A story on NPR about MideastTunes.com leads me to “I Shot You Babe,” credited in the above video to “Sunni & Shia” (that’s a joke, get it?)
It’s not actually by Sunni & Shia. An electroclash nightmare remix of the Sonny & Cher song mixed up with sounds of rifles cocking and firing, machine gun blasts, explosions and bombs falling, “I Shot You Babe” is really by the mysterious Mosul-based DJ Foundation, an Iraqi artist who stays anonymous due to the controversial nature of his or her work. (Esra’a al-Shafei, 24, founder of Mideast Tunes, refers to the DJ as “he” in the NPR story). There’s a great writeup of him on the Mideast Tunes site:
With just a battered laptop and a razor-sharp outlook as weapons, Foundation conjures the ultimate 21st-century nightmare party, irresistibly fusing western and Arabic pop beats, over which he goes for the cultural jugular: throwing in audio clips of war, religion, politics, pornography and consumerism, with (apparently) scant regard for whoever might be offended.
Over two single releases, equally welcomed in print and on the dance floor, he’s evaded being pinned down to any position re politics or faith, but as evidenced by comments on his MySpace, he’s already succeeded in dividing his audience, and is ready to rule.
DJ F himself is unforthcoming on the intentions behind his work. If it’s about breaking taboos or ’saying the unsayable’, he’d rather let the music speak. He just says: “it’s music and I’m making a picture of now…and when you hear my tunes you can dance or cry and laugh. I want to cause no harm. I think music is not evil. I think war is evil. I want peace for the future. I am a musician not a fighter.”
The above-mentioned MySpace Page has more of DJ Foundation’s work, and links to the “double-vinyl download” “Paradise,” which I assume is the first album referenced at the end of the MideastTunes.com bio of him.
Mosul is described as Iraq’s “second city” in cultural terms. In 2004, it was also the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the U.S. Invasion.
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Well done. Looking forward to more interesting stuff from DJ foundation.