Not to spark another "what is art?" debate, but OUPblog has put forth a striking allegation against 'mashup music', questioning the practice not just in terms of crediting the original artists, but even its status as a true composition. Using examples from prominent mashup artists, such as Danger Mouse's Grey Album mashup of Jay Z and Beatles tracks, OUPblog digs into the nature of what a mashup track really is, how it's being regarded in the music community, and the ongoing debate as to who takes the credit.
For the past eight years Matana Roberts has been at work on her Coin Coin series exploring themes of history, memory and ancestry through narrative, musical and visual compositions. The multi-chapter composition of self-described “panoramic sound quilting” exposes mystical roots and delves into the intuitive spirit traditions from several pockets of American pastoral past. In 2011, Constellation records began to put out the Coin Coin project, now up to it’s third release: Chapter 3 entitled River Run Thee. A set of solo compositions for electronics, multi-tracked voices and her staple saxophone, River Run Thee directly deals with the American waterways and what transpired through nautical transportation in the past interspersed with field recordings and spoken-word passages. From Sticks And Stones in the early aughts to her solo and ensemble work on Constellation and Central Control records, Matana has made a name for herself as an internationally renowned composer, bandleader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media artist. Late last month, Matana presented Coin Coin: The Remix, a redux of River Run Thee at The Kitchen. Joined by drummer and percussionist Tomas Fujiwara with video work conceived by Daniel Marcellus Givens, the performances offered two rare reworked stylings of Chapter 3 in relation to the first two: Coin Coin Chapter 1: Gens des Coleur Libre, and Coin Coin Chapter 2: Mississippi Moonchile. To wit, the two-night residency held the celebratory honor of the series five-year release anniversary. In this two part series we caught up with Matana to discuss The Kitchen performance, life living on a boat and what pop culture means to the Black Lives Matter movement.
If you aren't familiar with Jay Z's work, about two years ago, hip hop's biggest name and entrepreneur collaborated with artist Marina Ambramović on his then-upcoming music video for "Picasso Baby." At the time, the artist, Marina, felt used at the end of the experience. And while she may not have felt she benefited much, as The Guardian states, "Where previous artists...were interested in pop stars, Abramović has become one."
He's got 99 problems and a legal battle is one of them. With an 18-month lawsuit in the can, rapping heavyweight Jay Z agreed to pay 50 percent royalties from his 2013 track "Versus" to Swiss composer Bruno Spoerri.
Branford Marsalis, brother to the esteemed Wynton, has toured the world with some of jazz's greatest minds: Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. In a recent interview at the San Antonio Current, Marsalis talks everything from classical to his gripe with Jay Z.
Fela Kuti seems to be on the upend of a resurgence, his name seemingly popping up everywhere recently. With a play, Fela!, under his belt, the late-artist has been cited as an influence to many mainstream successes, including Jay Z and Vampire Weekend.
It's about time that Quvenzhané Wallis, that firecracking li'l superstar from 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' got another job. However, as star-studded as her new gig is, we can't exactly condone this grab-for-cash urban update on everyone's favorite singing ginger.