Arvo Pärt is Estonian composer of classical and religious music, known for creating his own minimalist style of “little bell” sounds which he calls Tintinnabuli. Here’s how he describes it:
“Tintinnabulation is an area I sometimes wander into when I am searching for answers – in my life, my music, my work. In my dark hours, I have the certain feeling that everything outside this one thing has no meaning. The complex and many-faceted only confuses me, and I must search for unity. What is it, this one thing, and how do I find my way to it? Traces of this perfect thing appear in many guises – and everything that is unimportant falls away. Tintinnabulation is like this. . . . The three notes of a triad are like bells. And that is why I call it tintinnabulation.”
His track ‘Silouans Song’ is a spiritual tune that came out in 2006 but I just heard it in a Benji B radio show co-hosted with Joy Orbison, so it’s fresh to me.
According to his Wikipedia page, Pärt has also been one of the most-performed living composers for the last five years. Bjork is also a huge fan!
Gulu singing legend and ‘Acholi folk pop’ pioneer Otim Alpha teamed up with London producer Jesse Hackett and multi-instrumentalist Albert Ssempeke to produce Ennanga Vision, “deconstructed musical forms from the kingdoms of Uganda.”
The album’s single ‘Otim’s War’ mashes together techno elements into traditional choral signing. The result is something like you’ve never heard before. The music video is fascinating too.
William Onyeabor was a Nigerian musician and businessman. He was known as “The Chief” in southeast Nigeria, where he built “the greatest record manufacturing business in all of West Africa.” He released nine funky electronic albums in total, all pressed at his own studio.
A legend, he passed away last month. His music survives him.
Kxngs is an electronic music producer from Brixton, London. His debut EP Earth Sign dropped on the Ex-local label.
Describing Kxngs craft other than worldly is hard. As he says, “No real Genre, just music.” His track “Through the Storm” premiered on the Boiler Room:
Lined with kinetic kuduro rhythms and shooting dynamic vocals, “Through The Storm” is spurred on by cascading strings. Drawing upon wide-spanning influences from his travels, Kxngs has created a jittery, upbeat marvel that’ll get any feet tapping.
Sarathy Korwar is an American-Indian producer and drummer. While born in the United States, he spent most of his childhood growing up India where he listened to American jazz records in local record shops.
‘Bhajan’ is the first song on his debut album, Day To Day, which weaves together both Indian folk and jazz music into a unique sound that Korwar can call his own.
’Day To Day’ is an exceptional debut by this multi-percussive artist fusing jazz, electronic and Indian harmonics.” — Gilles Peterson
Whether it’s Istanbul, LA, Congo, or Kingston, Paris electronic producer Débruit seems to work his diverse production palette to the sounds of the local scene.
His latest project débruit & Istanbul highlights the swing and spirit of the Turkish city on the Bosphorus. Below is what Gilles Peterson said about the artist’s collaboration on ‘Duman.’
“Istanbul is a melting pot of traditional, visionary, electric, psychedelic, futuristic, melodic and experimental music. On ’Duman,’ he links with Murat Ertel, lead singer and guitarist in BaBa ZuLa, one of Turkey’s most beloved alternative bands. The hypnotic cries of a guitar take centre stage, powerfully reverbing as if echoing across the Bosporus. débruit adds his own rhythmic touches with drum machines and synths, coming close to the minimal techno feel of Baris K’s Insanlar project.”
Citizen Boy is a Durban electronic producer pioneering the Gqom sound emerging out of Durban, South Africa. His fellow Gqom Oh! label-mate DJ Lag called the localized genre, “a mix of elements of hip-hop and house.”
Citizen Boy’s track ‘Indaba Ka Bani Besibenuza’ is a tribal dance beat that tries to encapsulate the resourceful experiences of “Zulu culture and history.” The song also translates into ‘who cares if we dance under the influence of drugs.’