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Sound Travels The New - Damon Albarn's 'Other' Supergroup, The New 'Old' Sound of Angola & Uptrending Bubu Music

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Every week, Sound Travels gets newer by about four songs and this week was awash in fresh new sounds from artists with some deep African connections. 

And we got it started right with a song from an album delayed more than ten years from its conception. Zieti started when two American expats (guitarist Michael Shereikis and drummer Alex Owre) met two Ivorian musicians living in a seaside shantytown. They became fast friends, rehearsing on the beach and ultimately recording a few tracks together. When Ivory Coast fell into a brutal civil war, their recordings went missing as war scattered Zieti's core to the four winds. Fortunately, after a decade apart, the players have reconnected and re-recorded their lost songs. Over a decade in the making, Zemelewa is a solid debut for a band whose middle name is stamina. Let's hope they're here to stay...

Zeiti "Mandedi" Zemelewa


It really seems that when Damon albarn isn't recording with relative unknowns as he did on his last DRC Music release, he's working with stars with some serious megawattage in their luminescence. Such is the case on the long-awaited debut of the highly anticipated collaboration with Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fela Kuti's right-hand man Tony Allen called Rocket Juice & The Moon. Star-studded just barely describes their self-titled debut album with artists like The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Erykah Badu and Ghanaian rapper M.anifest all making their mark on the release. An impressive start to match the hype of its component members. The cut I played today features the sweet voice of up-and-coming Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara and just as you think you know where its going, the tightly spun pidgin raps of M.anifest shine all the way to its excellent finish.

Rocket Juice & The Moon "Follow-Fashion feat. M.anifest & Fatoumata Diawara"


Warning! Don't sleep on Janka Nabay. Why? because there is nobody better to teach you about Bubu Music. That has a lot to do with the fact that he is one of the few doing it, and definitely the best. He's famous in his native Sierra Leone but has been forced into the international scene by his country's interminal civil wars. having escaped the turmoil, this musical prince toiled in the shadows when he got to the States. That is until he was discovered by a musicologist who heard that the greatness was languishing over some deep-fryers, cooking chicked in Allentown, PA. After teaming up with arty-afrobeatmakers Skeletons, re-dubbing them the Bubu Gang, Janka Nabay cut an EP and headed out on a tour that stops in Milwaukee tonight! 

Wanna see them live? Head over to Mad Planet tonight at 9:30, as Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang will be opening up for The Fatty Acids and Delicate Steve for THE show of the night!

Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang "Eh Mane Eh" An Letah


Last but not least is the multi-media socio-political project of Portuguese DJ/producer DJ Mpula (AKA Pedro Coquenao) called Batida. A distinctly modern and vibrant project with its feet firmly rooted in the past, Batida combine samples from old 1970s Angolan tracks with modern electronic dance music and Angolan hip hop style called kuduro. Music is the starting point but through dance, graphics, photography, radio and video, Batida expands, taking in politics and social commentary but always bringing it back to the party. Whereas nearly all of kuduro (Angolan electronic music) has no obvious references to its country’s musical heritage, it is deeply engrained in Batida’s music. Sampling tracks from 1970s Angola, Batida is a reinterpretation of Angola’s musical past, bringing it firmly into the modern day.

Batida "Ngongo J'ami feat. Carlos Lamartine" Batida


Batida’s high energy live show features dancers, live samples, percussionists, MCs alongside visuals and images (both archive and new) of Angolan streets, war and fragments of tribal life.