fugitive frequency, season 2, episode 9: ‘Story of the Storyteller’ / ‘Buy 1 Free 1’

A scene in Chowkit market, Kuala Lumpur. An old mad sits behind a keyboard labelled ‘TECHNO’, under a large umbrella. A woman with her back to us looks on, another man walks past.

This month’s podcast is not one, but two:

‘Story of the Storyteller’
An audio fanzine about Agus Nur Amal PMTOH [Instagram], an artist and storyteller from Aceh Indonesia. He employs a ‘Tri Tangtu’ way of thinking that combines rationalism and spiritualism. Drawing on tradition and child-like imagination he has developed a unique form of object theatre. Our interview was recorded during the opening days of documenta fifteen, June 2022, at his exhibition at Grimmwelt Kassel.

Media




‘Buy 1 Free 1’
An audio travelogue/proto-riddim mixtape, featuring music, musicians, friends and recordings of events made traveling through Sri Lanka and Malaysia in July and August.

In Kuala Lumpur, the artist Sau Bin Yap [Facebook] suggested I search for bunga telang (butterfly pea blue flower) at Pasar Chowkit. Browsing a spice stall, I heard a DJ Slow Bass mix and was struck by DJ Acan’s Koplo take on ‘Joko Tingkur’.

Tharagai is a young KL-based rapper who I came across via Rap Porkalam, a TV talent show fostering Tamil rap in Malaysia. My cousin Prem, who works as a producer on the show, claims the music phenomenon burst forth from KL’s underground hip hop scene.

Search-engining for more I got hooked in by ‘Namma Aalu’, a shopping centre sponsored Deepavali ‘anthem’ by Roshan Jamrock, Yunohoo and Arvinder Raina. You can hear a snippet before being transported to Kuala Lumpur’s famous Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. I did try to interview the temple musicians G Mohan (Tavil) and Samugam (Nagaswaram) from Chennai, but after an afternoon’s work they more interested in lunch than a chat … and besides my Tamil ist nicht sehr gut!

Cut to a recording of the so-called ‘Nine Gods’ ritual I walked into near Pataling Jalan, while out with a friend Amalen. You can hear Amalen’s commentary during this season of ancestors and ghosts, before the night took a dramatic turn. It’s not in the mix, so for the record: I witnessed Amalen and two young holidaying nurses we met save a man’s life! Even more surreal was that their extraordinary efforts to keep him breathing as his anxious companions sought to bring an ambulance into the blocked-off alley were perfectly timed to the ritual playing out around us.

The mix is interspersed with reworkings and mashups of the productions mentioned above. In particular is a remix of ‘Metal Walk’ riddim by Dinoj Mahendran [Instagram] made during our Thaalam Riddim Reapers workshop during Dinacon 3. I intend to push this riddim further, so expect more to come.


Moving in reverse, the travelogue ends at DreamSpace Academy Batticaloa on the final days of Dinacon. This is where I learned of Sandaru Sathsara, the Sri Lankan-born viral YouTube singer. Bruce and Bruce who manage the DreamSpace cafe towards the end, get in the last word.

fugitive frequency, season 2, episode 7: lumbung in the air

A street parade through the streets of Kassel. A photographer dressed in black is in the foreground, their back turned towards us.

lumbung in the ‘air’ (a pun on the Bahasa Indonesia word for water) is an anachronistic mix-tape of musical moments recorded during the opening days of documenta fifteen in Kassel Germany, 15 –20 June 2022.

Curated by the Jakarta-based collective ruangrupa, documenta fifteen is concerned with lumbung, the Indonesian word for a communal rice-barn where surplus rice is stored for the benefit of the community. Lumbung was adopted as a practice by the documenta organisers pursuing alternative economies of collectivity, shared resource building and equitable distribution. fugitive radio has become part of the lumbung ekosistem through the lumbung radio / station of commons platform.

The podcast features in order of appearance (Instagram links):
Agus Nur Amal PMTOH
Gudskul participants
Imane Zoubai and members of LE 18
Rampak Genteng organised by Jatiwangi art Factory for New Rural Agenda
Black Quantum Futurism
La Intermundial Holobiente
Nhà Sàn Collective
Thy Lab
Thierry Geoffroy AKA Colonel
Protesters and performers at the ‘Rally Against Defamation – Solidarity with Ruangrupa’, 18 June
Ghetto Biennale with Robert N Peyre, Jean Louis Huhta AKA Dungeon Acid and Jean Claude Saintilus
Irreversible Entanglements
Performers at Fondation Festival sur le Niger’s Maaya Bulon and Tea Ceremony, 18 June