Release Date: Feb 19, 2016
Record label: Golf Channel
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
Listening to all the ethno and acoustic instruments on Africane 808's debut album recalls the work of '90s techno artists like the Orb and Tranquility Bass, but the Berlin production duo don't sound quite as wide-eyed and sprawling as their spiritual predecessors. Basar is the kind of straight-ahead and lean ethno-techno one would expect from a time that's post-Basic Channel and post-disco edits, as the grooves must be tight and stand-up without the help of drugs. Members DJ Nomad and Dirk Leyers take the African and Caribbean flavors of Leyers' previous dance project Closer Musik and employ them with more of a celebratory style, as rave-ups like "Balla Balla" and "Yes We Can't" hold appeal for both left-field tastemakers and party people.
Three songs into Africaine 808's debut album, over rippling drum machine and hand percussion, a British DJ named Alex Voice declares, "Sound systems—that's where it began. " He's talking about the enormous stacks of speakers that have rocked the UK ever since they were imported from Jamaica in the 1950s, and his voiceover is part history lesson, part autobiography and part sermon. The title of the song, "Language of the bass," comes from a refrain that he intones with the gravitas usually reserved for scripture, and true to form, the song's synthesized bassline writhes like a thing alive, its portamento glide and nimble syncopations as expressive as glyphs.
Africaine 808, the Berlin-based duo of Dirk Leyers and DJ Nomad, has a straightforward MO. Since debuting with "Tummy Tummy" three years ago, their EPs have explored various strands of African music, tying them to the pair's "third member," the TR-808. They raise a basic yet complicated question: what is African music? Basar could be seen as the start of an answer.
‘An Electronic Dance music project based on thousands of years of Rhythm history from all over the globe. No Boundaries. No Rules. No Bullshit. All Styles.’ - thus reads Africane 808’s manifesto-like Facebook bio. And if you play the first few bars of the opening track followed by the closing ….