Launched in early 2015 by a collective of crate diggers, Afro music-heads and vinyl- buying obsessives, Africa Seven's aim is to spread the love and knowledge for African music in all its forms. In the wake of this effort, Afrosonique Vol.1 is the ideal first instalment of a series of compilations bridging African tracks from the 70s and 80s with the most talented artists of today into a remix and re-edit series.
Compiled by veteran UK producer Tony Thorpe (Moody Boyz, KLF), one of the most important figures of the UK dance underground movement, the album brings together a rich ensemble of producers and artists from different genres and music scenes. From Warp's long-time signee Plaid, DJ Food, top DJs John Talabot & Pional to broken beat legend IG Culture, the compilation promises to bring a modern twist to Africa's most iconic tunes. This selection of artists also includes great names of the likes of Deep Medi's Silkie and Appleblim from the historical dubstep night FWD>> at Plastic People. A younger generation of talents like Marcel Lune, Jabru, Redpine & Solo and EVM128 has also taken part in this cutting-edge project, bringing its own personal touch to this unique compilation. Using his most famous alias 'Moody Boyz', Thorpe himself has added his own artistic signature, remixing the iconic Bunzu Soundz's Zinabu – a rolling cut of the finest UK Afro-dub house.
Africa remains the key theme and unifying principle of this work. With no multi-tracks available, the artists have gone through an incredible work of editing and overdubbing – almost remixing the original works. The result is a frenetic and fresh blend of styles ranging from modern Afro-jazz cuts to heavyweight dancefloor gear, almost spiritual hypnotic club anthems and low-tempo dreamscapes.
Originals have been picked up from Africa Seven's ever-expanding catalogue of reissues from the '70s and '80s hailing from Cameroon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone among other African countries. The selection includes rare tracks such as Bunzu Soundz 'Zinabu', Manu Dibango 'Les Cavaliers' and Afro National's 'Jokenge'.
In a time in which African music is coming back prominently as one of the primary influences of electronic music, Afrosonique Vol.1 effortlessly goes full circle bringing together the original energy of African classics with the disruptive talent of today's innovators.
The Ransom Note – Premiere of "Les Cavaliers (Plaid remix) confirmed for May 10
DJ Mag – Review confirmed
Phonica Records (blog) – Premiere of "Sekelimania (Nku_Bilam) (Jabru Edit Over Dub)" confirmed for 11th of April
NPR's Recommended Dose – Included IG Culture's version of Jokenge in this month's edition, available here