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From Propagating Futures playlists.

  • Jul 15 2022
  • Dj Zhao
    Born in Beijing and based in Berlin, Dj Zhao applies historical materialist analysis to the evolution of social music, and brings a polycultural understanding of rhythm to his deeply percussive cross-genre sets. Not restricted by style or convention, Dj Zhao draws from wildly different times and places, connecting the global North with the South, acoustic and electronic, traditional and hyper-modern. Having performed at clubs like Berghain and Watergate, festivals like Club Transmediale and Fusion, Dj Zhao brings ancient futurist drum science to any occasion.

We may have much work to do concerning the utilization of the emancipatory power of dance in specific revolutionary praxis, but around the world it is, and has always been, a central part of liberation struggles. Despite the effects of commercialization, and even within the co-opted space of the most commercial dance clubs, consumerist codes can break down and borders can dissolve. As dancers experience ecstatic and extraordinary states of mind which are anathema to routine alienated consumption, they realize, if only semi-consciously, and for brief moments, that the truly rewarding things in life are not money, shopping, or status. 

The popular notion today that dance music and its “unreflective hedonism” is apathetic and apolitical needs to be reversed: social dance itself is inherently communistic, democratic, and inherently insurrectionary. Here is a Revolutionary Party Mix, 3 hours of leftist music from all over the globe, spanning many decades and a wide variety of genres. From African Independence era classics to Detroit rebel Techno, from communist Reggae to Riot Bass, from Rojava Debkah to EZLN grooves, from Afrobeat to Leftist Hip Hop, from Digital Hardcore to the Internationale… for allies and comrades everywhere in our collective struggle towards freedom.



The words of the prophets comes from your speakers.

Music moves from instrument to speaker, reaching limbs and shaking bodies beyond national borders and the language of the lyrics. There is a transformative quality in sounds which influence every environment: Your office turns into a dancefloor when the radio transmits a hit parade from the ‘80s, your house becomes a forest when a jungle beat arrives from the window, a public park a site of propitiatory rites when the arpeggios of a guitar duet with the wind. Whether some rhythms are more audible than others because of being more familiar with the power, others stay dormant in the back of our minds ready to be turned on by unconscious desires or the ghosts of our ancestors. These playlists are animated by the scores of revolution from different times and geographical corners of the world. From the most rural side of Italy to fiery Chile passing by the cultural mix of Berlin, they propagate a harmony that is constituted by dissonances and unsolicited voices. To be listened to en plein air with your comrades and soon-to-be-allies, let the music guide you, as only through variety does the future propagate. 

This Contribution was released with the support of Rudolf Augstein Stiftung, Bundesverband Soziokultur, Neustarthilfe, Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.



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