Jace Clayton's Enkutatash: Homeland Security Threat Levels As Ethiopian Song

Jace Clayton's 'Enkutatash' performance in DC interprets homeland security threat levels as Ethiopian song for the Ethiopian New Year.

A deeply inquisitive and ingenious artistic force, Jace Clayton a.k.a. the Brooklyn-based DJ /rupture is at it again with his latest sound experiment. Enkutatash, which takes its name from the Ethiopian New Year may be Clayton’s most socially important and musically thrilling project to date. Taking place this September 11th (the day of Enkutatash) as part of the 5x5 Festival in DC, Enkutatash turns the color-coded threat alarms of America’s Homeland Security Advisory System into a score based on the Ethiopian five-note scale, effectively transforming the frightening into the beautiful. To be sung in unison by DC a capella choirs joined by the audience, the piece spans the nine years (2002-2011) of the national alarms in just 45 minutes (every note is a threat level and every day is a second). Clayton’s own rendition of an East African harvest song featuring the masinqo (a type of lute) will also be performed. The first chill of fall is soon coming, but Clayton is taking the jubilee outdoors, setting up shop in a vast, wood-decked space (which you can peep above). More than a live performance, Enkutatash will also bounce the “global booty beats” of Anthology of Booty, DC’s all-female DJ group, and will serve up vegetarian Ethiopian dishes in honor of the holiday. Like Clayton’s past endeavors, Enkutatash seeks to both engage and inspire, confronting fears while pushing through them.

>>>More details on Jace Clayton's Enkutatash can be found here

To make the wait easier, Clayton has dropped a new mix under his DJ /rupture name. Opening with some fuzzed-out, sharp whips and featuring everything from a Kendrick Lamar sample to the brooding horns of Colin Stetson, “Loops in the 24-hr News Cycle” is Flying Lotus eeriness, J Dilla inventiveness, and pure DJ/Rupture joy. Listen on below, and download the mix here.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Watch Focalistic & Vigro Deep’s New Music Video For ‘Ke Star’

The 'Lockdown Level 1 anthem' has come to life through fire visuals.