Explosive global sounds: from Nigerian afrobeat to Angolese kuduro
FEEËRIEËN 2018: A MUSICAL GUIDE
Why complain about the state of contemporary pop music? Those who go looking, and dig around, in the margin will see that there is actually quite a lot going on. In the broadest sense. Every year, the Feeërieën attempts to reveal a piece of that (untamed) beauty. Deliberately presenting lesser known acts and sorting them neatly into particular themes. Because discovering music is what really ensures an experience, more than the decor does. The natural beauty of the Warande Park is unmistakably a 100% part of Feeërieën though too, of course. Experience2!
AB has a great love of classy global sounds labels like Honest Jon’s, World Circuit, Glitterbeat, Awesome Tapes From Africa, Analog Africa, Nyege Nyege Tapes, Sahel Sounds, Strut and Soundway. This is also reflected every year in the programme of the Feeërieën. Are you ready for a trip to Nigeria via London and Angola via Lisbon?
ORLANDO JULIUS & THE HELIOCENTRICS (Strut Records/Nga/uk)
Saxophonist Orlando Julius is one of the absolute greats of Nigerian music. This living legend was namely there when afrobeat began. He was one of the first African artists to mix highlife with American soul, funk and jazz. His album ‘Super Afro Soul’ (from 1966) is without a doubt a classic and was of great influence on afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. Quality label Strut Records (re)introduced Orlando Julius in Europe by re-releasing this gem. Aside from that, they coupled him with jazz/funk/psych band The Heliocentrics, also known as the superb backing band of Ethiopian afro-jazz legend Mulatu Astatke. That resulted in the excellent album ‘Jaiyede Afro’ in 2014, about which De Volkskrant wrote: ‘een van de hardst funkende en tegelijkertijd subtielste Afrikaanse platen van het jaar.’ Ready for an explosive dance party?
DIRON ANIMAL (Soundway Records/Prt./Ago)
Diron Animal is mainly known as the flamboyant frontman of the Angolan-Portuguese band Throes + The Shine, with which he (generously) spices up kuduro with rock and electronica. Diron was born in the ghetto of Cazenga, in the Angolan capital Luanda, but moved to Portugal a while ago now. His solo debut – appropriately titled ‘Alone’ – was released via leading label Soundway Records (Batida, Meridian Brothers ...). The album is bursting with rhythms from his homeland, such as kuduro and semba with influences from house, afrobeat, hip-hop, electro, coupé-décalé or funk. It could hardly be more goading and then just try to keep up when Diron Animal switches languages from Portuguese to English to Kimbundu.