From Monument To Masses
Very few bands take the political potential of music quite as seriously as From Monument to Masses (FMTM). Even fewer act on it with the San Franciso trio's creative voracity. A painter and musician with a day job in a childcare collective, Matthew Solberg met Francis Choung, a documentary filmmaker who works for the Korean Solidarity Committee, through a musicians' bulletin board on the internet. When they added Choung's college classmate, Sergio Robledo-Maderazo, to the mix, FMTM also picked up a connection to Dim Mak Records: Robledo-Maderazo was a friend of its head, Steve Aoki. The three socially conscious artists found a musical forum for their activism. They've released three albums on Dim Mak, each of which attacks heavily political topics like war, ethnicity and the legacies of imperialism. At the group's disposal is a formidable artillery of looped, layered post-rock and electronic music, breakbeats, and carefully chosen spoken-word samples, many of which are drawn from speeches made by famous activists like Che Guevara, Black Panther Fred Hampton and free-speech and civil-rights crusader Mario Savio.