Metropolitan Music

Two continents, ten cities, 50 musicians and 20 authors: the Ten Cities is an initiative funded by the Goethe Institute that explores and juxtaposes the club scene of global metropolises from Africa and Europe. At the heart of this music project is the question, what would happen if these scenes, their sounds and the artists behind them were to meet head on?

The project began by twinning cities from the two continents: Naples with Luanda, Bristol with Lagos, Kiev with Johannesburg, Lisbon with Nairobi and Berlin with Cairo. Some of the leading producers and DJs behind the thriving electronic music scenes of these cities, names like Batida, Pinch, Dirty Paraffin, Okmalumkoolkat, Afrologic, Just A Band and more (full tracklist below), came together and collaborated on a series of tracks, live shows and special events.

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Alongside mixtapes, free-downloads and visual content, the core piece of content will be a 17 track album showcasing the outcomes of this collaborative process released on Soundway Records this month.

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Batida – Tirei o Chapéu Mix (Paris DJs)

Batida – Tirei O Chapéu Mix (Paris DJs)

I have been a long time fan of Batida, the creation of Angolan / Portuguese DJ Mpula aka Pedro Coquenão, for their mix of traditional Angolan music with modern electronic styles. This mix, released through Paris DJs, is another fine example of this fusion with old school artists like Elias Dia Kimuezo, Paulo Neto and Matadidi Carlos (any more info anyone?) paired next to Batida and fellow producers making waves in modern, electronic Angolan music such as DJ Znobia and Bruno MThe link that has built up between Angolan and Portuguese producers is also evident on the mix, most notably on the unreleased remixes from Lisbon based Beat Laden (great reworking of Puxa) and Octapush, who takes on my favourite Batida track, Alegria.

The mix ends on the wonderful Angolé by Teta Lando as remixed by Brazilian Maurício Pacheco, taken from the Comfusões 1: From Angola To Brasil album. The mix is one to dance too, led along by that familiar Batida bounce and scratching, up-beat percussion, a fantastic showcase for the diversity of Angolan music, past and present. Batida’s self-titled debut album, is out now on Soundway Records and, if you haven’t already, I would highly recommend it!

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Maga Bo – Quilombo do Futuro Remixed

It took a while to get round to it but this is a release that really deserved some space on the blog. On Quilombo do Futuro, Maga Bo takes the rhythms and roots of Afro-Brazilian music and moulds them to his own global electronic sound. You can check out my more in depth review of the original via Sounds & Colours.

The accompanying remix album collects some of my favourite producers of Maga Bo’s ilk from around the world  such as Chancha via Circuito, Stereotyp, Frikstailers, Poirier, Batida and a couple of new names like Buginha Adubada. They twist from Uproot Andy’s driving gambeoy take on Xororo to Sabo’s killer dancefloor remix of E da Nossa Cor or Batida’s kuduro refix of Kizomba ft. Sacerdote. Brilliantly eclectic and simply quality, original music:

If you are interested in traditional Brazilian music transported to the 21st century, I would highly recommend both the original and the remix album. Taking local music in new global directions.

Angolan House

Just read a great little piece from FADER by Benjamin Lebrave (the man behind Akwaaba Music) on the recent House music trend taking over Angolan clubs. Lebrave writes that Angolan producers like DJ Djeff and DJ Delany, inspired by the South African House scene, have been pushing their Kuduro and Semba productions into Afro-House territory. This has led to a uniquely Angolan take on the genre, including the country’s own musical heritage and as Lebrave notes, creating Angolan House. Here are some musical picks:

Banane Mavoko (Delany Duvall LostMind Remix) – Black Motion

Os Modelos ft Cabo Snoop – Hoje Vou te Pegar

Djeff & Maskarado – Elegom Bounsa (Akwaaba Music)

Renato Xtrova – Yele Oh (Original Mix)

Djeff Afrozilla ft. Gary Sinedima – Piluka (Soul Vocal mix)

Batida – Mamã Africa

I got to know Batida while I was in Portugal and caught their fantastic live set at the Sines festival. The band actually started as a radio show called Rádio Fazuma in Portugal but evolved into a live act which mixes African styles and rhythms, in particular from Angola, with electronica and MCs. In a similar vein to Buraka Som Sistema but using more samples from popular Angolan music.

There new EP, Mama Africa, is released through Akwaaba Music this week and available for free download from the label’s bandcamp. The EP is to celebrate Africa Day which occurs on May the 25th, celebrating the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. The release takes Batida’s ‘Rap Semba’, which incorporates classic Angolan ‘semba’ samples and electronica, and offers it up to three of the groups favourite MCs (Karlon, Izé Teixera and Ikonoklasta) to rap their own versions over the instrumental.

Download: Batida – Mamã Africana EP

Buraka Som Sistema – Hangover (BaBaBa)

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Buraka Som Sistema return to our eyes and ears this week premiering their new video and single ‘Hangover (BaBaBa)’ via Pitchfork, a genre bending single/video taken from their forthcoming album Komba due out later this year. ‘Hangover’, the first single from the album, will be released via Enchufada on the 6th of June. You can also check out our interview with label boss and Buraka member J-WOW here.

Label Showcase: #2 Enchufada Records

“We love bass and we love music from weird parts of the globe.”

For our second label showcase we have Portugal based Enchufada Records. The label was first started as a vehicle to release material by Buraka Som Sistema (the band responsible for introducing Angolan ‘kuduro‘ to a whole new audience), however, the past year has seen the label go from strength to strength. 2010 saw Enchufada transformed into a fully fledged imprint, booking agency and a taste maker for fresh sounds from every corner of the globe.

Contributing to the ever growing ‘global bass’ scene, the label also launched the Hard Ass Sessions (literal translation of ‘ku-duro’), a series of releases which showcase a host of distinct artists’ own unique take on the Angolan rhythm. The series (whose fifth volume was released last week) has featured producers such as Toy Selectah, Dubble Dutch, Wildlife! and Bok Bok, each putting a local spin on a global sound. This series has highlighted the interconnectedness afforded to new artists and scenes from different countries by easy access to internet and the availability of music production software:

“A good example of this is Tuki Love, included on Hard Ass Sessions Vol 5, where Pacheko and Pocz pick up the Tuki (or Raptor House) sounds, and make a kuduro influenced track, mixing both genres together… Angola vs Venezuela vs Portugal, and it all happened over the internet… if this is not the future, then I don’t know what is.”

Pacheko & Pocz – Tuki Love

“It’s all about searching for the rough diamond, that’s where the kick comes from. Commercial music that surrounds us in the western world is not creative enough. We need to get out of our contort zones and search for inspiring things and the internet is the perfect vehicle for this.”

However, the label is cannot be pigeon-holed as simply a kuduro label. Enchufada has also showcased some surprising and exciting acts, as epitomised by the release of native Portuguese four piece PAUS‘s debut E.P. É Uma Água.

“It’s good to set a direction for a label, but then it’s also good to shuffle things and work with artists that make music we love even if they are in a different path. Whats not to love in a band with a siamese drum kit that occupies 50% of their songs with gigantic drum/tom based loops? Expect a lot of curve balls like this in the future…”

So, what next for Enchufada?

“A lot of effort is being spent on Buraka’s upcoming album. We want it to be perfect. Everything is still in the oven… it wont be a dramatic turn over in terms of sound… the album is probably gonna come out in the fall of 2011, but there will be a song/video out before the summer.”

Buraka Som Sistema

“Apart from that we’re trying to do another volume of the Hard Ass Series and J-Wow (me!) is putting together a compilation. We’re also very excited about the possible release of a Marfox Ep and PAUS’ debut album… hope we can make all this happen. Exciting times!!!”

Thanks to label head/long time contributor J-WOW for the interview.