations in myriad ways (including via links and mp3s): Should we understand our acts

Follow Me Now: The Zigzagging Zunguzung Meme

The text below was written in spring 2007 and delivered at EMP and IASPM. Since its initial publication, I have learned of many additional instances of the “zunguzung” meme, often thanks to readers. I will continue to update the tally at the end of the post, and searching “zunguzung” on this site will lead to

Loop the loop, loop the loop the loop

Gotta love distributed research technics — Thx to Mark Calaguas for a few more notches in the Zunguzung tree, including a slippery interpolation by Ninja Man on “Funeral Again.” And, get this, two uses by Nice & Smooth — in the same way, and on CONSECUTIVE TRACKS (?!) on the same album: “Nice & Smooth”

Seeplist in Seattle

Off to Seattle tomorrow to participate in this. I’ll be following what I’ve been calling the “Zunguzung Meme” from Kingston to Brooklyn to San Juan and back (w/ several stops along the way). That ol’ Yellowman melody sure seeps into some interesting (and often seminal) performances, telling the intertwined stories of hip-hop and reggae (and

Dear Wayne #8353: JA inna US & UK

While we’re in a outsourcing mood here at w&w, allow we to offer up another recent q&a — Dear Wayne, Hope you’re well, This is a follow-up to an email that I sent last week regarding me possibly conducting an interview in the near future regarding the role of Jamaican styles in US and UK

Reggae(ton) Bangara

Went for an afternoon trip up to Devon Ave’s “Desi corridor” yesterday accompanied by an anthropologist who studies the circulation of pirated media in India (mainly Bollywood/Filmi), and who was, as you can imagine, a perfect companion for a brief tour of the strip’s numerous “record” shops (which sold CDs, DVDs, videocassettes, and even plain

Simply Smashing

Before I get too deep in the Windy Windy, I gotta send a little musical farewell to my dear hometown.* A follow-up to last year’s “Boston Mashacre,” the “Boston Smashacre” has been in the works for a while. It’s not just a sequel, though. It’s a different thing in kind. I’ve made a page for