billy bao: lagos sessions (munster / night school)

all material has history.

so said painter, sculptor, photographer, performer, art prankster robert rauschenberg.

and all his (re)constructions, finds, incorporations, glory in disparity on canvas.  fuck unity. appropriate, agglomerate and present.  draw yr own conclusions.  dada or pop art or proto-neo-whatever.  his work represented a capturing of whatever’s to hand  – trash, oil, ink, pencil, fabric, newspaper, photos, pictures, calendars…

which brings me to lagos sessions. thrownups and thrownaways. revelling in this collage, melding and melting and layering and chucking a bunch of shit at tape to see what sticks.

the pleasure lies in the theft, the recontextualising, the stitching together of noises found and made. aural sketches, soundtrack textures, ur-song structures. exploring all these things then churning them into a disorientating (w)hole (of sorts).

the act of composition, the sound, the sight, the taste, seems as important as the completed piece itself.

which, reduced, is a cacophony of post-discogs stylelessness. a nongenre. a reflection / recording of the chaos sprouting from urban culture / global post-somethingorother in lagos.

there are a few reference points i guess. mainly emeka ogboh’s lagos soundscapes (and he’s on this record). william bennett’s cut hands. the untuned radio station cycle you sometimes get from sublime frequencies. :zoviet*france:) but really, feels kinda singular.

four chapters. as much of the past as the present as the future. but with no patience to settle on anything. a tour diary, a portait, a landscape of sorts.

envelopes like the city. sweaty. clinging. grubby. it’s all this, but unlike previous billy bao, feels as much celebration as anxiety.

and in these four chapters, the players (in one capacity or another). including, but not exclusive to: afro veteran orlando julius, fela kuti pianist duro ikujenyo, singer diana dada, spoken word artist ambido, emeka ogboh, mendo, chinua achebe…

a production technique like throwing marbles down stairs. letting things fall, collide. mongular rock. conversation. wireless noise. highlife. the street, the station, the party. silence. accents.

field recording as free jazz. concrète as punk rock. the city as a burroughs cut-up. decomposed. recomposed.

yeah it’s overwhelming, jarring, alienating at times. yet despite all this confusion lagos sessions is mattin’s most complete, and arguably listenable, record for a while. somehow these jump cuts, displaced, settle into a kindof groove.

interesting in this context that the lines between mattin and billy bao are blurry / blurring. his infernal conceptual machinations slowly melding with the avant bombast. coz if a city, abstract, tells us anything it’s that everything mutates, unites, divides. places are found. people are lost. everything is swallowed or subsumed. eventually.

billy bao / munster / night school

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