Hungry Ghosts

From the wikipedia on Hungry Ghost: "In�Japanese Buddhism, the Gaki (??) are the�spirits�of�jealous�or�greedy�people who, as punishment for their mortal vices, have been cursed with an insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object. Traditionally, this is something repugnant or humiliating, such as human�corpses�or�feces, though in more recent legends, it may be virtually anything, no matter how bizarre." That's all of us nowadays, always trying to fill some void, cradle to grave advertising saturation and consumer fetishism.� I developed this track over a few weeks in Kyoto, staying in the house of Shimizu (guitarist of post-rock band Soft). It's the kind of old kyoto house made mostly of paper and thin wood, where someone of my height must duck at all times. On my way to Tokyo to record ECD and fly to the United States, I detoured via a� series of trains and small buses to arrive in a mountain village. From there I walked up a path through the forest for a few hours to arrive at the hot springs frequented by a pack of wild monkeys. There i stripped naked to sit in a hot pool, with curious monkeys gazing on. Later I went to stare at them in their preferred pools. After a few hours of this I hiked down to the small bus, then small trains, then a shinkansen bullet train that took me into central tokyo, changing to a few metro lines and arriving in Shinjuku financial district, the odd location of Irregular Rhythm Asylum, Japan's anarchist/activist infohub. Train Journey from Mountains to Tokyo from Grey Filastine on Vimeo. We set up a mic there amidst the books and music and ECD recorded his part for the track. Perhaps most incredible about ECD is that anyone interesting in japan seems knows who he is, something of KRS-1 and Doctor Octagon rolled together. This is how i first met ECD: As you'd correctly assume, nearly everything in japan is mediated and controlled by the corporate state, drenched in artifice and vapidity. But this kind of total oppression breeds an equally strong counter-culture. Some clever situationist/anarchist types were running a candidate for mayor, this campaign gave them license to use a sound propaganda truck. The law specifies the exact size of the trucks, but not the size of the speakers on the truck, so they cubed it with a sound system, leaving just a tiny hole for me to deejay, and threw a big street occupation next to the Koenji station. While deejaying I had to wear an armband issued by the Tokyo government that said "official sound action technician". It basically turned into a wild fucking street party, people were crowd surfing, diving off the sound truck. I was supposed to play for an hour and it turned into three.� ECD surprised me when he jumped on the mic a few times. Tokyo-Koenji Election Street Occupation from Grey Filastine on Vimeo. �This was one of the days that has stuck with me, when I think about it I can't help but smile. Even in a place as locked down as Tokyo we find a way to make cracks. Wire MC is the definition of hiphop activist. His story is so long and deep I'm not going to try and condense it. Sumu just passed me this excellent�video�of him, it's somewhere to start. I only have this blurry pic.  at the end of the world\'s shortest recording session I was trying to do a session with Wire when I was in and out of Sydney on tour in 2006, when he finally rang me back i was due to be at the airport leaving for europe in 30 minutes. Since he was just down the street I invited him to come at that very moment, in the 15 minutes before he arrived I set up and tested the mic. He showed up, we recorded for about 5 minutes, then doubled a few phrases that worked well, then my airport cab arrived and I had to fly out the door. I've talked so much about sample sources on other tracks that i'll leave the melodic tones a mystery (they are not electronic/synth) and talk about other things. The drum that comes loudly in the lower dynamic sections is called a kanjira, this one is electronic, but i have a real one as well. It looks like a very small tambourine, the head is made from a snake skin. To play it you get it wet, then modulate the tone with your thumb. The world's best kanjira players are a really heavy guy and his son, who both have the habit of playing with their shirts off. But somehow with South Indians this rarely looks macho.