Balkanarama Anthems24th October, 2014

balkanarama

This weekend sees the return of Balkanarama to The Art School. A full venue riot of song, dance and live performance, a celebration of the music and culture of the Balkans. Here, Balkanarama organiser Saska contextualises the event, as well as choosing and translating some Balkan anthems for the uninitiated:

The Balkans have for centuries been a crossroads for numerous civilisations, cultures and peoples, creating an amazing diversity in all aspects of human activity, including arts and music. Traditional Balkan music – the soundtrack to centuries of celebrations and rituals – incorporates anything from haunting polyphonic singing and wonderful sevdah – which tells tales of hate and love – to rhythmical circle dances and raucous gypsy tunes. Yet all these forms of musical expression have a common identity, a shared spirit – of celebrating all sides of life and the vastness of human emotion – utter happiness as well as emotional anguish, and, importantly, that melancholic feeling of teetering on the edge between the two. When we invite people to Balkanarama we invite them to come along and “dance, jump, scream, cry, sing, drink, laugh and sigh!” as this Balkan music provides the backdrop for people to let loose, celebrate life, invoke their sorrows and purge them, to indulge in indulgence — experience catharsis and partake in the joy of sound and movement, the joy of sharing that experience with fellow human beings. Tunes like Ciganka Sam Mala speak of exactly that: sharing important moments with people of different backgrounds, and bridging the gap between different ethnicities through simply (and utterly) falling in love…

- Saska (Balkanarama)

Da Zna Zora
(If the dawn knew)

The dawn would have never dawned if it knew what a sweet darling I have been kissing.
Day and night, and night and day, I drink rosy wine. And just before the break of dawn I go home drunk.

Mesecina
(Moonlight)

There is no more sun
There is no more moon
There’s no me
There’s no you
There’s nothing left
We’ve been covered by the darkness of war
And I wonder oh my dear
What shall happen to us?

Moonlight oh moonlight ooooh
Sun is shining oh sun is shinig ooooh
From the heavens a ray is streaming
No one knows what it is that shines

Ciganka Sam Mala (& Evo Banke cigane moj medley)
(I’m a little gypsy girl)(& Here’s a coin oh my gypsy boy medley)

I’m a little gypsy girl, there’s a glint in my eye
I play and sing and dance all night, until the break of dawn

When you look into my eyes you forget all sorrows of yours
Your heart wants one but your reason wants another

If only sooner our eyes have met
you would have remained a bachelor for your entire life

Ref:
I am your little dark-haired black gypsy girl
And all is because of your little dark-haired black gypsy girl

* * * * * * *
Here’s a coin oh my gypsy boy, play for me
I will sing for you, you will play for me
Here’s a coin oh my gypsy boy, play for me

The champagne we will cool down, open and drink
And when the right moment has come the champagne will topple us
Here’s a coin oh my gypsy boy, play for me

Carisma selects…20th October, 2014

carisma-2

Carisma live together in Buenos Aires, the duo have spun the shared intimacy of their home studio into the underground clubs of the South American capital. Spinning nighttime fantasies with rhythms and sounds that swing the dark side of the mirror ball. They’ve recently joined the pan-global Cómeme family, releasing Directamente earlier this year, an EP that Matias Aguayo describes as revealing a sonic world that’s “curious, hopeful, sometimes purple and full of darkening shadows, nocturnal creatures from beyond that stroll around an electric fire of subtle melodies and scary rave signals.”

Ahead of their Scottish debut show presented by No Globe and Huntely & Palmers, we spoke to the duo about the records that matter most to them right now.

1. Carisma – Muerte Instrumental
Our first track released by Cómeme on the “El untitled” compilation, we made the video by ourselves at home with this Skelletor drummer bought at “La almeja erotica”, a souvenir shop in the beach.

2. Rumanians – Altai
Rumanias are Ani and Caro Castoldi, two sisters that make amazing music released by Dengue Dancing Records. Their sound is a ritual on the dance floor.

3. Carisma – Talento Matematico
From Directamente EP, you can download this track for free from XLR8R.

4. MKRNI – Humedad (DJs Pareja Remix)
Hace calor hace calor hace calor!
DJs pareja are our friends and they make very loopy remixes that we always play in our sets, this one specially when it gets really hot!

5. John Talabot – Matilda’s Dream
We listened this track for the first time last week, then we played it at Wilde Renate at 7 am and it was amazing. That was our last gig in Berlin for our European Tour 2014 which will finish on 14th November in Paris.

6. Rous – A Bailar (Carisma Remix)
Part of the last Comemian fuel, Gasoline. Rous is a young musician from Lujan and he loves cars and red wine.

7. Love Inc. – Lady Democracy
We love each track of Life is a Gas!

8. Marc Piñol – Edit Service 21
Edit service its a net label from I’m Cliche that releases mysterious pop edits like this one, we don’t know the original but this version is very cool.

9. Ibiza Pareo – After
A new band from Buenos Aires that will release a very nice album soon!

10. Mezcla – Negro
Mezcla is Ismael Pinkler side project, a duo with Gustavo Lamas that plays alternative dance music live. This track was made 7 years ago and released in 2013 by Estamos Felices.

Out of Orbit: Dirtytalk & Joe Evans8th October, 2014

This week, Thursday night residents Out of Orbit present Echoes From the Astral Plane, a collaborative one-off party with Bristol based artists and DJs Joe Evans and Dirtytalk.

Notions of excess, embellishment, hedonism and disgust are all part of Joe Evan’s kaleidoscopic practice which spans collage, sculpture, painting, video and hosting. Part of his work has symbiotically developed alongside Dirtytalk, a club collective that began in 2010.

As a rebuttal to a prevalent trend in the Bristol club scene, Dirtytalk focus on creating intimate, sweaty parties, “we want to create a place where people can lose their shit! [Which is] hard to get in a typical club, to have that sense of freedom.” The lack of smaller late-night spaces in their hometown have forced them to look harder for alternatives, “every space comes with it’s own kind of atmosphere, its own challenges and quirks, so it keeps things interesting.” Earlier this year they threw a party in a swingers club. The owners paid a graffiti artist to create saucy UV murals on every available surface, especially for the night, “it was full-on and we were a bit horrified at first but it somehow worked!”.

Their last residencies at the infamous Motorcycle Showroom (which operated as an artist studios and music venue) is where they started working with Joe Evans. We caught up with Kerry Patterson, Shaun Tennant and Robert Needham from Dirtytalk for a chat about their work with Joe Evans and operating outside of the standard bar and club circuit.

Muscle milk and Dream Sushi by Um Zimbre Limb on Mixcloud

What were your experiences working with Joe Evans at the Motorcycle Showrooms?
We curated the music and sound, the Showroom boys created the space and the two things just came together very naturally —I guess we all had a similar vision for what a party could be. It looked different every time we did something there, Joe is prolific and was constantly adding things and mutating others. Discotheque anarchy! It got better over time, to the point where I’d be on the dancefloor at 4am and thinking this can’t be legal! It honestly felt a bit magical at times. The parties always got out of hand, but in a good way —something that I never experienced in clubs, and it just felt real!

You usually put on events in venues that are off the bar/club circuit, making parties that feel more ‘bespoke’, or intimate. Can you expand on this, and why is it relevant to Bristol particularly?
The council is now less sympathetic to arts and event spaces, that doesn’t stop plenty of great parties from happening, whether in official clubs or late night bars or unused venues. The situation is pushing promoters to be more creative with where they do nights but it has become harder I think, maybe partly because the inner city is becoming a greater focus for developers and lots of flats are going up everywhere, which tends to kill an area in terms of opportunity for nightlife or parties. I don’t think Bristol is alone in this.

It seems you’re interested in exploring Queer identities and merging different scenes within Bristol, bringing relevant acts, DJs, or producers in order to enhance this?
We don’t aim our parties at any particular group. Of course, the music we’re into, the DJs we book —is house music and disco— it’s rooted in the gay scene, black culture, from people on the fringes… we just want people to feel welcome regardless of any scene or community they associate with —as long as they are there for the music!

Out of Orbit: MWX1st October, 2014

MWX-website

“Ever since I have been going clubbing the lighting and the visuals have played a prominent role in my dancing experience. For me, it’s inspirational that these elements along with the music can transform a clubbing environment and take you to another space, another time.” -MWX

Marianne (aka MWX) came to the attention of Out of Orbit via all the unpretentious, fun, yet carefully curated and executed AV projects she’s involved with. One of the most engaging is Algo_Rhythm, a collaborative project between musicians and designers that explores the relationship between sonic and visual art practices. Marianne (MWX) curates all of the musicians and artists who’re involved; the artists are selected on the basis that they embrace technology in their practice. The structure of the event is based around schematic diagrams that are found in manuals for building electronics, so the progression of the night has an organic flow, with light and sound blending into one another creating an immersive environment.

There’s also Magic Waves, a record label, club night and radio show. The show is broadcast on IFM1 from either Berlin, Glasgow, Chester or London every Sunday. MWX got involved with Magic Waves by playing records on the radio show, DJing at parties and producing the artwork for the Magic Waves’ parties in Glasgow. They’re currently organising a mini festival, the line-up includes seminal disco outfit Black Devil Disco Club.

In collaboration with Alan Miller (aka Hush), she runs something altogether Italo, electro and HI NRG: Maxi Dance Pool. For each Dance Pool party they make a limited edition run of free cassette tapes -one side with a mix from HUSH and the other MWX. The cassette tapes, as well as the posters, allow both of them to express their interest in design and visual art in a playful, tactile and collaborative way. They’ve been doing the Dance Pool parties for almost two years now and have built up a regular following, including the eyeliner of approval from the unmistakable Glasgow Italo Goth contingent.

Out of Orbit’s Cosmic Q&A

The Radical Interplanetary Coop needs your help! The Commission of Arts & Social
Research have been granted their first expedition to the Sedna System. Unfortunately, the commission doesn’t have a unilateral set of space suits or lounge wear for the mission. They can’t seem to decide whether it is necessary to create such a strict set of sartorial codes, or (as one sceptical fringe group have suggested) a perfect opportunity to develop the Coalition of Garms, a pusedo-democratic board that dictates clothing production for the Coop. What should they do?

In true Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic) – I would say uniforms are ESSENTIAL. But maybe uniforms like Sarah Brightman & Hot Gossip in the music video for Starship Trooper though!

In exchange for your recent involvement in an uprising during the Proxima-R Intelligence
Cluster Sanctions (or PRICS), the rebels have given you the opportunity to name a publicly owned vessel used to transport dispersed families to a number of locations in the sector. Do you accept the honour, and if so, what do you name it?

Of course I accept the honour! Voyager Interstellar MWX808

The rest of your crew have fallen into the darkness and shadows of the sprawling space
station OOO-1, each one disappearing with little more than a whimper echoing through the air control system. The communications system is faulty, every message you attempt to send to HQ is corrupted –your digital SOS dissipating into a seemingly endless void of
time and space. You’re alone. The only distraction is the space station’s full functioning
internal communication system. What sound do you select from the control panel to echo
around it’s empty metallic corridors?

Hmm. I would choose to listen to Carl Sagan’s Golden Record – I presume they would
have a copy of that on a space ship.

Ubre Blanca selects…16th September, 2014

ubre-blanca

Glasgow duo Ubre Blanca describe themselves as soundtrack makers of a film that doesn’t exist yet; they mine an analog synthesis of a visceral futuristic realm, fusing this revivalism with contemporary sound design to create expansive sonic atmospheres. Andy Brown, once the unrelenting drummer for Divorce, joins his brother in darkness Joel Stone, formerly of ShitDisco, to select some of their most influential soundtracks.

You can catch them live at The Art School this Friday for Eclair Fifi & Pals.

1. La Ragazza dal Pigiama Giallo (music: Riz Ortolani; track: Corpo De Linda)
Nothing in music implies confusion and tension more than a fast, hypnotic arpeggiator. Like ‘I Feel Love’ stripped of all the love, a better title would be ‘I Feel Weird’. Ortolani also created the fantastic soundtrack for ‘Cannibal Holocaust’.

2. Sorcerer (music: Tangerine Dream; track: Betrayal)
From William Friedkin’s first movie after ‘The Exorcist’ which, even with it’s spooky title, isn’t a horror movie at all. Regardless, Tangerine Dream’s soundtrack is mindblowing.

3. Beyond The Black Rainbow (music: Sinoia Caves; track: Forever Dilating Eye)
A modern soundtrack this time. “…Black Rainbow” came out in 2010 but it’s soundtrack is only being released now. Excellent, dark, brooding synth mantras that suit the film’s sense of claustrophobic foreboding perfectly.

4. Prince Of Darkness (music: John Carpenter & Alan Howarth)
Obviously a hero of ours. It was tough to pick a track by him that isn’t already burned into everybody’s memory, which is a testament to how affecting his music was. “Prince Of Darkness” is the most genuinely frightening of his soundtracks, Carpenter’s pinnacle of sheer fear.

5. Bui Omega (music: Goblin; track: Buio Omega)
Goblin were a necessary addition as well. ‘Suspiria’, ‘Tenebrae’ and ‘Profundo Rosso’ get a love of the love, deservedly so, but there are diamonds littered throughout their soundtrack work. When they go into a groove full-tilt, like they do here, it’s stunning. The bass-line is a thing of wonder!