FUSION 8 – Secrets of the Sun

Dj Zhao - FUSION 8

Been quiet on the mixology front lately, buried in this deep Northern winter and design work, but the wait is finally over.

Start the new year correct, with the latest installment in the Fusion series of mashup albums which connects seemingly disparate musical worlds. Aimed, like other volumes in the series, at immersive listening rather than focusing on the dance floor, this one is in the vein of the very first volume.

Secrets of the Sun blends songs from the Indian Ocean, Yoruba Muslim ritual music, Ugandan percussion, Haitian Vodou lullabies, Lebanese Dabke, Tazania Taraab, Egyptian mystical jazz, music of the San people from the Kalihari, even some Kraut psychedelia, and much, much more, with contemporary bass and beats.  Richly layered tapestries of indigenous music and deep dub ebbs and flows, swelling into fiery bass and drums toward the end.

DOWNLOAD (mediafire)

01 Anugama & Sebastano – African journey X Blackdown – Crackle Blues
02 Sibeba – Ikope ye tollo Los pajaros estan dormidos X Sub Version – No Easy Solution
03 Salem Tradition – Ase X Unknown
04 Can – Fizz X Sub Version – Rubber Soul
05 Salah Regab – Kleopatra X Brutality – Red Handed
06 Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics – Cha Cha X Kromestar – Zulu           Dance
07 Guem & Zaka – Girafe X Wiley – Eskimo (Mr. Mitch Peace Edit)
08 Unknown – Chanty Africa Coke Bottle X Gantz – 10
09 Unknown (Fuji music) – J:Kenzo – Protected
10 African Head Charge – Fruit Market X Skream – Memories of 3rd Base
11 African Head Charge – Off the Beaten Track X Crazy D – Flex Ting
12 Unknown (Lebanon, Baalbak int. Festival 1960) – Dabke X Cadell – W.W.T.I (Instrumental)
13 Kidumbak Kalcha- Mabibi Na Mabwana X Maniac – Down
14 Unknown (Yoruba Muslim women) – Allahu Allahu – Eyin Anobi-Ayonfe Oluwa X Sigha – Where I Come to Forget
15 Unknown (Yoruba Muslim women) – Asalamu Alaekumu X Simple – rO
16 Baligh Hamdi – Iskandarani X J:Kenzo – Counteraction
17 Steve Reid – Lions of Juda X Ramadanman – Revenue
18 Dorisburg – 148 X Rushmore – Drizzle
19 Nilotika Cultural Ensemble – Tugifa 3 X Dj VR – Batida Tchapu
20 Unknown (Music of the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert) – Thumb Played Metal Instrument X Danton – Gritillos
21 Rara la bel fraicheur de l’anglade – Legba nan baye-a X Unknown (Brasil Batuque – Isto É Que É Batucada) – mistura n.2 X



Baauer and RL Grime trapping fraternity kids

On a train going through the Czech Republic, random young Swedish travelers enthusiastically told me of their love for Trap music.   Kids in Ho Chi Minh City are turning the f*** up to Trap.   Vice magazine has made a documentary about Trap music and the ghetto streets from where it came.  

“Trap” used to be slang for crack-houses where dealers “trap” their clients, as well as the business of selling cocaine, as in the “trap game”.  By the mid-2000s, the word had come to also refer to underground Southern Hip Hop about drug-dealing, from poverty stricken neighborhoods in cities such as Houston, Memphis, and Atlanta.  Related to and often interchangeable with Crunk and Dirty South, some of the earliest, biggest, and best proponents of this sound are Three Six Mafia, UGK, Geto Boys,  Lil Jon, and Master P.  Later came artist/dealers such as T.I., Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane, and Waka Flocka Flame, who further defined the genre, and consolidated its now classic signature elements of distinctively slowed down boom-bap, extended bass lines, frenetic 808 hi-hats, ominous synths, sluggish and menacing rap, and of course lyrics about gangsterism and thug-life. 

But the term did not gain mainstream notoriety until a new electronic offshoot came on the scene.  This was largely an instrumental, polished, beefed-up, and very bassy version of Trap: an over produced and bro-ified overground mutation of ghetto music with the black voices often omitted or consigned to mere decoration, made for rich kids to blast in the new cars daddy bought them.  New EDM-Trap is entirely based on the musical structure and sound of Southern Gangsta Rap, but grafts onto this template the machine muscle of Bro-Step, stadium Electro-Rave sound effects, and often the epic emotional moments of commercial Vocal-Pop.

As i hear this cartoonishly pumped up sound of sublimated aggression quickly spread and blow up all over the world, I think of the slums in US cities where black lives are cheaper than cocaine, and don’t matter at all.  As i look at the biggest EDM-Trap Artists in the world today (nearly all white) making millions, I think of prison sentences, of broken families, of single mothers raising kids alone on minimum wage jobs.  As i watch videos of Trap parties in stadiums full of students drenched in Tequila “raging” hard, I think of the impoverishment, marginalization, and criminalization of African Americans from which this music comes.

These are the thoughts on my mind as i witness the music of people neglected, robbed, tortured, and exterminated by mainstream society stripped of its original context, reduced to meaningless swagger, and even becoming soundtrack for the corniest Disney-Pop: perfectly retrofitted for mainstream society.  Gavin Mueller articulates this well in his piece for Jacobin Magazine:

By dispensing with the rapping, EDM-Trap effectively silences the black voices that kept the style connected to the stories of the American lumpenproletariat. It’s the auditory equivalent of kicking out a poor family so you can live in their classic brownstone.

But I also love Trap music, both the original Dirty South variety, and even a very discerning selection of the new school, for some of the same reasons that rich white kids do.  Here I would like to defend this vicarious consumption: many critical theorists have extensively described how modern society deprives citizens of both a sense of adventure, as well as of intimate social connections within closely knit communities.  To people locked into a predictable life of school, employment, and retirement, their everyday existence a dull cycle of work, consumption, and sleep, the life of the criminal is the exact opposite, and captivating in ways their own lives can never be.  This is why suburbanites mimic the style, language, attitude and posture of inner city gangsters.  Similarly, listening to Trap music reproduces a feeling of danger, of intensity, of life and death urgency, and allows people who live safe and boring lives to briefly approximate a feeling of adventure.  Hood music is also a narrative of clandestinity, of trust, of honor, of unbreakable familial bonds, of real friendship and real enmity with very, very real consequences — a sense of true community which the comfortable classes entirely lack.  When a real loss of agency and immediacy is assigned to the middle and upper classes, whose existence consists of tedious complacency and suffocating security, it of course isn’t morally wrong for them to try to fill this emptiness.  This is why in ultra-wealthy and squeaky clean Zurich, Switzerland, a city with virtually no crime, there is a popular club-night called “Trapped”, with themes such as “Prison Break”, where Djs play only Dirty South Hip Hop songs about incarceration.

Additionally, there are concrete reasons why this music has such world wide appeal in 2015, and resonates with youths everywhere.  Trap is perhaps the most direct reflection of our times, where young people face grim personal prospects in a diminishing job market, amidst escalating economic, political, and environmental crisis.  Trap Music exactly mirrors the coldness, meanness, brutality, abjection, dehumanization, and desperation of late capitalism.  Extending what Young Jeezy said about the rap game being the same as the trap game: the trap game (selling drugs) is a microcosmic facsimile of macrocosmic capitalism.  Reality in the hood, a vicious cycle of addiction, suppliers, gangs, crime, police, and prisons, is a perfect miniscule model of reality around the globe, a larger vicious cycle where powerful states administer political and physical violence, destabilize resource-rich regions, manufacturing terrorism, while arms dealers make trillions, and corporations exploit the global South. Trap music comes from a visceral experience of survival on the love-less streets, but is a mirror image of the world at large: a neo-Darwinian nightmare in its rawest form.

Mainstream white appropriation of underground black music is nothing new, but at this historical juncture, “Trap” uniquely takes on a much larger significance, and becomes a perfect metaphor for capitalism itself. “Trap” encapsulates both capitalisms’ ruthlessly competitive aspect, as well as its alienating effects, where consumers are completely disconnected from the context, origin, and meaning of cultural products.  From the same Jacobin piece cited earlier:

listeners… don’t always understand the history or sociology of their genres. They don’t have to: when music becomes a commodity, it can travel worldwide, as all commodities do, severed from any knowledge of the conditions of its production. Genres cease to be grassroots social worlds, and instead become something more like brands: mere sonic surfaces rather than deep historical processes.

So, we are all locked in this perverse consumer capitalist trap, where the art of society’s victims provide an outlet for the frustrations of those who benefit from the same system of victimization.  It is not necessarily a problem in itself for the middle and upper classes to enjoy or take part in the culture of the disenfranchised, because both groups are caught in the same trap, only positioned at opposite ends.  But there is a certain amount of responsibility for those of us who do, to at the very least acknowledge the disenfranchisement, the inequality, and the tragic social circumstances the music came from.  We should try to connect the hidden dots and gain a degree of understanding of the racist, oppressive, and exploitative realities that gave rise to Trap Music. Further, we must strive for ever deeper understanding of how this systemic trap called capitalism robs some of us materially, the others spiritually, and allow this understanding to inform the life decisions we make.

Paris and Toulouse

Friday, June 12at 11:00pm – 6:00am
Le Malibv — 44 rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris, France

UMOJA (INI Movement / Piri Piri Music ; Amsterdam)

Around The World (Paris)

dj zhao ( NGOMA SOUND Berlin / Berlin)


June 14 – June 15 Jun 14 at 12:00pm to Jun 15 at 12:00am

Jardin Monplaisir 1 Bd Monplaisir, 31400 Toulouse, France
☀ Dimanche 14 juin – Midi-Minuit – Jardin Monplaisir (centre ville) ☀

ZHAO – [ALL / Berlin] – (Ngoma Sound)
RAFAEL ARAGON – [FRA / Paris] – (Caballito / Latino Resiste)
DJ NO BREAKFAST – [FRA / Tlse] – (Guachafita)
YEAHMAN! – [FRA / Tlse] – (Ghetto Sonido – Muundial Mix)

par le Collectif Volubile ( Ambre Caziers / Loren Coquillat / Pauline Lavergne / Cassandre

► PONG 1D & LEVITATION ◄  http://fauxdepart.com/
►FRAGILE !◄  http://kinourendfou.wordpress.com/
► FRESQUE ◄  http://www.donoteat.fr/Munoz / Agathe Thevenot & guests)

Ngoma Holidays

Next Sunday, Dec. 28th, I will do a set with the mighty Hoodz Dj Team at Wendel Cafe.

and on New Year’s Eve:


Feierabend Poetic Cumbia (Argentina/Berlin)
Latin Swing, Cumbia Wet Dreams

dj zhao (Ngoma Soundsystem – Berlin)
Tropical Bouncement, Fire In Your Pants

A wild wild night of fiery and naughty rhythms to boogie, rumba, swing, polka, waltz, foxtrot, salsa, azonto, dagger, bounce, jerk, twerk, and booty clap into 2015!!!

last weekend was fun:

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 13.03.2710pm – 6am all night hunt for the purrrrfect beat!

Mutant Sol


Warming up for MUTANT 2, Ngoma Soundsystem featuring Pharoah Chromium will take you on an intimate mystical journey through the kaleidoscopic valleys and crests of your mind in the center of the omni-verse, joined by special guest musicians later in the evening.  Expect psychotropic flavors and ancestral-futurist rhythms from every corner of the earth.

Kiki Sol — Lindower Straße 12, Wedding, Berlin

MusikSalon 50 Years


Musiksalon Berlin: 50 Jahre IITM / Projekt für transtraditionelle Musik
14. /15. November 2013 im Vortragssaal des Ethnologischen Museums

Thursday 14. November 2013
18:00 Strahlkraft – Erbe nach Schließung des IITM 1996
Transtraditionelle Musikszene: Aktuelle Situation – Politische und mediale Kulturarbeit

20:00 Nordindische Ragas im Dhrupad- und Khyal-Stil
Pt. Ashok Pathak, surbahar & sitar
Tabla: Sandip Bhattacharya
Tanpura: Shamika Pathak

Freitag, 15. November 2013
20:00 Hommage an Alain Daniélou: DIASPORAGAS
Amelia Cuni: Gesang, Tanpura, Mirliton
Werner Durand: selbstgebaute & adaptierte Blasinstrumente, Elektronika
Ray Kaczynski: Mridangam, Perkussion
Federico Sanesi: Tabla, Pakhawaj, Perkussion

21:30 Dj Zhao



Something wicked this way comes…  a new monthly series in the heart of Neukölln:Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.47.52

While the brightly lit gallery spaces of SAVVY Contemporary above focuses on the visual, cerebral and Apollonian aspects of cultural enquiry, BLACKBOX below is a Dionysian shadow world of hallucinatory sound and rhythm, of ritual and technology, of bodies in fluid motion.

A direct extension of SAVVY’s global outlook of contemporary art and culture, BLACKBOX celebrates music of the subaltern, of groups who are socially, politically, and geographically outside of hegemonic power structure; focusing on modern electronic bass and club music and traditional rhythms of Africa, South America, and Asia; fragmenting and dispersing an outdated Eurocentric “cultural center” of the world to encompass the entire globe.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 16.18.19BLACKBOX 1:  NGOMA TIMEWARP
Saturday, November 9, 2013 / 11:00pm / ENTREE: 5 EU
SAVVY:ETC – Richardstraße 20, 12043 Neukölln, Berlin

IBOGA & KAELA NKANZA__________Kinshasa/Paris
a soul stirring live band pieced together from seasoned Jazz, Electronic, and Reggae heavy hitters.

DJ SOULVENDOR__________________Tropical Timewarp/ Berlin
vintage tropical selecta par excellence, this dude always brings the serious grooves from Africa and the Caribbean.

DJ ZHAO__________________________Ngoma/ BlackBox/ Beijing
rhythm ambassador from the distant planet Sirius B, Dj Zhao will be reaching deep into the cosmic crates.


The Space Between Us

Space Between Us
9 October, 10pm / open end
WAU, Wirtshaus am Ufer, Hallesches Ufer 32, 10963 Berlin
DJ Zhao, Stefanie Alisch, Mma Tseleng, Bongani Madondo, Garnette Cadogan, Kimba Mutanda u.a. // Kwaito / SA-House / Kuduro / Juju / Shangaan


7 – 9 October, daily from 4 to 9 pm / Täglich von 16 bis 21 Uhr in English
Picnicrecords: Stendaler Straße 4, 10559 Berlin/Moabit

Music is a companion in the trans-African movement display.
Stefanie Alisch, Rangoato Hlasane, Bongani Madondo, Kagiso Mnisi, Garnette Cadogan, Charles Mudede, Kimba Mutanda, Tanka Fonta, DJ Zhao, Alfred Mehnert and others will talk about, play music and touch on relations and shifts in the trans-African space.
Broadcasts and podcasts of the convention will be available on air on REBOOT FM

talks by the other guest speakers are here.



Monday 07.10 – Echoes, back and forth
12:00 am Visit of the exhibition THE SPACE BETWEEN US at ifa-Gallery Berlin
04:00 pm Opening & welcome at Picnicrecords
04:30 – 05:30 pm Rangoato Hlasane & Kagiso Mnisi, Sekele – Bitsa Maphodisa: Street-bash as a marker of space for black youth in post-apartheid South Africa
06:00 – 06:30 pm Garnette Cadogan

Tuesday 08.10 – Writing: about / against /down /with
04:30 – 05:00 pm Charles Mudede, About Drumming
05:30 – 06:30 pm Dj Zhao (Ngoma Soundsystem, Berlin) The vitality of African musical
heritage and its deep connection to music today and tomorrow.
07:30 – 08:00 pm Bongani Madondo, Malombo & Ma-Mlambo
Healer’s Brew:Blues, African Healing Systems and the Punk in JAH’zz
– in discussion with Kagiso Mnisi and Alfred Mehnert, Percussion

Wednesday 9 October – Telling
04:30 – 05:00 pm Tanka Fonta, Being, Music, Confluences & the Evolution of Expressions
05:30 – 06:30 pm Stefanie Alisch, “The future’s what it’s all about” – Broken Beat London
07:00 – 07:30 pm Kimba Mutanda, The personal journey of a Hip Hop artist from Malawi,
told from the meeting point between traditional and modern times
10:00 pm – open end Party – with Rangoato Hlasane, Kagiso Mnisi, Garnette Cadogan, Dj Zhao, Stefanie Alisch, Kimba Mutanda


Music Convention in collaboration with / in Kooperation mit
 Holger Zimmermann, Picnicrecords, Stendaler Straße 4, 10559 Berlin, www.picnicrecords.com
 | Diana McCarty, REBOOT FMhttp://reboot.fm | After Year Zero, Geographies of Collaboration since 1945, Haus der Kulturen der Weltwww.hkw.de/de/programm/2013/after_year_zero/

THE SPACE BETWEEN US, ifa-Galerie Berlin, 27.9.-22.12.2013 www.ifa.de  | | Funded by Auswärtiges Amt, Aktion Afrika |  Hauptstadtkulturfonds |  Goethe Institut Johannesburg


Tropical Timewarp

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 17.12.24

Summer is almost over, come get your boogie on the beach before weather gets cold! 
Tropical Timewarp @ YAAM Beach starts at 4pm
Soukous-Afrobeat-Highlife-Naija-Kwaito-Kuduro-Jazz-Cumbia-Dub-Calypso- & beyond…
★ Dj Zhao [Ngoma Sound/ Beijing/ Berlin] — 11pm
★ The Soulvendor [Tropical Timewarp/ Dubpub]
★ AFROSUSA live pecussion [Gambia-Spain-Berlin]
★ special decoration by: Grasstapete
★ Afro-Carib food on sale! 
5 euros before 11, 12 euros after – message me for guest list – ngomasound at gmail

The New Pacific

This year’s Wasser Musik Festival in Berlin at the end of July / beginning of August has the theme of Invisible Continent, and feature some great shows from various corners of the Pacific Ocean from Colombia to Thailand.   Here are my picks:

19.7. Novalima // info // facebook

27.7. The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band // info // facebook

28.7. Fahrraddisco: 
DJ Ipek / DJ Clé / Mother Perera / Dengue Dengue Dengue! // info // facebook

Cumbia All Stars // info // facebook

FUSION 6 – New World

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 21.38.36

Under the pavement, the beach, and after Apocalypse, a possible rebirth: these cut-up, mashed-up, re-edited and dubbed out rhythms from different corners of the earth as well as time periods, may form an image, a model, an interconnected rhyzomatic map of our collective hybridized, poly-cultural, high-tech and egalitarian future, where difference is not merely tolerated, but respected and valued, where without loss of individual character, seemingly separate histories, narratives, and cultures cross pollinate and fuse in surprising yet harmonious ways.

01 Francis Bebey – Forest Nativity X Mesak – Postuumi-1
02 Francis Bebey – Flute Aria X Joey Suki – Apster – Stick it
03 Unknown Burkina Faso – Djembe & Drums X Anton Kemmeren – Zorros Fighting Legion
04 Ja Fun Mi X dj Harvey-Drum Groove
05 Speranza X Sideshow Bottletop Dub
06 Unknown Degung Instrumental Bali X Twilight Circus Dub Sound System – 808 vod
07 Sindhi Music Ensemble – Thari Lok Geet X Badawi – Jihad
08 Chemirani Rizzo Montanaro – Balo Tondo (Zhao Edit)
09 Unknown – Pressure Sliding X Moto – Gucci
10 Bilal Abdurahman – Greek Holiday – Clarine, Darabuka, Tambourine X Omar S – Busaru Beats
11 MahndiMadhorama Pencha – Madan Bata Sindhu X Team Shadetek – Yoga Riddim
12 Small Island Pride – Federation (Dj Zhao solidarity Edit)
13 Unknown – Initiation Song and Jews Harp X Aardvaerck – Untitled
14 Tunng_VS_Taraf De haidouks – Homecoming_X Aardvaerck – Untitled
15 Sakou Si Bory – Aminata W X El Macho X Mastiksoul – El Macho Ben Tactic Edit
16 Kasambwe Brothers – Kasambwe Brothers X Negghead – Build it Up (break it down mix)
17 Dub Colossus – Shegye Shegitu (One Drop Mix) X Andy Stott – See In Me

March in Berlin

4 events coming up to ask ancient African gods for sunshine and warmth.


Friday, March 22, 2013 11:10pm // VULKANDANCE @ Party Obsessed People……. Kleine Präsidentenstraße 4a, Stadtbahnbogen 157-158 (hackescher markt)

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AFRICAINE 808 – ( W.T. Records/ Vulkandance ) (LIVE)
current release : http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/15094-africaine-808-tummy-tummy/
DJ ZHAO – ( Ngoma collective / Bejing )
DJ NOMAD – (Vulkandance)



Saturday, March 23, 11:00 // Norouz Party @ BALLHAUS – Naunynstr. 27, 10997

P1000786P1000746 P1000851 P1000862


DJ Zhao (Ngoma, Beijing/Los Angeles)

“Norouz” is the Persian New Year and the Spring Festival, so expect a night heavy on North African and Middle Eastern vibes!  (sponsored by http://www.deutsch-plus.de)

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 10.31.11

Friday, March 29, 2013 11:00pm // AFROHEAT @ Cookies Berlin………………………. Friedrichstrasse / Unter den Linden, 10117 P1010049 P1010051 64182_356656224436614_408825474_n 479961_356654651103438_1174634781_n 524858_356654721103431_1281266859_n 529579_356654267770143_1594494887_n 546003_356655334436703_1239238292_n

Main Floor – Afrobeats, Hip hop, RnB, Dancehall
DJ Steve-N (Düsseldorf)
DJ Cambel Nomi ( Stuttgart)
DJ Zyto (Berlin)
Hosted by U-Gin

Mini Floor – Afrohouse
DJ Zhao (Beijing/L.A.)


Saturday, March 30, 2013 1:00am // DRUM @ Club GRETCHEN (2nd room)
Obentrautstr. 19-21, 10963 Berlin, Germany
Rhythm and Bass at the intersection of urban electronics and timeless tradition: DRUM brings the sweetest beats and sickest flows to Berlin.

NGOMA Soundsystem featuring:

DJ Zhao (Ngoma/Beijing)
DJ Nomad (Vulkandance/Berlin)
Marcel, percussion/drums (Tropicfusion)
Kovo M22 on mic and mbira
Tamara and her dancing monkeys

entry will be 8 euros (together with the big room), so send me your guest list requests early, to – ngomasound at gmail.  we have some free and many half price spots.

Back in the JOZI 14-18 FEB

Pretoria girls really knock me out, They leave the west behind
And Soweto girls make me sing and shout, That SA’s always on my my my my mind!
Yes it will be nice to escape cold Europe for 4 days of gigs in the Jozi summer time vibes!
the main show is a day time concert with lots of amazing acts, check the website for soundbytes, and here is the facebook event. (check back for details of other shows)
Date: 2013-02-16 14:00:00
Address: 14-16 Twist Street,Johannesburg
Thath’i Cover Orkestra
Dirty Paraffin
Dj Zhao (Ngoma / DRUM / Berlin / BeiJing)
Mma Tseleng (JHB)
R65 pre-sale tickets
R80 at the door
‘Track Record’ forms part of ‘Call & Response’ – a project that marks Keleketla! Library’s five-year practice with a series of interventions, screenings, exhibitions, conversations and performances in February 2013. The project aims to re-visit the Keleketla archive of work produced over the last five years to imagine the changing nature of libraries and knowledge dissemination, realised in partnership with the Goethe-Institut South Africa and with additional support from the Department of Community Development/Arts, Culture and Heritage, City of Joburg.

Funds raised through the concert will support future programmes at Keleketla!

FEB: 2 nights in London

AFRO BEAT PARTY webFollowing the success of last year’s party at Floripa, OneTaste is bringing back the afrobeat vibes to London for this unforgettable party packed full of exciting big bands and DJs.

FRIDAY 8th FEB. 2013

Electric Jalaba
DJ Zhao
DJ My Therapist

£7 tickets in advance HERE

£10 on the door


Electric Jalaba
Ancient songs from the Gnawa tradition about mysterious women, men that divide oceans and armies of soul conquerers weave themselves among enormous infectious grooves, analogue effects and warped guitars. The sound of the camel skin Guembri and Lagnawi’s impressive vocals will transport you to another world as the band boil relentlessly through a range of beautifully unearthly grooves. Expect inexhaustible energy, moments of soulful calm and pinnacles of ecstatic mayhem, plus some dance moves, you’ve definitely never seen before.”

Formed in London in 2009, Awalé is a reflection of London’s multiculturalism. With members from Tunisia, Cuba, France, Slovakia and England, influences come in turn from Afrobeat, Balkan music,
North African Amazigh music, Congolese Rhumba, Ethio Funk, Jazz and Cuban music, blended in their unique style. Through their music they take the audience on a journey across continents celebrating diversity and hope for mutual understanding of different cultures. The name Awalé, meaning “love each other”, comes from an ancient African game played in hundreds of versions around the world. Like the game, the music is played in turns and cycles of various length which echo themselves, sometimes very intricately and sometimes in unison. Heavily horn based, with the colour and excitement of 70′s funk and with Balkan inspired odd time signatures and melodies.

DJ Zhao
DJ Zhao brings the best contemporary and classic dance music together from wildly different times and places, with focus on Africa. Informed of up-to-the-minute global street styles such as Afro-Electro, Angolan-House, Kuduro, Coupe Decale, Naija, Rai, and Cumbia, as well as drawing upon the wealth of sonic traditions worldwide such as Juju, Gwo Ka, Rumba, Taraab, and Persian Classical, Dj Zhao fuses ancestral rhythms and urban bass pressure. Amateur ethno-musicologist and professional booty shaker, Dj Zhao is an International Sound Ambassador not only talking about, but demonstrating through raw sound experience, the underlying unity of all earth cultures.

DJ My Therapist
A short while back I, admittedly, visited DJ Yoda in the DJ booth to find out about what track he was playing a few too many times. Only to be welcomed with “Why don’t you go and get your own f**king tunes!”
I started building a deep vault of funk, soul, hip-hop, reggae, breaks and drum ‘n’ bass to provide all the best people with all the best music that I could find and the collection keeps on growing. I’ve played at Glastonbury, Bestival, Lovebox, Shambala, Secret Garden, Standon Calling and am a regular fixture keeping the crowd rocking before and after every OneTaste and Beatroot Rendez-Vous gig. Come up and ask me what I’m playing any time, I’ll be proud to tell you.


Sat 9 February 8pm till late


£10 adv, £12 door, £5 concs or student / Main Space / Standing


Many things make NUMBI an extraordinary, transformative night out. The funky music: the sexy, vivacious dancing: the stunning performers culled from Funk Town, a place where spoken word, sinuous grooves and straight badassery collide to create an irresistible mix. The next NUMBI is no different.

This time we’re celebrating Afropunk and giving you a chance to truly rock out and express yourself on the dance floor. We’ve got the sultry sounds of chanteuse, Miryam Solomon. We’ve got the vibrant, shake-your-tail feather rhythms of Bronzehead, the band that puts the funk in punk!

We’ve got the linguistic sexiness of writer and artist, Diriye Osman, who will be hosting the evening. The incredible Zena Edwards, Malaika Booker, Elmi Ali our poets for the night tasked with bring you the word complete with mohawks. We’ve got the ultra-fabulous choreographer and dancer, Funmi Adewole doing her thing with the often imitated, never duplicated DJ Bradley Zero. Our special guest Dj Zhao to take you to the Afropunk 2light.

And to kick it all off the Numbi Film Corner is Back with a super special screening of Documentary Film PUNK IN AFRICA directed by Keith Jones and Deon Maas.