January 29, 2010

January 28, 2010

Get Fisq or Die Tryin': 50 Cent in the Middle East

No doubt, the Fatwa's "got the rap game in a chokehold."  The crackdown on Hip-Hop, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, has pushed the rap community underground or overseas.  CDs are traded under pseudonyms and via anonymous online communities.  By virtue of censorship and the subversive nature of microphones, rappers in the Islamic world have inadvertently become voices for democracy and reform.   

But why do the kids-- especially in Syria, Iran, and Iraq-- love 50 Cent's "In Da Club" so much?

Iraqi kids don't give a fuck it's not your birthday:

One of the most popular rap groups in the Middle East right now is Zedbazi.  Listen to their song "Mehmooni," a Farsi version of "In Da Club"-- that is, if you into getting rubbed.

Or download the track here:  Zedbazi - Mehmooni

Y'all can't keep Fiffy out of Babylon:

January 18, 2010

2009 - Year In Music

In no real order, here are 25 bands I damaged my hearing to in this year, 2009:

HEALTH ● Get Color
MI AMI ● Watersports
INTELLIGENCE ● Crepuscle with Pacman + Fake Surfers
ZOLA JESUS ● Tsar Bomba EP + New Amsterdam + The Spoils
BLANK DOGS ● Seconds 12”+Under and Under+Waiting 7”+Slow Room 7”
MAYYORS ● Deads 12”
WET HAIR ● Glass Fountain + Dream
PISSED JEANS ● King of Jeans
KURT VILE ● God Is Saying This to You + Childish Prodigy
FACTUMS ● Flowers
WOLF EYES ● Always Wrong
GARY WAR ● Horribles Parade
DUCKTAILS ● Landscapes + Ducktails
THESE ARE POWDERS ● All Aboard Future
CONVERGE ● Axe to Fail
SEX WORKER ● The Labor of Love
DIAL ● Dial EP
TICKELY FEATHER ● Hors D'oeuvres
NITE JEWEL ● Want You Back EP + You F O EP
LIGHTNING BOLT ● Earthly Delights
JOAN OF ARC ● Flowers
OMAR SOULEYMAN ● Dabke 2020:  Folk & Pop Sounds of Syria

(Check the Comments section for Honorable Mentions, my top 10 from 2008, and, just to illustrate, a dozen other records from 2008 I might have picked if I had heard them yet.)

And some of the many compilations and reissues I enjoyed from 2009:

VA ● Sound of Wonder! The First Wave of Plugged-In Pop at the Pakistani Picture House
ABNER JAY ● True Story of Abner Jay
VA ● Raks! Raks! Raks! 17 Garage Psych Nuggets from the Iranian 60s Scene
ONNA ● Onna
VA ● 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground
COLD CAVE ● Cremations
JOYCE – Visions of Dawn
VA ● Shiftless Decay: New Sounds of Detroit
WICKED WITCH - Chaos 1978-82
VA ● String of Pearls: Jewels Of The 78rpm Era 1918-1951
24 CARAT BLACK ● Gone: The Promises of Yesterday
VA ● Midnight Massiera: The B-Music of Jean-Pierre Massiera
VA ● Siamese Soul: Thai Pop Spectacular vol. 2
VA ● Mortika: Recordings from a Greek Underworld
39 CLOCKS ● Zoned
THE CULTURAL DECAY ● Eight Ways to Start a Day
SUN RA & OTHERS ● Doo Wop from Saturn - Interplanetary Melodies vol. 1 + Second Stop Is Jupiter vol. 2
VA ● Singapore A-Go-Go vol. 1
VA ● Fly Girls - B-Boys Beware: Revenge of the Super Female Rappers!
Chris Thomson's Chunklet Tape Dump - (especially the Cupid Car Club demo tapes!)

January 10, 2010

WHITE HOSPITAL - Holocaust 12" + We Wish You Are Merry X'mas (1984)

Originally limited to 300 copies, White Hospital's Holocaust MLP has already popped up at post-paranoia and The Thing On the Doorstep.  Konagaya Jun (Grim) and Kuwahara Tomo (Vasilisk) are the unusual duo behind this traditional folk/proto-power electronics/catholic mass from the early 80s. 

The album's first song, “Hymn of Heaven,” vacillates between an organ dirge, a Christian choir, and what sounds a bit like Alvin & the Chipmunks' "A Chipmunk Christmas." “Robotomy Operation” is straight-forward power electronics in the Whitehouse or SPK vein. “Body Flesh” is a tribal folk meditation, prefiguring both Konagaya's and Kuwahara's respective solo ventures, both of which included blending industrial with folk traditions. The rest of the album sounds like a pretty natural combination of these first three tracks, but overall it's harsh and surprisingly addictive Japanese industrial.

In addition and very similar in sound to Holocaust is the equally obscure and poorly translated "We Wish You Are Merry X'Mas" 7" EP.  Tribal industrial folk noise with music box chimes accompaniment.  These two records serve as White Hospital's discography.