Instrument of Instruments

Best new music 2019

My 2019 annual write-up of the year’s best new music. I publish this post into the ether once a year to summarize what I’ve particularly liked during the last twelve months, in the hope that you might discover something new.

Book pile September 2019 - I

Book notes (September 2019)

Book piles accumulate in my office and on my night table all the time. Books are visual signposts of where my head is at, what’s next on the thinking agenda, of the big and small topics that make up the project that is Carsten’s head.

Johnny Clegg, dancing

In memoriam Johnny Clegg

A personal reflection on the death of Johnny Clegg, giant of South African music, in July 2019. … I met him once, very briefly. In my mid-20s, when I was living in Johannesburg, a colleague and I bumped into him holding court in a café at Rosebank Mall where we had gone during our lunch break.

A christmas wreath consisting entirely of round ornaments. December 2018

Best new music 2018

2018 was another year full of outrageous distractions, the misconfigurations and abuses of the public sphere relentlessly encroaching on whatever space one tried to carve out for thinking, experiencing beauty or getting some rest. A year to test our commitments, … [read more]

Grand Hotel Abyss

Four books January 2018

Starting this year, I will occasionally post lightly commented lists of books I’m currently reading. My tendency is to occupy myself with nonfiction, erring on the side of theory, anthropology, philosophy, politics. For those who got to know me (or … [read more]