A flurry of activity has reached us here in NYC from Dutch-based sound artist Pascal Plantinga. Three releases from the Ata Tak label have come out recently, featuring Platinga’s production and bass work, as well as vocals, with his moody pop sensibility the constant on all of these recordings. One features a collaboration with a traditional Japanese samisen player, another, a found-sound pop project, and the third is a live album, recorded at The Stone in NYC in 2009, with sax, and electronics. Bundled with this release is also a short film, entitled Learn To Speak Your Language, which is his visual and musical interpretation of what goes through a person’s mind in the seconds before they die.
A so-called “pop-eccentric”, Plantinga seems to be pretty damn busy right now, churning out these different recordings, showing off different sides of his approach to music. From Holland he seems to get around, working with a singer in Okinawa, Japan, downtown scene musicians in NYC, and his hometown crew in the Netherlands. What remains constant though, is his ability to capture the feeling of a moment and craft it into a slow-boiling song that rides out the emotion, checks through a number of possibilities, and eases into the most appropriate vein of expression.
This personal documentary about music critic Robert Palmer and his musical family, The Master Musicians of Jajouka, was a Critic’s Pick at New York Magazine, who called it “deeply compelling.” The documentary, which screened at New York’s Anthology Film Archives as well as at a broad range of film festivals in 2009 and 2010, features interviews with Anthony DeCurtis, Stephen Davis, Donovan, Bill Laswell, Yoko Ono, Genesis P. Orridge, and Randy Weston as well as a performance by The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar. Directed by Robert Palmer’s daughter, Augusta Palmer, The Hand of Fatima combines live action footage of the her 2007 visit to the village of Jajouka with animations and archival images that bring to life her father’s 1970s experiences in the Moroccan village of Jajouka, as well as his subsequent trips there with Ornette Coleman and others.
Blurred Vision, a band of two young Iranian brothers, Sepp and Solh in Toronto used the Pink Floyed song “Another Brick in the Wall“, which was written by the great Roger Waters in 1979, as a musical-political statement to express their support for the pro-democracy movement and revolution in Iran which started in the summer of 2009 in Tehran, Iran.
The famous line, “Hey. teacher, leave us kids alone” is replaced with “Hey, Ayatollah, leave those kids alone” which was approved by Roger Waters. The video shows a mullah and the security forces chasing after and beating the young protesters in Iran. The director of the video is the Canadian/Iranian filmmaker, Babak Payami who lives in Toronto.
A new video by Sven Kacirek! The video for ” Paper Flowers ” (from his recent released album SVEN KACIREC, THE KENYA SESSIONS) with images of the Ali Khamed Orchestra in Kenya and Sven playing at his studio in Hamburg (Germany). Cool video: sound and images match very well!