Boombox

We didn't create it. We didn't curate it. But we sure like it. Found sounds and criticism, courtesy of the Souciant Online Music Appreciation Society. Boombox avatar courtesy of Stallio.


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Field Recording Politics

Field Recording Politics

As we move further away from the 1960s, the idea that music has a role to play in radical politics becomes increasingly irrelevant. Long gone are the days when people believed that rock music, or hip-hop, had any effect on the powers that be. More»

Somebody do Something

Somebody do Something

The refugees are right. Europe is a place to escape to. Never mind the populists and the neo-Nazis. They’re nothing compared to getting shelled every day by artillery, or losing your home to Russian missiles. No matter how hard the journey is, nothing could be worse than remaining in Syria, and Iraq. The Middle East is death. More»

Kurdish Spring Soundtrack

Kurdish Spring Soundtrack

The Arab Spring seems like a century ago. Starting in late 2010, there was every reason to believe that it would make the Middle East synonymous with social democracy. With the exception of its most fearful critics, no one could have predicted that it would dissolve into the bloodbath currently engulfing Syria and its neighbors. More»

Kiev Calling

Kiev Calling

Blame it on Pussy Riot. Thus far, the music has been a disappointment. The Ukraine, after all, is in decline. With no affluence to speak of, compared to Putin’s oil-rich Russia, culture, of the export variety, is nowhere to be found. You’d have to speak Ukrainian, (or Russian) to detect any national soundtrack, revolutionary, or otherwise, worth listening to. More»

Stealth Fighter Blues

Stealth Fighter Blues

11.8 billion Euros is a lot of money these days. Especially in a country like Italy, which is s struggling with the second worst economic crisis in the Eurozone. After Greece, that is. The estimated cost of 90 US-made F-35 stealth fighters, it’s still a lot less than what the Italian government had initially pledged to spend on the project: 16 billion, on 131 aircraft. More»

Migrants With Drums

Migrants With Drums

The sound of hand drums echoed in the distance. For a second, I thought I was in Berkeley. A daily feature of my graduate school years, I can’t remember a seminar I sat in where I could not hear a jam session in progress.  Located somewhere in Sproul Plaza, drum circles would normally get going in the mid-afternoon, rising in volume – and membership – by the early evening. More»

Karl Marx Ambient

Karl Marx Ambient

It’s a European Austin. A frequent proclamation, found in numerous pieces of promotional literature and newspaper articles touting the reunified German capital’s virtues – sometimes as a musical mecca, other times as a technology hub – the comparison is an annoying one. Not because there aren’t parallel arts and technology communities in the city. Rather, because it’s inaccurate. More»

Hip-Hop in Chechen

Hip-Hop in Chechen

Pussy Riot was just the tip of the iceberg. That is, for those who took the band’s notoriety as being an introduction to Russian pop. For most Western fans, however, that was it. The country’s rich music scene would otherwise remain invisible. Particularly those confined to the Federation’s margins, and its Diasporic representatives, who record their work for the migrant communities, to little notice, in their host countries. More»

It's All About Locale

It’s All About Locale

You didn’t want to listen to it. That is, the song you hear repeatedly in your head, untethered from your iPod, and your CD collection. Overheard in an elevator, or while shopping, such sounds have a colonizing effect. We hear it during our most private moments. We think about it when we try to script our own musical sensibilities. Everything about our sonic imaginary is defined in relation to it. More»

Hungry in Turin

Hungry in Turin

The Apple Store had finally opened. Located in a nineteenth century building on Via Roma, across from H&M and Bennetton, the American chain had set up shop in appropriately branded surroundings. Seeing that the store was packed with Sunday shoppers sporting bags emblazoned with the logos of its neighboring retailers, I decided I’d take a rain cheque. The frenzy was overwhelming. More»

Produce in Berlin

Produce in Berlin

Germany’s capital is not synonymous with fresh produce. If Berlin has any edible signifiers, it’s prepared foods, like doner kebab, and currywurst.  Try and link the city to fruit and vegetables, and residents will shake their heads and mutter something about Spain or Italy. Or, in the case of street markets in less fortunate neighborhoods, China. More»

Brixton as Genre

Brixton as Genre

“Drum and bass, dub, roots and culture.” To anyone used to shopping in Brixton Market, the loop is as familiar as a Jamaican patty. Recited for hours on end by a street rep equivalent for London’s University of Dub, the promoter has a lock on the genres the locals prefer, not to mention a rotating cast of first class artists to pitch. More»

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