NGOMA 14 – DRUM

DRUM_600

This edition in the Ngoma Mix Series focuses on new 125 bpm African Electronic Dance Music.  As i have argued in the “Real Roots of Kwaito” piece for This Is Africa, American and European Disco, House, and Hiphop were crucially influential in the beginning stages of development of post-Apartheid South African urban music, but since then SA House and Kwaito have matured and grown into its own skin, much more an extension of indigenous rhythm cultures than related to “Western” dance music.  For example the beat patterns in these tracks are distinctly different: the constant off-beat high hats found in the US and Europe are almsot entirely absent; and with much more rich and developed rhythm elements and very different emphasis, this music should probably be thought of as simply new African dance music, with not much to do with what is traditionally known as “House” or “Techno” at all.  

OR: STREAM: MIXCLOUD //// DOWNLOAD: ZIPPY OR MEDIAFIRE

Selections come mainly from South Africa and Angola, with lots of percussion, many balafons, a touch of jazz, some diasporic elements from Cuba and Colombia, couple tunes made in Spain, and a  shot of Nigerian Pop at the peak.  This is the first part, relatively bright in feel:  stay tuned for DRUM 2 – the dark side.

01 Dj Shimza & Cuebur Ft 340ml – Let The Sunshine (Reprise)
02 Invaders Of Africa – Impi Yamakhanda
03 Culoe De Song – Tsonga Song
04 Pro Tee – Thee Broken Keys
05 Dj Small Jon – Return Of the Drum
06 Black Motion feat. Nqobi  – Second Thoughts
07 Dr Ada T feat. Muzaic – Ewe
08 Jason Cheiron – Primal
09 Monocles, Slezz – Umba Kayo (Dj Alpha Kazu Dub)
10 Mbuandje – Mbuandja (Reprise) + Zozo – Totos Dance
11 Pablo Fierro – Agua (Nuevayorkquinas Mix)
12 Pablo Fierro – Sandulivi
13 Kosha Roots – Revival
14 Homeboyz Muzik – Samburu (Jungle Drums Original)
15 Dj Ad feat ZB E PJ – Patagoloza
16 Heavy K feat. Sarah Webster- The Gun Song (A Lesson Twice Learned Edit)
17 Lvovo – Original
18 3G Music – Vagabos
19 Pinto Dos Santos – Ma’e
20 Dj Kapiro & Mad Aksoul – Akanela (Oliver Twist Theme) + Estelle ft. D’banj – Oliver Twist (Remix)
21 Big Nuz – Rockafella
22 Franklin Rodriques – Para Na Wey
23 The Busy Twist – LDN Luanda
24 Dj Satellite & Dj Patrick – Malembe, Malembe
25 Boddhi Satva feat. Mangala Camara – Nankoumandjan (Dekalstrumental Mix)

Dance Music’s So Called Progressiveness

Morgan Geist commented on a pretty scary NYT article on the commercial success of Electronic Dance Music.  For now i will leave the numerous serious problems with the article itself aside, and focus on the quote of a quote:

“Let’s remember a quote from a Detroit techno pioneer (possibly Jeff Mills) that I think of often: “At rock concerts, people scream when they hear something they know and have heard before. With techno, people scream when they hear something they’ve never heard before.”

While on the surface it rings true, the much applauded and alleged “progressiveness” and “open mindedness” of electronic dance music culture, now nearly 30 years on, is debatable to say the least. A more accurate description would be:

“techno crowds scream when they hear something they’ve never heard before, but which bangs exactly in the same manner as something which they have heard many, many times before.”

By now, to me at least, a lot of the innovative, genre-defying, unconventional and potentially insurrectionary energy of many forms of Electronic Dance Music such as house and techno has solidified and genrified into a stagnant, closed minded and xenophobic conservatism which still worships exactly the same few sacred recordings: for example, you will find ZERO Acid Techno since the release of Phuture’s Acid Trax* which pushes the genre further, in any significant ways, by even 1 centimeter.  Not that there is anything wrong with screaming at the recognition of a sound**, we are all creatures of habit after all, but if you play some EDM which is objectively, formally speaking at least equally as “banging”, “deep” and danceable as Jeff Mills, but which is truly rhythmically and sonically fresh, truly boundaries pushing in the context of western clubs in 2012, say, some Kuduro or South African Electro, at a techno party a lot of people will head for the door.  (i know from many personal experiences).

The illusion that Electronic Music is somehow “inherently, by its very nature, more progressive” than anything that came before will not benefit anyone, least of all electronic music makers or lovers — in the history of modern western Louis Armstrong was much more revolutionary than Derrick May.  But musicology aside, in the most-boring-argument-ever between “real music” and electronic music, if the EDM heads want their bleeps to be taken seriously, just like “real instruments”, they need to also, at the same time, realize and admit that just because it is done with synths and drum machines don’t make it necessarily any more wild and crazy and new and “futuristic”** than anything else.

* Actaully, now that i think about it, i do miss playing acid techno a hell of a lot.  Maybe will get back into it, nostalgically, a little bit :)

** This quote of a quote also embodies the kind of out-dated modernism typical in the serotonin depleted rhetoric of Electronic Dance Music — the self proclaimed but in fact disingenuous obsession with newness actually sets up a reactionary and conservative dichotomy between “new” and “old”, in which the essential truth of the nature of creative progress, that the ideas which drive the discovery and development of the new always arise from the old, is sidelined and dismissed.  Techno routinely wheels out the ideas of visual artists from 1910 – 1930 as if they were at all original or even relevant in the 21st Century; the geometric minimalist forms and surfaces betray a wholly retrograde consciousness.

Electro Gamelan

a brilliant Electronic Gamelan mix by Nautilus Sound from Australia.  beautiful as it is suspenseful, subtle and powerful, totally epic.  includes all kinds of tasty Nu-Gamelan (lol) treats from Downtempo Gamelan to Gamelan-Step to Tribal Gamelan Tech to even Junglist jump up Gamelan.

Komodo, Sofa Surfers and Jam’N Mix
Dj Zhao – Unknown Indonesian Traditional + Spring Water
Monkey Chant Traditional
Resident’s – Santa Dog
System 7 – Borobudur
Komodo – Shadow Dance
Gamelan X – Flutterswarm
Komodo – Bali Dub
Tomosuke – Gamelan de Couple
System 7 = Simon X Files
Dj Zhao – Deadbeat+ Lost Luggage
Sevish – Islands

FUSION 3: house of Eshu

In Yoruba spiritual traditions (contemporary Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria) as well as its descendant Afro-diasporic faiths like Vodou, Santeria/Lukumi and Candomble, Eshu is the divine messenger between Gods and Man, the gatekeeper, protector of travelers, guardian of the Crossroads, offering choices and reveals possibilities.  Often identified by the number three, and the colours red & black, Eshu represents the balance of nature, Day and night, creation and destruction, old age and youth.  Yet more than conduit between this and other worlds, Eshu is also a spirit of Chaos and a devious trickster, playing games and serving up mischief with the ultimate aim of waking people up and teaching them lessons.

OR: STREAM: MIXCLOUD // 1 TRACK DL: MEDIAFIRE //SEPARATE TRACKS DL: MEDIAFIRE

So, in the spirit of Eshu, FUSION 3 represents the balance between traditional and modern, “east” and “west”, listening and dancing. This mashup album stands at the crossroads between the musical worlds of Yoruba talking steel drums, Cuban piano, Indonesian Gamelan, Cameroon Mbira (thumb piano), Black Panther poetry, South African Jazz, etc., and the House and Techno club sounds of today.

I think it will play a few tricks on minds which insist on seeing the world in discontinuously separate compartments.

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01 [Nigeria/Germany] Etubom Rex Williams – Uwa Idem Mi <> Maurizio – M1
02 [Pan-Africa/USA] Guem & Zaka – L’Abeille <> Oasis – One
03 [Indonesia/Cuba] Django Mango – the wisdom of the fool <> Fast Vision Soul – Babatunde
04 [Burundi/South Africa] Chant d’enfant accompagne d’un arc musical umuduri <> Spikiri feat. Hugh Masekela – Spiyanko Bonus Beats
05 [Nigeria/UK] Wahabi Arowoshila – Gbogbo Musulumi Ododo (Fuji) <> Hector and Bryant – Tension
06 [Cameroon/Germany] Frances Bebey – Africa Sanza <> Basti Grub – oma vovo
07 [Cameroon/UK] Frances Bebey – Bameda <> AudioFly – Sweeter Than
08 [Indonesia/Germany] Sambasunda – Sumimaula <> Liapin – BlackMamba
09 [USA/Italy] Sarah Webster Fabio – Glimpses / Nigger Sweat <> Double Dash – Mas
10 [Nigeria/UK] Madam Mujidat Ogunfalu & Her Waka Group – Ololo Nise Awo Won Ni <> Chris Wood and Frank Leicher – Into the Jungle
11 [South Africa/USA] Ricky Rimbiandarison  –  Imamohamana Dry (The Wake Up Drum) <> Cpen – African Jack
12 [Ghana/USA] Charles Kofi Amankwaa Mann – Funky Hi-Life <> Yonurican – Lucha Machete (Ricardo Miranda Drum Mix)
13 [Mali] Oumou Sangare – Yala (Zhao Fix)
14 [Ghana/Netherlands] Guy Warren – BUILSA <> Gregor Salto – Classic Beat
15 [USA/Nigeria] Sarah Webster Fabio – Boss Soul <> Osunlade  –  Native Tongue
16 [Mali/Sweden] Ahmed Fofana – Balani <> Jamtech Foundation – Too Fast (Zombie Disco Squad Remix)
17 [Ethiopia/Germany] Bole 2 Harlem – Home <> Booka Shade – Hide and Seek In Geishas Garden

FUSION 2 – Ancestral Dubient

Traditional and contemporary music from 5 continents, 25 countries, mashed up, refixed, and dubbed out.

Whereas the first Fusion volume was global traditional music fused with Dubstep and Grime, this second one clocks in at 105 BPM and explores the marriage of ancestral sounds and mid-tempo dancehall/moonbahton/hiphop derived beats.  Some of the juxtapositions include Mongolian Throat Singing with screwed Techno, Uzbek vocal pop with Norwegian Skweee, Tribal African chanting over Hiphop, and Brazillian tinged percussion with Angolan Urban Beats.  The mood is often overcast and cloudy with occasional bursts of heavy thunderstorms.

The FUSION series is decidedly more for listening compared to the dancefloor oriented NGOMA series, but there are certainly some bangers in here for you to  scrunch up your face to, alongside more tripped out and lyrical numbers.

OR: STREAM: MIXCLOUD // 1 TRACK DL: MEDIAFIRE // SEPARATE TRACKS DL: MEDIAFIRE

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01 [Ghana] Gordon Odametey – Flying Gods (Zhao Edit)
02 [Liberia] Seku Bundah, Troupe, and Townsmen of Jonjah – Topical Song (Zhao Edit)
03 [Cameroon/France] Francis Bebey – Binta Madialio >< Agoria – Solarized (dub mix)
04 [Turkey/UK] Yaşar Akpençe – Dreams >< Demdike Stare – Haxan Dub
05 [Unknown Africa/SA] Unknown – Patricia >< Sibot – Famon Nigiri
06 [Malaysia/Germany] Anggi anak Alang, Entirong Bayang , Enggang anak Sandom, Kira anak Rabong – Serunal/Taboh >< Log – Out 2
07 [Colombia/Spain] Cumbia Moderna De Soledad – Shacalao >< Lerosa and Donato – acid snake
08 [Algeria/USA] Flûtes-gasba du Nord-Est de l’Agérie – Hwa Mrabet Did Chabbi >< Omar D – Busaru Beats
09 [Nubia] Al-Nûbatiyya – Mann Koudoud Toa Yaa Naas (Zhao Edit)
10 [Morrocco] Unknown – Unknown (Zhao Edit)
11 [Egypt] Ahmad Adaweya – Salametha Omm Hassan (Zhao Edit)
12 [Algeria] Unknown – Danse Bédouine (Zhao Edit)
13 [Nigeria/Angola] Guem & Zaka – Nostalgie >< Dj Maginho – TarraxO 100 percent Agressivo
14 [Brazil/Angola] No Sapatinho – Batugue >< dj nuxito – nova inspiracio
15 [UK/Japan] Ian Middleton – Cycle AND Sakuteiki – Viewing Infinite Space
16 [USA/Japan] Dubadelic – Rise of the Fall >< Sakuteiki – Viewing Infinite Space
17 [Syria/UK] Lena Chamamian – Sariri Hovim Mernem >< King Midas Sound – I Dub
18 [Mongolia/Spain] Black Horse – Chingges Khaanii magtaal (with huumii) >< Lerosa and Donato – Gas Snake
19 [Uzbekistan/Sweden] Yulduz Usmanova – Schoch Va Gado >< Daniel Savio – Tough Guy Music