This summer, FADER’s photo editor John Francis Peters and I, along with a handful of other artists, spent a month in Africa working on an art and research project called Beyond Digital Morocco. As DJ /rupture, I’d followed North African music for years, and had a heap of questions that no amount of online research could answer. (For example: Moroccan artists—particularly Berbers doing otherwise traditional music—have embraced Auto-Tune longer and with more enthusiasm than their counterparts elsewhere. Why?) Radiating outward from Casablanca, we interviewed musicians and fans, collaborated on songs, took photographs and video, staged a concert and discussion, and visited the many spaces where new music flourishes, from high-end recording studios to rooftop jam sessions in a thicket of satellite dishes.
Beyond Digital is an ongoing project: we continue to upload video shorts on beyond-digital.org. The musician Maga Bo who traveled with us is about to release a free EP and percussion sample pack. We’re presenting the project in Tangier this September, and in October, I’m giving away a suite of music software tools called Sufi Plug-Ins.