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R.A.: Press

Morgan Craft

"...radical...an impressively wide range of sound for a solo player who improvises his recordings."

“’The Living Mythology’ is music -- expressive sound -- that's both mysterious and comforting, though it departs from conventions to explore what's possible. Impressively performed, the command of the pace is also gratifying; Iistening, I am intrigued..."

Howard Mandel (Dec 11, 2015)

"The pieces are certainly not intellectual exercises in arcane equations, they are communiqués from deep space, or inner space, and somehow manage to evoke a definite emotional landscape. There are moments of real abstraction, where untethered, un-definable bass pressures slip through harmonic dust clouds.  Oblique rhythms mass, dissipate, and interact with space stuff without ever losing their sense of story.  The variety of textures and sheer inner complexity of the tracks all but demolish the notion that you are listening to a solo music.  If I didn’t know better I’d swear it was a hip new band, maybe out of Brooklyn or London, surely not a lone guitarist improvising on a mountain.  What’s also easy to forget, when you find yourself immersed in his ocean of sound, with no discernible signs that you are in fact listening to a guitar, is that at bottom Craft is an incredibly seasoned player, a real musician’s musician."

 

"...In this indeed highly original performance, he recorded loops of sounds, both harmonic and noisy, live played on his quitar and stacked new layers on top of it, including using a early 00s discman which transmitted hip hop beats to the pickup via headphones. He kept alternately adding and replacing elements so that the sound body organically evolved into an organic being able to propel itself. At several moments, Craft laid down his guitar and walked off the stage like a Leibnizian deity, resting after masterfully winding up the clockwork of the universe, now running itself in perfect harmony."

"Ike Turner and Bootsy Collins both answered Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, as did BS guitarist emeritus Morgan Craft.  Three of the funkiest brothers in the world need to hear they can go their own way, go figure."

About MORGAN CRAFT'S 'Adagio'- "Mournful anthemic lone-wolf stunt guitar from an Afro-Viking Minnesotan. "First World" electronic improvisation as resourceful as "Third World", using all parts of the animal(broken strings, cable tips, amp tubes, back springs, machine heads, pickup pole pieces, etc) to steer electricity to new spacious sound frontiers. Think long distance truckin' through an echoing wasteland. A beauty."

On Morgan Craft: "Guitar Craftsman"

http://www.thewire.co.uk/in-writing/themire/20606/guitar-craftsman

"Guitar virtuoso Morgan Craft’s solo performance sucks the room into a vacuum of prickly tension. With flammable shards of guitar feedback, Craft asserts an primordial dominance with deceptive sleight of hand. It’s almost as if the stage is cut off by a one-way mirror, with the audience bearing witness to a highly cathartic self-exorcism."

Mutamassik

http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/marching_music_for_21st_century_rebellion_mutamassiks_that_/

"Mutamassik’s 13-track That Which Death Cannot Destroy was one of 2010’s
most under-recognized releases in underground music. It could also turn
out to be a brilliant soundtrack to the current anti-authoritarian
street-fight spreading throughout Egypt, the Maghreb and the Middle East."

Before the sounds of the Middle East became de rigueur sampling materials for hip-hop, Mutamassik was exploring ways of fusing various sounds and styles into a compelling, challenging whole, shards a-flying all the while.”

About MUTAMASSIK's 'Masri Mokkassar: Definitive Works'- "This is inhuman, brutal, awesome breakcore."

about Mutamassik's "Rekkez":

"...uneasy...uncompromising...unapologetic"   

Sam Davies - The Wire (Nov 16, 2012)

RECOMMENDED

I’m digging back to the hazy memories of my collegiate years, and trying to recall if I ever put on or sponsored a gig for Giulia Loli, performing then and now as Mutamassik. I certainly remember her visiting Pittsburgh a good deal, as she was friends with the unstoppable Edgar Bucholtz, and to hear where she’s taken her music, and where her music’s taken her (from Egypt to the Rust Belt, through the downtown NYC scene of old, back to Egypt, and currently to Tuscany), is a sobering shock. Here we have a complete concept – Egyptian percussion techniques applied to hip-hop/ambient production, pounding polyrhythmic beats as hard as anything you’ll find, bass tones shaking you at a molecular level, a cornucopia of traditional and classical stringed instruments lost in the trance. Removed from the identity of an urban lifestyle in America, Loli applies the culture shock directly to you via jumper cables. Crushing, stunning work, still in print after a couple years and absolutely worth checking out if you have any interest in the far left side of hip-hop, dance music, industrial, and avant-garde tape cut techniques. The only thing that comes close is that Omid Walizadeh Modern Persian Speech Sounds LP, though here the concept is way more integrated into the music. Different life experiences shaped both of these works, and they are completely valid, but Mutamassik is operating at a whole new level here, and it would behoove you to get on it. 250 numbered copies, probably didn’t move as quickly since it’s on a boutique label, but I think you can rectify that. (http://www.iniitu.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

about "Rekkez":

"...From the first 808 bass drum hit of the opening track, Mutamassik — Arabic for tenacity — establishes herself as a pioneering force in the global electro scene, deftly maneuvering the space between tradition and innovation, acoustic and digital, familiar and unexpected..."

zeph - Okay Africa (Apr 8, 2013)

"Dans un melange d'electronique et de hip-hop, Mutamassik s'engage dans la reconstruction des . Arabesque, melopees de minarets se croisent dans un magma de sons urbains, structures par d'impressionants alliages rhythmiques." 1998

"Mutamassik's pounding Egyptian hip-hop breaks...are serious, sacred, steadfast marching music for the new international breakbeat generation."

"The headiness of the treated strings and clattering percussion sets her mixes apart from anyone culling beats."

"Mutamassik's High Alert 12"(featuring 4th Pyramid from Definitive Jux Presents, Vol. 3) is a melange of Baladi breakbeats, Egyptian electro-hardcore, aural storytelling and hip-hop emceeing. -- it's the sound of urban warfare. This frightening soundscape is... combined with distinctly Mutamassikian bass-drum thumps. You get the feeling this is an aural tour of how the other side lives, those with war dominating their tank-laden streets. Harkening back to turntable innovator Christian Marclay, though conceptually "heavier" than he tends to be, Mutamassik drops subtle reminders of the mere existence of Third World struggle in these songs -- an unfamiliar, uncomfortable and frightening reality that most music-buying Americans would rather ignore."

"Mutamassik's 'High Alert' gets down and dirty into Sa'aidi(southern Egypt folk music) in a major way. 'Interlude for Grampa' displays her signature orchestral narrative, floor-shaking Pan-african hip hop sound. Don't stand too close to the speaker when you hear it in the club."

"Highly regarded post-techno DJ..."

"More lonely wolf than neoliberal Art jetsetter, inspired by Afrocentric ideas."

Thomas Glaesser, cultural activist, musician (Oct 26, 2015)

Rough Americana

"Rough Americana could be said to initiate a new, trans-Atlantic musical discourse of cotton...This insight is made possible by Mutamassik's and Craft's research, which shows that black (reconstruction) music is a music of ruins."

From the jungles of Brooklyn to a cave in the mountains of Italy via Cairo; Mutamassik keeps relocating headquarters for immigrant punkjaw revolution.  She collides South Egyptian sa’aidi hardcore with jungle with baladi breakbeats with hip hop from the Bronx. The sounds have gotten deeper and darker with the years, but the rhythms remain as aggressive as ever. As a DJ and producer, Mutamassik always attacks full on —rough and rugged. But then again, Mutamassik means stronghold in Arabic, with a touch of fanaticism. She defies the tendency to clean up and gloss over "savage" music for the museums. Rough Americana, her project with avant-guitarist Morgan Craft, is a reaction to US politics post 9/11. They simply relocated their studio from Brooklyn to the Italian mountains, living their politics and dealing with issues of colonialism, migration and cynicism. Here, Mutamassik and Craft are exploring experiences growing up in the depressive Mid-Western Rustbelt of America, with North African, Italian and Native American mixed backgrounds. The darkness of apocalyptic post-industrial wasteland seeping out and sinking in. Teenage punk rocker experiments in heavy metal bands. Living their politics, the Mutamassik and Craft mission is to "wake people the fuck up" and make them feel something. Protests and marches are not enough. As Mutamassik says, "for those with simple means, may your resourcefulness shine. Lest we ever forget, where one is the oppressed, in another land he is the oppressor."

About 'RA'- "Craft and Mutamassik bruise you out of easy-listening mode...gnarly and polyvalent like the mandrill!"

About 'ROUGH AMERICANA'- "This duo are members of that great local sensation Burnt Sugar featuring Ms. (DJ) Mutamassik on turntables, tapes and effects and Mr. Morgan Craft on guitar with devices. This cd was recorded live and is completely improvised. There are 17 short tracks and it is just over a half hour, yet it all flows together creating a series of somewhat disturbing moods or images. Samples are taken from ethnic recordings, the news and other unspecified sources. Ominous fluctuations, helicopters landing, mutant electronics, bent beats, telephone tones, disembodied voices, violent samples dumped in the blender and mixed together in strange ways. The cover art is a blown up copy of a dollar bill with some appropriate political images added. Relatively bizarre and fascinating throughout."

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