200 years of African American art

JamesBalwin_Beauford DelaneyJames Baldwin by Beauford Delaney

NoWorld_KaraWalkerNo World by Kara Walker

MLKJr_John Woodrow WilsonMartin Luther King Jr. by John Woodrow Wilson

“From Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first African American painter to move to Paris and be accepted into the Salon, to superstars of today like Kara Walker, here’s how generations of artists have tackled race, identity and prejudice.” – The Guardian.

Represent: 200 Years of African American Art is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 10 January to 5 April

More art from this series here

Ear Con 111: Keroxen Closing Night


I got a date tomorrow, the end is near, so I am preparing the digital record box…..whilst searching the deep recesses of hard drives and bending shelves for tunes for the closing night of Keroxen, I came across these documents. Some Keroxeneros like it rampt up to the max, with rave, jungle, d&b having taken a solid hold over the island back in the day. Got them covered with some modern d&b courtesy of Om Unit, then delving into the Congo Natty archive. Coincidentally, he is scheduled to play here tomorrow night also. Soundbwoy clash in Tenerife then! This goes out to all those that put in some effort to make Keroxen what is is – be it the organizers, volunteers, punters, all the artists of all persuasions, sponsors, officials at the town hall and those that hold them to their word.

“Rock and roll, what an empty generation”

Ear Con 111: Keroxen14 / Closing Box

Cigar Box – Al Dobson Jr.
The War – Om Unit feat. Jehst
Title unknown Ras11  Congo Natty
Title unknown – Hizbollah CD
Taboola – DJ Scotch Bonnet
Him Da Biz – Cooly G
Run Quick – NAH feat. GIVV
Breathe, rest, dig, rule – NAH feat. GIVV
Tomorrow – Hector Plimmer
Taipan Showers – Strict Fact
Stupid Wind – Sol Monk
P.L.O. Style – Wu Tang & Jimi Hendrix
Killer Dub – Vital Dub
Urania – Mono/Poly
Title unknown ‘Flex Bside’ – †€Ω§HµΩ
Close Your Eyes And Count To Fuck – Run The Jewels feat. Zach de la Rocha
Hard 2 Be – Machinedrum
Mother India – Moody Boyz Strollin’ Remix Fun-da-mental
Wait – Mala

Spring flowers….real close up


Flowers are one of the great joys of spring, but viewing them under a scanning electron microscope uncovers a surreal, alien beauty. These images were created by the award-winning German microscopy team Eye of Science, comprising photographer Oliver Meckes and biologist Nicole Ottawa.

More photos at The Guardian,

Socos Dúo: Album – These Times We Are Living

Next week Saturday, 15th March, we will be on hand for the presentation of the first album for Socos Dúo and the first for us as a label.  We will pop a bottle of red for sure, it’s been waiting to be opened for a while.  I walked into Arena Digital studios where I quite often work, and the sound coming out of the speakers in the control room grabbed me hard.  They were recording what is now encapsulated within a 5¨disc with the title, These Times We Are Living.

The duo, formed six years ago by broad-minded souls, César Martín and Ciro Hernandez, most uniquely combine marimba and cello, to perform selections from their new album, including works by Astor Piazzolla,  Osvaldo Golijov from Argentinia, Assobio Jato, Heitor Villa-Lobos, ‘Violence’ by Philadelphia, USA-based, 2014 Grammy nominated Joseph Hallman as well as their own  compositions, Lights and Shadows, written by Ciro, and Two Butterflies by César respectively.

This album embodies a devoted commitment to classics and to the contemporary.  Academedic foundational studies intertwined with realism, exposing human frailties and achievements and creative fortitude.

Added to the musical element is the visual and fine art of Patricia Delgado. She joins force to create an unique engraved album cover. Stains on the move, black and white, no color, representing a state of stillness and calm.

More juice via their website, or here, as we have it.



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Ear Con 110: It’s normal, we live in a strange universe


John Zorn: Peur sur la ville – (From The Big Gundown LP, Icon)
Mr. Zorn records a tribute to Ennio Morricone. Stellar list of collaborators on-board for this excursion.

Owiny Sigoma Band: Yukimwi (Brownswood)
Reminds me of seeing King Sunny Ade & His African Beats live and direct. Solid drum on the one funk.

Ibo Combo: Ti Garcon (Haiti Direct CD)
Had to buy this when recently in London, Haitian music like I never heard before. I am familiar with the Voodoo drum stuff, but the big band stuff? Never, until recently, it was a no-brainer.

Earl Sweatshirt: Uncle Al

Strange U: Strange Universe in Africa (Eglo)
“Dear Eglo Promo, I’m feeling the track, however I think it’s a bit distorted.”
Eglo Promo: “It’s supposed to be like that.”

Tricky: Nothing’s Clear (The Hard Cell, Earth Recordings)
The first time I heard Tricky, on this benefit album to highlight sickle cell disease, which is a disease known to affect mainly Afro-Caribbean-Americans, if you didn’t know.

3D & Jupiter Bonkonji: 3D on Jupiter (BattleBox)
Sparse worming synth, thudding affective kick, great vocal tone and presence.

Giganta: Is Ma Beat (Werkdiscs)
New producer from Greece, good on ya girl, keep it coming. On a 2Step vibe, I’m not keen on pitched vocals however there are a few joints on this ep i went back to a few times.

Tao: Riot in Lagos – Future Forces Inc. Remix (Language)
Mid-late 90’s output from Tony Thorpe’s Language label. Tao, originally from Japan made an album while in London, Here he tackles Ryuichi Sakamoto’s classic. Not one I’d have the nuts to tackle.

Nico: Copies (No U-Turn)
While in a studio several years ago, in walked a man who knew the engineer I was working with. It was Nico, I’d never seen him, but I had his music. “Pleased to meet you”, and I remember him getting around to saying “You liked that bass sound eh?” That mean’t ‘his bass sound’, oh yes, dark and nasty.

Charles Mingus: Better Git It In Your Soul (From Ah Um LP)
One of my early DJ partners Angus Angus, played this on his program last week, I caught the tail end of it with drum solo. I made a call, “What was that track before the Tackhead beat?”

Chris Watson: Haefest (Touch)
A regular on radio and tv, although you may not know it. Chris Watson records natural sounds, and was a founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, a group that introduced me to different manner of presenting and expressing music and sound.
Haefest is a cut from an album that takes its inspiration from Eadfrith, the Bishop of Lindisfarne, writing and illustrating the Lindisfarne Gospels during the late 7th C. and early 8th C. He would have been immersed in the sounds of Holy Island whilst he created this remarkable work. This production aims to reflect upon the daily and seasonal aspects of the evolving variety of ambient sounds that accompanied life and work during that period of exceptional thought and creativity.

Socos Dúo: Mariel (These Times We Are Living LP, Ear Conditioning)
Yes, our first record, coming out next month. Pleased.

Ear Con 110: It’s normal, we live in a strange universe by D.Wattsriot on Mixcloud

George Clinton – Clash interview


If like me, you like your funk pure, un-cut and nasty, then you are aware of funky dealer, Dr. Funkenstein, defender of the pleasure principle, George Clinton. From a babershop quartet in Michigan to creating a universe that is P-Funk, George and Co., (Parliament Funkadelic, The Horny Horns, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Bernie Worrell, Kid Funkadelic, Mike Hampton, The Parlets, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Junie Morrison to name only an sillimillimeter out of a killameter) have seen some serious action. George was in London recently and Clash magazine caught up with him.  I have heard about the book he is putting together, detailing his trials and tribulations especially when it comes to the ‘record business’ and the shady lawyers, publishers and managers that have fleeced him and his co-horts for more than a pretty penny. He’s fighting back though, and fighting hard, as detailed right off the tip as you’ll see from the interview.

George Clinton – Clash Interview (in full)

We’re thrilled to meet the lysergic genius who, along with James Brown and Sly Stone, pioneered that dirty bastard offshoot of soul we call funk; the psychedelic wizard who masterminded Parliament and Funkadelic, and coined the term P-Funk to define the very genre he conceived; the bear-like bandleader that wrote ‘One Nation Under A Groove’, ‘Cosmic Slop’ and ‘Atomic Dog’, and laid himself open to sampling by anyone who required a deep groove, including Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac and, more recently, Earl Sweatshirt. But, things go distinctly pear-shaped barely 20 seconds into our conversation.

A question about George’s first forays into the business as The Parliaments, a doo-wop group in New Jersey, is our opening gambit. But just as George’s memory begins to happily regress, we are rudely interrupted by his manager, who storms into our serene studio set-up brandishing a laptop, and asks Clash to excuse ourselves.

After several awkward minutes of shuffling around in the next room, trying politely not to hear the raised voices, we return to our interrogation seat. George is visibly irate. The conversation, he tells us, was with his lawyer, who was calling from a US court to update his client on the latest developments in one of many active suits George is involved in. Exploding with frustration and intent on being heard, this topic dominates the majority of our interview time, as George goes on to explain the reasons behind his wrath. And it gets complicated…

“If I could start all over, but with what I know now…” George sighs, shaking his head. “It’s hard to say that to a kid who wants to sing and wants to play instruments – you’re so hyped to go do it that shit don’t usually matter. You have no thoughts about it. You know people are crooked – you hear that all the time – but you don’t [think you’re gonna get screwed].”

He’s entangled in battles to retain the publishing rights to his own songs, to prosecute the lawyers who stole them off him, to uncover monies due from sampling royalties, and to extricate himself from a conspirational network that plagues his every turn. It’s no wonder he needs to let off some steam.

“Today, they try to take everything: your image, your road [touring income], your intellectual properties… They want it all!” he rails. “But they can’t own it no more because of this copyright recapture law that’s in Congress now.”

The law of which he speaks is actually the Copyright Act of 1976, which began to take effect in 2011, and is intended to allow artists to reclaim copyrights that may have been licensed elsewhere after 35 years. Authors have a five-year window in which to file termination notices – Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and The Eagles have all done so – and is also applicable posthumously to heirs of the author. As long as the work was not “made for hire”, i.e. created for a paid commission, the right of termination cannot be waived.

Clinton was successful in retrieving ownership of four Funkadelic album masters – ‘Hardcore Jollies’ (1976), ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ (1978), ‘Uncle Jam Wants You’ (1979), and ‘The Electric Spanking Of War Babies’ (1981) – but then faced another nightmare when the lawyer he entrusted to protect them and collect royalties from subsequently signed the rights over to himself.

George, then in the throes of a debilitating crack habit, which he’s since beaten, was initially unaware of the deception. “That was his job to do, to protect those!” he says. “He took advantage of [my drug habit]. But that does not matter: they’re still mine, and he still did what he did. [That call I just took] was him asking me would I drop the malpractice case, because I’m suing him for that. He’s trying to get all the money I got from everywhere, every source. I paid him a million dollars – he went to court one time for me. Never did shit. But I made sure that I stopped [smoking crack] just so that I would have the energy for the big fight.”

The “big fight” involves not only getting the rest of his music back, but also ensuring that everybody involved with writing for and with George gets what’s owed to them, and guaranteeing all future earnings. The trouble lies with the fact that the labels George is chasing have formed a complex coalition with the same lawyers representing his former publishers and, ultimately, an association to some of the judges hearing the cases.

“They’re actually compiling these fronts of defense!” George exclaims. “Every time we get ready to fight somebody and look up, it’s one of the two lawyers that’s defending them! So it’s actually a big conspiracy. My label is called The C Kunspyruhzy, because I see conspiracy. I’ve been saying that for 10 years now. In all these court cases that’s what I’ve been saying: I see conspiracy. That’s the only thing I can do, because before, I was on crack, so I knew I couldn’t make any sense high. So I made an effort for that reason alone – I mean, I needed to. I was sick, I wasn’t paying attention, and my body was wearing out because I’m 72. But I knew if I could change my habits there I would catch ’em off guard. And I think I did.”

Recruiting a team of trusted investigators, George has mapped out an FBI-style RICO chart – connecting the dots of all the offending adversaries – and promises to spill the beans in his forthcoming autobiography. He holds particular contempt for his former publishers, Bridgeport Music, who – aside from the fact that it’s claimed they won his publishing illegally – have concealed payments they received as the result of suing artists that sampled Funkadelic’s music.

“One of the people who worked for Bridgeport, [name redacted], they did a lot of their slimy shit against everybody, but the company didn’t take care of them, so they turned state’s evidence on them,” George reveals. “So I went to Switzerland, where they live, and got their deposition. [Name redacted] told us everything this guy did, and I’m putting that in the book. And then the other lawyers that they’ve paid along the way – judges, lawyers…

“So much has happened over the years with samples of those songs, that it’s the same judges and lawyers, and they just got happy on getting paid that they got sloppy as hell. Now, they still may be powerful enough in Congress and all that, because they lobby like hell, that they can override everything we got, but it’s gonna be in that book forever.”

Continue at Clash

Zaria Forman: Climate Change deniers step off

I came across the arts blog Colossal a couple months back, and the three times I’ve visited the site, I’ve been blown away by some of the creative expression, the scope of possibilities, bloody marvelous I’d say. Today was no different, Zaria Forman. Spending x amount of time in remote places on earth have left a huge impression on her, and obviously it comes through in her photorealistic paintings of distant but nonetheless, important oceanscapes and the messages within.

Zaria on Facebook

More via Colossal here




Ya Dig.

Dig It: 1. To approve of,

To Dig: 1.  As in Crate Digging, to search for records or breaks, samples.

I dig the following clip from the Jackie Brown film, love Samuel’s vocal presence.  The phrase is a killer.  It’s within my dj sets, it’s appropriate, it’s dj battle material.