Triple Threat Tikitech

It's great sometimes not to have to find anything by yourself, I get new tikitech entries sent to me continuously. DJ Umb, whose reading-posting-commenting workrate is incredibly impressive, sent me some absolute gems for futher inclusion.

Grabbing randomly out of the bag, there's this mixtape, which is both fairly tikitech in itself - mainly European-and-Argentine produced, chanty "tribal" - and boasts the full-on jungle theme in image and title:

[Mixtape artwork from Globalibre]

The idea of "Dschungel-Jazz" is especially charming, as "jungle music" of course was one of the most common racists epithets against Jazz in the first place. When Louis Armstrong first played Sweden in 1933 contemporary reviewers described him as a "clean-shaven hippopotamus" and a "gorilla".

Next up, from the same site, is this party flier:

[Flier for Club LeGrande in Dortmund from Globalibre]

Again this is South America rather than Africa, but the jungle theme is super-clear, and it could almost be from the same clipart series as this Swedish example from last year.

More South American jungle next:

[Mixtape artwork for Efrita from Cooliado]

Which is followed immediately the next post down by this:

[Blog post illustration for El Diario Secreto de MIA mashup on Cooliado]

Now, the sheer mass of bananas could indicate a semiotic critique of colonialism... But even though I don't read Spanish, I'm fairly sure the subsequent text talking about "monkey" and old kitsch-explorer cliché "the interior of the congo" indicates otherwise.


Anonymous said...

hahahaha...You know I feel so guilty sending you all of those cause they're all by really good friends of mine...lol..

I can positively say without any hesitation that none of these people's intentions are racist or colonialist. They're just a bunch of young kids that have adopted the jungle theme cause it's in the "NOW".

I'm sure they would be positively shocked to the core to learn that this imagery could be percieved as colonialist or racist but I'm understanding your point of view, more and more.

In a way, albeit, you have an extremely valid and plausible point of view with your tiki tech analysis, it saddens me.

It saddens me cause it feels as though the innocence is being taken from the use of the imagery and turned into something far more sinister that some people might never have intended.

Saying all of that, you are waking me up to certain things. However, I'm at that bridge where, I'm not sure if I really wanted to be woken cause I was too busy enjoying, enjoying music, regardless of political content or analysis.

Hence why, in the past, I have avoided getting too involved with the political analysis of music cause for me, music is used as a means to escape the politics of the real world for a little while.....you know go to another place, more utopian/spiritual.

So it's a bit like, shit man, if I start getting political about music then how am I going to continue to escape that politic and with what!!!

I hope this is making sense and you understand my dilemma.

Anyway, peace bro'


rachel said...

i submit my blog name? indeed, a winky reference to my fav bedtime story's hero with his 'insatiable curiosity' ie my blog as a place where i ramble about stuff im curious on. also a nod to 'white mans burden' kipling and being raised on some wack bullshit.

its def got that safari/irony vibe.

Anonymous said...

with mr umb on this: very sad, and most often not intentional. more often than not this has more to do with bad taste and lack of ideas than bad politics (in most of the examples highlighted so far, the music's pretty weak, too).

that said, i like the dutty artz people a lot, and their new york tropical posters/fliers/artz tick most of the tiki boxes - i've got lions, tigers, hand grenades, friendly apes, dense vegetation, pretty girls, big skies, repiles, etc, on quick googleing. who is allowed to (or, when is it acceptable to) use this kind of imagery, and for what?


pd. good to see our friend rachel has edited out the pygmy bit (with no traces, ahem). maybe the gap between an attitude that's 'knowing' and the opposite (not knowing?) is bigger than we're giving credit.

ppd. the monkey bit on cooliado: i think the bananas are more liklely a referance to the 'blue money' pseudonym, than a semiotic critique of colonialism, but I'm not sure, because I don't know what that is.

Anonymous said...

pppd. my mistake rachel, it was in teh comments. sorry.

i was trying (too early in the morning) to make the point that references that may seem unacceptable have more to them than we think, and wondering who should be responsible for ensuing misinterpretations. it seemed a nice example, and an excuse for a david st. hubbins reference, but my memory was too cold. i'll hide in a corner, now.


ripley said...

“…we are told to perceive music as a kind of testimonial of authenticity — authenticity of the artist, of their context, etc. When we feel connected to the music, we feel we share in that authenticity. And that is a very difficult thing for most people to unpack. Demystifying audio feels like a betrayal of the music and producers — like an insult to them. Or worse, an insult to ourselves and what we have internalized. But it’s not an insult. It’s about realizing the constructed nature of our relationships to media. And that is, ultimately, a key element of all historical analysis.”"


Birdseed said...

Was that directed at me or DJ Umb? :)

victoria tiene discos said...

you're a complete asshole

un mono azul said...

i'm un mono azul and my case is very far from your interpretation. i did the artwork myself: i took the photograph in a local supermarket, did the photoshop and graphics. basically, my themes are moved by spiritual beliefs related to going back to the roots of nature and magic. as an example, i consider myself closer to the monkeys than modern humans. it's true that "jungle themes" are trendy, but it's also true that its beauty is full of colourful energy and that's why it has always been used. besides, the music behind many of those artworks has just the same lifeful spirit. with all respect, your interpretation is born in racism, nature isnt!