Descanso 002 Collaboration Track – Grape Coin.

I provided Kyoto based Artist Baiyon with a few sounds and he put together this dirty bass driven Tech House track for his new Digital Label Descanso.

You can hear/buy it at beatport, iTunes and Kingbeat

The re-mix by Takuya Morita is fantastic and the release has already received some great feedback from Anthony Collins (CURLE, VAKANT, FREAK N’CHIC, BANG BANG) who says, “nice stuff would love to get 320 MP3 of this release”; Mathias Kaden (Freude am Tanzen, Vakant Records) who says. “great,thank you so much!! I really like the spirit of the record….”; and Jay Bliss (BangBang, Dynamic) who says, “Really love and would like to play the Tayuka Morita remix. Thanks!”

The title from the song is a tongue in cheek reference to to a conversation Baiyon and I had over drinks after a show at Club Metro in Kyoto.

We were talking about dance floor dynamics and I described to him several interesting experiments involving Primates and the teaching of certain learned value systems.

As a live performance artist I am very interested in crowd dynamics and crowd manipulation so these kinds of social experiments on our genetic cousins, though loosely related, fascinate me.

Grape Coin is a reference to a Harvard study in which economist Keith Chen wanted too see if highly sociable capuchin monkeys could understand the concept of money, that is, the fungiblity of an abstract token (with an abstract value) into a resource of tangible value i.e. a coin-like token for one grape.

Here are the actual articles; Capuchin monkeys don’t work for peanuts and The unexpected results of teaching monkeys how to pay for things.

tl;dr (too long didn’t read)

Simplified.

Monkeys learn to use objects to pay for things. They do a “task” get “paid” in tokens and are taught to exchange the tokens for things like grapes or slices of cucumber. Grapes are sweeter and more desired and the tasks to obtain them are more difficult so therefore the grapes have a higher value than the cucumbers.

When the tasks are switched, that is easy tasks now pay grape coins and difficult tasks now pay cucumber coins the monkeys stop “working” because, it seems, they understand it is unfair to work more for less.

This shows that, like us, monkeys are capable of understanding a sense of justice, the first time this has been observed outside the human species. It is a remarkable observation and it starts to blur the line between us and our fellow simians, but where the division blurs almost entirely is when…

“Something else happened …, something that convinced Chen of the monkeys’ true grasp of money. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of money, after all, is its fungibility, the fact that it can be used to buy not just food but anything. … in the monkey cage, Chen saw something out of the corner of his eye that he would later try to play down but in his heart of hearts he knew to be true. What he witnessed was probably the first observed exchange of money for sex in the history of monkey kind. (Further proof that the monkeys truly understood money: the monkey who was paid for sex immediately traded the token in for a grape.)” – Times.