Excited to embark on special tour dates for Fhloston Paradigm. See you soon.
I just returned stateside from a life changing dream trip to Essouira, Morocco with legendary bassist, Jamaaladeen Tacuma. He asked me to join Wolfgang Puschnig, Ahmad Compaoré and him to perform at the Gnaoua Music Festival. We would also be joined by Maalem Hassan Boussou and his crew to create on onstage cultural exchanged of traditional Moroccan music with American funk & electronic.
Upon arrival in Marrakesh, I had images in my mind of this mystical and exotic place. My first steps on the North African land felt euphoric, like I had been there before in a past life. The first sounds heard were a mix of Arabic and French dialects filling the airport. We were greeted by the festival family to drive 3hrs to Essouira, which is a small town with big heart.
After the surreal drive through the semi desert and metropolis, we arrive in the town. We are greeted by our amazing host and guide, Fouad Wardi. We walk through the extremely colorful town to our Riad (traditional Moroccan house), to be warmly hugged by Fatima, the house caretaker and love giver.
We are immediately whisked away for a traditional Moroccan meal, that was the beginning of a whole new and constant eating schedule! Wow!
After a well deserved sleep in my King size bed for a King, we all had our first rehearsal. I was very nervous, since I needed to find my voice within the context of what Jamaaladeen is doing and the traditional players. What I learned is that less is more.
Forgot to say that when we arrived a very serendipidous meeting between old friends took place. Jamaaladeen had run into actor and longtime friend, Bob Wisdom (from the Wire). We went to meet the 'unofficial' mayor of the town! His spirit is magical.
The next few days would be filled with magic, from wandering around the mystical town in search of colorful fabrics and bags, to rehearsing with the top musicians from Morocco. It all was a whirlwind of cosmic dust and positive sorcery.
Now, the big day. We are on at 8pm and the butterflies had landed for sure. Rehearsals were beyond beautiful and it was time to share it with the sea of 3000+ people for our set.
The experience totally changed the way I listen to music now, and dance music in particular, since the Gnaouan tradition is very repetitive trance music essentially. I will be returning very soon.
Jamaaladeen has been a musical mentor to me since my teens. When playing his Outsiders Festival last year, he mentioned he was excited to add my electronics in another project and this is it!
These are the improvisational gigs that change Jazz music to another level and I am proud to represent the electronic community in this context
May 13 at 8pm sharp ..
I was honored last week to be a part of this amazing collaboration with choreographer, Faustin Linyekula, who flew all the way from the Congo to bring Philadelphia a new perspective on what Philly art will look like in the future tense in Philly Files.
He looks at North Philadelphia through movement, storytelling, community, and live music. The work includes a complete live improvisational score by myself, Tim Motzer, Heru Shabaka-ra, Anthony Tidd, and dancers from the University of the Arts. scenography by Jean-Christophe Lanquetin. The performance will took place in a warehouse in North Philadelphia.
The video above is by Chinese videographer, Stone Yin Shi. Music by me (from Supreme Diety)
First week of March 2016, I spent the week in my new favorite city, Rotterdam! It was an honor to be an artist in residence, at the legendary studio @ WORM. They had many ultra rare synths, that I was extremely excited to use. The Arp2500, The Putney VC3, PPG and so much more.
I was creating source material for the new Fhloston Paradigm album for next year. I was trying to learn all the machines and used all the mistakes as material. It was an extremely fun process.
I also was lucky enough to catch up with longtime friend and producer, Benny Rodridges. Was great to see him after 15yrs. We even started a song....
As a bonus, I got to meet designer, Lola Gielen, who invented the Neo at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. I got in contact after seeing the instrument online and wanted to see it in person. She drove all the way to show me. Blessed.
Lastly, the roti in Rotterdam, oh my word! Surinamese beauty.
October 2015 : I was asked by Congolese choreographer and activist, Faustin Linyekula to participate as a composer for a performance at Fondation Cartier in Paris. Joined by Pytshens Kambilo, Raphael Xavier, Jerry Valme and Dinozord for an improvisational session that mixed hip hop dance, rap, electronics and ndombolo.
We are presently working on a project together in Philadelphia called Re-Placing Philly.