Friday, June 08, 2012


I'm writing this in Gothenburg, Sweden. Very much enjoying the summer-in-Northern-Europe phenomenon of sunset at 11:30 pm. And tonight I'm djing with mi compa Filastine, on the first night of the Clandestino festival on their 10-year anniversary! Here's the poster you can see all over town.

I will also be giving a talk tomorrow: "Exile, resistance, occupation, music" which I am very excited about, because it's the first time I am being invited specifically to draw together the musical, political-organizing, and scholarly parts of my life. I don't live those things as separate, I see them as all the same work, but when I am asked to speak publicly it's usually only about one or two of those things in combination. But Clandestino is badass, here's the self-description:

"The festival reaches beyond multiculturalism and takes up struggle against the current variations of racism. This exists in the center of migration and diversity, and  against prevailing images of cultural difference. The project in its entirety inspires thinking about difference between groups of people radically, beyond exoticism, victimization and the demonisation of representations.
Through a genre-bending electronic intifada, posing of known and future legends, underground university talks and tantalizing imagery, Clandestino Festival has provided the possibility of another sort of heart beat."

Another sort of heart beat - this is a parallel description of my own work, if you scroll down to the bottom of this very page. Or here, saving you the trouble:

"I mix music to highlight difference rather than seamlessness. Cracking open assumptions about what people relate to – pulling out familiar songs and sounds from people’s childhood or community, and layering them with foreign, distant sounds in ways that make the familiar strange and the strange familiar. Music exists because it crosses borders, literally and figuratively. Physical borders: eardrums, walls, and legal borders: nations, zones. The best musical experiences often occur outside legal frameworks of ownership and licenses (breaking zoning laws, squatted buildings, pirate radio, hinterlands, borderlands). Although I am not always in official control of the venues in which I perform, I put myself and the audience in undeniable literal control of the space, to the point of creating a kind of solidarity of pleasure across social boundaries. My main goal is challenge the assumption that difference breeds division and distrust – instead, difference, rupture, foreign-ness is a site of conscious, open-eyed and physical pleasure."

So, you know, it's family here.
And Saturday, Filastine and Nova and I will play in Copenhagen, at Global. Come out come out?

Sadly, I couldn't line up any gigs in the Berlin area, but I do have a 3-hour layover in the clinging-to-life Tegel airport, I should be there between 9 am and 12pm if you want to meet me for breakfast, I'm rallying some troops. If anyone brings me Kurbiskernbrötchen with cheese on top  I will be about as happy as you've ever seen me.


  1. I love the description of what you do, of difference as a value. Inspiring!