Habibi Funk, Hamid El Shaeri, and The SLAM! Years

Of all the numerous treasures unearthed by Habibi Funk, a German imprint that’s been specializing in reissues of 1960’s-1980’s Middle Eastern and North African contemporary music since 2012, Libyan musician Hamid El Shaeri’s glimmering “Ayonha” still stands out.  On the label’s defining 2017 compilation, An Eclectic Selection of Music From the Arab World (Habibi Funk… Continue reading Habibi Funk, Hamid El Shaeri, and The SLAM! Years

Michael Gaspari’s Senior Recital Celebrates Neurodivergence

Michael Gaspari wears their heart on their sleeve. It’s something I noticed as soon as the fourth-year double-degree student let me into Wilder Main, where they’ll be performing their new album On The Bridge for their senior TIMARA recital on Saturday, May 21, at 8 PM. Even amidst the drum kits, percussion machines, amps, pedals,… Continue reading Michael Gaspari’s Senior Recital Celebrates Neurodivergence

DJ Kopano Talks Musical Curation and Centering Blackness

If you’ve been to a show or a house party at Oberlin recently, you’ve probably heard of Kopano. The multidisciplinary artist is a dual-degree third-year at Oberlin College and Conservatory, but they’ve also been performing prolifically for several years in Chicago’s South Side DIY scene, having opened for abolitionist Angela Davis and previously collaborated with… Continue reading DJ Kopano Talks Musical Curation and Centering Blackness

The Bleary Radicalism of Billy Woods’ Aethiopes

From the very first moments of Aethiopes, it feels like the walls are closing in. Outside, there is a gated fortress, with galvanized steel security fences and cameras adorning the towering brick structure. Inside, his mother is breaking plates as his parents argue. He thinks his neighbor might be Mengistu Haile Mariam, whose regime in… Continue reading The Bleary Radicalism of Billy Woods’ Aethiopes

Kassa Overall Sees Jazz’s Future at the ‘Sco

Even before Kassa Overall and his all-star backing band stepped onto the stage at the Dionysus Disco, the atmosphere in the basement of Wilder Hall on April 12 was — much like the humid weather outside — warm and crackling with electricity.  The prior hour had seen Oberlin’s own DJ Kopano on the decks, delivering… Continue reading Kassa Overall Sees Jazz’s Future at the ‘Sco