Title: the find art of despair
Release Date: 27 June 2013
Genre: Experimental Hip-Hop
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Release: Self Release / BandCamp
nosfi is a Greek hip-hop act with several works released on BandCamp. Most of their work is in Greek, which I don’t understand at all. However, based on the notes are very politically motivated (some of the categories included are: political, anarchist, communist and militant). So, it was something of a surprise to find this work which sets the poetry of Charles Bukowski in hip-hop heavy beats produced by this artist.
But, as nosfi notes on the page, these were works that were done for the love of Bukowski’s poetry. They are interpretations of poems in settings that are complimentary to the poetry, and the life of the writer. They were born of “An obsession with Vincent Price, with heavy nineties hip hop drums and of course, an obsession with bukowski’s writings.” during a dark time which is reflected in the settings.
And, it is the way we frequently we see the writings of the beat poets. They were part of a lost generation, a group that heavily experimented with drugs and alcohol. A group that was experimenting with new, and often darker ways of describing the world around them. Their works often feel to embody disillusionment, and a wandering, drifting life style.
It is of interest that there is a question about using recordings of Bukowski in these works. Personally, I find that the settings that nosfi has put together to go with the readings are the type of transformation that is appropriate. The rhythmic elements of the poetry are highlighted, the meaning of each of the works is enhanced through the sonic soundscapes that are woven around them.
This stands in stark contrast with some other works that I have reviewed, where the transformation is (at best) questionable. This is the kind of work that we need to make certain copyright law(s) will always allow.
Kudos to nosfi for producing this work. It’s almost a revelation to hear the intimate relationship between the poetry and music settings that have been chosen. It’s not just a reflection on the music or the poetry, but on the bonds of relationship between all of the artists involved in the project.
[This review originally appeared on Netlabelism by George De Bruin under a CC BY-NC-SA license. This article is published on The CerebralRift with the permission of the author.]