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.” - Fred Moten

Cambridge University Press Journals

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

The Village Voice

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.”

Downtown Music Gallery

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.” - Analog Tara


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.” - Hua Hsu

Colorlines Magazine: Race, Action, Culture

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.”

Sound-Ink Records

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.” - Selena Hsu