FUSION 7 – A.F.R.O.

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“The drum is closely linked in African philosophy with the word… The original utterance which created life of nothingness and chaos, and then established order in that creation. The drum is therefore a divine tool of the Supreme Being, a womb or beginning of created life.”  - Maureen Warner-Lewis

“The drum encloses a womb of space in which silence and identity will emerge out of the darkness and the void.” - Wilson Harris

“”God is dumb, until the drum speaks.” – Ancient African proverb

Drawing upon the vast rhythmic resources across the mother continent, from places like Botswana, Burundi, Uganda, Ghana, Congo, Morocco, and more, with a touch of Afro-Cuba and the Afro-Caribbean, as well as selection and sampling of some of the great electronic music of today, FUSION 7 builds a fortress to dance, a bridge between today’s electronic dance music and its roots on the Mother Continent.  Even more than the Afro-Asian House of FUSION 3 and Middle Eastern Bass of FUSION 4, this 7th volume of pure African Percussion and Techno/Bass is firmly situated on the dance floor.

As we take synthetic drugs in the context of today’s commercialized club culture, it is important to know that dance music is neither frivolous or inconsequential:  rhythm was important for the evolutionary process of our species in terms of motor functions and socialization, and dancing is a sacred activity which connects us both to each other, as well as to the vibrations of the heavenly spheres.

01 Heart Beat Intro / Tuareg Traditional X dima – monolog
02 Guem & Zaka – Printemps X Yonurican – Lucha Machete
03 El Hadj Ensemble – Wo Mawu X Fast Vision Soul – Babatunde
04 Soweto Ensemble – Nxal X Unknown
05 Bukky Leo & Black Egypt – Black Egypt
06 Gordeon Odametey – Okemi Ekpe X Queen Atom – Minsk
07 Kasai Allstars – Mukuba Special X Shakleton X Wiley – Where’s My Brother (Trebus    Funky Dub)
08 Moritz Von Oswald Trio – Pattern 3 X MicroTribe
09 Afronaut – Neuvo Rumbero X Echologist feat. The Space Ape – Mercy Beat (MRI vs Uess Nondub Remix)
10 Calypso Jazz Improvisation With Steel Drums X Caja De Ritmos – Drumstep X          Echologist feat. The Space Ape – Mercy Beat (MRI vs Uess Nondub Remix)
11 Shackleton – It’s Not Easy X Rhythmic Theory – Riveted
12 Percussion3 X Kamikaze Space Programme – Lawn (Dj Zhao Short Edit)
13 Guem & Zaka – Turon X Roska – Jackpot
14 Tambours Du Burundi – Uri Inyambo Burundi + LR Groove – Bush Man
15 Guem – Topil X Gender – Behind the Forest
16 Hammana Manden Kono A Nakan X Edu K – Avec Bon Bons
17 El Hadj Ensemble – Wo Mawu X Cabo Snoop – Windeck (Arih Gold & Gil Perez Remix)
18 Guem & Zaka – Liberte X BWG – Mandombanzani
19 Guem & Zaka – Liberte X Ventress – Typhon
20 Tuareg Traditional X Ardisson – The End (Posthuman Remix) X Ventress – Typhon / Heartbeat

Heart of Light

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“Heart of Light” – the last words uttered publicly by democratically elected first president of newly independent Congo Patrice Lumumba at his inauguration address, 3 months before his murder by Belgium and CIA, because he dared to oppose the Western forces of oppression and planned to keep the wealth of the Congo for the Congo.  Freedom and hope was killed in 1961, with disastrous consequences that last until today, but The Heart of Light can never die…

MORE OPTIONS – STREAM:  MIXCLOUD

Rumba traveled back to Africa via Cuba and Haiti in the 40s and 50s, later developing into Soukous, arguably peaking in the 60s and 70s, and lived on well into the 90s with a more streamlined and modern sound. This mix is only a tiny slice of this glorious sound from the later periods: 4 on the floor, with enough bass for modern dance floors.  Excluded are examples from the ocean of older, incredibly varied recordings, of supreme beauty and artistic merit but many of which sadly have poor sound quality, as the best musicians in the world were, and are, often recording under the worst conditions and with the worst equipment.

Despite being the biggest African music export in history, African Rumba is still criminally under exposed in the Northern Hemisphere.  Yet this music is crucial, and should be very important to anyone interested in Dance Music, anyone interested in Pop, in Rock, in Soul,  in Jazz, in Funk, in Reggae, etc.  Objectively speaking, in terms of raw musicianship, in terms of composition and arrangement, and if we break down the rhythms and melodies to mathematical patterns and study them, these highly evolved structures are perfectly designed and executed in every way.

I grew up with Industrial Noise, Punk, and Metal, and it wasn’t until my late 20s/early 30s until i was emotionally mature enough to appreciate amazing sounds like this. Please leave your cynicism at the door and embrace this music, for the truth is, something Africans have known all along, that ultimately the most powerful revolutionary force, of which the powers are afraid, is not anger — it is love.

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01 Sam Mangwana – Liwa Ya Niekesse
02 Orchestra Makassy – Kufulisika Sio Kilema
03 Papa Noel – Bel Ami
04 Kosmos Moutouari – Liberte
05 4 Stars – Mayanga
06 Kanda Bongo Man – Ebeneza
07 Mpongo Love = Femme Commerçante
08 Unknown – Zoum
09 Sam Mapangala – Dunia Tuna Pita (We’re Just Passing Through the World)
10 Kanda Bongo Man – J.T.
11 Bilenge Musica Du Zaire – Wazazi Wangu
12 Empire Bakuba – Nazingi Maboko
13 Alain Kounkou – Soukouss Grands Effets
14 Nyboma – Maya
15 Elali – Mawa (Ngai Mawa)
16 Synthez – Virée aux Antilles
17 Fifi Map – Libala Ya Bomwana
18 Africa Maestro – Na Decide
19 Bicko Tchéké – C’est chic
20 Kanda Bongo Man – Sango
21 Meiway – Nanan
22 Luambo Lwanza Makiadi & L’Orchestre TPOK Jazz (Franco) – Casier Judiciare

Sound culture in the Heart of Light

and here is a repost from the old blog, of classic Congolese Rumba, literally the sweetest sounds i have ever heard.

tracklisting: volume 1 / volume 2.

Big big thanks to Bolingo69 for the original upload.  It is criminal that these heavenly sounds are out of print and commercially unavailable anywhere.  Here are both volumes together on mediafire.

And I’ve been meaning to do an official NGOMA volume of modern dance floor Soukous for some time…  it will happen soon.  But until then, there are lots of awesome tunes in this episode of Radio Ngoma:

NGOMA MIX 13 – Juju-Juke

Ever since drums were banned on most slave plantations in N. America during the 1600s, after the masters discovering that the slaves organized revolts with their talking drums, the expression of poly-rhythms in N. American popular music has primarily been through use of the voice.  This is the reason music in the US is typified by the simple 1-2 “dupple” rhythm, in contrast to more complex beat patterns in South-America or the Caribbean (which kept their drums).  Thus the evolution of all subsequent Afro-North-American music was profoundly shaped, from Blues to Funk to Disco:  kick on the 1, and snare on the 2; all the way down to the late 20th Century – complex poly-rhythms in hiphop is produced with rap, and the drums remain a skeletal, minimalistic boom-bap, as if just to mark time.

Now in the 21st Century a renewed sense of rhythmic complexity returns to  Afro-North-American dance music in the form of Juke/Footwork in Chicago: interlocking 2s and 3s form intricate beat structures, unmistakeably related to many forms of percussion styles in the motherland (but still often keeping that N. American hard snare on the 2).

OR: STREAM: MIXCLOUD //// DOWNLOAD: SEPARATE TRACKS OR SINGLE TRACK

This NGOMA volume demonstrates this reconnection, after centuries of separation, between African tradition and Afro-Diaspora:  between Nigerian Juju/Fuji music and Chicago Juke/Footwork, between Ethiopian dance styles and Detroit Ghetto-Tech, between Iberian trad-modern street sounds and American R’n’B/Pop, between Afro-Punk and Club Music, between Congolese Mbira workouts and Hiphop, between Ghanaian and Senegalese drumming and Urban Bass Pressure.   Let us pump up the volume and remember the power and spirit of rhythm which survives every hardship, cruelty, and oppression, and rejoice in the timeless Music Of the Drums.

big thanks to Keith Jones for knowledge passing, Itzi Nallah, Sonic Diaspora and states side massive for making the Juju-Juke tour possible, my B-girls Jessi and Maya for support.Juju-Juke Tour kick off in Belgrade

I have played this set a few times now during the Serbia, Germany, and US East Coast tour  a few weeks ago, and crowds have gone completely BONKERS as the energy went straight through the roof: 500 screaming people and massive MOSH PIT at 3AM during Mikser Festival Belgrade; club crowd which refused to leave, clapping and hollering for 20 minutes after lights went up and sound was turned off at The Shrine Chicago.  I guess the world is more than ready for 160 BPM Afro-Footwork pressure!!!

and here is that adrenaline fueled misanthropic juke edit of South African punk rockers Koos by itself (download and drop into your set if you are wo/man enough :D):