Vampire Squid Beats

Tonight’s Beat Research brings to Boston the shady presence of a shadowy figure known as DJ N-RON.

N-RON first caught my ear back in ’05 with his (& Leftenant’s) mix, “A Thunder Sound” (mp3), chock full of remixes and drawing together a wide range of sounds — from dancehall, grime, electro, leftfield hip-hop, ethnomusicology classics — well before such an approach was as commonplace as it’s become (!!). Some of you might know him from last year’s “Collaborator Mixtape,” which maintains a certain, shall we say, neoliberal acquisitiveness while showcasing some of N-RON’s own production. And attendees of this spring’s Nettle concert at Brandeis would have seen an alter ego offering utterly captivating realtime visual accompaniment to the band’s suggestive sounds (as appreciated & interpreted, e.g., by anthro prof Mark Auslander here).

Tonight in Cambridge, N-RON will be playing “some of his latest original stolen tracks, as well as findings from his recent multinational expansions to Mexico, Brasil, and Brooklyn.”

It’s too bad that Daniel has such a busy schedule, otherwise — based on this piece alone — he’d be a great guest to have at a iittle favela film festival (um festivalinho?) that Gregzinho‘s hosting at an undisclosed location in East Cambridge this Thursday. (It’s gonna be a smallish affair, but if you’re muito muito interested in screening some recent funkcarioca-related videos and you’re in the area, get in touch.) The um-and-only Gregzinho, btw, is playing Beat Research two weeks from tonight (July 20), before he leaves town (again), so put that on yr clndrs.

Before we go: recommended reading for tonight’s N-RON show is Matt Taibbi’s “The Great American Bubble Machine” in Rolling Stone, which begins with words like

The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

How’s that for an image? I admit I found it especially resonant — whether or not vampire squids actually exist — because of the way it vibrates in sympathy (slyly slithers?) with this line (especially if you sing “squid” after “vampire”)

Babylon system is a vampire, falling empire,
Sucking the blood of the sufferers,
Building church and university,
Deceiving the people continually,
Graduating thieves and murderers


If you like the song, you’ll love the complimentary ringtone.

(especially if you sing “squid” after “vampire”)