Like The Chemical Brothers reminded us a number of years back, ”It began in Afrika-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka…” For years it’s been a place of passionate inspiration for everyone from Paul Simon to Damon Albarn to Toto.
That being said, it feels like mostly what we American consumers have been getting in the way of African music has been a lot of High Life and Afrobeat.
I’m not mad, that stuff is super dope. And God bless the great labels putting in the effort to make sure that these undiscovered gems find an audience. But Africa is a behemoth and the variety of African music possibilities is as massive as the place…and gets wider with every new internet connection.
Thanks to the World Wide Web, “World Music” is getting a weird Synth/Techno/House change up…from the Bacardi House of DJ Spoko to the indie inflected pop project John Wizards, the amazing forthcoming Luaka Bop collection of old, visionary funk by William Onyeabor , JD Twitch’s wicked Autonomous Africa edits and Brownswood’s powerhouse Owiny Sigoma Band and many more.
Although most of Owiny Sigoma Band’s new record “Power Punch!!!“ is more straightforward beat, the band is starting to weave in minimal techno production elements into their more traditional songwriting structure, leading to a truly exciting new sound.
“Owiny Techno“ and “Sunken Wrecks” feel like the revelation of an actual new musical direction.
It’s amazing…and the album also has a grip of bonkers boundary-pushing remixes from the likes of Theo Parrish and Pilooski.
It’s beginning in Africa (again) indeed.