It’s been a couple of months, but I’ve got a bag of new hip hop, jazz and funk to open December. Highlights for me are the most successful LabelGroovement release so far from Mecca 83, that Polystation track (Chilean beats from Discos Cetaceos) and the dons Jungle Fire, who I hooked up with on their Manchester date at Band on the Wall. An amazing band (featuring members of Orgone, Breakestra, Ozomatli and the like) who should smash 2014 – the track below is taken from their limited-to-3oo tour CD, available only at shows. Also a shout to the homie Depakote, who has a couple of features on this mix – his new one, Creative Freedumb, is out now on Zypher.
Debian Blak’s getting some wider exposure, Bolts has a forthcoming thing on Original Cultures, that Debruit and Alsarah album on Soundway is full tilt badness, the Teotima Ensemble track is 7 minutes of bliss, and all the hip hop on this mix demonstrates the top drawer quality about at the moment.
Oh and that Slugabed B-side.. Zoinks!
All song titles are clickable for buy, info and download links. Enjoy, and let me know what you think over on Twitter or Facebook.
Soundway records present a unique record: a modern, haunting take on Sudanese music heard through the sonic lens of French artist / producer, Débruit and the poetic, ethereal lyrics and melodies of Sudanese-born singer Alsarah.
Aljawal (The Traveller) is a nomadic reflection for the 21st century. Each song reflects a new stop in the journey, with new cities and new people along the way. When Alsarah first heard Débruit’s music she sensed and recognised a fellow traveller through the space and geography of his influences, a sense of time and history coupled with a forward-thinking futuristic outlook.
Born in the capital city of Sudan, Khartoum, Alsarah spent the first 8 years of her life here before she relocated to Taez, Yemen with her family to escape the ever-stifling regime in her native country. She abruptly moved to the US in 1994, when a brief civil war broke out in Yemen, and has lived there to this day.
Xavier Thomas revealed Débruit in 2008 with 2 sold out 12″s for his and Fulgeance’s Parisian “Musique Large” imprint. Three more EPs on Civil Music followed that included his hit ‘Nigeria What’. Piquing interest from the likes of XLR8R, Fact Mag, Benji B and Gilles Peterson his debut album ‘From The Horizon’ came out last year. His dazzling live electronics show has taken him around the world, from Russia to New York, Glastonbury to Sonar.
On Aljawal he managed to capture and play with an analog sound that stretched the boundaries of the Sudanese rhythms and melodies that Alsarah had grown up with. A unique record was imagined and is finally presented here after a 2 year interplay of ideas and interaction between France and Brooklyn: Alsarah’s adopted home.
Débruit has never been easily pigeonholed: I remember seeing him featured in Hip Hop Connection and thinking that was particularly brave of them as he’s so full of styles. Of course, the musical landscape is just that and Débruit’s ‘grand trilogy’ of 3D EPs following his Cle De Bras EP (which pulled me into his world) were bought by heads of all kinds. Whether it was the alien boom bap of Gros or the adrenaline rush of Congo Woomp, everyone was left far from satiated in anticipation for more.
And here it is… press release follows.
‘From the Horizon’ is Débruit’s debut album. It is the culmination of 3 years work, collecting field recordings, delving into restricted archives, sampling lost African VHS and reinterpreting discovered African melodies and rhythms, for synths and drum machines.
This is a remarkable record, filled with groundbreaking combinations of styles and sounds, constructed with passion and energy, driven by adventure and ideological principle and packed with intrigue, authenticity and tribute. Perhaps even more importantly this record is fun, and never does its depth displace its energy, groove or feel.
Inspired by Western African music past and present Débruit splices the musical roots and subsequent evolutionary patterns of Benin, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and beyond. He set out to harness the creativity and rawness of the music, from tribal beginnings through to 70’s highlife and psychedelic afro funk. Despite the clear inspiration, his challenge was not to emulate but to incorporate, to fuse the musical expressions of the many different cultures and eras with those of his own, to create something new and unheard. Débruit’s genre swerving approach to making music has always been unrestricted and on ‘From the Horizon’ he has deliberately created truly original pieces with unique combinations of instrumentation and style, in such a way that they feel natural, expected and time honoured. For example on ‘Afro-Booty Musique’ where traditional drums form a booty Chicago house structure and combined with talk box and guitar, or on ‘Mega Wagna’ where funk leads and syncopated vocals are coupled with Gnawa music (a mixture of sub-Saharan African and Berber songs, where one phrase or a few lines are repeated over and over and songs can last for hours.) Such diverse combinations can be heard throughout the record as can the influence of the Yoruba people of Nigeria and Benin whose advanced drum patterns are combined with Débruit’s bump-hop beats and low-slung bounce.
These African influences run concurrently with the ever present ideals of Hip Hop. Its openness to other musical styles via sampling can be consistently identified, never more so than in ‘Cuivree’ where African TV samples are crossed with lo-fi horns and 808 percussion or on Rêve Du Niger where an early recording of a throat singing child from Niger is looped, layered, re-sampled.
Tribal rhythms and looping vocal samples appear in many guises, through the rattling high hats and sub bass of sonically flamboyant party starter ‘Akoula’, amongst the haunting, distant synth scape setting of ‘Ouest Wind’s Seagulls’ or in the epic closing piece ‘The Day I Lost My Funk’, where African instrumentation preempts a climaxing finale of deep electronic bass and 808 kicks.
“I like it when electronic music and instruments lose control of what they’re meant to do” says Débruit, and amongst the beats and samples, styles and influences Débruit plays much of what you hear, guitar, keys and synths, talkbox, multiple forms of both traditional and ethnic percussion and also includes his own swallowed vocoder-style vocals such as in ‘Ogene Udu’ where they combine with the traditional Igbo instruments of the Ogene (a kind of metal gong with a bulging surface and elliptical shape) and the Udu ( a clay pottery-drum used to produce bass sounds). The artwork, by the ever talented and consistent collaborator “The Rainbowmonkey” draws on the ethos of the album project further, paying homage to Belgian surrealist René Magritte’s 1928 work ‘The False Mirror’.
“être surréaliste c’est bannir le ‘déja vu’ pour faire du ‘pas encore vu’ ”
“To be a surrealist means barring from your mind all remembrance of what you have seen, and being always on the lookout for what has never been.”
- Rene Magritte
A quote that whilst more poetic in its native French, parallels the principles of the creative process undertaken by Débruit, to make only that which has never been made before.
This stunning debut deserves repeat listens and much contemplation. Indulging in its many dimensions is continually rewarding. Its true excellence is in the effortless enjoyment that it provides, engaging listeners on many levels, without its depth ever becoming a barrier, providing pleasure for all, from the casual listener through to the seasoned ethnomusicologist or surrealist philosopher.
‘From The Horizon’ was preceded by three 3D EPs ‘Sis Sürpriz’ in which Débruit visited Turkey and the Middle East, ‘Spatio Temporel’ which covered West, North and Saharan Africa, and ‘Let’s Post Funk’ which spanned the Britannic French Ouest Coast and the American West Coast. The album is also supported by 2 different live shows; Débruit’s Intergalactic A/V Live band and his club shaking solo machine show.
Holy Merde! DANNY DRIVE THRU dun made a mix for the HQ of FULGEANCE and DEBRUIT, MUSIQUE LARGE – and it’s a bloody ginormous stonker! Download here or listen on the mixcloud widget below. Pop him in the search box on this, the Groovement site, to uncover other goodies.
Download by clicking the pic. Is big! 4 hours and 322MB.
Thanks for your patience this week, decorating a house and Groovement editing don’t go too well together (especially when the show’s four hours – apologies for the slight tech difficulties you might hear! Sound peaked and that). The madness of last weekend didn’t help either as I’m still catching up on sleep and ting. Massive shout to the Hoya boys for their monthly takeover, and on my part it was definitely a case of throwing heads at the show and seeing who stuck. Both Onra and Debruit were positioned to come on but plane and train journeys respectfully meant a no-no to that – however, together with Fulgeance, they simply OWNED Eurocultured last weekend.
Massive shouts also to Dimlite who chilled for a bit (but hated the coffee), Illum Sphere and Falty DL who couldn’t make it owing to timings and that.
Hoya Hoya itself on the Saturday was beyond immense and a bit of a celebration of where they’ve got to. Paul White killed the place both with his own new stuff and some proper large hip hop selections; Eclair Fifi simply trounced the crowd in typical Lucky Me style; Dimlite, all head down and quiet moshing, blew us away in celebration of new EP ‘Prismic Tops'; Jonny Dub rounded off the night like a schizophrenic monkey (this is a good thing) ending on a massive rapalong for the Wu’s ‘Triumph’ (and preceded by Blue Daisy flying off the stage, legs up), E-MN took us to another planet with the visuals; Chunky on the mic kept things rolling in his typical warm style – and Illum Sphere debuted his live set to an eager and game crowd, interpolating his own material with other suitably wrapped bass music. Find some video of that down below, so you can see him piloting Spaceship Hoya across the stars of Piccadilly.
And so to the podcast! Many thanks to UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE (click the link for blissful sounds from their show on Unity) for giving us their slot while they played at THE TRIP in Wales, resulting in a 4 hour monster of a show. The personnel was:
ECLAIR FIFI (LUCKY ME)
DOM SUM (THE BLESSINGS / LUCKY ME)
JONNY DUB (HOYA HOYA)
BLUE DAISY (BLACK ACRE)
Agent J played
THE BLESSINGS Arisseee Henson
1000 NAMES He’s Just Who?
LORN What’s The Use?
Eclair Fifi played
LIMAHL The Neverending Story
KRYSTAL KLEAR ?
MACHINE DRUM It’s That Bass (LuckyMe)
DAVINA Don’t You Want It
LONE Pineapple Crush
DRAKE Over (DJ Santa, Esentrik & Sega Refix)
GIRL UNIT Temple Keys
AMERICAN MEN Claude Speeeeed (Ikonika and Optimus Remix) (LuckyMe)
HORSEPOWER PRODUCTIONS The Swindle
GUCCI MANE Excuse Me (Diplo Remix)
T PAIN Fire
MACHINE DRUM Sakatak (LuckyMe)
CHI-BOOGIE Move Back
BEYONCE Video Phone (Instrumental)
HUDSON MOHAWKE Spotted (Konx-om-Pax Crappy Remix)
Dom Sum (The Blessings) played
The Blessings – Iguanadon (LuckyMe)
TStewart (aka Machinedrum) – Green Gold (LuckyMe)
Machinedrum (Bok Bok Remix) – Carry The Weight (LuckyMe)
Americanmen (Hudson Mohawke Remix) – Am System (LuckyMe)
Jonny Dub played
EDUARD KHIL Trollolol
THREE 6 MAFIA FT YOUNG BUCK, 8BALL & MJG’S Stay Fly
JACKAL YOUTH Broken
ROY DAVIES JR ft PEVEN EVERETT Gabriel
JAMES BLAKE CMYK
REDLIGHT FT ROSES GABOR Stupid
GORILLAZ Superfastjelly Instrumental (SBTRKT Remix)
APHEX TWIN Windowlicker
DING DONG Badman Foward Badman Pull Up
LORN Junior Master
FULGEANCE Chico (Dorian Concept Remix)
FREE THE ROBOTS Global Warning
RUDI ZYGADIO Manuscripts Don’t Burn
GUIDO You Do It Right
BURNING SPEAR Slavery Days
QUASIMOTO Put A Curse On You
PAUL WHITE The Dragon Fly
Blue Daisy played
GUILTY SIMPSON Get Bitches
J DILLA Won’t Do
BULLION Are You The One
BLUE DAISY/La Fleur Bleue – Lacher Prise (Let Go)
RADIOHEAD 15 Step Overdub (youtube)
KIDKANEVIL When Doves Bounce (Illum Sphere Remix)
UNTOLD Stop What You’re Doing (James Blake Remix)
BLUE DAISY VS TOKiMONSTA – USD
BLUE DAISY The Fall
ILLUM SPHERE Titan
BLUE DAISY/La Fleur Bleue- Love Scenery
Detroit City Drum Ensemble – Raw Cuts 6
xxxy – Oh yeah?
Kidkut – Lilt
CRST – Baduka
Dj Mujava – Mugwanti/Sgwejegweje
Ikonika – Aqueous Cream
Doc Daneeka – Mario’s mushrooms
Justin Martin – Get Low
Dubbel Dutch – Trollsta
Roulet – Kitamanda (Girl Unit Remix)
xxxy – I can’t stop
Doc Daneeka – Deadly Rhythm
Hodge & Brisk – Crep Steppin
Millie & Andrea – Ever Since you Came Down
Addison Groove – Footcrab
Untold – I can’t stop this feeling
XI – Superwhatever
Jamie Grind – If U Want
CRST – Dial The Operator
Deadboy – Way that I luv U
Jonny Dub returns
DOCTOR D Sweet Shop
KUEDO Star Fox
MR SCRUFF Pickled Spider
DUNGEN Satt Att Se
MADLIB Rebirth Cycle (Super Soul)
LORD PANAMA AND THE STICKERS Fire Down Below
BUSTA RHYMES FT Q TIP Ill Vibe
RAS G Blunt 2
ILLUM SPHERE Titan
SINDEN & SBTRKT Kind of Familiar
JAMES BLAKE Postpone
NOAH D Seeeriousss
Blue Daisy v Jonny Dub
TLC Silly Ho
DONAEO Riot Music (Skream Remix)
SQUAREPUSHER My Red Hot Car