Wednesday, February 9, 2011

International Transport Volume 3 – Dirty Black Ships

“Tranquility now is just future anarchy unbirthed.”

In 1854, Japan learned the wrong lesson from America and the West.  There wasn’t any real choice – faced with guns, technology, and aggression, the alternatives were to either answer with more of the same, or to capitulate with the rest of Asia, South America, Africa, and Native America.  And so Japan modernized, from the top down, sending its greatest minds for immersion in Dutch Learning and its greatest spirits to the concert halls of Vienna to learn the even temper of the West.  This westernized elite had, arguably, even more power than those who inspired it, because in addition to wealth, they had unique access to a whole system of values – about individualism, freedom, and ambition – while Japan’s peasants continued to be fed the ideology of self-sacrifice.  They didn’t always buy it, the human spirit isn’t that easy to squash.  But enough of them did.

Today, things may finally be changing, in at least one way.  Japanese mainstream pop music is among the world’s shallowest, a wad of bubblegum shoved into the social eye of the truth, run by a mafia-esque elite machine which independent voices haven’t got much of a chance of penetrating.  But a bunch of artists and labels are working hard to change that – to get other voices out into the world, where maybe they can inspire some peasants.  This mix is a gift for all of them, inspiration from West to East, a mess of messages from the bottom to the top – from the workers to the kings, from the disgruntled to the complacent.  It's dirty but it's beautiful.  It's scary but it's seductive.  It's loud.

It’s something you get better at with practice.

Playlist after the jump.

Suicide – Frankie Teardrop
The Watts Prophets – Hello, Niggers
Earl Sweatshirt – Earl
oOoOO - Mumbai
jj – Let Them
Crystal Castles – I am made of Chalk
Universal Swimsuit - yeahsureofcourse
Too Short – Don’t Stop (DJ Screw)
Gravediggaz – Bang Your Head
Hawkwind – Motorhead
Dinosaur Jr. – Lose
Marnie Sterne – Cinco De Mayo
Gang Gang Dance – House Jam
Jan Hammer – Evan
Emeralds – Double Helix
Single Indian Tear – Worship
Tim Hecker – Hatred of Music
Dum Dum Girls – Baby Don’t Go

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