Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Some favorite music of 2013

2013 was a strange year for me. But I have to say there is a lot of good music out there!

I was keeping it a bit low, here in New York, with a break for delightful excursions like my European tour and my amazing birthday party. I did a lot of work in the academic realm (two articles forthcoming, I hope, and two more on the way), had a few waves of DJ gigs, released the hello exile mix, and a dancehall/Black Atlantic mix with Robzilla, and a lot of regrouping and working with the crew I joined in 2013: Dutty Artz. I developed an interest in Uzbek pop music, courtesy of my pretty-much-monthly gig at the Rubin Museum of Asian Art. I had the chance to play a slew of gigs in Boston, New York, DC, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and San Francisco, as well as the aforementioned tour in Europe, meeting great people and learning about new music all the while.

Here are some musical favorites of the year: a list here and a discussion with more links below:

Albums & EPs (in no particular order)

Angel Haze - the 30 Gold freestyle series, the Dirty Gold album
Cakes Da Killa - The Eulogy
Alsarah & Debruit -  Aljawal EP
King - Koncepts EP
Walter Ego Baby Benz EP
Om Unit & Sam Binga - Small Victories EP
Machine Drum - the whole darn Vapor City project and remixes is pretty rich
Geko Jones & Atropolis - Palenque remixed
Uproot Andy - Worldwide Ting vol. 1 (although vol. 2 is no worse)

Singles (that I kept returning to all year) include:
Les Ya Toupas du Zaire - "Je Ne Bois Pas Beaucoup" (Jamnights 'In Zaire' Remix)  - hypnotic and happy
Mr Hmhmm (obrekuo) - "Non-Fa" - I think this came out in 2012 technically but whatever.
Batida - "Tribalismo" (Roulet Remix)
Milka La Mas Dura "Made in Villa Con" is this about bootleg fashion? I heart it even more if so.
La Insuperable feat. Chimbala - "Damelo"
Indrani "Street Life" on the Addicted Riddim.
Symbiz Sound - "Soundbwoy Dead" (feat. ZHI MC) a proper bashment tune, I'd love a special on this..
Stylo G - "Badd" feat. Sista Nancy (woy!)
Charly Black and J. Capri "Wine and Kotch" (that bass!) and don't miss the Que Bajo remix featuring 2Irie
Sliink remixing the Selvaticos (feat. Missy Elliot) "Stop me now" (pretty much everything I like in one song!)
MC Fernadinha - "Maceta" (DJ Comrade Remix)
Dutty Artz' own Atropolis and 2melo - "Mumbai" (I dunno, Bollywood Trap?)
Laura Low, Lemurr - Bengal Tyger (a good epic intro song)
The Clerk "Top Cat" - so hard to pick one of these remixes I love them all!
Trina "Beam"

Live shows:

While I don't go to see a lot of live bands, one band that has consistently impressed this year is Pegasus Warning, helmed by Guillermo Brown. They are taking soul and bass music to a romantic, witty, and occasionally thunderous place.

Almost against my will (I haven't been such a fan in the past), Machine Drum's "Vapor City" performance (and really the whole concept album) featuring a great percussionist and really good visuals, was an unexpected pleasure.

AlSarah, mentioned above for the EP with Debruit, was also a delightful live show with the band the Nubatones.

--- SOME MORE ON THE LIST ABOVE---
2013 saw (at least for me) a wave of rap music, especially local stuff, that I am excited to hear more of.
A clear front-runner is Angel Haze, whose album Dirty Gold is officially released today, after her battle with her label that led to her leaking it a week or so ago. I've been following her for a while, having included her track "Werkin Girls" on my Hello Exile mix last February. When she embarked on a 30 freestyles in 30 days, she was clearly heading to some stratospheric level of skill, in my book, with a great combination of rawness, lyrical skill, and some clever choices/interactions with the pop and hip-hop world. I haven't yet had time to let the album settle but there are already some clear killers on there for me and I look forward to more.

Another local favorite clearly on the upswing is Cakes Da Killa, whose album  The Eulogy way back in January was a revelation. I love the dark, creepy production, drawing on ballroom and other bass culture (including tweaked-out old jazz/swing references that to me echo Dajae-style Chicago house) - I'll be checking alllll the producers on that album, and I'm really feeling the aggressive, hilarious lyrics. Last week I was lucky enough to catch him performing and it was a proper show, fully accompanied by some amazing dancers channeling all of those references and scenes and more onstage -  the whole thing went to the next level - as well, his unexpectedly generous and confident stage presence was a pleasure to see. Good things coming for sure!

While I haven't seen enough from them to make any big predictions (rap not being my speciality anyway), I'll just say I'm excited about a crop of other folk out there in the NY area percolating like Dai Burger, Princess Nokia (Versace Hottie is such a great bouncy club tune), Jungle PussyNyemiah Supreme and Missy protégé Sharaya J. Wit, wordplay, style, taking no shit, raw female-centric sex raps and boasting, I like these themes! Also can't set aside Mykki Blanco, and Le1f doesn't need my help boosting, he's already hit a level and I can only raise a glass.

On the more pop side, a slept-on album was Eve's Lip Lock, which dropped to almost no press, despite having some standout tracks using a lot of bass music references (many that weren't dubstep!).
 I'm still glad M.I.A. is out there dropping albums and making videos, and I liked Matangi as an intervention into the pop scene although for the dancefloor my own tastes lean as much to the remixes (and Bring the Noize), and to her influence and choice of influences in pop music, especially booking Venus X to tour with her (a much better way for pop to suck inspiration from the underground -i.e. paying people from it- rather than Rihanna's weird uncredited "ghetto gothic" hashtag).  And I'm also happy for Janelle Monae's album in a similar way (especially QUEEN) although it's a bit too showtunes-y for me musically. While I'm not an R&B fan first, I'd be hard-pressed to deny Beyonce's recent brilliance, and actually kinda love a good number of her tracks and videos as much for their diversity and commitment - Yonce of course being my banger of choice, Blow for the Donna Summer tribute video and lyrical ode to oral sex, Grown Woman blending Ismael “Bonfils” Kouyaté with the future-present groundedness of the music, and Flawless because it is.

This year I was happy to see the continuing rise of Mike Q as a remixer, producer and one of the hardest working DJs, as well as a great crew of folks out of the Jersey Club scene (including new favorite DJ Uniique, can't wait to see more of her!).

Also on the dark bass tip, I've been so happy to see the resurgence of classic dark jungle references in new bass music - bringing back that chicago footwork jungle dynamic.. out of the new producers, Om Unit consistently impressed, and his live set was great fun. Walter Ego, bringing in the dark 2step vibes I can't get enough of. Alongside the EP,  "Set off" feat. Trim is a standout

On the Aljawal EP by Alsarah and Debruit. This Sudanese singer's voice.. I dunno... just check this Debruit +Alsarah track it's amazing go listen now: Alkoan Baladi

And of course I have to big up the Dutty Artz crew, who had a spectacular year. First of all so thrilled to see Dj Ushka explode on the DJ scene, she's kicking ass all over the place. Broadly thanks to the hard work of Chief Boima (also touring and Djing like mad, now on his way to Rio pending nuptials and the best pre-wedding/New Years Eve party ever), the Dutty Artz crew put out a slew of great work - including TWO Mixtape series! -  February's Mixtape Mondays, and then the 6 Years Deep mix series this month to celebrate Dutty Artz' 6th birthday and accompany the four-EP set. All the EPs and the mixes are great, and I love the theme of the 6 years deep mix series inspired by authors lighting up systems of global power. Big up Talacha for all the ill design this year too! While there are actually too many cool releases to list, I loved the Palenque remix album (it made the top 10 aboe!) and was especially happy that Old Money did their killer album Fire in the Dark and MPeach just released the Ritmo Loco EP! 2014 is going to blow up for us even more (there might even be a DJ Ripley production coming ssssshhhhhh)

 Mixpak label (especially big shouts to DJ Jubilee!) - whose radio/podcast series has been a must-have in my ears all through my commutes. Other labels consistently doing good things included Fade2mind and Seclusiasis (whose street bass anthems series always have hits for me) - through them I discovered King -  combination of grime and club music, totally bangin. I'm not alone, Mixmag loved his album, and "Animal Calypso" is just the kind of track I like to drop to change gears on the dancefloor

I haven't had a chance to do my favorite dancehall and soca tracks of the year, but as usual for soca Bunji Garlin won me over for the men, and Fay-Ann and Denise held it down for the ladies; I was feeling UK dancehall from Stylo G, and you still can't top Vybez for rawness and wit even from Jail, Konshens had some great tunes, while Macka Diamond won me over with a song for my birthday. Riddims like Full Throttle, Addicted, Stag, and for dancehall Dutty Fowl and Mad World brought in some throwback and some dark & spooky vibes

Saturday, November 09, 2013

A new mix! Dutty Artz turns six!

I'm pleased to announce a new mix, a short but sweet collaboration with Robzilla - he took the first half and I steered the second.


This mix coincides with release #2 of of the six-EP series as part of Dutty Artz "Six Years Deep" celebration of our sixth birthday. Each mix focuses on a different region/musical conversation. If you haven't checked Ushka and Brooklynshanti's "What Edward Said" mix yet don't hesitate, get it here. Gorgeous sounds from South and East Asia through East Africa, mapping out connections that usually aren't recognized by the US/Eurocentric view of the world. It also features Ushka and Brooklynshanti's first collaboration within a track as well as a mix: the awesome track Hanuma Vannama . They have a great write-up here telling the story of the mix. That mix coincides with an EP of the same name. 

For the second EP, "Dutty Conquerors," Dutty Artz fam brings up the Caribbean flavor. Featuring one of NY's best vocalists, Jah Dan, a track by Gyptian produced by my old Surya Dub colleague, San Francisco's Kush Arora, Robzilla on the production, and Old Money up there as well, featuring new voice Trawma. And to celebrate it I collaborated on a mix with the illustrious Robzilla: 

Continuing our shout-outs to scholars it only makes sense to call on Paul Gilroy for this one. The cover art is done by TALACHA based on a painting by Aaron Douglas, whose work was used for the cover of Gilroy's book _The Black Atlantic_. Douglas was a lion of the Harlem Renaissance, which was not only an explosion of artistic work from Black people in the US but also a burgeoning scene of queer artists, an exploration of the diaspora of African-descended people that creatively& social socially linked Black people outside and inside the US, all of these things --alongside explicit political/economic analyses including to made the Harlem Renaissance a site of radical politics. Douglas himself was the first president of the Harlem Artists' Guild (recognizing the importance of artists organizing for their community and survival).

Here's the write-up for the mix itself, which puts it in context of The Black Atlantic, and then below that I thought I'd take you through my track selection that starts about 11 minutes in.

"This is a term that Paul Gilroy used to describe the networks of travel, communication & trade between former slave colonies and the UK, Canada, the US and Europe. It’s also the incubator of DJ culture: breaking apart / remaking music means cultural survival and healing for people on the wrong side of global systems of power.

In the second mix in Dutty Artz’ anniversary mix series Robzilla and Ripley are messengers with communications too real for (un)Clear Channel: sonic threads from the cultural fabric centering Black Atlantic pleasures and politics. Brooklyn beats and Jamaican-British bass jostle up on trapped out dancehall bounce, Dominican dembow breaks through Dutch moombahton remixes of dancehall, while St Vincent, Barbadian and Jamaican vocalists demonstrate that the dealings of the system are dirtier than any sexual position."

Robzilla lovingly curates some of the great remixes and banging originals from the dancehall side of things, followed by my selection & mixing of these tunes:

I begin by answering the remix of Aidonia's smash hit "sit down pon di cocky" with an equally frank tune from Macka Diamond. She's a veteran of Jamaican dancehall, one of my favorites for wit and flow, sadly underrated in the US, especially near and dear to my heart these days for releasing this song just in time for my (ahem) birthday. "Better Fuck Tell" is a classic brag track with some really hilarious wordplay in it.

Continuing the theme of women asserting exactly what they need is the already-classic "Dickie Riddim," but pitched up and tweaked by Brooklyn-based banginclude who hypes up the German Schlachthofbronx production while keeping Jamaican Warrior Queen's inimitable vocals.

Another great lyricist from Jamaica, Timberlee shows off her skills with "Duppy" on a great 90-s throwback sound "Dutty Fowl" riddim produced by Wiletunes,

Then we head back out into to the diaspora - with a riddim by Poirier out of Canada working with some bashment royalty:  the Jamaican-born, UK based Stylo G, son of the amazing Poison Chang doing his own rather x-rated take on his father's classic. (dig his celebration of how many times he makes a gal come!)

From the X-rated to the mad,  Frisco Kid steps out with "Mad World" on one of my favorite halloween themed riddims with theremin sounds and dubsteppesque breakdowns showing producer Stephen Di Genius Macgregor's reach.

Next we track the spread of Jamaican influence with a Dutch moombahton track "Hands High" reusing the classic Mr. Vegas vocal. 

Taking the dembow influenced moombahton beat further into the genre named after it - Dominican powerhouse Milka Las Mas Dura brings her spin on it with Dembow superproducer Bubloy

Back into that fertile UK/JA territory with DVA's own take on another classic vocal sample "A London Something"  for the Gang Gang Riddim, a nod to thw Brooklyn band in there as well.

Walter Ego brings the UK dance beats with a slice of Wiley's Eski /grime sound, underneath Trim, whose London/JA slang in "Set off" mixes wit and a bit of menace.

We end with some pure wisdom out of Barbados with "Street Life" by Indrani on the Addicted riddim produced by Adam 'King Bubba' Elias (Platta Studio) & 'Dwaingerous' (Bass Ink Productions). 

I was inspired by a lot of the amazing new dancehall and soca around, and just as I was trying to decide what to do with it all (besides playing Boston next Friday Nov 15),  I've just been invited to do a longer mix for IsaGT's Etoro sessions ! further details will follow, onward and upward!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

New York Fall & pirate radio documentaries for inspiration

Not a lot to report from the end of the summer, except that the Rockaway Party was a blast. Endless thanks to my fellow djs and to all the lovely dancing people who come out. A few pics are up here, though they don't really do justice to the beauty of the event.

September has been quieter - the usual nice gig at the Rubin Museum, and I will round out the month playing with the awesome band Pegasus Warning at Bowery Electric on Sept. 30, before heading back to the Rubin Museum again October 4.

Definitely seeking more gigs in the NY and US/Northeast area, and have some more in the works!

Working on some new projects as well, including a scholarly piece on UK pirate radio (of which there is surprisingly little written outside of music journalism). However there are a slew of great and (unintentionally as well as intentionally) funny BBC documentaries floating around.

Here's Making Waves 

And another one called Radio Renegades - part one below

 there's also Part 2 and Part 3

and here's a short one:


and a nice trip into the jungle era featuring quite a bit of Rude FM and a window into the beatmaking too: "I like to go for a b-line, or bassline, whatever you want to call it" (and a little window into little old white English lady racism)


On another note: a website redesign coming - note the addition of the TALKS page up above, since I am still getting booked as a public speaker I thought I should include a list of what I've done so far. But a more substantial transformation is in the works!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Ripley's Rockaway Beach Birthday Bass Party August 24


It’s time for a beach adventure with some of the best bass music djs around. I, Dj Ripley, fresh off my nine-city European tour, am pulling together this party on the Rockaway Boardwalk, hosted by Caracas Arepa Bar and showcasing global bass music talents from Dutty Artz and beloved by Dutty Artz. The excuse? The existence of such mighty talents that need celebrating, the impending end of the summer, and my birthday!

That means: beach, boardwalk, beer, arepas, ice cream, a dancefloor and plenty of big bass sounds including kuduru, cumbia, soca, uk funky, vogue beats, dancehall, dembow, carioca bass, Baltimore club, crunk, 3bal, azonto, reggae en español, bhangra, juke, and more..

DJ D'hana - recently arrived from Boston, D'hana bring a slamming style sometimes called #KUNQ including hard house, caribbean sounds and vogue beats, among other strains. Check the mixes here:http://soundcloud.com/chubrubproductions D'hana is also an accomplished film-maker with an amazing experimental documentary called LOOSE (more info here: www.projectloose.com)

DJ Precolumbian - based in Philly, Precolumbian rocks a unique blend of tropical rhythms, indie anthems, dark crystals, and booty jams from all over the globe. If we’re lucky we’ll get some selections from her baltimore/philly club collection as well: she has deep crates and sick dance moves. Precolumbian also has a great radio show (http://radioestrogeno.tumblr.com/) and is a tireless activist in and outside the club.

DJ Ushka - another multifaceted talent, Ushka throws (alongside Dj Beto) the amazing iBomba parties in Brooklyn, is an immigrant rights activist, organizer and fierce dancer. Her music weaves together immigrant/diasporic sounds with lively inventiveness and a sharp eye on creating a positive dancefloor experience. Check her first mixtape (at 6000 plays, damn!) here: http://soundcloud.com/djushka/foreign-brown-mixtape-1


M-Peach - A live performance from this Venezuelan vocalist, beatmaker and video artist always blows the roof off. Luckily here we will be outside so everyone will just hit the water! Here's a link to a cool-ass video, shot in Caracas: http://mpeachhh.com/ MPeach's blend of tropical big bass sounds and fierce vocals are going to take the party somewhere really special.

Dj Ripley will herself throw down a unique mix of global street bass, focusing on kuduro, dembow, soca, with US & UK bass music and a heavy selection of vocals from Eve, Missy, Trina, Lady, Natalie Storm, Tifa, Lady Chann, Macka Diamond, Lady Saw, Warrior Queen and more….knowing her tastes we will get to Jungle at some point in the night!

Caracas Arepa Bar, Beach 106 Street and Rockaway Boardwalk
FREEEEEEE

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A conversation about media, technology, culture, copyright, politics and "economic development"

When I was in Berlin a few weeks ago (part of my European tour) I was happy to have the chance to do one of my combination lecture & dj gig experiences (which I also have done in Brussels in 2010, in Pittsburgh in 2011).

I gave a short talk about some of my research on new media technology and cultural autonomy at the bar O Tannenbaum in Neukoelln, to a crowd of 20-30 very attentive and thoughtful listeners, who asked great questions. Then I played a DJ set for a couple of hours while people chatted, drank and danced a bit. One of the good questions came from a cool cat in Berlin who runs a podcast series called "cultural technologies" - and he invited me for an interview for the podcast. That interview is now live, and I encourage you to check it out - we had a great conversation. Check it out here:

http://www.bernardg.com/podcast/dj-ripley-aka-dr-larisa-mann-jamaican-street-dance-episode-10

Here is his (super astute) summary:

"In this podcast DJ Ripley (aka Dr. Larisa Mann) draws on her experience as a DJ, ethnographer, and student of public policy to examine how the history and present-day cultures of Jamaican street dance challenge familiar conceptions of artistic control and cultural appropriation. Tracing out political, economic, and technological itineraries that traverse US-American and Jamaican music cultures, DJ Ripley offers a genealogy of distinct (and intertwined) remix cultures as they develop at the margins of liberal jurisprudence and outside corporate control. The resulting analysis upsets political conceptions as diverse as the creative commons, copyleft, and development policies aimed at supporting art in the developing world."


Monday, July 08, 2013

Flashback to NY - happy hour at On The Lo, my last gig stateside before the tour


Here's a nice little video from the cool cats at On The Lo about the happy hour set I played right before leaving town for my european tour!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reportback from AMC and ALA, and some thoughts on technology libraries and tools for liberation

Last weekend I headed to Detroit for the 15th Allied Media Conference, an amazing event that draws together hundreds of activists, artists, organizers, educators, and people who combine all of that and more. It's pretty seriously grassroots, with community folk and collectives dominating over academics and other large organizations. It's also majority people of color, majority queer, I think pretty solidly majority women. Conference events are more likely to be workshops, skillshares or report-backs but often a lot more hands-on and interactive than your usual conference. Alongside cool things like childcare collectives, radical health, and the "Octavia's Brood" project for afrofuturist science fiction, there is the disco-tech lab, open for hacking and learning (shout out to Black Girls Code, May First and the other cool groups there), a healing room, a radio station, all kinds of amazing spaces to get things done and connect. It takes place on Wayne State Campus (although some flack arose due to Wayne State's troubled relationship to the rest of Detroit and that's a conversation worth having, it is at least still in Detroit). It's basically in all ways better than any other conference I attend.

I and two fantastic artist-activist-scholars Blackamazon and So-Treu, co-ran a workshop called "Web-Writing, Ownership Ethics and Power" about which see more at the end of this post.

The same day, due to near-superhuman efforts by AZUCAR crew La Joteria (whom Ushka and I wrote about here), there was a party benefiting the Brown Boi Project. It took place at Bob's Classic Kicks, a cool local sneaker store that has a monthly hip-hop event. Shoutout to the nice guy who loaned the sound system, whose name I forget. I played a 4 hour set for the bois and friends - it was a lovely crowd and everyone, simply everyone danced. There were people there who repped almost every genre I played, so I dropped classic and new ballroom(esque) sounds and watched the runway appear, I dropped some New Orleans Bounce and suddenly the NoLa crew were on the floor, I dropped Azonto and people did the Azonto, Soca and there was wining, the Wobble dragged all the people in who were trying to leave, we headed to the Bay Area for some hyphy sounds, I played dancehall and things got dutttttty... And I had to end it with this classic. Big love to everyone for helping make the party fantastic!

To go back to the workshop. Here was our description:

"Writing online, you're on a knife-edge: you can reach likeminded people and fellow fighters, save a life, educate, represent. Or you may see your words and ideas repeated without your name (or community) attached, enhancing others' careers while erasing your presence. Online media platforms make easier both the act of authorship and its erasure, praise as well as harassment, support as well as stalking. In this strategy session, we will break down the ethics of writing and reblogging, and generate guidelines for ourselves and for designers of blogging platforms so they can prevent exploitation and erasure."

you can search the twitter hashtag #whoshares (although it's now somewhat clogged with other stuff), to see some discussion, I will storify that later today if I can. It was an amazing discussion.


He's me facilitating near the end, in my new hat (There were many other great pictures but I'm not going to post them until I've checked with people about their images going a-wandering). Also, I'm not going to summarize it here until I've talked with my co-presenters about how we are moving forward, but I will say that I was absolutely thrilled and honored to have this conversation with the communities that most need to be centered in the discussion: activists, people from marginalized communities, people of color, queer and trans folk, women.. all folk who were not influential in the design of basic web protocols and online protocols.

One thing that was especially important was the ways that people both emphasized the pleasures and values of being online, but also the kinds of vulnerabilities that are not well addressed in current blogging platforms. Many people raised things that are usually discussed negatively in the self-identified "radical" tech community as "Digital Rights Management."People wanted ways to take down images of themselves that had migrated outside of a safe context. Ways to remove, tag, or manage their words and ideas so that more powerful people or entities couldn't profit or erase them. they talked about terrible, threatening experiences, loss of jobs and safety, debilitating harassment and stalking.

It reveals a real faultline in the tech world, where the concern over government or corporate control of tools sometimes outweighs the real, existing harms to particular communities denied those tools. The liberal individualist framework of freedom appears to allow many tech folks to MANDATE that people be open to harassment and threats that are tiring, stressful, and physically dangerous as well. I want to make sure that techies who are not from these worlds are not willing to just tell, for example, a trans person who literally faces death for being 'outed' in the wrong place: "DRM could be used by the government or big corporations so we won't design a way for you to pull content from the web if you don't feel safe with it being out there." We have to think bigger than this if we want online tools to be valuable for overturning hierarchy, not just propping it up.

I took part of these concerns to my next gig, starting off the Plenary Session of the Rare Books and Manuscripts section of the American Library Association. I spoke about my work and its implications for archivists, and then Katherine Reagan and Ben Ortiz of Cornell University's Hip-Hop Archive spoke about putting some of those same concerns into practice to make sure the Archive was actually useful and relevant to hip-hop communities and the historic roots of hip-hop especially in New York. We talked about the obligations that people who make and collect recordings have to the people who are being recorded - and to the communities, collectively, whose experiences and struggles create the culture. Beyond that, there are obligations to principles of justice, and to do our best to not support or rely on systems of exploitation, cultural erasure and disrespect.

We can figure out how to do that through examining the specific harms to specific people and communities that are not well represented online, in archives, or in mainstream media...  and as in the AMC workshop I tried to articulate them since they are not well served by values like "copyright law" "preservation" or "freedom of speech." I will take some of these concerns forward to my talks while on tour, one in Berlin on July 6th, and one in Croatia.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ripley goes forth, 2013 version

(x-posted at Dutty Artz)
Summertime is my chance to really go deep and wide with my artistic and activist communities, here in New York with Dutty Artz (and some new collaborations/projects in the works!), and abroad, including Europe and beyond.
At the end of June, I will head overseas for my 2013 Summer Tour. I’m excited to reconnect with awesome people I’ve worked with before (like the Wob Wob crew in Hamburg, the Fusionistas and more), and to meet new people in new cities (holla, Torino & the Bunker/Palmwine crew!). 
Below is the itinerary so far, I will update it so check back as the time draws nearer, and please come through if you are in the area! I still have some dates open (especially near the end) so if I am playing near your city and you are interested in booking a Ripley gig, speaking or djing (or both!), feel free to get in touch!
June 29 – Fusion Festival, Germany
July 6 –  Lecture and DJ gig. O Tannenbaum, Berlin, Germany
July 12 – Bunker, Torino Italy
July 13 – Openair festival, Ottensheim, Austria
July 18-20 –Share boat camp, on the Peace Ship Galeb. Rijeka & the Mediterranean, Croatia
Speaking gig: “When life is a hostile environment: is technological intimacy possible?”
Dj Gig as well.
July 27 – with Kutmah & Wob Wob crew. Hafenklang, Hamburg, Germany
July 28 – Sfinks festival, Boechout, Belgium
July 30-August 1 – SEEKING GIG IN THE UK!

This is all in the mix as I continue my hustle, post-PhD (2012 Jurisprudence & Social Police, Berkeley Law - University of California). I've got some articles in the works, and I’m preparing to resume teaching in Communications and Sociology in the fall. Come september I’m thrilled to have the chance to teach one class (Gender and Technology) at Rutgers University in the School of Communication, as well as one at Brooklyn College (Sociology of Law). So, still keeping it diverse, keeping it live!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ripley's Academic Adventures in Boston

I'm presenting a paper (soon to be an article) at the Annual Meeting of the Law & Society Association this week in Boston, MA. This is a huge scholarly event where scholars who study law and society (or law in society) from a variety of angles gather to share their work, network, and generally show their stuff. You have  sociologists, philosophers, economists, historians, anthropologists, lawyers, law professors, and more folks who come at law from all kinds of ways.

It's (technically) closed to the public, although interested parties can often sit in on talks (ahem), you just can't get your hands on the program without an ID. I'm on on Saturday afternoon between 4:30 and 6pm with 3 other interesting presenters.

Anyway, here's the abstract of the talk I'm giving. Keen readers will see connections to my musical practice, my journalism, my activism, and all the other worlds I move through. for the tl:dr skip to the end :)

"White Faces in Intimate Spaces : Copyright, Property and Propriety in the Jamaican Street Dance"

Marginalized people have always relied on “exilic spaces” for survival and renewal. Spaces are exilic when their existence depends on remaining outside existing rules of order, including property law, propriety, gender, sexuality or national/ethnic categories. Within exilic spaces, marginalized people build identities and communities of healing and occasional resistance, carving out these spaces with sound, movement, and the reuse of cultural material. Through these actions, exilic space can foster a kind of intimacy, in which marginalized people can reconfigure or subvert the stigmatized aspects of their social position. “Rudeness” becomes respectability, the adulterous or licentious woman asserts sexual and physical autonomy, the “gangster” becomes a “don,” … and the “imitator” becomes the originator. Exilic spaces don’t erase categories, but provide shelter within which people can perform, subvert, challenge or recontextualize them through playful activities. This play requires flexibility of intellectual property, physical property, zoning law, and international borders.

Dominant culture in Jamaica is hostile to the accents, skin color, bodies and stories of the poor, and has historically sought to keep them out of mainstream media platforms. The street dance, the explosively creative heart of Jamaican musical practice, grew out of this exile into a space in which the urban poor majority of Jamaica maintained authority and autonomy from dominant culture.

The value (of sharing cultural knowledge and practices) that is generated in the street dance, I call (after Paul Gilroy) “diasporic intimacy” -  to highlight the particular colonial history in which Jamaican popular culture is embedded. The conditions under which media representations of Jamaican culture circulate can affect the ability to foster diasporic intimacy. Thus, the integration of exilic spaces into the broader media landscape may pose risks as well as advantages. Because diasporic culture relies especially on the reuse and subversion of existing media, it is particularly in tension with the permission-based practices enshrined in copyright law.

Increasing penetration of networked technologies into daily life in Jamaica more deeply integrate media recordings and broadcasts from these spaces into a global system. But increased global and local attention to exilic space may affect the intimacy generated in these spaces, as well as their ability to foster intimacy in the transnational circulation of Jamaican media. This paper addresses how increased media circulation, or extension of copyright “protections” can break down the borders of exilic spaces in ways that limit or destroy their capacity to foster diasporic intimacy.

tl:dr?
it's about what definition of ownership is available or helpful to people in the street dance given the increased circulation of videos and photographs from the street dance - an event that used to be more anchored in the physical location of poor neighborhoods than the current digitized media world allows it to be. It's about whether watching/listening can be an influence on performing or even just a harm, as suggested by increasingly visible skin bleaching and pornification of Jamaican performers and audiences. I'm suggesting we should name the value of what is harmed (diasporic intimacy) so we can protect it, and I'm curious as to what kinds of resistance is available, via law, technology, or social organization, to protect against those harms.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

cooled out and warmed up

I wanted to give a belated shoutout to the cats of Cool Out! The party I played last weekend in Bushwick. (nice write-up here) I was invited to focus on the more strictly Jamaica-centric aspect of my musical repertoire.

I decided to take the chance to do a set of all vinyl --not because I fetishize its audio quality, but because I have stacks of records - 12"s, 7"s and 10"s - which are not digitized (or I haven't tracked down good quality audio files for), and I haven't had a chance to play out in years. It was also the only set I've played in AGES to stay sort of within a genre, but it really gave me a chance to explore the delights of 1990s dancehall in particular. It is still one of the most creative, wacky, experimental genres, especially in terms of sonic variation, plus there are so many lyrical and vocal innovators playing around with sounds.

Some of my favorite moments were:

I opened with


And mixed into my favorite find, Lady Saw on the same riddim, singing "pumpum before gun" which is a great sing that begins with the time-honored phrase "SALUTE DI COOCHIE."

And another favorite - I had to drop some UK tracks - was Top Cat's "Pirate Radio Station"



WE wandered all around through some of my favorite riddims from "heavy metal" to "shanghai" to "grass cyaat" and a little hop to Germaica for the Pharoah Riddim.. It was not your typical dancehall set, I think I have a pretty unique take on it. Besides the hard, dark, wiggy, percussive vibe, themes included: some of the great female vocalists: Tanya Stephens,  Lady Saw and the underrated (in the US I think) Macka Diamond probably dominated, but Lady G, Cecile, Patra and others got a look-in. One other favorite from that night:


The whole night was perfectly sweet and ran till 4 or so... Dj Oliver Rivard (Cluster Mag) held down a nice rocksteady opening. Regent Street played pretty much all the crucial 4/20 appropriate tunes, and I was followed by Max Pearl (Cluster Mag) playing classics from various eras.

Big thanks to the three hosts for giving me a chance to revisit my collection with fresh ears!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rocking-the-body-politics : speaking at CMU/Pittsburgh today


I’m speaking today about a topic that I’ve been living for years, and only recently (and with the help of awesome Dj/Activist/thinkers like DJ Ushka) been able to articulate in a public way, and combine with my other scholarship: “Rocking the Body Politics; Musical Spaces for Resistance & Survival.” This is an extension of the workshop Thanu/Ushka and I organized at the Allied Media Conference last year on “Radical Organizing from the Dancefloor,” combined with ideas from my research and dj experience that I also presented at the Clandestino Institut in Göteborg, Sweden last year (Exile, Resistance, Occupation, Music).
mannbodypolitic
I’m thinking about the value of remaining outside formal systems of law, of technology, of dominant social norms. This comes from my experience of squats and warehouse parties, underground nightclubs, pirate radio, rent parties, and street dances – I’m thinking about how people whose identities – and communities- are defined as abnormal or pathologized as dangerous and broken (from immigrants to queer kids to people of color to poor folks in general) carve out spaces to foster and express their shared culture. These spaces are often illegal and hard to find, which is sometimes discussed as a negative, but in some ways this protects them from being assimilated, digested and erased. By remaining outside and claiming that space, communities build up social power which can allow them to engage more assertively with the mainstream. At least, that’s what I see, and part of why I am wary of simply extending institutions that serve the powerful (from copyright law to property licenses) to people who are marginalized. Because inclusion on the wrong terms just maintains the overall hierarchy. This is stuff I try to think through in my dj sets, and increasingly in public conversations, using sound and music.
This will be my second time speaking at CMU, and my third time speaking in Pittsburgh – the first time I was lucky enough to give a talk (here’s the video! and a nice review!) at Dorkbot Pittsburgh, also with the help of the awesome Studio For Creative Inquiry, which shakes things up around art & technology in all kinds of ways, especially with the help of the super cool Golan Levin who designs interactive art and sound artifacts & experiences as well as teaching at CMU.
This is part ofa longer set of interesting musical conversations that Carnegie Mellon has been hosting as part of its “Listening Spaces” media initiative. I was invited to speak at their symposium “21st Century Perspectives on Music, Technology and Culture” last year, alongside the awesome Jonathan Sterne (whose recent book MP3: the meaning of a format, is super fascinating for all of you interested in the mechanics, history and politics of audio processing), as well as Trebor Schulz who does interesting work on online labor, and Graham Hubbs, a philosopher who works on ethics in digital spaces.
(the image at the bottom of the poster is from scenes from Pier Kids – the Life, a forthcoming documentary about the queer and transgendered youth of color that congregate at the Christopher Street Piers in New York, who are fighting erasure from mainstream society and also as their spaces at the margins are being erased by property development – check the “safe spaces save lives” campaign from the amazing FIERCE for more.)

Monday, April 01, 2013

Dutty and FAT : /Rupture & Ripley go gold on Tuesday

On TUESDAY, April 2 from 7-9pm at the FAT Lab (hosted at Eye Beam) DA will be repping hard on a panel called “Rights, Rogues and Refugees” – as part of this week’s celebration, by the Free Art & Technology Lab, of over 5 years of “thug life, pop culture, and R&D.”

 I’ll be moderating (Larisa Mann aka DJ Ripley), and the discussion features fellow DAer and former Eyebeam Fellow Jace Dj /Rupture Clayton, alongside Magnus Eriksson of the Swedish Piratbyran (Pirate Bureau, not to be confused with the Pirate Party), and Joe Karaganis, to discuss the implications of Karaganis’ recent study on “Media Piracy in Emerging Economies.” This is the first independent, large-scale study of music, film, and software piracy in emerging economies.*

 This topic is near and dear to my heart, and /Rupture’s as well. As for the study (available at the link above) it’s nice to see a systematic work of research, investigating ideas of ownership, control, authority, sovereignty and power in the global context that highlights heavy histories of inequality and liberating, slippery networks of clandestine creativity.

Our own experiences (and the experiences of many outside or at the borders of Western legal and cultural domination) already tells us some truths, but it’s good to rub those up against some formal scholarship and see what sparks. The first half of the event will bring out some key findings from Joe's research, tossed up against Rupture’s experiences in New York and far beyond, Magnus’ deep knowledge of how these questions have been fought out in Sweden (and the broader repercussions), and a bit of my own approach which I learned mainly from Jamaicans (and my own conscience and desires) in the street dance during the couse of my own research.

 We’ll have plenty of time for questions and conversation as well, so come through! It will also be livestreamed so you can tune in: check Eyebeam.org and FATLAB for more info. Big thanks to Geraldine Juárez and Lindsay Howard for mistressminding this event.



 *The most generous definition of "emerging economies" would be economies that are emerging from colonialism and exploitation. A more suspicious mind might wonder if these are economies or even communities and societies whose tender, private practices are being exposed to the harsh & commodifying light of the digital economy.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Halifax, here I come!

I'm excited to head to Nova Scotia for the first time, Halifax to be exact! It's a treat to work with the people who made this happen. And to head up north, even in March, which I'm guessing won't really be spring yet at all, at all.

I'm looking forward to the gig, which has two parts: a Dj set AND a panel discussion. But this time, it's more than panel,  I hear that a manifesto will be read. I'm a fan of manifestos, so I'm looking forward to that!

I'll be talking a bit more about the direction my scholarship is going: combining my interest in sharing, reuse, and connection with the need for marginalized people to protect themselves from exploitation. While I'm not convinced that US style copyright law (or private property rights as currently defined)  is the way to do that I'm really interested in exploring how spaces and practices get defined, and how people claim ownership of different kinds, in cultural expression.

click on the flyer for the link to the party page!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

TONIGHT: JFREJ Purim Masquerade to benefit

Tonight I get to play this lovely event.

JFREJ is, as far as I have learned, a good organization with a long history of keeping white Jews connected with struggles for social justice in lots of NY communities.

This event continues that tradition. It's a benefit for Communities United for Police Reform, one of the organizations mobilizing to fight police abuse such as stop& frisk.

JFREJ also works closely with the awesome Domestic Workers United union, founded and run by Caribbean women doing some of the hardest and most badass organizing in NY. When I played last year, the DWU folks were in the play which retold the story of Queen Esther as (their) labor struggle. They also provide the food, about which you can have no complaints.

There's live bands, including the Rude Mechanicals Orchestra, it's a very queer and queer-friendly event, costumes encouraged, nobody turned away for lack of funds.

I love that I get to dj for events like this. I guess it can happen other places, but it really makes me love New York.

image
And here's a great Yiddish version of f* the police to get you ready

Friday, February 22, 2013

DUTTYCAST #1 today 2/22 !!

Ok fam. I'm proud to announce the first edition of the Duttycast, going live today at 6pm EST!

This will be a livestreamed conversation on international musicial collaboration and being a musician in a global context when big players -including governments-  take an interest.

Link will be up closer to 6pm at http://www.duttyartz.com/  and you can tweet back at us at #duttycast

we will be doing this monthly, some musical, some conversations, some wilder still!


Monday, February 18, 2013

hello exile!

Thrilled to present my latest mix.


The mix is a love-letter to the perfect combination of raw, live enthusiasm and musical excellence that was Jungle in the 1990s. In2013, as footwork and other urban bass sounds bring to the front some more 'dark' and aggressive musical styles, these tracks haunt my ears, still sounding fresh and influential. I open up my well-traveled vinyl collection for 15-year-old records from my earliest DJ sets, weaving in music from then till now: most made by friends and colleagues I've crossed paths with in my tours across 19 countries on 3 continents.

I intend it as a joyful menace: troubling all the hierarchies out there and having fun doing it. This isn't music from the margins, it hails up lives, communities, worlds in exile. Gothic and darkstyle Jungle, the ominous side of footwork, and the punk aesthetic of my youth, all entangle with the threat to dominant social norms presentedby the thread of Black and Caribbean culture that runs through most ofthe music I love best. I also wanted to queer up the jungle, a move without which Babylon can never truly fall. Dance music's omnivorous digesting of culture can brings out the best interactions, on the dancefloor and in production: I end my take on that by mixing two of my favorite voice/beat combinations under the calling of dark birds.

See you on the dancefloor!!


There's a nice writeup here: http://www.duttyartz.com/mixes/february-mixtape-mondays-3/


Friday, February 15, 2013

Halfway through February update

It's been a lively month so far. Big things on the horizon, but still under my hat for now..

What I CAN tell you is that I'm playing this fabulous gig tomorrow (Saturday Feb 16) in Harlem, and next week, a fantabulous gig in Sunset Park!

Saturday, February 16th: AZUCAR UPTOWN! 

























RSVP here. $5 all night!
Special late night happy hour 1am-3am!

Saturday February 23: I SEE WHAT YOU’RE  DOING: PURIM, PUPPETS, POLITSEY!
A dazzling Purim Shpil and Masquerade Ball in support of Communities United for Police Reform




















Jews for Racial and Economic Justice bring you this amazing event, which this year supports Communities United for Police Reform (against Stop & Frisk and their other messed-up practices).
There's a great lineup of bands, performances and more:
Featuring:
The Aftselokhis Spectacle Players 
Yiddish Princess - the world's favorite yiddish rock band
DjaRARA - Haitian Rara Band
The Rude Mechanical Orchestra
DJ Ripley - dancing til late

WHERE?
220 36th St, Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (D/N/R to 36th St)
Ramped access to building 
FOOD! by Domestic Workers United


Saturday, January 05, 2013

New Year, new gigs: BK/DC/NY/CHI -ETA PHILLY Jan 12!!

Upcoming in January

Sunday Jan 6, Brooklyn NY:
















fbRSVP here (I think it's $10 on the door)

Friday, Jan 11, Washington, DC:





































RSVP here

ADDED: SATURDAY JANUARY12, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Debo Band is performing at World Live Cafe on Saturday, January 12. They, along with the Tropicalismo and Sonic Diaspora crews, invite you to hang out with them after their show, and I've been honored to accept a little guest DJ slot on the night. It's going to be so much fun to hang out with these awesome people, and everyone should tag along.

People with ticket stubs from the show will get in for FREE, so don't miss the LIVE SHOW: http://www.facebook.com/events/265121416950166/

Time: 10:00 - 2:00
Venue: Dahlak Paradise (4708 Baltimore Ave)
Music: Everything!
fbRSVP for the afterparty here

Friday, January 18, New York NY:
DJ Ripley plays south and central Asian pop, classical and remixes at the K2 Lounge
Rubin Museum for Asian Art. Free entrance (including museum entrance) all night!
150 w. 17th Street, between 7th and 6th avenue.

Saturday, January 26th, Chicago IL:
Playing with SoulPhonetics Crew at Dance Syndrome! More info TBA..