Extreme high energy dance music from Mali’s DJ Diaki; a thrilling introduction to the style of ‘Balani Fou’ - or ‘Crazy Balani’, as favoured in the Malian countryside. One tape of original productions, one tape of DJ mixes - the latest and most lavish Nyege Nyege Tapes release to date (i mean, who gets a reclaimed tape clamshell screen printed on all 3 sides???)
A proper party starter hailing from 20km outside Bamako, Diaki Kone is a producer/DJ and originator of the Balani Show style that favours rapid coupé decalé rhythms lit up with whistles and crashing cymbals. The style was conceived by Seydou Bagayoko in the late ‘90s as a cheaper alternative to Balafon groups used for celebrations and dances, and was progressed by his apprentices DJ Diaki and DJ Sandji in the 2000s, resulting in the current style of ‘Balani Fou’ (or ‘Crazy Balani’) which favours remixes made on-the-fly with additional drum pads and sometimes synths, as heard in this exhilarating double tape which introduces the style to listeners beyond the region.
Balani Show hit a peak in the 2000s, with DJ Senateur performing on Malian TV, but in recent years it’s returned to its road level roots, soundtracking block parties and neighbourhood shindigs. Shows are high energy affairs, and get even more raucous in the country, where dancers prefer faster tempos than in the city, occasionally leading to moral panic at the sight of young ravers dancing provocatively at night, and attempts to ban the sound which has resulted in fewer Balani Shows in Bamako.
But DJ Diaki lives in the country and it’s different there, where he pushes the rhythms to body-rattling breaking point in the hypnotic style of Balani Fou. This set showcases 10 original productions in this mode on the first tape, ranging from the breathtakingly frenetic ‘But Show DD 1 Mix’ to the entrancing melodic appeal of ’Shekey Mix’ and the thrilling percussive pelt of ’Show Time Mix’, all primed for the nuttiest DJs and dancers. Meanwhile the 2nd tape’s two mixes put it all in context across seamlessly-blended 30 minute jags recorded in Sanankoroba during 2018-2019, that bring you as close as possible to the crazy energy of Balani Show without actually being there.
Super strong stuff. A must for anyone who loves the reckless rave of Tanzanian Singeli or hardcore dance music of any strain for that matter.
Following last year's brilliant "Trinity" mixtape and LEYA collab "Angel Lust", Alexandra Drewchin returns with her most assertive record to date, a fiery collection of modern dream-folk that blurs the lines between ambient, shoegaze and experimental pop.
Following the dusty road traced by Cocteau Twins, Mazzy Star, Björk and Grouper, Eartheater assuredly carves out a space for herself by fusing effortlessly haunting songs with bleak orchestral elements or the kind of disintegrating electronic detritus u would more readily expect to hear on a Total Freedom mix. It's a pop record that sits on the outskirts of the contemporary wyrd club zone, but avoids any of the trappings of "hyperpop", instead choosing to languish in a sensual melancholy: isolated and maudlin but never sexless.
Drewchin composed, produced and arranged "Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin" mostly while she was on a ten-week artist residency in Zaragoza, Spain. Alone in a small Spanish town, she was able to trap the artistically freeing feeling of solitude after incessant touring and recording, tipping boundless thoughts into a suite of songs that flower and grow with each subsequent listen. Her vocals and guitar sit at the center of the album, fleshed out by contributions from close friends and collaborators Marilu Donovan (harp) and Adam Markiewicz of LEYA (violin) and whisper-soft orchestral elements from Ensemble de Cámara.
Each song manages to fizz between familiarity and passionate, alien uniqueness as Drewchin's voice resonates through words that hum over themes of love, togetherness, absence and existence. These aren't merely empty syllables, but lived experiences tied into a dreamscape of sparse instrumentation and sparser rhythm. Honestly we haven't heard many more records this year that are so accurately aimed at our hyper-specific needs - "Phoenix" is an album that muses on loss but feels unsettlingly hopeful, convinced of humanity's latent goodness even in the midst of disaster. We can't recommend this one any fucking higher.
Incendiary, 180BPM hyper-steppers rhythms riddled with razing drones and field recordings for Nyege Nyege Tapes, the debut electronic music productions by “Punk ethnomusicologist” Judgitzu, inspired by time spent in Tanzania and highly compatible with Singeli, hardcore techno, gabber...
Roving punk ethnomusicologist Julien Hairon aka Judgitzu delivers fire on Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Tapes with two cuts of high tension, cheek-pulling club G-force. After spending the past 6 years recording soundscapes and traditional musicians across Asia, Oceania and Africa, and releasing them on his Les Cartes Postales Sonores label (along with reissues of tape and CD discoveries on his petPets label), Judgitzu finally presents his first electronic music productions as the result of his residency in Tanzania since 2017. Clearly inspired by the domestic, hyperlocal sound of Singeli, but more stripped and tipped towards minimalism, the results have been lighting up clubs, back-rooms and festivals from Kampala to Salford and beyond over summer 2019, and are only set to go further with this full release.
‘Umeme’ is grade A rocket fuel that runs at 180bpm for nearly 7 minutes of unyielding, panic-inducing stabs and undulating bass rhythms. It starts up ferociously and does not let go until the end, sustaining a state of high alertness that will leave even the most reckless ravers breathless but ready to go again. ‘Kelele’ follows with equal regard for your heart rate and rave health, but this time by stealth and less in-your-face, filtering the drums with field recordings of revving motorbikes and squawking animals in an ebb and flow of pilly rushes and tropical hyperdelia.
Hands-down it’s one of 2019’s deadliest dancefloor sessions and hopefully the start of many to come from an exemplary new producer.
Killer, freaked R&B, pop and tarraxho zingers from one half of Lisbon/Glasgow’s Yong Yong, Luar Domatrix, spinning perpendicular to Principe, Equiknoxx and Hakuna Kulala in wicked screwball style . TIP!!!!
Favoured by the likes of Jon K and Debonaire on NTS, Luar Domatrix sees the Portuguese artist proceed further from the Hype Williams esque Yong Yong into club-ready sidewinders influenced as much by the innovations of late ‘90s R&B as up-to-the-minute styles from his home city, central Africa and the madness of Glasgow.
The fractious Goooose-on-a-Linn drum flex of ‘Mil Busy Babies’ is a strong place to start, while ‘Sense of Style’ comes off like a playful Nidia-meets-Errorsmith joint, and the frenetic energy of Tanzanian singeli and Slikback’s hardcore futurism is jacked direct into the reckless ‘Poema’, while ‘FTM’ could almost be some fantasy link-up between Time Cow and Timbaland.
Aye, it’s all very, very good.
Timeless jazz flames from poet and noise musician Moor Mother; her first theatrical work, reflecting on public/private ownership and the housing crisis in an Afrofuturist song cycle for the ages
Tackling issues of the impending present in a way that resonates clearly with ‘60s jazz, Moor Mother situates ‘Circuit City’ in a “part musical, part choreopoem, part play” context, exploring themes of home ownership in the corporate-technological world where needs are indexed and valued by algorithms and portals.
Located in the living room of an apartment complex, Moor Mother’s pointed poetry in ‘Circuit City’ speaks of trauma, inherited and imposed, over ravishing and swingeing dynamic backing performed live by Steve Montenegro, Luke Stewart, Keir Neuringer, Tchese Holmes, Aquiles, Madam Data and Elon Battle. The latter also shares vocal duties with Moor Mother, lending a softer contrast to the sublime but needling highlight ‘Time of No Time,’ as the ensemble’s swarming, Sun Ra-like cosmic discipline gives levity to the album’s crushing earthly concerns. It’s one for anyone suffering from lack of proper, affordable housing, particular African Americans, but also anyone trapped in the cracks and dealing with the stark inequities of corporate-driven housing markets worldwide.
Bokeh Versions bring freshest, weirdest dancehall to market with Sikka Rymes’ ‘Love Di People’ - a big BIG look for fans of Equiknoxx, Slikback, Vybz Kartel!!!
““Incarcerated deejay touts Sikka Rymes as next big thing in dancehall” say the Jamaica Star headlines; referencing Vybz Kartel and Sikka’s cousin Shawn Storm, all of Portmore’s Gaza Nation dancehall royalty………..
So then we have Love Di People EP: Sikka’s first solid gold release after strings of strictly Vevo hits (‘Life of the Party’, ‘Nuh Change’) lie between his previous hook up with producer Genesis Hull (on Duppy’s 2016 Fresh Clipp’d). Genesis’ prods are pure widescreeen sub-tension and speed - now of Mexico City, he carries Sikka’s flow into gleaming new future chrome jobs of the dancehall chassie, the madness of 00s dancehall returns for global review. In This Time Of Many Dancehall Think-pieces: Live Long And Grow Strong.
The weight of two year’s of Drive demos caused Miro Tape to spontaneously burst into the world on Bokeh last year, we told you it was just a mixtape - Love Di People is the first wax seal on the Bokeh x Duppy Gun relationship, and not the last one of 2019. Founded by Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras, Duppy Gun pairs under-cover West Coast producers with Jamaican vocalists like G Sudden, Early One & others from their island HQs in Portmore & Spanish Town.”