Posts Tagged ‘afro-beat’
Butch Cassidy Sound System was one of the most succesfull postings in the last months, regarding the incoming clicks. And here we have a very similar constellation. Lack of Afro is Adam Gibbons, a 26 year-old funk aficionado based in London who has been learning and playing music since he was just a kid. He creates a slightly assembled brand of funk music, as modern as it is retro, one that features live instrumentation mixed in with samples and programmed beats in a big bowl of funky, jazzy feel-goodness. His debut LP is everything it should be, packed full of super strong dancefloor funk with that modern touch that makes it so alluring and instant. Conceptually this is isn’t that new, referencing old funk and jazz and adding breaks and beats, overplaying live parts and assembling it all into music for the floor, it’s been done many times over the last decades. But what makes this record stand out is it’s feel. And here we come back to the Butch Cassidy Sound System – what BCSS made with reggae, Lack of Afro does with funk.
Taking its cues from the heavy funk and soul of the 70s, and giving them something of an updated twist, “Press On” is without a doubt one of the finest albums of the modern funk era. From the opening track you can hear a sincere and honest love of funk and an understanding of what works both on the dance floor and at home. And the record has a whole bunch of top hits to offer. Judge for yourself if it is as good as Butch Cassidy Sound System, in my opinion it is, a fucking must-have. This is an thoroughly enjoyable album that is sure to spice up even the most wintry of days. So grab a blanket, curl up next to that stereo, and pump it loud.
As a reader of urbanology you might know Kutiman already and his funky afro-beat clash from Tel Aviv. Kutiman now lifts sampling to a new level. He gone through hundreds of YouTube vids in which people from all over the world played instruments, from the kid who plays bass in front of his unit wall, the drummer in his garage or the old lady playing organ in church. Kutiman samples them all, throws them in the mixer and spits out funky outer space songs, ranging from dubby reaggae influenced tunes to straight funk smashers, hell yeah! And the best, you also can see all the samples he took from the vids and looped. Read much more about this project at wired.com and of course visit Kutiman´s webpage to listen to the music and see the vids. If you want to download the songs and don´t want to rip them to mp3 from youtube by yourself, have a look here.
Kutiman created Sampling 2.0 for the internet age and follows the tracksof all the pioneers from the early 80s to the video scratching pioneers from the early 90s. And it is raising questions about copyright issues once again, is it another nail in the coffin of copyright as we know it? I recommend you also to visit the webpage of an interesting project of Johannes Kreidler on the copyright issues and how these don´t fit anymore in the digital age.
All the other songs: here. WYSIWYG.
Mário de Andrade is one of the most important brasilian writers and poets. His book “Macunaíma” has for sure an outstanding impact on brasilian literature until today and is one of the novels which build up the own brasilian literature which cutted off the dominant european influences. Not coincidental Mário de Andrade was one of the driving forces behind the famous “Semana de Arte Moderna” in São Paulo 1922, which bundled all the uprising brasilian avantgarde artists and presented an brasilian art scene that mirrored the brasilian society with all its african, indigenous and european influences. Sadly from this art movement later a nationalist group splitted off, which wanted to create a “purely Brasilian” form of art (always the same sick idea, create art on a national base…). But the original movement declared that they would “eat” all influences, digest it, and throw out new things – like the brasil society with its indigenous, african, european and asian origins – and don´t want to ignore any influences from Northamerica or Europe.
“Macunaíma” as part of the Brasilian Modernism reflects also the experiences of Mário de Andrade as an Mulatto in the brasilian society at the beginning of the 20th century. A time when politics in Brasil where strongly dominated by white men from the oligarchy, who dreamed of an “white” or “more white” brasilian society and looked with suspicion to the black influences or even ignored them at all. A view on Brasil which also was reflected in the dominant arts, the “Semana de Arte Moderna” was the outburst of a new, more honest view on the brasilian realities, which for sure wasn´t only white-european-based.
But Mario de Andrade also was a pioneer of the field of ethnomusicology. Macunaima, the black protagonist of the same named novel, is on the search for an amulet and travels from the jungles of the North-East to the modern megacity São Paulo. Mário de Andrade processed the oral history of the indigenous people, the folkloristic music of the interior into this novel and confronts the two sides of modern Brasil.
80 years later Iara Rennó, a young musician from São Paulo, decided to to set the novel to music. It is a very obvious idea, with all that ethnomusicologiest influences in it, and it is a wonder why nobody else did it before. But Iara Rennó did it in a wonderful way, mixing the classical folkloristic influences with a modern production and music influences, with deep roots in the most experimental arrangements in the history of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira). The lyrics are all taken from the book and more than 60 musicians took part in the recording sessions. What can you expect? Afrobeat, Dub, brasilian Folk, Trip Hop, slight Hip Hop influences, Psychedelic…. no, you just can´t name this eclectic record with a few genres. Well, better explore this fantastic record on your own.
Tom Zé, Arrigo Barnabé, Dante Ozzetti, Simone Soul, Bocato, Siba, Biu Roque, Mané Roque, Guizadoman, Maurício Alvez, Anelis Assumpção, Funk Buia, Gustavo Souza, Mariá Portugal, Alzira Espíndola, Tetê Espíndola, Sergio Espíndola, Jerry Espíndola, Décio Gioielli, Marcelo Monteiro, Simone Julian, Tiquinho, Amílcar Rodrigues, Andréia Dias, Gustavo Ruiz, Da Lua, Gilmar Bola 8, Toca Ogan, Tom Rocha, Rian Batista, Barbatuques: Marcello Pretto, Dani Zulu, André Hosoi , Mairah Rocha, Flávia Maia, Fernando Barba, Bruno Buarque, João Taubkin, Guello, Dimus Goudaroulis, Zezinho Pitoco, DJ Marco, entre outros…
Ophir Kutiel a.k.a. Kutiman from Tel Aviv is just 25 years old, but he incorporates James Brown and Sly Stone type funk beats, complete with sinewy wah-wah guitar licks and popping backbeats, in his soulful afrobeat creations like an old funk player from the 70s. The multi-instrumentalist, who impressively plays the majority of the instruments on the album and also plays drums in the moog funk group Koliphones from Tel Aviv, merges a contemporary mindset with the sounds and styles of funk and psychedelic lore throughout this melodically-rich album. To diversify his aesthetic, he draws a little bit of reggae into the fold as well, clearly moved by the time he spent in the Caribbean traveling and taking in the musical culture. Kutiman invited some of the greatest musicians from the Israeli scene, on three tracks Karolina is featured with her beautiful voice, frontwomen of the soulful reggae group Funset and part of the chart breaking trio Ha-Banot Nechama, which are real superstars in Israel. Also on three tracks is Elran Dekel featured, maybe a nobody to you, but he is the leadsinger of the Israeli funk band Funk’n’stein, attracting international attention. For the extra kick the whole Funk’n’stein brass section is featured too.
“There are some great and gifted musicians in Tel Aviv, but the scene is so small we could all meet up in my room” explains Kutiman, this small scene must be superb.