City Paper is not for tourists
For a record label, Sublime Frequencies’ crate-digging is extreme in its far-reaching trippiness. Since 2003, label cofounders Hisham Mayet and Alan Bishop have collected rare records and made field recordings around the world, then released them in limited editions. Titles like Brokenhearted Dragonflies: Insect Electronica From Southeast Asia and Pop Yeh Yeh: Psychedelic Rock From Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970 give a good idea of Sublime Frequencies’ punk-rock Alan Lomax approach. But the label doesn’t just offer music. Sublime Frequencies’ folk cinema has captured song and dance from Jemaa El Fna, Marrakech’s famous outdoor marketplace, as well as trance ceremonies in Southern India and polyphonic singing in Ethiopia. Mayet’s touring the East Coast showing his own recent ethnographic films, Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast and The Divine River: Ceremonial Pageantry in the Sahel, two impressionistic, nonlinear moving snapshots of visual feasts. It’s like a sonic acid trip without any of the side effects.
The films screen at 8 p.m. at Local 16, 1602 U St. NW. $10. (202) 265-2828. sublimefrequencies.com.