(Music Review) IR 29.1: New Generation Dub

IR 29 - New Generation Dub

One of the biggest crimes committed by the music industry has been their ability to co-opt, dilute and turn even the most radical of genres into something safe for mass consumption. Disco, punk and rap have all been taken and watered down so they would sell in Peoria. Even worse is how the industry corrupts these forms, turning them inside out, so instead of preaching against … [Read more...]

Movie Review – Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

As a kid in the 1960s, I remember asking my mom why we didn't ever have Granny Smith apples in the house. She replied that she refused to buy anything from South Africa because of what the government did to its people. As the years passed and I became more aware of the world around me, I began to understand why my parents refused to buy anything which came from South Africa. … [Read more...]

(Music Review) Music of the Sahara: Tinariwen’s new album Emmaar

Tinariwen - Emmaar music review

In the early 1960s the creation of artificial borders in the trackless wastes of the Sahara desert might have been cause for celebration among the inhabitants of the newly created countries. However, the throwing off of colonial masters in Niger, Mali, Algeria, Morocco and others, also resulted in turmoil for the nomadic people who had called the region home for close to a … [Read more...]

Book Review – IR 30: Indigenous Visions In Dub

Book Review: IR 30 Indigenous Visions In Dub

I guess it's appropriate that blockades have gone up again on the Tyndengia Mohawk reservation in South Eastern Ontario Canada as I begin to write this review. Here in Canada the First Nations people are usually out of sight and out of mind unless they manage to capture the media's attention with some event which inconvenience the population at large. While the fact that the … [Read more...]

(Music Review) Soutak by Aziza Brahim

Soutak by Aziza Brahim

At first glance the Sahara Desert of North West Africa seems like one of the most inhospitable places on the face of the earth. Movies, and other Western media, usually show us images of trackless wastes, endless miles of sand dunes dotted with the occasional oasis and scrubby plants. However, this supposed barren land has been home to various nomadic people for centuries. … [Read more...]

(Music Review) Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia – Devil’s Tale

Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia - Devil's Tale

When the Ottoman Empire invaded Eastern Europe they brought more than just their armies with them. Even today evidence of their occupation can still be found. Muslim communities in Serbia are only the most obvious reminder of their one time rule as traces of their cultural influence can still also be seen in other, more subtle forms, including musical influences. The invading … [Read more...]

Book Review: Hijos de la Selva: Sons of the Forest

Hijos de la Selva: Sons of the Forest

In the early part of the 20th century photographer Edward Curtis was funded by American businessman J. P. Morgan to undertake the extensive task of making a photographic record of Native Americans across the United States. While some of these photos are undeniably powerful and poignant, the motivation behind them of creating a portrait of "a vanishing people" resulted in him … [Read more...]

(Music Review) Acá: Viggo and Friends

Aca - Viggo Mortensen and Friends

Some people say, "Politics make strange bedfellows" (Don't say it to Putin - he might take it the wrong way and have you thrown in jail) but the first time I heard Viggo Mortensen had collaborated on an album with the notorious, infamous, riotous, speed metal, punk, over the top guitar player Buckethead, I thought politics has nothing on music. The idea that the actor, poet and … [Read more...]

Book Review – Dreams before Extinction by Naeemeh Naeemaei

Dreams before Extinction by Naeemeh Naeemaei

It's hard for us in the West not to have misconceptions of what life is like in countries where our perceptions are shaped entirely by what we read in the media. This is especially true of those countries which have attempted to isolate themselves and their populace from what they consider our corrupting influence. I have to admit I have my own prejudices when it comes to Iran. … [Read more...]