Loot - Filastine

Muti Music

It’s hard to determine where the metaphor ends and the remarkable real story of Filastine begins. It’s an audio adventure to warm the heart of any xenomaniac (thank you press release for coining the term). Grey Filastine from Barcelona (sometimes) commands attention at the mere drop of his name which evokes immediate feelings of dread, mystery and mistrust as it must have for the biblical Israelites. The mystery holds true for Filastine the sound designer, but the only threat he presents is to accepted recording wisdom. He’s been compared to Amon Tobin in his techniques of utilizing found sounds in unconventional ways. But, unlike Tobin’s works of science fiction, Filastine’s music is more organic and anthropological. A musical nomad, he walks the earth like a binner; pushing a contemporary, universal artifact of conveyance, the humble shopping cart; in his case, brimming with microphones and loud speakers, scavenging any interesting audible buzz or undiscovered talent. Essentially, he’s a poor man’s party waiting to happen in any alleyway, storefront or shanty. In his quest “to make something less cold and quantized, using more gritty acoustic inputs”, Filastine teaches himself the regional rhythms of his travels and then generates his beats with drumsticks on tabla. His new album, Loot is a collection of soundscapes stitched together out of a shopping cart full of scraps, recycled literally from around the globe and mixed in his rooftop studio. Each track is a story unto itself. Take Gendjer2 for example; sung by Nova, a female vocalist and storyteller from Java who Filastine befriended in Jakarta. The original song was banned for forty years by the Communist Suharto government of Indonesia because it was rumoured to have been sung and danced to by one hundred members of Gerwani (Indonesian Women’s Movement) as they mutilated six generals at a party and threw the body parts into a well. Gendjer is a plentiful aquatic weed that was turned to during wartime for sustenance and turned out to be quite edible. Dengue Fever has recorded a version of the song as well. It truly is a compelling story, and for Filastine’s version on Loot, dubstep subsonics underpin bell tones of gamelan and Nova’s wistful voice. It leads to another fascinating story of recording those sounds off in the countryside, in an old house, wherever possible to escape the annoying drone of motorcycles that permeates the Indonesian atmosphere. Filastine reflects on the nature of his music, “What I do is life art: to treat the way I travel, survive, collaborate, learn and compose as one coherent method.”