Don’t DJ – Authentic Exoticism
As the title may suggest, Authentic Exoticism toys with ideas about cultural appropriation, multi culturalism and hybridisation. Having a heavy concept behind a release sometimes raises the red flag but Florian Meyer has managed to craft some pretty mesmerizing music whilst tackling these tough terms. Without getting too deep, Meyer’s commenting on the blurred line between cultural imperialism and mutual enrichment; at what point does club culture’s desire for the exotic and foreign become exploitation of an ‘other’? Regardless, if you keep the concept in mind or shove it to one side, what follows is an invitation to immerse yourself in some of the world’s most idyllic scenes.
Dusseldorf’s Florian Meyer, aka Don’t DJ, crafted the release for new label SEXES, and it comes in quick succession of Gammellan on Berceuse Heroique. Taken together, their repetitive sequences share a hypnotic ambience; yet, Authentic Exoticism stands apart for it’s dense sonic textures that Meyer has managed to capture. Layers of field-recordings built on top of tropical polyrhythms, sounds of panpipes and Indonesian gamelan, all swelling together to create his fluid soundscapes. At times the collection veers close to what you’d expect to find when searching for a Zen playlist, but safely rescued by Meyer’s constant ripple of danceable rhythms tucked neatly under the surface.
The opening track, “Savannah Siesta”, drowsily unfolds the Amazonian hum of circadas that promptly sinks you deep into the humid, sticky air of the jungle. It turns gradually into an energetic polyrhythmic composition before descending towards the more mystical soundscape of “Savanna Sundown”. Here Meyer’s rolling percussions create a rhythmic intensity that’s entranced by a prevailing calmness, a motif that joyfully runs throughout his work.
The flip side casts you to the tranquil ocean of “Southern Shore”, the delicate use of seabird recordings helping translate the sounds into the picturesque lapping of a coastal tide. We then settle into the closing scene with “Southeast Subterrane”, cleansed of any beat but still trickling with the same dreamy climate.
At the end it’s a journey that has playfully teased listeners’ fetishisation for the exotic and a nudge into think about cultural appropriation in contemporary club music. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful soundtrack to such ideas and an impressive production of rhythmic techniques.
A1. Savanna Siesta
A2. Savanna Sundown
B1. Southern Shore
B2. Southeast Subterrane