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Jen Shyu and the Music of Loss

There are those times when one encounters talent that goes beyond normal experience, talent that is a pleasure to witness but difficult to grasp—like grabbing smoke, the standard tools are inadequate. That's what it's like at one of Jen Shyu's performances.

In Conversation


The ex-American theorist and musician DeForrest Brown, Jr. has waged what feels like a worldwide one-man guerrilla campaign, challenging the nature of globalized capital in the art and music industries through protest and presence. His latest project as Speaker Music, the album Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry—released in 2020 by Planet Mu—drew praise for its uncompromising sonic and social vision, while his “Make Techno Black Again” collaboration with HECHA / 做—his partner Ting Ding 丁汀 and Luz Angélica Fernández’s apparel brand—has re-centered a necessary conversation about race in contemporary music.

Raúl Monsalve y Los Forajidos

Raúl Monsalve y Los Forajidos is a septet that was founded in Caracas in 2007 and is now based in Paris. Though it is officially dedicated to a “deep exploration of traditional Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Venezuelan sounds,” its use of afrobeat and jazz are more impressive. In Bichos (2020), the group’s third album, the septet collaborates with featured musicians to protest the bichos, which translates as “the bugs,” that rule the world.

Luke Stewart Calls Two Places Home

Avant-garde jazz bassist Luke Stewart leads a life that’s as complex as his music.

Listening In: Cat Toren, Inside the Sound

Pianist and composer Cat Toren combines classical training with a commitment to the questing, open-ended nature of free jazz. Her playing is lyrical and spare, with a deep affinity for the qualities of space and silence. Likewise, her composing is attuned to the importance of simplicity.


The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2021

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