Emissions Interview with Filastine
To describe Filastine’s sound, Pitchfork describe it as “awesome and delicate… hybrids so fluent they defy classification.” The dynamic duo consists of Grey Filastine and Nova, who is a Javanese indie rapper. Filastine performs up to a hundred concerts per year and produces award-winning videos as well. Make sure to watch their unique performance at Emissions next week. Also, check out their Youtube because they have cool videos like their “Abandon” series. https://www.youtube.com/user/filastine
You have performed at countless concerts throughout the years, what has been your favorite performances?
Memory is a fickle thing, so I’ll answer my favorite recent performance. In Calais, France, which is the continental side of the English channel, there is an unofficial refugee camp called The Jungle. The residents of The Jungle have come from all over the world, surviving war, famine, human trafficking, racism, drowning to try and tackle this last hurdle to get to the UK. Last December we did a gig there, inside a plastic-covered geodesic dome in the middle of a few acres of mud and soggy pop-up tents. I think it’s the only full music performance (with sound system, etc) that ever happened there, and was an absolutely unforgettable moment. The Jungle camp has since been raided, drenched in tear gas, and bulldozed by the French police, but I think some parts of the community still survive.
What have you guys been up to in Indonesia?
We spent a week on a wooden pirate ship, producing music onboard, and stopping to perform in remote fishermen villages along the coast of Sulawesi. We also did gigs at a library in Makassar, a country-western bar in Borneo, and at a venue funded by the US government located inside Jakarta’s poshest shopping mall. We also organized and headlined a block party in a kampung (traditional low-income neighborhood) in Malang to celebrate that neighborhood’s award-winning environmental practices. And we’ve been screened our new video The Miner in a few venues and film festivals. And we shot a new videoclip. Indonesia tours are always mad busy.
What message are you trying to send with your music?
Music barely better than smoke signals for sending a message, sound is much better as creating a feeling or mood. We want to convey a mood that evokes the frictions of globlization, and inspire an emotional response to resist the paradigm that aims to convert all of nature (and that includes us) into commodities.
What can people expect differently from a live performance by you guys?
Performance is really our first priority, this is kind of strange for an electronic music project, and explains why I release music as such a glacial pace. Creating a dynamic live multimedia show takes tons of effort, and we tour it nearly full time, with not much leftover for tinkering in the music studio. You can expect Nova to singing and rapping in a trio of languages, while I play both acoustic and electronic drums, accompanied by precision-synced cinematic visuals, and there is a shopping cart cameo, better seen than described.
Any new music on that way for 2016?
Yes, this is a big year for us. We’ve just launched Abandon, a series of four video singles on the theme of emancipation from shitty jobs. We make the music and videos in tandem, as coherent audiovisual works. Episode #2 will drop this May to sync with our US tour dates. It’s an experiment in format, keeping one foot inside the frame of the music biz while exploring other mediums like film, dance, multimedia. The tracks of Abandon will get bundled with other new tracks for an album release towards the end of the year.