Thursday, November 26, 2020

Ten Cities - a coeval chronicle of internatty club sounds


Ten Cities tells a transnational tale of club culture across six decades, 1960-2020, focusing on five European and five African cities: Lagos, Luanda, Berlin, Bristol, Johannesburg, Kiyv, Nairobi, Lisbon, Naples, and Cairo.  Edited by Johannes Hossfeld, Joyce Nyairo and Florian Sievers and published by the art book imprint Spector Books, it weaves together contributions from 20 writers and 19 photographers from those ten cities. 

Release rationale: 

In Africa as well as in Europe, club cultures create free spaces that can function as nocturnal laboratories for societies. Nightclubs are hubs in a complex global network – and at the same time they are manifestations of very local and specific practices. This book tells the story of club music and club cultures from 1960 to the present in ten cities in Africa and Europe: Nairobi, Cairo, Kyiv, Johannesburg, Berlin,Naples, Luanda, Lagos, Bristol, Lisbon. It expands the focus beyond the usual North Atlantic narrative of centres and periphery and instead aims at a coeval narrative. In 21 essays, playlists and photo sequences the book draws intimate portraits of these cities’ subcultures, their transnational flows, as well as the societies from which they evolve and which they, in turn, influence. An urban and political rhythm-analysis from the viewpoint of sound and night. 


More information about Ten Cities here at the Spector Books website.  

An earlier blogpost of mine about Ten Cities and "xenotronica". 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

a bloke, or a beam?

The title seemed wonderfully mysterious.... I used to think, "is it meant to suggest the track is like a beam - a sonic laser beam -  a ray that zaps you and sends you into a voodoo trance?"

Then I thought, "actually perhaps it's a nickname or an alias... 'm'name's Voodoo Ray!'", "that's Voodoo Ray, e's a legend!", "watch out for that Voodoo Ray, a dodgy geezer". 

(Accidental or unconscious echo of  Velvet Underground, "Sister Ray" maybe. Or Suicide, "Mr Ray" )   

Voodoo Ray - a drug dealer,  a "here comes the nice" / "Mr Pharmacist"  kind of personage. Ebeneezer Goode even.    

Voodoo Ray - a shaman. Pagan mystic. 

Voodoo Ray - someone who's done too many trips and gone doolally. A lost-eyed casualty. Bit cracked in the head. Babbles on about cosmic paranoia type stuff.  

The reality is, as everybody knows by now, I'm sure, that the end of the word got cut off the sample. Track should have been called "voodoo rage". And in fact did become "Voodoo Rage" again,  in a drum-and-bass era refix

the source, endlessly amusing on many levels, being this sketch about white Brit bourgeois and their projections onto black music. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

"This event includes strong language and references to drug culture"

Election Eve anxiety was momentarily alleviated  last Monday when I got to moderate a really fun discussion about rave culture's visual aesthetics and its ongoing legacy in graphics, fashion, music and pop culture. Title "The Spirit of Rave" and involving Jeremy DellerMartine Rose, and Trevor Jackson, the conversation - convened by The Design Museum as part of its current exhibition Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers - goes out live on Thursday, November 12th, at 7pm UK time.  Information about tickets can be found here

From The Design Museum's announcement for The Spirit of Rave:

Rave was a defining counterculture movement in Britain. Responding to the social, political and economic conditions of the 1980s and 90s, it joyfully disregarded design convention from cut-n-paste techniques to neon colours and brash imagery.

Join artist Jeremy Deller, fashion designer Martine Rose and graphic designer / deejay / producer Trevor Jackson and music author Simon Reynolds for a talk exploring the legacy 90’s British rave culture has left in art and design today.

Please note that this event includes strong language and references to drug culture.