Journalist (Rolling Stone, Interview, Style.com) and DJ Colleen Nika will be posting here a few times during the week, she promises. She’s doing lots of things at once. Including a multiplatform scheme called Nightvision that I’ve been greatly looking forward to:
I created Nightvision as a both a gesture of defiance and in pursuit of unity. In response to an array of perceived ‘market voids’, I birthed a simple ‘mutant music manifesto’: a plight to protect, preserve, and promote future, forgotten, and foreign sounds — exploratory and nonconformist music often alienated by the traditional gatekeepers, even in an age of so-called equal opportunity. As I grew disenchanted with what I felt was an increasingly balkanized and devalued modern musical experience–and constantly endured the same complaints from peers– I decided there was a real hunger and need for change. So, Nightvision offers a solution: to promote the idea of ‘music without borders’ by not only shining a light on lesser explored musical niches (those not fitting Pitchfork et al’s pre-sanctioned musical course of 2011), but to elevate that interchange beyond simply downloading some songs onto your hard drive to distractedly consume, then swiftly forget. I saw no reason why the benefits of the digital age (unfathomable musical vernaculars at your fingertips, decoded within minutes if you wish) haven’t also enacted an equally versatile, and accessible, real-world musical experience. Why aren’t we able to see these artists we download from all corners of the web on stages? Why are they not curated into meaningful broadcast experiences? I decided to create such a haven — such an old concept, a la John Peel, it almost felt new again.
So, hence, Nightvision. It is a three-tiered platform: Stage 001 — which launches this week with an exclusive interview and mix from one of England’s leading new electronic talents — is a dynamic editorial and podcast online platform. Stage 002 is a radio show, which you’ll be hearing more about soon. We’ll be doing a guest spot on Mary Anne Hobbs’ XFM Music:Response show this Wednesday at 10pm UK time. Tune in! Most importantly, there’s Stage 003 — putting it all in a live context, which means bringing acts that might never tour the US over here sooner and more often. Nightvision deploys Stage 003 this winter, debuting onstage with what will be a mind-spinning set of enigmatic and intense global performers NYC is unlikely to forget any time soon.
On one level, Nightvision are ‘specialists’, importing European and global music to an American stage; on another level, we are uniters with no allegiance to any locale or genre, and refuse to regard geography as prohibitive or prescriptive. We see New York City as a convenient starting point to prove our manifesto valid and vital. There will be more cities, more crusades, to come.
Nightvision is my brainchild, but such a gifted range of co-conspirators have joined me in my quest, that I consider it very much a collaborative movement for change. Artists, audience, me, the curator — we’re all investing in the same dialogue. We’re here to kill the inertia.
Below, a taste of our favorite sounds du jour; it was cobbled together under the influence of unruly spirits, federal greed, cosmic alliances, and the sense of stifling encasement, both bodily and psychological. Some of the tracks are old, some new, some drifting in between. All in under 20 minutes, all revelatory of where we stand aesthetically and in attitude. Enjoy.
- GUEST INFORMANT: Matthew Sheret (warrenellis.com)
- Balam Acab: “Expect” and “Oh, Why” (warrenellis.com)
- Peckham Outer-Space Initiative (warrenellis.com)