The definition of noise seems simple enough. Loud. Disruptive to the senses. Basically a sound that is deemed unpleasant and undesirable. But what if I tell you, quite the contrary, that noise is essential and intrinsic to music? This series of articles will not strive for a definitive outcome to this premise, but will rather seek to present a history on the phenomenon and the various views surrounding this acoustic mystery. In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether our subject matter is a menace or a blessing to our acoustic spectrum. In this edition we will explore the key players of Musique concrète and the very first (credited) piece of electronic music ever.
Of the countless tracks that make it to the airwaves each week at Red Light Radio, some leave a more lasting impression than others. From month to month, enjoy a sampling of favorite tracks heard on air, courtesy of the team at RLR. August’s picks include music by Pupajim, Diva, Absent Music and the invisible hand.
Lorenzo’s Pick: Pupajim – “I Am A Robot” (2010)
I consider myself some kind of advocate for dub, reggae and dancehall. My mission as a DJ has been to spread the gospel to all quality music lovers, not just the reggae crowd. Needless to say, I’m always very pleased to hear great (non-reggae) DJs play some of it in their sets, in this case underground techno superstar Legowelt. He kicked off his set at the Dekmantel RLR stage with this 8-bit digital dancehall bomb by French singjay Pupajim on Jahtari’s Maffi label. I didn’t know this very track, so I Shazam’ed it; it totally sounds like it came from some 1986 Western Kingston ghetto. Turns out it was recorded in Leipzig in 2010!
Kat’s Pick: Diva – “La Nuit” (1985)
This month I am choosing Diva’s La Nuit. Beesmunt closed their Dekmantel show with it and also played it on their own show a couple of weeks after. It is just lovely and funky and French and I like all the noises in it. Definitely the new obsession song.
Boris’ Pick: Detroit In Effect – “R U Married” (1997)
Nowadays it’s not too hard to stuff your USB with private press ambient records from way back that you’ve freshly downloaded. You can play them on the radio; I might enjoy the show but won’t remember it the next day. I would love to hear more people talk on Red Light Radio… about kool stories of the music getting played, a joke or even just a fart… makes it more personal aka REAL. Regular guest Betonkust understands that like no other and he talks… a lot. Funny anecdotes on music legends from The Hague, the mention of a heartbreak or just telling the listeners what beverage he’s enjoying today. For his last show he invited Stippenlift & Faberyayo for music and conversation and there was just great chemistry between them for three hours. This record got played (slowed down) and represents Betonkust’s vibe perfectly. It’s danceable but it also fucks with the safe space people like to talk about nowadays. Great!
Greta’s Pick: Absent Music – “Lesbian Girlfriends” (2017)
The first time I heard Lineke play was at De School. Since then, whenever she plays I’d come away with at least one new favorite song. Her monthly Red Light Radio show LIEN is no exception. This tune is the perfect blend of dreamy and kooky. When I heard it for the first time, I messaged Lineke right away to ask for its name.
I love the goofy but melancholic lyrics in a Belgian accent and the xylophone on this track, which was made by some four-handed playing by Van den Broeke and Wim Verbeiren on a children’s xylophone. The Casio PT20, which Van den Broeke says he used since he couldn’t afford a real synth at the time, really lends itself to the tidy, simplistic mood.
Hugo’s Pick: The Invisible Hands – “Death Zoo” (2013)
There’s this great inspiring crew from Bucharest, Romania doing lots of cool stuff. With their magazine The Attic and the Outernational Days festival, they have something special going on. One of the guys behind this crew is Leașcu Gabriel aka Leascv, who did a one-hour radio show for us this month. The whole radio show is an exciting journey; the final track was just a perfect ending of this trip so give it a listen. It’s a project of Alan Bishop with some young talented Egyptian musicians under the name of The Invisible Hands. The record came out in both English and Arabic. Leascv played the English “Death Zoo”, but you should check out the Arabic version too!