Engage Media : Videomakers For Change

Engage Media has done incredible work in documenting some of the stories of people & communities in Asia. Some of my favs are the Punks who use their music to do activism and help their communities, and the amazing work Andrew Garton has done with Sarawak, documenting how their traditional lives in forest communities has been changed & is at risk of being lost.

They are crowdfunding via pozible to help more video journalists attend Camp Sambel this year, for training.

It's just over half way funded, pls help it get through, & spread the word to your friends. I think the world needs to hear more of these Voices - they're doing important work


visit the pozible page for more details, or read more.

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Thanks to all who donated to #Funds4DaMasta - AUCTIONS HAVE STARTED

Thanks to all who donated to #Funds4DaMasta

The Auction is now live @ http://search.ebay.com.au/?sass=aliak77&ht=-1 or visit http://funds4damasta.tumblr.com

Once again, the cream of the crop of Australia's hip-hop community has banded together to offer some rare and exclusive items up for auction in benefit of a good cause… This time for our good friend and fellow musical brother in hip hop; MC, DJ & turntablist, DA MASTA who has been enduring a long-term battle with cancer. 100% of the profits (amount raised minus ebay & paypal fees) of the items sold in this auction will go directly to the DA MASTA to help with medical bills, living expenses and aid in the release of his forthcoming album.

A lot of the items up for auction are one offs and rarities kindly donated from all corners of Australia, friends, artists and peers have all chipped in, so reach deep, as cancer is a horrible disease that has a further reach than just the hip-hop community, along with the recent loss of Australian hip-hop icon MC Hunter (RIP).

The support and donations have been overwhelming and your bids are appreciated. If you do not happen to be able to bid, and want to make a donation, alternate details will be posted soon where you can directly contribute to DA MASTA. This auction was put together by DJ Sheep and being overseen by Reason and AliaK.

We'd like to send our special thanks to all who have donated items for these auctions:

Blue Corner Records (DJ Damage & DJ Sheep)
Chris @ Soulmate Records
Chris Kelly (Adicts / Sunday Scratch Jamboree)
Crate Cartel Records
Debate (Train Of Thought)
DJ Damage
DJ Sheep
Down For The Count Records
Elefant Traks
Evolve & Mids
Face (SSF / Smoke Screen Family)
Fizzy Fizz
Hilltop Hoods and Golden Era Records
Jacquey (Weird Gear)
Joe Resetar
Kevin Riddell
Lau and MarleyBear on behalf of SBX
LookUP crew, Bingethinkers, That's Them & Sarm
Mata & Must / Pang Productions
Matty Fresh & DJ Damage
Media Fortress
Minimal Aesthetics Records
Mortar / Clandestien
Porsah Laine
Ran MC
Smokescreen Family (Da Masta)
Soul Clap Records
Soulmate Records
Southside Custom Ink
Stealth Collection (Mark Pollard via/& AliaK)
Steven Baillie
The Masta (SSF)

Many thanks from the #Funds4DaMasta team.


Fundraiser Auction for The Masta

The Brisbane turntablists and hip hop community are organizing a fundraiser for The Masta (The Master / Da Masta / Jason Belzer) (twitter tag #Funds4DaMasta) who is also suffering from cancer. Initially they are asking for people to donate items for the eBay auctions - details below.

*** Update 19-20/12/2011 - THE AUCTION IS NOW LIVE @ http://search.ebay.com.au/?sass=aliak77&ht=-1 ***

the auction has started! all the profits will be sent to The Masta to help ease his battle with cancer - already an amazing response - from such high quality & often rare donations, to people spreading the word, and bidding on items. still a few items to put up, but the majority are there. thanks so much to everyone involved - it feels like the whole Australian hip hop community has come together to help with this. (I will add more to the tumblr site over next few days) auctions run for another 9-10days - there's a range of items (& some aren't hip hop, if that's not your thing). I think there's something for everyone. single items & packs - if you can't afford one item, maybe consider doing a 'joint bid' with another/few people. &/or help spread the word. all help is greatly appreciated!! http://search.ebay.com.au/?sass=aliak77&ht=-1 is the direct ebay link


I remember seeing The Master DJ at gigs and in competitions (eg DMC & ITF) in Brisbane in the 1990s and early 2000s. He always had the flair to entertain the audience with crowd pleasing moves. At the time there was a fair bit of rivalry between some of the turntablists - there were battles between DJ Angus / Bribe and The Master. Angus was a friend of mine so I always went for him of course, but I thought The Master was a good turntablist too - his skills often had the crowds cheering. I remember seeing them battle it out on the decks at Rics in the Valley and at the bar in Paddington (which I've just forgotten the name of, will update when I remember).


I have a copy of his "From Dole Cheques to Rolex" album also, which I'd discovered a couple of years after its release (as I'd left Brisbane officially in mid 2001, though traveled back there often throughout 2001 on weekend trips) - it's a great cd, once again, very entertaining. He's also one of the fastest Australian rappers that I've heard. His raps on this album are very funny, but in the same way a little sad in that there always seems to have been something going wrong in his life or a quirky situation in his lyrics. It's good he handled it with humour though. He used to have really long hair back then - a Samson-like character. Or an Australian version of a Philip K Dick book character, the Aussie battler.

Hunter used to speak about him very fondly on twitter - we had a few chats about his CD and DJing and Hunter would sing his praises. I found some of his tweets from 6th & 7th April 2011 - this was one occasion - I'd sent Jason a message on facebook to see if he'd like to do a video for turntabletag and had mentioned it to Hunter - he told some stories and talked about some music they were working on together. I know he wanted to help the Masta also, and mentioned that he spoke to him on the phone often. The Master lives in Melbourne now - MC Reason has posted on twitter too that he's gone over to Jason's place to help support him, and I've heard Bigfoot has been a great support also. It's just a heartbreaking situation, and we've already lost too many good people with Hunter's passing.

Mez' book of Mezangelle - human readable messages

Mez has been writing mezangelle / code poetry / netwurks on mail lists and the web since the 1990s. Trauma Wien Art Club has released a new book of Mez' mezangelles from 2003-2011 called "human readable messages - mezangelle 2003-2011" The book will be available at the Trauma Wien site, and also be on amazon in January 2012 (technically December 31st, but with the time difference in Australia, check in January) For those who can't wait (like me), it's also available from Lulu. There's a preview of the book on the Lulu page, including the table of contents. There are mezangelles with titles such as, "_Sub.Mission[s]_", "_Squashed Tele.biology_", "_Dream Fullscreen_" and many more.

Florian Cramer has described mezangelle as (from netwurker.de) :

[quote]As florian cramer says: “The beauty of "mezangelle" is that it uses elements of programming language syntax as material, i.e. reflecting formal programming language without being one. For the reader of mez's "netwurks", it remains all the more an open question whether the "mezangelle" para-code of parentheses and wildcard characters only mimics programming languages or is, at least partially, the product of programmed text filtering.”. Jim Andrews asserts that: “The term 'code poetry' has been used in connection with Mez's writing…as in using the devices often found in computer languages (like deep bracketing) and applying them meaningfully to natural language. These devices, in computer languages, are often used to represent data structures in code (like trees or other 'graphs') and also manage processes on these data structures (like insertion/deletion/tree balancing). Mez takes these ways of representing often non-linear structures and introducing/managing process in these structures and applies/deranges them in natural language--there is little computer language in her work. Like the text contains its own neath text.” les schaffer’s take on mezangelle is “mez's style is just the most delightful play on coding. I think of her as a cross between James Joyce and... Larry Wall – author of the Perl programming language and a linguist by training.....". [/quote]

Neil Gaiman & FourPlay String Quartet

Supported by FourPlay String Quartet
WED 28 DEC @ 8:00PM

Neil Gaiman is best known as a writer, he's been a bestselling writer for over twenty years. He's won awards for his books and stories and comics, from the Hugo and Nebula to the Carnegie Award. He's also a famed and accomplished reader of his own work: his reading of his novel “The Graveyard Book” was awarded the Audie Book of the Year (The Audies are the Oscars of the Audiobook world).

His last Australian performance was a sold out Sydney Opera House appearance for the Graphic Festival, with famed Australian string quartet, FourPlay and the inestimable Eddie Campbell where he read an hour-long story w/ prepared visuals to an enraptured audience.

He recently completed a sold out American tour with his wife, Amanda Palmer. He read and she sang. This time he’ll be appearing both alone and with FourPlay reading stories and poems, things unpublished and things beloved.

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Robert Rich in Sydney

Robert Rich - Medicine Box: Ultima Thule 23rd Anniversary Concert
Friday 10 February 2012 at 08:00 PM

Over the course of his three decade-long career, California-based Robert Rich as become widely acknowledged as one of the seminal figures in the world of ambient music.

Rich's work is founded on the seamless integration of electric, electronic and acoustic instrumentation, and the exploration of just tunings. His musical compositions take the form of organically-coloured, longform, impressionist drone soundworks which are known for their subtle and exquisite layered complexity and beauty.

Ultima Thule Ambient Music is Australia's foremost radio programme of ambient and atmospheric music; it has been broadcast weekly by 2MBS-FM since 1989, and also reaches a national and global audience counted in the many tens of thousands via satellite, streaming audio and podcast.

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New Order at Future Music Festival 2012

I just heard tonight via Michael Watt's facebook feed that New Order are playing in Australia in March 2012. After the news earlier today that The Orb and Bomb The Bass were coming to Sydney, I almost couldn't believe it. such memories from all of these bands. Watt asked everyone on his feed, which is your favourite (apart from Blue Monday of course) - well it's hard to choose just one! I've posted a few below - but add every song on Substance album also, which had quite a workout in my house in the late 80s, let alone the earlier Joy Division albums and songs. there's songs to dance to, and songs to sing along to, all great. in my late night musings I was thinking, wouldn't it be great if they did a side show at a dodgy pub like in Melbourne 1982. that would be incredible!

at this rate (tonight's music announcement discoveries) I think we're going to get to relive the 80s & 90s all over again. bring it on!

The Orb and Bomb The Bass in Sydney

The Orb Sound System and Bomb The Bass are playing a gig in Sydney on February 25, 2012 at the Metro Theatre. Tickets are General Admission. The last time I saw The Orb was in Brisbane at the December 1st Advent*jah party in 2001 - it was a great gig. I can't recall seeing Bomb The Bass play but we used to dance to their songs in the early 90s. I think this will be another reunion for the older dance party crowd.

from the ticketek site page :

Rarely do two such iconic acts who where so fundamental in shaping electronica music come together for two truly amazing Live sets Gusto international proudly present an amazing smorgasbord of sound and visuals to tantalize your every sense. The Orb and Bomb The Bass.

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Philip K Dick's Exegesis launch at Moe's Books

as you may know, Philip K Dick's "Exegesis" has been released. here is a great panel session for the launch - with members of his family and editors of the book. bookmarking the audio - it's very informative! I've started reading the book, but have to stop a lot to look things up. it's an incredible collection of his writing & thoughts post the '74 VALIS incident - apparently there were 6 volumes of letters alone, and he used to keep the carbon copies of them. what a prolific letter writer! I think it'll take me years to finish http://www.moesbooks.com/111122-the-exegesis-of-philip-k-dick

also, http://pkdreligion.blogspot.com is a great site with articles about Philip K Dick and religion.

I love that many PKD scholars also write about music.

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One Stop Shopping

Tom Ellard from Severed Heads has re-released an electronic version of the three cassettes called "One Stop Shopping" which were originally included with SLUG Magazine in 1981. The download includes the 61 songs from "Terse Tapes" - Ellard's cassette tape label - plus pdf scans of SLUG magazine, the cassette cover art label, and an article about the release in Rolling Stone magazine dated July 9th, 1981. SLUG magazine has articles and quotes about and from members of the legendary "Clifton Hill Community Music Centre", including David Chesworth from Essenden Airport (see also the recent interview with Chesworth by Bevan Jee)

The Rolling Stone article mentions "Fast Forward" cassette magazine and writes, "What with the ever-increasing popularity of "walky" cassette players ... there would certainly seem to be some sort of cassette revolution and within this development, Australia is something of an innovator." -- Rolling Stone, July 9th 1981 (pdf scan in the zip file)

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Open Air by Chris Caines

Open Air by Chris Caines - Artists Talk - December 3rd, 2011

I went to the Open Air Artists Talk today to hear video artist Chris Caines speak about his current exhibition at the Mosman Art Gallery, which is part of the Festival of Mosman. The work is comprised of a video installation, in The Cube at the gallery, and also a locative iphone application, "Open Air - Locative Audio Essay" which you can view and listen to whilst walking along the path at Sirius Cove, to see the views from the Artists Cove. (I've also used the app at home, so if you're not in Sydney, then you can try it remotely too, but obviously the locative parts won't be the same.)

Once you enter The Cube, the videos and audio starts playing. The videos are displayed in a gallery case, so the viewer can get an intimate view of the moving images by looking down into the case. The Light is amazing, and the colours so rich and vibrant, even with the subtle, delicate blends as Caines adjusts the video by looking forwards and backwards in Time - into the Past and into the Future - to create his video paintings. I think he has captured the light of the works of the Masters in this piece. There are twelve images displayed, which shift throughout time, traveling from the country to the city, as the viewer sees glimpses of both man-made and natural scenes being combined into a modern art work.

There's a soundtrack playing whilst you watch the videos - made from a collection of field recordings from the sites where the images and videos were originally recorded. The effect of listening to the soundscape and gazing on the video panels finding fragments of reality and images in them is quite mesmerizing and reminds me of watching shapes form whilst watching the clouds go by. I felt so relaxed after watching the videos - it's almost like waking up after a dream where you've been watching colours and shapes drift around - there's definitely a dream-like feeling to the work. Footage was recorded over a five year period, and covers the Beauty of the Australian landscape and city-scape. The overall work is stunning - the light and clarity of the video is something to behold. I took a few video clips and photos, below, which don't obviously do the work justice, but are for documentation purposes - you really need to see the work in situ to appreciate its true beauty. Thank you to the Gallery and Festival for including video art in this year's programme.

(raw video clips)

Open Air by Chris Caines #0 http://youtu.be/U0b5pDskAiw (11 seconds)

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Postfolkrocktronica Picnic

Postfolkrocktronica Picnic, with FBi's Utility Fog

thanks to the organizers and artists who played. I arrived a bit late so missed the first couple of performances. loved the venue - so many textures, such a great warehouse & view from the island. and the sound was great. nice to see Raven & Ollie Bown - I'd only heard some of Icarus' cds and music on Utility Fog so it was great to see how he makes his music. interesting to hear that he programs code for it too. and wow, Pimmon! that sounded different to other times I've seen him play. loved it. so atmospheric, and even a bit industrial in there as well. and I do believe he was even dancing a bit! :)

some photos @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/aliak_com/sets/72157628156997103 (ferry, outpost, performances)

videos :
raw clips - unedited

Postfolkrocktronica Picnic #69 http://youtu.be/IzIgP5hE6UU ::: Raven

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Australian Hip Hop Supports CanTeen

Hunter's new charity cd is available today "Australian Hip Hop Supports CanTeen". 100% of the money goes to CanTeen to help kids with cancer. he would have loved to have seen it released, I'm sure. I hope you can all support it. the lineup is great too, so you'll get a double cd of great music from some of Australia's best hip hop artists - it's so great to see everyone in the hip hop community pulling together to help Hunter and others with cancer.

& remember his msg: "As I depart this world with a song in my heart, I just want to say, Love each other! Love will make you happy, Love is the answer to all your questions - I got mad Love!" --HUNTER SBX.

I found the cd @ http://brokentoothentertainment.bigcartel.com/product/aussie-hip-hop-sup... & I'm sure there's prob lots of other places too, check your fav indie music spot

the album is also available for download on itunes @ http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/australian-hip-hop-supports/id482533448 (or search "Australian Hip Hop Supports CanTeen")

Postfolkrocktronica Picnic, with FBi's Utility Fog

In collaboration with places+spaces' Cockatoo Calling, Utility Fog presents a very special afternoon at Warehouse 15 on Cockatoo Island, with some of our favourite Sydney post-folk-rock-tronic artists.

Postfolkrocktronica Picnic, with FBi's Utility Fog
Saturday 26th November
1:00pm - 6:30pm
Cockatoo Island, Warehouse # 15

Artists in order of the day:

Option Command
Thomas William (formerly Cleptoclectics)
Ollie Bown (Icarus) (solo + duo with Raven)

with DJing by Utility Fog's Peter Hollo and associates between acts.

The event will run from 1pm to 6:30pm and is BYO. The summer bar will be open on the island, and there is a picnic area outside the venue.

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Open Air

Open Air exhibition is a multimodal mediation by Chris Caines on the tradition of landscape as a subject of artists in Australia from 19th century painting to the media arts of the present day. The Open Air project includes a video installation in the Gallery space and a locative audio essay iPhone app for the Curlew Camp Artist's Trail at Little Sirius Cove.

You can find the "Open Air - Locative Audio Essay" app in the iTunes app store. Produced in partnership with the Centre for Media Arts Innovation at UTS.

Exhibition launch : Thursday 27th October 2011 @ 6:30pm by Councillor Anne Connon, Mayor of Mosman. RSVP by Tuesday 25th October - call 9978 4095

Open Air Exhibition continues from Friday 28 October – Saturday 31 December, 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Mosman Art Gallery, Corner Art Gallery Way and Myahgah Road, Mosman

via http://festivalofmosman.net/2011/events/open-air :

Chris will create a video installation within using the romantic ideas of the Plein Air tradition as a starting point. These video and audio pieces will be aural and imagistic fictions that imagine possible Australia's and alternate histories of art and nation that spring from the crucial fulcrum of events unfolding in the late 19th century to which the images produced in these locations are central.

The video work will be linked to a site specific GPS iPhone application which can be viewed at Sirius Cove. Together, Chris' video installation and iPhone application will create a strong sense of place and form a link between the Gallery and Sirius Cove, highlighting this important part of Mosman's rich cultural heritage.

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