Thursday, August 12, 2010
Here's the full unedited interview for the Valley Advocate
Thanks to Matthew Dube for the interview. The original article is available here.
(photo by Hannah Lord)
Where did you grow up? How did you end up in the Valley?
----- I hit the earth in Holyoke, MA, November 19 1975. I have lived in WMass and Boston my entire life. I've been in Greenfield since 2003.
What is your musical background?
----- Key developments: Punk at 14, free jazz at 17, afrobeat at 20...lately I've been listening to a lot of music from the Middle East. Tired of the Beatles. Never got into Radiohead. Mind stretched daily by amazing music of today.
At 16 I started a noise band called Squidlaunch and we went all out without a care in the world. It was awesome to destroy heads (and bodies) in such fashion.
I am currently trying to unlock some percussion secrets through rumbas. Also wanna learn piano if anyone can help me with that.
Where does your handle, "Andujar," come from? The baseball player? The Spanish town?
------ That's sort-of classified. But there is a beautiful Spanish town, as well as a hot-tempered ballplayer...that much we know.
Is your focus these days West African and Cuban music? How did you get into these strains?
------ I got into African sounds through Fela, Tony Allen, Art Ensemble of Chicago, James Brown, Sun Ra. I prefer the harder, funkier stuff, but I also dig Congolese Rumba, jazz, highlife, etc, from across the continent and beyond. There's a lot of Cuban-inspired music in Africa as well. I recommend Geraldo Pino, Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo, Blo, Segun Bucknor...
My fave latin stuff tends to be fast, with sophisticated horn lines and a good amount of improvisation, and timbales and cowbell to smash your skull. But I also like the bouncy cumbias, classic charangas, funky bugalú and a good amount of South American psych rock. All of these I play on my radio show.
These Afro and salsa sounds...I dig the heavy poly-rhythms, the hard-driving groove, screaming vocals...it becomes trance shit. When you lock in, you're gone with it. There's a lot of inspiration in those drums. Some of this stuff hits me in the gut the way hardcore did when I was a kid. Fast and raw, 'cause who wants to deal with middle-of-the-road bullshit? There's a lot of safe music out there for people. If they come and hear what we bring they will not forget it. That's what we did back in the hardcore days and that's what we're doing now.
Please list all of you current music-related activities and events (DJing, radio, producing shows, etc.).
--------I've been doing radio since 98, mostly at WMUA 91.1. That station is a goldmine of culture and ideas and everyone who listens to it should feel blessed to have it transmitting it's goodness right to your radio box.
My show is Clandestino. It's all over the place sometimes but it generally features the hardest in world music and funk. Lots of African music, latin, hard funk, international psych, jazz, some rap and comedy. There's a lot of other music I like too and occasionally they will find their way in. Although I've yet to work death metal into the mix for fear of people turning it off...however I tend to really dig that stuff. I often times have guests and live interviews. Some highlights include Sharon Jones, members of Grupo Fantasma, Zozo Afrobeat, Kokolo, Antibalas, Bio Ritmo, Nomo, and others. And it's always a party with folks like Mike P, Bongohead, Chris Dooley and everyone else who stops by often.
The show is weekly every Monday afternoon 230-430. I get a lot of positive feedback and I'm glad people listen.
--------We've been doing a monthly vinyl night called Sweet Exorcist at the People's Pint, although this month (Aug) we will be doing a Friday the 13th throwdown at the Hope & Olive. We jam all kinds of funky music with live percussion. People dance, drink, release, enjoy and get to know each other. George Myers and I started it a few years back and regulars have included DJ 12XU, B-COMING, and Studebaker Hawk, who I've been working with a lot. I also do a bunch of projects with Pablo Yglesias aka DJ Bongohead, including a night we designed called Rumba Pscodélica which brings together all kinds of tropical music vinyl from garage to afrobeat to dub to salsa, with live percussion, visuals and crazy poster graphics, with the occasional live band.
Everybody in Franklin County have been cool...we've done parties in Turners at the Rendezvous, in Shelburne Falls, Greenfield...we're bringing the heat and people are coming out for it. Folks in Hamp don't know what they're missing. They should come up to Greenfield to check the pulse because they might find that things are starting to happen up here. Northampton has been expecting people from up here to trek down there for shit, but they never seem to bother to come see what's going on here. But we got good eats, good records, activists, artists, farmers, food producers etc.
---------I do a blog www.peaceandrhythm.com which lately has been mostly radio playlists, announcements and videos, but I've got a few reviews, interviews etc up there. I sort-of approach it like it's a zine or something.
---------I've helped put out some records for noise artists, including my own band. I also compiled two CDs of contemporary afrobeat with Pablo Yglesias. We chose the tunes, wrote the notes, etc. They are called Afrobeat Revival and Afrobeat Revolution. Bands include Tony Allen, Seun Kuti, Antibalas, Femm Nameless, Superpowers, Zozo, Kokolo, Dennis Ferrer, Souljazz Orch, Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls, and many more. They are available from World Music Network, Amazon, Dusty Groove, Barnes & Noble, Newbury Comics, and other outlets.
---------I've helped bring a bunch of bands to the area, something I've done since the punk rock days...in the service of the music.
---------I've got a couple other things up my sleeve that will be revealed at some near point.
Is vinyl the best medium for music?
---------Any medium is good...live, vinyl, 8 track, digi. I prefer vinyl because I like dropping needles in grooves. I like to hold them smell them spin them look at them. Like the beautiful ladies.
It's definately more fun to hand an interested person the vinyl, artwork and all. And they sound so good with thick vinyl and good needle.
----------The next party is at the Hope & Olive in Greenfield on Fri 8/13. Then there's one in Shelburne Falls on 9/4, followed by the People's Pint later in Sept. in which we shall be joined by Mike P of Mass Tropicas who digs up all the awesome chicha 45s when he goes to Peru. That one'll be a record release party for Ranil.
---------We'll be hitting some southern states soon too on a small tour. And continuing with Radio Clandestino. And any other hustle we can cook up. Let me know if you have any ideas.
Brendon Rule aka Andujar
Facebook: D.J. Andujar