*co-written by Boima Tucker and Thanu Yakupitiyage


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
Photos in this series were taken by Sabelo Narasimhan (daytime photos) and Neha Gautam (evening photos).

On September 18th, 2012, Dutty Artz, Beyond Digital, La Casita Comunal de Sunset Park, La Union, CAAAV-NY, and the Arab American Association of New York presented the first edition of Beyond the Block at Rainbow Playground in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. Beyond the Block was a day-long music, arts, and community festival that took place in the crossroads between several major immigrant communities in New York. We had performances and participants from various communities in the South Brooklyn area, and invited musicians, artists, and organizers from outside the neighborhood in order to connect them. As we attempt to improve upon our efforts with future incarnations, we present the story of this festival with the hope that it can serve as an example of the merging of arts activism In-Real-Life with the ideals of a ‘globalized society’.

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Last month, iBomba at Bembe was on fire with a remarkable performance by Titica, Angola’s kuduro queen and first transgender performer to get international acclaim. Thanks to the collaboration with Chief Boima and Many Tribes One Blood, Titica’s performance at iBomba added to our motivation to challenge crowds and open up a space for innovative performers and DJs to collaborate and shape the dancefloor. It was also what got me in the official mix with Dutty Artz.

[Photos Above]: Titica performing at iBomba @ Bembe

I’m really proud of the intentionally chosen lineup of guest DJs we’ve had since iBomba took on Mondays at Bembe by storm this year, including DJs Chela, Itch-13 (Sonic Diaspora, Chicago), Rekha (Basement Bhangra) and Ripley (Surya Dub, SF) – who have all added a different sound and vibe to what is becoming a regularly well-attended 2nd Monday of the month.

By hosting iBomba, I’ve been able in a sense to curate the nights, purposefully highlighting dope female DJs when we can, and with Titica’s performance last month, hopefully adding to a conversation around queerness in music and performance coming out of the Global South.

There’s a lot we have brewing for the summer and beyond, so keep to date with what iBomba is up to. This Monday, May 14th, come hit the floor with us as Cluster Mag mastermind, Max Pearl, guest deejays alongside residents Beto and Mios Dio. Facebook event here. Peep the listing in Remezcla.

Cumbia meets Dancehall meets that good Global Bass.

 

It’s been over a year since Jeremy Harding called the one they call Di Genius to set up an interview for me. Stephen McGregor is, of course, the son of famed artiste Freddy McGregor, but he built his own lane producing some of the most innovative dancehall of this millennium, taking over his fathers Big Ship studio and turning it into a hit factory. His style melded perfectly with upandcomer Mavado – whose “Weh Dem A Do“- made me start checking compulsively for Stephen’s productions around 05/06. I have great video of him and his crew going off to unreleased Shadetek riddims and talking about why he keeps an open bible on his mixing desk- but until I get around to editing that shit- enjoy the interview tracked out by question below and stay locked for interviews with Ward21, Natalie Storm + more.

When your working on new projects – do you distinguish between what will be big in the Jamaican market vs the foreign market?

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Wa Dem A Do- which is the first riddim you built that I heard in NY- has this crazy cinematic density- but since then it seems like you have been hitting on all bases- why move away from the sound you built?

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Who are contemporary producers that you look up to? I hear neptunes and early timbaland, but who else are you checking for?

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Are there young producers or other producers that you work with, or is it just vocalists that you keep in your camp?

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Whats the deal with the Island Pop sound that is dominating the radio right now in JA?

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What do you think about the fact that anyone with a computer can download a cracked copy of Fruity Loops and start building riddims ?

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How much do you think radio payolla affects what tunes get big or make it onto rotation?

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You’ve pretty consistently had your riddims on the charts for the last couple years- how many riddims are you building a week, and how many of those ever get voiced?

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Can you describe the process from building a riddim to finishing a riddim pack goes?

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Is there anything outside of hip-hop and dancehall that you check for? Are you listening to trance and house directly or just hearing their influence through rap?

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Do you think your work ethic seperates you from other producers, or young musicians?

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Some artists claim not to listen to the radio or other media- but you say you like to keep up with whatevers new?

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What’s your process when you start to build a new riddim?

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Besides Jeremy (who manages Stephen)- whose the team at bigship and Di Genuis recordings?

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Given your success as a producer- why push to voice more of your own riddims?

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I get a lot of emails – “what does the Dutty Artz headquarters look like?” “What type of furniture and seating arrangement do y’all use?” “Are the walls plaster, wood paneling, some sort of tiling, or Italian wallpaper?” “It is true that your in-house legal counsel is an 83-year old Moroccan man, suspicious and animated, who owns no cellphone?”

Needless to say I don’t have time to respond to these emails, but my friend Simone just faxed me this JPG of a photograph which may help answer some of your questions. As always, we here at Dutty Artz Limited Liability Corporation (Dutty Artz L.L.C., est. 2007/8) thank you for your patronage.

PW Morocco 05

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyAhRPh6ETA[/youtube]
Bee and I drive for hours from Jeppestown looking for Nozinja’s house on the edge of Soweto. I’m using the GPS on her Blackberry- but keep fucking up and suddenly we’ve left the city behind and are driving for 20 minutes out into the countryside where sprawling townships blend in from afar with the yellow umber tall grass. The drive was supposed to take 45 minutes- but we arrive at dusk to his spot next to the rail tracks in a clean cut row of brick single story houses. A gleaming Benz sits in the dirt driveway and Nozinja, creator of the Shangaan Electro sound, is inside waiting for a BBC interviewer to call back. I apologize for being hours late- but he says it’s fine and just makes fun of Bee for not knowing her way around Soweto. Shangaan Electro is the new marketing title for the wildly inventive update on Shangaani music that Nozinja has been making and selling throughout S. Africa for years.

Rich from the Tshetsha Boys in one of his masks - Nozinja plans the costumes and a seamstress makes them
DIY Kitchen Distro At Nozinja's House

This is a classic untouched genre discovery story – weird computer music, hyperspeed dancing, clown costumes, youtube, serendipitous ringtones, cancelled return trips home from South Africa- but the music is mindblowing– and more so for all seemingly coming from the mind of one man. Nozinja gives me one of the his early releases from Tiyiselani Vomaseve- a group produced by Nozinja consisting of five women who dance and one who sings. The CD is hand screen-printed and comes off a spindle from his distribution/storage cupboards in the kitchen- it is hard to get all the way through, the midi music is relentless and exhausting for the uninitiated- but the rest of the Shangaani music that has been coming out via Honest Jon’s has been addictively listenable. After killer coverage of those releases, including a massive summer tour, Nozinja is set to start releasing his own music digitally to the world via his eponymous label. The first two releases are availble now from Tiyiselani Vomaseve (itunes) and the Tshetsha Boys, whose album is straight forwardly titled “YouTube Top Hits” (itunes).

Stream a couple cuts from the Tiyiselani album below.

Tiyiselani Vomaseve – Bombani

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Tiyiselani Vomaseve – Voseveni

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If you want to keep up on Nozinja and his label- you can follow them on Facebook until their website gets finished.

More Photos and Tour Dates After the Jump.

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I flew from Rio to Kingston on Friday. Round four. Buenos Aires, Rio, São Paulo, now Kingston. A year of bass music, soundsystems, studios, ’nuff sessions and building the DA family. I’m researching what techniques enable artists, managers, promoters, pirates, and labels to eat off music – usually with dramatically less resources/infrastructure than there is in NYC. Mostly I’ve been bouncing around cities and their public transport systems to one-off meetings and parties. I’m trying something different in Jamaica and settling in to start work with Sharon Burke and her empire, Solid Agency. If you’ve done dance hall business, you know Sharon. But if you’re just a fan you might never of heard of the hardest working woman in Jamaica. She gets to the office first, spends all day working a grip of Black Berrys, leaves last, and even on the way home last night with her feet up, she was sealing deals for big shows while Ice, one of her drivers, swerved through Kingston traffic. Leftside’s impersonation is spot on. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThDFToJc8Hk[/youtube]

Solid handles artist management and booking, as well as being involved in events and just about every other facet of the industry. Kevin ‘Payday’ Green’s Alliance aligned studio is in the back- and even though it’s a humble affair, it’s nothing for Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, or Mavado to roll through in a day, along with ’nuff artists waiting their chance to run up the ranks. When no one’s voicing, the studio door opens and the near-fields get turned up to 11, pumping the latest tunes and unreleased riddims into the yard.

Early at the Payday Yard

I’m hoping my updates can be more regular now that I’m down here. First order of business is to start making some radio rips. You know when you’re driving through BK, or picking up Boston’s Hot 97 and you don’t want to finish you trip for fear of losing the pirate signal? It’s like that all the time, every day down here. Except you never drop the signal – of course Daggering and Gun Man lyrics are all officially banned- you have to get to a session for that- but it’s still fresh to death.

And don’t sleep on Natalie Storm’s new mix. She said she made it after a rough break up and a period of abstinence and it’s dripping with sex. Between her calculated dive into house, electro and dancehall, and Dylan Powe’s burner Wiley voiced Showa Eski Riddim. Good things soon come for Prodigal and Federation.

If you have people down here, or spots you love, and want to get in touch. I’m always down to build. TallyBower AT GGGGmmmmmAALLLE. Already looking forward to Dre Skull, DJ Ripley,  The Mad Decent Boyz, Toddla T and a few others being around. I’ll be here until March. Respect to Erin Hansen and Erin MacLeod for getting me sorted so far.

Here are some photos from Tormenta Tropical at SXSW. I don’t have time to write a long post but suffice to say I was honored to play with all these great people and have such a great party. You are all legendary and I love you. Photos by El Subcomandante Quito, full album here.

ORION REPPING, JONES SMILING

MALUCA AND HER COOKIES GOING IN

POSE

OK WE’RE MOVING

MS MALU MCING WITH ME

NGUZUNGUZU INCITE MAD SKANKING

RAVERS

ME MAKING A MAD FACE TO NGUZUNGUZU, JUBILEE STANDING BY

MRS ORION

PARTY PPL

ME MAKING A MAD FACE FOR TOY SELECTAH

VAMANOS PUTOS! (LVIS1990 STANDING BY)

ANDY IS ENJOYING HIMSELF

JONES HOLDING IT DOWN (WITH HAIR!)


SHOW OFF

MR WAYNE IN THE PLACE

JUAKALI DEYA

STARK RAVING MADD

tpain

DUDES AND GIRLS I JUST WANNA GIVE A QUICK PREVIEW OF THE LAST CHAIN ULL EVER LIKE. IM SHUTTIN IT DOWN.

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

No kidding!  Thanks to all who came out to New York Tropical 5 to see Uproot Andy, Geko, me and Maluca.  It was a lot of fun.  Maluca killed it, super energy and the people loved it.  Here are some pics from the night.  This month we’ll be back at Glasslands on Friday May 29th doin’ it again, flier and info very soon.







Thanks to everyone who came out on Friday to NY Tropical 4, it was CRAZYYYYYYYYY.  I’m so happy that we were able to bring together everyone on that bill, Geko, Andy, Kingdom, Esau, Mariana all KILLED IT.  It was one of the best parties I’ve played at or been at in a long time.  Here’s a selection of pics from the night, thanks Lamin, Jean and Andy for taking these.

injustice

Those of you who read these pages no that I am not a fan of Justice’s cock rock techno.  This article accompanied by photo evidence (above) catching Justice playing “live” with an un-plugged MIDI controller is just too funny to pass up.  As someone who has done real live electronic music back in my Team Shadetek days I know how difficult this is to do and do well, so on one level I’m sympathetic, on the other level, you shouldn’t lie to your fans guys.  I stopped doing live electronics when my music took a turn towards hiphop, dancehall and grime and I didn’t think that any of the live improvisation I would do would improve the music.  Since then my show has been me DJing tracks from a laptop, sometimes with effects.  I play lots of un-released new dubs of mine that no one else has and make up my set list as I go along.  I figure that’s worth the price of admission.  You get to hear my music, mixed and selected by me and get a peek into my present sound, IE the future since it always takes so long to get records or CDs out.  I have a new project (more on that soon) that might be appropriate to a live format and so am I actually considering going into loop djing mode (breaking down the tracks into parts and re-constructing live) for that, probably using ableton live, but we’ll see.  However, you will NEVER see me on stage with an un-plugged MIDI controller making faces and pretending to do things that I’m not.  Thanks to Dan @ Dubspot for the link.