Our guest editor this month is Koichi Samuels, a researcher, DJ, producer and promoter based in Belfast. Read his introduction below.
RESIST: experiments in the club space
There’s something powerful in simply the gathering of people to dance together, in the ritualistic amassing of people connected by one unifying sound and rhythm – history has shown that this human activity has a power and energy to affect change. In particular, techno, dance music and rave movements have often been tied to a political cause, a period of social transitioning, and have contributed to affecting change; the club space, the warehouse and the streets become a site for culture-led musical resistance.
Since 2016, I have been running an event and record label called RESIST, based in Belfast, through which I am conducting “experiments in the club space” by creating club nights which defy genre, disciplinary and stylistic distinctions. The ethos is to: “resist the categories that define and divide”.
Through my own early rave experiences, I perceived the social power of music to enact resistance and challenges to conventions, traditions and established authority. I began to feel that there is a relationship between the way that traditional musical ontologies, performance and consumption modes are challenged in clubs and raves and the social and political challenge that club cultures can pose to established authority. Through the RESIST events I am trying to find out how experimental music practices in the club space can act as a form of resistance to the structures and rules of divisive politics and ideas, and at the same time hold some really fun and thought-provoking evenings of art and music where people are brought together to dance and enjoy themselves.
In my guest edited edition of The Sampler I have invited some contributions from artists who have featured at RESIST events. Paul Stapleton and Ricki O’Rawe – who are both academics, musicians and improvisers – contribute their afterthoughts on a critical dialogue/performance titled “Dissensual Grooves”, which they performed at RESIST in July 2018; I interviewed Shiva Feshareki, who has performed at RESIST events twice and is releasing her debut album on the label later this year. She has a unique practice that fuses elements of turntablism, dance music and composition. And I also provide some event selections for the month ahead. I hope you enjoy my guest editing of The Sampler!
14.09.18 – 15.09.18