Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not an easy road

Posting this from Kampala Uganda, where I have been for the last three days. I'm here working with the incredible charity Keep A Child Alive, doing sound on a promotional film they are making to raise money for their clinics here in East Africa. In a few hours we will head to Rwanda for about five days, we spent all of last week in Kenya, the first few days in Mombasa and the last few in Nairobi.
This is my second time in Kampala and I've been having a really emotional time here. My first visit two years ago was truly incredible and I left feeling a strong emotional connection to this place, but at the time I was so caught up in the circus of the job I was here to do I didn't allow myself to really stop and listen to the trial and tribulations of the people here. This time around we have been at the Alive medical center in Nobongo, filming people's testimonials and the the experience has been overwhelming. The amazing difference that a small amount of capital can make in the lives of people is unbelievable. Most shocking is the infection rates in this, what is supposed to be one of africa' success stories in combating HIV. Talking to the doctors, hearing how of the 250 or so people they test a month, about 100 people are infected. That's almost %35!!! Shocking also to hear that the %4 national infection rate which is so lauded globally as a success story is reflective of only %10 of the population that has been tested. The lies and politricks that manipulate peoples lives globally never ceases to amaze me, and the muderation and manipulation of statistics is undeniable.
Have been privilidged to been in Africa during what has been an extremely big week here on the continent, what with the inditment of Bashir for war crimes by the hague, the power sharing agreement in Zimbabwe, and the arrests of rebel leaders here in Uganda which took place over the last few days. All of these developments come as mixed blessings, the indictment of Bashir is easily the most problematic. How is the Hague to act of this indictment? By pushing a coalition of nations to invade the Sudan? The last comparable situation was the arrest of Charles Taylor, who at the time of his indictment had far fewer friends in his own country than Bashir does. Whatever happens, the indictment represents a gigantic shift in the attitude of the global community towards the genocide in sudan, at long last. More on this later.

But wait, isn't this blog supposed to be about music?

Hit the CD stores here in K'pla, only to discover that here they don't sell manufactured CDs but rather you tell a guy sitting behind a computer what vibes you like and he burns a disc for you. Pulled about 250 songs, and sorting through them now as I travel to Rwanda, will post the choice cuts as the appear.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dubstep Gone Corporate

So check the triangulation bog for the first installment of the dj pause/radio ruido crate-off-needle-exchange takeover challenge of 08. The rules are this: each takes over the other's radio show with a crate of records pulled by the other from their collection. RR went pretty easy on me, it being the first time and all. He's not gonna be so lucky when he comes through here in August.
One discovery from his crate was the existence of Daddy Freddy and Asher D. A british Hip Hop duo from the 80's. These two are more explicit in their connections between ragga and hiphop than many of their contemporaries, like London Posse, who seemed to be going for a more distinctly British, non-NYC gazing sound. These guys are going for it straight out, posing on the cover looking like an carribeanified RUN DMC. Killer music. Check the playlist.
After doing the show we headed down the World Financial Center to see Kode 9(yes you read that sentence correctly). K9 was playing along with the Dub War crew as part of the city's ongoing summer River to River festival. I have to say it was probably the weirdest gig I have been to in years. First the start time was the very early hr of 8pm, which for anyone seasoned in ny clubing is lunchtime, and the venue; a vast glass and marble lobby of an office building right next to ground zero was an odd juxtaposition. That combined with the lack of alcohol, and the feeling that the audience was comprised of people who had just gotten off of work upstairs(architecture-blue dress shirts abounded) gave the whole gig a very very odd feel. I'm sure Kode 9 drew some pleasure from the Ballardy aspects of the venue, it was totally like a scene out of High Rise.
The music actually tended more towards funky and bassline then dubstep actually. Listening to K9 interviewed by Jace on Mudd radio the next day it was interesting to hear him contextualize funky in terms of it being like Soca. Another anglicized antecedent of a caribbean form. Though I'm not sure I'm convinced.

in other news,

fire blaze continually, to the fullest....