Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MPEACH - 'Vengo Por Ti'

Venezuela fires off a full clip with Mpeach's debut solo release Vengo Por Ti, available free for you on Abstractor.  Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, MPeach is a multidisciplinary visionary. Formerly a collaborator both on stage and in the studio with the Brooklyn-based Venezuelan band Todosantos, which was signed to the Flamin Hotz label, this new solo release finds her reaching towards her displaced peers back home and abroad collaborating with a now global network of underground Venezuelan producers.

abs005: MPeach - Vengo Por Ti by abstractor

Barcelona-based Cardopusher, steps up with a moody and almost 3ball guarachero style remix of Venamo (short for "ven a mover"). Known more for his work in the dubstep arena, Cardo drops down the master tempo to about 130 and delivers the kind track one could expect in a set from DJ's who are playing artists like like Dubbel Dutch, Brenmar, L-Vis 1990, Cedaa and Kingdom.

The video for the first single, "La Hora," gives us a taste of the type of visuals you can expect to see at the live show, which I got to witness and enjoy at the release party last month at DROM in NYC.

Backed by yet another Venezuelan ex-pat DJ, Daraelectric, this is probably the biggest collaboration of Venezuelan dance music producers we've ever seen this year, if not ever. The EP overall is informed by the Changa Tuki and Raptor House genres native to the raves back home in Venezuela, and I think that's why she set sights on two of the scenes top dogs, DJ Baba and DJ Yirbin for remix duty. The build up and drop on Yirbin's version of La Hora between minute two and three is hands down my favorite moment on the EP.  Killer tune for house heads, I could imagine DJ Sabo incorporating this into his set back before he went through the moombahton rabbit hole.

In addition to having very intentionally put together a line-up great producers to represent for VZLA, I think the strength of MPeach's release is the live show. Presently, there's a new crop of artists that are taking charge of their visual imagery and utilizing Youtube with great success (ie Lil B, who's success and hype machine continue to perplex many a discerning listener). But while anyone can make video these days because cameras are increasingly more affordable, for the most part those quick fix youtube videos aren't the type of eye candy one would want to see at a live show. Big name acts like Massive Attack have had brilliant VJ's as part of their show for years, but in those cases there's often a budget to designate a visual artist to flesh out their concepts for the artists. MPeach is a Y2K compliant artist making not just her own music, but also her own videos and visuals plus programing the entire concept of the stage show from start to finish which to me puts her in a category of artists that few can claim to be a part of. We need a word for that.

Artists like Pernett in Colombia and Orion from Peligrosa in Austin, TX are other examples of multidisciplinary artists that I keep up with because I want them to break through the underground ceiling for a number of reasons. First off, their wicked smart. If anyone is to stand a chance of making it in the years to come they're going to need to be prepared to DIY their cover art, videos, their promo material- everything.  Labels aren't exactly in a position to be shelling out cash for such things so it becomes the responsibility of the artist to see their work through completion but then the payback is that the image we see as the audience is an earnest look at what the artists entire vision is. The grab bag at the release party for this record, for example, had a promo copy of the song printed on what was basically a paper promo record you would have seen in magazines a while back. Pretty shnazzy in my book and the sign of an artist that is fully vested in creating a tangible music experience. Staying innovative on the tech end of things is what has fueled a lot of the successful acts in recent memory, whether by utilizing the internet, or midi on the iPhone it's going to be those that stay on the cutting edge and really force listeners to raise the bar of who's new and exciting, rather then just waiting to be told what's cool.

On that note folks, its my first month here at the blog. I guess I should probably do some kind of introductory letter type thingy in the next week or so to let you know a bit about myself, what I'm up too lately and where my travels are taking me. But until then friends, stay "chooned" to Afropop for whats going on in music world wide.

- Geko Jones

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ritmo Machine!

Here's an interesting collaboration that has caught our attention. Cypress Hill/Beastie Boys precussionist Eric Bobo has joined forces with Chilean DJ/Producer Latin Bitman to form the cross-genre group Ritmo Machine. The debut offers a funky blend of hip-hop beats and live instrumentation clashing with electronic, rap and Latin music.

Guest spots include a wide variety of names and styles such as Mix Master Mike & Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), Ana Tijoux, P-Nut (311), Chali 2na (Jurassic 5) and Sick Jacken (Psycho Realm). Get a taste below.

Download a free single:

Also, here's a video about the project:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Afrosynth Releases Feel-Good 80's Mixtape

Afrosynth has been digging up solid finds from the African continent for you all to enjoy, from anti-apartheid music from the ANC's cultural division to obscure funk and electronic music. Recently, DJ Okapi has compiled ten mixtapes of 70's and 80's "Bubblegum pop and disco-vibes" and the latest "Winner Takes All" is well worth a listen.

These tracks feature infectious echoing beats and a general positive vibe. Denis Yekani and The Movement blend African guitar melodies with a nicely warped synth sound on "Try Your Luck" that reminisces the VHS-era. Kumasi goes for full-on funk gold on "I Know You Feel It" with a disco guitar riff straight out of Shaft and the vocal punches and wails of James Brown. But the real gems on here are when the American and African touches fall together perfectly. In "O Nketsang," synth and hand claps meld with mbira and other African percussion for a surprising comfortable mix.

But don't take it from us, check out the mixtape and other golden oldies at Afrosynth.

-Will Yates

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flood Disaster at John Collins's Bokoor House in Accra, Ghana. Help needed!

One of our greatest documenters, chroniclers and archivists of classic West African music has suffered a devastating flood. John Collins in Accra, Ghana, is well known to long-time Afropop listeners, and to students of highlife, afrobeat and various forms of traditional West African music. Below you will find an update on the situation, photos, how you can help, and John’s statement of what happened. We will keep abreast of this situation and are very grateful for all assistance that members of the Afropop community can offer.

Banning Eyre and Sean Barlow

Update: 11/19/2011

Here are some photos of Bokoor House and the BAPMAF music archives materials damaged by water and mud. These were taken the day after the 26 Oct floods and so the water had receded by then - but you can still see the original height of the floods by the marks left on walls. I have also included a photo of some of the materials I put out to dry. Surprisingly I was able to save a lot of the paper materials. I have spent almost three weeks frantically trying to save what I could and all this now has been dried and safely stored upstairs. But I doubt if much of the taped music will be playable. Furthermore I lost my tape machines including the two 4-track ones I used for mastering 1980's/90's Bokoor studio materials (the 4 track master tapes are however undamaged.)

Incidentally we also lost the website as Thomas and I were in the process of upgrading it when the floods occurred and we lost all our data etc as all are computers were destroyed.  I have set up a Paypal account where people anywhere can make secure donations to help us rebuild.  Just click through on the link below.  All donations are gratefully welcomed.

All the best
John Collins

You can contribute funds to help rebuild BAPMAF.  Wire funds to John's PayPal:

Dear colleagues, supporters, fans, friends and well wishers,

As you may know I have been operating the BAPMAF music archives since 1990 which was partly opened at my Bokoor House to the public in 1996 and more fully in 2007. However, devastation struck in the middle of the night of 26th Oct 2011 in the form of a flood. This occurred over many parts of Accra due to more and more people building in or blocking water ways - so that rivers could no longer easily run into the sea. In our particular Taifa-Ofankor area this was compounded by the construction of a 3 mile section of the Kumasi highway (from Achimota to Ofankor) without adequate gutters - and also saw-millers in my immediate neighborhood, some of whom have been antisocially dumping sawdust in rivers and wetlands for the past few years.

We residents have complained to both the Ghana National Highways Authority and the Ga District Assembly (Council) over the years to no avail Indeed the National Highways Authority told us residents that they had to build the road first before constructing the drains and that these 2 projects even fell under 2 different ministries. Furthermore, the saw-millers in the MUUS next to us, who are relative newcomer to the area, did not allow space on their adjacent land to ours for a gutter. In fact, by dumping sawdust on the drainage river (Brenyah River) they re-directed part of this river though my house and garden – which broke my wall – they are even now claiming my garden is their ‘natural’ gutter.

Bokoor Band
The resulting flooding on the 26 Oct was unprecedented with almost 6 feet of water entering our land and 5 feet into the downstairs house and premises where some of the BAPMAF archival holdings are kept. I was in Mali at the time at an African popular music conference organized by the French Institute in conjunction with and the Malian Ministry of Culture. On returning to Ghana on the 29th I met my family perched upstairs in the BAPMAF exhibition space. They had escaped drowning by 2 minutes due to a timely call from a neighbor upstream who noticed the water build up and got them to leave the house and flee upstairs.

Some of the losses are as follows:

• Approx 10-20% 0f BAPMAF archival holding lost. Some we are still
trying to dry and salvage.
• Loss of all electronic equipment including materials donated a few
years ago to the BAPMAF archives by the German Goethe Institute for a
digitization project.
• Loss of car, backup generator, various pumps, etc.

The house And area is now too dangerous for human habitation (i.e. residential purposes ). All this due to the short sightedness of the government in not insisting the National Highways Authority build storm gutters alongside the highway they have been constructing for seven years (which incidentally also went under water on the 26th Oct). And also the government’s inability to stop individuals or saw-millers etc from building on or blocking natural water flows.

As this is not likely to be resolved in the near future I have no recourse but to remove myself and my family from the house that myself and my father before me have been living since the 1970’s – and find rented property where we will not be drowned like rats.

So my immediate plans are as follows:

Find temporary storage space for the BAPMAF archives so that at some point in the future these can become available again to myself and the general public.

Find temporary accommodation relatively near the university at Legon.

Build circa 200 feet of reinforced concrete wall with gravel embankment to protect the Bokoor/BAPMAF proper from future flooding – so I and the BAPMAF archives can move back to upstairs properties. This alone will cost around 7000$.

To replace lost equipment, computers, car, scanners, cameras, digital record player, stabilizers, chargers and 12 volt battery backup system, slide projector, etc.

At some point I will write to various individuals and organizations that donated general books, videos and DVD’s and music materials to BAPMAF to send me, if possible, copies.

To replace the broken wall and add an embankment to it - or possibly even build a wall and embankment closer to my house and the BAPMAF premises. Even though I will lose my garden this will keep the building premises intact - so that in the future and the government demolishes obstacles to the water course, stops the saw-miller dumping saw dust in rivers and get the Highways Authority to build a storm drain alongside the Achimota-Ofankor Highway --I could at least use the BAPMAF premises again.

If you have any suggestions as how I could proceed – including any agencies, individuals , organizations who could assist financially or by replacing lost books and music this would be most appreciated. Letters of sympathy would also be most welcome.

Yours sincerely John Collins (Prof).

If money is sent to help rebuild please send it to my UK bank account as follows:

NATWEST, Tottenham Court Rd Branch
P.O.BOX 2EA 45 Tottenham Court Rd. London WIT 2EA
Reward Reserve Account of E .J. Collins
Account number 26592258
Sort Code 56-00-31
Swift code NWBK GB 2L
IBAN number GB16 NWBK 56003126 5922 58

Interview and Bonus Podcast: Classical Music in Cairo

We just did a great interview with UC Santa Barbara Professor of Music Scott Marcus about the state of Egypt's classical music scene. You can read that here.

Be sure to listen to our web exclusive below which our producer Banning Eyre explores violin and oud work by some of Egypt's foremost classical artists.

"There was a sense at this time that Cairo was becoming one of the great cities of Europe. There was a Parisian type architecture, and there are these traffic circles that look like Paris. Men started wearing European dress, and there was this whole push to celebrate a new sense that Cairo was progressing to such a wondrous state that it was now one of the great cities in Europe.  And there are people over the past hundred and some years, Egyptians, who actually said, 'Oh, yes, we are Europeans.'"- Scott Marcus

Thursday, November 17, 2011

K Le Pasa?

Afropop welcomes our newest blog contributor Geko Jones! A Brooklyn-based Puerto-colombian DJ/Producer and party promoter, Jones is also a founding member of both the New York Tropical and Que Bajo?! party franchises in New York. In addition, Geko is a partner and co-owner of the Dutty Artz record label with producer Matt Shadetek and DJ /Rupture.

There's something in the water in Texas. Several strains of a contagion named cumbia have been spreading across the Lone Star state and a collective of rogue audio chemists calling themselves the Peligrosa All-Stars may just have the cure. Founded in Austin, TX the DJ collective has been spreading sonic vaccines across Tejas and to anyone who would listen, recruiting new members along the way. Enter DJ DUS from Corpus Christi and his debut video K le Pasa.

I've seen DJ DUS perform on a few occasions, often times back to back with Peligrosa's head honcho DJ Orion. Both bring in the turntablist hip hop aesthetic to their sets but they find time to produce an amazing catalog of work, drawing on a huge array of dance music influences, for the rest of the scene to enjoy. In this new track he tips his hat to one of Mexico's most legendary pinche-cumbia artists Mike Laure, a brilliant writer and master of the double entendre.

To date, those in the know have been playing cuts off of Dus' first two EP's, Soy Yo! Turn Me Up Kid and Enemigo Publico. (available on bandcamp) He's also released a full band project called Master Blaster that's worth checking out. His new video K Le Pasa is earnest glimpse into the kind of raucous energy you'll experience at a Peligrosa party.

Anyone planning on being in Austin for SXSW (or anytime) should really make it a point to check it out. They're unofficial showcase, thrown in collaboration with Tormenta Tropical from California is a 3-day affair with THE most exciting line-up of DJ's you'll see at the festival.

-Geko Jones

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Zouk Single from Emana' - “Je Marche Seule”

Starting her music career at the young age of 20 years old. The light sounding songstress finding herself in France to take an interest in Zouk. A style of music that literally means party or festival, originating in Martinique and Guadalupe. It is truly a deep groove hip-swaying genre. Her most recent single "Je Marche Seule" falls in the Zouk-love category as a slow, yet dramatic bass bumper.

There isn't a lot of information on Emana' but found her recent single added a fresh sound to Zouk with an infectious style that had us hitting the replay button.

Here more music from Emana' at her site.

-Melanie Chery

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spotlight: Club D'Elf

Check out this crazy adaptation of Moroccan grooves with New York psychedelia outfit Club D'Elf.  The group first came together in 1998 through composer and bassist Mark Rivard. The band is defined by its ability to flow between and fuse genres, and the cast of musicians changes often. The band brags on their website that "A Squarepusher-styled drum'n'bass groove may give way to a traditional North Indian tabla interlude, in turn dissolving into some Miles "Live Evil" type electric mayhem."

Recently, they have incorporated Moroccan trance and local instruments in the ensemble. Brahim Fribgane, a Casablancan native, who plays the oud and Rivard, has become a strong player of the Sintir, a three-string bass lute. Their music touches the present moment, and the group's experimentation seems to have produced some prime musical fruits. They recently released a double CD entitled Electric Moroccoland/So Below. Their structure emphasizes improvisation, and so they are a good group to see live

Here's a video offering a sample of their music and descriptions of the conceptual foundations of their work by the band members themselves. The video cycles from screaming organ to melancholy Moroccan singing to slide trumpet. If you want to get a stronger taste of their Moroccan vibes in a more toned-done setup, this video off their new album of the song "Mogador" features some pretty funky gypsy dancing. It's definitely worth a look.

Contributed by Eli Rumpf

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spotlight: Dirty Paraffin

Dirty Paraffin is making waves in the world kwaito, a uniquely South African house/hip hop creation. The energetic duo from Johannesburg, made up of DJ Dokta Spizee and vocals by Okmalumekoolkat, seem to have a soft spot for old school rap and 80's electronica, both of which they sample smartly on the facetiously-titled mixtape "Greatest Hits." Their sound is all about stuttering beats, video game sound effects and playful lyrics. Not to mention a heavy reliance on internet jargon: "You can download this on MP3, but when I kick it live OMFG!" "When it drops it go APE, if you don't like it you can SMD." Dance track "Moonwalker" features the cut up and rearranged synth of "Thriller" to superbly disorienting effect. 

Other tracks feature a more minimalist beat and fuzzy bass lines for resting between the periodic freakouts. Topically, they borrow some of the anything-goes party themes of American hip-hop, but with a goofy side. In the green screen-assisted video for" Drip Dry" the duo performs intentionally lazy dance moves over a backdrop of flashing images of chickens, psychedelic patterns and palm trees. From an American perspective, their approach rings with the same irreverent deconstruction and parody found in Das Racist, or maybe even M.I.A. One thing can be said for sure, these guys seem to have a blast while doing their thing.

Dirty Paraffin-Drip Dry from Cuss on Vimeo.

- Will Yates

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vybz Kartel: Murda Ina Di Dancehall

Over the last month, Adidja Palmer, better known as Vybz Kartel, has landed in jail under investigation in connection with a number of murders, shootings and gun running. At this point, he has already been charged on account of two murders, the possession of firearms and marijuana while the remains of a charred body have recently been found in one of his houses. The jailing has caused a media frenzy, not because of the violence surrounding the charges but because Vybz Kartel is also one of the greatest dancehall artists ever to come out of Jamaica.

It seems we may have seen the last of Vybz for a while. It is a major blow to the dancehall scene, and Gaza fans (a Jamaican ghetto posse) are aghast at the idea of losing their ‘Emperor.’ Others are relieved that he is locked away, finding the dancehall artist a menace and poor role model for Jamaican youth. Either way, Vybz leaves a trail of controversy in his wake as he is known to do. After all, Vybz is not shy about promoting himself as a violent badman with lyrics gloating that he ‘talks with gunshot’. Yet he is one of Jamaica’s most popular stars with a huge influence on society, especially inner city ghettos. So it comes with little surprising that many are hoping this will take him out of the limelight and give him a prison sentence (this is not the first time he has been arrested). I don’t want to join the chorus of apologists for Vybz. Lyrics like ‘Mi buss throat like weh butcha do fi get di beef’ leave me a little disconcerted to say the least, especially in current circumstances. And yet, for the morality forces to come crashing down on Vybz for setting a bad example seems a bit short-sighted.

Yes, Vybz promotes violence in his songs and bigs up the bad boy culture. But in many ways, perhaps this is the extreme example of a music and a culture that already exists. Jamaica has a long history with violence in music coming from the ghettos. Today’s dancehall culture glorifies violence. And back in the times of ska and rocksteady, the rude boy culture did the same thing. Listen to Desmond Dekker singing “007” or to Derrick Morgan telling us all that “Rudie don’t fear cos he is tougher than tough.” Look to the powerful men of gangster films and classic Westerns that were shown regularly in Jamaica, for rude boy culture modelled itself partly on these hugely popular films and their invincible heroes. Dillinger and Clint Eastwood have both been taken on as pseudonyms by reggae stars, while Prince Buster, the self-proclaimed ‘original rude boy’, has a song named ‘Al Capone (guns don’t argue)’. The Harder They Come looks in many ways like a Jamaican Western, depicting the lawlessness of the Kingston ghettos. In it, the clueless, penniless country boy is sincere but ridiculed; the wised-up gun-toting, drug-dealing rude boy of the city is stylish, powerful, and crucially, admired. In the harsh environment of the ghetto, the image of a powerful hero is surely a tempting one. Rude boys and their culture of violence have been linked up with honour and respect, offering a path of escape for dis-empowered youth.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spotlight: Alsarah & the Nubatones

 The Nubatones’ music influenced by the spirit of Sudanese and Nubian culture is driven through the global span of its members. Formed in the summer of 2010 by the five members, Alsarah, Haig Manoukian, Karine Fleurima, Rami El Aasser, and Mawuena Kodjovi; Alsarah & the Nubatones are already making great tunes with their unique blend of East African retro pop and traditional sounds.

We recently caught some of their new music via With three more shows coming in our 4-part Egypt series we thought this band was a perfect fit as we explore the music and cultures of Egypt, North Africa and the Arab world.

The group has already performed nationally at various festivals and some popular clubs that hosted their stages are the Chicago World Music Festival, Joe’s Pub (NYC), and La Pena Cultural Center (Berkley CA). Their new 4-track project is a blend of original compositions and traditional pieces that is melodically grounded in the Sudanese and Nubian musical traditions but sails in the pocket of funk and soul music. Their set is a musical journey through diaspora and migration from an urban scope.

Download or Stream below:

Alsarah & the Nubatones_EP by Alsarah

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Zimbabwean Trance of ZULU

We got word through the excellent Large Up of an 18-year old producer living in the UK by the name of Zulu. Discovered through Large Up’s Monday mixtape series, we came across his Facebook where you can download and/or listen to an excellent mix he put together. Described as Zimbabwean trance, the mix combines bass-heavy club beats with traditional, afro-inspired percussion for an infectiously bumping mix.

There isn’t much info on the young lad from London. We aren’t even sure if he’s even from Zimbabwe, let alone Africa. Nevertheless, for Afropop fans whose tastes tend to lean towards the more progressive, electronic side of music, we highly suggest checking out the mix on Facebook.

Zulu also released an EP via Girls Music today.

Here's a series of remixes and originals from his Soundcloud as well. We're particularly fond of Kwaito remixes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kiran Ahluwalia Tours the U.S.

Award-winning Indo-Canadian artist Kiran Ahluwalia just released the gorgeous new album, Aam Zameen: Common Ground featuring collaborations with Terakaft and Tinariwen. Now the singer is about to embark on a U.S. tour that will take her coast to coast.

Born in India, raised in Canada and residing today in New York City, Ahluwalia’s international background is evident in her entire approach to music making. Previous recordings have found her fusing the sounds of her native India with those of Portugese fado, Celtic fiddle and Afghani rhubab. On her latest release, Ahluwalia flawlessly blends Indian rhythms and desert blues for one of the year's more unique offerings.

Tour Dates:
11/9: New York, NY - Drom
11/11: Chicago, IL - Mayne Stage
11/12: Austin, TX - St. David’s Episcopal Church
11/13: Cedar Rapids, IA - CSPS Hall
11/14: Los Angeles, CA - The Mint
11/15: Santa Cruz, CA - Don Quixote’s Internat’l Music Hall
11/16: San Francisco, CA - Yoshi’s
11/18: Albuquerque, NM - Nat’l Hispanic Cultural Center
11/20: Boston, MA - Johnny D’s

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Spotlight: Foulaa System

Here at Afropop Worldwide we get contacted by a lot of new musicians who want us to hear their music. To be honest, it's tough to listen to everything that gets sent our way and often times we just pass it by. However, every now and then we come across a gem that really catches our ear.

This time around it's a duo called Foulaa System made up of the west African duo, Alain Missala & Daveman. The two hit us up on Twitter and we liked what we heard. The most surprising thing about Foulaa System is that the two live in Berlin! A diverse but still unusual place for west African club pop. The duo claims the following: "Foulaa System considers itself to be the first true representative of the music genre called: Afro Pop. It's a unique global pop music that won't let you sit still."

Well, that is quite a statement. True or not, the two put out some infectiously catchy electro-pop. Their sound has a welcomed old-school sound full of an unabashed carefree mood. Just what we need sometimes.

Also, check out that necklace!

Here more at their Myspace.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Afropop Worldwide November Mix 2011: Egypt Series Vol. 1

This month our mixtape is exclusively music from Egypt. Consider it a prelude to the second installment of our 4-part Hip Deep Egypt series, "Cairo: Hollywood of the Middle East."

On this mix you'll hear sh'abi street music, pop legend Mohamed Mournir, Egyptian post-rock and much more. Remember click the little black arrow on the right to download it.

Afropop Worldwide November Mix 2011: Egypt Series Vol. 1 by Afropop Worldwide

Here is the track list!

Rango - Major (Bride of the Zar)

Saad - Bel Enab (El Hantour)

Hooba - Hangreen Al Shisha (Debbie New Shaabi  Vol. 1)

Arabian Knights - Domo3 L Madina ft. Lana Ghassan, MC Amin (United States of Arabia)

Hamza Namira - Taghreeb II (Insan)

Mahmoum El Husseiny - Ana Leh (New Mazzika)

Mahmoud El Leithy - Madad El Desougi (Debbie New Shaabi Vol. 3)

Mohamed Mournir - Talab E'ssamaah (Fii Ischk El'banaat)

Lally - El Tanbura

Simplexity - Thin Air: A Complex Outcome (Click to Start)

Award-winning documentary 'Bouncing Cats' Gets National TV Premiere

Award-winning documentary Bouncing Cats is getting a national premiere via the Documentary Channel. The film, narrated by Common and featuring interviews with Will.I.Am, and K’Naan, follows the legendary Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew and b-boy Abramz, the founder of Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU), on a journey to unify, empower and inspire youth in the war torn region that has been called one of the worst places on earth to be a child.

We covered the documentary last year when it showed in New York. In our coverage, Banning Eyre noted the film's poignancy by not straying from the realities of the project. As he noted, "This film does not shy away from harsh realities. It shows the power of artistic outreach, but also its limitations. [...] The kids are indeed empowered and uplifted by dance, but their problems remain. We feel not so much that they have been rescued, but that at least they've been given a glimpse of what rescue might look like, and shown that they can and must be the rescuers."

The documentary airs on Saturday, November 18th at 8pm (EST/PST) and again at 11pm. There will be repeat airings on November 25th, December 29th, January 26th & 27th.

For more information visit

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Akwabaa Releases FOKN Bois & Irie Maffia Remixes

Akwabaa Music just announced the release of a 9-track album of remixes off the FOKN Bois 2011 EP, The FOKN Dunaquest in Budapest. Made up of Ghanaian rappers M3nsa and Wanlov the Kubolor, the two hooked up with ELO from Hungarian production team Irie Maffia earlier this year resulting in the above mentioned release. The EP is full of infectious, catchy house-infused hip hop. We loved the album so much that we featured tracks on both the Trans-National Hip Hop Train and our recent Mixtape Special show (both downloadable).

The remixes feature a number of different DJs from across the international scene including Slap In The Bass, Nobody Moves, Superstereo, URH and Jumo Daddy (Irie Maffia), and many others. The result is a eclectic nine-tracks that covers a number of hot styles pulsating out of clubs across the globe and through our DSL connection right now including Moobahton, dubstep, electro-cumbia and a whole lot more.

Akwabaa has taken it all step further though and offered the EP for free during the entire month of November!

Download and/or stream below. Read more about the release at Akwabaa.

The FOKN Dunaquest in Budapest Remix Album by Irie Maffia Production