Cultural Institution Blesok • Established 1998
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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 27 | volume V | July-August, 2002



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 27July-August, 2002
Sound Reviews

Interview with David Byrne

"Working by Instinct"

p. 1
Nenad Georgievski

David Byrne is a unique figure in the history of modern music. Together with Talking Heads he is responsible for one of the most interesting albums ever recorded by mixing such diverse styles as rock, disco, funk, afro-beat, punk. His solo career follows the same experimental trajectory that Talking Heads used to thread while Luaka Bop (his label) closely follows his interest in African music and its mutations and hybrids. At the moment, the single Lazy (with X-Press 2) is topping the charts but most important of all is that on June12th David Byrne will perform in Skopje as part of the Lazy Eyeball Tour 2002.

NG: In 1988 you founded Luaka Bop, an independent record label, that promotes musicians from a region  called Afropea. Could you tell me what Luaka Bop means as well as what Afropea is?
: Afropea is of course a virtual continent. It's physical location is Europe, but it's ethos and attitudes are Europe overlaid with African sensibilities. Not all of Europe is part of this continent, and some have been members longer than others – but all reap the benefits and are effected by the invisible continent.
     The overlay of Jamaican over British culture is obvious, the combination of French and Belgium cultures with Congo, West African and Arabic cultures is pretty obvious too… Spain and North Africa have exchanged cultures for centuries… and as these hybrids proliferate their influence ripples out to the surrounding countries… sometimes leaping oceans and seas.

NG: To those who never heard of Luaka Bop and its releases, or who don't know the musicians from the regions that you are promoting or pointing at, what would you recommend as introductory listening?
: We release a samplers of our stuff from time to time– one of the recent ones was called Zero Accidents On The Job, a double CD set for the price of one– it should be available on-line. Other than that the website has downloadable files and streaming audio of many of the records. At present Susana Baca, the Peruvian singer and Los De Abajo, a hybrid ban from Mexico are out on tour… in Europe and North America

NG: What were some of your early goals as to what Luaka Bop should be and what it should not be?
: I had no goals at first– initially I was simply thrilled at the opportunity to put out compilations of my favorite

"Blesok" editions 01-93 are also available at CEEOL web site.

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