Equality in Diversity

Equality in Diversity
Collective, 316 cm x 218 cm (8 duplex), Mix media on Duplex, Early 2017

[Jakarta, LTTW] Diversity has become a daily vocabulary in society, but lately it is perceived more as a threat. The 21st Century that we live in is yet to decide how diversity is positioned.

The above artwork was painted by individuals coming from different background, ethnic, gender, age, and skills at a New Year celebration by Sacred Bridge Foundation entitled “Equality in Diversity”. This work proves that differences not only could live side by side, but also enrich one another.

Chuck Berry announces new album at his 90th birthday

Rock n Roll Legend Chuck Berry announces new album at his 90th birthday

[Jakarta, LttW] Chuck Berry celebrated his 90th birthday on Tuesday, October 18th (born 1926) with announcement that he will release new album in 2017 trough Dualtone records. The album titled simply “Chuck”, and it will be his first studio album since 1979’s “Rock It”.

“I’ve worked on this record for a long time,” Berry said in statement. “Now I can hang up my shoes!”

While new original songs written, recorded and produced by the rock and roll legend himself, it was recorded in various studios around his hometown St. Louis and features Jimmy Marsala (Berry’s bassist for forty years), Robert Lohr (piano), Keith Robinson (drums), and his children Charles Berry Jr. (guitar) and Ingrid Berry (harmonica).

“Cover the spectrum from hard driving rockers to soulful, thought provoking time capsules of a life’s work” said Berry Jr. about the new songs.

Paul Roper of Dualtone said “It is a great honor to be a part of this record and the broader legacy of Chuck Berry. This body of works stands with the best of his career and will further cement Chuck as one of the greatest icon of rock and roll.”

He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, and was in the inaugural class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. According to Rolling Stone magazine he “laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance”, and place #5 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2010. Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American Culture and History placed his classic 1973’s red Cadillac Eldorado on display as part of permanent collection last month. Therefore, Chuck Berry would be synonymous with rock and roll itself.

Congratulations and happy birthday Mr. Berry.

Chuck Berry on web: http://chuckberry.com/

The Electric-Bass Wizardry of Jaco Pastorius

A new documentary remembers legendary bassist-composer Jaco Pastorius.

by Jim Fusilli, Wall Street Journal
December 1, 2015

Jaco Pastorius is still the greatest electric bass player, and evidence to support that claim—one he was known to make himself—is presented in the new documentary “Jaco,” available now on DVD, Blu-ray and via streaming services. Produced by Robert Trujillo, best known as Metallica’s bassist, “Jaco” celebrates a brief but remarkable career, but also considers how Pastorius’s short tumultuous life unraveled so thoroughly.

Pastorius‘s daring, technically precise electric-bass playing revealed his vision for the instrument that went beyond its traditional supportive position into an expanded role in the ensemble via a taste for counterpoint, the pursuit of melody and a readiness to cross genres. But his reputation was also earned by his compositions that packaged a similarly delightful blend. He issued three studio albums during his lifetime and formed several novel bands under the Word of Mouth banner; energized Weather Report when he joined the group in 1976; and was partner to Joni

Mitchell on her greatest recordings. In 1987, after a night of not-atypical misadventure, Pastorius, who suffered from bipolar disorder exacerbated by drug abuse, was killed by a bouncer who beat him mercilessly. The bassist-composer would have turned 64 this week.

“Jaco” was brought to life through Mr. Trujillo’s considerable financial investment and sheer will, overcoming objections by members of Pastorius’s fractured family, the resignation of the documentary’s original director, Stephen Kijak, and numerous rough cuts that pleased few. Two of the film’s key participants, Ms. Mitchell and bassist Jerry Jemmott, didn’t join in until the project had been under way for years. Mr. Jemmott, the R&B and soul legend, agreed to interviews in which he contextualized Pastorius’s reinvention of the electric bass and gave witness to his psychological and emotional decline. He informs the narrative, which found a better flow when editor Paul Marchand took over as director.

Mr. Trujillo lassoed for interviews bassists Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Geddy Lee of Rush and Bootsy Collins, as well as Pastorius colleagues Peter Erskine, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, among others. But “Jaco” is at its brightest when it reveals Pastorius not merely as a musician, but as a moon-faced, mischievous child and childlike man who blossomed through dedication to what would be his life’s mission. Grainy home movies and the testimony of musicians who knew him on the way up provide warmth and context. To see him with Weather Report or Ms. Mitchell is to remember his impeccable taste, the exquisite tone of his bass and his natural effervescence.

Then there is evidence of his decline: cringe-worthy videos in which he is incapable of performing to his standards or is muttering and slurring his discontent, the effects of his drug use on display. He had been overwhelmed by setbacks that included the dissolution of two marriages; the perceived rejection by Joe Zawinul, the blunt, masterly musician who brought Pastorius into Weather Report; and clashes with executives at a record label that gave him a rock star’s contract. Artistic disasters mount; exasperated, former musical allies write him off; drug buddies in New York form a new peer group—Pastorius, some musicians insist, didn’t use drugs, including alcohol, before his career faltered—and before long, he is unemployable and homeless, living in a park not far from where he was raised in South Florida. All of this is unpleasant, but necessary to absorb to understand the arc of his life.

The recently released “Jaco” (Legacy) and Weather Report’s “The Legendary Live Tapes: 1978-1981” (Columbia) verify Pastorius’s musical gifts. The former, the film’s soundtrack, contains vintage Pastorius recordings and covers by hip-hop’s Tech N9ne, the acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela and the all-star group Mass Mental with Flea, Mr. Trujillo and Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins. The Weather Report boxed set includes 28 previously unreleased tracks culled from bootlegs and soundboard recordings, and they are a revelation, presenting the band’s performances without edits or overdubs. Pastorius displays his virtuosity and embrace of risk, but also his ability to dominate while in the bassist’s traditional role—often during the same high-octane performance.

As for the documentary, Pastorius’s tale of triumph and tragedy is well told and compelling. To a degree, he was engaged in a slow-motion suicide. There are no satisfying answers to the question of why such beauty ended in abject sorrow.

Several interviewees intimate that Pastorius lacked a support system, but in the year prior to his death, he spent seven weeks in a psychiatric unit at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York; ultimately, he rejected its counsel. His son John was struck by the absurdity of his father living in a South Florida park while family was nearby. By the time he suffered the savage beating that killed him, the Jaco Pastorius his fans adored was long gone. But, as “Jaco” demonstrates, at full capacity there was no one like him.

News article originally published at Wall Street Journal.

Jeff Mills: ‘These visions aren’t supposed to come from black guys from Detroit’

[Jakarta, LTTW] The majority of urban youngsters have a big interest in night-life clubbing and willing to spend their time and money on partying on weekend. Sing and dance to the electronic dance music, excessive use of alcoholic drinks and drugs are like a compulsory lifestyle. It is not surprising at all if people and media talk about it. From the profile of the hottest DJ, review of the top dance club around the city, to the exciting experience from each of party goers. While those issues become trending topic, very few people discuss about the story behind the scene.

This time Pop music mostly goes along with electronica elements since EDM (Electronic Dance Music) has gained much larger audience if we compare it to other music. This condition come up with the fast growing in technology, also it has much to do with the spread wide of software developments especially in audio and music production software.

But, are we aware that electronic dance music has exist more than 30 years ago? Young African Americans started it around 1980’s in Chicago and Detroit that we all know today with Chicago House and Detroit Techno.

Detroit techno has a unique value and the scene had has obtain several figures that influence many people and others. As we know some of prominent figures of Detroit techno are Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Carl Craig and Jeff Mills whose profession are DJ and producers.

The consistency and seriousness on doing the art activities reveals that they have departed from it is predecessors; where in the past time Detroit city had gave many musical outputs, such as “The Motown Sound”. The effect of the hard works they made to the city is to reborn the metropolis where before there were a lot of abandon buildings and places at anywhere in Metro Detroit, yet it has much problems in the society as well as gangsters war. The result is magnificent, now Detroit Techno is a flagship of the big city and the musicians earn from what they did.

Then again, it is not a finished job. They are facing the new problem as we speak and will be facing increasing challenges ahead. Be a better artist and make this scene going up to the next level, it’s such a dream that they want to achieve in the future. For instance we can see Jeff Mills’s effort that is what he did in his project together with Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra (To see the performance you can watch the video below).

Exhibitionist 2 is released on 25 September; Jeff Mills plays Light from the Outside World with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican on 24 October