About ngomasound

NGOMA SOUNDSYSTEM a trio of DJ, Percussion, and Reed instruments, NGOMA Soundsystem fuses past and future, east and west, ancestral rhythms and hyper-modern sound. Ngoma Soundsystem connects the hottest dance music styles new and old from the Motherland and beyond with improvised rhythmic and melodic invention. Dynamic interplay of live instrumentation with dj and computer makes NGOMA Soundsystem a versatile and powerful musical entity operating against all fictional cultural borders and illusions of separation. ____________________________________________ DJ ZHAO DJ Zhao brings the best contemporary and classic dance music together from all five continents, with focus on Africa. With in depth selections spanning wildly different times and places, DJ Zhao’s remix and mashup work directly connects "East" and "West", acoustic and electronic, traditional and hyper-modern. Amateur ethno-musicologist and professional booty shaker, Zhao is an International Ambas...sador of BASS not only talking about, but demonstrating through raw sound experience, the underlying unity of all earth cultures. Performing solo and as part of Ngoma Sound-system with Cuban Trumpeter El Congo (Tony Allen, Jimmy Tennor) and various amazing Percussionists, DJ Zhao brings unique perspectives and vision to every event, and has performed or shared bills with artists such as Shangaan Electro, Konono No. 1 (Congo), Rhythm and Sound (DE), Cooly G (UK), Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou (Benin), Shackleton (UK), Pan Sonic (Finland), etc. Born and Raised in Beijing, China, and active as DJ and sound curator in the US since 2000, Zhao has organized critically acclaimed long running events focusing on Improvisation and Sound Art as well as Techno. After relocating to Berlin, Germany, and starting the Ngoma collective, Zhao has been performing regularly at clubs and festivals including: FESTIVALS: ____________________________________________ Fusion Festival (DE) EXIT Festival (Serbia) Incubate Festival (NL) Solar Weekend Festival (NL) Ethnoport Festival (PL) [UN]Defined Festival (Merano, Italy) AT.Tension Festival (Berlin, DE) CLUBS: ____________________________________________ Berghain (Berlin, DE) Horst (Berlin, DE) Cassiopeia (Berlin, DE) Jackie Terrasse (Berlin, DE) YAAM (Berlin, DE) Klub K (Heidelberg, DE) UT Connewitz (Leipzig, DE) Palác Akropolis (Prague, CZ) ____________________________________________ booking: ngomasound@gmail.com

NGOMA Classic 3 – Mega Benga

KENYA COVER

The climate in Nairobi is cool and perfect all year round, despite being on the equator, due to its high altitude. The East African Rumba sound is also often cooler, sans the fiery horn sections of Congolese Soukous.  The focus here is on a reduced palette of rhythmic guitar and vocal refrains over driving, insistent 4 on the floor kicks.  The motorik, hypnotic motifs and modular progression of this original minimalist dance music here is mostly from 1950s to 1970s, and i play it in the seamless style of techno.

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MUTANT 3

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From Luanda to New Jersey, from Johannesburg to London, from Kingston to Berlin: indigenous drums and high tech sound fuse in the club. Ancestral beats and diasporic voices thrive on inner city streets. Meta-rhythms and mega-bass erasing borders, connecting dots, and making your booty work overtime.
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NGOMA SOUND SYSTEM (Ngoma Sound // Berlin)

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Guardian on UK Funky

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.

September / October 2014

30/AUG Urban Spree, Berlin
03/SEP Tausend, Berlin
04/SEP Tausend, Berlin
12/SEP Heimathafen, Neukölln
19/SEP Panke, Berlin
27/SEP Schleuse 5, DE
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UK
02/OCT Bar Eleven, Nottingham
04/OCT Africa Centre, Glasgow
07/OCT Rich Mix, London
10/OCT Take Five, Bristol
11/OCT Magic Gardens, London
STILL OPEN: Glasgow: Sun 05 / London: Wed 08, Thu 09
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Kenya
18/OCT Sondeka, Nairobi
19/OCT Sondeka, Nairobi
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25/OCT Urban Spree, Berlin
31/OCT Panke, Berlin
01/NOV Pankgraefin, Berlin
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and this photo…  just because 🙂

MUTANT2 – 30 August

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Industrial nightmares and Shamanic visions collide in the club. Ancestral voices bleed through grids of the city. Diasporic sounds and mutant rhythms transformed by migrant movement, shaped by history. Fragmented Psychotropic Bass pulsating through the deepest valleys and highest crests of your mind, in the kaleidoscopic center of the omni-verse.  RSVP on fb

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M-str. Demonstration

mohrenSaturday afternoon i will give a small talk and play a set around 18h at this protest festival to change the racist name of this street.

some girl met tonight was rolling her eyes and was like “it’s just a name ffs” and i had to dish out the “WE don’t get to decide what is hurtful, the victims of oppression do” line of reasoning… not sure if it got through at all…

Mutant Sol

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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.

21h
Kiki Sol — Lindower Straße 12, Wedding, Berlin

No Drums Allowed: Afro Rhythm Mutations in N. America (re/x/post)

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Street bands playing Rock’n’Roll in Berlin, Marvin Gaye in a local bar in Thailand, Nas blaring on the streets of Johannesburg, House Music in the mega-clubs of Shang Hai – where ever one goes in the world today, no effort is needed to find African American music and its derivatives.

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MUTANT 4 – Meta House

METAHOUSE

Evil twin of the last MUTANT mix of brightly hued, sun-kissed club music for endless summer nights, Meta House is heavy, narcotic. Including lots of deep techy tracks, some jacking, bassline, healthy dose of ghetto, a touch of shuffling, and material which may be in the category of “House Not House” — but as abstract or bassy as any part of it may be, i made sure that all selections are primarily, unmistakably House – all steady kicks and offbeat hi-hats.

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