Barrio Sur बड़ा शोक (heart break)

[Self-Released; 2018]

Styles: timestretching, Atlantic rhythm and blues, “watch me for the changes, and try to keep up”
Others: The Penguins, William S. Burroughs, Max Lesser, Dirty Beaches

If there’s no music, they can’t dance

All we ever want is love.

And then we fade away.

Oblivion, the final punctuation of lost time, is like heartbreak: a thing to see but exist in spite of. We kiss and spin our noises in our timeless lamé gymnasiums, keeping track of how we fit in it all. We wave, grateful for a hand of help; we wave, gracious to have kept our self. That’s something like health between histories, a future pinned on a past-looking present. बड़ा शोक (heart break) is remembering time’s tick.

Hands anchor us in space and hands section seconds of our clocks. Of all the sounds, the clap of hope is yesterday’s analog love prayed out against our future. A singer sings, “My darling dear, love you for all time,” and: why not?

बड़ा शोक (heart break) leans in sweetened ether, grounds itself in a ventricle space (like rhythm & blues, like drums and bass.) Loving, like listening, is unsteady work. A drone’s moo, the digital natural, a maybe-computered glow of some hums in wave of the displaced sound: the impeccable percussive, the rain drop’s warble, the floppy disk bird cheep. All sounds are unplaceable: they are not married to their sources, a “not quite abstraction and note quite representation” (Will Neibergall on $uccessor, 2016). Everything splays out against that unwavering drone, that pipe organ’s pine. And then, the drop

If they can’t dance, they can’t kiss

not of bass or break, but of time and space. There’s still squeals and slips on “Trade&me,” but those otherworldly noises stick to handclaps and Ventured guitar hook loop. After the stretched impressionism of the title-track first cut, “Trade&me” is the first flirt with the 1950s rock & roll semblanceability that बड़ा शोक (heart break) kicks with, a cut-and-paste cutup, an unearthly angel.

You could lose yourself in the loving, in the time you live your life in. “Lee Bannon keeps metamorphosing and right now he could be miles away from what’s on this album” (Hydroyoga on Patterns of Excel, 2015). Movement through time, a song’s start and a mixed tape’s unending, is an vital slice of the rap(/b)id evolution of Lee Bannon, of Fred Warmsley III, of Dedekind Cut, of Barrio Sur. There’s time for all those moving multiple selves, for the folding in of future-sounds into the sounds of our past. बड़ा शोक (heart break) mixes sounds of the past (human voice, analog instrument, “rock & roll music”) with future-forward philosophies (plunderphonics, jungle, “electronic music”) with abandon and glee, the back to and the future.

बड़ा शोक (heart break) isn’t a plunderphonics, isn’t jungle, but its hands are right up against those cousin terms, the selves its maker once lived in. “If Jungle celebrated anything, it was the lure of the dark. Jungle liberated the suppressed libido in the dystopian impulse, releasing and amplifying the jouissance that comes from anticipating the annihilation of all current certainties” (Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life: Goldie, Japan, Tricky). बड़ा शोक (heart break) is the unknown crevices. Barrio Sur sounds in the dark black places, the paths home washed clean of smells; Barrio Sur is the sound of homeless dogs inside a broken clock a little content to be wild again.

If they can’t kiss, they can’t fall in love

“This is an oldie,” says the man from the future. The people from his (partial and partially imagined) past scrunch. He lets seven seconds of sweats leak out of sopping pores. Where does that leave him? Where does then lead him now? “Well, it’s an oldie where I come from.”

Despite existing almost impossibly (in)between the things that can’t have to happen and the ones that don’t have to not, we laugh at and with and by our selves. We don’t mind being wayless. Or maybe there’s a future where we don’t mind it as much. Barrio Sur, all ears tuned to the sound of losing way, hears that uncertain future in the release (a losing of loss) in mixtape, that forever unending format. “Sslleeppeerr (catfish spiral),” that last spit track of washing electric and brief blues acoustic slips so amply back into the drone of the title track that all of बड़ा शोक (heart break) keeps itself breathing. Losing way celebrates getting past the limits of (at least) a time-wasting boring and (at most) a fascistic finite. In the bourbon jockey swindle of “Civilization with a built” or the looping fuzzy forevers flirted with on “Serrated ,Gang Affiliated Baby” is the loving and the fading, the heart and the break.

Then(/as always) there’s “Move (unfinished),” the drums and bass combo that drives and builds up and forward. But instead of ending in any place like catharsis or resolution (always, बड़ा शोक (heart break) is the irresolute), the song, unfinished, drops off into nothing and reenters in the lost highway saxophone, the “Crepuscular IV.” If there’s a center to a mixtape’s unfound sounds, an answer to why we lose lives, maybe it’s in these folds of noise, these looming synths and sojourned saxophone. This song is very good. This mix is very good.

“Again, it’s just the music. Feeling like transposed time is as tangible as a dream you’ve mixed up with an actual memory” (C Monster on American Zen, 2016).

And I’m history

All we ever want is love. “Racism is here, the past doesn’t go away, and everything carries a heritage, especially rage. This mix is very good” (Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli on BHM/N3D, 2016). This mix bridges moments and softens losses. This mix makes me want to drive real fast but not away from anything.

We fade away. Rest in peace, Chyna Gibson.

And all we ever want is love. बड़ा शोक (heart break) is the heart in time, what breaks out of it, for fools, for loss, for love, for all times.


Some releases are so incredible we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and explore the constructed boundaries between ‘music’ and ‘noise,’ others complement, continue, or rupture traditions that provide new forms and ways of listening. Not all of our favorites will be listed here, but we think each EUREKA! album is worthy of careful consideration. This section is a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux.

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