Mad week obvs so no mix this time, but a bunch of other excellent bits to keep you ticking over. It’s worth noting also that ICA Daily is back and well worth subscribing to if the somewhat languid pace of this newsletter alone does not totally fulfil your content requirements.
Top top recommendation is Joshua Minsoo Kim’s incredible interview with Angel Bat Dawid for Tone Glow. It was immediately striking how her experiences of racism whilst on tour echo various aspects of DeForrest Brown Jr’s dissection of the treatment of Black artists in the dance music industry shared a couple of weeks back. In particular, Angel describes in some detail the fraught show she and her band Tha Brothahood played at last year’s Berlin Jazz Fest, a set that is documented on the extraordinary new album, LIVE. I very much recommend listening to the album whilst reading the interview. ‘Nourishing’ is the word Joshua uses and I second.
Since it’s mentioned in the interview, I figured it was also worth sharing The Cry of Jazz, Ed Bland’s lowkey-legendary short film from 1959. What begins with a surprisingly insightful (if sometimes slightly clumsy) dialogue about jazz and race is cut with performances by Sun Ra, Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, and Julian Priester to eventually become a truly wild treatise on ‘the death of the jazz body’ that seems to anticipate not only free jazz but hip hop. Nineteen fifty-nine.
…strictly rhythmic to lift our spirits out of this swamp…
Was into Sockethead’s guest show for Return to Zero this week. Bizarrely uplifting murk. If this leaves you feeling pleasurably covered in goo and your body vibrating ever so slightly I very much recommend Harj-o-Marj also, out last week via Manchester’s YOUTH. More recs in this general zone very much appreciated.
As a poet it is not my job to win you over with convincing arguments, but to impart on you a vibrational experience that is capable of awakening your desire for a new world.
Perhaps because there is another Democrat administration on the horizon, I’ve been drawn back to a speech given by Jackie Wang towards the end of the last one. In 2015, she laid out some thoughts for PEN America on the carceral state and futurity, and it should come as no surprise that the entire thing is absolute 🔥. At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to pretend that the last four years haven’t happened, this really doesn’t feel like it’s aged a day, in fact if anything it just feels even more relevant to hear now.
If this speech speaks to you, or perhaps particularly if it doesn’t, I really recommend you read Wang’s book Carceral Capitalism immediately.
Having spent an unnecessarily long time researching the history of the transatlantic telegraph cable for a miniscule thing over the summer, I’ll admit that the appearance of Ben Woodard’s ‘Slime on a Wire’ essay for e-flux last month did get me somewhat fired up. Read for an extremely deep dive (lol) on the misidentification of protoplasm covering cables along the Atlantic floor in the mid-19th century, and the tensions between mechanism and materialism in early biology.
It’s a big read and I’ll need to return to it, but more than anything it’s convinced me to go back to Woodard’s book, On an Ungrounded Earth, and perhaps even commit myself to it beyond the bit on Event Horizon and Doom 3 this time.
It’s a few weeks away still but I’m already looking forward to the Serpentine’s next event in their General Ecology series. The Understory of the Understory looks like two days of earthy delights with mycologist Merlin Sheldrake (whose recent book Entangled Life is weird and good,) Karrabing Film Collective/Elizabeth Povinelli, poet Daisy Lafarge, plus loads of people I am not yet familiar with.
I’ve been super into everything I’ve caught so far in this series via the Serpentine podcast, which has also been running another excellent series called Back to Earth. Snoozed for way too long on all this and am still catching up.
Loadsa music already this week I realise but the highlight of last week’s Bandcamp Friday is too major not to share. This 1984 performance by Arthur Russell, recorded at Phill Niblock’s Soho studio, Ei, is essentially a working out of the core sounds and colours that would later become World of Echo and is far and away the best archival AR material that I’ve heard to date.
Massive shout out to @isolationjams for the early nod on the tape.
This final addition came very late in the day but was too good not to include, Rasheedah Phillips’ response to Christopher Udemezue’s Duppy for Recess. Duppy provides a lens for glimpsing the folds of what Phillips terms ‘Black womanist temporalities’ specifically within the context of queer precarity in the Caribbean.
Okay that is your lot. Already hatching some mad plans for next week’s comeback mix. Here’s a hint. Bye! 👋