Filastine & Videocratz Live

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The insightful nomadic beat warrior known as Filastine has some new tricks up his constantly moving sleeves. Peak the new collaboration with video mapping artist Videocratz, which will hit the road next year, along with Nova Ruth on vocals and percussion.

Observer’s Photos of the Week

The Observer newspaper displays some of the best examples of photojournalism captured this week. From Bahrain, where demonstrations are continuing; Street performers in Sevilla pulling some crazy ´How they do that´ stunts; Kraftwerk performing at the Montreaux Jazz Festival and the home of 115.000 Syrians at the Za’atari refugee camp near the Jordanian city of Mafraq, five miles from the border with Syria.

A Bahraini protestor holds a Molotov cocktail during clashes with police

A Humpback whale jumps in the surface of the Pacific Ocean in Colombia

Women in traditional Sevillana dresses walk by street performers in Malaga

An aerial view of the Zaatari refugee camp near Mafraq, Jordan

Kraftwerk performs at the 47th Montreux Jazz Festival

The full gallery is viewable here

The Twilight Zone – The Obsolete Man

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In a future totalitarian state, Romney Wordsworth is a man put on trial for the crime of being obsolete. His occupation as a librarian is a crime punishable by death as the State has eliminated books and literacy. He believes in God, a crime also punishable by death, as the State claims to have proven that there is no God. He is prosecuted by the Chancellor, who announces in front of the assembled court that Wordsworth, in not being an asset to the State, shall be liquidated.

As my good friend Troy the Goblin, who originally spotted the link below, said, ¨there isn’t anything of TV these days that is as poignant as this fifty year episode.¨ Holler if you disagree.

Ear Conditioning Label news

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We are releasing a record, as in a vinyl record, we must be mad.

No, we´re just passionate about something.

The first record features King L Man, with Earl 16 singing.

The song is called ¨Vultures´Bazaar¨

King L Man is juvenile in name, but not in manner.

It´s my molotov cocktail.

The flip-side has LV remixing ‘Abantu’ by The Mighty Zulu Nation.

Abantu is the title of their album that Aki Nawaz of Fun-da-mental produced in 2004.

The first record will be released end of next month, via Nation Records

We are preparing to release an album by Socos Dúo, they play chello and marimba

We hope to avoid the crevice of being pigeonholed, don´t like pigeons.

Grenouille are in the final stages of recording their album too.

We are amp´d.

More as it happens.

Ruud van Empel

Spotted at The Guardian this morning…Ruud van Empel, from the Netherlands.

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Dawn#1, Ruud van Empel 2008
World#31, Ruud van Empel 2008

Many of the children in your works are black. How did this choice come about?

I grew up in a small Catholic town in the south of the Netherlands. There was only one black boy in my primary school class. In the portrait Generation 1 I expressed this situation. It shows a white class with just one black pupil. With World#1 I decided to work with more black children. It set off a whole new series of work. First I thought of portraying a girl in a dirty, old and torn-up dress, as if she were very poor. I suppose this idea popped up in my head because of the image we westerners are often given. I didn’t really like that idea though, and decided to give them the clothes my generation wore when we were kids, especially because those clothes looked very innocent to me. Later, in 2007, the art historian Jan Baptist Bedaux told me this was the first time a black kid was portrayed as a symbol for innocence in western art. He wrote:

The fact that many of the children in his compositions have a dark skin is a facet that cannot remain without comment. Although it is self-evident that a child’s skin colour is not important, the iconography of the innocent child was traditionally represented by ‘white’ children. The earliest examples of this date from the early 17th century. These are portraits in which children are captured in an idealised, pastoral setting. It is a genre to which the children’s portraits of the German artist Otto Dix, a source of inspiration to Van Empel, refer. In deviating from the standard iconography by giving the child a dark skin, Van Empel inadvertently assumes a political stance. After all, this child is still the focus of discrimination and its innocence is not recognised by everyone as being self-evident.

Full interview here

Ruud van Empel website

The Robert Wyatt Story

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Came across Robert Wyatt through his version of ‘Shipbuilding’, an Elvis Costello tune, if I remember correctly. After that, it was album ‘Old Rottenhat’ that took my breath away. It has a very simple, minimalist presentation on the face of it, programmed drums, keyboards and synths and our man’s voice. I found this an education, learning about the wrongs committed in East Timor, which was invaded and the world powers turned a blind eye to a slaughter. Another stand out song is The Age of Self.
“They say the working class is dead, we are all consumers now.
They say we have moved ahead, we are all just people now.
There’s people doing frightfully well, there’s others on the shelf
Never mind the second kind, this is the age of self…”

Below is a BBC Documentary about the man.

We can kill you. It’s good for business

Rapier missile system, London

In today’s Guardian,  a piece  by Andy Beckett on the British arms industry, the excuses used to justify government involvement, “it supports 300,000 jobs”, and often used quote that doesn’t add up. It’s ties with government. Quite interesting that is these years of free market theories and “orthodoxies, how pivotal the state is.”  Maybe in a somewhat humorous point, “There are only a few other businesses – such as pharmaceuticals and pop music – where Britain is still so internationally prominent.”  Bomb them with arms, pop music and drugs. Class.

Where is Mark Thomas when you need him?

Plaza Joe Strummer

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News just in, a plaza in Granada, Spain is to be renamed in honour of the Clash singer / guitarist / poet Joe Strummer. Officials confirmed on Tuesday they had chosen a square to be renamed Plaza Joe Strummer, after receiving a petition to honour the musician, who went there from London in 1984 as the Clash began to disintegrate.
“A square has been identified and now the proposal has to be approved by the committee of honours and distinctions,” said a city hall spokeswoman, María José Anguita. “There was a popular petition for this to happen and the city hall accepted it.”
Strummer, who died in 2002, travelled to Granada, in southern Spain, after he and bandmate Paul Simonon provoked the Clash’s greatest crisis by sacking the guitarist, singer and songwriter Mick Jones in 1983. “He was basically fleeing, running away from the problems he had created in London,” said Nick Hall, a Barcelona-based film-maker who is working on a documentary, I Need a Dodge! Joe Strummer on the Run, that tells the musician’s Spanish story.

Strummer’s connections to Spain went back to pre-Clash days when he shared a London squat with a Spanish girlfriend, Paloma Romero, the future Slits drummer known as Palmolive. The squat was also shared by Romero’s sister Esperanza and Richard Dudanski, drummer in Strummer’s pub rock band the 101ers.

“They would talk a lot about politics, the Franco dictatorship and [the poet and playwright Federico García] Lorca. That is the root of his interest,” Hall said

Full story here