Had serious problems focusing on music discovery and column-writing in the last 2 days, distracted as I was by a two-year old with bird flu (ok, not really but a two-year old with any flu is still not good) and developments on the Arab street, where shit is real at. Eventually I found a filament of barbed wire to connect the music in my RSS/inbox to the emotions I was experiencing, but only after beating myself in the head for a long time. This week’s blend is the synthesis I ultimately arrived at. It’s more music-as-therapy-for-disaffected-Westerners than music-as-revolutionary-tool but if you’re compulsively checking FADER today (as opposed to say, Al-Jazeera) then that’s probably more what you need right now anyway.
Mutamassik, “Not Having to Choose” (intro) That Which Death Cannot Destroy
Mutamassik, “Dream State” That Which Death Cannot Destroy
MIA, “Bird Flu” KALA
DJ Orion, “Jump Guarachero” (edit) Animus EP
DJ Orion, “Get Back” (edit) Animus EP
Sonu Kakkar, “Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo” Dum OST
Hafida, “???” (Fassiphone CD)
RajStar, “Make it Na Na Na” Rahmen Noodles
Download: GP 128: ¾ Revolution Blend
I actually can’t think of a better soundtrack for this moment that’s unfolding in Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia than the saaidi hardcore of my longtime (and I mean loooongtime) homegirl DJ Mutamassik. Her LP That Which Death Cannot Destroy has been sitting on my hard-drive unblogged since last year but both as Mutamassik and ½ of Rough Americana, she has been performing revolutionary operations on the Egyptian half of her heritage since way before MIA got her 1st drum machine. But to get there, I had to follow a trail of ¾ beats, like Reese’s Pieces leading me to the mothership.
Most recent was the cock-up of dubstep and 3Ball time signatures on DJ Orion’s new EP, which are in ‘pre-hispanic” ¾ time. Once I zeroed in on those I started hearing it everywhere. In India ¾ time is called ta ki ta and is the basis of both Bollywood bangers like “Babuji Zara” (which I think is basically Marathi folk) and the real-life slumdog Tamil rap style called gaana, which MIA used on “Bird Flu.” Then there it was again on this North African autotune jam I just downloaded from negrophonic. Then there it was again underpinning Drake’s slumdog millionaire Bollywood flow on RajStar’s long-awaited collection of A.R. Rahman clash-ups which dropped last week.
I’m not saying this eruption of pre-modern beats into drum machines from nowadays is an actual revolution. But at least for the duration of this blend it allowed me to channel my dream-riot anger into the overthrow of an oppressive dream-state. Now it’s back to waiting and watching.