Monday, August 30, 2010

S. African Dubstep Video from LV

For those who dug the Spoek Mathambo track I posted a little while ago, dig this bangin' video from S. African production team, LV. Check out their blog, and if you like what you hear, get some more of it here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Africa Africa Africa Pt. 2

If you've downloaded any of DJ Underdog's mixtapes before, you've probably stopped reading by now and are already listening to this. If not, download this mixtape right now.

<a href="">◤◤LUNCHBOX THEORY INTRO by Lunchbox Theory</a>

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Welcome to Planet Rump

Have you ever wanted to travel through space in George Clinton's Mothership hijacked by Egyptian Lover? Well, now you have the chance. Electro-funk outfit Planet Rump released their long-awaited debut EP today online at Take a listen to embark on an interplanetary funky voyage.

Planet Rump is an unabashedly funky party waiting to unfold at any moment. DJ Tantric, Miss Strawberry, and Nasty Ness are three of the funkiest people I've ever met (and that's saying a lot). Their live shows have been known to get seriously out of hand, and they've managed to capture that electric energy in these five songs.

Their approach to production is unique in its appreciation of lo-fi simplicity. While most production outfits try to elevate their sound with technical complexity, Planet Rump throws it back, using the casio keyboard to convey their funky-retro attitude while sacrificing no modernity in their sound. Obvious parallels can be drawn to Electro-Freestyle master Chico Mann, who not coincidentally produced Play For Me.

Download this EP, so you can say you heard Planet Rump before they blew up, but only if you can handle it.

<a href="">Brand New Body Rock by Planet Rump</a>

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Album Review: Psycho African Beat-The Psychedelic Aliens

The name says it all. Psycho African Beat, the compilation out October 26th on Academy Records, is an unabashedly in-your-face collection of jams that are about as funky as anything you're likely to come across. The Psychedelic Aliens are a 1970's Ghanaian Psych-Soul band that had virtually fallen into obscurity. Academy Records and Frank Voodoo Funk Gossner kept that from happening by scouring crates in different corners of the globe for bits and pieces of their music in hopes of releasing this compilation.

Their efforts have paid off. Frank Gossner has once again completed his mission of reviving forgotten funky music from West Africa, and this could be one of the funkiest projects he's ever undertaken. The Psychedelic Aliens combine elements from several of the American musical genres that made their way back across the Atlantic--soul, fuzz rock, and psychedelic funk. Listening to this album almost makes me wonder what Funkadelic's first album might sound like if it was recorded in Accra.

While this album could start a great conversation about cross-cultural exchange in African and African-American musics in the 1970's, most of all, this is downright funky music made for dancing (especially the type of dancing one might find at a 1970's freak out full of Nigerian college students). Put simply, don't listen to this album if you can't handle some serious funk.

Extraordinary Woman by afrobeatblog

Crazy Nasty Video from Richy Pitch

This crazy nasty video is from Ghanain beatmaker Richy Pitch. He's got a new album coming out on BBE Records in October (more on that to come). I love this video for many reasons, but most of all, it just brings me back.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Afro-Beat Airways

If you're like me, and you dig old-school African funk that sounds like it's been picked up off the cutting room floor from a 1970's Accra recording session, then Afrobeat Airways is a gem you need to add to your collection. All fourteen tracks are hand-picked by Samy Redjeb, founder of Analog Africa. If that doesn't tell you enough about how ridiculously packed with afro-funk flavor this compilation is, allow me to elaborate further. Bands like Ebo Taylor, African Brothers, Apagya Show Band, all legends of the Ghanain 70's funk movement, are all in full effect on this collection of rare funky gems. Listen with caution: dance parties will definitely ensue.

Break Through - Marijata by afrobeatblog

Monday, August 2, 2010

Album Review: Donso-Donso

Donso means hunter in Bambara, a Mande language spoken in West Africa. It's also the self-titled debut album, out September 2010 on Comet Records, that could be one of the best records of the year. Combining hard hitting broken beats, laid down by French producer Krazy Baldhead, with Bambara vocals, sung by Malian vocalist Gedeon Papa Diarra, Donso creates a modern interpretation of Mande hunters' music, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. The Donso N'Goni, or hunters' harp, is employed extensively throughout the album as well, providing an interesting texture that seamlessly meshes with the electronic beats.

This album is a perfect example of African musicians' bridging the gap between generations. Traditional instruments are paired with computer generated sounds. African griots, keepers of their cultural artistic traditions, partner with French producers. Combining tradition with modernity is a theme championed throughout this album, and the result is a totally inventive, dynamic sound.

Diarra's voice is the perfect match for Krazy Baldhead's beats. Diarra's rhythmic presentation and bending vocal pitches compliment the polyrhythmic beats that push the album forward from song to song. Tala, or talking drum, rhythms, electric guitars, and bass lines also contribute to deep textures and soundscapes. Certain songs are downtempo, exploratory tracks, while others are hard-driving, danceable compositions. Certain songs are less "produced" more traditional sounding songs, while others have a decidedly club feel.

This album will definitely catch your ear. All artists involved in the project display a strong desire to explore new mediums and styles, to create something original and unique. They've succeeded in that endeavor and created an album that will provide DJ's ammunition for their club sets, as well as inspiration for aspiring African artists and collaborators to draw from traditional sources to create something entirely new and modern.

Mogoya by afrobeatblog

Donso EPK from Comet Records on Vimeo.