Our fave Indian Electronic Act drop a great new mystical spoken word number with London Poet Last Mango in Paris that makes you feel like you’re sitting right next to the Ganges listening to an ancient philosopher.
Here’s what it is about:
In the story of the Bhagavad-Gita, the Prince Arjuna is tormented as he drives into battle in his rickshaw, because he might have to kill his brothers. He consults his cross-dressing rickshaw driver, who happens to be the superhero god Krishna in disguise. Krishna busts some lyrics to Arjuna. This track conjures images of early morning ragas by the side of the Ganges.
Produced by – Bandish projekt (Mayur Narvekar) Words & Poetry – Last Mango In Paris Vocals Aishwarya Joshi Flute – Shreyas Dave
“You ARE the noise gate” – Magician from the shortfilm ‘Noise Gate’ (2013)
The venue WORM is connected to a bar-restaurant, Wunderbar, where the afrofuturist vibes trickled through in the form of shangaan electro, and music from William Onyeabor and Fela Kuti, softly playing in the background. But behind this ostensibly superficial scene-setting hid a deeper message. Continuing the theme of the movie Crumbs, the second day was in many ways dedicated to the notion of a future after the apocalypse, which, as I found out, plays an important role in the afrofuturist movement as a whole.
The afternoon zine workshop was organised by Rasheeda from The Afrofuturist Affair and Ras from Metropolarity, two affiliated platforms where the creation of zines to showcase literature, art & more is a central activity. With a powerpoint presentation, the participants were challenged to reflect on human life in a possible, post-apocalyptic world. The assignment was to create a zine, with possible drawings, poems, ideas, quotes and picture collages from the many newspapers and magazines that covered the table only using sissors, paper, a copy machine and staples. Issues that were discussed were causes of the apocalypse, opportunities and challenges, leftovers of the known world, technology, traumas, identities and communication. Towards the end, the title of the zine was called ‘bubble to bubble’, referring to a networked community-structure as a replacement for our complex pre-apocalyptic mass society.
In the films too, the theme of perception and interpretation, one of the more intellectual elements of post-apocalyptic sci-fi came back in different ways. In the film ‘Noise Gate‘ (2013), directed by Vim Crony (Long Beach, California) a scientist from the future in search of the ultimate truth travels through different dimensions via a space-time tunnel called the noise gate. Inside the noise gate, the vibrations that produce reality lose their harmonious coherence and change into a whirlpool of cacophonic noise, at the end of which a wholly different kind of reality will be assembled. Every passage through the gate is a little apocalypse in itself. Stranded in a desolate, lifeless world and looking for the gate to exit, the (male) scientist encounters a majestically dressed (female) magician who appears to hold the key and answer to his search. Taking off his steampunkesque goggles and opening his eyes reveals a buzzing iris, the color television, tuned to a dead channel: Gateways for imagination, holding the power to travel dimentions and to create realities. “You ARE the noise gate”.
‘Touch’ (2014), directed by Shola Amoo (London, UK), is almost the opposite in both story and aesthetics. No desolate wastelands or otherworldly dressed scientists and magicians, but rather green fields outside London, covered with gently waving grass, and and two innocently dressed adolescents. This film was hard to review because of it’s many, multi interpretable layers and symbolic messages.
I personally perceived it as a critical commentary against the self-perceived purity, fragility and mindfullness of white-people’s intimacy (time and again perpetuated in mainstream cinema through the aesthetics of whiteness) juxtaposed to the supposed physicality of black people’s sexuality, expressed by means of a science-fiction story about a controlled, black-female conscious real-life avatar robot, who discovers the meaning of love and tenderness as an intersubjective experience between her lover and her. Official descriptions and reviews however, give a totally different picture and call it a film “about becoming a 21st century creative amidst a rapidly gentrifying city.” Here, the protagonist girl is an artist who develops a relationship as a way to escape a creative impasse and explores the limits of human experience that can be shared through technology. Two interpretations of a film that have absolutely nothing to do with each other; mine probably even making no sense at all. Nevertheless, stunning cinematic work and definitely food for further thought.
The final movie is more a music video than a film per sé, in the sense that the experimental rhythmic ambient track produced by Moor Mother Goddess plays an equally important role as the visuals. Black Quantum Futurism, is a third Philadelphia based community of deep thinking creative minds, established by Rasheeda Phillips and Moor Mother Goddess, which focuses on the philosophical foundations of quantum mechanics in relation to worldview, consciousness and cultural perceptions of time and language. In a brilliant word-play, ‘Black Bodies as Conductors of Gravity’ connects the notion of the black body in the politics of race to the black body as a theoretical concept in physics of an ideal material object which perfectly absorbs all radiation. The video is a creative, cryptic expression of the dichotomy between reflection and absorption as well as the relation between the studied object and the observer. The mirror-masked woman in the speculative laboratory full of mirrors, takes her reflecting mask off and seems to be making the discovery when seeing her face reflected in the mirror.
The films on Thursday were followed by three performances, from Moor Mother Goddess about whom we’ve already read, the ambient-noise duoNyfolt, whom we will hear about much more in following posts as well as electric guitar experimentalistMorgan Craft. Unfortunately, experimental vaporwave producer and graphic artist Marlo Reynoldscouldn’t be there.
Moor Mother Goddess is a multi-talented artist: a producer as well as poet and vocalist, whose style can only be characterised as experimental rhythmic ambient. Her sets vary between cyber-delic digital soundscapes energetic bassful beats & plunderphonic deconstructionism, enriched with clean as well as distorted vocals. These vocals in turn vary from single utterations to spoken word poetry to essayistic prose to rhythmical rap and everything in between. Moor Moder Goddess manages to encompass the whole spectrum of afrofuturism’s cultural expressions into one single act, which makes her one of the movement’s most iconic present-day voices!
Check out a snippet of Moor Mother Goddess’ performance in Rotterdam here!
And here a gripping music vid from 2 years back of the track ‘Of Blood’ from her ‘Alpha Serpentis EP‘!
Check out her new track!
Second to ascend the stage was the duo Nyfolt from St. Louis, consisting of visual artist, vocalist and songwriter Joan McNeil and electronic sound designer Nathan Cook, who describe themselves as a “a multi-faceted / pluralistic Afrofuturist, Neoplatonic, and Cyberpunk sound art / noise group.” Most characteristic for their approach is the intimate fusion of text with music into one very powerful sound-poem. Words and sentences become truly one with the sounds. Ideas, thoughts and emotions become live-created, analog soundscapes, while the soundscapes are in turn verbalised into words and sentences!
Their music stems from an eleborated philosophy, articulated in an official manifesto:
WE ARE FED UP WITH DIVISIVE RHETORIC/ACTIONS AND ARE SEEKING COMMUNION. […]THE GENESIS OF OUR SOUND IS THE COALESCING OF OUR INDIVIDUAL PSYCHSOCIAL TOPOGRAPHIES. […]HUMANISM IS OUR CATALYST AGAINST MARGINALIZING AND ALIENATING IDEOLOGIES. […]TRANSHUMANISM AIDS IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO USE TECHNOLOGY AND ELECTRICITY to diffuse our art effectivelt. WE ARE INVESTIGATING IMMATERIALITY AND AND METAPHYSICAL THAT AT TIMES IS INDIFFERENT TO THE FLESH. […] We confront the turmoil, frustration, and anger involved in the culture wars and through interrogation TRANSMUTE these feelings into communion, accord and empathy. NYFOLT IS CRITICAL OF MATERIALISM. Other trajectories are led by INTUITION, AN AFFINITY FOR THE PECULIAR, and a desire to avert, neutralize, and extinguish THE CORROSIVE AND PARALYZING EFFECTS OF PREJUDICE, DISCRIMINATION, AND CONFORMIST THOUGHT/LIVING.”
Nyfolt’s freshest release ‘Gutter Echoes Side B’
When, after these two powerful performances, the crowd was only half prepared to have their minds blown for yet a third time. Guitar virtuoso Morgan Craft‘s music was in many ways unlike the other two, particularly because of his unique use of the guitar as a tool to make experimental, futuristic music. Craft is a veteran when it comes to experimental music. Originally from Brighton, he has been based for long periods in NYC and in a small village on the Tuscan countryside and is now operating from the cosmopolitan, yet cozy and friendly Amsterdam, the best of both worlds.
In an in-depth interview with the experimental music blog The Improvisor, Craft describes himself as a bluesman, ‘blues’ not to be understood as a genre but as a well of emotion, and a heir of the intellectual and spiritual freedom of jazz, again not a genre but an attitude towards making music. If there is anything Craft reacts against, it’s the phenomenon, also described often here at Generation Bass, about musical flavours degenerating from open-ended expression into a fixed formula, a genre, that can be copied. This even goes for experimental or improvisational music or the use of computers as a gimmick instrument to merely ‘look’ futuristic.
“I don’t care one tiny bit about the style of music called ‘improv’, in fact I think most of the people who play ‘improv’ are liars at this point. They get up there and think they have to play like what ‘improv’ is supposed to sound like.” – Morgan Craft to The Improvisor
In this indeed highly original performance, he recorded loops of sounds, both harmonic and noisy, live played on his quitar and stacked new layers on top of it, including using a early 00s discman which transmitted hip hop beats to the pickup via headphones. He kept alternately adding and replacing elements so that the sound body organically evolved into an organic being able to propel itself. At several moments, Craft laid down his guitar and walked off the stage like a Leibnizian deity, resting after masterfully winding up the clockwork of the universe, now running itself in perfect harmony.
Morgan Craft’s instrumental setup with guitar, discman and several connected recording and effect devices
Morgan Craft’s recent full album, improvised and recorded live
“Afrofuturism should better shown and experienced than just talked about” – Rasheeda Phillips
The first day of Afrofuturism Now! Was an acquaintance with its many forms in literature, film and music. Including literature is an exciting new area for both WORM and Generation Bass, who have been heavy on music and some film but less on textual culture. And it turned out very well.
The festival opening consisted of readings from the main panelists: co-organiser Rasheedah Phillips from the the Afrofuturist scene’s central platform The Afrofuturist Affair, poet, spoken word performer & sound artist Moor Mother Goddess and Ras Mashramani from the intersectiopnal emancipatory sci-fi platform Metropolarity. All are based in Philadelphia, one of the main home bases of the afrofuturist scene in the United States and worldwide.
After some first opening words from the WORM crew and Rasheeda, Ras started with introducing the Metropolarity platform: a place where contrasting identities in race, class, gender and sexuality express their realities of growing up in contemporary world by means of science fiction. She read a throat grippingly powerful story as an example of the literature featuring in the zines they publish, written by herself, about the bleak coming of age of a caribbean immigrant in California and the self-perpetuating reality of the term ‘thug’ in America’s language politics.
Moor Mother Goddess performed a short spoken-word poem about the significance of Afrofuturism as a concept.
Rasheeda Phillips continued on that with a conceptual story about the physical mystery of time and our culturally shaped perception of it. What if, she asked, the universe would, at some point in 2016, reverse its expansion and time would start running backwards. How would humanity respond? How would our verbal and conceptual dealing with time, dominated by the Western idea of time as a line, come to terms with such reality? As a deeper message behind it, the story suggested that African, indigenous American or Asian conceptions of time might well be much better suitable to the reality of the 21st century that we are increasingly experiencing already now?
After the main panellists, there was an improvised, yet brilliant lecture from the Dutch writer and anthropologist Theo Paijmans, who connected the almost entirely ‘white’ phenomenon of belief in UFOs and alien abductions to the reality-based African American folklore of the Night Doctors, mysterious kidnappers who captured African Americans for scientific experiments. His research culminated into a literary, steamFunk-esque novel which is about to be released in both Dutch and English and could be heard here as a first, ‘pre-release’ teaser.
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After a first break, the Ethiopian post-apocalyptic sci-fi film ‘Crumbs‘, which we promoted in February this year, was shown. This in itself was a special opportunity because apart from its premiere on the prestigious Rotterdam Film Festival, it has never been shown anywhere in The Netherlands. The Addis Ababa based Spanish director Miguel Llansó happened to be on amicable terms with the WORM crew, having fallen in love with the venue, always dropping by on his visits to Rotterdam for the film festival.
‘Crumbs’ is a masterpiece which, in a way that reminds Terrence Malick, excels in communicating a subconsious atmosphere without telling a clear-cut story or presenting a thoroughly complete fantasy universe. The jawdropping Garcia Marquesque magic-realist story shows the life of a couple: Gagano, the protagonist-hero, a middle-aged man with a deformed body, and his wife, the young and beautiful Selam. They go through the all-too human relationship issues while living alone in a deserted bowling hall, where the bowling rails keep magically spitting out bowling balls and other objects. The bowling machine, however is a space-time port behind which in a distant place, a singing monk-like figure called Santa Clause, dressed up as Santa Clause, pretends to fulfill their wishes but never does. Outside in the sky hovers a rusty spaceship which has been there since the beginning of memory. Now it starts to move and seems to be preparing for its return to a distant planet. Gagano, who believes he and his wife belong on that planet and wish to escape this barren land, decides to find and meet Santa Clause in person to fulfil his wish, which leads him into an epic journey in which every crumb of the civilisation that is familiar and banal to us starts to loose its reference and acquires a mythical significance.
Watch the trailer here again
After the movie, the people gathered in the venue’s bar, to chat, evaluate and eventually dance to the melodic, somewhat shangaanflavoured afrobeat called ‘Bacardi house’, created of the upcoming Pretoria (South Africa) based talent DJ Spoko, who was booked for this very first afterparty. The vibe had to build up slowly and, apart from a few enthusiasts who demonstrated an advanced-looking kuduro choreography, it took a while before people were drawn towards the dance floor.
I (Sxmbra, which means ‘ghost’ just like ‘Spoko’), would have loved to meet and interview him in person. But I had to catch the last metro to the house where I stayed so I missed this opportunity. Expect some more attention for DJ Spoko soon on Generation Bass!
Producers are always on the hunt for rich South American Acapellas, well now look no further cause there’s a bunch of them here from Argentina, lovingly put together by our man Villa Diamante and Zurita.
Featuring Miss Bolivia, Fauna and a bunch of other great vocalists and ranging from 90 BPM to 110 BPM, you have everything here to help produce some Zouk Bass, Future Tarraxo, Tarraxinha, Nu Cumbia, Hip Hop and Moombahton or whatever.
This time I bring you one of the best kept secrets of Angola . I say best kept secrets because it seems that many people insist on trying to hide the force of nature which is Nástio Mosquito , especially in Portugal where the artist never perform.
” There are many good things from Angola that are not seen there[ in Portugal ] , because they are not considered useful , and it ends to have a consequence on the concept that people have of what happens here [ in Angola ] . “
Nástio belongs to a generation of thinkers and nonconformist artists. For those who want to classify his art and put him the obvious brand .. that should not be a easy task . He knows perfectly the questions he wants to raise. The background in representation and performance helps tearing humor and a very personal interpretation in his works. Don’t expect him to let you always in comfortable positions. Cozy but satirical. Accurate, also enhances the emotional load of the lyrics..the right person to think about “when intelligence enters in the game”.
Poet, performance artist, multi -media creator, writer and full time provocateur, Nástio Mosquito uses various ways to show us his questions and visions. Questions that he wants to be answered fewer and fewer times so new paradigms and new questions should be placed to Angola, country that is growing visibly fast.
This album is divided in 2 parts. SE EU FOSSE ANGOLANO( IF I WERE ANGOLAN) and FAST FOOD (The Remixes) . The first was recorded between 2 different countries and with different musicians. Uses all the genius of the recording sessions of the artists he works with and where he score the perfect communion between his voice and different instruments. Pure chemistry that goes from Jazz to Spoken Word , adds Semba and Funk or more experimental textures reminding me of greatest artists which suddenly were boxed one day in Trip Hop.
FAST FOOD is all less fast , easy and standardized. Album of amazing remixes by the hands of Bill Hasselberger , Alexandre ” Biru ” Diaphra and Kennedy Ribeiro. Nástio assumes positions, breaks rules, takes risks, draws attention and appeals to the communication and reflection. Uses the full capacity of poetic interpretation and not avoids issues. Making sure to confront them surrounded by rythyms of Angola with Jazz, also some Breakbeat, Kizomba, Soul and lyrically very close to the social activism of Hip Hop.
More that never Angola need to look in the eyes of past ghosts and buried them. Needs to grow with confidence and sure don’t need past ghosts to obsess his path. There are no taboos for Nástio. But sure are people that find a pain in the ass when questioned about being themselves and face their problems.
This album .. such as Nástio, is a challenge. Challenge to look eyes to eyes in the front of past questions. None of the childish egos of the governments will intoxicate the communication between Angola and the world while we have Nástio to point it.. This is the time for Angola .. this is the time to be .
In SE EU FOSSE ANGOLANO he invites the Angolans to think about being Angolans but also invites us all to to think about being more ourselves and think more about the idea of one unique being. You can think better in what you are and what you want to bring to the community, to the world, if you first think about in “what YOU are”.
And Angola deserves it .. deserves progress with confidence and confidence in questions like his own values like in the track TECNOLOGIA DO ANCIÃO , in which the simple but efficient ancient technology , knowledge transmitted from generations to generations become incomprehensible to new generations.
TECNOLOGIA DO ANCIÃO
In a music market where you see the increasing of the absence of context , where lyrics more and more have no soul .. only samples and command voices with 4 or less words, is a comfort to see an artist that really want to talk to you and to communicate his visions. He invites you to have a conversation so just STOP what you are doing and have a seat. Voice malleable, dramatic and with presence , interpretation that holds and leads you from the beginning to the end. Is to sing, to speak, the whisper in the ear talking about topics so vertiginous as drugs,racism, religion, slavery, social neglect, politics, sexual exploitation. Pointing in all directions and it does not leave anyone out when it comes to responsibility.
In DEMO DA CRACÍA video you can clearly see that Nástio wants to break barriers and cliches. The video that is not a video, a making of that is not a making of. Starts with him showing is ideas for the director and ends up in epiphany mingles with drunken exorcism of the discovering of the Self.
Nastio also does regularly video performer with the name CURTO & GROSSO sketches. Short videos where he focus on everyday questions and talk about them with his characteristic and hilarious humor and unique interpretation. I also want to mention the amazing work that the director Vic Pereiró been developing with him.
As its that time of year,we at Generation Bass (inbetween stuffin our faces with Spuds n Stout) thought it would be fun to get a wee Irish theme goin on, so without further ado,we’d like to introduce Temper-Mental MissElayneous.
Question-Who is Temper-Mental MissElayneous ?
Answer- Shes an 19yr old Irish Slam Poet Rapper,forward slash,trained Actress,fashioned by the fiery flame of Finglas in Dublins Northside.Shes a hard hitter,who is not scared punchin well above her weight.With MissElayneous its not a case of where to start, its where to stop.She has so many pearls of wisdom beyond her yrs on display,that she makes the crown jewels look like fake plastic pageantry.This is ‘Charity Shop Bling’ at its most cutting edge.With great gusto she swiftly reminds us that its all about wealth of mind and not the cheap fleeting and vacuous pocket wealth.Her diamonds are her words and thoughts and her EP is dope.Period.Czech it.
First track up is FREE track,’Dominoes’ (could there be a clever twist on the Latin here? In Dominum Dominus etc) Maybe,cos she certainly gets ripped right into the dominating powers and ideologies that permeate our modern day society.Brazen and bold, she tears into the morally bereft,mainstream media with every slashing syllable.Indeed, pretty much every malice thats ever been puked out of our tv screens gets cut to shreds by her well filed cats claws,Im thinkin of Jim Fitpatrick’s famous print of Palu here.It really is difficult to disagree with anything she says,hence,a perfect combo of nodding yer head to the beats,and,at same time,nodding in joyous approval to her every vocallised left jab an uppercut.Armed with Mic + Bodhran (an Irish Frame drum brought to the island by African travellers) she shows no fear,yet her delivery isn’t over aggressive in that off-putting,ugly way ‘certain’ Gangster Bling rappers can be.
She reminds me a bit of Damian Dempsey and Christy Moore,other greats who are never afraid of broaching the polemic.Incisive and poignant,she takes no prisoners and hungrily spares the blade for no one on the dark side.She seems to brim with self confidence and so she should ,she has the gift alright,the gift of the gab and that gab has a mighty jab.As aforementioned,the most difficult thing in writin about her is keepin it short as her lyrical flows pound the imagination centres as she inspires a rush of inspiration in every gasping,cutting and thrusting revelation.MissElayneous is a Lenanshee with a Banshee’s South Paw.If ye dont know,Ireland is represented symbolically by Four Women;Helen,Maive Etain and Fand.Let MissElayneous take her rightful place among them.She earns her stripes by rallying against the daily frontal lobe rape that we all get from the corrupt Politicians backed by their chronies in the,even more corrupt,mainstream Media.Tirelessly,and with pin point precision,she unleasehes her gentil feminine venom on the traditional enemies of self authority.
When John lennon quipped that you have to destroy evil and violence with cut throat wit an humour, MissEl was taking notes at the front of Lennon’s class.Locked tight,she has them in her cross hairs an she aint for lettin them out her sights.Heartwarming,at last, to see someone with the grip of a pitbull,the tongue of an angel, and the mind of Maud Gonne,Kathleen Behan,Bernadette Devlin,mixed with Eve Libertine and Joy de Vivre (from Crass) all rolled into one.I’d love to see her hooked up with Legendary Slam Poet Saul Williams,why not,hes a huge fan of Irish poetry,he cites Yeats as one of his biggest influences and MissElayneous is undoubtedly a fine Irish Poet.Exhibit B your Honour;
Another given,that is also carved in stone,regarding this bright young hope,is that HILL16 Management,thanks to the nod from Irish Writer,Johnny Ferguson,have taken up the mantle,and we will undoubtedly be hearin a LOT from her in the future.HILL16,if u dont know is legendary Frank Murray’s company.Frank was best buddys with Phil Lynott,lead singer of Irish Rock Legends,Thin Lizzy,back in the day.Frank later went on to Tour Manage Thin Lizzy,as well as going on to work with The Specials,The Pogues and Kirtsy McColl to name but a few.In fact he is out in Texas right now at SXSW organising the Paddy’s Day celebrations…..So, to further mark the occasion, here’s some Thin Lizzy and The Pogues to help get ye in the mood for good aul Paddys day Jig.