K. DIONNE REVIEWS “SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA” AND “EVERYONE KNOWS WEREWOLVES KILL”

I just love it all in general. Look for his review in November’s Performer Magazine. This album plays like a cross between an avant-garde Animal Collective experimentation with soundscapes, with the pounding dark beats of a Portishead album circa Third. Then you can throw in a reference to the weirdness of Bjork in there too that he’s lifting from, in terms of his vocals being so non-conforming to any major genre right now. This album is dope and deep. It’s one of the most raw and emotionally driven albums I have ever heard. Ever. This is what Nhat excels at. He will reel you in, and make you hurt from the angst and pain heard on this album. Be forewarned however. If you’re expecting any typical themes or sounds usually found in a hip hop album, then Nhat just isn’t for you. At all. If you’re in the mood for something completely new and different, something that will make you stop and think “what the fuck was that?” then Nhat will put you on the right track for sure.

Standout tracks:
“I Don’t Have Those Dreams Anymore”
“All I Hear Is Silence”
“Dancing With A Girl Named Satan”

“Everyone Knows Werewolves Kill”
Love this. While digging to find other works by Michael Nhat, I came across the song ‘Everyone Knows Werewolves Kill.’ I like this song because it has an 8-bit videogame sounding track with lots of space. It’s pretty minimal and melodic, which seems to be a theme for Nhat. At the beginning you hear this line “I met a lot of blacks that are open racist” and of course, me being the person that I am, had to sit and ponder on it for a while.
Maybe this is a reference to his experience in the hip hop community, because there is a fair amount of homophobia, sexism, masochism, to go along with the racism he’s probably experienced. Understandable, but are black people not supposed to be openly racist? Besides the fact that racism is just wrong across the board, is it just even more surprising when you come across a black racist? Why?

People just hold blacks to a higher standard because of our history. But then again, there are plenty of racist Asians, Jews(even though they’re still white, people consider them another race?) and Latinos. I know I, for one, kind of have a habit of assuming that anyone I come into contact with for the first time, will have a racist image of who I am in their head. Because we live in a racist country where we’ve all been trained to believe that anything other than the WASP is bad, and every single minority group has enacted this way of thinking subliminally. Black people of America are still Americans. Americans in general are pretty racist, (whether they care to admit it or not) and poorly educated. Ignorance is the crime here. Just the other day, an old black man on Ponce told me “You know you wrong. You know it. You know you wrong” as my white boyfriend and I passed by him. I of course responded by lovingly licking my boy’s face, but did it surprise me? No. Why? Because I know that there are racists of every color in America, and especially old black people who got rights well after other races that immigrated to America got thm automatically, and probably resent any other race he sees advance, and probably brings his children up with that same attitude. If someone has even breeded with the cretin…

But then again, I do realize that maybe Nhat was just trying to rhyme. Either way, this ‘Everyone Knows Werewolves Kill’ song is awesome.

http://vimeo.com/3006753

Michael Nhat’s response to my thoughts on “Everyone Knows Werewolves Kill”:

“It’s about time someone recognized the lyric “met a blacks that are open racist”..

Yeah, I was deeply embedded in the black community while starting at the age of 14. My first 9 girlfriends were black. I was in the gang scene, my life has completely changed since I turned 21. During that period, it was disturbing how much prejudice and racism I experienced from the black community towards whites, asians and latinos. No one ever said anything though, and my friends constantly referred to asians as “chinese.” I would try to correct them because it was hurting my feelings, and they didn’t care. Their justification was “well that’s how we were raised”, and it made me really ashamed and embarrassed to be asian, so much i started to lie just to fit in and tell people i was part black as well. For me as an adolescent, I had a high standard of blacks because i’d figured for all they’d been through, you figured they’d be the last to be racist.”

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