Album review: Loot by Filastine
I’ve had two previous albums by Barcelona-based Filastine for a while, Burn It (2006) and Dirty Bomb (2009). They’re demanding, eclectic, works that require some effort to engage from the listener but ultimately provide a deeper reward than more mainstream ear-fodder is capable of delivering. There’s a clear but broad, scattergun, political edge to things, and the beats are rooted in all quarters of the globe. There’s a hiphop sensibility informing many tracks, layered with sounds, rhythms and melodic ideas from many nations.
‘It’s a balancing act: to split my efforts between activism and being a full-time artist,’ Filastine reflects, ‘but often I can bring a political element to people who are just looking for music, as a kind of carrier wave alongside the music. What I do is life art: to treat the way I travel, survive, collaborate, learn and compose as one coherent method.’
His new release (early April 2012) is called £oot, presumably pronounced ‘Loot‘.
His PR people say this:
‘Transnational Electro-Bass A/V artist FILASTINE blends beautifully intense digital sound with found recordings ranging from metallic and apocalyptic to rootsie and soothing.’
They say this about the man himself:
‘An audio-visual nomad and percussionist, Filastine can simultaneously command the dancefloor, start a sonic street insurrection in Tokyo or Barcelona, and win over xenomaniacs worldwide with found objects, North African and Indian percussion, custom software, and video collage. He makes low-end rich, organic beats and images that speak to our ethical bankruptcy, pending environmental collapse, and alt-globalization possibilities. It’s Occupy breaking into bhangra shouts and samba parades, as gamelans and glitches multiply.’
Blimey. I wish I could bullshit to that standard! Anyway, Loot has a generous thirteen tracks, although only one exceeds five minutes in length. There’s still a hiphop vibe but there are hints of dubstep in some of the low-end sounds. As always, there are cool voice samples from who knows where, glitchy electronic textures and a few vocal tunes in a mostly instrumental album.
I like this album very much. It seems a little more instantly accessible than the two I mentioned above, with an overall, chilled, triphop theme that makes it easy to listen to but with enough eclectica pervading its beatscape to keep anyone’s attention. Recommended!
PS Secret Archives of the Vatican may be on the same bill as the man at a gig in France in November 2012. If it comes off, we’ll let you know. Keep an eye on our Facebook page.