Whatup LIFESTYLE Fam!
A few weeks ago I went on my first LIFESTYLE-organized tour of looping/DJ sets. I started out with three performances in two days.Two sessions were to be at bars (Republik Club in Madrid and La Iguana in Granada) and one at a hostel also in Granada (Casa Bombo) overlooking the historic Alhambra. However, I ended up finding an opportunity to spit lyrics from Shake This Maze at a weekly jam session at the Boogaclub in Granada at the end of the weekend. Below is a photo/written recap of the First LIFESTYLE Tour.
We’ll start with the tour poster, designed by none other than LIFESTYLE co-facilitator Vicken Donikian.
V conceptualized and completed the piece during a weekly marathon Skype session as we discussed tour goals and possibilities. Part of what makes a LIFESTYLE tour is the important idea of spreading the Collective in order to learn from and collaborate with those who practice Reflection and Response in different contexts. Below are the fliers I brought along for the ride to present to creators (Also by Vicken):
First up for the tour was a session in the cavernous basement at Republik Club in Madrid. I made the connect at Republik because the same family that owns the bar also has a locutorio three buildings away. Before I got internet in my apartment in Madrid I would visit the locutorio to both work on projects and try spit game at the super cute girl that worked the register.
After packing up for my 8 AM bus ticket the next day, I headed out to Republik for the first session. I listen to the end of a blues jam in the cave and with the homies Chema and Richard, then set up my laptop and APC 40 at 12:30, ready to rock.
A lot of my Madrid people came out- word to those who made the cave rock for a solid three hours. After grabbing some late night pizza I went home to sleep for a supposed 2 hours.
5 hours later I had slept through my alarm and missed my bus while managing to leave both my camera and an audio cable that goes from my external soundcard (Traktor Audio 2) to RCA inputs. I booked a later bus ticket and hailed a cab going straight to an audio store to pick up a replacement cable. I had to hop out of the cab and leave the driver with everything- laptop, APC, clothes, while I ducked in to pick up the piece. After purchasing a new 8 meter cable, I headed outside to a street with no cabs. For 5 minutes the world stopped and had forgotten about me. I started considering how many English classes I would have to teach to replace my stuff.
Then, suddenly I heard the cab driver whistling to me on foot. He started to run to the cab parked a few meters away, I followed and we jumped in. As we neared the station told me that he would never rob the tools someone uses to work with- a good omen after a stressful beginning to the tour.
The show at Casa Bombo was supposed to start at 6. However, as I knocked on the door at 7:30, one of the managers greeted me warmly and showed me the room I was to stay in for the night in exchange for the session, where I showered up and prepared the show. The patio of the hostel had this view of the Alhambra:
I ate some bomb homemade Italian food (most of the managers were Italian), then hit a session in their sala (you can see Reflection and Response Vol. 1: the ‘zine next to the fliers):
After looping for about an hour and a half I headed out to a bar called La Iguana for the third session of the tour. Rubén, the bar’s owner, met me outside and I quickly set up and started in with Funk Around, which has become my opening track for sessions. Rubén kept the tapas coming, and again I set up the #LRR Fliers near the setup.
Rubén is one of the most legit bar owners I’ve met and I was stoked when we made plans to kick it the next day. After sleeping in at Casa Bombo, I headed out to check into my second hostel and met up with Rubén, his awesome girlfriend Pilar, and some other homies to grab some tapas. They let me know that there was a jam session with an opportunity to perform that night at the Boogaclub, a bigger venue in the city. We agreed to meet up later on.
As I walked back to the hostel from tapas with the crew I snapped a few pictures with my phone.
I feel the idea that these images could come from wherever. The Reflection and Response detailed in the scenes bring up this anti-territorial, global nature of R&R. Skaters want to declare their innocence anywhere, and blues is advertised in places far from Route 66.
The biggest surprise of the tour almost never happened. I met Ruben and Pilar at Booga around 11 P.M. After listening to a jazz band kill it for an hour, the homies had had enough and had to go home to get some sleep. I was ready to leave too until I saw a guitar player standing outside the club who assured me that we would be able to perform. I headed back down to the stage this time unaccompanied. I spotted another guitar player tuning up and asked him what type of stuff he was going to play. He introduced himself as Mario, and said he does funky Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque grooves. I realized with the abundance of guitar players, I would have to bring something unique to the stage, so I let him know I was interested in rapping a few verses over the instrumental groove he was about to set up. He sounded excited and when we hit the stage, it felt right to spit “Wake Up,” as part of a once-in a lifetime remix.
This moment encapsulated what the LIFESTYLE on tour is all about- Promoting Collaboration and Community Through Practicing Reflection and Response. Mario and I had just met, but when we were done with our set we realized the common thread of R&R breeds Collective- wherever that collective happens to be. Be on the lookout for Mario and Ruben’s Features coming through soon!
-Reflection and Response.