Le Guess Who? presents 'The Big Playback', a conversational, in-depth podcast about all things music. Episode 3 is a four-part series entitled For the Record, exploring the role of the archivist from all angles, released in weekly installments.
In this series, host Margaret Munchheimer talks to an independent archival collective in Indonesia; a sound and performance scholar decolonizing sound archives; a journalist turned label founder offering alternative histories of the global South; and a producer/dj using archival material as a springboard for musical collaborations in the here and now.
While it may seem like a coincidence, we must remember that ‘records’ are in fact, just that: records- documents… testimonials. They’re meant to capture a moment, to tell a story. Which if you think about it, makes every record collector an archivist of sorts. The question is just how much the collector shapes the work in how they present it-the story of course is in the hands of the storyteller.
Part 4: Khalab
Italian DJ and producer Khalab represents one take on the question of working with archival material from the perspective of the musician. In consistent conversation with archival material for years, his 2018 release 'Black Noise 2084', was the result of 2 years of research into the sound archives of the Royal Library of Belgium. Originally approached for a simple remix project using their historical recordings, Khalab declined, opting instead to use the archive as the departure point for a reflection on the afrocentric future of music, over a series of collaborations with contemporary musicians of color.
His subsequent release with M’berra Ensemble, 2021’s 'We Are M’berra', is a joint collaboration with musicians living in a refugee camp on the border between Mali and Mauritania.
Host of 'The Big Playback' is Margaret Munchheimer, an American visual artist and writer living in the Netherlands, and veteran Le Guess Who? supporter since 2012.
Production: Margaret Munchheimer & Le Guess Who?
Audio Post- Production: Francisco Marujo
Artwork: Marishka Soekarna
Beat Tape - DJ Khalab