Tag Archives: DIY

Ten Bands Keeping the DIY Scene in Portugal Loud, Edgy, and Alive

Portugese DIY

Illustration by Noopur Choksi

It’s something of an inside joke in Portugal that the country’s culture is basically about three things: fado, football, and Fátima. That was certainly true during the 48 years of António Salazar’s dictatorship, when it was next to impossible for anyone living in Portugal to get their hands on rock music from abroad. National rock wasn’t exactly forbidden, but it was frowned upon; government-sanctioned music was either fado or bubblegum pop about traditional national values, known as nacional cançonetismo.

Continue reading

Scene Report: DIY in Buenos Aires

La Otra Cara de la Nada

La Otra Cara de la Nada

Music in Argentina has come a long way since the 1970s. From 1976 to 1983, the country was controlled by a military dictatorship, a period of United States-backed state terrorism referred to as the Guerra Sucia, or “Dirty War.” An estimated 10,000 to 30,000 people were “disappeared” by the government during this time—abducted and murdered for expressing views deemed too radical or too anti-government. That censorship extended to the arts; the government seized control of the media, attempting to blacklist or intimidate anyone making work they disagreed with.

Continue reading

How Unconventional Listening Room Redefined India’s Experimental Scene


Photos by Prashin Jagger

The “Listening Room”—a series of shows put on all across India by Rana Ghose’s REProduce agency—are characterized by a sense of unpredictability. For one thing, the venues in which they are held are, almost always, not traditional music venues. Instead, they’re makeshift locations that—on the day of the show—provide a temporary home to local musicians and their audience. It could be an abandoned bakery, like the St. Jude Bakery in Bandra West, Mumbai, or it could be a film studio in the basement of a busy market in Delhi.  Continue reading

The Many Tumultuous Waves of Gnod


JUST SAY NO TO THE RIGHT-WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE is as blunt and brutal an album title as the music contained within it. A seething and convulsing clatter best described as “Fugazi, with the thunder of Swans,” JUST SAY KNOW is a product of the Manchester-based collective Gnod, who are celebrating 10 years of melting minds, shattering ear drums, and deconstructing genres.

Over the last decade, and through more releases than many artists muster in an entire career, the group have hurtled, asteroid-like, through the genres of space-rock, psychedelia, doom, techno, electronica, dark ambient, dub, free jazz, drone, and just about every other one, in an unrelenting quest for experimentation and progression.

If the possibility of repetition rears its head, they simply move on. At one point a few years back, the group sold all of their guitars and bought a huge soundsystem in order to tour a fully electronic operation, no doubt providing a stern kick in the guts to some of the die-hard Hawkind fans who’d jumped on board during the band’s heavy psych-rock period. But any techno heads they gained may now find the group’s current period of ferocious guitar-based hammering to be the work of someone they don’t recognize. In a sense, the one predictable thing about Gnod is their unpredictability.

Continue reading

Cuddle Formation‘s New Record is a Tribute to DIY Spaces

Noah Klein by Liz Pelly

Noah Klein by Liz Pelly

Noah Klein keeps a mantra pinned to the top of his Twitter account as both a notice to followers and a reminder to himself: “Be present, redefine family, nurture community, prioritize abolitionism, dismantle white supremacy, destroy intolerable systems.” That same mantra informs his work in his ambient solo project, Cuddle Formation, and the sentiment runs throughout his latest album, Here I’ll Be Forever.

Written as a soliloquy to transformative justice and chosen communities, Here I’ll Be Forever is an assemblage of soundpieces recorded over three years in various DIY spaces across the country—places like Dreamhaus in Allston, Silent Barn in Brooklyn, Rhinoceropolis in Denver, and Pehrspace in Los Angeles. They’re spaces dedicated to creating a safe space for marginalized people, operating well outside the conventional commercial concert industry. In the liner notes, the album is dedicated to “everyone we lost,” which feels like a quiet nod to Oakland’s Ghost Ship fire.

Over the course of his travels, Klein amassed a series of field recordings that he would later use as instrumentation (the sound of a snare on the record came from a sample of a frozen pizza hitting the Silent Barn floor.) Here I’ll Be Forever is a record that would have been impossible without an underground community that shares Klein’s values, and the finished product serves as both a documentation of and a tribute to their existence.

We spoke with Klein about the concepts that inform his work.

Continue reading