A James Ferraro Primer
by Pedro Gomes
Since the beginning of the 21st century James Ferraro has been working on visions which may often look futuristic, but are brilliant works of present-time syncretisation, operating in a way that regularly gets to those results before… everyone else. So many ideas have flourished from his brilliant imagination that new genres and styles have risen from them, with their very own niche parallel socio-economic way of functioning. Nevertheless, Ferraro continues to do what he has always done — to think, to dream and to produce again. His work has been published in several well-known record labels — every new release of his ends up in every year-end list — and showcased in several important stages and museums, beyond his career in different music circuits known for being attentive to what is being done now.
Selected pieces of music by James Ferraro, available online:
Requiem for Recycled Earth
Like other James Ferraro works, this pre-pandemic piece seems to predict everything. It analyses with great poetic, abstract, and realistic precision the current moment.
Hippos in Tanks, 2013.
A fusion of structural details from the beginnings of North American trap, with sleep-walking ballads cyborg-Prince style, that emerged totally out of time but so deeply current, urban, city-like, gothic.
Far Side Virtual
Hippos in Tanks, 2011.
A paradigmatic masterpiece and probably the first clear and realistic vision of a post-Dubai technoid-functionalist world, where simulacrum, in this case still with a human baton, is king.
Night Dolls with Hairspray
Olde English Spelling Bee, 2010.
A North American high school film delirium made for a movie that never happened, shot for VHS with a soundtrack to be played on cassette tape or medium wave. This is suburban glam made so a lost youth can laugh at the ridicule of their own experience in public schools.
Lamborghini Crystal, New Age Tapes, 2007.
One of dozens of heteronyms and Ferraro collaborations, here with J.C. Peavey on a bad trip originally orchestrated for installation sound pieces of collaborators of the artist, at the time living in New York. This is the final phase of his early years with a more uni- and duo-dimensional sound.
The underlying thread within the Terra Irada [Angered Land] programme, curated by Pedro Gomes, has to do with grassroots, communitarian expressions of music from all around the world, particularly highlighting local manifestations and the worldwide plethora of intercultural links which Portugal has developed, in several and mostly convoluted ways, throughout the centuries. All the while, it also deals with crucial tangents of other segments of the post-colonialist fight, as examples of functional, emancipatory visions and structures of cultural and, to a degree, socio-economic independence.
As a part of the Terra Irada programme, “Oracles” presents work by artists who, in their visionary island, are beyond culture, to the extent that they synthesise several ample heterogeneous readings on human experience, beyond the collective — and they came to the world to help us.
André Príncipe, untitled, Avenida Paulista, São Paulo, 2017.