Transmissions :: Joe Rainey

This week on the show, Joe Rainey. Hailing from Minnesota, he’s a powwow singer of the Red Lake Ojibwe tribe. He’s known for collaborations with Bon Iver, Chance the Rapper and Alan Sparhawk of Low, and in May he released his debut solo album, Niineta on Justin Vernon’s 38do3d label. Created in conjunction with producer Andrew Broder, it pairs his vocals with samples culled from his vast collection of powwow tapes, thundering percussion, and dense, thickly layered electronic soundscapes.

With its double-meaning titles like “No Chants” and “Easy on the Cide” nodding toward Rainey’s understated sense of humor, Niineta takes on a collage-like quality that bends time. He joined us from to discuss his days traveling the powwow circuit, how the collaboration with Broder came to be, and his teenage interest in rap. 

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