Rough Americana is a collaboration between Brooklyn's DJ Mutamassik (known for her sets that combine traditional Egyptian and African musics with hardcore and hip hop beats) and experimental guitarist Morgan Craft. Their debut is a 30-minute live set with Mutamassik handling the turntables, CDs, cassettes, and effects, and Morgan playing the Stunt Guitar. Both artists exhibit smart touch as improvisers: they know when to lay it on and when to hold back. But if you want easy listening, go elsewhere. As the artists describe it: "Egyptian folk beats nestle nicely up against radio transmissions and television remote controls pushed through guitar pickups." Indeed they do. Rough Americana takes sounds that are typically passively received and makes them violently active--a good reminder that noisemaking is political and necessary. This is guaranteed to open your mind and ear to new musical possibilities and forward-thinking juxtapositions of culture and space.
About 'RA'- "DJ Mutamassik and guitarist Craft collaborate on this intense, freethinking improvised set that veers from noise to wrenched-apart anthems to soft ambient tones. Not for the faint of heart but a spirited and occasionally rewarding deconstruction of music as we know it."
About 'RA'- "Mutamassik and Morgan Craft combine advanced turntablism and guitar work respectively to bring you a devastatingly broad spectrum of sound. No mood or source is eschewed on this live recording, including Egyptian folk beats, hardcore punk, militarism, and stochastic radio pick-ups. Rough Americana brings the term "musical journey" back into vogue with both hands."
"Rough Americana is a live-sampled burlap weave of coarse, scratchy strands of sound as disparate as soapbox Jello Biafra, ghostly Missy Elliott and sinewy Egyptian beats from the looms of two Brooklynites, DJ Mutamassik and Morgan Craft. It's got the irregular patternless texture that marks the handmade, every improvised moment of high abstraction as utterly different as the one before. "Amid Debris" is the rare track with a filtered, staticky beat topped with guitar noodlings and thin, plucky samples; otherwise, Rough Americana eludes most melody and rhythm. Check the two "Memphis" tracks- "USA" and "Africa"- that wriggle just beyond grasp."
more press includes:
Cover of the Village Voice- December, 1997(Mutamassik), Option, The Wire, Rolling Stone, Vibe, African Sun Times, New York Times, Straight No Chaser, Alternative Press, One World, Request, Rhythm Magazine, Bidoun, Pinknoises.com, Newsweek(Arabic Edition), American Society for Engineering Education...