NEGATIVLAND – TRUE FALSE is at Top 200 and Electronic Radio Now!!!

If you’ve been around a bit, you know this band. Negativland have been around since the 80s! They are known as pioneers of the art of sound collage, specifically a version of mashups they call “culture jamming“!!! Their work is taught in college classes!! They have a Wikipedia page!! (Strongly suggest a deep dive into that page if you’ve got time and this is a new subject to you; there is some WILD stuff in there…like the time they got sued by U2, or the time where they successfully spread a hoax regarding a mass murderer.) They are truly some OG anti-establishment radical punks. And this release has already gotten press from BrooklynVegan and Popmatters and The Wire!! How did I wind up working an album that’s admittedly fairly unlike my usual, you may ask? Well I helped out with a campaign for an album of theirs when I worked at a different company a hair over a decade ago, and they remembered me and called me up, that’s how!! Lucky me!!! Anyway this album is this weird conglomeration of mashed up spoken word, chopped-and-screwed music, and some original instrumentation/vox, so as you can imagine it’s a bit of a genre bender. It is shooting for your Top 30s (the general charts that get compiled into the Top 200), and it is also shooting for your Electronic charts, where it hopes to find a home among some of your more experimental/open-minded but still dance-oriented DJs. Quite a few of you (college/non-comm radio stations) did get hard copies, so look around if you haven’t spotted it yet, or you can ask me for a download link!




Since 1980, the 4 or 5 or 6 (or more) Floptops known as Negativland, a multimedia collective originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, have been creating records, CDs, video, fine art, books, radio and live performance using appropriated sounds, images, objects, and text. Mixing original materials and original music with things taken from corporately owned mass culture and the world around them, Negativland surreally re-arrange these found bits and pieces to make them say and suggest things that they never intended to. In doing this kind of cultural archaeology and “culture jamming” (a term they coined way back in 1984), Negativland have been sued twice for copyright infringement.

Over the years Negativland’s “illegal” collage and appropriation-based audio and visual works have touched on many things – pranks, media hoaxes, advertising, media literacy, religion, death, the evolving art of collage, the bizarre banality of suburban existence, creative activism in our media-saturated and multi-national world, file sharing, intellectual property issues, wacky surrealism, evolving notions of art and ownership and law in a digital age, and artistic and humorous observations of mass media and mass culture.

And what is True FalseTrue False is their 13th studio album and Negativland’s 2019 return to all original music that you could mistake for actual songs, albeit ones being sung by dozens of sampled vocalists who have never met. The first of two interconnected double albums, “True False” tackles concerns that will be familiar to any surviving fans of the band:  our nervous systems, our realities, and the evolving forms of media that inevitably insert themselves between us. Shootings, bees, the right’s rules for radicals, climate control, dogs pretending to be children, the oil we eat, capitalism, and the right of every American to believe whatever they want to believe ….all are explored.  It’s the first Negativland album to come with a lyric sheet, and is a reminder that we need more than just one memory before we can safely tell anyone else that this is not normal. Juxtaposing Occupy mic checks with US militia rallies, FOX news hosts and ecoterrorists, and your own sanity with the home viewing habits of Negativland’s lead vocalist, the Weatherman, as we witness the entrenched political beliefs of left and right cleanly switching sides in under one generation, when you put the word ‘True’ next to the word ‘False’, a broader reality reveals itself.

And, finally, just who’s even in Negativland these days? Didn’t half of them die a few years ago?  For True False, Negativland consists of Mark Hosler, David Wills, Peter Conheim, and Jon Leidecker, as well as the dearly departed Don Joyce, Richard Lyons and Ian Allen. Containing tapes from the earliest years of the band (including dozens of samples that will be very familiar to regular listeners of their KPFA radio program Over The Edge), work on True False began in earnest in 2012, folding the decades on top of each other until they finally resembled all the of feelings that tomorrow has for today.

“Declared heroic by their peers for refashioning culture into what the group considers to be more honest statements, Negativland suggests that refusing to be original, in the traditional sense, is the only way to make art that has any depth within commodity capitalism”- NEW YORK TIMES

“Collage pioneers…..genre-defying, densely layered, strangely accessible” – WASHINGTON POST

“Negativland were definitely not what the EDM kids at Bumbershoot were expecting. The experimental San Francisco sound collagists don’t make music as much as sonic mayhem: audio think pieces that are subversive and enlightening, vexing and revelatory.  Negativland are political to the core.” – SEATTLE WEEKLY

RIYL: Girl Talk, People Like Us, Matmos, Yes Men, The Residents, Plunderphonics, Mouse On Mars, Faust, and culture jamming / sound collage

Start With: 3, 4, 10                  

FCC: *6*; also  2, 4, & 11 say “Goddamn” (only)

Contact me for a download link if you’re a radio rep!

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