As a maid scrubs a wall of lurid pink and orange tiles in a public toilet, her body begins to rebel against the claustrophobic space. When faced with the empty task of mopping an empty pool, she snaps, throwing aside her tools and uniform to dance with abandon.
This is the tale of The Cleaner, the second installment in a four-video series, Abandon, by the electronic-meets-multimedia duo, Filastine. With one partner from Indonesia, the other from the American underground, the group’s sound and vision captures the musique concrete of global capitalism, with its mix of wretched ache and real hope. In Abandon, the duo tells four tales from four perspectives (an Indonesian miner, a Portuguese maid, American office workers, and a Barcelona’s migrant scrap metal salvagers).
“As with the first video in the series, The Miner, there are two parts, two escapes in The Cleaner,” explains Grey Filastine. “The first escape is an ephemeral daydream. She comes back to the practicality of resuming her work, then reaches her epiphany, to commit, and transform daydream into reality. Yet unlike the Miner, who flees the landscape of extraction to find solace in nature, The Cleaner finds peace within herself. Her’s is a meditative, interiorized abandon.”
The music underlines this tension, hinting at the likes of Major Lazer or Flying Lotus, but with more farflung inputs. The urgent rhythms of trap & Baltimore club collide with melodies made from shouts, noises, and fragments of voice crafted of Filastine’s street recordings from South Africa to South Asia.
Filastine shot the video on one blazing hot Lisbon day, tapping the striking Portuguese-Angolan dancer Piny Orchidaceae to embody the main character. “This is the most elemental production of the Abandon series, the story that could be told without embellishments or production tricks ,” notes Grey. “I think it’s compelling for its raw urgency”
The duo will be touring the US in May and June 2016.
"Filastine creates tracks so geographically and chronologically diverse that they sound less like "world" music and more like music from another world." -Pitchfork
"Powerfully political and distinctly global" - NPR Music
"Dystopian bass music for crumbling urban futures. the soundtrack to a rising heat humidity index." - Spin Magazine
"The prototype of globalized urban sound" -Prefix Mag
Abandon’s tracks will be available on Filastine’s next album, out November 9, 2016.
Filastine is the duo of composer/director Grey Filastine and vocalist/designer Nova Ruth. Before starting Filastine in 2006, Grey was part of the insurrectionary marching band Infernal Noise Brigade. He spent much of his life recording soundscapes and studying rhythm across the world. One of those travels brought him to Indonesia in 2010, where he met Nova Ruth rhyming in the hip-hop group Twin Sista. Since then Nova has added her rich musical roots to Filastine’s sound; she grew up singing pentecostal spirituals, koranic recitations in the mosque, and playing Javanese gamelan. They are now based in Barcelona.
Filastine’s compositions fuse contemporary electronic beats with concrete sounds, voices, percussion, and acoustic strings. This is future bass music from a future where the globe has been flipped, the sonic territories remixed, where syncopated mid-eastern rhythms and asian melodies shape a new urban sound. Filastine have released a trilogy of full-length albums, a half dozen vinyls on an equal number of record labels, and a grip of heady conceptual mixtapes
Beyond music, Filastine uses video, design, and now dance, as forms of universal language to communicate their vision. Last year Filastine debuted 4RRAY, a live AV system that uses bespoke software to control multi-screen projections in a powerful cinematic performance. They have toured the five continents and played nearly five hundred gigs, ranging from music festivals: Sonar (ES), Decibel (US), Les Vieilles Charrues (FR), to art spaces: V&A Museum (UK), Foreign Affairs (DE), Erarta Museum (RU) to ephemeral places: Calais Jungle migrant camp (FR), Downtown Cairo Arts (EG), Hidden Agenda (HK).