Mar 12, 2014

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Analog Africa , Soundway and Strut Records are lovers of African Soul , Funk, and often mentioned in the same breath . We chat with the operators of three houses and show that they are not so similar.

Text: Lukasz

Analog Africa : archivist of African youth culture

Samy Ben Redscheb was ten years ago as a DJ engaged in a Senegalese hotel as he discovers in an old chest plate a particularly groovy radio disc of Zimbabwe. Intrigued by this sound completely foreign to him so far , he decides to unceremoniously to fly in the South American country and to go in search of clues . However, research is proving more difficult than expected : Where to get old soul, funk and rock on vinyl ? He always gets only shrug in response . But the German - Tunisian does not let up , traveling several times to Harare , rattles local radio stations from , asks somewhat dated musician and taxi driver until he finally , after three years in the remote gold mining village Shishavani will find them , "They have opened the doors and there was a camp of 50 by 30 meters and all full of records. We stayed there for two days and our car so packed that the central axis is broken on the way to Harare. « The charge of old records is shipped with a container to Germany. From the raw material picks Ben Redscheb the beads out, does she remaster and presses it to the market in the northern hemisphere . A new label is born : Analog Africa.
The Digger Ben Redscheb is so hooked that he umkrempelt his life and his passion for making vocation : He throws his job as an instructor , hires the time being at Lufthansa as flight attendant and fly every few weeks to Lagos , Accra or Khinshasa . Storage and basements or verrümpelte terraces and backyards are for him to workplaces; Bazaars of recorded music a forgotten heyday of African youth culture. According to the Zimbabwe compilations Nigeria , Ghana, Benin follow . The world music community is thrilled : Cosmic Afro Soul from Togo and Ghana or psychedelic Voodoo Funk from Benin. In the northern hemisphere has hitherto hardly known that it also has a beat and hippie era was in Africa, in the distorted guitars , Hammond organs , pants and Flowerpower - shirts were in vogue .
The stories of this era and the biographies and interviews with musicians such as Amadou Ballaké from Burkina Faso , Rob Raindorf from Ghana or the Orchestre Polyrythmo from Benin we learn not only on the blog of Analog Africa . Each vinyl is always accompanied by a lovingly designed booklet and rare pictures . Label owner Ben Redscheb it is important these " added value " mitzugeben to purchasers of its disks : " This gives the listener an idea of what is really happening in a country. If you listen to music without knowing where the people come from, who they are and what problems they had , then you can love music . But you'll love them until you get to know these people . "
Soundway Soundway fishes in Caribbean waters

Miles Cleret , operators of Soundway Records, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in April , has never intended to start their own label . 2002 he was on holiday in Ghana and heard a local DJ a track from Ebo Taylor hung up. Taylor Afrobeat combines traditional Ghanaian music with elements of American funk and rock giants like James Brown or Deep Purple. His songs are based on popular rhymes from the gold mine of traditional Ghanaian music. The instrumental tools : electric guitars , bass, drum set and brass section are imports from the Western Hemisphere. Like so many children of the hip-hop generation begins in the nineties, soul, funk and jazz records to discover Miles Cleret who have served as sample treasure trove of hip-hop producer. The intersection of their own taste in music and the newly discovered exotic let Cleret in Africa find the soundtrack of his life. Rough soul and funk beads that do not have the technical standard of U.S. productions , but autrumpften by a particular experiment . "There was a spirit of optimism , a sense of self-empowerment. Most countries had indeed just a decade behind independence , "he explained. Fascinated by this original sound hybrid he traveled to Ghana for three years then compile the compilation " Ghana Soundz " . When interested in a label on the compilation , based Cleret Soundway . After ten years, he can now look back with pride on 40 Releases of singles, EPs , compilations and albums published again .
Unlike Ben Redscheb the focus of the label has moved away over the years of Africa. As Cleret one day buys on Ebay Calypso plates , he befriends the seller Roberto Gyement . A Californian with Latino roots , which then puts together a series of Panamanian and Colombian compilations for Soundway . Gyement shares Clerets career : his childhood heroes were Black Sabbath and Run DMC . But in 2000 he moved to Costa Rica for six years and slowly developed a sense of calypso, salsa and cumbia . To extend his visa , he must make a trip to neighboring Panama every three months. "I was looking directly into the border town on a radio station where I bought thousands of old LPs and singles. They had tons of records. " Gyement takes over the department Panama and Colombia and, together five fabulous compilations, which could be considered as a genetic code Panamanian and Colombian musical culture of the 1960s and 1970s. Unlike Cuba or Jamaica, the Caribbean Grooves of the neighbors were never in the global focus. In this case, both countries have very own Styles: Panama's music scene was enriched in the sixties and seventies by Calypso by immigrants from Trinidad and radio American GIs . On the Caribbean coast of Colombia cumbia was invented ; those shuffling Smoky offbeat groove, which found its imitators in Peru and Argentina and now mixed with club beats as " Electro- Cumbia " celebrates his victory in the clubs of Buenos Aires to Berlin.
By Will Holland (aka Quantic ) Cleret and Gyement finally found the third Anglo-Saxon Plattennerd , with a penchant for Latin grooves . The English producer , multi-instrumentalist and record lovers lived for some years in the Colombian Cali and returns this year with 59 tracks of the six- vinyl » The Original Sound of Cumbia " a true legacy of rare Cumbia tunes the years 1948-1979 . But Soundway is by no means a pure lovers label for obscure B-sides and long-lost sound jewels. Because the house always expanded its spectrum . In April , with " Batida " the first time a modern club music a solo artist appeared . Behind Batida plugged the Angolan- Portuguese DJ Mpula aka Pedro Coquenão , the 70 -year samples from Angola mixed with electronic club beats and Kuduro rape . To this end sought Batida samples of his favorite tunes, verwurschtelt them with synthetic bass lines and crunchy electro kicks and sent these riddims to MCs from Angola and Portugal. Thus, the first based on file sharing and sampling album has arisen for Soundway .
Strut Records Strut Records : You are still hungry

The heroes of the African Swinging Sixties and Seventies Roaring incorporated into modern studios new , however, is the recipe of the English label Strut Records. This happened in the case of Ethiopian jazz vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke , the Ghanaian Hiplife Lions Ebo Taylor or the Benin native voodoo - radio operators Orchestre Polyrhytmo . _ " Many of these old artists are still alive and we must use the time we have left to pick them up . Above all, they are still great musicians and they are still hungry for live gigs , "says label manager Quinton Scott. And exactly distinguish Strut in comparison to Analog Africa and Soundway . The label is flying the old gentlemen to Paris ( Orchestre Polyrhytmo ), London ( Mulatu Astatke ) or Berlin ( Ebo Taylor ) and gives a studio. But above all, organized Strut a band of young local enthusiasts , which not only provide the backing for an album production, but then also tour with the gray Afro - rockers through the world. There are, indeed always musicians who are on this very analog sound , but the biggest challenge is there , so not to deliver Scott a poor imitation of the legendary old recording .
It is precisely the " original " sound the fans expect . When Scott , the young British jazz radio operator Heliocentrics Mulatu Astatke brought together with , doubted some specialist Simpler to the analog studio recordings. _ "The Heliocentrics are purists , the sound is very clean but there was no sampling or other trickery , one hundred percent analog ," Scott assured . The choice Relatives of Ebo Taylor and the young stars of the Berlin Afrobeat Academy was a brilliant move . As the first collaboration, published in 2010 " Love And Death " , mainly new recordings of old Afrobeat numbers Taylors concentrated , breaks these days, appearing second disc »Appia Kwa Bridge " tracks. All six of the eight tracks are new compositions . And guest musician Taylor's age group , such as Tony Allen , Oghene Kologbo or Pax Nicholas afford him the Generational Clash Protect assistance. »Appia Kwa Bridge " is different from the compilations with no original recordings set to music time machine , but a living encounter several generations of musicians of different countries in the Ghanaian Hiplife - Darling . Recorded in the Berlin Love Lite studios in the Friedrichshain neighborhood.

Originally published by Lukasz

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