The Guardian fails to pin-point the unique significance of Funky: it was the very first time that explicitly African rhythm patterns had been prominently used in, and defined, an entire style of “Western” dance music. This failure is part of a larger pattern. In the following sentence, the journalist clearly denigrates African-ness as the least significant aspect of Funky, in typically Euro-centric fashion: “…’a make-do sound’, patched together by and for an uneasy alliance of shiny-shoes “real house music”-lovers, grime kids craving something less macho, hipsters looking for a new buzz after dubstep, and those raised on the riotous party sounds of dancehall, soca and west African music.” ——— the influence of African music is a less important factor than “real house”, than grime, than hipsters (!); and also less important than Dancehall and Soca. And in this sentence, African-ness is completely omitted: “All were united by a pumping house undercurrent, clattering grime and dancehall rhythms, and car-window-rattling bass” ——– Since Funky started to get coverage, journalists have referred to the style as mostly or entirely Caribbean derived — But if you know music, you know the beats in UK-Funky is much, MUCH more derived from African music than from Dancehall or Soca.
the first 8 volumes in this Reboot.fm radio series. for tracklisting please go to the soundcloud pages for each show. to download of course simply click the downward aarow on the right side of the player for each show.
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RADIO NGOMA 1 – Live from Krakow
RADIO NGOMA 2 - Mid Tempo Trip Around the World
RADIO NGOMA 3 - Moody Booty
RADIO NGOMA 4 - Righteousness and Rudeness (Reggae Special)
RADIO NGOMA 5 - Ancestral Rhythms
RADIO NGOMA 6 - Afro Futurism
RADIO NGOMA 7 - Global Dub Resistance
RADIO NGOMA 8 - Trans-Atlantic Rhythm Passage
Framing house music, perhaps the most depoliticized of all urban musics, whose narrative revolve around unreflective pleasure seeking, in a political context may seem incredulous to some. Yet this incredulity would be based on a superficial reading of the essence of house music culture, despite what it has become in the commercial sphere: in its very inception, the escapism into a fantasy hedonistic world was an expression of the underprivileged and marginalized, and the creation of a sanctuary of acceptance was nothing less than a political act of the oppressed and discriminated against.
Perhaps even more than Chicago or Detriot 67, the political dimension is deeply interwoven into the urban musical fabric of South Africa, and has profoundly influenced its evolution. Zulu protest songs live on through Kwaito, the first musical expression of a free South Africa, and from there the current House culture developed: if less overtly rebellious, it nonetheless retains in its beats and voices the spirit of revolt: the urgent and passionate expression of a people who have been subjugated for too long.
The Zulu word Ukulwa means war and struggle. and in this context it can only mean a war against oppression and the struggle for freedom and independence. Apartheid may have officially ended, but its myriad effects can be unmistakably felt in a slew of social problems which plague the nation today, from crime to domestic violence as result of the break up of families, from poverty to various hardships which come from an entire generation having been systematically deprived of formal education. Thus even while many positive things are taking place, as South Africa is surely rising as a proud modern nation, even as we rejoice in these blissful rhythms, we must remember this war, and both continue, and continue to be inspired by, this struggle against domination, against injustice: Ukulwa.
while staying in the same territory as 2, the journey is not the same, and many things make this one unique: the psychedelic motorik genius of Dj Clock’s “Durban Guitar”; the monolithic, earth shaking visions of Black Coffee; DJ Sdoko’s ominous Kraftwerkian phuture; Manya’s soul stirring take on traditonal Angolan melodies; a surprisingly wicked banger from the Dutch DJ Bigga (UK is not the only place currently Afro minded), and ending with a further reach of rhythmic diaspora: Sami vocal style from Mari Boine, reinterpreting the sound of indigenous Norway.
concerning the anti-apartheid and war samples used through out the mix: the struggle for freedom from colonialism is the context which gave rise to contemporary South African music: Kwaito was born amidst antagonism and bloodshed, and has led to the current house music scene. thus songs such as “100 Zulu Warriors” and the radio broadcast at the end should not be taken as an incitement of racial conflict (especially in light of last year’s wave of horrible xenophobia) but as a reminder of the political realities of the Apartheid era from which this music comes.
01 [SA] Andy X – Tech House
02 [SA] DJ Clock – Durban Guitar
03 [SA] Bantu Soul – Isgubhu
04 [SA] Blackcoffee / DJ Christos and Demor – Searching
05 [SA] Black Coffee – 100 Zulu Warriors
06 [SA] Black Coffee – Stimela (remix)
07 [SA] Thebe – Ugezi
08 [SA] DJ Fhiso – House Animation
09 [SA] DJ Clock – Move Your Body
10 [SA] DJ Clock – No Fear
11 [SA] DJ Sdoko – Boozoom Base
12 [SA] Double Trouble – Mamelodi Funk
13 [SA] DJ Tira and Bubzin – Beat Goes On (Iyo)
14 [UK] Don Haffer – Mad Fling
15 [ANGOLA] DJ Znobia – Afrosound
16 [UK] Ossie – Tarantula (inc Funkineven Remix)
17 [Peru] Novalima – Mayoral
18 [UK] DSD – Fruity
19 [UK] Footsteps – Baby Kinta
20 [UK] Roska – Tack Tiles
21 [UK] DJ Mystery – Changes
22 [UK] DJ Tremendous – Log 19
23 [HOLLAND] DJ BIgga – Boeke Anthem X [BRAZIL] Menor do Chapa – Familia Vida Loka
24 [UK] Unknown – Unknown
25 [SA] Unknown – Thumping
26 [SA] Mr Flip – The Wild Thing
27 [UK] Geeneus – Yellowtail
28 [UK] Headhunter – Birks Range
29 [SA] Shana – Uyangichomela
30 [SA] Bucie – Amadoda (Black Coffee remix)
31 [NORWAY/GER] Mari Boine – Vuoi Vuoi Mu (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
32 [SA] Dr Duda and Dr M-bee – The Gap Featuring Gina
33 [SA/US] Terre Thaemlitz / Radio Freedom (Anti-Apartheid Broadcast)
The drum comes from Africa, and also techno. Here is an extremely simplified version of the lineage: slave songs – blues – gospel – jazz – funk – disco – house – techno —- the circle is complete. After all, the 4 on the floor hypnotic groove can be found in the myriad styles of African music from every era. House and techno grew up in the northern hemisphere, acquiring a character a bit removed from the rich rhythmic traditions of the mother continent. But in recent decades electronic dance music has been developing in Africa, and a new wave of club music is blossoming and flourishing.
History was made in 2008 with Warp Records’ release of DJ Mujava’s Township Funk in Europe, and the world is slowly coming to grips with the awesome power of African electronic music. Motherland house and techno is spreading far and wide, forming the rhythmic basis for urban bass music in the UK and elsewhere: Africanized Killer Beats on the swarm!