Grab a 20th Anniversary copy of Dazed- there’s 20 different covers that all look kind of like ours with Pharrell.
Love to Tim Noakes for the editorial look and Terence Teh for the write up. It’s the little things like staying up until 3 in the morning packing a $1k box (and collaging the shit out of it) to a Japanese distro or finding your slothy flyers finally leave the internet that keep us moving. Always upward. Been strategizing tonight on new designs for the amazing Chants vinyl and some dope new apparel collabos with renegade atelier Hello Bad Mind. Can’t wait to share them all- but this year is all about less talk and more touch. If your in New York Friday (1/6/2012) come say what’s up at Cluster Mags new party. Brooklyn Fireproof Gallery///119 Ingraham Street (In the Alley)///Brooklyn, NY 11237

I can listen to this BACK2BACK2BACK2BACK

But besides what’s keeping me all polyriddimic on the escalator out into time square every day- there has been some heavy drops in the last couple weeks of dope new free music. I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time just how free music works on the internet. Call yourself a net label and you risk failing b4 you even start. Give away free mp3s of pay to own releases that almost no one buys and suddenly you are a legit record label. Along with his dope fake NY-Times review Tracky Birthday also released a manifesto of sorts about net labels and free music… choice quote “Net Labels are Like Hookers, Only Cheaper.”

Body High just dropped a killer set of free edits which u should grab ASAP I screwed down the Game Over edit at Sweatlodge and it was NEXT.

The other freelease that I’m feeling comes from Austin (h/t to Wayne for the headsup) LOTIC MURDERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS listen 4 urself

Look Flyer
Dreams come true! Sometimes it’s confusing bc I assume everyone that reads DA also reads and follows everyone else that I follow and then I realize we haven’t been repping our close friends nearly as much as we should be. BUT FOR REAL IF U DONT PAY ATTENTION TO THIS BUNCH YOU ARE LOST AS FUCK. BUT IT IS NEVER TO LATE TO GET ON BOARD. We need more genius level thinkers giving their minds to think about media and what our futures SHOULD/CAN look like. XLR8R made a weird/clueless April Fools joke about Angela Davis inviting Venus to a conference as if to undermine any possibility of the political in cultural practice- which then begs the question that when they ride for Kingdom or Mike Q or ball room or anything if it is just purely about positioning within the emergence of cool and totally devoid from any sense of the importance of building safe spaces or supporting radical aesthetics. Whatever, dude’s probably just feel uncomfortable. ANYWAYS- this is a great week for music and one step closer to the global think tank I dream about.

DJs Ripley, D’hana, and Rizzla!
10pm, 21+, FREE
Public Assembly, Back Room
70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn

This Thursday, come celebrate with us as we party with three of our favorite DJs: D’hana (NuLIfe/Chubrub) Rizzla (NuLife productions, Fade To Mind) and the soon-to-be-New Yorker Dj Ripley (Surya Dub). All three are in town taking part in the Radical Aesthetics and Politics Conference at Hunter. (There sounds like a bunch of dope presentations at the all day Friday conference event- but they are saving the best for last in what hopefully will be a dope panel discussion 4:30 – 6:00 PM Panel 8: We come alive: making exilic spaces for remixing social life) SIGN UP FOR FREE

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D’hana Perry came of age as a DJ in Boston’s queer nightlife scene and has evolved, transcending expectations and catering to a wide range of diverse crowds. S/he was nominated as best DJ in the 2010 Boston Phoenix Reader’s Poll, and the mixtape NU LIFE Vol. 1, released with Rizzla, garnered attention from Fader Magazine, and Discobelle among other notable online publications. Perry has worked with rising stars in global bass and house music, queer culture icons and media studies mavens including: NGUZUNGUZU, Total Freedom, Robyn, M.E.N, Kingdom & VenusX.

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“By night DJ Ripley is a bass music luminary, sharing stages with everyone from DJ Assault to Dizzee Rascal and Flying Lotus, and has been an instrumental member of some of the world’s most forward-thinking DJ collectives. The rest of the time, she is Larisa Mann: journalist, legal ethnographer and economic historian, wrecking the ivory tower of intellectual property law with her research on music production in Jamaica.” – Fader Magazine

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“Rizzla, aka Brian Friedberg, is an M.A. student in the curation of the carnivalesque…a regular at Zuzu’s, Milky Way and Middlesex, mixing and matching the slinkiest and slackest of hip-hop, dancehall, soca, house, nu world beats and unexpected rave musics, Rizzla will do everything he can to keep the party going.”
Nu Life Mix – Jan ’11 by rizzla_dj

The last year was full of the “OMFG” moments that I live for. Started the new year in Kingston and somehow managed to hit North, South and West Africa before winding up back at DA headquarters slurping Pho in Chinatown. What I love about our crew is that everyone is on their own global grind- I think we hit everywhere but Antartica this last year and already it’s looking like 2012 is going to be absolutely beautiful. I’m really excited that we are in the final stages of bringing some amazing new artist into our family and beyond proud of everything we managed to get done this last year. It is an incredible blessing to be able to work with a group of people whose dedication, motivation and talent seeps into everything they do. So massive love out to Matt, Jace, Geko, Boima, Lamin, Atropolis, Leeor, Pierce, Emeka, Diego, Hardt, Chris, and Sam. Y’all are the reason I do what I do and it has been an amazing run so far. Here’s a toppa top list of sorts looking back at the year in no particular order.

Favorite Hook
I heard this everywhere in Ghana and then Benji from Awkwaaba gave me the mp3 and now I listen to it all the time.
Favorite Banger
I’m pissed this dropped when I was still in Africa caus I would have been dying hearing funk flex pull it back endlessly.
Favorite Throw Back
I watched Barrington Levy war on stage with Big Yute as they did greatest hits medleys at a show at Edna Manley and then during a later Magnum Tonic Wine fueled bout of youtubery I remembered how hard this kills.
Best Artist-

Shabazz Palaces – When I first heard Shabazz Palaces on the radio in Seattle I pulled over and called KEXP to get a track ID. Since I got the first two self-released EPs on my ipod they have not left. Seattle’s answer to Baldwin. Perfect soundtrack for 6 A.M. dazed-treks along Ipanema beach coming home from bailes in Rocinha.

Best Project Beyond Digital –
For years Jace and I have dreamed about a time intensive on location multi-disciplinary residency project. With the magical powers of concurrent dreamers Bo, Juan, Maggie, Carolyn and Colin we made it happen. We spent a month in Casablanca researching auto-tune, pirate cd-r covers and tagines. Various crew members are dreaming future iterations in Ethiopia, West Africa, Colombia and back in Morocco. Dreams come true.

Best kick it spot-

Busua, Ghana. I took a week off from the city hustle of studio visits and A&R research in Accra this summer to bus to Busua. After falling in love with surfing in the last year this was the perfect spot to relax – spending like four dollars a day to kick it, eat banku from the elementary school lunch ladies, and surf. After a few epic evenings djing on the beach, I hope I can make it back for the Asabaako festival next year. (Video is of one of the closest cities)
Best Crew

Bada Bada Gang – I spent a bunch of time last spring at Kunley from Ward 21’s apartment in Kingston and the various studios they work in. After spending the last few years hustling and grinding with Shadetek, Geko and /Rupture it was great finding a crew of like minded producers and musicians on their own DIY-OR-DIE journey. Timberlee and Natalie Storm especially inspired me to stay on my path.

STRAIGHT UP FUCK THE 2012 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT. This is the sort of shit that matters deeply even if you don’t read Prison Planet or listen to Coast 2 Coast. This is the shit that should unite tea partiers, I live in a silo with ten years of water people, the dude that serves you zips AND YOU. The bill passed late last night in a 93-7 vote, declares the entire USA to be a ”battleground” upon which U.S. military forces can operate with impunity, overriding Posse Comitatus and granting the military the unchecked power to arrest, detain, interrogate and even assassinate U.S. citizens with impunity.

If you were surprised by how militarized our police were during the last few months of #OWS don’t worry. If this bill goes into law we will just have the military straight up dealing with protests and other “terrorist” acts. Lets hope Obama vetoes this shit.

Boima has been absolutely killing it writing for Africa is A Country this year. When I ask him to blog on DA, he tells me that he’s too busy to re-post everything from Ghetto Bassquake, Africa is A Country and his own personal blog. Wayne talks about the free labor we all put into this collective project of music making, sharing, talking about it, whatever- you can’t really blame someone for not having time for one more piece of themselves.

Boima has been giving a lot recently, burning through school, putting together compilations in West Africa, producing most of one of the dopest releases of the year, steady attending and updating the world on #OWS, drinking bloody marys in Fort Green, getting his full length debut together for DA and working on a remix album with street impresario Sorie Kondi. DUDE IS BUSY. So when he takes the time to go in on one of the biggest, but least talked about undercurrents in the self-reflective bass/tropical/hood synthetics world- what the fuck is a/(wrong with) Wesley Pentz and why we all want(ed) to be him, but also don’t, or maybe never did, but maybe that major label beat money would be nice…..etc. U SHOULD PAY ATTENTION. Another pretty white face stands in for so many sexy/violent/not available black/brown/redbone faces.. but B draws out the nuance of the thing in a way that’s missing from pretty much every other summary/criticism I have ever read about Diplo. Read an excerpt below or click over to Africa is a Country for the whole thing.

“Around the start of Occupy Wall Street, an international DJ called Samim tweeted, “Did you know that the richest 1% of DJ´s control over 80% of the industry´s wealth and over 70% the media coverage?#occupyDJs”. Perhaps it was meant as an off-hand joke, but the fact that the DJ industry is an unbalanced place in terms of representation is clearly a reality. Nothing materialized this notion more than DJ Mag’s annual Top 100 DJs list, which read like a Forbes’ top 100, but for wealthiest DJs. Many people noticed the racial, gender, and wealth imbalances of the list, which in today’s music world almost seems preposterous (or maybe not.) Also, considering that House and Techno music’s roots are in the Black and/or Gay communities of the Rust Belt urban centers in the American Midwest, it becomes a curious example of cultural appropriation.

Noticeably absent from the list was popular American DJ, Diplo, who is also a successful producer, record label owner, and style icon. Perhaps the reason why he didn’t show up in the list is because he explicitly prefers to align himself with a global contemporary “underground”. Most recently he has done so in a series of travel journals for Vanity Fair magazine. The first one about this past year’s Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago and the latest where he “Discovers the Last True Underground Club Scene in New York.” In these travel journals Diplo makes clear his critical stance to the mainstream. But, with all the structural inequalities inherent in the industry, and qualifying statements like, “I don’t know a lot about being black and gay and cool…” Diplo’s critique mostly ends up sounding a lot like someone looking for redemption in a pure, untouched, uncontaminated, Other.

Why should you care about this? Because, no matter where you are in the world, if there’s an underground dance scene or marginalized community, Diplo has probably “discovered,” re-framed, and sold it audiences in another part of the world. If he hasn’t yet, he’s on his way, and your local scene might just end up being the next European House or Techno.


(NOTE: I wrote this a couple weeks ago for the huffington post, but they haven’t published it so whatever here it is )
Nobody understands Occupy Wall Street. At least not in the media. It is clear now, more than ever, how important framing is to politics in this country. We aren’t even being given the opportunities to ask the right questions about the Occupy movement, much less answer them. Media coverage reduces Occupy Wall Street to a protest about market regulation, and the bloodstained greedy hands of the 1 %. Even Liberal media doesn’t begin to suspect the power nascent at Liberty Plaza. Occupy Wall Street is about total revolution, just not the one you were expecting. Occupy Wall Street is a revolution in the lived lives of its participants. We should all be inspired by this.

Occupy Wall Street should be understood as a conference, not a protest. It is about sharing an emotional and social experience that creates a space for the unforeseen. It is a testament to the tenacity and creativity of a rag-tag group of people who are acutely aware of the fundamental space behind the curtain we have been presented as common sense reality. Capitalist sorcery is real and circumscribes our entire conversation about the potential for more fulfilling and just lives. We can barely begin to speak about, much less, address the dread and self-loathing that true consciousness engenders under present circumstances.

Of course, I cannot write “magic” and “true consciousness” without the need for a warning that I don’t mean New Age-y babble. Do you understand the power at play here? That I can barely speak of magic, even though it is quite literally the binding agent that defines the world around us? That a type of sorcery has been committed against us all, bearing branded sigils of protection against an outside world we see through the lens of a financially driven social system that has not, does not and never will serve us.

Occupy Wall Street is merely a charged space to draw energy from. It is not the solution. It is not the sign of the impending collapse. It is a place to share and dwell in power and resources, to visualize the possibilities for lives that overflow with fulfillment. Its real value is not in the demands it makes, or its duration, but merely in its existence. Occupy Wall Street tells white people what brown people have known for so long in America. This place is not for you. We will kill you if you get out of line. Stories of bootstrap success are no longer enough to keep us complacent. We are not bitter that we are not rich. We are bitter that a system exists where in the myth of a free and fair market confines us all. Living an entirely new life is only the beginning of necessary change. The fact that the job market is shit and that over seven million Americans are in jail, on parole or probation is one of many signs of the hubris of Capital — how lazy the system became in the face of its own largess. Job creation does not solve the problems that created the global Occupy movement. People want fulfillment, not just something to fill the time.

Still, we must ask, what is next? We must ask ourselves what resources we do control. To bring fulfillment into your life is the most radical act possible given the current degradation of life. We are being killed by the food we eat, the air we breathe and the media that enchants us to believe our dissatisfaction has no root cause. Consumption is offered as the cure. Infinite choice proves we are unique human beings. Sure, it will be worse if Michele Bachmann becomes the next president, but my dissatisfaction runs so much deeper then caring which face is given to the Capitalist hydra we let guard us. Occupy Wall Street is one expression of a universal need for meaning, regardless of political posturing.

We must begin by examining our lives. This is not a question of what consumptive choices you make, but what productive forces you unleash onto the world. We all have the potential to create spaces for fulfillment in our lives. What is the passion that drives you? Is it aligned with every moment of your life? What are the fantasies you have let wither inside you in fear of their impossibilities? Now is the time to bring them to the fore and think creatively about actualizing them. We are all deeply resourceful in our creativity and need only to be reminded of our true potential. Begin with small negotiable tasks like eating well, and creating time to do the activities that bring you the most joy. With each small step, the path becomes easier. #OCCUPYEVERYTHING

Imanaren is beautiful mystical music from the south of Morocco. Jace found them during our Beyond Digital residency project last summer in Casablanca- and after becoming close friends with the band leader Hassan, we decided to re-release their self titled, DIY full length. We traveled to Hassan’s hometown of Issafen via a grueling 12 hour drive into a sublime desert of martian rock formations and dusty oases. Nearly half way through our stay, Hassan’s father finally asked us why exactly we had come. Hassan isn’t allowed to play music in the house, so we recorded with his local friends and fellow musicians in a natural amphitheater carved out by a waterfall in a dry gorge. We will be selling an extremely limited number of the original Moroccan CD pressings that Hassan had distributed on a small scale through Morocco- other then that, stream it all on Hassan’s youtube channel – or cop it amazon, boomkat, or any other fine digital shop. Watch the video we shot in Issafen for “Flowering Of The Wise” and Hassan’s first collabo with Nettle below.

I spent most of the week layed up in bed with a sinus infection. I knew when I got on at Sweatlodge last night it would have to be on a majorly holistic tip. Here’s a couple burners that were new to me that won’t be leaving my crates anytime soon.

AND PART TWO HAS ARRIVED Russian goes in on some Afrojack sounding pressure. I listen to this every day.
Kartel Freaky Gal pt2[audio:|titles=Vybz Kartel – Freaky Gal (Part 2)]

SHE ONLY DANCE – blk.adonis + rizzla by rizzla_dj

From the insanely good free collabo EP from Blk.Adonis and Rizzla DOWNLOAD IT
“This is for the boys who bruk out when the dj drops Chi Chi Man. WE SEE U”