Friday, November 11, 2011

Recaps galore - part 1

My online personas have kinda been hijacked by the Occupation movements, which are so interesting, and so diverse, across the US, that it's hard to summarize except to say --as I've been saying to all my European friends all month-- that something really exciting is happening. It may not seem that exciting to Europeans at first,  but that's because they still have mass movements and a "Left," they have general strikes and mass squatting/occupations in living memory. It's not, however, that what's happening here is exactly like the strikes & occupations that have happened in Europe - the point is that since they HAVEN'T been happening in the US up until now, it means something different now that they are. But on that, please see this this this (all the same guy I know but he's good) and this, and (super-important) this and for a good take on the European occupation movements please see this.

but I did just go on a European tour. It's true! I met a whole new crew of amazing people, saw some old friends & crews, puttered around some beautiful cities in unseasonably warm weather, and spent a lot of time refreshing #OccupyOakland on Twitter since the media reports almost nothing..

Anyway briefly:

Landed in Berlin in time to have dinner with one of the fantastic producers behind Hey-o-hansen, his charming daughter, and the amazing Dj Marcelle Van Hoof of Another Nice Mess radio (which everyone should check out and be schooled on the deepest crates and the most fearlessly inspired mixing. Marcelle and I had been booked to play at Bei Roy, a Neukolln warehouse space with that classic artists-in-a-warehouse vibe. The nice thing about playing before Marcelle is you know that the audience is up for absolutely everything. So I had a nice slow buildup as the place warmed up and then a nice peak of about 40 minutes happy dancing people before she took charge. A great beginning to the tour. Also the intrepid Dj Zhao came through making time in his busy schedule - good to meet him face to face at last after years kicking around on internet spaces.

The next day, I headed to Hamburg for Wobwob, the premier space for dubstep (hee) at one of my favorite venues, the proper dark and ruff Hafenklang. I don't know if it comes across in German at all, but I really like saying that word -Hafenklang. I'd been lucky enough to play there the summer before last, with a great crowd, and this time did not disappoint. As always, so much good conversation with Vinylizer (who has done Back To The Basics radio for years and years), and then a fantastic show at the Hafenklang. Love that crowd, love that party! People screaming for more, pretty packed club, and Kera, half of incite/ came through and stayed late,  and then I got to catch up with both of them the next day. They do crazy cool audio visual art, and play festivals and art events all over the world.

From Hamburg, back to Berlin for a few days (in time to see few people including the always inspiring mind&soul behind play in progress) , then on to Cologne. Courtesy of AgentK, I had been invited to throw down at legendary club Gebäude9 for their party Sub9. Agentk is also involved in a local squatted community center, introduced me to some urban gardeners, and generally was a fantastic host, as was the rest of his household. I was lucky to be interviewed by local breakcore hero Desmond Denker (also of the band Bambam Babylon Bajasch - don't ask me how to pronounce that last word peoples) and play a short set for their Mülgrime radio show(forthcoming!). The night of the gig I also did a short interview for Funkhaus Europa with Cologne's leading global bassologist Daferwa (represent!). Wadada, another great & deep producer, helped create a vibe (as well as cooking up a mean & tasty lentil soup beforehand). Also perhaps inspired by the venue being huge and industrial, and the audience being mainly black-clad and somewhat serious, I played perhaps a more bass-oriented set than some folks expected (although there was stil 3bal, balkan twerk, juke, kuduru and garage in there with the dubstep/dubcore) - but people seemed to like it. A good crowd, committed to getting down on the dancefloor for the whole set.

Then, on  to Amsterdam to the legendary Rebel-Up! Soundclash crew at the great venue OCCII where I have played before with Dälek, I think, and maybe one other time too. I also linked with the mighty Process Rebel, who was kind enough (with his lovely partner) to host me. This party was a benefit
for the "Boats 4 People" project which aims to decriminalize migration in the Mediterranean. YOu know me, I'm all about regional solidarity and the destruction of borders. so that was a pretty sweet connection. And the party did not disappoint - super global sounds from all the djs and a live set from Process Rebel, culminating in a fantastic tag-team at the end with all of us, spanning so many genres I can't even name. A true delight.

Next up was Brussels, where I was booked to give a talk and dj as well, at Recyclart, an artspace/cafe/bar/nightclub/TRAINSTATION. Yeah, in the daytime it's a train station, at night they set up a stage. cool, right? not the only train-themed repurposed venue I was to mess with on this tour!

out of steam for now, further recaps to come...

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