Rhythms of the mother continent meets Sound of Berlin: NGOMA envisions dance music of a society that we want our grand children to live in. Decolonized poly-scyncretic drum machines of a high-tech egalitarian future, constructed from the plurality of various life experiences and multiple sonic perspectives today, NGOMA fuses the best of many worlds for maximum mind expansion, soul elevation, and body intoxication.
With a strict focus on intimate dancefloors, this mid tempo mix (along with its faster sister which will soon arrive) connects Afro-Jazz and Techno, Soul and Bass, Highlife and Electro, Disco and Ancestral drumming in ways you’ve probably not heard before.
Nyege Nyege Festival in Jinja, Uganda, is about the infinite and timeless rhythmelodic traditions from the motherland and its myriad mutations around the globe, and their sometimes difficult to perceive but indivisible connection. It is my duty as rhythm ambassador to reveal the truth about these connections between ancient and future, between the so-called “East” and so-called “West”, in a visceral way on the dance floor; and it is what i have tried to do with this mix.
In the ongoing rebirth of explicit poly-rhythms and super syncopated percussive goodness in African-American music, B-more/Philly and Newark/Jersey Club is a particularly sexy and fun permutation, and has been gaining momentum for a number of years, bursting with musical and dance ideas. Vice just made a documentary and in 2015 i think it will finally invade dance floors all over in a big way. (Next month i will be playing the first Vice sponsored Club Jersey party in London – stay tuned)
179 killed by institutional racist violence for the crime of trying to live in the drugs and guns infested poverty that white supremacy keeps them in, during the past 15 years, In NYC alone. How many disabled? In comas? How many with missing lungs or bullets in stomachs? How many broken ribs/arms/legs? How many physically assaulted? Abused in custody? How many terrorized? Humiliated? Incarcerated?
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.
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.
In the late 1940s and 1950s the first wave of Afro-Caribbean immigrants, many of them ex-servicemen who fought, bled, and watched their friends die during WW2 for the UK, landed with their families in London. During that first winter bricks were thrown into their windows (often in bags containing shit), their homes were attacked, and there were regular assaults on their children. When the situation got really bad, they tore up bed sheets to use as bandages, used kitchen knives and broken furniture as weapons, to defend their homes and loves ones. But when these loyal colonial subjects fought back they became the primary criminals in the eyes of the police: regularly mistreated, unjustly punished, and even framed for crimes they did not commit. This is the kind of injustice and abuse faced by black people in England ever since, all the way to today’s discrimination and structural economic inequality.
The only reason that I have stayed away from Reggae so far is because it is one of, if not THE most represented of Afro-Diasporic musical traditions from the Southern Hemisphere (as determined by various historical factors). But time has come for NGOMA series to dive right into the beautiful and intense sounds of Jamaica, time tested and honed to perfection.
Since Fela’s voice is much cooler than mine, i have switched out my intro with his, and this mix originally made to promote BlackBox number 1 has grown into a proper NGOMA release – with a few changes and much new goodness including 2 wicked special edits – one of the Ethio classic by Mahmoud Ahmed (following a funktastic number by Berlin’s own Woima Collective), and another of a very unique cosmic disco track by the techno head Lego Welt’s Afrocentric alter ego Nacho Patrol. Old version of this mix can still be heard Rebootfm – 11-dj-zhao-blackbox-1-ngoma”>here.
don’t have time for cover art and little write ups, so you will have to deal with the list dump style of this post (cover art and sometimes scans of liner notes should be in most archives). Includes 2 versions of the much sought after and rare Dogon vinyl, with substantial differences in tracklisting, which among the first wave of awesome recordings was never reissued on CD.
For the uninitiated, OCORA was one of, if not the, most well researched and presented labels which dealt with indigenous sounds from all over the earth, and i made the promise, which i still do intend on keeping, of making the entire past catalog of 500+ recordings available on this blog. there has been quite a few South Asian and African posts already, just look for it. To be continued.
For more Ocora awesomeness, head over to Aaseance.
“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…
Rougher and tougher twin of the previous DRUM volume, Amandla explores the somber and serious side of contemporary electronic dance music from South Africa and Angola. In 2013 capitalist brainwashing and new waves of cultural and economic imperialism replaces the overtly oppressive policies of Apartheid and colonialism; inequity, injustice, and corruption still pandemic on the African continent; but the indestructible beat of Soweto, Pretoria and Luanda lives on. These new urban sounds express the frustration, longing, joy and hope of a new generation, the continuing struggle and POWER of the people. Rhythm as a weapon, music as a weapon: a real weapon in the concrete sense. Africa! Mayibuye! Amandla!
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.