get tickets NOW as they’re going fast!
and on the 3rd of January NGOMA SOUND SYSTEM will be delivering that sweet boogie live afro-electro sound:
Jagwa Music: flux power trance vibration from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, playing a style of music with Chakacha roots known as Mchiriku, in Ritter Butzke, to a well attended but not packed house — Simply the most mathematically advanced and spiritually evolved music on earth in 2012. 4 percussionists produces robust, intricate, lattice work of dizzying interlocking rhythms: bass drum powerfully driving with the force of a monsoon, but no steady kicks, instead coming in unpredictable yet intuitive waves of intense clusters; smaller drums bang out unfathomably complex patterns not easily recognizable yet infinitely swinging — constantly changing yet always staying the same. 1 keys player emits sonorous sustained tones from a little keyboard, dexterous and serpentine, sounding somewhere between a church organ and Acid Mother’s Temple. On top of it all is the singing/yelping of the vocalist, the very embodiment of defiant ecstatic energy. Fierce and urgent: we have no time to waste, and must transcend tedious quotidian planes of existence NOW, simultaneously feeling the moments of this reality with more intensity. I talked 2 random guys standing outside asking “what kind of music is it?” into coming in, and they were jumping and getting soaked in sweat with me in the very front for the entire show, and then bought CDs after. The skill, beauty, energy and sheer spirit of this music is undeniable to anyone, with specialized tastes or not. They do have slower songs too but the expression “Ape-Shit” would be an understatement in describing my behavior during some parts of the evening… Now my other all time favorite live band in the history of the universe, besides Konono No. 1: Jagwa Music Rocks harder than Rock, is Funkier than Funk, and more danceable than dance music.
Legendary Highlife guitarist Ebo Taylor from Ghana and his band Afrobeat Acadamy played to a packed house in Kater Holzig. Not as typically classic Ghanaian High Life as i would have preferred, but this timeless polyrhythmic West African funk was of course irresistible. With the horn section not as in your face as with some other bands, and the guitars taking a more important role, the music is sweet as it is funky with a sensuous groove. A band like this, playing 70s African styles sells out big stages in Paris and medium ones in Berlin: this means western audiences need 30 to 40 years to catch up to Africa. So at this rate, by 2040 or 2050 Jagwa will be rocking the kind of huge crowds in Europe they should be doing right now – when band members are in their 70s.
photo by DJ Matar
Complex, masterful, and deeply funky music not pandering to simplistic Western tastes and not sanctioned by the hipster elite: Jaliba “King of Kora” Kuyateh and his awesome 8 piece Mbalax band from Senegal played for 50 local Gambian and Senegalise expats in a classroom of a Turkish community center, complete with unstable florescent lights: either super bright like in a super market, or plunging the room in total darkness. Beautiful, stately, and sublime performance despite bad conditions and technical difficulties: in a just world this concert would have been in Staatsoper Unter den Linden (state opera house).Jaliba comes from the Mande tradition but has updated the sound to include a drum set, and bass guitars, making a fusion type of music which is to be sure primarily Senegalise, but sometimes with a touch of reggae and funk influence. As each tune gets going, the culturally attired audience would, according to tradition, all get up off of their seats to make US dollar bills rain on the musicians, and sometimes sticking them into the man’s Kora as he is playing it (see photo above).
These behaviors which to the uneducated Western eye perhaps seem strange or even respectless and characteristic of low-class entertainment (strip clubs come to mind), are of course signs from a vastly complex and nuanced tradition which date all the way back to the Malian Empire of the 14th Century. Curious about the Griots’ art and tradition, i am reading the book Griots at War: Conflict, Conciliation, and Caste in Mande, by i think the only Western person to ever become accepted as a Griot in Mali. The entire volume of her fascinating experiences which tell of an ancient culture and its interwoven socio-political as well as artistic aspects is downloadable in E-book form here.
Sunday night at Bi Nuu, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra played a largely secret last show of a European tour. Their take of Afrobeat is much more angular, rigid, and rawkus compared to Ebo Taylor’s band, and making often use of the 1-2 duple rhythm as one would expect from North America. Intensely political, with lyrics about the global prison state of mind and other forms of pandemic oppression, the music is fast and fiery. The sound guy was mixing them as a rock band, with the Congas barely even audible until i actually requested to him that they be turned up louder… This music seems to fill and struggle against the very boundaries, limitations and framework of the genre, so tight as to leave no breathing space, imbuing a sense of claustrophobia as well as anxiety and frustration, which is appropriate for the subject matter of the songs.
sorry for lateness: dropping beats for Ghanaian superstars Kwaw Kese, Bradez, and Appietus tonight at Worldtronics. first time ever Hiplife concert/party in Berlin? in Europe???
addendum: biggest regret of 2011 was not taking any photos with Appietus, Bradez, and Kwaw Kese while hanging out back stage. but we do have concert video, just need to find time to edit…
when we started, Matchume just flew in from Portugal 2 hours before, and Congo from France the night before, and I had just played at Berghain the night before… so all 3 of us were running on zero to very little sleep. which might be reason that we forgot to bring a disc recorder to record off the board, so that’s why the camera stayed on the stage and didn’t move around this time, because it was attached to the sound board. also, the Camera man wanted to dance for the last hour, and put the camera down… which was too bad as that was the most hype hour: 3000 jumping and screaming. But despite all this i’m still happy with the way it turned out.
Badehaus is a new club with wicked sound inside the RAW Temple building complex, and it will become both our Temple to Timeless Rhythm Heritage as well as Afro-Bass Spaceport, to which the Mothership will come and take us to the most terrifying and beautiful depths of the known and unknown universe.
Our bad ass drummer man Marcel will be licking chops all night to both classic and Afro-futurist vibes, and the last time the mighty Boom Brothers played at an Ngoma party the entire city shook for days after. Join Ngoma Soundsystem and our co-pilots for a night of Ancient Futurist Tropikal Rhythms you’ll not likely forget!
see you on the dance floor!
Rhythms born of the tropics grow up in colder urban climates: A re-newed attention to percussion is appearing on the many different shores of Northern Hemisphere electronic dance music; as a new generation of artists in the US and Europe channel, re-interpret, and recontextualize Afro-diasporic drumming traditions according to their own local sensibilities, reaching to complete the mother continents’ circle of musical influence.
In Detroit and Chicago intricate percussive patterns are growing right between the rigid 4-on-the-floor, snare-on-the-2 beat. Evolving directly from street level forms such as Ghetto-Tech and Booty-House, new drum sounds integrate with the cold and hard latices of industrialized assembly line structure – among others, the exceptional track by The Grizzl and J. Phlip is a perfect example. interlocking microscopic beat segments by Afrikanized robot drummers are revitalizing increasingly impoverished styles like Hip Hop and Techno, machines under duress reaching new states of intensity. Juke may be a freak mutation, a strange autistic grand child of Afrikan music with a mechanical brain and artificial limbs, and is itself giving birth to new hybrid styles both at home in the US and abroad (many of the tracks here fall in this one-step-removed category of Juke-inspired music). Addison Groove brings streamlined house tempo footwork; while Chicago artists like Wheez-ie and Brenmar from the Movelt Posse come with their Juke inflected club music sometimes more informed by Afrikan urban music than anything from America – one listen to 28 – Bak it In or 16 – So High will convince you.
In Europe, the UK-Funky movement is in full swing, with its obviously Afro-Caribbean derived beat propelling the dance forward, represented here by mainstays Roska and Doc Daneeka. in Germany artists like Mode Selector, Dark Sky, and Schlachthofbronx are formulating their own Afro-Teutonic sonic worlds, sometimes reflecting the cold and sun-deprived climate of their homeland. There are also micro strands of European producers making direct interpretations of Afrikan styles such as Angolan Kuduro, exemplified here by Diamond Bass and Portuguese artist Roulet. Besides proponents working within genre delineations, there are many exploring unclassifiable areas between them. For example UKG legends Bias and Gurley’s “Roll” remixed by Blackdown is a frankenstein monster borne of Garage and Juke, Sampology with the epic and all encompassing “Transatlantic Skanking Dub”, and Gremino and Baobinga & I.D.’s hard edged mutant Afro-Bass.
Northern Tropikal is either the lastest chapter of the continuing story of the original Afrikan pulse spreading, pollinating, multiplying, or “western” urban nomads accessing deep memories of Motherland rhythm heritage within the harsh reality of concrete jungles. Which ever perspective you choose, one thing is clear: Afrikanized Killer Beats are on the swarm.
01 Intro Feat. The Ill Saint
02 Bias & Gurley – Roll (Blackdown’s A Debt Repaid Remix)
03 Photek – U.F.O. (Addison Groove remix)
04 Addison Groove – Make Um Bounce
05 Dark Sky – The Lick
06 The Grizzl And J. Phlip – Bakupgrl
07 Modeselector – Art & Cash (Roska Remix)
08 Wireless Sound – Chicago
09 Lars Moston & Philipe de Boyar – So Sick (Douster Remix)
10 Randomer & Fife – No Sleep
11 Headhunter – Locus Lotus
12 Roska & Untold – Long Range
13 Diamond Bass – Stereotype
14 BD1982 – Calenture (Pacheko Remix)
15 Brenmar – At It Again
16 Brenmar – So High
17 AC Slater & Mumdance – Transatlantic Riddim (Instrumental)
18 Sampology – Transatlantic Skanking Dub
19 Doc Daneeka – Drums In the Deep
20 Pariah – The Slump + XXXY – Constant
21 Same Tiba – Barbie Weed + Onyenze – Onwa Nna Na Nwa – (Schlachthofbronx Remix)
22 Brenmar – Like It Like That
23 Dillon Francis – Westside
24 Onyenze – Onwa Nna Na Nwa – (Schlachthofbronx Remix)
25 Gremino – Ruffness
26 Baobinga & I.D. – Tongue Riddim
27 Addison Groove – This Is It + Berou & Canblaster – Kapongo Dance
28 Wheez-ie – Bak It In
29 Rusko – Cockney Thug (Buraka Som Sistema Remix) + Dj Assault – Ass ‘n’ titties
30 Buckfunk 3000 and Si Begg – High Volume (VIP Mix)
31 Makongo – Angolan Kung Fu (Dubbel Dutch Remix) + Dj Godfather I Keep Bangin The Beat
32 Roulet – Oasis
33 Scuba – Ruptured (Surgeon remix)
34 30Hz Mutate(d) (Pinch Re-work) / Outro Feat. The Ill Saint
BAREFOOT SKANK presents:
RESURRECTING THE DREAD
Einlass: 22 Uhr, 15€ / 10€
Radialsystem - Holzmarktstraße 33, 10243 Berlin
JAHCOOZI (live) // Bpitch Control
ROBOT KOCH (live) // Mooncircle
Ghettozoid (dj) // One4Ho // London
DJ Zhao (dj) // Ngomasound
from now on all things related to NGOMA Collective, Soundsystem, and DJ Zhao will be here.
a few highlights from the past 3 years:
ETHNOPORT Festival (Poland)
and i’m just going to put this photo here: