Monday, July 03, 2006
Justice "Waters Of Nazareth"
Justice, "Waters Of Nazareth"
As promised, it's time to big up the second greatest city in the world, Paris (sorry, but all things considered, I'd rather be in Philly). Paris has always seemed to be a step behind musically, shocking considering its status as world city, capital of art, fashion, style and literature. I don't necessarily mean that there has been no talent coming out of the city, but it has never had that status as music king like London and New York City.
All of that seems to be changing and changing quickly right now. I'm late on all of this, or at least on upping for your enjoyment. I'm sure y'all have heard about the Institubes site and their re-imagining of hip hop. I will get to that scene soon, but right now I'm gonna focus on Ed Banger Records, possibly my favorite label right now. Ed Banger is straight outta Paris, specializing in that new disco/electro sound that makes me wanna shout from the rooftops of Fishtown that life is beautiful.
The songs above come from the first Justice 12" and should give you a good idea of what to expect this week. Justice is a duo best know for its remix work, which we will take a look at in a future post this week. "Waters of Nazareth" is delicious, fuzzed-out electro madness. It stutters, it drives hard to the basket, it throws it down, then has a huge party in the locker room with the cheerleaders that lasts into the wee hours of the morning, culminating in the duo sitting at an organ, playing some sort of haunted house/Gothic church instrumental for everyone. "Carpates" might be even better, coming out of the gate with a devastating beat, which suddenly turns into an organ-lead soundtrack to an 80s video game (I'm thinking something important stage in Ninja Gaiden).
-My bols at Discobelle have pointed the way to a nice mixtape from Partytack, which has got some nice selections from Hollertronix, a Low B remix of T.I., MSTRKFT, The Knife and a Vitalic remix of Bjork's "Who Is It." This is the first mixtape from dude, a great start, look forward to hearing more.
-I spent a portion of Sunday reading Matt Taibbi's story on Iraq, Fort Apache, Iraq, in the new issue of Rolling Stone. It's a great account of his 5 week stay in the country, embedded with troops, going on inspections, staying at Abu Ghraib. If you don't know Taibbi's work, he comes out of the Hunter S. Thompson school of journalism, first person, profane, excellent. He writes with that rage that seems so necessary in this FUBAR Iraq mission.
He illuminates a point that has been sitting inside of me since the pre-invasion period. The whole enterprise seems to have such a suburban mindset at its core, the arrogant, insular mindset that is so unique to that part of America. It seems a devastating mixture of arrogance (our life is perfect, everyone should want it) and ignorance (unaware of how the world works, lives mediated through TV, non-cosmopolitan). I know that this is not the actual suburban world in this country, but it is the basis for that world, what made it become the epicenter of this country and the dominant paradigm that we live under. As Taibbi writes after a Humvee ride with some American soldiers and a contractor, where one of the soldiers expresses surprise that no one is rollerblading or jogging in a Kurdish mountain park and disgust at the people around:
"There is a certain psychologically inevitable quality to our blundering overseas, a kind of burning, insane desire to fuck with people we don't like or respect in the slightest, to cure the disease of their cultures, as it were, by drying them out in the sun of our creepy suburban enlightenment. What kind of madmen come to the ancient territory of mountainous Kurdistan and search expectantly for Rollerbladers out the window of an armored vehicle?"
It's a great question, one which I hope we look seriously at. It's nice to know that there are journalists asking these questions and wondering what happened. Go here to see Taibbi's video companion to the article and more Rolling Stone Iraq coverage.
-To all the New Yorkers listing apartment shares on Craig's List, please respond to my fucking emails and voices. Shit's getting real tired, for really real, haven't seen a place in days. Am I a leper? Holler.