Video Jam x Basquiat
28th January 2018 / Barbican Hall / 20:00
Tickets £17.50-£22.50 available here.
Artists from either side of the Atlantic come together for an evening of new short films with original live soundtracks – all inspired by the life and works of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Video Jam x Basquiat presents a unique programme of new short films with live musical accompaniment responding to ‘Basquiat: Boom For Real’, the first ever UK retrospective of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work which runs from 21st September 2017-28th January 2018 at the Barbican Centre (London). The event will be the official closing event to the exhibition.
All presenting newly commissioned work, NYC-based filmmakers and musicians from the UK at all stages in their career have been carefully selected, taking into consideration Basquiat’s relationship to TV, film and music, and placing him within the wider context of his own time and now. The film work covers a diverse range of genres - hand drawn animation, essay film, narrative, video art and more, while the musicians chosen – including the Mercury Prize winning Young Fathers and the Afro-tinged Ibibio Sound Machine – reflect Basquiat’s wide ranging musical tastes, from Bebop and Jazz to Hip Hop and experimental Noise.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Young Fathers ‘G’ Hastings, from Edinburgh, Alloysious Massaquoi, originally from Liberia via Ghana and Kayus Bankole, born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents but partially raised in Maryland USA, all 28 years old. Their live shows are complimented by Steven Morrison on drums. The group formed after meeting at an under-16s hip hop night at the infamous Bongo Club in Edinburgh when they were all in their teens. Almost immediately they started writing and recording together, initially on an old karaoke machine plugged into a cheap cassette recorder at G’s parents house. In 2011 they set about writing a mini-album (or ‘mixtape’ as it was called) TAPE ONE in just over a week, finishing a track a day and having it available for download within two weeks of recording. They quickly followed this up with TAPE TWO, which was written and recorded in a similar fashion. Los Angeles based label, Anticon, discovered them online and within a few months had signed them for a short deal that saw both TAPEs officially released in 2013. The group, meanwhile, continued to tour, gathering an impressive reputation as a formidable live act. They played all over Europe and made their US debut at SXSW in March 2013. Following support from the BBC’s Zane Lowe and Lauren Laverne, and an appearance on influential USA talk show, Jimmy Kimmel in 2014, TAPE TWO won Scottish Album Of The Year (‘The SAY Award’), while their next album, DEAD, received the highly prestigious Mercury Prize for best album of 2014. Immediately after winning the Mercury Prize, Young Fathers travelled to Berlin where they continued making their new album in a freezing basement in a building near the railway yards. Returning to the more familiar (and warmer) basement studio in Edinburgh to finish their latest album, White Men Are Black Men Too, which was released in April 2015. Young Fathers toured extensively in 2015, playing the UK, large swathes of Europe and did a six week stint in the USA. In 2016, the band were invited to support Massive Attack on their UK and European tour after working together on Massive Attack’s single “Voodoo In My Blood”, which was released in January 2016. Young Fathers feature 6 tracks on the Trainspotting T2 soundtrack, including “Only God Knows”, written specifically for the film. They are currently recording in the studio.
Ibibio Sound Machine
Fronted by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West-African funk & disco and modern post-punk & electro. Weird and wonderful folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band’s unique musical tapestry is woven. Evocative Nigerian poetic imagery set against an edgy Afro-Electro soundscape by producers Max Grunhard, Leon Brichard & Benji Bouton give the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 2014 to great acclaim. Ibibio Sound Machine are Eno Williams (vocals), Alfred Kari Bannerman (guitar), Anselmo Netto (percussion), Jose Joyette (drums), John McKenzie (bass), Tony Hayden (trombone, synth), Scott Baylis (trumpet, synth), and Max Grunhard (saxophone, synth).
Composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Seaming To was born in London and comes from a family of concert pianists. She studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and during her time in Manchester began performing and releasing albums with supergroups Homelife (Ninja Tune) and Graham Massey’s Toolshed. She has appeared on BBC Radio (Radio 3′s Mixing It/LateJunction/Radio 1′s Breezeblock show/6 Music) and performed and toured the UK, Europe and the Far East. To has been described as ‘the voice of a 21st Century’ (Radio1), and an artist that is truly ‘avant garde’ (Robert Wyatt). Her experimental ethos and mastery across a variety of instruments has enabled her to collaborate with some of the most respected and radical artists of this decade, particularly in electronic, classical and experimental genres. She has been seen to perform and record with Robert Wyatt, Jean Claude Vannier, Herbaliser, Punchdrunk Theatre, James Ford (SMD), Leila on Warp records, electronic outfit Funckarma, Michael England, Forkbeard Fantasy Theatre, Leon Michener, Bordeaux Symphony Orchestra, composer Larry Goves, pianist Matthew Bourne and Mayming, an experimental duo with cellist Semay Wu. Seaming has composed music for film and theatre which includes Stormbringer at the National Theatre, Jenna Collins’ film More Real Than The Every Day World (of which toured numerous venues in the UK), Forkbeard Fantasy animations and theatre productions of Invisible Bonfires, Rough Magyck, The Colour of Nonsense; soundtrack for Maya Deren’s At Land (performed at the Barbican) and Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon, performed live, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall for Birds Eye View’s Sounds and Silents, Latitude Festival and Opera North Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds.
Woddy Green is an upcoming artist and member of Manchester Hip-Hop collective 'Roots Raddix', is celebrated for his imaginative word play and unique flows. Woddy’s music is both captivating and complex. His accent swings from London to Manchester with twinges of a more worldly sound, from the US to the Caribbean sprinkled for good measure, making for a fascinating listen. With a project in the making, he is one Hip-Hop heads can relate to. Layfullstop is a female hip hop / soul artist from Manchester, by way of Birmingham.Now seen as one of Manchester’s very own, Lay has been performing on stages alongside well established collectives 'Cul Dè Sac' and 'Roots Raddix', and has managed to build a cult following since the release of her solo tracks 'Ying Yang' and 'Aura' on Youtube. Lay’s style is an authentic mix, where at times singing in the sweetest of tones, while being able to unleash ferocious bars with such seamlessness, neither style is compromised. Complete with individual eccentricity, this headstrong, fun loving introvert is letting her music do the talking, and with the year ahead, Layfullstop is definitely one to watch for 2017.
Danalogue (Live) featuring Sarathy Korwar, Leafcutter John and Idris Rahman