Calling on Paul Bowles: Tangier, Morocco, August 1979

Calling on Paul Bowles Tangier, Morocco, August 1979”There it is,” someone says, and in the darkness, in the distance, you can see Tangier sprawled across several hills, a white city illuminated by electric lights and veiled by a thin fog.After docking, disembarking and a wearisome wait to clear Moroccan customs, we take a taxi to our hotel, hurtling through the … [Read more...]

(Music Review) IR 29.1: 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

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

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

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

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 – Tartit With Imharhan – Live from the Sahara

When the annual Festival Au Desert in Northern Mali was cancelled in 2013 due to the territory's occupation by terrorist organizations intent on imposing a very narrow definition of Islamic rule, organizers of the Festival were determined, if the world couldn't come to them, to bring the music of the Festival to the world. Formed in 2001 the Festival takes place during the … [Read more...]