Gratuitous May Day Preview

Gratuitous May Day Preview

Since the end of the Cold War, anti-capitalism has increasingly come to the fore as an antidote to the ills of social democracy. Given the predilection of mainstream socialist parties to give in to the logic of neoliberalism, it makes sense. François Hollande’s presidency is a great example. More»

Illegitimate Refugee Trauma

Illegitimate Refugee Trauma

On April 7, Rakhmat Akilov was arrested while covered in blood and glass in Marsta, a suburb north of Stockholm. Four days later, Rakhmat admitted to stealing a Spendrups beer truck and driving it into the Ahlens department store in Drottninggattan, killing four people and injuring fifteen others.  More»

French Blairism

French Blairism

Like most elections these days, the French presidential election have been unpredictable. First, it looked like Sarkozy would make a comeback, then Fillon beat him to it only to be taken out by a corruption scandal. Meanwhile Hollande bowed out of the race, leaving Benoit Hamon and Jean-Luc Melenchon to fight over the left-wing vote. And then, there were two: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. More»

Latest entries
Padlock City

Padlock City

Odessa, once the Soviet Union’s largest commercial port, was the funkiest place in the Nazi empire. It is said that the occupying Romanian officers would never consider going out without their make-up on, the better to attract the favors of the city’s belles. That reputation lives on, to this day. More»

Font You!

Font You!

Piazza Bodoni. Torino, Italy, 04/11.

Paradise Regained

Paradise Regained

Hospital waiting rooms are a horrid place. You’re either about to be diagnosed with something awful, or in love with someone who is. My San Francisco hospital, in its boundless touchy-feeliness, commissioned a harp player to set up next to us and play harp arrangements of Debussy and other typically floral-sounding songs. More»

Aroused by Print

Aroused by Print

When we first saw the cover of the Sunday Telegraph we did a double take. The photo of the burning MiG 29 above the fold immediately caught our attention.  Combined with the left-side headline “British Forces Attack Gaddafi,” the layout suggested that the Russian-made fighter had been shot down by the RAF. More»

The Pleasure Principle

The Pleasure Principle

Another day, another cloud-based service. Another day, another music service launches. Double-whammy, we get Amazon’s new music service, Cloud Player. Too little, too late. More»

Process, Not Synthesis

Process, Not Synthesis

As I mingle with the audience after playing a concert, or chat online about my music,  I often find myself explaining the technical ways in which my work is created. I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that I’ve found my vocation as a media technician, or if I am simply less comfortable talking about the philosophy behind my music.
More»

Ambient Life

Ambient Life

There wasn’t a day that he wasn’t there. If he wasn’t standing at the bottom of the stairs, leading down from our side of Piazzale Loreto, he’d be in the middle of the tunnel, connecting one side of the square to the other. Whether it was hot or it was cold, the same sock hat was always affixed to his head. Upon reflection, I can’t remember when he wasn’t wearing a down jacket, either. More»

Out of Joint

Out of Joint

Although studded with moments of hectic musical convergence, Kutmah’s The New Error is bookended by passages in which propulsion takes a back seat. On the opening track, a string motif of Middle Eastern provenance twines amid meandering piano chords as Doom articulates a dream of irony-free positivity. Yet the hiss and crackle that suffuse the proceedings keep them at a distance. More»

BDS and Beyond

BDS and Beyond

March 30th

Thirty five years ago today, a peaceful general strike by Israeli-Palestinians was met with bullets. Six people were killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in what became known as Land Day. Two and a half months later, the Soweto uprising began in South Africa, claiming far more lives, but laying down a marker in the struggle against apartheid. The timing of the two revolts melded the stirrings of solidarity consciousness with the Palestinians to apartheid comparisons with South Africa. More»

The Wolf Inside

The Wolf Inside

Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood is a luscious little gothic fairytale. Taking the “Little Red Riding Hood” story and transposing it onto the social landscape of a small, early American village, the movie manages to give this classic a contemporary flair while also maintaining a sense of gothic romance. More»

Remixing Kenya

Remixing Kenya

When a German producer receives support from the Goethe Institute to collect field recordings in Africa and forcefully rework them into cutting-edge electronica, difficult questions are bound to come up. Are the musicians he documented being exploited, whether financially or culturally? More»

Taking Out the Trash

Taking Out the Trash

As I approached the door of our apartment building, I noticed an elderly, apron-clad woman was sorting through our garbage. “Ein Auslander!” (“A foreigner”) she derisively exclaimed as she examined the label of an empty bottle of tahina. “Ein Auslander,” the woman repeated to herself, nodding her head as she sniffed its freshly scrubbed interior. More»