Buraka Som Sistema announce new album Komba

Buraka Som SistemaAfter being slowly handcrafted over the past 11 months, Buraka Som Sistema return to the world of the living on a Halloween night, presenting their much anticipated sophomore album, ‘Komba’: an exploration of the borders between life and death combined with Buraka’s fierce approach.

Komba is an Angolan religious ritual, celebrated seven days after someone passes away, where friends and relatives honour the deceased by drinking their favourite drinks, eating their favourite food, dancing and singing their favourite songs while sharing experiences and telling stories about their life. The irony that the best party of your life happens after you’re dead, and the idea that we should live every day as if it was our last one, sets the common thread for ‘Komba’.

‘Komba’ is an album that fits together perfectly. All songwriting happened over 11 months with the starting point being a one month retreat in the remote woodlands of Monchique in the south of Portugal, from where the band brought dozens of beats and ideas. There they worked alongside friends like Stereotyp where the first sketches of ‘Hangover (Bababa)’ and the trippy 90 bpm song ‘Vem Curtir’ were created. Mixhell contributed to an intense ultra percussive beat that later became Macumba. The experience was so refreshing and unique that some of the music crafted during these four weeks has changed little from the initial demos. With a lot of new music on their hard drives, the band headed out to London’s Red Bull Studios, where guests like Afrikan Boy (‘Eskeleto’) and Roses Gabor (‘(We Stay) Up All Night’) came in to sprinkle the record with their own unique voodoo. With the hard drives running out of space and heads full of ideas, the band came back to Enchufada’s Lisbon headquarters to start refining the final ‘Komba’. Other guests like Terry Lynn and Sara Tavares (‘Voodoo Love’), Kaysha (‘Komba’) and Blaya (‘LOL & POP’ and ‘(We Stay) Up All Night)’, were then invited to help give the album its finishing touches.

Being on the road solidly for three years promoting their highly acclaimed debut album ‘Black Diamond’ has transformed Buraka from what was initially a producer’s idea into a fully fledged band. ‘Komba’ sounds like a band. An album ready to make thousands of people dance in festivals and clubs around the world. Songs like ‘Tira o Pe’ or ‘(We Stay) Up All Night’ have the perfect balance of electronic music and the live performance that Buraka have showcased to their fans in hundreds of shows around the world. The fact that Blaya (one of Buraka’s most explosive live contributors) steps up to do vocals on two songs is the best example of this natural evolution. This shift takes ‘Komba’ one step further on the group’s quest to find their own sound, pushing them further away from diminishing labels like “Progressive Kuduro”. It defines them as being true explorers of the urban lusophone melting pot.

On one of their journeys to South America, the group become fascinated with Sao Paulo’s street art movement. One of the leading characters of this movement – Brazilian artist Stephan Doitschinoff a.k.a. Calma – has views on religious and pagan aspects of South American culture which fused perfectly with ‘Komba’. Calma portrays the mix of spiritual idiosyncrasies in the same way Buraka deals with all their rhythmic influences brought from the West and Africa. For the artwork it was a no brainer to use one of Calma’s most famous paintings.

‘Komba’ is an “access all areas” pass for listeners to see life the same way Buraka does.


Damu releases debut album Unity on Keysound

damuThis November, Keysound follow acclaimed albums by LV & Joshua Idehen and Sully with ‘Unity’, the debut album by one of the most distinctive artists to emerge from the UK in recent years, Damu.

Dense sheets of colour and ripples of warm emotion cascade through Damu’s musical vision. It’s an ambitious album, and at an hour in length it’s not necessarily an easy listen, but those with some endeavour will find themselves swept away by the fantasy world that ‘Unity’ inhabits. The steel drum march of ‘L.O.V.E.’, the midnight serenade of ‘After Indigo’, Trim collaboration ‘Ridin the Hype’ and breathtaking closing track ‘Don’t Cry In My Bed’ are only some of the sights you’ll see along the way.

Damu has only had two physical solo releases to date, ‘Ridin’ on Keysound and ‘Mermaid’ on Local Action, but already he’s honed an instantly recognisable sound of his own. His releases have been supported by artists such as Starkey, Sinden, Brodinski, Sbtrkt, Girl Unit, and notably The Streets’ Mike Skinner who selected Damu as one of his “New Faces of UK Dance Music” in his Guardian takeover in February

He’s part of the UK’s underground dance music scene by association, but ‘Unity’ finds Damu thinking much bigger than that, with touches of Air France’s beach-pop, the gloss of major label R’n’B, and subtle nods to the demented psychedelic visions of Wiley and Aphex Twin. It also betrays his classical background, demonstrating knowledge of chord progressions and structural sleight of hand that many of his peers would kill for.

1. Unity
2. Breathless
3. L.O.V.E.
4. After Indigo
5. Weapon #3
6. Maths Is Fine For Sum
7. Cheat When U Compete
8. Ridin The Hype (Feat Trim)
9. Waterfall Of Light
10. Plasm
11. Ether
12. Don’t Cry In My Bed

“An extraordinary young producer, I’ll be watching every step he takes in 2011” Mary-Anne Hobbs
“A formidable addition to the stream of forward-thinking dance music that’s been pouring out of Manchester” Altered Zones

soundcloud.com/damu | blackdownsoundboy.blogspot.com

Rustie releases debut album Glass Swords

RustieGlasgow’s talent pool clearly runs deep, and if the city’s last few years of genre-busting electronic music have made anything remotely clear it’s that Rustie is one of the deep-fried kingdom’s crown jewels. Emerging with the rest of the multi-talented Numbers crew, and with only a handful of laser-guided releases to his name, his presence far outreaches his focused, evolving discography. Rightly mentioned in the same breath with many of the most innovative producers in the world, astute Pitchfork scribe Martin Clarke once described Rustie’s music “like a metaphor for living in intense digital excess” – something everyone should be able to relate to.

As is often the case, this digital excess also mirrors the excesses of the physical world, and so Rustie time travels for the cocaine-addled synthesizer washes and searing guitar tones of 1980’s pop, the cash-infused bombast of new-millennium R&B, the pit-of-your-stomach ecstasy high of the most classic rave memories and the bloodshot scowl of white-hot pirate radio broadcasts. In 2007, with a new generation of irreverent producers and artists seemingly simultaneously uploading their music to MySpace, Rustie’s ‘Jagz The Smack’ EP was a miniature revelation. In a swift five tracks, it managed to not only synthesize the tone of mid-decade electronic music, but also provided a danceable prediction for much of what would soon be called “UK bass music” (not to mention many other, far less eloquent, names).

It would take three more years to move through a string of now classic 12”s like ‘Zig-Zag’, ‘Bad Science’ and ‘Play Doe/Tempered’, his collaboration with Bristol’s mighty Joker. This unfettered run was capped by a string of essential remixes (or “Resmacks” in the parlance of Rustie) for the likes ofJamie LidellKelisThe Big Pink and Nicki Minaj, leading into his debut EP for Warp, ‘Sunburst’. In another breathless five-track flash, ‘Sunburst’amalgamated Rustie’s love for obscure Japanese prog-rock, 16-bit video game sonics and icy grime and Detroit techno heft into a fleeting vision of the future of rave music. Snare rolls ricocheted, synths undulated in hypercolor hues and the bass bubbled over, the stage was set.


Outpost Launch International PR Service

Japan 3.11.11: A Benefit AlbumOutpost Media launches an international PR service today, to deal with the growing need for clients to focus campaigns beyond UK based PR.

David Silverman, Outpost’s Managing Director said: “The world today is a much smaller place. The growth of smart phones, downloads and social media have created a global music marketplace that is open to everyone. Radically improved communication channels mean that the time is right for artists and labels who don’t already have an international reputation, to start getting one.”

Mel Ruben will be heading up the new service that will cover key media titles in 35 countries across Europe, America, Australia and Japan. Mel joined Outpost in April, moving from an international events management role.

Outpost’s first project is for US based Polyvinyl Records on the label’s fundraising album ‘Japan 3.11.11: A Benefit Album’, which includes tracks by Of Montreal, Deerhoof, David Bazan, Xiu Xiu, Casiokids and Efterklang. Outpost will also represent Mr Bongo Records critically acclaimed artist Hollie Cook internationally.

Festibelly Announces Line Up

fb1101Festibelly is a one day/one night festival located just outside the idyllic New Forest town of Lymington, Hampshire. Starting out in 2008 with 500 people getting together for an exclusive summer knees up, the festival has grown a little in size but still prides itself on the intimate, carefree and friendly vibe that it’s always been known for. Taking pride in its grassroots ethos, there’s not a brand or sponsor in site at Festibelly and that’s the way things will stay. In the last four years Festibelly has become an essential summer date for passionate, friendly and discerning festival goers and performers alike.

2011 will see additions to performance and arts areas with packed line-ups on the main stage, electronic arena, acoustic tent, arts and performance tents, as well as collaborations from a number of Festi-friends old and new.

Line up so far…

Headline Act TBA
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Drums of Death
Man Like Me
Hollie Cook
She Keeps Bees
Lulu And The Lampshades
Kyla La Grange
My Sad Captains
Skinny Lister
The Operators
Dimbleby & Capper
This Is The Kit
Oh Ruin
Chancery Blame & The Gadjo Club
Marmaduke Dando

Batty Bass – Hannah Holland, Mama & Deboa
Greco-Roman Sound System
Reggae Roast
Fear Of Theydon
Sombrero Sound System
Mojo Filter


Massive In China
Like a rabbit in a raincoat in a box, Festibelly goers will be in for a surprise when they draw aside the curtains of the brand new Massive In China tent – a kaleidoscope of wrong cabaret and stand-up comedy, musically delightful soft to weird acoustic melodies, a bit of boombastic over to the light fantastic. Or get a bit vintage-crafty whilst watching circus performance and getting involved in a wonky gameshow or magic-not-magic act.

The Nest
A new treetop stage nestled amongst the giant oaks of the Festi-forest. Fear of Theydon will be curating a line-up that befits the mystical setting with luscious sounds of cosmic, disco and Balearic goodness pulsing through the trees.

Le Disco
Featuring everything from dubstep to disco, a full line-up of electronic acts will feature throughout the day and night. Taking it into the early hours Le Disco Silence will be catering for all the night owls.

Terrapin Station
An alternative to the main stage the Terrapin Station combines flavours of acoustic, folk, gypsy and jazz and is home to the notorious Festibelly Folk Off – the signer/songwriter competition where the discerning crowd will cast their vote and crown one lucky contestant Folk King/Queen, winning themselves an opening slot on the main stage for 2012.

Autumn Shift
Following up on their debut Festibelly appearance last year, Autumn Shift will be setting up to provide all manner of musical delights as well as their cosy café, live poetry, painting and massages should you be wanting to unwind after a hard day’s party.

Amazing Radio
Broadcasting live from the Festibelly site, the Amazing Radio team will be providing as-it-happens coverage of the festival, live sessions and interviews and all the latest news and info in the run up to the event.

Date: 9am Saturday 27th August – 3pm Sunday 28th August 2011
Address: Undershore, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 5QA
Tickets: £36.00 + booking fee via festibelly.com. Under 12s free, no ticket required.
Saturday night camping included with ticket
Capacity: 2,500


RAMP announces new Ras G album

Ras GDown 2 Earth is the new album from Gregory Shorter Jr, AKA Ras G.

Instrumental hip-hop producer Ras G has released four full-lengths in varying forms since making his recording debut back in 2005, although his involvement in the LA scene stretches back to the early ’90s. Much of his output to date has surfaced on Poo-Bah Records, the label he founded in 2005 alongside Black Monk and Ron Stivers. Down 2 Earth will see Ras G make his return to UK imprint RAMP Recordings after the pair hooked up in 2009 on the Destination There EP. In keeping with much of his work these past few years,Down 2 Earth‘s central motif is a marriage between earthy soul samples and often complex beat programming—a style the man himself has termed “ghetto sci-fi.” Clips from the album can be streamed via the RAMP Recordings Facebook Bandpage. (From Resident Advisor)