30-Minute Music Hour

S10 E4 | FULL EPISODE

ASUMAYA

ASUMAYA is the one-man, multi-instrumental brainchild of Madison-based percussionist, Luke Bassuener, whose songs are constructed from layers of harmonies and poly-rhythms played live through a looping pedal. The music pulls from elements of post-punk, dub, world music and R&B, resulting in a genre-defying mix that makes heads spin and feet move in equal measure.

AIRED: February 13, 2019 | 0:26:24
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

♪ ♪

[twang, twong of bell-like tones from kalimba]

♪ ♪

It's the "30 Minute Music Hour.

I'm Andy Moore.

From Madison, Wisconsin,

ASUMAYA.

[cheers and applause]

["A Game of Who Names It"]

[twang, twong of kalimba recorded and repeated on a loop]

[tick, tick, tick of rattle recorded and repeated on a loop]

[ding, ding, dong, dong of cowbell recorded and repeated on a loop]

[boom, boom, tsh of drum machine recorded and repeated on a loop]

[short melody played on bass guitar with percussive track in background]

♪ Cul-du-sac the commons ♪

♪ Commoditize ♪

♪ Name the streets after trees and let 'em wind ♪

♪ C-c-cut it up, wrap it up ♪

♪ Make it look nice ♪

♪ ♪

[uptempo melody played on bass guitar with percussive track in background]

[boom, boom, boom of bass drum]

♪ Streamline... your operations ♪

♪ Call freedom a victim... of organization ♪

♪ Casualize and call it ♪

♪ Call it flexible ♪

♪ Casualize ♪

♪ Call it... financially wise ♪

[melody played on bass guitar with recorded music playing in background]

♪ ♪

♪ Rise ♪

♪ Rise, rise, rise, rise ♪

♪ Rise to the occasion ♪

♪ Realize it's a game of who names it ♪

♪ Rise to the occasion ♪

♪ Realize it's a game of who names it ♪

♪ Realize it's a game of who names it ♪

♪ Realize it's a game of who names it ♪

♪ Ahhhhhhhhh ♪ [vocalizing]

[recording vocalizations and layering with other vocalizations]

[recording vocalizations and layering with other vocalizations]

♪ Rise to the occasion ♪

♪ Realize it's a game of who names it ♪

♪ Of who names it ♪

♪ Of who names it ♪

♪ Of who names it ♪

♪ Rise to the occasion ♪

♪ Realize it's a game of who names it ♪

♪ Of who names it ♪

♪ Of who names it ♪

♪ Of who names it ♪

[music suddenly stops]

[cheers and applause]

So this next song, I'm gunning for it to be

in your top five favorite songs ever written

about shallow political debate and gerrymandering.

["Chess"]

[knock, knock, knock of drum machine]

[tick, tick-tick of drumsticks]

[clap, clap, clap, clap]

[clap, clap, clap, clap]

[clap, clap, clap, clap]

[clap, clap, clap, clap]

[click of drumsticks and clapping recorded and playing back on a loop]

[clang, clang of cow bell]

[clang, clang of cow bell]

[percussive music sounds playing on a loop]

[twang, twong of kalimba]

[twangs of kalimba added to loop of other percussive music]

[boom, boom of bass drum]

♪ What's that you said ♪

♪ Is it really that bad ♪

♪ Are we really misled ♪

♪ We're infotained ♪

♪ We're corn fed ♪

[twangs of kalimba with percussive music playing on a loop]

♪ White bread ♪

♪ ♪

♪ White bread ♪

♪ Fortified with vitamins ♪

♪ Redistricted ♪

♪ Divided and distributed for least effect ♪

♪ Reminds us that we all cheat at chess ♪

♪ We all cheat at chess ♪

[twangs of kalimba with percussive music sounds playing on a loop]

[jingle, jingle of tambourine added using drum machine]

[tap, tap of drum]

[jingle and tap recorded to percussive music and playing back on a loop]

[melody played on bass guitar with percussive music playing on a loop]

♪ We're moving all the pieces ♪

♪ We're moving all the pieces all around ♪

♪ We're using all the reasons ♪

♪ We're using all the reasons that we found ♪

♪ Align the squares for a certain team ♪

♪ The manufacture of a certainty ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Maybe we can find a way to get off the board ♪

♪ Maybe we can find a way to get off the board ♪

♪ Maybe we can find a way to get off the board ♪

♪ Maybe we can find a way to get off the board ♪

[melody on bass guitar as recorded vocals and percussive music play on a loop]

[bass guitar notes recorded and added to loop]

♪ And we're taught to choose a side, a team ♪

[tsh, tsh of cymbals]

♪ A this, a that, no in-between ♪

♪ To dig in the heels, to plant the signs ♪

♪ To mark off a plot ♪

♪ To grow it and to call it mine ♪

♪ We need a different game ♪

[tsh, tsh]

♪ We need to find another way ♪

♪ We need a different game ♪

♪ We need to find another way ♪

[tsh, tsh, tsh, tsh of cymbals]

[vocal and percussive music loop playing]

♪ We need to find another way ♪

♪ We need a different game ♪

[music ends suddenly except for one soft tone that fades out]

[cheers and applause]

["If History Has a Direction"]

[boom, tap, tap tap, boom, boom of drum machine]

[boom, tap, tap tap, boom, boom of drum machine]

[boom, tap, tap tap, boom, boom of drum machine]

[percussive sounds recorded and playing on a loop]

Next one's called "If History Has a Direction."

♪ So maybe times are changing ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪

♪ Aaaaa, aaaa, aaaa ♪

[recording and layering vocalizations onto playback loop]

♪ Haa, haa, haa, haa, haa ♪

[recording and layering vocalizations onto playback loop]

[recording and layering vocalizations onto playback loop]

♪ So maybe times are changing ♪

♪ But sometimes nothing changes with them ♪

♪ With us caught up in the daydreams ♪

♪ Sometimes we skip the meetings ♪

♪ Sometimes forget to plan ♪

♪ Sometimes we get distracted ♪

♪Sometimes we look at every side and can't decide to finally try in one direction ♪

♪ Taking our time ♪

[snap, boom, boom]

♪ Taking our time, taking our time, taking our time ♪

[boom]

♪ Taking our time ♪

[snap, boom, boom]

♪ Taking our time, taking our time, taking our time ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Set this world on fire with reasoned analysis ♪

♪ Toss Molotov cocktails of nuance ♪

♪ Research our positions and our perspectives ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey ♪

[recording "heys" and layering onto playback loop]

♪ All of our slogans have footnotes ♪

♪ All of our slogans ♪

(recorded) ♪ All of our slogans have --♪

♪Sing the protest songs with the citations and the bibliographies

♪Sing the protest songs with the citations and the bibliographies

♪ And the bibliographies ♪

♪ Taking our time ♪

[snap, boom, boom]

♪ Taking our time, taking our time, taking our time ♪

[boom]

♪ Taking our time ♪

[snap, boom, boom]

♪ Taking our time, taking our time, taking our time ♪

♪ Taking our time, taking our time, taking our time ♪

♪ Taking, taking our time ♪

♪ Taking our time, taking our time, taking, taking our time ♪

♪ Taking our time, taking our time, taking, taking our time ♪

♪ Taking our time, taking our time, taking, taking our time ♪

["Taking our time" recorded and playing on a loop]

♪ This arc better bend toward justice ♪

♪We already know that it is long ♪

♪ It's long gone... long ♪

♪ It's long ♪

♪ If history has ♪

♪ If history has a ♪

♪ If history has ♪

♪ If history has a

[twang, twong of kalimba]

[recorded lyrics and percussive music playing on a loop]

[twang, twong of kalimba recorded and layered on loop]

♪ If history has a direction ♪

♪ We better make sure it's not wrong ♪

♪ Be sure it's not ♪

♪ We bettter... make sure... it's not ♪

♪ It's not... wrong ♪

[music stops]

["Marketing Is My Culture"]

[twang, twang, twong of kalimba]

[twang, twong of kalimba recorded and playing on a loop]

[click, click, click of claves]

[click, click, click of claves recorded and playing on a loop]

♪ Who's been co-opted ♪

♪ Who's opted not to try ♪

[clang, clang of cow bell]

[clang, clang of cow bell recorded and playing on a loop]

♪ Who's been co-opted ♪

♪ Who's opted not to try ♪

[boom, boom, tsh boom, boom, tsh of drum machine]

[boom, boom, tsh boom, boom, tsh of drum machine]

[boom, boom, tsh recorded and playing on a loop]

[notes on bass guitar]

♪ Cradle to persuasion ♪

[melody on bass guitar]

♪ Can anybody tell who organized this line ♪

♪ The one we're standing in ♪

♪ Where is it going ♪

♪ The one we're standing in ♪

♪ Where is it going ♪

[melody on bass guitar as recorded percussive music plays on a loop]

♪ There's a signboard here ♪

♪ For when we forget ♪

♪ What we're supposed to need ♪

♪ There's a picture shining on it ♪

♪ To remind us what to see ♪

♪ Eyes look to the lights ♪

♪ Realize they look away from life ♪

♪ The one we're living in ♪

♪ Where is it going ♪

♪ The one we're living in ♪

♪ Where is it going ♪

[melody on bass guitar as recorded percussive music plays on a loop]

♪ We look away from life ♪

♪ We look into the lights ♪

♪ We look away from life ♪

♪ We look into the lights ♪

(recorded) ♪ We look away from life ♪

(recorded) ♪ We look into the lights ♪

(recorded) ♪ We look away from life ♪

[boom, boom, tsh, tsh, clang, clang with recorded lyrics looping]

[percussive music and looped lyrics]

♪ Who's been co-opted ♪

♪ Who's opted not to try ♪

♪ Who's been co-opted ♪

♪ Who's opted not to try ♪

♪ Who's been co-opted ♪

♪ Who's opted not to try ♪

♪ Who's been co-opted ♪

♪ Who's opted not to try ♪

[clang, clang, clang of cowbell]

[clang, clang, clang of cowbell]

♪ Who's opted not to try ♪

[music stops suddenly]

[cheers and applause]

["The Strength and the Storms']

[rattle, rattle, rattle]

[click, tick, clack, tack]

[click, tick, clack, tack recorded and playing on a loop]

[clap, clap, clap, clap]

[clap, clap, clap, clap recorded and playing on a loop]

[twang, twong of kalimba]

[twang, twong of kalimba recorded and playing on a loop]

[twong, twong, twang on kalimba]

[twong, twong, twang on kalimba recorded and playing on a loop]

[melody on bass guitar]

[melody on bass guitar recorded and playing on a loop]

This song is called "The Strength and the Storms."

[boom, boom, tsh, boom, boom, tsh]

[jingle of tambourine]

[boom, boom, tsh with percussive music playing on a loop]

[melody on bass guitar as recorded percussive music plays on a loop]

♪ To the best of our knowledge ♪

♪ We belong together ♪

♪ Too weathered to mention the storms, the storms ♪

♪ The storms ♪

[melody on bass guitar as recorded percussive music plays on a loop]

[boom, boom, tsh on drum machine]

♪ The strength and the storms, the strength and the storms ♪

♪ The strength and the storms, the strength and the storms ♪

♪ The strength and the storms, the strength and the storms ♪

♪ The strength and the storms, the strength and the storms ♪

♪ The strength... and... the storms ♪

♪ The strength... and... the storms ♪

♪ To the best of our knowledge ♪

♪ We belong together ♪

♪ Too weathered to mention the storms ♪

♪ Or the strength that it takes to remember ♪

♪ We were born to be there for each other ♪

♪ And to be for more ♪

♪ And to be for more ♪

♪ And to be for more, more, more, more ♪

♪ And to be for... more ♪

[music ends suddenly except for one soft tone that fades out]

[cheers and applause]

Thanks so much for being here.

Again, I'm called ASUMAYA.

I have one last song.

It's kind of about where we're at and how far we have left to go.

It's called "The Rights of Right Now."

It goes like this.

["The Rights of Right Now"]

[ring, ring, ting, ring, ring, ting]

[ring, ring, ting, ring, ring, ting]

[ring, ting, ring, ting recorded and playing on a loop]

[clap-clap, clap, clap-clap]

[clap-clap, clap, clap-clap recorded and playing on a loop]

[snap... snap... snap]

[humm of bass guitar note]

[snap... snap]

♪ Trial just to get through ♪

♪ They're stacking up the blocks in your view ♪

♪ There's always the question of... why ♪

[percussive sounds playing on a loop]

♪ And where, when, who and how ♪

♪ In laying out the rights of right now ♪

♪ Have they grown any more than way before ♪

♪ Uh-oh, oww ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh, oww ♪

♪ Uh-oh, oww ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh, oww ♪

♪ Action and reaction ♪

♪ Spinning begins again ♪

♪ The un-asking of questions ♪

♪ Cause the loudest answers always seem to win ♪

[tsh, tsh-tsh, boom, boom of drum machine]

♪ Fingers start wagging ♪

♪ Mouths start to open now ♪

♪ One breath in, two accusations ♪

♪ Oh, they start tumbling out ♪

[twang, twong of kalimba]

[twang, twong of kalimba added to track of of looping percussive sounds]

♪ Where there's no trust, there's force ♪

♪ Where there's force, it's fed by fear ♪

♪ And the words keep spilling out ♪

♪ There's no discussion here ♪

♪ Action and reaction ♪

♪ Action and reaction ♪

♪ Action and reaction ♪

♪ Action and reaction ♪

[melody on bass guitar as recorded percussive music plays on a loop]

[recorded vocals, guitar and percussive music play on a loop]

[tsh, tsh of cymbals]

♪ Now that the riots have come ♪

♪ Now that confusion's all around ♪

♪ Will lost voices be found ♪

♪ Will they be found or will it stay the same ♪

♪ Now that the riots have come ♪

♪ Now that confusion's all... all around ♪

[music stops]

♪ Will lost voices be found ♪

[one note from bass guitar]

♪ Will they be found ♪

♪ Or will it stay the same ♪

[last guitar note fades]

[cheers and applause]

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