Wednesday 13 November 2019, 7.30pm
At the Cutting Edge: Experimental Sounds of Asia is a series of concerts celebrating new music from across Asia and the diaspora, performed by natural collaborators and influenced by cross-arts forms. The series takes its inspiration from the acclaimed Japanese composer, jazz musician and interdisciplinary artist Jun Fukamachi (1946-2010), taking its name from his rare record ‘Nicole’, which was made especially for the Nicole fashion house’s now legendary 1986 spring/summer collection show.
At the Cutting Edge brings together musicians from across Asia and the diaspora with those who are inspired by music from Asia. Renowned London artists are joined by musicians who have never or rarely perform in the UK. Each of them, akin to Fukamachi, are natural collaborators and experimenters, who push boundaries and incorporate an array of influences. These include the visual arts, ethnomusicology, found object percussion, archival records from across the world, polyrhythms and even traditional instrumentation. These pioneering artists pave the way for new cross-arts historiographies, which expand upon or subvert conventional musical genres of Asia.
The second concert in our At the Cutting Edge series will see the UK debut of Islandman, hailing from Istanbul. Launching their new album, the band’s record is full of ethno-cultural material from Japan to Bulgaria, including field recordings of throat singers from Tuva, Central Asia. Islandman will bring their unique mix of mellow electronic structures and dance beats with spacey live guitars, with a backing of shamanic rhythms to Cafe OTO. After seeing their incredible performance at Cappadox Festival in 2018, we expect to be in for a fantastic live performance which brings Turkish Psychedelia to the dance floor.
A true collaborator, Nabihah Iqbal will be performing an experimental, live set which brings together her vast range of influences including Turkish, Indian and Thai music. This year, she will not be performing many live sets as she records her new album, so this is a rare chance to see her in her element and hear some new material.
We will be graced by the sounds of DJ Kobayashi to kick off the evening as he mixes from his vast record collection spanning Middle Eastern grooves and Global Funk inspired music from archives around the world.
Islandman was born from the musical dreams of Istanbul based musician/producer Tolga Boyuk, Islandman represents a fiction character, a music persona, a dreamer composing the stories of a non-existing place...
Islandman performs on stage as an electro-acoustic live trio format. Their music can be described as a unique mix of mellow electronic structures & dance beats with spacey live guitars, backed up by shamanic rhythms. The mixing idea during the record sessions or in live performances is to bring Turkish Psychedelia or an African roots music reef together with a feeling of the electric universe. The power of the band comes from their perfect balance of electronic structures and acoustical harmonies.
In 2018 Islandman mostly focused on touring and had a successful tour including performances in Cappadox, Sunbeat Festival, Apple Flower Festival, Istanbul Jazz Festival, Monteux Jazz festival and Boom Festival. The musical diversity of those festivals yet the selection including Islandman in their programme was a positive sign towards Tolga Boyuk’s dream of composing universal sounds. The band has just finished recording their second album which is to be released later this year
Nabihah Iqbal has a multi-faceted background having studied History and Ethnomusicology at SOAS, an MPhil in South African History from Cambridge, experience working in human rights law and a black belt in Karate. Formerly known as ‘Throwing Shade’, she’s ditched that moniker to embrace the name she was born with. Readying her debut album for Ninja Tune, “Weighing of the Heart” is a big statement in two ways: first, because she’s taken her real name to stand proudly as a female British Asian artist making music and, secondly, because she’s moved her music in a bolder, more expansive direction.
She’s collaborated with Chinese artist Zhang Ding, been commissioned by Tate to compose music for the Turner Prize and collaborated with Wolfgang Tillmans as part of his Tate Modern exhibition. She’s also performed at both the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, as well as the Institute of Contemporary Arts and at the Barbican. At a time when dance music is embracing cross-pollination and eclecticism more than ever before, it’s a prime moment for Nabihah’s increasingly all-embracing approach.
DJ Kobayashi has been digging for music around the world, you could say it’s his full time job! Anything that got a groove and the right melodies makes him pick the records.
His style varies from Mediterranean sounds to the Balkans and east Europe, however he is not foreign to the electronic beats, “Its start to get really interesting when you get producers/DJ mixing old sound with new beats”. He is also a member of Gypsy Hill, where they combining Balkan beats and Mediterranean grooves.
The Bagri Foundation is a UK registered charity, inspired by creative, unique and unexpected ideas that weave the traditional and the contemporary of Asian culture. The Foundation is driven by curiosity, a desire to learn and supports myriad of exciting artistic programmes that challenge, engage and inspire. Through a diverse programme of film, visual arts, music, dance, literature, courses and lectures, Bagri Foundation gives artists and experts from across Asia, or those inspired by the continent, wider visibility on the global stage.