“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

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Heart of Light


“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…

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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).


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):