My friend DJ Kiva who teaches at Dubspot with me showed me this yesterday. It’s a compilation of a couple of clips of artist/engineer Theo Jansen’s work in motion. He calls it kinetic sculpture and it’s insanely beautiful.

Trouble In Paradise, an amazing zoo installation project by Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf [via Pruned].

Since here we are all about NEW YORK TROPICAL and related notions of global warming in terms of temperature and riddims, irrational environments, sweat, urban entangled in nature, etc, these fotos are, well, right up our jungle-alley.

(Photos by Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf.)



I told everybody I’m not playing no more anybody wanna try to out do me then we goin at it like next door neighbors. Believe dat

10lbs. 197kts. Very very real I don’t know what fake feel like.$410,000. Hola señor recession proof. T-Pain

Spotted @ RapRader

For those wondering why we’ve got the ‘esoteric luv’ category over there in the tag cloud, listen to this.  Timeblind goes in again with this new deep-as-the-marineris-trench-dubstep-what-you-call-it mix.  Timeblind is definitely never ever normal, here he sits us down again and patiently shows us what is going on in his mind, in the form of an mp3 file.  Who knew?


info and download here.

Gucci Mane

I keep on hearing voices/Telling me to ball, so I keep on buying Porsches/My watch’s like a portrait, Gorgeous!

Gucci Mane – Gorgeous

Gucci Mane is one of the most interesting figures in rap music at the moment, and he’s suffering not only from the general psychosis of being dope but also severe auditory hallucinations.  I downloaded “Gorgeous” from cocaine blunts several weeks back, and I just got around to  hearing it. According to Noz ““Gorgeous” finds him walking the line between language and commerce obsession by way of voices in his head. We’ve heard the balling as a compulsion defense but never the full on insanity claims.” The beat is great as well, providing a perfect background for the experience that is Gucci Mane.

F*** The Recession, my bank accounts are pregnant!

& & &

Augustus Pablo – Africa Dub

Hugh Mundell – Africa Must Be Free By 1983

To bring us back to reality, away from Gucci Mane and the Hearing Voices movement, here’s Augustus Pablo’s “Africa Dub”, plus the original tune “Africa Must Be Free By 1983” by Hugh Mundell, a teenage prodigy, who died far too early (1962-1983~ shot to death in Kingston while driving a car with Junior Reid.)  Hugh Mundell wrote and recorded several albums, some of which were produced by Augustus Pablo. I have yet to hear them.

Speaking of unheard/undiscovered Jamaican reggae – Props to Professor Wayneandwax for the heads up & review. I ordered Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae from Amazon weeks ago, and still haven’t received it.

A few weeks ago, I saw a financial analyst on MSNBC who said that instead of worrying and despairing because the US economy is spiraling downward, Americans should be excited and imaginative, because it is easier to be the winner in an environment where so many people are loosing.  In most of the rap world, it’s forever boom-time and the global economic crisis is nonexistent.  Openly masking human suffering and frailty with good old fashion American hypermasculinity and boasts about one’s net worth has been the approach for radio-friendly rap artists for years, regardless of the current economic malaise.  Even when the world around is crumbling, these artists look beyond, ignoring immediate circumstances and continue to paint pictures of excess. There is no such thing as absurd, excessive balling.

To roughly quote something Hugh Masekela said – if you don’t talk about your people, their plight, injustice, struggle and you’re using their music to get rich and famous, you need your head examine, you will end up in a bad, bad place… well, a lot of people are living in that place already.

After posting that Young Capone track, and listening to the Rick Ross album (which has some surprisingly good and memorable moments) I was compelled to look at the other side of the trap/the majority/what is considered the norm to most rap listeners, or what has larger representation, Hot97 radio-playability (not to say Young Jeezy’s “Circulate” and Cam’rom’s “I Hate My Job” didn’t get played, because they did, but you are more likely to hear flamboyant and splurgy raps and attitude towards the recession.)  But this batch of tracks also features some relatively unknown/regional/up and coming rappers.

So here it is — Recession Proof Wallets for your listening pleasure. It is pretty nauseating.  It slows down in the second half, but really there’s no relief, except for the last track by UGK, adding a degree of levelheadedness and unquestionable swag, everything else here is bloated and unreal, insane and American–  so there, consider yourself warned.



Zshatwa – Fresh (Intro)
Rich Boy – It’s Over
Rick Ross – Magnificent feat. John Legend
Droop-E & B-Slimm – Think Fast
Young Capone – Dopeboyz (Show Out)
Gucci Mane – I’m The Shit
(((Talking That Money Shit Interlude)))
Fat Joe – Cupecakes feat. Benisour
Ju of D4L – Do It, Do It feat. Shawty Lo
KD – I Know U C Me
The Kid Datona – Lately feat. Amanda diva
Busta Rhymes – Hustlers Anthem ’09 feat. T-Pain
Wale – Penthouse Anthem
Pluck – Sick feat. ST 2 Lettaz (of G-Side) & Jackie Chain
UGK – Purse Come First feat. Big Gipp
(((McLuhan takes us out with An Inventory Of Effects)))

An Interview with Ghislain Poirier from Maga Bo on Vimeo.

Another installation in his excellent and informative mini-doc series, musician and documentarian Maga Bo interviews Ghislain Poirier – he talks about his background, making collaborations and building bridges, exoticism and problems with authenticity, and a lot more.

Bo sez –

With this series of mini-docs, I want to demystify the music production process a bit and bring out the humanity of it.  After all, music is a manifestation of history.  of choices and relationships.  This is common to any art, discipline, individual, group or society.  Through communication, real and imaginary differences and similarities become clearer.  Separatist ghetto exoticism cannot exist in this space.  Tamu juntos e misturados.

You can check the rest of the mini-docs (DJ/rupture, Daniel Haaksman, MC Gringo, Diplo, Fletcher from African Dope, Eritbu Agegnehu Askenaw, Xuman and Keyti) here on Vimeo (better quality) and here on Youtube.

wholesale chop from Cocaine Blunts:

It turns out Lil B’s “My Baby” wasn’t an isolated instance of lunacy but just one small part of a grand experiment. The 19 year old Pack frontman currently maintains 114 myspace pages… all launched over roughly the last eight months and each showcasing five or six original songs and freestyles.

The pages are numbered chronologically and listening to them in order is like reading an abandoned space journal, a slow descent into madness. Except it’s the good kind of madness.

read more! it’s hard to fathom. There’s a greater narrative to explore here (ref. Lil Wayne) about what happens when a compulsion for content outstrips all editorial filters. FWIW, Shoot the Bitch Bra sounds like ‘golden era’ Lenny Dee / Industrial Strength. And not The Pack.


Large Hangars and Fuel Storage/Tonopah Test Range, NV/Distance ~18 miles/10:44 am by Trevor Paglen

Mark Danner is one of the good journalists. His work navigates nearly impenetrable messes of deceit and deception like the 2000 Florida vote recount, the nefarious path to the American war in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. Military intervention in Reagen era El Salvador… the list goes on- but I think when you have Susan Sontag call you “one of our best, most ambitious narrative journalists” you’ve pretty much fulfilled your journalistic duty to the world.

One of my biggest fears during the election was that once/if Obama was elected there would be a psychic closure on the Bush years. In a more utilitarian sense, I am afraid that people are so excited about entering a “new era” that they  forget that there is a lot of unfinished business from the last 8 years that needs to be sorted out. Danner’s latest piece, “US Torture: Voices From the Black Sites,” which appeared in the new issue of the New York Review of Books on Monday, is doing some of the heavy lifting. It contains detailed accounts of interrogations of “highvalue detainees” at secret “black site” prisons. An excerpt from the piece – about a tenth of it – appeared on the OpEd page of Sunday’s New York Times. It’s a potent reminder that the clean up process has just begun.

Wayne says PDFs are the new MP3s- so here is a PDF of the whole article as it appeared in the New York Review of Books. This is painful to read, and while for some it might be confirming what they thought they already knew- there’s something deeply moving about reading first hand accounts of the abuse against “our enemies.”

Mark Danner “US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites” PDF (9 pages)