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RM

Rekha Malhotra AKA DJ Rekha

Rekha Malhotra AKA DJ Rekha is a DJ, producer and founder of Basement Bhangra™ and Bollywood Disco club nights. She has designed sound for "Bridge and Tunnel" on Broadway and NPR, and curated shows for Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn and 92Y Tribeca. She is an adjunct lecturer at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music where she teaches about contemporary South Asian music and DJ culture.

 

Abstract:

"Tropical Music, Appropriation, and Music "Discovery" in the Global Metropolis"

The explosion of international sounds in the pop sphere—associated with Pitbull, Black Eyed Peas, Shakira and M.I.A, among others--has been paralleled and driven by a mirror-underground usually simply called global bass, ghetto bass or tropical bass for lack of a better umbrella. Ghetto bass in particular implies the convergence of urban centers around the world—New York, Johannesburg, Rio, Bombay, Kingston, Luanda and others—into a single urban space--a ghetto archipelago--connected by youtube, DJ blogs, filesharing and software sequencers.

We propose a roundtable to explore the politics of this convergence, in particular tracing: 1) the connections of specific, localizable urban styles; rap, Bollywood, kwaito, Baltimore club, dancehall, baile funk, bhangra, cumbia villera, etc.—where they merge into this new melting pot/marketplace 2) the power dynamics of cultural appropriation, tastemaking and music discovery within this digital space--and how technology has altered (or reproduced) the dynamics of previous iterations (world music, “race” music, ethnomusicology, etc.) 3) the model of “post-raciality” as it collides uncomfortably with the realities of music production.

We believe the best way to engage these issues is not through the presentation of papers but in a dialogue between critical voices and the creative producers behind the actual events and recordings under discussion. Drawing on NYC’s status as a global metropolis par excellence (and home to flagship nights like Basement Bhangra, Que Bajo, NY Tropical, Made in Africa, Ghe20 Gothik, etc.) members of the roundtable will include (but not necessarily be limited to): Edwin STATS Houghton, Rekha Malhotra, Wayne Marshall and Venus X Iceberg.