Stoked to bring you September’s Ethnofusion Picks which proved to be, arguably, our most in-depth month to date. Tune in for the largest variety of electronic world fusion music you’ll find anywhere on the internet; that’s deep Middle Eastern dubstep, Balkan neuro, a South African / Russian merger, Afrobeats from Kenya & Ghana, Peruvian beats, Yakutsi trip-hop, downtempo from all across Latin America, oriental psydub, electronica from the islands of the Pacific ocean, live ambient modular Morrocan folk performances, and a ton of other bass-heavy music with global character.
We also have an unprecedented number of interviews for one month, featuring thoughts from Illusive Tuna, High Dude, Poztman & Purfakt, VOLO & Kousk.
Enjoy! – Baxtak
Outtallectuals – Found In Translation (OUTTA Remixed)
Presenting ‘Found in Translation’; the first annual Outtallectuals remix compilation featuring new renditions of songs from the OUTTA### catalogue. In a total of 14 tracks, over 40 artists contribute originals or remixes to this project from many corners of the planet, bringing a rich blend of cultures to the sonic table. The results are not easy to pin down but expect anything from Mongolian and Byzantine dubstep & Himalayan beats to minimal Japanese drum n bass & Colombian techno cumbia dub.
[INTERVIEW] Illusive Tuna – Dubmarine
Combining backgrounds in psytrance and reggae/band music, the Bristolian duo of Illusive Tuna released Dubmarine EP this month which has already garnered the support of few artists like Globular and Somatoast, consequently reaching our ears with delight. The five track EP is a fine balance of old and new, with equal focus on techy sound design and true dub aesthetics, and it is sure to satisfy psyheads of all ages and continents.
We caught up with Illusive Tuna to talk about the EP, their creative flow, and what makes the distinct Bristolian psy sound so distinct. Here’s the low down:
- How were Illusive Tuna spawned?
We both have been good friends for a number of years, going to parties in and around Bristol and had an interest in live ska and punk growing up. Josh has studied sound design and also has his own psytrance projects, where as I have mostly played in live reggae / dub (and goth rock) bands without any previous experience of music production. We realised that PsyDub was a great fusion of both our interests and strengths. We’ve been feeling very happy about the general response to our music so far which is definitely an inspiration to keep going and make more Tuna.
- What are the concepts and creative flow involved in making your music?
I think the EP is a good representation of different aspects of music that both me and Josh bring to the sound. Josh’s technical expertise of squelchy warping groovy basslines, tight percussion and experimental effects are lots of fun to jam along with on keyboard & melodica. We both provide ideas for arrangement but it is definitely Josh’s fine production skills and basslines that are the bedrock of our sound. I think we also both have an interest in the slightly swung beats, rhythms and keys found in Balkan music and are hoping to continue to explore these further in the future.
- Is there a local undertone to the PsyDub sound and why does the South West of the UK seem to generate many artists in this genre?
I think many people in the South West of the UK have come partying through Bristol at some point. Bristol has a solid history of Dub Reggae owing to the sound system culture from the Caribbean population as demonstrated in events such as St Paul’s carnival. In addition, the night Tribe of Frog is also celebrating its 18th Birthday this month so the city has had regular doses of psychedelic music here for a long time. I can’t speak for other people but frequent availability of exciting nights on both the dub and psychedelic ends of the spectrum have definitely been influential for us in producing music that combines elements of these two. Artists like Pinch (Dubstep) and Massive Attack (for Trip-hop) show Bristol’s historical love for sub heavy crossovers. We now have Psychedelic Jelly which is a night that specialises in downtempo psychedelic sounds and is really developing the scene here.
Of course, we have also been influenced by the pioneering PsyDub sounds developed by Ott and also expressed exquisitely in Globular’s music which have guided our musical journey, who are also from round here too.
As a final guess as to why we are all from this corner of the world……. perhaps it’s King Arthur’s aura emanating from the Isle of Avalon 😉
[INTERVIEW] High Dude – Withstanding EP [VALE]
Long-time Outtallectuals collaborator and overall dubstep rebel, High Dude, released a new EP through the dastardly dark VALE crew, tackling emotive and introspective realms of deep 140 music. High Dude’s signature foleyful sound is highlighted in these 4 tracks, however it was the two tracks, Shaman’s Weeping & Artless which caught the ‘ethno’ focus. They have High Dude departing from his majorly abstract sound into a more melodic direction, with a much more overall defined and polished techy sound.
Knowing that he always has some mad-meta details to his releases, we caught up with High Dude to dig deeper into this EP’s details. Here’re some thoughts we exchanged back n forth:
Q. What was the concept behind the title ‘Withstanding’?
The overall concept of the EP was to talk about being in a higher state of consciousness and growing in a different way than the one promoted by the dominant capitalistic ideology (which is a slavery system and had nothing to do with growing up). This is a common paradox for artists as they are somewhat idealistic, and with the understanding that ‘music is pure love’, they want to transcend their imagination of how the world really is and help to shift that paradigm.
Meanwhile, music and art in general is almost like a personal diary for an artist, and I believe this dialogue with the self helps for personal development and becoming honest to oneself, subsequently helping people to develop empathy. If you lie to yourself by not being true to yourself, you are likely to lie to others as well. It is this contagious acceptance of who we are that helps us become a part of the opposite of a vicious circle… a righteous circle perhaps?
I have a similar feeling towards the poetry I write and its power to accept the deepest feelings within myself and help to accept others’ emotions.
Q. What prompted the more melodic approach with this EP?
A. Previously, my aesthetic approach to music could have been described as ‘anti-melodic’ experiments where I used abstract sounds without any catchy melodies for the listeners. At some point, I got to the argument that music can’t be defined to require melodies so the average listener could demand whether this even counts as “music”. At the same time, I also didn’t want to just put 3 notes and consider a basic melody as a good one, and my main focus was on technical production. I have now reached a point where I feel confident about what I’m doing technically, and I want to incorporate more melodies into my compositions.
I can also perceive my evolution as an individual in my releases. I remember my mom hearing one of my early releases, ‘State Interests’ and asking me if I felt OK, as I believe my existential depression cycle was quite obvious for some in the non-melodic side of my music. Now, I feel to have a better comprehension and acceptation of myself and that may be noticeable with the more melodic aspects of this EP.
Q. Can you tell us the backstory to any of the songs on the EP?
Artless exemplifies overcoming a sense of naivete; this song was composed last summer after the final breathes of a 6.5-year relationship, yet we had to live together for a month after the break up. During that time, I realized how artless I had become, and after a one-month dark period of acceptance when it finally ended, I produced this track in a 1-week session, using the naïve introduction, hard scratchy drop, introspective bridge and sorrowful melodic acceptance sections in the track.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your academic background? I know that you are studying a PhD and teaching?
A. Yes, I’m studying a PhD on Hip-hop History and its social, political and philosophical evolutions from the US across the globe.
I was teaching Middle School children for a while; however, my radical methods of teaching were not accepted in the conservative education mechanism provided by the State and I wasn’t able to continue on this path. For example, I don’t think there is a need for kids to always raise their hands and for the teacher to need authority through his hierarchic position to get respected. I believed in honest conversation and respecting each other as equals which seemed to work very well in class as well. If my students felt like painting or being creative in the classroom, I was completely happy to allow this to happen, because I know they could follow the class at the same time, however this was not OK according to the capitalist state rulebook on education (or indoctrination).
I believe this is a weakness of authoritarian people who are usually depressed because they don’t feel that they can achieve control without hierarchical authority and want to deny kids from asking the right questions. This clash of my anarchist critics and the bureaucratic system in classroom politics is kind of representative of my wider critical system as well.
Q. Any final comments?
A. If I would have one message in my music it would be: “accept who you are or you will wake up n find yourself dead inside (still maybe that is only my perception)”
[INTERVIEW] Poztman & Purfakt – Persona EP [Open Outlets]
Culprate’s Open Outlets label once again proves its prowess to turn any of its artists’ existing expertise into a cinematic soup of sonic awesomeness, with this time’s awe-inducers being Outta-collaborator, Poztman, & his production comrade for this project, Purfakt. The EP is everything you need from dark cinematic avant-garde bass music, giving you moments of total creeps, fun accordions, circus vibes, interstellar Klingon rage, and a blackened sense of distress you usually expect from brutal metal music.
The track that stands out for the purpose of this blog is The Crow-Eater which borrows from the similar Accordion-laden Balkan/European traveller aesthetic that you’d hear in Igorrr or Ruby My Dear releases. The song’s double/halftime switch-ups, immense technicality, broken yet noggin-bangingly raw beats deliver heavily to make it one of our favourite dark IDM tracks we’ve heard this year.
We caught up with Poztman & Purfakt for a double interview about the release and its creative process. Check this out!
Q. Your recent EP sounds very mature & innovatively composed, possibly my favourite one of you to date. What is the concept behind it?
Poztman: Musically, it’s definitely an exercise to broaden our creativity and experience in producing multiple genres. We had collabed a few times together, and felt like making an EP as a duo.
Purfakt: We actually made The Builder a bit more than a year ago. At the time, John (Culprate) was looking for artists to make a compilation on Open Outlets. I’m quite not a confident person, but Poztman had the balls to send it over. I remember him setting up a theatrical sad face: “We got feedbacks from Open Outlets, we won’t be on the compilation …”, only to show me the email of John suggesting us to make a full EP. Man, that was some great motivation that lead to a year of fun!
Q. As relating to our blog, The Crow-eater is definitely a favourite moment in the EP with all the accordion and circus madness. How did you arrive at that?
Poztman: I was listening to Igorrr and Ruby My Dear a lot at that time, next to folk metal.
That’s probably what happened. The accordion is also a great and complex instrument, that’s quite evocative too. It sounds great when producing complex chords and to my surprise, comes through the mix quite easily.
Purfakt: Poztman sent me the original clip, most of it was already there. As you said, the scene is quickly set with the dissonant harmonies and marching rhythm. This was for sure one of the track that rapidly made the most sense.
Poztman: If you could name that ‘sense’.
Q. Is there a secret to French producers/artists that leads them to create strange avant-garde electronic music?
Poztman: We’re Belgian actually, but I get the confusion. Belgium is quite a confusing and self-contradicting country. Maybe that is good breeding ground for strange music. Belgium definitely has a colorful history in electronic music.
Purfakt: Indeed, our country is split between 3 languages (dutch, french and a little german part). Poztman is from the Dutch-speaking region and I’m from the French-speaking part. Musically speaking, we like similar genre but we took different paths to get there. I guess this transpires in our collaboration. To put it in other words, we complete each other.
Q. What were your musical inspirations for this EP and this sound overall? I feel like I can the ghost of the most distorted electronic or metal music out there.
Poztman: I was a huge metalhead / hardcore kid and I still am partly today. But then I found myself swept into Dubstep, then EDM, then Drum and Bass, Neuro, Glitchhop, Beats, Avant-garde and experimental electronic music. Metal, J-rock/Visual Kei and (post-)harcore shaped my teens, but the whole plethora of more underground and innovative electronic music shaped my twenties immensely.
Like a second puberty. I’m quite jealous of you, Purfakt, since you got into contact with electronic music early on. You taught me quite electronic classics and gems.
Purfakt: I listened to rock and Nu-Metal when I was 13-15 (System of a Down, Korn and Limp Bizkit). After that I quickly broadened my tastes to rap and electronic music. To this day, my playlist can look pretty unsettling mixing Snarky Puppy, Deftones, Noisia, Alon Mor, Mr. Carmack, Jon Wayne and Ennio Morricone; but if I had a top 3, I would say my biggest influences electronically are Culprate, Mr Bill and Diversa.
Poztman: I definitely learned to appreciate those artists more (well I was a big Mr Bill fan already) because of you. I never noticed you was into 90’s metal though.
If I’d big a top 3, it would be Audeka, Current Value and Dir en Grey.
Q. How did the collaborative element between the two of you affect this EP?
Poztman: Purfakt is a breeze to work with. He is serious enough to work together with, but can also take things lightly enough for them to be enjoyable. All tough some tracks were more directed or constructed by one of us, none of the tracks would had been there without collabing. And we both using Ableton Live. And Splice. Which has been a great help to share files but a bitch in terms of bugs and glitches.
Imo, Purfakt is great at making lush melodies and those super detailed edits. He has a brighter sound than me and a great sense of progression and flow. So yeah, we naturally complement each other.
But there is definitely some common ground. Isn’t there ?
Purfakt: Definitely. I believe we seek the same stuff in music production: creating intricate stories. Poztman taught me so much since we’ve started making music together. He has an insane feeling with drum samples and bass design. He helped me stepping up my mixing game too, because that was really a big failure for me. What was really cool also, it’s how open we were regarding what we likes and what we didn’t. This EP is five tracks, but there are still 4 or 5 more that got pretty far up in the conception and eventually got discarded as we were cementing the concept of Persona. I really enjoy this easy going/on point criticism we have on each other iterations.
Q. There is a strong visual element & somewhat scripted nature to the title of these tracks which kinda reminds me of a more playful Steven Wilson. Is there an underlying story / concept to the release?
Poztman: A clear story? No, but there is definitely a concept. Like the EP’s title suggest, the five tracks represent each a different personage. And that is inspired by the 5-color system found in the trading card game Magic: The Gathering. We’re both geeks, so of course we know that game. But I was always very interested in the philosophy behind those colors (Blue, Black, Red, Green and White) and the interaction between them.
Though the five tracks or personas do not represent a color each, but actually the lack of a color.
For example, the color green represents nature, growth and instinct. The Apprentice was made with the idea of it lacking ‘green’ characteristics; so, without it using organic sounds. Though while being synthetic, it ties to emulate natural progression, trying to compensate its lack of ‘green’.
All quite convoluted, yeah. I’m just lucky that Purfakt just bears with me on those farfetched ideas.
Purfakt: Yes, this concept is actually one of the main reason why we canceled further development on several demos we had. The Devourer was a pain in the ass to conceive! The principle behind the track is the lack of emotion.
Poztman: Which would be represented by the color Red. Or the lack of the color red actually.
Purfakt: How do you write a track without emotion? Well, Poztman stroke again with a metallic, eery, out-of-this-world intro. From there we went on the thematic of a virus-like monster and it unfolded exactly like we concepted it. After us, Aimbé is, for sure, the person that listened to our EP the most. Every time I was calling him to get news on the artwork, I could hear the tracks in the background. We’re really happy with his interpretation of our music. It’s seems to me each character fits the ideas we had about them. I’m glad he was part of the adventure!
Q. Anything you’d like to add further?
Purfakt: This was by far my most favorite creation experience ever. Poztman became a friend, we met for the first time a year and a half after we started making music together and we’ve been talking a lot since. I’m sure this is far from being our last work together. I’d like to thank John for giving us the opportunity to do this and for his help through the months. I never thought I’d ever release an EP for my favourite artist!
Poztman: Indeed, it’s quite incredible for me what we achieved with this EP so far. John/Culprate has been a very supportive person and I’d like to thank Aimbé too for the great collaboration.
And yeah, best of al was meeting Purfakt IRL and forging a strong friendship!
[INTERVIEW] VOLO – Force of Nature
Ethnofusion featured VOLO for the first time last year with his track, ‘Inspirit’, and we are glad to hear his music again this month in the form of a 6-track EP, titled ‘Force Of Nature’. Claimed to be inspired by “big open landscapes and the creative force behind everything on our planet”, VOLO’s new EP certainly exuberates positivity, and the feeling it evokes can visually be described as one of those drone wildlife shots in the Maasai Mara, or elsewhere you can see an abundance of animals coexisting.
Musically, you have everything here that triumphant electronic music is known for today; major scales, flutes, ascendant female vocals, big anthemic future bass vibes and all those sparkly goodins. Fans of pop sensible electronic music and optimistic vibes heard in the music of CloZee, et al. can rejoice in this release, with ‘Freefall’ & ‘Last Nomad’ standing out as the most unique compositions on the release.
We caught up with VOLO for his own thoughts on his latest:
Q. Well done with this release! How would you describe your evolution since we last featured your music?
A. Thanks! For this latest project I revisited some older ideas I had, along with some new ideas. It’s hard for me to look on my own project and see how it’s evolving in short period of time. I think my production slowly evolves but the same rhythm & spirit carries through since the beginning.
Q. In what way did you take inspiration from open natural landscapes while making these songs?
A. There’s something about the feeling of being awestruck by nature that I try to convey in my music. It’s not really on purpose, it just flows out that way. Sometimes I like to put on a visceral nature documentary or visual an atmosphere while i’m creating the ‘vibe’ of the track.
Q. What do you mean by “creative forces behind everything on our planet”?
A. I’ve been thinking a lot more about the idea of where the music is coming from. There’s a certain genuineness & purity in the music when I let go of trying to have any control over the music. Treating the creation process like a growing tree or a winding river – not always linear but ends up being beautiful in the end just as it is.
Q. You recently opened one of CloZee’s ‘Evasion’ shows. How was that experience?
A. I was on the first leg of her Evasion tour along the West Coast. It was an amazing experience for me to finally see the feedback from other people in a live setting. The past couple years i’ve spent most of my time cooped up working away on the music. Traveling and being surrounded by a creative/hard-working crew was inspiring to say the least.
[INTERVIEW] Kousk – True Moon EP
A new artist discovery this month is Kousk, a classically-trained composer, producer & performer trifecta from British Colombia, Canada, with impressively-complex yet pleasingly smooth music. With songs like Wormhole, Kousk explores certain realms of tribal bass music that I’ve personally not heard before. The elven meeting of Balkan and wider folk music creates for a supernatural bioluminescent night forest feeling.
Reading as Kousk is the co-founder of a music school, we thought it was necessary to pick her brains a bit more about her vision and all endeavours she partakes in. Here are a few quick thoughts from the artist herself:
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the concept behind the album?
A. I recently underwent some challenging changes in my life that at times felt pretty dark. This album was inspired by someone quite unique who continually motivated me to find the courage and perseverance to learn and grow through it. I then wanted to share that experience with the world through music.
Q. ‘Wormhole’ really stands out as a composition to me. Can you tell us a bit about your background in music and perhaps how that relates to this song and others on the EP?
A. I have been playing classical piano since I was 5 years old and started audio engineering when I was 19. Since then I have always found it an extremely interesting practice to blend these two realms of study together. The melodies of Link & Wormhole were actually influenced by some of the piano pieces I have been practicing lately and are sound designed alongside organic sounds recorded while shooting arrows in the forest.
Q. You are a co-founder at Spheres School of Music; what are the operations you have over there?
A. Spheres School of Music was created around the idea of blending classical music with electronic music production. We offer lessons in piano and music theory, which help the student learn music fundamentals. We also love to teach Ableton Live so these musical fundamentals can be directly applied and a student can produce their own music with modern tools.
Q. From the music, EP title and your imagery, I get the idea that you literally live that lifestyle. Are you an actual elf who shoots arrows in the woods?
A. Haha no, I am a human, but I find the art of shooting a bow akin to playing a musical instrument – exhilarating and inspiring. I feel at home in the wilderness of the forest, being surrounded by the sounds and colours of nature is a space where I discover many musical ideas.
Katch – GITS
Heard this deep 140 ting, inspired by Ghost In The Shell and its soundtrack, and despite the bootleg vibes and slight excess on low-end heavy mastering, there is something unique and novel about the track. Mad wobbly basslines, tight groovy drums, and those haunted & side-chained vocals all go hand-in-hand to make a ghostly banger in my books.
AZTEK – hello los angeles
The don mojomaster of all beats wonky, slow, and tribal, AZTEK gives us this signature beat this month with flutes, manipulated vocals & all that found sound percussive goodness.
gisaza. – Kings of Babylon
2018’s unstoppable hype run continues for gisaza. with another deep flute-ladden dubstep tune, brandishing sharp hooks, tight holsters and the full pounding of an uruk-hai flail.
ill.Gates – Krakatao [Muti Music]
The renowned beatmaster known as ill.Gates released a new album this year through his long-term crew and mighty label, Muti Music, and fans of the label’s tribal trap marauders like MUDRA and Stephan Jacobs can rejoice in the continuation of this aesthetic with this tune.
Govinda – Alien Sex Magick [Gravitas Recordings]
Govinda hits back again with his seductive interstellar violin-based lullaby sound, with vibes smooth enough for tango ceremonies in Andromedan bal masque events.
Symbolico – Human Beans [Merkaba Music]
The psydub master known as Symbolico graced us with some of his magnificent and forward-thinking execution of music in this genre, and it symbolises everything that the artist and many of his peers in the scene are known for. Crystal clear productions with subtle ever-changing grooves intermingling with techy sound design, Hindi bols, intricate drumlines and plenty of soulful details sprinkled all throughout it. An absolute must-hear EP for fans of intelligent mid-tempo psychedelic music.
Pedra Branca – Religare [Merkaba Music]
A total culture-fusing pot-melting effort of an album, featuring the four-piece band that makes up Pedra Branca, as well as a ginormous list of collaborators on almost every instrument conceivable. We have sitar, oud, saz, bandolin, guimbardi, percussions, bass, drums, didgeridoo, sarangi, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, violins, and vocals from Kazakhstan and Brazil. How’s that for an absolutely magical line-up of instruments?
Compositionwise, there is also a large range of genre influences, sounding somewhere between worldbeat, trap, trip-hop, breaks, funk & dubstep. There is no doubt about the ambitious achievement that it is to get all these sounds together and make it cohesive for the most part, however, the release will not tickle those of y’all who are there for the super-techy sound design and transient-heavy modern mixing styles. What you are sure to hear however, is ever-evolving motifs delivered in a never-ending change of instruments.
Scott Nice – A People Called Home [Jumpsuit Records]
Scott Nice’s full album is the perfect blend of all things pop-sensible, world fusion and positive. Over the course of 10 songs, the artist delivers a strong collection of collaborative tracks, sounding somewhere between CloZee, Prem Joshua & The Polish Ambassador. This release is ideal for anyone with a soft spot for familiar and classily-produced grooves, decorated with uplifting vibes from across the planet.
Spectateur – Rythmes [Tour De Manege]
The French beatmaker known as Spectateur released this free 16-track beat-tape this month through the Tour De Manege crew and it’s perfect for everyone with a taste for Chinese Man, Hugo Kant and similar trip-hop. There is plenty of material for everyone in this; Asian heaters, tribal mid-tempo stompers, French chillhop, and straight up ghostly gangsta shit. Definitely a mixtape to check out in full and pick and choose at your own ‘free download’ disposal.
Uraan – Orto (feat. Vasilena Sharina)
Our favourite producers from Eastern parts of Russia and originating from the Yakutsk people, Uraan manage to creep us out with their uniquely dark and playful music, this time collaborating with the locally-renowned singer, Vasilena Sharina. The result is what is now a signature trip-hop sound for the group, and with an album on the way from them, as well as an ever-evolving sound, this song can only be a timely sound for something even greater.
Zuma Dionys – Yuddhapot EP [Pipe & Pochet]
Some of the most coherent world house tracks we’ve heard this year comes from Zuma Dionys in this EP through Pipe & Pochet. Songs like ‘As Time Goes By’ & ‘Calatore Spre Nicatori’ carry beautiful grooves over lucid instrumentations and an undeniably dance-inducing swing, and that’s basically most of what we ask for in this genre. Shout outs also go out to Pipe & Pochet for keeping it as suave as possible.
Giselle World – TRIBU
Giselle World returns to our blog after we featured her ‘Tribal Waters‘ EP back in January, and this time, she dazzles in the form of a full album, comprised of unity chants and tribal calls for sustainability and water protection atop brilliant flute-guided productions. Over 14 drawn-out and meditative songs which span over 85 minutes, Giselle’s dedication to the vibes that she is creating is exemplary. There is a clear sense of musical style, authenticity and signature value to these songs, and it’s one that you’ll only truly understand if you give it at least an hour of your sonic attention.
Shika Shika – Presents: Union (VA)
Shika Shika boast a huge compilation with plenty of tribal and folk electronica tracks from Latin America, and vibes ranging from Boards of Canada-esque ambient pieces to percussion heavy forest stompers. Below the music’s subtle, calming and endearing mix of soft synths and marimbas, an ocean of detailed IDMy detail awaits you to dive in its pixelated ocean of flickering glitters of joy.
Andi.Andean – Magma [Global Hybrid Records]
Fresh from a tour across Europe and back into the Latin American home turf, Andi.Andean releases straight Magma through his friends at Global Hybrid Records. Production-wise, the EP is a rather neatly crafted display of work, while heavily focusing on Andi.Andean’s slowly evolving & detailed polyrhythms. There are snippets of influences from all over the place, and perhaps the ‘Magma’ in the title exemplifies the heat stored all across the depths of this planet regardless of our race, creeds or locations.
Dengue Dengue Dengue – Semillero EP [On The Corner]
The brilliant Peruvian outfit, Dengue Dengue Dengue give us a 6-track work of art, evolving their celebrated sound further through collaborations with the world band, Penya on the opening track, accessing a local musical hero, Mikongo’s private sound library, another one of an Amazonian tribe, and more. Dengue x3 go far in with their concepts, for example by evolving a song from Amazonian vibes to the Afro-Peruvian beats heard in the cities, sonically depicting the migration of these rural people to urban centres, and such subtle use of real life to compose songs is certainly something we welcome here. Hence, full support for this release on all accounts!
Novalima – El Regalo [WONDERWHEEL Recordings]
The pioneering, Grammy-nominated, and otherwise well-received band known as Novalima return with an 8-track album through WONDERWHEEL Recordings, diving deeper into collaborations from across Latin America. The result is a strange blend of South American instruments, rapping, twisted dub rhythms and many electronic grooves, creating a musical and cultural bridge between the wider Afro-Latin cultures.
Novalima’s music is simultaneously hip, classy, culturally-rich and experimental and it’s an overall sense of maturity that ties everything within it together so nicely. Not less can be expected from a WONDERHWEEL Recordings release.
Loya – Corail [Mawimbi]
The brilliant Mawimbi label from France explore native music from the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean (close to Mauritius). This takes shape with Loya exploring his own culture, as well as those close to his in other islands. In the course of this EP, the artist explores a wealth of rhythms in maloya, house, techno, IDM, electronica and footwork, to arrive at this extremely unique blend of worlds, contextualising cultural identity in the globalised world.
There’s an unfinished music video to this track that you’ll find if you dig hard enough, but the label has promoted people not to share it so if you really dig this EP as much as we do, go watch that WIP for yourself for a sense of what else is to come.
James Holden & Maalem Houssam Guinia – Three Live Takes [Border Community]
Composed as an overall call-and-response communication between the ever-adventurous James Holden and Maalem Houssam Guinia of the Gnawa tradition of Morocco, these songs are a number of collaborations from 2016, recorded live in London when the latter and his band came to London in 2016. The long drawn-out and compositionally ambient tracks stand at a very organic meeting of electronic and natural sounds, seamlessly blended together as one holistic experience. A must-hear experimental and raw collection of songs, perfect for those into modular performances and non-invasive music experiences.
Ngala Oreyo – GALA GALA [Clubcruise Music]
Based on a story of a village bully, Ngala Oreyo, his band of artists on the Nyattiti, guitars, percussions and vocals, and a number of remixing artists give us a taste of what electronic fusion / benga house from Western Kenya’s Alego region sounds like. While the original packs enough heat and authenticity to qualify as a solid feature, the remixes help to translate the track in a number of house, afrobeats and electronica formats. Fans of major scales, positive vibes and a genuine cultural experience should not miss this EP.
Bryte – Too Good For Your Liking [More Time]
Delivering heavily on the afrobeats and funky UK bass cross-over, Bryte and More Time label give us an awesome mid-tempo release while boasting a huge list of production credits, comprised of The Busy Twist, Mina, Max Le Daron and more. The result is a full album riddled with dancefloor anthems inspired by life in Accra, Ghana, and the songs range from unique bangers and accessible poppy scores, giving us a presentation of many things within the UK/West Africa musical connection.
University of Tropical Sound – dia:tribes VA
The Barcelona/London-based global bass imprint and events company, known in short as University, released their 2nd compilation in this genre, covering numerous aspects of ethnofusion electronic music over 12 tracks. We were fortunate enough to premiere Ozferti’s Bayou, one of our faves from this collection as our first Soundcloud premiere, and one that was met with heaps of stoke.
Overall, the collection is a great display of planetary focus on all sorts of grooves and vibes, a quality that we highly approve of. Other standout tracks for us included Boa Kusasa’s Bheka with its heavy tribal stomper vibes, and Baq’s Far Eastern sound on Macera, and Hataah & Aluphobia’s Hindi-influenced “Kayre“.
SpydaTEK – Brazil Ting [La Clinica Recs]
La Clinica Recs are back in the blog with one of their less aggressive tracks which highlights their baile funk & global bass hybrid sound. The result is a neatly-produced tribal EDM banger, perfect for sweaty mischief at your favourite favela jaunt.
Bad Zu – MSCW GQOM [Hyperboloid Records]
Hyperboloid Records are on form with another daringly strange release, this time blending the dystopian synthetic sound that the label is renowned for with the modern South African musical phenomenon known as GQOM. The song is unique and manages to achieve this eerie yet groovy combination of sounds rather effortlessly. Fans of tribal music made in the depths of the matrix must plug into this.