First up in our guest mix series is Rabz from the sorryyoufeeluncomfortable collective. She’s assembled an irresistible hour of straight bangers and has given us the low-down on it’s themes.
gal-dem: Tell me about the context surrounding this mix.
Rabz: I’ve been moving away from just doing afro-house stuff and I wanted to include a decent amount of the queer vibe, the vogue scene and hip-hop. This is just a mix of stuff that I have been listening to recently and want to get out there, including a track by my friend that isn’t getting that much recognition.
Who are some of the artists that you’ve included?
Anderson Paak’s album is one of the best things that’s happened this year so far. Also I’m always feeling Cakes da Killa and Jay Boogie because, despite the fact they hate the phrase queer, I love the reclamation of hip-hop by queer people. It’s pretty cool.
I was recently watching Abteen Bagheri’s short film, That B.E.A.T., which was used in parts for Beyoncé’s Formation video. It’s about the culture around Bounce music coming out of New Orleans –
Yes, that’s the kind of vibe. Those black dance trends are always underrated.
How long have you been playing for?
The first time I DJ’d I was 17. But I’ve been playing properly for a year and a half.
Are there any up-and-coming female DJs on your radar at the moment?
Could you tell us more about sorryyoufeeluncomfortable?
A couple of years ago some of the people in the collective submitted some work in response to Baldwin’s Nigger which is James Baldwin talking about race relations in a recorded conversation in 1969.
One of the questions that is put to him is, “Where do you think the state of a black man will be in 50 years?” So our first show was responding to that, seeing where it is today and talking about race now, using that as a fuel. That was originally going to be a one-off thing and it all kind of meshed together.
From that we formed our collective – sorryyoufeeluncomfortable. We came up with the name and since then there have been a lot of different projects. We are a collective of artists, activists, academics of diverse people.
We are mainly based in London and we try and create discourse and discussion around ideas, identity and politics. Not just race, sexuality. Recently we did a project at the Wellcome Collection. It was a museum critique talking about colonialism.
Last month, we went to Rotterdam last month to present Balwin’s Nigger Reloaded 2, which came out of the original show. It is a performance where we speak as Baldwin. We got someone to transcribe the script of the film and wherever we tour it – we’ve taken it to quite a few places (Birmingham, Nottingham and now Rotterdam). We speak as if we are Baldwin, but we then direct it to stuff that’s relevant to the place and the time of where we are performing.
When we were in Rotterdam, we spoke to people there about racial tensions there. So we added things about Black Pete. We performed that three times and we also presented other stuff we did for a show with Chimurenga, which is a press based out of South Africa.
They brought their library to London and we were residents there. Everyone banded together and thought up concepts to explore. So I did “Oscillations Over Ocean” – exploring the politics behind African electronic music, its popularity, how it can be exploited and how the artists might not get recognition.
But also how it’s really difficult to talk in a simple appropriation argument about music because it’s such a fluid art form that spreads quite easily. There’s other one about Black Drift, which is about black urban life as more of an intellectual concept. And a sound piece called The Swarm, which was about David Cameron calling refugees “a swarm”.
Listen to Rabz’ guest mix for gal-dem below.
You can find her on Mixcloud and Instagram at @rabzlan.
Sorryyoufeeluncomfortable are on Facebook.
- Meditation – Dean Blunt & Arca
- Front to the Back – Akoko
- Take Off – Branko (ft Princess Nokia)
- USB Do Verao – MC Pedrinho & DJ R7 X Color Plus
- The Bitch – MikeQ (ft Miss Jay)
- Bossy – BLASTAH
- Pumps (MikeQ Remix) – Imaabs
- Aikaso (Murlo Remix) – Mohammed Alidu
- Ana (Mawimbi Remix) – Vieux Farka Toure
- Nondo – DJ Sotofett & Karolin Tampere (ft Maimouna Haugen)
- Mercedes Song – Rudeboyz
- Baphuma Ezulwini – Butiza
- SINU – Purpleseeds ft Kryma & Ishmael
- Papa Legba – Le Motel
- Harder – Rushmore
- Cold Winter (ft Cakes Da Killa) – LSDXOXO
- Rainy Day/Your Mouth – Lilja
- Dear Ribane (ft Manthe) – Okzharp
- Body (Remix ft Cakes Da Killa & Shamz) – Jay Boogie
- Better Lean – Mickey Pearce (ft Denzel Curry, Oneman & Sweyn Jupiter)
- Crib Tax – Wiki
- Room 302 (ft Tink) – Future Brown
- What’s Your Phone Number? (Ghost of Screw Remix) – Erykah Badu
- Bet – LSDXOXO
- Vice City (ft Black Hippy) – Jay Rock
- Don’t Forget – Little Simz
- Lullaby – Le Motel
- Needs Deodorant – Mono/Poly
- 224 (ft Huey Briss) – Pyramid Vritra
- The Season/Carry Me – Anderson .Paak
- With Love Sweet Darling Pain (Gilles Peterson & Simbad Remix) – Melanie De Biasio
- The Shaw (In Tha Late 90s) – Vivians