Boomkat Product Review:
Uganda’s immense Nyege Nyege Tapes return with an Incredible collection of percussive ritual music from Mbale; a unique document of ancient tradition meets modern electronics from the pearl of Africa and another precious eye-opener from this important label.
After almost 15 years of peddling his own cd’s and tapes on the streets of Mbale, Robert Mugamba’s Kadodi finally get a proper introduction to the outside world thanks to the increasingly vital Nyege Nyege Tapes crew, pairing a transfixing percussive soundtrack with modern electronic contributions from Bamba Pana and Sun C.
Extending privileged insight to the way ancient practices meet modernism near the Equator in East Africa, Kadodi renders a set of mesmerising, rhythmelodic percussion and crowd hollers, along with electrifying reinterpretations by local, East Ugandan producer Sun C and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s Bamba Pana. Placing ageless ritual music alongside its club antecedents, the results find tradition frictionlessly reconciled with modernism, drawing bridges between tribal identities and ancient belief systems, and clubs as contemporary sites of ritual enactment.
The musical aspect of the ceremony is intended to induce initiates to a trance state, readying them to transcend from boyhood (basinde) into men (basani). The twice yearly rites of passage are such an occasion that their soundtrack has now transcended from original ritual use to find its ways into nightclubs, thanks to producers such as DMX, Papas and Sun C - the pioneer of Kadodi music’s shift into electronic spheres.
On this set the ceremony starts on side A and continues into side B, documenting the Domadana Kadodi Performers brewing a bristling frenzy of polymetric percussion with hypnotic intensity coming as a result of their natural complexity. Following this utterly unique situation, Mbale native Sun C offers a near 10 minute electronic reinterpretation of Kadodi music on ‘Kaad 4’, mirroring the breathless cadence and intensity of the original in its sustained pitches and intricate syncopation of pipes and pointillist percussions. And you can trust Bamba Pana to take that one step farther on ‘Wateranga’, where he ramps the original drums with Singeli-style pattern and pace to irresistibly energetic effect.
Incredible, unique music.