All this week we’re paying tribute to Nelson Mandela here on the Soul Clap blog by celebrating the music of his home continent and beyond. 2013 was an amazing year for Afro and Afro influenced music, in fact, it’s the year of Multi-Culti and in Mandela’s honor we’ll be exploring this budding genre.
2013 was a banner year for dance music’s global popularity, something we couldn’t be more excited about. Unfortunately, this rise also means that the music is getting watered down to the point that this year it seemed almost impossible to find new and original dance music that spoke to our souls. For DJs like us who are always trying to take risks and push our audience in new directions this is a problem. The lack of dance music with soul might also have to with the current dominant sounds going either dark (techno), boring (tech-house) or pumpingpumping (EDM). Rather than whine and complain, we got to doing what we do best, DIGGING! We started to explore new genres (and parts of the world) for inspiration on the dancefloor and 2013 became the year that MULTI CULTI was born.
It actually began at the end of 2012 when Boston homie Bosq sent us his first single on Ubiquity Records, “Dem Know” and when we started playing it people went nuts. Bosq put a contemporary twist on Afro-Funk and it was so fresh to hear it going off at party. Then we found this record when we were in Berlin in March, followed by this one and it was clear that there was an Afro-Funk rebirth kicking off.
For part one of our top 10 Multi-Culti jams of 2013 we explore this Afro-Funk revival (in no particular order):
Bosq ft. Kaleta – More Heavy
As we mentioned above Bosq is from Boston and has been turning out dope edits as part of Whiskey Barons (http://whiskeybarons.com/) for a few years, but it’s his new album “Bosq Y Orquestra de Madera” that dropped this year on the legendary Ubiquity Records that really has us moving. Ever since “Dem Know”, we’ve played at least one of the album tracks at every gig and “More Heavy” is probably the best. If you like this one make sure to check the album for more Afro-Latin-Future-Dopeness!
Shaka Bundu – Penny Penny
We found this one via the amazing Awesome Tapes From Africa (http://www.awesometapes.com), who just re-released this through his label. Shaka Bundu is from South Africa and this jam from his ’94 debut tape is on some serious Soul II Soul meets Afro funkiness.
Ata Kak – Daa Nyinaa (Noema’s Tribute Edit)
One of our highlights of the summer was dropping this at the Crew Love party in Barcelona, but that was only one of many magic moments with this track in 2013. It’s on the African Shakedown edits vinyl, which was the first Afro-Edits vinyl we found this year and it’s going for upwards of $40 on discogs these days.
Ajukaja – Benga Benga (edit of Samba Mapangala & Virunga – Yembele)
The second amazing Afro-Edit record we picked up on our March Soul Clap Records tour, we scooped this mysterious bootleg at the Rush Hour Shop in Amsterdam. This one is probably the deepest and most musical of all the Afro-Edits and always takes the party to really spiritual place. After tons of digging we’ve figured out that this was released on an Estonian label called Porridge Bullet and the original tack is by Samba Mapangala from Congo.
Fela Kuti – Shakara (Ossie’s Bump Edit)
This one came out later in the summer on The Love Below (the homies from somethinksounds‘ edit offshoot) and proceeded to mash up every dancefloor we played it for. The most modern and high energy of these jams, it was definately a secret weapon of 2013.