John Lemke - People Do Album ReviewJohn Lemke People Do Denovali Records, 2013The world of Germany-born, Glasgow-based composer and sound designer John Lemke is a rich and varied one. Working in a variety of media, so as to enable him explore his fascination with music and "all things sonic", he has dipped his fingers into a variety of collaborative pies, ranging from live performance and film sound design, to work as a documentary composer for British television broadcasters such as the BBC. An accomplished manipulator of the recorded aural environment, Lemke seeks, in People Do, his debut solo album, to fuse the emotive elements from his film work with a sense of rhythm and space. With a stated aim of marshaling his abstract sonic palette to create a "danceable, electro-acoustic whole", the effect achieved is one of a highly visual journey that inhabits the realm of memory channelled and interpreted through objects and their collected histories. Lemke explains that his first inspiration was found in the "idiosyncratic sound world of his grandmother's piano. With a shimmering past in the silent film era of 1920's Berlin, its very fabric was full of anecdotes."
 

In 2012, we promoted and completed an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to aid us towards our goal of becoming a publication that inspires “conscious growth thru arts journalism”. Thanks to kind-hearted donations from 33 funders, we were able raise just over $3.5k to use towards more in-depth feature articles, graphical web...

"Partnering hip-hop artists with charitable causes is nothing that I made up... but they're infrequently covered by the media, perhaps, unless they're related to a tragedy." -- Dessa
Over the years, Dessa has been able to stand out from the Doomtree collective, which is apparent on her most recent album, Castor, the Twin which recalls the halcyon days of conscious hip-hop groups like The Fugees, Questionmark Asylum, and the Pharcyde. With her cemented individuality apart from the likes of P.O.S. and Lazerbeak, Dessa sees her nonprofit outreach as a bonus part of her burgeoning success. Typically, when musicians reach out to the community, it's something that coincides with attempting to make public amends for some misdeed. With Doomtree's singer/emcee, Dessa, she's reaching out to communities in need, sans agenda or public relations retooling; she's helping people because she can and wants to. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAI BENSON

 

Lansè Kòd (The Rope Throwers) 1996
Every year, Carnaval comes and goes across the entire world, tantalizing everyone with its fanciful costuming and celebratory antics. But beyond the tourist circuit of Carnival lies another Carnival, in locales with a connection closer to the festival's origins. Haiti is one of many countries that celebrates Carnival at their own pace, and over the course of many years, photographer Leah Gordon was able to capture the beauty of those festivities in Jacmel, a coastal town in the south. Kanaval is a black and white photographic series, true -- but it is, more importantly, a series on awareness, about culture, and inclusive of mythology. After this series was taken, Haiti suffered its devastating earthquake and Jacmel was completely decimated. Gordon's photographs, along with her heart-felt introduction to the series and the many oral mythologies passed down to her from carnival participants, can be viewed in the full post. Together, they forever capture a wonderful space in time and call attention to Haiti's creative and spiritual existence. We begin with a tale from Madanm Lasiren, which is just the first of many.
Madanm Lasirèn (Madame Mermaid) 2003

Madanm Lasiren Andre Ferner, 59 years

Lasiren is a spirit that lives under the sea and does mystical work there, she is a Vodou spirit, I dream of Lasiren all the time. That is the reason I do Lasiren for Mardi Gras. I chose Lasiren because my grandmother, father and mother all served the spirits, I love her & honour her. The baby that I carry in my arms is the child of Lasiren who is called Marie Rose. When I walk the streets I sing her song which goes ' I am Lasiren and I cry for Lasiren, when I work mystically in the night bad luck can come my way'. I prepare for Lasiren by putting on a hat, a mask and carrying an umbrella. I put on a necklace and gloves. This necklace is called Mambo Welcome, it is a fetish. Because Lasiren is a fish she has to disguise herself as a woman to be at Mardi Gras. My mask and hat cover her fish's head. And the dress she wears covers her fish's tail. The chain I wear is a sacred chain. Each year I change the disguise and fashion a new baby. In order to get inspiration I go to the place where the big beasts live and they instruct me how to do Mardi Gras. I have been doing this for 18 years. Before that I did another Mardi Gras call Patoko. This was a group of men who were dressed as women, with a nice dresses and high heeled shoes. We did a marriage between men and woman on the street. After that we had a group called the duck who carried brushes in their hands wearing blue trousers, white t-shirts, new sandles and a scarf around our waists. We swept the streets of Jacmel. I have always found a way of doing a Mardi Gras.
Kanaval will be on display for free at PHI Centre in Montreal (407, rue Saint-Pierre), from February 25th to April 27th, 2013. Opening night happens at 7:30pm on February 23rd, and its $175 ticket price (or a $400 VIP ticket) includes Haitian food, giveaways, and performances by Haitian dance groups, Haitian band Doody and Kami, and The Arcade Fire, who have a blog dedicated to their own trip to Haiti. All proceeds will go towards KANPE, a non-profit "born of a desire to play an integral part in the fight to help Haiti break free from a vicious cycle of poverty", through programs in health, education, agriculture, counseling, and other community services. Full event details can be seen at PopMontreal.
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The music video for tUnE-yArDs' "Bizness" fluttered through the internet as a colorful extension of main lady Merrill Garbus' long-standing style of bridging movement, geometric facepaint, and playful insanity. It was Garbus' first video to reach the extreme masses, and it, along with the music video for "My Country", were directed by San Francisco's Mimi Cave. They are both exercises in give and take between dancer and creator, and spontaneity and choreography, and both give young children the opportunity to participate in a professional art project. In the Q&A below, Cave speaks with REDEFINE about the creative process behind the videos, and we take a look backwards at the role of movement in tUnE-yArDs music videos through the years. The music video for "Bizness" will also be featured at REDEFINE magazine's Motion & Movement In Music Video panel at Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW 2012. SEE FULL DETAILS

 

REDEFINE magazine interview with Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs See all articles related to tUnE-yArDs

 

Background On The 2011 Angolan Demonstrations Luaty DaSilva On His Airport Experience
In early 2011, as the turmoil from the Arab Spring protests made their way into pockets of Africa, Angolan youth began taking to the streets themselves. At the heart of their ongoing dissatisfaction remains the 32-year reign of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who protesters cite as the cause of mismanaged oil revenues, suppressed human rights, and widespread poverty, amongst other corruptions. 1 One early advocate for the protests include hip-hop musician Luaty DaSilva, aka Ikonoklasta, who openly voiced his support for the uprising during one of his February 2011 concerts, listing government officials as "exploiters of the oppressed" while the crowd responded to push them "out!" In June 2012, DaSilva departed Angola for Lisbon, Portugal, to play with the Kuduro band Batida. DaSilva's supporters at the Angolan airport warned him that his luggage had been tampered with by the National Crime Investigation Department, and DaSilva decided that upon arrival in Lisbon, he would tell customs that he suspected foul play. But he never made it there, as the police were upon him as soon as he got his luggage. A kilogram of cocaine was discovered in DaSilva's luggage, but the presiding judge of the case set him free, because, in Luaty's words, "the framing was so gross that not even the judge bought it." 2 For the following month-and-a-half, DaSilva stayed in Portugal, and has only just returned to Angola. As he shares in the interview below, he suspects that the government "must have something ready for me, some sort of "warm welcome home" for when I return on the 25th of July." He is just one of a handful of musicians known to have faced persecution. 3 The 2012 parliamentary elections are to be held in Angola on August 31st -- hypothetically the first time the government will respect the constitutional deadline of having four years between elections. Yet despite this fact, which ostensibly seems to be an improvement, demonstrators both young and old have seen an intense increase in violence in the past year, much of which has been captured on video and disseminated widely via the internet. As recently as July 15th, several hundred protestors, knowing very well the potential dangers which faced them, risked likely violence from security forces and protested in the Sao Paolo market. Twelve were arrested, including two journalists working for Portuguese publications, sparking a call for the postponement of the August elections until free and fair polls can be guaranteed. 4 In the following Q&A with REDEFINE, DaSilva gives his perspective on the situation in Angola, offering a point of view from the young and frustrated underclass, in both Portuguese and English.
September 2012 Headlines Thousands stay away from Angolan elections (AP News - 2012, August 31) Angola's ruling party declared election winner (CNN - 2012, September 2) Angola court rejects UNITA appeal, says vote was fair (Reuters - 2012, September 19)

 

It is no secret that the economic depression that has commanded the nation for the past four years has taken its toll on everyone. School districts nationwide are especially feeling the budget crisis, as falling tax revenues has forced some to get creative. Be it via hacking a month off of the school year or forcing teachers to take furlough days, it is, in the end, students who lose out most from these funding struggles. Portland's favorite beard metal band Red Fang are more known for their PBR-swilling music videos and heavy riffs than they are their level of social engagement. But when the Grant High School art department needed some funds to keep the art flowing, Red Fang did what all good metal bands would do: threw a benefit show. Like a carwash fundraiser, only with less bikinis, more beer, and more beards. In this interview, Red Fang's vocalist and bassist Aaron Beam talks about why the band got involved, and Maliq Rogers, a Sophomore at Grant High School, explains what impact the budget cuts have on his band, Hell's Parish, and the other students at the school.
"I think we need to re-program society to put a bigger emphasis on the arts, so that it would be inexcusable to cut an arts programs funding in the public schools." -- Aaron Beam

 

In April 2012, La Dispute announced their latest charity benefit project, Conversations, a packet consisting of a hand-assembled and multi-dimensional collection of items courtesy of La Dispute themselves, writers involved with 826michigan, and the band's artist friends. All proceeds from Conversations benefit 826michigan, a branch of Dave Eggers' literacy organization, 826 National. In this feature, we speak with vocalist Jordan Dreyer about their work with 826michigan and highlight all of the organizations they have worked with in-depth. As La Dispute continue to use their youth and energy to benefit the less fortunate, this on-going article will be updated to reflect their continued humanitarianism.

 

"Everything goes a long way. Every little thing counts." -- Jordan Dreyer
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