0%

Ethnofusion Picks #Sept2017

Posted By: Outtallect On:


The Ethnofusion blog heads into its third year, bigger and better than ever, brining you all electronic music that’s dope and authentic to a locality on this planet. This month, we take you to China, India, Colombia, Gabon, Ghana, Amazon, Zimbabwe, Bulgaria, Ireland, Mexico, Himalayas, the Ancient times and the afterlife. Read on to discover the best of ethnofusion music this month.

Experimental / Conceptual

Jan Amit – Paint Your Despair [Hyperboloid Records]

Taken from Jan Amit’s recent cross-genre release on Hyperboloid Records, Paint Your Despair is certainly one of our top finds this month, hitting the perfect balance between emotiveness and innovative musicianship. Readers of this column know that Culprate’s Deliverance is arguably one of my few standards for a 10/10 release, and while this release doesn’t necessarily sound like Deliverance, it has the same polytonous expression as a multi-instrumental, pace-changing, technical, and organic piece of music. If I try very hard to fault something, it is only that the sentimental/conceptual side aspect of could have potentially been accentuated. Nevertheless, Jan Amit does very well to paint his despair and with this song, he scores one of Ethnofusion’s highest ever ratings.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 10
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 10
Sentiment = 9

Median = 9.6

Paper Lights – Midnight Swing

Paper Lights is a side project of the new Outtallectuals all-round avant-guardian genius Piksel, and her musical partner, criptika. The super-textural downtempo sound is hauntingly blissful and opiatic, and the experience is topped up with an unexpected appearance of the ‘buddham saranam gacchami’ chant, infused with the duo’s vocals. Really interesting and unique style overall and had not been accompanied with a sample chant, and replaced with real ones, this is easily a top-tier winner in my books.

What’s the concept behind the track?
In short, the track is based on the ‘experience’ of the culturally rich London nightlife.

What’s going on in terms of what your duo is doing on this track?
There is an acoustic and electronic side of this track; the acoustic side (which criptika was responsible for) is a prepared piano (piano with objects attached to its strings) playing a fluid, cyclical melody. That is the grounding of the track. Whilst the electronics shape and mix the acoustic material into a new sound world, as well as contribute a rhythmic feel.

Were there any opiates involved in the making of this song?
The buzzing and colourful sensation of nightlife is what contributed to the making of the track.

Eccentricity = 10
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.8

Bandish Projekt – Dakla 2 feat. Aishwarya Joshi & Maulik Nayak [Bheja Fry Records]

The don of South Asian bass music presents a new rendition of Dakla, accompanied with a music video which has already gathered over 270k views in 3 weeks. Bandish Projekt’s neat and professional productions, coupled with a true sense of authenticity, and now visual aid makes for a true work of art to marvel at. The song is released for Navaratri, a Hindu celebration of the divine feminine, Devi, and even without understanding Hindi, the strong sentiment is easily visible.

Additionally, he’s made his recent EP available for remixes by application, so if you feel like you have what it takes to remix one of the best, follow this link: www.bit.ly/KKRContest

Eccentricity = 10
Lucidity = 10
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 10

Median = 9.8

Biomigrant – Aldea Mundial: 01. La Muerte [Regional Label]

Presenting the videos from the project, Biomigrant finally unveils the visual aspect of his fantastic Aldea Mundial album released through Regional Label last year. Recorded as a part of numerous community projects and gatherings, and trips across Latin America including Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador, the authenticity of this project is instantly recognizable.

This first video of the project which was primarily shot in Colombia revolves primarily around the concept of life and death, and the video certainly plays on this topic, gradually progressing from nature shots to nearby barren mine-scapes.  Props should be given to Biomigrant for balancing the morbidity of this track with a sense of resilience, as exemplified through Toño Garcia’s words in the video, translated to English as:

“Death came looking for me
And i told him, sonofabitch, have some respect!
I’m only 100 years old
Go back to where you came from
Nobody fucks with me…”

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 10

Median = 8.8

Howie Lee – Muztagata

One of Asia’s most prominent producers in our books and the major force behind Do Hits label comes back this month with this single in his unique style and unpredictable execution. You always know with Howie Lee tracks that they are unlikely to be like anything you’ve ever heard, and it’s obvious that he doesn’t settle for mediocre stuff. Muztagata is as strange as his other stuff and while the high-pitched melodies get slightly tiring, there are a lot of amazing moments in this for fans of complex organic grooves. Furthermore, how about an epic video to accompany this mad tune?

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 10
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8.8

Ethnic Trap / Bass

VANRA – Angels [Safari Network]

It’s not every day that you hear an Obama soundbite in a song so let’s just start there. VANRA’s Angels visibly plays on Barack’s message that not all angels have wings and accordingly, there’s definite conceptual value to this track. The solid ethnic trap execution with an extended cinematic outro which almost takes up half of the song certainly has a heavenly feel. The song is somewhere between eerie and monumental which is a good balance to hit for spectral trap and we can certainly salute the artist for that.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 9

Median = 8.2

SOOHAN – Collective Effervescence

It’s that time of the year when SOOHAN delivers one of his signature mixtape / remix albums, basing it around Émile Durkheim’s sociological concept of collective effervescence; moments in societal life when a group of individuals that makes up a society comes together in order to perform a religious ritual (IEP, nd). SOOHAN’s role as a heavily touring artist in the global bass scene is a strong indication of why such moments would be of value to him. Through these remix albums, he manages to capture the essence of dance through a signature style that can bring people of all creeds and continent together, whether it is as different remixes on his album or as crowds that rejoice in his sets.

There’s genuinely a little bit of everything in here; The Cardigans, Brandy, Missy Elliot, the Lebanese singer, Fairouz and other Arab elements, the French-Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux and South American vibes, Bollywood, and even classics like Scott McKenzie’s San Francisco, and a lot of other surprises scattered throughout. This approach to song-making can easily be perceived as a shortcut by some, but SOOHAN’s track choices always back it up; whether it is through nostalgia, ethnofusion aesthetics, intrigue, or pure crate-digging talent. Consequently, SOOHAN ranks as arguably the most visionary remix artist that operates at least within the global bass scene and as DJ who often plays to foreign crowds, I can testify that SOOHAN’s tracks have saved my sets on more than a few occasions.

Despite all the justification, one cannot stop speculating about what all-original SOOHAN would sound like. If an artist can find all the right sounds to play with, then it’s surely just a matter of booking session musicians to deliver something equally good, yet entirely original? I suppose it’s worth taking this moment to have a chat with SOOHAN about the album and all these speculations. My interview with him will soon be out via The Untz.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.2

Jon Casey – Jamurai [Gravitas Recordings]

Jon Casey, the South African ripper who’s been smashing airways alongside his It Hz partner, Chee, and slaughtering the half-time realm, comes out with this single through the Gravitas familia, showing y’all why these cats are hyped. Similar to my favourite It Hz tune, Walking Dread, the song uses a healthy portion of plucky world strings to give you the right dose of organic stabs, and tops it up with heavy basslines, broken grooves, and a hip-hop soul that’s been uploaded onto a mischievous oriental robot from the future. You best know that you only hear and read shit that vivid in this blog.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8.4

Artifakts – Tombs

The new Artifakts single is an almost perfect world bass tune with immaculate percussions, deep 808s, gangsta attitude and hypnotic vibes crossed off its check list. I suppose the only way I can fault this track comes down to personal taste and that’s the LFO bass sound which sounds a bit dated despite having a lot of movement, and doesn’t quite grab an ear trained for techy neuro music. Nevertheless, this is definitely a perfect simultaneously up and down tempo tune you can fit in your tribal set any day.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.2

Drumspyder – Dragon Heart EP

The future household name of all nomadic tribes and overall ethnic mid-tempo guru continues a high-output year with Dragon Heart EP, a set of three songs that carry Drumspyder’s distinct production style to new heights. On ‘Three of Knives’, Drumspyder experiments with a smooth and seamless 7/8 rhythm, delivering utmost cadence yet breaking the monotony of 4/4 electronic music. On the remaining songs, he experiments with a hybrid Irish sound, Bulgarian rhythms and an overall European folk feel. All in all, the EP is quintessential danceful Drumspyder music and anyone into crisply-produced and highly-percussive cross-tempo world bass music, needs to check these songs out.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.4

Govinda – Transcendence

Another ethnic psybass giant, Govinda releases an 8-track full-length album this month, tackling a more synthesized approach to the style. The album has a unique theme through it where halftime beats are supplemented with super-fast hi-hats, giving a double BPM feel to the songs, leaving you to ponder whether you want to chill or get active to it. Props should also be given to Shane Madden for the violin work on this release, especially on tracks like Giza. Transcendence is a perfect release for anyone who likes a traditional approach to their organic and squelchy ethnoscapes but with precise 2017 execution.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.2

Erothyme – Transfiguration (at the Edge of the World)

Sounding like a lullaby, resonated through the melodies of scintillating forest creatures, Erothyme’s Transfiguration is an invigorating and calming tune. Sounding like Bwoy De Bhajan’s cousin at the beginning and ending as R Kelly’s bohemian uncle by the end, Erothyme manages to merge soul and forest chill in an unlikely yet fun and positive marriage. Deep forest funk music to exfoliate your ego to.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8.4

Rhythmstar & PawZ – Hydra [Street Ritual]

Taking things to a spiritual playboy level, Rhythmstar & PawZ deliver on a new vibe for us with this ethnic pornbass Kamasutra-wave music. Supposedly having something to do with a Medusa-type character, the song is actually pretty sexy and definitely feels serpentine. Execution-wise, there’s movement in the production in terms of intensification and pace changes, and a dedication to the core groove makes for a fluent and dynamic ride. Osho would certainly approve.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 7
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 10
Sentiment = 9

Median = 8.4

Tribal Dubstep / Ethnic Dub

Gisaza – Vipress

A new deep dubstep discovery through the front of FLO and Deep End Movement, gisaza is definitely someone I’m keeping a close eye on from now. Vipress is as sludgy and neat as they come. Still very much in touch with the dub roots, vipress is dark, gritty and full of brute force. This is a Bat’leth yielding rubatuff anthem to partake in intergalactic sumo moshpit wrestling events in; only shame is that the song is slightly short.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 10
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.4

System of a Down – BYOB [The Widdler Dub]

For anyone who grew up during the nu metal heydays, System of a Down’s BYOB is a monumental moment in their formative music years when they could finally go to mainstream clubs and skank to moments of blast-beats and conscious lyricism. Now, it’s with absolute joy to see The Widdler take the hook and dub the soul out of it. The dub is accentuated with a soaring flute section that really takes the song beyond a remix and adds serious creativity to it. Daring choice, solid delivery!

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 10
Sentiment = 9

Median = 9.4

Aortaa x Bassacre x Talabun – Pray For

Talabun is back with a solid representation of his instantly recognizable MCing on the riddim of Aortaa and Bassacre. While the deep and dark Middle Eastern vibes let you know this isn’t music for fun, Talabun’s twisted and almost death-metal style growl shows you the extent of introspective seriousness that goes into this music as it tells you to pray for everyone close to you. Definitely don’t drop this at a club, but do turn a candle on in a dark room and meditate to it.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 7
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 9

Median = 8.4

Ceiva – ENV014 [Encrypted Audio]

This Ceiva EP really goes hard in the truest sense of that word. If you want deep heavy dubstep with an excess of attitude, you need to check this out. The ethnofusion part of the EP is the 2nd track, Death Walk which sounds equally strange and soothing. It basically sounds like what you would feel like if your dopamine receptors were slinkies and you were in an earthquake. Howbahdah!

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.4

Policy – Breach [KeepDeep]

Keep Deep holds down the negative altitude planes with this score from Policy, delivering ghostly deep and dank UK dubstep, elevated in the form of magma as it elevates and erupts your domes.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 7

Median = 7.6

EMOG – The Next Level

The new EMOG track is certainly another feature this month that takes things back to the early psychill background of the genre, appropriately titled as ‘Cosmic Dub’. The traditional element is ever so present, yet some of the stuttering, dubbing and delay action on vocals and melodies sound incredibly fresh. The release could have been improved with better mastering so it loses some scores on technicality as well, but if you are in the league of listeners, who’s seeking something beyond the 808 / gangsta side of spiritual music, EMOG is the one for you.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8

Tor.Ma in Dub – Espejo (feat Izel)

Released as a fundraiser for the recent earthquake in Mexico, Tor.ma in Dub takes the unique approach of collaborating with his young daughter on the vocals, making this release mega-pure in concept, as the lyrics sing: “When I see you, It’s just a mirror. If you and me are together, we can do it all.”. The song’s rhythmic appeal is of the rub-a-dub family, and while not the crispiest production, it certainly hits where it should, and all for a good cause.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 7
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 10

Median = 8.2

Slow Rave / Ethnic House / Downtechno

Helucze – Light of the Straw Hats EP [Avocaudio]

Recently discovered artist Helucze who delivered big time on his previous release from FertilDiscos is back with an EP this month which is frankly incredible. The multi-instrumental sound in the three songs is incredibly rich, utilising complex and progressive grooves, and all three tracks offer something different. Lagrimas De La Selva is a stylish dub composition, Wild Brook is a nutritious multi-layered moombahouse/downtechno score, and Bloody Footprint is an incredible war-chant type battle cry. The unique style Helucze brings to the table is evident all throughout this EP and the artist is now firmly in our list of newcomers to watch out for.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.6

LEN – 425 Ft. Eva Gou [Akumandra ]

This month’s Akumandra release from LEN is as haunting as you’d expect from the label, while also sticking to their level of quality. Released as a part of an EP, 425 stands out because of how well it manages to utilise a highly repetitive format to carry the song forward in sneaky and unexpected ways. Props should be given to the artist for the cleanliness of this mix, the attention to detail and to the label for pushing unchartered multicultural realms of downtechno/house music.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.6

Katma – Chapali [Garasadah Records]

Hailing out of Kathmandu, Nepal, Garasadah Records seems to have sprung out of nowehere with the potential to go many places. The three track EP which is the first on the label comes in the form of masterfully crafted slow house and production-wise, it is ready to compete with the best in the genre. These are slow-building nomadic anthems, supposedly created as an ode to a herbal medicine, the Osha root used for detoxifying the body especially for hikers and travellers. I can’t see the direct relationship between these sounds and the North American native plant, but metaphorically, this is the kind of music that can accompany you on a journey and successfully set the mood of a travelling stint.

As someone who spends a lot of time in Nepal, I am excited to learn about this label and follow their work as it is rare to find such quality material in the country and Garasadah Records may be paving the way for something great to unfold.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8.6

MINA – Make Money (ft Bryte) [More Time Records]    

As a collaboration between the London-based producer/DJ, MINA, and Ghanaian singer Bryte, Make Money is a evidently a score about the hustle, yet the duo make the strife sound pretty fun. If you are stuck in a shit job but have to do what you need to do to survive, whack this one on when you get in the elevator of your company and go ape shit between a few floors. It’ll be sure to clear your head.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 10
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8.6

The Roots Project Records – Initiation V/A EP

The Roots Project Records is an interesting initiative which uses music from a locality to support indigenous artists and trusted non-profits of that community. On this project, the music is borrowed from the B’witi tradition in Gabon, with stems being provided from Ebando, the Association of Nature, Culture, and Future. Such projects are always incredibly impressive as they present globalisation not as an adversary of indigenousness, but as a way to strengthen it. Ethnic fusion music is a non-political ambassador which fuses the sonic departments of different cultures, and empathic global relationships can be formed through such expressive forms of dialogue.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 10

Median = 8.6

atom munding – Suffix order (paqo Remix) [Schieff Musik]

While we try to stay away from remixes as much as possible, paqo’s rethinking of Atom Munding’s Suffix Order stood out with its broken limping attitude, sounding like what J Dilla would approve of if he heard the range of downtempo slow rave music being released these days. Overall, the track lacks a certain element of clarity in the master, but the organic feel and sense of rhythm is amazingly charismatic. Definitely something for those who are interested in the organic side more than the electronic.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.4

Nikosh – Selva [drosssel]

Drosssel’s downtempo crew take things back to the jungle again with a mini-comp and this one from Nikosh stood out for me with its attention to detail and overall misty flavour. I can almost see the vapour rising from the treble outlet of my monitors. Fans of forest chill music who like to trade techno and house music’s industrial overtone for a more meditative feel should definitely check this out.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 9

Median = 8.4

Amentia – Miracle D’Hwange EP [SolSelectas]

This month’s release from SolSelectas comes from Amentia in an ode to Zimbabwe and the native instrument of this land, the mbira. The five track EP has a rather euphoric feel overall, manifested through intricately designed deep house music and a natural soundscape. My favourite track is probably Victoria as the lead flute legitimately soothes my neural activity, introducing optimum pace to my existence. Yet, despite the pleasurable listening experience, the flute sounds are more North African and Middle Eastern and conceptually, how the mbira is used in the EP does not sound very Zimbabwean. Considering that the EP is titled the Miracle of Hwange, I guess the EP loses some points on sentiment. Bloggers can’t be choosers, right?

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.2

Valeron – Zucca [Vruno Remix]

A silky-smooth feature this month comes from Vruno with this cashmere remix of Valeron’s Zucca. This is one of those saudade-satisfying scores that you can relate to in any elated moment, be it sad or happy. Deep emotive world moombah house music for the win.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.2

Degman – Tea in the Desert [Akasha MX]

Akasha MX carries on the path of becoming the newcomer label of the year with another awesome release, this time coming from Degman. ‘Tea in the Desert’ in the sort of track that puts you in a flow state where you forget the passing of time. It is a repetitive, slug-pace evolving piece with a flute acting as the shepherd to the cattle of sounds that cadently gallop in unison.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 7.8


Play Cover Track Title
Track Authors