Rock Solid – Música en la Bienal

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Música en la Bienal at Los Jameos del Agua.

Impresionate total! / Incredible shit went down, off the hook by miles.  Never ever played in a place like this / Nunca en mi vida que he pinchando en un sitio como esa.Infuckincredible. Una initiativa muy supermegachachi. Gracias a todos. Being part of such a line-up and an environment that is Los Jameos was one of those moments that stick for a long time. 

Blistering performances from all crew.  Za! always take their surroundings into account when opening their show, this was no different, they have you wondering where the sound is coming from.  This time, the trumpet came from upon high, descending the stairs to setting in front of the reflective pool and illuminated volcanic area. Listening to Lara López’ program on RNE3, I discovered that Laraaji and Brian Eno played in this very same place many years ago. Damn, that was great, gotta say. No puedo respira!

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Meneo lost his travel documents, but there was no way he was going to miss his date in Lanzarote.  He arrived late, but only having to plug in his sound source, a Ninetendo or Gameboy, and that was it, no massive headache when it comes to setting up and getting right into it.

Tenerife’s Resonance brought the live element to a close his his rack of synth driven uptempo electronica.

Video below with Gonzo at the Controls: Projections and Lights: Deaxis Mundi & Simone Marin  Sound: Daniel Badal

http://www.bienalartelanzarote.com/

Related post here

Les Negresses Vertes in Beirut

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Ladies and Gentlmen, welcome to Beirut, December 1991

We were not prepared for anything like this at all.  I bear witness.

French band Les Negresses Vertes were about to release, or had just released their Famille Nombreuse album. The management, comprised of Assad & Jacques organized a concert at venue within the American University of Beirut. How do you say, ‘hostilities between factions had ceased’?  The eighteen year long uncivil war had come to pass, and this was to be the first performance by a ‘Western’ band in the country since the first bullet took a life.  I was the band’s UK Press Representative at the time, and the NME’s Stuart Bailie, photographer Steve Pyke and the Observer’s Philip Sweeney agreed to cover the venture.  At some point I ignored a directive from the Virgin boss Ken Berry: As the company’s insurance would not cover me or any of the personnel in a ‘conflict zone’, I was not to go.  “Sorry, didn’t get the message Ken.”  This was a unique opportunity not to be missed.

For most of us on the trip, it was our first proper real time facing a bullet and rocket scared city and it’s population.  The sheer destruction encompasses you full 360°.  It is painful to see what some will do to others.  People sacrificed regardless of postcode. People, families, and those strangers no longer, lived among the rumble, dust, bomb-induced craters in the streets, passing through militia checkpoints.

“This is the place where Terry Waite was taken hostage.” said our guide, pointing to a nondescript pavement by the road along the coast as the bus took us to Martyr’s Square.  Several of the windows on our bus were penetrated by bullets. What happened the previous occupants of these seats?  On my return to the city several years later, I was informed that the owner of the hotel we we stayed at first time around, was “taken outside and shot, boom, dead.”  Silence for a moment.

My colleague at Virgin France, top AnR person, Maya Masseboeuf is Lebanese, she was on the trip as well, and I recall, as we entered the airport there was a portrait of Syrian’s President Assad, not the current one, his dad, hanging proudly.  “Hey Maya, what is his portrait doing there?” I said a bit too loud for her liking. “Not now.”  I was learning.

During a day trip we came upon a block of flats across the road, the fourth and top floor was totally destroyed, concrete and steel hanging precariously, no surprises would it tumble right there and then.  Maya had family living in that building.  It was Maya that sent the link to the TV report, thank you.

The concert itself hit a cruising altitude of several thousand feet, those in attendance onstage, the audience, everybody unified to celebrate the a richness that had been kidnapped, separated, tortured, abused, murdered, sent into exile and so on.

The relevance of this period in time and what is unfolding right now could not be underestimated.

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Négresses vertes á Beyrouth – French TV Report

The Special AKA ‘War Crimes’

Total Destruction: DJ Scud & Nomex

 

 

Fátima Miranda

 

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¡Holy shit Batman!

Fátima Miranda performed in El Tanque, Santa Cruz de Tenerife a few nights ago.  Four octave range intact.  Too many people missed the show however those present were satisfied.

I think she can emit a sound that can register less that 0.01dB, your slightest move means you could have missed it.  The ultimate in breath and voice control.  You note the muscles in her face moving ever so slightly. She sings in more than one tongue.  What is emitted is evokes Tuvan throat singers,  or reminiscent of the Sufi lyrics of Nusrat Ali Khan and Aziz Mian.  We had a brief conversation afterwards and she told me she had seen Nusrat perform twice.  As Aziz would do, it seems that dialogues with a God were talking place during her performance.  Moments of discourse and possession, with deep voices turning child-like in less time than it takes to blink.  She knows how to play with the lighting, shadows and the surrounding space very well too well, at one moment slipping behind her companion Marc Egea – who was holding us together with the drone tones his hurdy gurdy – and without missing a turn, taking over his instrument with one hand, while he moved to play a flute. Fascinating all ’round.  Big hand of applause to Nestor Torrens and Pura Martinéz for bringing Fátima and Marc to our doorstep, and to Daniel Badal for precision handing of the lights.

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Fátima: Entre Salamanca y Samarkanda (Cantos Robados)

Marc Egea: Hurdy Gurdy

 

Morgan Craft – The Living Mythology

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No software was used for the generation of any sound.
All sounds made by, on, or through solo electric guitar.
Improvised and recorded live.

There is a part on this record that I ‘doubted’ the above sentence, but knowing the Rough Americana crew as I do, I believe in them and any statements that make.  “How the hell did he create that jungle break only with his guitar?” is another way of putting it. Hours, days, months of picking up his stringed instrument to delve into the vibrations that exist between one and two.  150 continuous days in the studio to be exact.

RA, Morgan Craft and Mutamassik always present their respective theories with their music, no change here, you can depend on them to be thorough, consistent and honest. If they were ever presented with a rule book but was burnt upon receipt.

“Science relies on precise mathematics to produce vibratory phenomena that is not seen as music, per se. Never trust anyone who claims that music is mathematics. I think we’ve all heard that before, time and time again, that music is mathematics, to the point where it becomes taken for granted, that music is mathematics. It’s not true. Music is not mathematics. Music can be approximated using mathematics, but will always fall short of the truth.”

Morgan Craft – The Living Mythology Bandcamp

Cover painting: Mutamassik

Rough Americana website

Update: Mutamassik will be doing a set in Berlin this Saturday.  See here for more juice

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Apologies to RA for saddling them with my 666th post.

Música en la Bienal

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A week today Spain, and it’s colonies, celebrate ‘el dia de la Constitución’, a bank holiday, so no work, for some.  The team from Keroxen here in Tenerife have linked up with the people running the Culture office in Lanzarote to present something to do in a very special place.  Música en la Bienal at Los Jameos del Agua in Lanzarote.

Los Jameos are located inside the volcanic tunnel created by the eruption of La Corona. It owes its name to the existence of an internal lake which constitutes a unique geological formation.

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The line-up for next week features Gonzo, the head of the Discrepant label, which has released some real gems, the Kink Gong ‘Tanzania‘ album is easily my favourite release of the year.  Gonzo aka Gonçalo has this album  21st Century Drone Acoustics  scheduled for release soon.

Who else? Meneo is onboard, so the Tropics are going to be in full swing. Za! bring their Lololismo to the front, and Resonance celebrates two years since the release of his album Skygaze. I have the honour of the closing set.  Simone Marin aka I/O, the don of Keroxen visuals will be working the lighting element of the spaces.  Got a woody for this so badly, you don’t know!

Tickets are 20€

http://www.bienalartelanzarote.com/

Un lugar tan especial como Los Jameos invita a realizar un evento a la altura de este espacio privilegiado. Jameos Bienal 201 5 pretende ser una producción en el ámbito musical que re-configure este espacio natural a través de una intervención creativa amplia. Una experiencia que combine efectos visuales y acústicos con propuestas atrevidas y participativas en las que la exploración será una constante.

Un evento que aprovechará la textura original de los Jameos para convertirlo en un espacio generador de encuentros y vivencias artísticas y no meramente en una sala de música y baile.

Varios de los músicos de la programación se moverán por los distintos espacios de los Jameos interactuando con el público. Habrá proyecciones de videomapping sobre las mismas rocas y plantas del espacio, así como inesperadas performances artísticas.

Este evento, pretende ser una obra artística más de la Bienal y está pensado desde esa perspectiva.

 

 

Scalper: Perfume

Back for another hit. That’ll Scalper I’m taking about.   Along for the ride this time is RiotMiloo on vocals for the sweet smelling bran’ new tune from The Emperor’s Clothes album.  He has been over in Europe this summer for some shows, and will be back soon.  Keep an eye out.

If you wanna cop his joints, or check out more, man has a website, don’t be shy, he doesn’t bite.  (Correction: He may do actually, sorry for the misinformation.)

Scalper bandcamp

Vinyl album available here

Sarah Maple: You Could Have Done This

 

I wish I had a penis
I wish I had a penis

Since we last spoke…ah, won’t bother getting into it, check this out, Sarah Maple, you may have heard of her before, good on you, I am just catching up.  If you heard of her before, why didn’t you tell me?

Her father is white British, her mother is an Iranian Muslim, and she went to a Catholic school in Eastbourne. “I always found it difficult culturally knowing where I fit in,” says the 30-year-old artist, who lives in Crawley. “I wanted to be a ‘good’ Muslim, but I was an immediate outcast for being mixed. And I felt guilty about that.”

She has found her way, and aren’t we glad?  Well, no, not everybody is, to the point of throwing bricks through her window.

The opposite of a feminist
The opposite of a feminist

“I was at university and we’d go round doing crits, talking about each others’ work. Every time a man got up to speak, we’d be really supportive. But every time a woman spoke, we’d berate her. I realised I was complicit – subconsciously, we’d all taken on that conditioning. It was the first time I realised I might be held back by being a woman. The phrase ‘I wish I had a penis’ just came into my head. So I did that work based on it. When I took it into uni, although all the tutors liked it, everyone else berated me. Then I put it on MySpace and got all these amazing responses. People started sending me their own. That’s the moment I realised that, through humour, I could really communicate something.”

She has a book coming out, titled You Could Have Done This, which for me is the point of art, especially when people say “Oh, I coulda done that!”  But you didn’t, that person did, regardless if you like it or not.  Be inspired to move, even with something that rubs you the wrong way.  More power to you.

More on Sarah Maple here via the Guardian.Her webpage is here