Sunday, January 4, 2009


it is said that the drum itself was invented in Africa. and as far as i'm concerned, all modern pop and especially dance music have deep roots in the musical traditions of that continent. i have made the admittedly sensationalist proclamation "techno comes from Africa", and here is an extremely simplified version of my concept of this lineage: slave songs - blues - gospel - jazz - funk - disco - house - techno ---- the circle is complete. some may have problems with this generalization (and in some ways i do too), but all sidelines, exceptions, and details aside, essentially it makes sense to me. after all, the 4 on the floor hypnotic groove can be found in the myriad styles of African music from every era, be it high-life, rumba, or the thousands upon thousands of much older regional traditions.

most people were, and still are, confused, skeptical, or straight up dismissive when i talk about this, but history was made in 2008 with Warp Records' release of DJ Mujava's Township Funk in Europe, which i believe is only the beginning of Europeans coming to grips with the awesome power of African Techno.

i have been playing Euro-centric Minimal, Hard Techno, Tech House, Breaks, Electro, etc., for years, but in recent years have increasingly sensed a solipsism, stagnation, and bankrupsy. in 2009 i feel the style loosely termed "UK Funky" is leading the way out of the rut; and it is no coincidence that the most exciting thing happening in European dance music is directly derivative of African and Afro-Caribbean rhythmic structures.

enough talk. switch on the speakers, lower the lights, and put on those dancing shoes.



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