Kartel on Kartel

Vybz Kartel, one of the most successful Jamaican dancehall artists of recent times discusses skin bleaching, tattoos, cocaine, aids and his electricity bill. Culled from the digital materials of youtube videos, road DVDs and pirated mp3s, this experimental radio piece is cut with news reports of his arrest last year and heavily processed re-interpretations of his songs.

News journalism positions itself as being balanced, transparent and objective. Art is often constructed as personal and subjective. With this piece I wanted to play with these hierarchies of meaning. News reports from Jamaican TV form the entrance point and backbone of the piece, but are then combined with music and interview to give a more complete and less stable picture of Kartel than that offered by news media.

This piece was made for Human Fiction Tartini presents Sonic Hologram (an hour of listening) at Apiary Studios, London in July 2012. A revised cut \ was exhibited as part on the In Sonora festival at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid in March 2014.