02 Danna Dubwise - Mark Ernestus Meets Ben Zabo
03 Be Ki Don (Cockpit Dub) - Schneider TM
04 Tamala (Nozinja Version) - Nozinja
05 Danna (Healing Remix) - Harmonious Thelonious
06 Itous Dubwize - Dennis Bovell
07 Back Talk - Larry Achiampong
08 Vo Dubwise - Mark Ernestus Meets Ben Zabo
09 Smokin' Bowl (Redemption Remix) - Mark Stewart
10 Na Yafa (Tamana Dub) - Studio Zuma
It can’t be much of a surprise that Glitterbeat would eventually assemble a collection of dubs and versions of songs by our artists. Our very first release in the spring of 2013 was a 500-piece limited edition 12” where two tracks from the Malian Afro-rock newcomer Ben Zabo were given an inspired dub treatment by legendary Berlin producer Mark Ernestus (Rhythm & Sound, Jeri Jeri). Those two tracks are included here as well as eight other reinterpretations from our growing catalog.
Having had the privilege of working with each of the Malian artists remixed for this album (Tamikrest, Ben Zabo, Samba Toure, Aminata Wassidje Traore & Lobi Traore) we can safely say that this project will not seem as strange to them as one might assume. In contemporary Malian music, reggae plays a fundamental role and nearly every electric based band we have encountered in Bamako and beyond incorporates at least some reggae elements into their sound. Also the rapid, ubiquitous rise of Hip Hop in Mali has brought samples, remixes and programming into the direct orbit of the country’s urban musicians. And in the dusty, open lots of Bamako’s sprawling neighborhoods, the music that one most frequently encounters being performed is Balani, a sort of Malian variant of dancehall, where laptop electronic beats and declamatory “toasting” are combined with samples of balafons and other traditional instruments. Balani is by definition a remix-generated music.
Bringing together the different mixers with the songs of the original artists was an exciting process. Our choices of who to invite rose intuitively out our record collections and our personal networks and almost every mixer that we approached thankfully accepted the invitation.
Mark Ernestus was asked to fashion our original 12” not only because of our deep love for his work with the abstract dub duo Rhythm & Sound but also because of his albums in collaboration with Jeri Jeri, the Senegalese sabar group. Dubmaster Dennis Bovell’s work with Linton Kwesi Johnson, The Pop Group and Orange Juice has been a big part of our personal soundtracks for more than thirty years. His recent dub album, Mek It Run, is a killer. We were introduced to the South African Nozinja via his infectious Shangaan Electro productions. Honest Jons released an excellent remix album (Shangaan Shake) of his tracks and we thought it fitting that he join our remix dialogue. We stumbled upon the British-Ghanaian performance, visual and musical artist Larry Achiampong’s self-released LP More Mogya and were excited by its mashup of palm wine and high life samples with Hip Hop beats. We have been fans of Mark Stewart all the way back to his days in the seminal post-punk band The Pop Group, but it was his recent dub album Exorcism of Envy that really caught our collective ear. The intricate afro-techno of Harmonious Thelonious is by definition a sort of West African music remix project, and he seemed a perfect choice to invite. Rounding off the list of mixers is our old friend Dirk Dresselhaus AKA Schneider TM whose wide-open musical obsessions have embraced indie rock, analog electronics, improvisation and field recordings. He recently journeyed to Mali and Burkina Faso to study balafon music.
With the finished master of this album right now echoing from our speakers we are already thinking about Glitterbeat: Dubs & Versions volume II. Can’t wait. ++ Chris Eckman & Peter Weber: Glitterbeat Records
Mix - Dennis Bovell: Aye Go Mila Dubwize. One of the most revered dub and reggae producers, Dennis has been making his mark on contemporary music for over 40 years. Born in Barbados, Bovell moved to south London at the age of 12 and became deeply immersed in the emerging roots, lovers rock and soundsystem cultures. He spearheaded seminal British reggae acts like Linton Kwesi Johnson and Matumbi and was also notably involved in the late 70’s post-punk scene as producer for The Slits, The Pop Group and Orange Juice. In 2012, Dennis released the dub collection Mek It Run.
Original - Samba Toure: Aye Go Mila (Album: “Albala” / May 2013). Samba is a legend of northern Malian music. As a member of the touring ensembles for both Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate, Samba gained musical experience and perspective that he brought together famously on his acclaimed third album Albala. A meditation on Mali’s humanitarian and political crisis, Folk Roots wrote that Albala “is a record full of passion, eloquence and incredible music.”
Mix - Mark Ernestus Meets Ben Zabo: Danna Dubwise. Mark Ernestus’ influence on the last twenty years of electronic music is well established. With partner Moritz von Oswald, Ernestus founded two legendary projects: the minimal techno pulse of Basic Channel and the avant-roots-dub of Rhythm and Sound. Since the mid-2000’s Mark has increasingly focused on African music. In addition to his remixes for Konono no.1, Tony Allen and the South African electro group BBC, Mark dropped two fantastic albums last year made in collaboration with the Senegalese band Jeri-Jeri.
Original - Ben Zabo: Danna (album: “Ben Zabo” / May 2012). Belonging to the Bwa ethnic group, a culture whose musical traditions are more poly-rhythmic and energetic than most Malian music, Zabo’s debut is the first album ever released by a Bwa band leader. Backed by a full-throttle 7-piece afro-rock band, Zabo’s music pleads for love and justice while barnstorming the dancefloor. The album ended-up on several African music year-end top-ten lists and was widely reviewed and widely hailed: “This fantastic debut by a new name from Mali…has all the intensity of Africa 70 or Ok Jazz…a triumph.”--Mojo ****
Mix - Schneider TM: Be Ki Don (Cockpit Dub). Schneider TM is the multidimensional music project of the Berlin-based musician Dirk Dresselhaus. Starting in 1998, Schneider TM has released three electro-folk albums on City Slang/Mute and a cover version of The Smiths called 'The Light 3000' that was highly touted by the late John Peel. Recently Dirk has collaborated with Jochen Arbeit (of Einstürzende Neubauten), Damo Suzuki (Can) and members of Pansonic and Mum. In June 2014, Dirk went on a research trip to Mali and Burkina Faso for Balafo, an intercultural project rooted in West African balafon music.
Original - Samba Toure: Be Ki Don (Album: “Albala” / May 2013). (see #1)
Mix - Nozinja: Tamala (Nozinja Version). Pioneer of the Shangaan Electro genre, Nozinja has spearheaded an Afro-futurist strain of electronic dance music combining kwaito, Tsonga disco, South African house and local folk traditions. Nozinja is arguably today’s premier African electronic musician and he presides over a community of dancers, singers and musicians who he A&Rs, records, produces and releases across South Africa via Nozinja Music. This forward thinking approach has also found a kinship with DJs and producers such as Caribou, The Knife, Actress, and Mark Ernestus. Nozinja was recently signed to the influential Warp Records and will release his first album for the label in autumn of 2014.
Original - Aminata Wassidje Traore: Tamala (Album: “Tamala”/ March 2013). Aminata Wassidjé Traoré is a rising voice in Mali. Tamala is her debut album, recorded in Bamako and originally released in 2009. Born in Diré, near the fabled city of Timbuktu, Aminata was raised within northern Mali’s rich cultural brew. Her music, like the environment that surrounded her growing up, incorporates various cultures and traditions and mixes drum programming and synthesizers with the lute like kurbu and the sokou, a one-string violin. Hints of Hip Hop and electronic dance music sit side by side with the pentatonic sounds of the interior Niger delta.
Mix - Harmonious Thelonious: Danna (healing-remix). Harmonious Thelonious, is the electronic music project of Stefan Schwander (aka Antonelli). Combining the serial structures of American minimalist music with African rhythms and European sequencing the Düsseldorf-based musician creates hypnotic, beat-driven atmospheres that are danceable, challenging, and melodically playful. Besides producing an array of 12-inches, Harmonious Thelonious has released two albums: Talking (2010) and Listen (2012).
Original - Ben Zabo: Danna (album: “Ben Zabo” / May 2012). (see #2)
Mix - Dennis Bovell: Itous Dubwize. (see #1)
Original – Tamikrest: Itous (album: “Chatma” / September 2013). Tamikrest means “crossing” in the language of the Kel Tamashek, a traditionally nomadic Saharan people that are commonly referred to as the Tuaregs. It is an apt description of the band's internationally renowned music, which fuses traditional melodies and rhythms with echoes of dub, blues, psychedelia, funk and even art-rock. Mojo’s four-star review of Chatma enthused: “a huge leap forward…this is the desert-blues album for fans of Can and Pink Floyd to sink their teeth into.”
Mix - Larry Achiampong: Back Talk. Larry is a British-Ghanaian performance, visual and musical artist who has internationally exhibited projects at the Tate Britain/Modern, the Documenta in Kassel, and the Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation in Accra, Ghana. He has released two albums of experimental plunderphonics that fuse high life and palm wine samples with abstract hip hop soundscapes: Meh Mogya (2011) and More Mogya (2013).
Original – Lobi Traore: Dibi (album: Bamako Nights/ November 2013. Bamako Nights captures the incendiary genius of Lobi Traoré, a soulful singer/songwriter and blazing electric guitarist of Mali, who died too young - just 49 years old. Lobi produced five studio albums during his career, as well as four live releases, but this album, recorded in 1995 in a small Bamako nightclub, offers the deepest and most intimate record of this artist’s astounding power on stage.
Mix – Mark Ernestus Meets Ben Zabo: Wari Vo Dubwise. (see #2)
Original – Ben Zabo: Wari Vo (album: “Ben Zabo” / May 2012). (see #2)
Mix – Mark Stewart: Smokin’ Bowl (Redemption Remix). Mark Stewart burst onto the British post-punk scene in 1979 as singer and raconteur for the Bristol-based band The Pop Group. Squalling and politically charged the band built its reputation on confrontation and its often violent deconstructions of funk and dub stylings. After the band's implosion Stewart went on to collaborate with On-U-Sound's Adrian Sherwood in both the New Age Steppers and Mark Stewart & the Mafia. An influence on artists as diverse as Nick Cave, Skinny Puppy and Fugazi, in 2012, Stewart released The Politics Of Envy featuring Lee 'Scratch' Perry, The Raincoats' Gina Birch, Primal Scream and Clash/PIL guitarist Keith Levene.
Original – Dirtmusic: Smokin’ Bowl (album: BKO/ April 2010). Dirtmusic is an inter-continental ensemble founded by Australian Hugo Race (Fatalists, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) and American Chris Eckman (The Walkabouts). Dirtmusic’s encounter at the Festival-au-Desert with the Tuareg band Tamikrest was the catalyst for their second album, BKO (2010), a one-of-a-kind trip through the interzone between ‘western’ and Tamasheq desert rock. Uncut wrote: “BKO is a collection of dusty, yearning songs growled out over a nicely fused acoustic/electric mix… The atmosphere is infectious”
Mix - Studio Zuma: Na Yafa (Tamana Dub). Studio Zuma is the moniker for musician, producer (Tamikrest, Ben Zabo, Lobi Traore) and Glitterbeat co-owner Chris Eckman.
Original - Ben Zabo: Na Yafa. (see #2)