Fatima Al Qadiri

Fatima Al Qadiri on #BlackLivesMatter @ ICA, Oct 28

27 October 2016

Fatima Al Qadiri is taking part in a one of a series of lunchtime conversations on #BlackLivesMatter at London’s ICA on October 28.

Presented as part of the Culture Now programme, the series “for the culturally curious” has invited New York-based artist, musician and composer to discuss the rise of #BlackLivesMatter with Christina Heatherton and Jordan T. Camp, who co-edited the book Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter. It maps what the press release calls “the rise of broken-windows policing and how this led to the current policing crisis,” while the event as whole comes in response to “a series of high-profile police killings of people of colour and centuries of racist brutality,” that gave rise to the #BlackLivesMatter movement that questions “the issue of policing and mass incarceration to the central political question of the age.”

See the ICA website for details.**


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Future Brown @ ICA, Feb 19

16 February 2015

If you’re reading this, it’s too late to get tickets to the “post-human, post-geographical” musical act Future Brown playing at London’s ICA on February 19. Maybe next time.

The four-person act brings together Fatima Al Qadiri – a c0-founder of the conceptual Persian Gulf-focused art project GCC and the artist behind releases on both Fade to Mind and Hyperdub – with Nguzunguzu duo Daniel Pineda and Asma Maroof and J-Cush (of the New York label Lit City Trax).

The sound is swaggy, bassy, with tight distorted beats and grimy lyrics that combine braggy rap rifts with Eastern melodies and electronic simulacrum instrumentals.

 See the Future Brown website for future dates. **

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Fatima Al Qadiri announces debut LP

12 February 2014

NYC producer and part-time conceptual artist Fatima Al Qadiri has announced her debut album, Asiatisch, to be released on London-based label Hyperdub, May 5.

Quietly posting the cover on her Facebook page, the album artwork is credited to pan-global non-brand Shanzhai Biennial. There’s been no music to speak of yet but considering earlier releases on labels like UNO as Ayshay and Fade to Mind, as well as her work with Future Brown and the GCC, there’s no doubting it’ll be both excellent and culturally relevant.

Not only that, but the signing to Hyperdub isn’t so surprising, considering the Kode9-founded label’s history with Grime and dubstep, which is a visual aesthetic and sonic palette that has had an undeniable influence on Al Qadiri’s expanding catalogue.**

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CTM14 third announcement, Jan 24 – Feb 2

23 December 2013
Following two earlier announcements of appearances by Actress, Patten and James Holden, as well as an intriguing collaboration between Veronica Vasicka and Sasha Go Hard, the 15th edition of CTM Festival in Berlin will also feature Boddika, Samuel Kerridge, NYC PAN act and sound artist Eli Keszler and Fatima Al Qadiri.
Running under the theme Dis Continuity, from January 24 to February 2, 2014, the event’s focus is on “revealing hidden connections between past and present musical movements, reconstructing forgotten achievements, and strengthening exchanges between the worlds of DIY pop culture and academic research”.
See the CTM website for full line-up. **

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‘Achievement in Swiss Summit’ @ Project Native Informant, Oct 18

18 October 2013

In furthering their efforts “to reinforce and serve Gulf and Artistic causes” the recently formed art collective GCC, will be celebrating their accomplishments made during their first meeting in Morscach, Switzerland. In a corporatised global tradition, with a government sanctioned edge, the group aims represent their “official Communiqué” as “a High Level Strategic Dialogue” for their Achievement in Swiss Summit at Mayfair’s Project Native Informant, opening October 18 and running, through Frieze week, to November 16.

Forged in 2013 and featuring Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Amal Khalaf, Aziz Al Qatami, Barrak Alzaid, Fatima Al Qadiri, Khalid al Gharaballi, Monira Al Qadiri, Nanu Al-Hamad and Sophia Al Maria, there’s no doubting the delegation’s efforts to reaffirm “their common desire to enhance and diversify these strong relations in the artistic field”.

See the Project Native Informant website for more details. **

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TELFAR X Future Brown

12 September 2013

In a match made in utopia fashion designer Telfar Clemens and our favourite ‘fake capitalist’ Babak Radboy echo the mainstream fetishism of the day by introducing the forthcoming TELFAR line. It’s a collection of customizable sportswear that they describe as neither conceptual nor practical; “highly polished, eminently accessible, yet stranger than any underground production”.

The backing instrumentals come from a track called ‘Marbles’ by none other than 2020 hyper-stars Future Brown. As a band named after an inorganic colour, its an ideal complement to the creepy grins reminiscent of Shanzhai Biennial‘s Yue Minjun-inspired branding campaign, as well as DIS’ ‘Watermarked I Kenzo Fall 2012′. Mind is blown.

See the video below and read a recent interview we did with Radboy. **

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A look into NA, Fade to Mind and the future

3 September 2013

Releases from Fade To Mind, the US sister of the Night Slugs label, manage to be both perfectly contemporaneous and yet simultaneously futuristic, at least in the classically dystopian sense of the word. Absolutely now, they present a music which is overwhelmingly born from, fed and fuelled by information noise. This refers equally to the genre-transcending sounds and also the way they are presented: released in byte-sized chunks – single tracks, remixes, EPs at best, and revealed via SoundCloud in rapid bursts, a swarm of inspirations that result in a high-speed, vertiginous club mix built from grime, garage, hip hop and bass music components. It’s a music born of contemporary modes of exchange and diffusion – Fade To Mind displays an extraordinary level of collectivity and osmosis between the artists, who often tend to team up or remix each other. And yet in the work of Kingdom (the label’s founder), Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri and others, there also hovers the older conception of dystopian future; the sense of stimulus-fatigue, the friction of co-existence with alienating mass technology.

Forthcoming weeks bring new additions to the Fade To Mind catalogue. The first of these will be by NA (Daniel Pineda), half of label leading-lights Nguzunguzu, whose ‘sad, sexy, scary’, RnB-meets-footwork sound quickly became a point of reference rather than, as is usual, being compared to other artists, after the duo emerged in 2010. As if Nguzunguzu’s works weren’t foot-friendly enough, Pineda announced that the upcoming EP ‘Xtreme Tremble’ will be more ‘dancefloor oriented’. Listening through the three impactful tracks resolves this seeming-paradox: compared to Nguzunguzu, NA’s solo recordings are further stripped-down, confronting the listener with a sound hi-tech, heavy and minimalist at once, thus moving Pineda closer to the territory usually occupied by Kingdom, and thereby cabling another connection between the Fade To Mind roster.

Meanwhile, yet more osmosis occurs beyond the label – for instance, Nguzunguzu have produced two tracks for Kelela, she’s collaborated with Kingdom and will be dropping her Vocalist mix on Fade to Mind soon, while the spirit of cooperation extends beyond the limit of the label itself. Future Brown –a collective project consisting of Pineda, his original band mate Asma Maroof, long-time collaborator Fatima Al Qadiri, and J-Cush of Lit City Tracks -have released just one track so far (independently from Fade To Mind). The surprisingly simple, hooky, club-friendly ‘Wanna Party’ features Chicago rapper Tink and production from (inevitably!) another Fade To Mind artist, vogue/ballroom-house DJ and producer MikeQ. The slightly trappy track provides a sneak-peek of Future Brown‘s full album, which will also feature Shawnna, Maluca, Ian Isiah and Kelela. Even though there has been little revealed about the project (and the record itself is still in the making), what we know about the project so far suggests it will function as a summary of a certain aesthetic: unashamed genre cross-pollination, a collaborative working policy, and the implicit idea of Web-driven club music.

The imagery Future Brown choose to employ reveals the latter explicitly: they share both their initials and their logo font with Facebook, reinforcing the fact of the Web as an environment in which their brand of music thrives, as much as it does on the dancefloor. The aesthetic employed by Fade To Mind-related artists seems to acknowledge the point that, no matter where the artist ideally imagines their work being played out, in reality it is all-too-often heard through ubiquitous white ear buds or tinny laptop speakers. This may actually have informed the label’s signature sound palette; as per Kingdom’s work, his label’s output teems with the nag of ringtone-synths, a hyper-bright, brittle 8-bit aesthetic and a certain plasticity, which can evoke a Fisher-Price version of Raster-Noton.

Future Brown’s forthcoming LP will most likely be an interesting detour taken by these artists, both when it comes to sound (more hip hop-influenced), as to the shape and length of the album. Fade to Mind’s policy, on the other hand -small doses of singles, EPs and unaccompanied tracks -may have yet more method to it, understood after an extended encounter with their output: whilst many of them are thrillingly heady, attention-grabbing and intense, sometimes their chiptune-on-steroids, cropped and distorted edges make them easy to overdose on. The future, unless taken in moderation, is (as it turns out) a disorientating place to be. **

NA’s Xtreme Tremble EP is out on Fade to Mind September 2, 2013.

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Future Brown – ‘Wanna Party’

2 August 2013

There are all sorts of things you could extract from an project of truly global DJs Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri and J-CUSH called Future Brown. It might surprise you to know that, in spite of the dark connotations and imagery of Facebook reappropriation,  it’s actually after a an in-group meme sprung from a shared fascination with a colour that doesn’t exist in nature.

Their first drop ‘Wanna Party’ features a skull crushing bass and typically creepy embellishments from the quartet, plus lyrics from Chicago rapper Tink.  A debut featuring other vocalists is coming and Fatima Al Qadiri plays XOYO in London tonight.

Stream and download the track at Complex Music.

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Fatima Al Qadiri + Evian Christ in London

23 July 2013

After both playing Unsound in Poland last year, New York’s Fatima Al Qadiri and Liverpool’s Evian Christ (aka Joshua Leary) will be playing the same bill with London DJ and radio presenter Benji B, at XOYO on Friday, August 2.

As the resident of the monthly ‘Deviation’ series, Benji B has championed the more experimental side of electronic music while embracing a full spectrum for a decade on the BBC. So between Al Qadiri’s Gulf War-inspired Desert Strike EP and Leary’s recent work on Kanye West’s Yeezus album, there’s certainly a lot here to draw from. Buy tickets here. **

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Rhizome ‘Seven on Seven’ Conference.

Rhizome 'Seven on Seven' Conference.
3 April 2013

New York’s The New School continues to live up to its reputation as being founded on innovation by hosting Rhizome’s Seven on Seven Conference on Saturday, April 20. Recognising the intersection of art and science as the way forward, the event will be pairing seven significant contemporary artists, with seven equally compelling technologists and challenging them to create something new.

Featuring the likes of artists Fatima Al Qadiri, Jill Magid and Jeremy Bailey on one end, and developers Julie Urhmann, Tiger Tara Brown and Dennis Crowley on the other, there is no limit to what the artists are allowed to produce, across media and disciplines. With author of The Net Delusion, Evgeny Morozov, giving the keynote speech, anyone on the other side of the Atlantic can only hope there’ll be stream to follow. **

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Kingdom – ‘Bank Head feat. Kelela’.

Kingdom - 'Bank Head feat. Kelela'.
28 March 2013

Sometimes the art work of the Fade to Mind aesthetic threatens to overshadow the work of its artist, almost. As part of that LA/ New York based world of excellent electronica melting RnB, dub and pop into an exquisitely contemporary sound for the body, it’s artists like  Kingdom whose output is frustratingly sporadic. But it makes the music all the more thrilling when it does finally drop. So, following the New York producer’s 2011 Dreama EP and an intermittent record of dub reworks, VIP Edition, a new EP titled Vertical XL is due for release on Tuesday, May 28.

Adding to the new music credentials is that Kingdom actually runs the Night Slugs sister-label and is responsible for putting out a stable of excellent outfits, from Fatima Al Qadiri to Nguzunguzu and ‘Blank Head’ featuring vocals from LA-based RnB artist Kelela is no exception. See the EP track list below.**


1. Bank Head (feat. Kelela)
2. Zip Line
3. Corpse
4. OG Master
5. Viper Lash
6. Takedown Notice
7. Viper XL

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VIOLENCE’s cassette release reviewed

12 February 2013

Type ‘VIOLENCE’ into a search engine and you’ll find all manner of human brutality. But when it comes to the Maryland, USA artist of the same name and disposition, you might have better luck with the stylised V†L£//:CE, V†LENCE or VILENCE to find any information on this specific mode of audio cruelty.

In fact, the Baltimore artist applies a powerful aggression inspired by those juke, metal, goth et al. influences that have yielded a sea of fledgling sound abusers in recent years worldwide –an influence most explicitly felt in his 2011 LP release Apophenia through online label Aural Sects. But for his most recent cassette release, Reptile/Hand Me Downs From Heaven, out early March on French label Steak AU Zoo, there’s less gratuitous carnage and more a prolonged undertone of menace that keeps things interesting.

Opening with a persistent minimal beat that sounds like an isolated mechanical heartbeat, ‘when my heart was dark and cold’ crawls along a brooding emptiness that comes across, less as a tender metaphor and more a discomfiting anatomical cross section of human life at its barren core. Often urgent repetitive keyboard samples call to mind the cultural zeitgeist of digital darkness, according to Gatekeeper, Bodyguard and Fatima Al Qadiri, while some consciously outmoded samples hark back even further to the nihilistic era of 80s New Romanticism.

In fact, one of VIOLENCE’s many monikers is Robert Smith, which, with a namesake in The Cure front man, is as hard to believe as ‘Palmtrees Caprisun Citrusblast’. The latter becoming not only an absurd reference to the balmy weather of a west coast vibe with an east coast complexion but part of the haunting theme of ‘hiding in plain sight’, as an artist that is near impossible to find on the internet among unrelated search results and option-key dependent song titles like Apophenia’s ‘V†L£//:CE – BRITNEY_T34R§ (THE TRÅG¡PØÇÅL¥P§£ ØV BR¡TN3¥_T34R§)’.

The pixel haze dissipates a little around Reptile/Hand Me Downs From Heaven, which limits itself to the Roman Alphabet but there’s still the surreal, Dadaist approach to meaning(lessness), which the online media mind scramble has no doubt contributed to. There are the requisite typos of a world raised on computer keyboards with ‘sumtiems’ -a contorted hip hop interpretation led by a crushing bass line and the emotionless appeal of “who will love me now?” -as well as the disrespect for spelling in the synthesised volley of ‘iluvu’. Then there’s no escaping the aimless articulations between seemingly disconnected ideas. How exactly could a lizard have anything to do with the divinely acquired second hand implied by the title track ‘reptile/hand me downs from heaven’? That’s except for the undeniable sample of fighter character ‘Reptile’ from Mortal Kombat; a famously bloody Nintendo game anyone growing up in the 90s will be familiar with… as well as a young inheritor, perhaps? Fans of Miami-based rapper SpaceGhostPurrp and his Raider Klan crew, could also probably relate to the retro-thrill of pre-millennial consoles for Generation Z.

Needless to say, there’s an unshakeable sense of alienation to Reptile/Hand Me Downs From Heaven, as a heavily distorted vocal moans “fuck me mama” on the aforementioned title-track while being assaulted by jagged guitar lines, a-la early 90s cop drama or repetitious 8-bit video game scores. Things are looking bleak in our modern dystopia right now and VIOLENCE is making art from the chaos.

VIOLENCE’s Reptile/Hand Me Downs From Heaven is out on Steak AU Zooin March, 2013.

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