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Instruments of the State

by Tse Tse Fly Middle East

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Carthage 03:00


All artists have contributed their tracks for free and all profits from sales of 'Instruments of the State' go to two human rights organisations: War On Want and Stop The War.

Autumn 2018 saw the launch of a new project from arts and activism collective Tse Tse Fly Middle East. Entitled Instruments of the State, the body of work is an expression of disgust at the parlous state of twenty-first century social politics and a reflection of a world in which the motives of the right-wing are being insinuated into everyday life.
The project centres around an album of the same name featuring sonic experiments from original members of the collective (from back when Tse Tse Fly formed in the UAE), alongside contributions from new collaborators. The set includes tracks from UK-based practitioners Mandhira De Saram, The Untied Knot, Zahra Haji Fath Ali, Freya Edmondes and Dushume, alongside work from Black Line (UAE), Ubu Kung (UK / Philippines), Wirephobia (Kurdish Iraq), Nour Sokhon (Lebanon), Indu Antony (India) and Kumah (Serbia).

The album gathers a set of international insights into issues that dog twenty-first century geo-politics, both implied and overt. The key element of Freya Edmondes’ Topology of an Inner City track is a conversation she recorded with a taxi driver in Beirut conducted via Google translate. The driver communicates a love for his country that’s tempered by political frustration. Freya also records as Elvin Brandhi and is an Oram Award winner.

Zahra Haji Fath Ali’s Momani is based around a sample of her grandmother in Iran singing a song she would use as a lullaby when her dad was young. Zahra’s father left Iran aged eighteen in 1979 and has only seen his mother a handful of times since. Indu Antony’s Today was recorded in Kerala, South India on India’s 2018 Independence Day, during the horrific South Indian floods.

Bandura Bobo Doll is the first track from Tse Tse Fly offshoot project Ubu Kung and features founder Simon Coates and vocalist X continuing a partnership that started with their Visqueen project in the UAE in 2016. The track is in part inspired by the 1960s psychological tests that proved violent behaviour begets violence.

Black Line, Kumah and Nour Sokhon (who partners with Freya on the Beirut-recorded The Reverse of a Child track) were all regular performers and collaborators in the early days of Tse Tse Fly Middle East. Vaunted DJ / producer Andrew Weatherall played both Kumah's and Zahra's tracks on his October radio programme for London-based station NTS.

Founded in the UAE in 2015 and now based in London, Tse Tse Fly Middle East is a non-profit arts platform that uses live events and interventions to highlight human rights and freedom of speech issues.


released October 26, 2018

Mandhira De Saram's track was recorded by Blanca Regina and Pierre Bouvier Patron at Strange Umbrellas on 3 Oct 2015, Apiary Studios


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Tse Tse Fly Middle East London, UK

Founded in the UAE and now based in London, Tse Tse Fly Middle East is a nonprofit arts platform that uses live interventions to highlight human rights and freedom of speech issues. Releases here are our noise/sonic projects and collaborations.

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