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Musical journeyman Laurent Jeanneau revisits material he recorded over 20 years ago in the East African bush to evolve a grotty, tape-warped sequel to 2015's ace 'Tanzania'. Big tip, as always!
At the tail end of the last millennium, Jeanneau found himself in the Tanzanian bush camping with the Hazda people, a local indigenous ethnic group who are known as the country's last bushmen. He would record with the group in situ, leaving the area to rest up and find electricity to edit the recordings into "organic abstract compositions" before returning again. The instrument he focused his attention on at this time was the malimba, a Tanzanian thumb piano, so he bought as many as he could find in Arusha, the closest big city, and took them back to Europe to continue recording, adding synths where necessary. Jeanneau produced most of the material in Tanzania, but retouched it while he was hopping across Paris, Shanghai, Dali and Vienna and subsequently forgot about it. Two decades later, he was searching through his hard drive and realized he had a suite of unfinished tracks that needed a spit and polish.
The resulting set of recordings is some of the deepest, sludgiest material we've heard from Jeanneau yet, confidently balancing his documentary style with rougher, more splattered sonics. Opener 'Ameski' is a great example, taking buzzing thumb piano recordings and layering them into arhythmic stutters, using tape manipulation and oscillating delay slapback to enhance the sound's silted oddness. On 'Epeme Men' meanwhile he takes a different approach, capturing a late-night celebration in Mangola, where Hazdas danced and sung into the darkness. These vocal recordings are the track's backbone, but Jeanneau's off-world granulations force an uncanniness that lifts it into the realm of the surreal. The exuberant 'Irawk Drum Under the Rain A5 Pilon' sounds even more charged, dubbed on Makonde Island on the border of Mozambique with a group of fishermen. Centered around the padded thump of the titular drum, it's the sound of a wild party (according to Jeanneau a few people were wounded), sculpted into a strange dream.