Shugo Tokumaru is a Japanese singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He’s basically a one-man show.
But you don’t need to understand his native Japanese to dig his euphoric melodies, such as the jubilant track ‘Bricolage Music’ which pops and claps in a fidgety rhythm before breaking open to a balearic jam at the two-minute mark.
Yasmine Hamdan is a Parisian-based electronic musician who grew up in war-torn Lebanon. While’s she gained a reputation in the Middle East as an underground artist, her latest solo record Al Jamilat plans to unleash her to a broader audience. The track ‘La Ba’den’ offers dreamy electronic Arab vibes. Compelling stuff.
+ Listen to her interview on the latest Gilles Peterson show.
From the Nigerian archives comes the band Grotto’s lost 1977 gem, At Last, reissued by the Lago-based Odion Livingstone label. Odion Iruoje was a former A&R manager at EMI whom discovered the group and recorded their album.
Influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santra, the group formed a rock/funk fusion band at St Gregory’s college in 1974. Recalls Odeon:
“I was into youth bands at the time, I felt they offered something fresh, most pros were into reggae which I hated (not as a genre but the aping of it).. youth bands allowed me to experiment, I gave them something and they in turn gave me something, which I could take to the next project. They made me in a way. EMI (Nigeria) did not really get the emergence of the youth market, they thought I was fooling around with kids.”
Gulu singing legend and ‘Acholi folk pop’ pioneer Otim Alpha teamed up with London producer Jesse Hackett and multi-instrumentalist Albert Ssempeke to produce Ennanga Vision, “deconstructed musical forms from the kingdoms of Uganda.”
The album’s single ‘Otim’s War’ mashes together techno elements into traditional choral signing. The result is something like you’ve never heard before. The music video is fascinating too.
William Onyeabor was a Nigerian musician and businessman. He was known as “The Chief” in southeast Nigeria, where he built “the greatest record manufacturing business in all of West Africa.” He released nine funky electronic albums in total, all pressed at his own studio.
A legend, he passed away last month. His music survives him.
Kxngs is an electronic music producer from Brixton, London. His debut EP Earth Sign dropped on the Ex-local label.
Describing Kxngs craft other than worldly is hard. As he says, “No real Genre, just music.” His track “Through the Storm” premiered on the Boiler Room:
Lined with kinetic kuduro rhythms and shooting dynamic vocals, “Through The Storm” is spurred on by cascading strings. Drawing upon wide-spanning influences from his travels, Kxngs has created a jittery, upbeat marvel that’ll get any feet tapping.
Sarathy Korwar is an American-Indian producer and drummer. While born in the United States, he spent most of his childhood growing up India where he listened to American jazz records in local record shops.
‘Bhajan’ is the first song on his debut album, Day To Day, which weaves together both Indian folk and jazz music into a unique sound that Korwar can call his own.
’Day To Day’ is an exceptional debut by this multi-percussive artist fusing jazz, electronic and Indian harmonics.” — Gilles Peterson
Whether it’s Istanbul, LA, Congo, or Kingston, Paris electronic producer Débruit seems to work his diverse production palette to the sounds of the local scene.
His latest project débruit & Istanbul highlights the swing and spirit of the Turkish city on the Bosphorus. Below is what Gilles Peterson said about the artist’s collaboration on ‘Duman.’
“Istanbul is a melting pot of traditional, visionary, electric, psychedelic, futuristic, melodic and experimental music. On ’Duman,’ he links with Murat Ertel, lead singer and guitarist in BaBa ZuLa, one of Turkey’s most beloved alternative bands. The hypnotic cries of a guitar take centre stage, powerfully reverbing as if echoing across the Bosporus. débruit adds his own rhythmic touches with drum machines and synths, coming close to the minimal techno feel of Baris K’s Insanlar project.”
Citizen Boy is a Durban electronic producer pioneering the Gqom sound emerging out of Durban, South Africa. His fellow Gqom Oh! label-mate DJ Lag called the localized genre, “a mix of elements of hip-hop and house.”
Citizen Boy’s track ‘Indaba Ka Bani Besibenuza’ is a tribal dance beat that tries to encapsulate the resourceful experiences of “Zulu culture and history.” The song also translates into ‘who cares if we dance under the influence of drugs.’
Fakear is the artist name for Théo Le Vigoureux, an electronic producer based out of Caen, France. His most recent album Vegetal: Offshoots was recorded at the same time he crafted his debut album Animal.
“Do the thing.” Those are the words that appear on Godriguez’sSoundcloud page. The urgency to make interesting beats drives this Sydney-based producer, known for the sweet sounds behind MC Sampa the Great.
‘Maxlushcarloswc’ is his latest jazz-infused drop, contributing it to Mixtape #6 – The Dreamy One released from the Wondercore Island imprint.
Grab a copy of the album here. All profits raised go to the Australian-based Yothu Yindi Foundation Indigenous Education Project supporting indigenous cultural maintenance.
Ensemble Entendu is Brooklyn-based duo Sam O.B. and Photay, both representing the Astronautico dance label. Their debut album Selected Rhythm Works, Vol. 1 is a melange of sounds including house, dub, reggae, and dancehall. The track ‘Peel Back’ is a particular bouncer that pairs 80s funk to African drums. Proper listen.