"A portion of sales will benefit Fendika Cultural Center and Catalytic Sound. At Fendika Cultural Center, we celebrate and renew Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage. We welcome all creative souls; through exchange of music, dance, art, and poetry, we meditate on humanity’s one-ness, and pray for a peaceful world."
""This continues a somewhat new direction for the ever-inventive sound sculptor Jaap Blonk, who never seems to shy from flirting with the extremes of noise/music. For this version of his group Braaxtaal, the vocalist recites his poetry supplemented by his own contributions on electronics, and he is joined by Rob Daenen on sampler and Theo Bodewes on drums and sampler. Blonk speaks in the obscure and unique fictional language of Onderland, which sounds like the Dutch language, but is actually totally different from it." -Steve Loewy"
"Working with his BRAXTAAL group, Blonk combines wit with sputters, twists, and loose social commentary to demonstrate his extraordinary ability to mold the human voice into often unrecognizable forms. Vocalizing in English (and other tongues, some nonsensical), this recording is not easy listening. In fact, it may disrupt and even annoy with its unique vocabulary of noise/sound. Nonetheless, there is much here to savor, and Blonk's utterly unique style and marvelous technique are quite astonishing. Performances by Blonk are not for the squeamish (he has been known to simulate the sounds of bodily functions), and this one is no exception. But for those open to something entirely different that is challenging as well as entertaining, though sometimes upsetting, a fling with Jaap Blonk might do the trick. Especially gripping are his renditions of the entertaining "Speechlos," and the prescient "Rational," and the provocative "As I Was Saying.""
Catalytic Sound Festival 2020: Day 1
"All proceeds raised will go to Black Futures Lab (blackfutureslab.org). "Black Futures Lab works with Black people to transform our communities, building Black political power and changing the way that power operates—locally, statewide, and nationally. The problems facing Black communities are complex. The solutions to these problems will come from our imagination, our innovation, and experimentation. Changing our communities for the better requires changing a culture that takes Black people for granted and changing policies and laws that make us criminals and keep resources from our communities. To get there, we work to understand the dynamics impacting our communities; we build the capacity of our communities to govern; and we engage and include Black people in the decisions that impact our lives. There are three ways that Black Futures Lab is a different kind of project for change: our mission to engage the Black community year-round; our commitment to use our political strength to stop corporate influences from creeping into public policies; and our plan to combine technology and traditional organizing methods to reach Black people anywhere and everywhere we are.""
Catalytic Sound Festival 2020: Day 3
"All proceeds raised will go to the Fendika Cultural Center (fendika.org), which "celebrates and renews Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage. We welcome all creative souls; through exchange of music, dance, art, and poetry, we meditate on humanity’s one-ness, and pray for a peaceful world. Our vision for Fendika is to continue to nurture the artistic community in Addis Ababa, and to grow into one of Africa’s most vibrant centers for artistic innovation and cultural exchange grounded in rich Ethiopian heritage. Funds raised from this campaign will help Fendika pay for basic survival salaries for 33 employees of Fendika, and Fendika Live concert production costs: artist fees for musicians and dancers who perform during Fendika Live concerts that are streamed online, payment for the camera crew for us to stream high-quality programs, transportation costs for artists and camera crew to travel to and from Fendika (They all need to travel by private, contracted cars, as public transit is becoming too risky), monthly wifi cost so we can keep streaming music and other programs.""
¡Todos de Pie!
"¡Todos De Pie! is a project spearheaded by drummer Frank Rosaly that examines the music of Puerto Rico through the lens of experimental and improvised processes. Using Bomba, Plena, Son, Guaracha and Yaguaré from Puerto Rico as a framework, ¡TdP! pushes the boundary of genre and tradition. It is also an exploration of Frank's relationship with his Puerto Rican roots, approaching the music of his blood heritage through his cultural heritage as an American jazz/improvising musician."
Songs of Little Sleep
"Blonk's commanding vocals are highly expressive, convincing in its inventive phrasing and committed delivery of the experience of sleepless nights, including the occasional nightmares, but with an eccentric-dadaist, dark sense of humor. . . . Blonk, surprisingly enough, succeeded in creating a coherent album out of these disturbing songs. All offer enough lively vocal adventures to keep the listener alert and regrettably, awake despite the insomnia. (All About Jazz)"
"It is hard to tell which are vocal sounds and which are electronic or sampled since all are strange in different ways. What is most interesting is the way that Mr. Blonk blends all of the sounds into fascinating combinations, stretching and manipulating select sound in a most focused way. It might be hard to tell that there are vocals at the center of some of these pieces yet I was still captivated throughout. - Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery"
Traces of Speech
"As if the language of human beings was adopted and enhanced by aliens who charged any basic articulation with tons of information, employing vocals as one but not the dominant practical in a chain of sounds, keeping its expressiveness and emotional delivery neutral. Now, after this radical alteration, only a margin of this intriguing form of communication can be deciphered by us humans, but all—earthlings and other forms of beings in the greater universe—can get a glimpse of its infinite options. Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz"