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<nettime> Venice Biennial Africa Pavilion: Electric Africa and the digit
Paul D. Miller on Sat, 16 Jun 2007 01:08:48 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Venice Biennial Africa Pavilion: Electric Africa and the digital


One of the things that intrigues me the most these days in the kinds 
of discussions like nettime or IDC is the relentless fact that 
culture plays such a pivotal role of what acts as a "strange 
attractor" to sites like myspace and facebook, but is given 
relatively short shrift in the dialog about how digital media 
actually functions in daily life. Why would someone want to turn 
their life inside out to become loenlygirl15? Why would someone 
rename themself "Kool Keith?" Hip hop and electronic music have paved 
the way for so much of the discourse of what makes the social fabric 
of the web function - from grafiti tags to instant messages, from 
audio logos and mixtapes to podcasts, the parallels are still 
enmeshed in the division the academy tends to foster. I like to think 
of it as the "politics of perception." At any rate, I thought I'd 
send the list a brief about a mix CD of digital music from throughout 
Africa that was put together for the Venice Biennial. The CD I made 
of hip hop and electronic music from all over Africa is now online 
free - you can check the podcast mix out at

http://djspooky.com/articles/venice_2007.html

the CD will be given away at select events for the rest of the year. 
And yes folks, it's contemporary art.
in peace,
Paul aka Dj Spooky

Blurb:

Electric Africa
Brian Eno once famously remarked that the problem with computers is 
that there isn't enough Africa in them. I kind of think that its the 
opposite: they're bringing the ideals of Africa: after all, computers 
are about connectivity, shareware, a sense of global discussion about 
topics and issues, the relentless density of info overload, and above 
all the willingness to engage and discuss it all - that's something 
you could find on any street corner in Africa. I just wanted to 
highlight the point: Digital Africa is here, and has been here for a 
while. This isn't "retro" - it's about the future. For the Venice 
Biennial 2007 I decided to go through alot of my files of music from 
around the African Continent to accompany my installation for the 
Africa Pavilion. I looked through my record collection for non cliche 
kinds of stuff like the Baka People who make drums out the way they 
play in water or the "Car Horn Orchestra" of Ghana which has a 
gathering of many taxi drivers who converge in downtown Accra to make 
a large symphony of honks from their taxis at the end of the work day 
or for funerals of drivers. When I was a kid I went through different 
parts of Africa with my mother: we went to Kenya, Ivory Coast, 
Senegal, and Egypt, and this was the first time I'd been to Angola. 
The mix reflects alot of my interests in electronic music from the 
continent, and the way they've shaped and moulded alot of material in 
the "New World." The "Ghost World" mix is all about the multiple 
rhythms and languages of Africa, but it makes no attempt to give you 
everything - it's from my record collection. That's why the "story" 
of the mix is about: polyrhythm, multiplex reality. There's even more 
current material like the Kuduru sounds of Luanda (who says Techno 
doesn't exist in Africa!?) and old school hip hop like Zimbabwe Legit 
from the early 90's of classic "conscious" school hip hop. Yes 
there's material from Akon, but he gets mixed with Nelson Mandela, or 
MC Solaar, but I looked for material of his that combined with jazz, 
so Ron Carter's brilliant bass playing worked out with that. There's 
even material from my favorite South African composer, Abdullah 
Ibrahim or vocal outtakes from David Byrne and Brian Eno's "My Life 
in The Bush of Ghosts" and various guest appearances by African 
dictator Idi Amin or the former President of Nigeria, Olusegun 
Obasanjo talking about democracy in Nigeria. Pretty ironic, eh? From 
the Northern part of the continent groups like the Lotfi Double Kanon 
or the Master Musicians of Jajouka represent radically different 
approaches to history and contemporary Arab culture's complex 
hybridity, as does the legendary voice of Egypt, Oum Kalthoum. It'd 
be a pretty wild party to see them all hanging out together!!! 
Anyway, contemporary Africa is a place of paradox where some of the 
world's most resource rich countries are bound hand and foot by 
corruption, human malice, and the basic sense that the continent has 
been left out of the march of progress of many of the "rich" nations 
of the world. I made elements of this mix when I was in Luanda, 
Angola, getting ready for the Venice Biennial, and the sound that was 
coming out of all the clubs and soundsystems was "Kuduru" a kind of 
relentlessly fast minimalist rhythm that combines hiphop and techno. 
I like to think of this mix as a homage to Ben Okri's novels and the 
classic works of Amos Tutuola. William Gibson said back in the 
ancient early 90's: The future is already here, it's unevenly 
distributed. I like to think that the mix is about the future of 
Africa and its global diaspora as much as it is about the past. 
History is never silent, it reminds us again and again and again, 
that we live its presence in every part of our life every day. The 
mix is an art project that accompanies my installation at the Venice 
Biennial Africa Pavilion. Enjoy!!

Paul D. Miller aka Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid, NY/Luanda 2006-2007

>>Electric Africa: Ghost World - A Story in Sound
>>Dj Spooky Presents a Project for the Dokolo Foundation at the 
>>Venice Biennial 2007
>>
>>"In Africa, When an old man dies, it is like a library burning to 
>>the ground" a quote attributed to Leopold Senghor
>>
>>
>>Mega Mix!
>>Por Por Akwaaba Welcome! Car Horn Orchestra of Ghana
>>Intro: Lafayette Afro Rock Band "Darkest Light" mixed w/Max Roach 
>>and Abdullah Ibrahim "Streams of Consciousness" (NY and South 
>>Africa)
>>Intro collage
>>African Anarchist Radio
>>Malcolm X "The Roots of Savagery" mixed w/
>>Max Roach/Abdullah Ibrahim "Streams of Consciousness" (NY/South Africa)
>>Tony Allen "Crazy Afro Beat" w/scratches by Rob Swift Vs Dj Spooky 
>>(NY and Nigeria)
>>X Plastaz "Msimu kwa msimu" (Tanzania)
>>Alif "Douta Mbaye"(Senegal)
>>K'naan "Soobax" (Somalia)
>>Kelis "Trick Me" (dancehall mix) (USA)
>>Fela "Kalakuta Show" (Mix Master Mike, Lateef and The Gift of Gab 
>>Remix) (Nigeria)
>>Lotfi Doubla Kanon "Bled Miki" (Tunisia)
>>MC Solaar featuring Ron Carter "Un Ange En Danger" (France/Senegal)
>>Akon "Locked Up" mixed w/ Nelson Mandela "Moments in Black History 
>>(Brad Sanders)" (NY/Senegal/South Africa)
>>Angola National Anthem - "Angola, avante!" Author: Manuel Rui Alves 
>>Monteiro (b.1941); Composer: Rui Alberto Vieira Dias Mingao
>>Mixed w/Malcolm X "The Root of Civilization"
>>Dj Spooky featuring Tapper Zukie "Revolution Dub" (NY/Jamaica)
Yves La Rock  featuring Roland Richards "Zookey" (France)
Stewart Copeland "The Rhythmatist: Samburu Sunset" (Kenya)
>>Frederic Galliano featuring Pancha Angola
>>Frederic Galliano featuring Pinta Tirru "Entra No Roda" (Angola/France)
>>Bunny Lee Meets King Tubby "African Roots and Reggae" - (Jamaica)
>>Cesoria Evora - Angola (original + Carl Craig remix) -Dj Spooky 
>>remix (Cape Verde Islands/Detroit/NY)
>>David Byrne and Brian Eno "My Life in The Bush of Ghosts: Vocal 
>>Outtakes" (New York/London)
>>Fela "Zombie" (Nigeria) (remix)
>>King Britt "Obafunke Theme" (Philadelphia) mixed w/
>>Interlude Idi Amin speaks (Uganda)
>>Orson Welles "Citizen Kane" (L.A.)
>>President Obasanjo "Move" by J Dilla (Detroit)
>>Ryuichi Sakamoto "Riot in Lagos" mixed w/ Nigerian National Anthem 
>>(Japan/Nigeria)
>>Baka Forest People of South East Cameroon - Water Drums (Cameroon) mixed w/
>>Foday Musa Suso "World Wide Funk" (DJ Spooky remix) (Gambia)
>>Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Talvin Singh "You Can Find 
>>the Feeling" mixed w/ Abdul Nasser "Independence Forever" 
>>(Morocco/Egypt/India)
>>Duke Ellington "Afro-Eurasian Eclipse" (NY)
>>Oum Kalthoum "Hob Eih" (Egypt) - Dj Spooky remix
>>Mixed w/Tectonic "Heat Sensor"
>>Charlie Dark "Afro Dreaming"(UK-Ghana)
>>The Monks of Keur Moussa "Nous Te Louons, Pere Invisible" (Senegal)
>>Ginger Baker/Tony Allen (UK/Nigeria) - drum solo mixed w/
>>Drexciya "Polymono Plexusgel" (Detroit)
>>Zimbabwe Legit "Shadows Legit Mix" Dj Shadow remix (Zimbabwe/San Francisco)
>>Soweto Gospel Choir "Rivers of Babylon" (South Africa)
>>Konono No1 "Kule Kule" (Congo)
>>Abdullah Ibrahim "Mindif" (Dj Spooky remix) (South Africa/NY)
>>


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