Curating The Week: A Classic Public Enemy Track, Major Lazer, And Mapping The Sounds Of Ancient Churches


• An article about Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power.”

“It’s easy to make a dope beat, where the kick and snare are keeping the groove together. But Fight the Power doesn’t have that. You can’t tell what the kick and snare are doing. They’re creating a backdrop, but it’s not pronounced, it doesn’t swing. It’s more of a head-bob, reminiscent of a Black Panther rally, a put-your-fist-up kind of vibration. If a song has swing, if it makes you move from side to side, that’s a different emotion, all about celebrating something. That’s what set Fight the Power apart: it wasn’t trying to be groovy. The groove couldn’t be so hypnotic that you’d get lost in it, since then you’d lose what the song was about. It would be a good song, but not an anthem.”

An article about the first performance by a major American pop act in Cuba since the reinstatement of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US in 2014.

“Major Lazer’s management team and Mr. Pisani worked to stir up interest with young people in Cuba by placing Major Lazer’s work on what is known as el paquete semanal, or the weekly package, a hand-to-hand digital distribution service that spreads bootlegs of songs, YouTube videos, news, movies and TV shows around the country via hard drives and USB devices. ‘I paid them to put the music there with a vision for creating an audience for this concert,’ Mr. Pisani said. (Diplo referred to the tactic as ‘inception.’)”

An article and video about mapping the acoustic spaces of ancient Greek churches by capturing their impulse responses or three-dimensional audio imprints.

“It wasn’t just about the architecture…They had these big jugs that were put up there to sip certain frequencies out of the air…They built diffusion, a way to break up the sound waves.”

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