Founded by Chimurenga in 2008, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) is a periodic, pop-up live radio studio; a performance and exhibition space; a research platform and living archive, as well as an ongoing, internet based radio station. Copyright of all material broadcast and published is held by PASS and the individual artists and authors.
So here i am reading the late great writer Lewis Nkosi’s last published novel Mandela’s Ego.
As some of you know this running blog is basically an ego outlet…in fact, the sub title for these ramblings is Anthony’s Ego.
Now i don’t mean to compare my writings to Brother Nkosi or even as his title would suggest, the Madeba Clan.
I am not nearly a great or noted writer; or world leader.
Yeah that\’s what I\’m tkliang about baby–nice work!
And i certainly, unlike some of my country-mates…proclaiming a 100% Zulu heritage.
Truth is…i have too much American Indigenous, European Caucasian, and, of course, (captive) West African linage to be 100% anything.
And even if i thought i was a great man, i have the good fortune of most times being surrounded by people way smarter than i.
Granted, Self-Deprecation is not real huge concept in my waking life.
And even if i did think i was all that and a piece of potent dark chocolate, i’m always coming across situations that put me firmly back in a place of equality with the rest of common sense humanity.
Sometimes it’s a simply thing like a word. For instance, here i am reading the Nkosi novel as slow as i can, so i can soak up everything i can from the man who wrote for DRUM magazine in it’s heyday, was one of the screen writers for the seminal South African film by American independent film maker Lionel Rogosin: Come Back, Africa…
So i’m reading and taking an early morning walk through, the just now being developed, District Six area of Cape Town on my way to (the) Pan African Space Station’s performance and broadcast facility at 44 Long Street.
…and i come across a word on page 62 of the Umuzi publication of the novel.
The word is peregrinations.
Now though i was born to an Underclass circumstance and raised in the lower income circumstances of the Patterson Project development in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. (props to The Boss – Bruce S., for getting it right in that song on his profound social statement album of a few years back…)
Though i was born into an under served community circumstance i was really good at reading between the lines on all sorts of levels; socially, psychologically, (even) spiritually…the skill to read and enjoy a book was a talent i hid rather well, as to be a book worm was not the most desirable kind of youngster to be in the Ghettos of North America in the 50’s and early 60’s.
My PASS (fraternal) twin, Pam, just called from Durban…worry not she will be back by the Sunday early evening Poetry Jam at the Space; she is swimming with the Sharks in Durban as one of the many poets taking part in the International Poetry Festival tour of 2010.
I have to send her the schedule as it now stands for the next days until we end these live broadcasts with tributes to Busi Mhlongo on Tuesday evening.
Be back in a few…
Just wrote Pam this email:
Hope you are representin’ wit da rhyme(s) etc to those untutored in the art….
You are almost forgiven for duckin out for these few days…
As i said over the phone, i’m not inclined to put new DJ’s on the rig, if Ntone (or Neo) approves them…fine.
But, i’m really taking the stance that new DJ’s can negotiate between themselves during the DJ’s Jam time on Saturday (and possibility Sunday).
I’ve also requested that DJ’s create a very tight 20minute set for the Busi Mhlongo tribute. They would go on between the live stuff…
Of course as the evening continues the sets can get longer; however i think the challenge would be good.
One of the first things we have to do when you get back is to post the pictures Gilbert sent weeks back in proment places through out the site.
That’s it for now, Spouse is bringing spitters (the bane of my audio existance) into the studio.
Hopefully, when they are finished with their bad mic techniques, and DJ Buke comes our way at 1pm things will take a true Space Station turn as we have talked extensively and he says he has a world-wide journey he wants to steer the Ship through.
Also, on Monday, i’m coming in real early to play this audio drama i produced sometime back of the a speech American Marine, General Smedley Butler did concerning war; then i am going to follow it with the Haila Gerima 1999 film Adwa – An African Victory and one of the Imperial Tigers performances.
Be well…Love and Hugs…see you soon…….(your fraternal twin) anthony
Anthony J. Sloan
Audio Drama Denizen
Looks like i’m going to be super interrupted with the spitters in the studio and all.
I gave them my microphone speech; however i don’t think its gonna take…
There are no words to desicrbe how bodacious this is.
These boys love suckin Mic…so 1980’s…
Even doin the circle thing. Don’t they know circles take up too much space on the dance floor, but them these are not dancers; they are profilers…stand arounders…
Actually, this gathering looking like an ancient African male testosterone laden rite.
And the sweat and funk is poppin wildly even though it is only mid-day
Because they continue to swallow the microphone, i can’t really get into what they are trying to communicate…
So I’ll just go back to what i was writing.
Now where was i…
Somehow i got tagged as a reader, and bunch of us was tracked through 5th and 6th grade, when we graduated from P.S.31 (elementary school)and went on to special classes at J.H.S.149.
We were now joined by others of our special circumstance from P.S.18.
Interesting thing about us, who were put into 2 classes, was that we were not the smartest.
We were below very smart; while at the same time above the average intellect.
It was actually a very smart move on whoever thought of this program, as the really smart people didn’t need extra help.
And the really hopeless folks knew what their trajectory was to be.
In the last year of the three years of Junior High School, they then put us with the smart people in two classes.
When we graduated, some of us were put into a special program that took us out of the South Bronx, proper, and put into a program called College Discovery.
The school they sent me to was way up on Fordham Road, across the street from Fordham University, Theodore Roosevelt High School.
The really nice thing about Roosevelt was that it had an indoor swimming pool.
These were great years in my life.
It was the time in the States when we really thought we would change the world, and almost did.
Unfortunately, the evil forces read The Prince before we did and had no compunctions against assassination.
In the time period between 1964 and 1974 so many progressive voices were silenced, it was maddening.
If anyone wants to know why there was so much promiscuity in that time period among “Revolutionaries” i would say it was because the likelihood of one note surviving into old age was not very great.
In actually, the assaults perpetrated on progressives world-wide, was really out-done by the near total wiping out of the Black Middle Class, the next generation of leaders, by Crack and related course altering substances and situations…This along with the advent of the AIDS epidemic has placed the world on/in its’ crisis.
A crisis really felt in concentrated communities here in Cape Town and other communities around the globe.
As i sit here behind the transmission desk, witnessing what these young men from various townships are spitting about, i can only hope some of them make it through to become persons better than who they are attempting to imitate; that they find their own voices and ways of finding the joys of an intended world.
If ionframtion were soccer, this would be a goooooal!
So the Spitters have had a mini summit on the balcony here at 44 Long Street. Meeting about various things Hip-Hop…Seems there are plans afoot to elevate the genre…
(Okay, that’s my interpretation…they were speaking in isXhosa, to which i’m illerate; i can only hope they were talking about advancement…they must have because they were at it for a long time…)
I pulled the power directly to the transmission desk from the wheels of steel for a few cuts before DJ Buke finally showed up.
Seems he was a bit ill this morning.
But he made it in…Yeah!!!
I’m glad he did ’cause he is currently my favorite DJ of all who have passed through PASS.
He reminds me both in physic as well as House musical taste of the great New York (Club Shelter) DJ, Timmy Regisford.
His Stated name is Mbuso Zulu, But since there is a few DJ’s named Mbuso…
Inclucing Mbuso T who was here and played the festival last week.
It was so embarrassing to be hanging out with his crew for the better part of the week and not realize until he played at Langa that he was the same cat that is on a Soul Candy CD with a cut featuring a Black preacher that i particularly liked and was a big hit in the New York house circles i travel in when in New York.
That’s what i get for not reading the PASS booklet carefully…i felt like such an idiot.
I have some kind of minor status in House circles in New York because in the early 90’s me and my main House dance partner, Darcine, did an audio documentary on the Shelter when it was on Hubert Street in the TriBeCa section of Manhattan.
We got interview in the middle of the Dance floor, talked to folks who were direct descendants from The Gallery and The Loft to the Paradise Garage where Timmy was mentored by the legendary Larry Levan.
Larry was spoken of when i played the bonus features for the film Maestro in the Morning Movie time.
Anyway, i actually got Timmy to talk extensively, on the Microphone…
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a real shocker for folks.
One of the things he said was that he wanted to created a club so that the elements could be simulated…Like rain with thunder and lightning happening on the dance floor.
But back to DJ Buke…i’ve hooked him up with Kabelo, who is a student of dance.
I want them to do a piece for our end of Live Broadcast tribute to Busi Mhlongo.
I’ve asked them to work on something where Kabelo will do an interpretive dance linked to an aspect of Busi’s existence.
Right now Kabelo is blogging the playlist Mbuso is regaling us with…they seem to be getting along well, so hopefully Tuesday evening will reveal an important collaboration born of the Pan African Space Station.
Hey, they may even go on to expand the boundaries of entertainment here in Cape Town.
My Man…you listening to DJ Buke doin what he do…
You hear this Boy working?
Taskin’ like no one has tasked on the turntables before?
If i owned a club…i would go into partnership with this Cat…and he could do whatever he wanted to…
I’ve hook him up with a great sound guy…a studio builder like my friend Ryan and like Larry and Timmy he would set new standards for the genre.
Ah-h, Man…listen to this work!
I can’t even go out and get something to eat…gotta stay til he finished for the day.
Oh yeah, Lethal Dance Hall is here in da Space Station.
We be havin big fun
we goin past 1…
We even got a practice stage so the ladies can try out the moves…
Gotta say the SA people need much practice…but i have the dancers faith; they will get there, which is right here.
Well we had to stop the videos as they were just too much for SA sensibilities…shame,
and i was having such a splendid time on the dance floor.
Damn, i’m working up and appetite, and the food is a long way off as tomorrow is the meal day.
Ugh; What time is it?
Um-m-m, late start after a dancehall night.
When Jennifer was leaving, at a time i estimated as early, i said to her i thought her name was Jennifer, not Cinderella.
I thought it was a pretty witty, though unoriginal, line to someone leaving at midnight.
She said something about a ride.
And of course as someone who is recently carless, i could relate; especially at night. Cape Town has a pretty good transport system, considering, in the day. At night it is best to have your own individual transport. If you can afford it.
So on her way out, she says my humping the dance floor made her night.
I was not “humping” the dance floor
It was not a dance floor, per se; It was a Dancehall dance floor…
Anything is allowed, as long as you are authentic and nasty and showing off…
So Jennifer leaves and there is one less woman to impress.
We had been playing Dancehall clips, projecting them on our screen.
A screen, a couple of hours previous, showed us images of the Blue Notes, a noted South African (“Jazz”)Band…
This screen was now imaging some brutal moves perpertrated on the woman dance partners… From butt spanking to body slamming; it was brutal.
We said this was a Lethal Dance Hall party, so the brutality had to be shut down.
Only goes to show what people will do for attention.
The Kenyan connect is not here yet; i’m going to lay back down and get a snooze; hen hopefully i will wake up to a breakfast meal.
Tasking on the Space Station works up the appetite.
Just realized i have the Studio Kabako “More More More…Future” playing…
Hope they don’t…
A section of the Khoisan Kollective is on stage:
All indigenous instruments made and played by:
It’s definitely what PASS is hovering over/in…
The Poetry was great