Streetmusic Arabe

Nettle / Nass El Ghiwane / DJ/Rupture at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

A night of music representing the development of arabic music by the influence of western styles.

Nettle started the evening with the geeky looking Jace Clayton (DJ/Rupture) introducing the players. Buidling upon live precussion and string parts Clayton added to this his own style of sampling and controlled maniupulation to extend the sounds off. At times the three musicians seemed to simple be on stage together by accident, each looking equally at odds with the other. Abdel Hak, on strings, looked like he had simply been placed on the stage, unaware of the audience around him, perhaps a reflection of his skill in the form of experience. The percussionist, Grey Filistine, looked uncomfortable in his suit, but then when they started to move into the music together you could see his eyes becoming entracned by his rhythms. The music all started to form together and the group achieved their potential. These moments more than made up for the moments where it didn't quite seem to work.

They were followed by Nass El Ghiwane. They built up some amazing trance rhythms whlst playing with their audience and eliciting some amazing vocal harmonies. Their longstanding ability and the comfort of the line-up working with each other was apparent with the ease with which they worked together and built up the songs, proving that this 30 year old, ever changing line up, can still engage. So beautiful it's left me lost for how to describe.

After a short interval DJ/Rupture returned to the stage, this time as DJ. A difficult taks to pull of he is a DJ, not a turntablist, and watching someone play records in a seated venue isn't the best exepriece. Non the less he should some excellent skills, quickly mixing between arabic vocal tracks on to break beats and layering them together. At times it was difficult to tell if he was actually mixing his skills were so seemless. His skills here show that he has the capability to be a good producer and emphaise what can be achieved by Nettle.

Following DJ/Ruptue were Clotaire K an Egyptian and Lebanese HipHop band. I couldn't really get into this, and ended up leaving after 4 songs. I think perhaps it would have made more impact had I been able to understand what they were singing (mostly in French) but otherwise it was a bit lost on me. And perhaps the wrong type of band to be following up the other artists, too intense in the theatrical nature of their performance.

It was nice to see Jace Clayton and Grey Filastine hanging out in the foyer during the interval, helping tout their wares, rather than hiding backstage.

StreetMusic Arabe
Post World Industries (Grey FIlastine)
The Agriculture (Nettle)

published 2004.10.28 updated 2014.11.03

Chris Watson - Weather Report

Field recordings from a former Cabaret Voltaire member.

John bought me Weather Report for my birthday last year, and I've been enjoying it ever since. It pops up on my iPod from time to time, and when I'm listening to home. I particulary enjoyed playing around with it on Final Scratch.

I recently also picked up "Outside the Circle of Fire" which has got some amazing recording on it. Again had some comedy moments going "Owl's, in London?" only to realise it's a track off of this CD picked up on Random. Such are the quality of his field recordings.

Chris Watson

published 2004.10.15 updated 2014.11.03

The small things in life

a lens adapter for my camera

A small package from nextphoto.net arrived today. It contained a single piece of metal. It was a 58mm to 72mm lens adapter for my Nikon Coolpix 5700. It means that I can put filters on my camera, and still use the full scope of my zoom lens. It's such a simple thing, but will be so nice to use. I wonder why Nikon don't produce one, and why I had to find a company in America to get one shipped.

But still another vote for the Internet, much more helpful than any camera shop I've been in to... I found it after all [after some searching] and maybe this page will help other people with the same need find it as easily.

It also has the stunning advantage of making my camera much nicer to hold. Feels more like an SLR now as I can hold the camera with two hands and not obstruct anything.

Now all I want is for my anamorphic lens to arrive from Italy...

published 2004.02.24 updated 2017.06.26

Kid Koala - 'Some of my best friends are DJs'

Turntablism meets New Orleans, a young man telling stories...

I've been a fan of Kid Koala since I first heard '' on Ninja in, oh, 96?

Anyway his new album has instantly got me hooked - after takingh 2 months to buy it. His style of composing together sounds is lovely. It explores a number of jazz themes whilst also referencing more modern turntablism. It has a lot of soul and it is more than just a piece of music - it's Kid Koala telling stories.

Ninja are selling it as a book + CD [a great VAT get out clause guys] and it comes with a beautifully illustrated 50 page comic book drawn by Kid Koala and telling short stories of lifes frustations - Skid's quest for love is something that was refelcted in the 'Carpal Tunnel Syndrome' and the gamesong that James Tindall did for the 'Fender Bender' single. I remember Eric speaking to us at Kleber at the time and saying he didn't want to have any way of loosing the game, and how strongly he felt about anything being done in his name. A very proud artist.

And it's got a beautiful video on the CD as well.... overall it's a great example of a package which has had a lot of love put into it by the producer, not just another faceless product. The kind of thing that could only be nurtured by an independent record label, not by an artist alone or by people out to make a fast buck.

He's also great live.

'Some of my best friends are DJs' ... go buy it.

published 2003.11.30 updated 2017.06.26

Snowmail

News reports from John Snow and colleagues at Channel 4 News.

Having not had a television for almost a year I've come to miss some things about it. Mostly being able to watch the news of an evening. However over the time I've become more and more fond of the other way I receive my daily update of what's going on in the world. It's short, and it's a bit more personal.

Snowmail.

I also enjoy getting The Wrap from the Guardian every day. And The Informer.

Predictably I use both the guardian and channel 4 news websites for reading about news, as well as BBC News On-Line.

But I still like the simplest push media. email. If only there wasn't so much spam.

Oh, and Jude has just done this: GhostWriter. Which has reminded me to link to medialens. And indymedia. For balance.

published 2003.07.06 updated 2014.11.03

Christian Marclay & Steve Beresford

Live at the Spitz. Speechless.

Watch 25 minutes as quicktime video here. Filmed in shakeycam with suroundings sound, but maybe interesting to you. Should stream over dsl/cable modem.

published 2003.07.05 updated 2017.06.26

DJ Rupture / The Bug / Kid 606

At the ICA [2 weeks ago]

I forgot to add this at the time. This was one of the best gigs I've been to in a long time. 3 artists producing relentless pounding sounds of distorted noise and rhythms. Totally blew me away.

published 2003.07.04 updated 2017.06.26
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