Can you recommend some indie/hip African or Reggae bands?
May 31, 2010 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend some indie/hip African or Reggae bands?

I recently got into Santigold, and the Diplo remix of her album is filled with all sorts of African samples and beats, but presented in a more hip/indie fashion geared towards the Pitchfork crowd. Know what I mean? I'd like to find more of this style. Where do you suggest I begin?
posted by wordsmith to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should also note: these bands don't necessarily have to be from Africa or anything. I'm mostly interested in the particular sound, not geographical location. Thanks!
posted by wordsmith at 11:33 AM on May 31, 2010

Best answer: I'm not wholly familiar with the bands you mention but The Very Best's Warm Heart of Africa is a cracking listen and is chock full of Afro beats.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:38 AM on May 31, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: BLK JKS
posted by fire&wings at 11:42 AM on May 31, 2010

Groups or artists I like, some more African than others:

Toubab Krewe
Toumani Diabate
Ali Farka Toure
Vieux Farka Toure
Bassekou Kouyate
posted by quickasfoxes at 11:57 AM on May 31, 2010

I really like Issa Bagayogo. He melds Malian instruments and electronic accompaniment, but generally without falling into stereotypical sludgy "worldbeat" stuff.
posted by threeants at 12:04 PM on May 31, 2010

I don't know of any modern stuff in this vein ... But! This blog, No Condition is Permanent, has some really excellent African stuff. Congolese musicians recording in Paris in the '80s, Haitian bandit-drunkard orchestras, musicians from London and Nigeria recording albums together ... almost all of the stuff on there is just amazingly good.
posted by krilli at 12:20 PM on May 31, 2010

+1 for The Very Best, they fit your description perfectly.
For the reggae/dancehall/dub side of things, maybe The Bug with London Zoo?
posted by gregjones at 12:20 PM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

oooh boy, do I ever!
posted by alex_skazat at 12:21 PM on May 31, 2010

Wow, this stands to be a good thread, judging from what I've listened to so far.
posted by krilli at 12:29 PM on May 31, 2010

Best answer: Fool's Gold
posted by carsonb at 12:42 PM on May 31, 2010


posted by pick_the_flowers at 12:58 PM on May 31, 2010

Nomo and Antibalas are two Afrobeat-influenced bands with hip followings (both started out playing traditional Afrobeat and have incorporated other influences more recently). There's also Chopteeth, Kokolo, the Afromotive, the Boston Afrobeat Project, the Chicago Afrobeat Project, Femi Kuti... though I don't know how hip any of those are. Tony Allen has done a bunch of hip stuff lately, as have Mulatu Astatke and Getatchew Mekurya. Oh No's Ethiopium and Madlib's Beat Konducta in Africa are two beat/instrumental hip-hop albums that rely heavily on African samples.

On the reggae end of it, you might check out Dub Is A Weapon and Dub Kitchen. You might check out Diplo's Major Lazer project, though it's very much dancehall rather than more traditional genres of reggae.
posted by box at 1:23 PM on May 31, 2010

Seun Kuti, too, and Konono No. 1, and the Kasai All-Stars. Tuareg stuff like Tinariwen and Ensemble Tartit has a bit of a hip following, but I don't know if that's what you have in mind.
posted by box at 1:26 PM on May 31, 2010

Buraka Som Sistema (not African, but influenced by Kurduro, Angolan hip-hop dance)
Major Lazer (Diplo/Switch side project)
DJ Mujava (African DJ)

He also just put out Lazerproof, a La Roux/Major Lazer mixtape. Not many DJs are doing the Reggae/Electronic thing, although Dubstep does have some elements of it.

Along a different vein, check out Nneka, she's Nigerian and I really like her album. Chase and Status also did a pretty cool remix of her song.

Finally, DJ/Rupture does some pretty cool stuff, mixing all different kinds of genres, including African, Dubstep, Middle-Eastern, etc. He also has a radio show on WFMU in NYC. I really like his Uproot album.
posted by hazyspring at 1:36 PM on May 31, 2010

I've only heard one song by Marlaw (thanks to Said the Gramophone), but Pipi (Pii Pii?) is absolutely delightful. Also, Warm Heart of Africa was one of my favorite, favorite albums of last year.

Fantastic thread! I'll be keeping an eye (ear?) on it.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 1:40 PM on May 31, 2010

Also, my friend who knows much more about African music than I do has been hyping the Analog Africa blog all year. Worth a look!
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 1:45 PM on May 31, 2010

Do you have any interest in African reissues? Because we are living in a freaking golden age, my friend.
posted by box at 1:51 PM on May 31, 2010

Konono No. 1 - Congotronics
Fela Kuti
posted by ifjuly at 8:37 AM on June 1, 2010

The Ethiopiques albums come to mind too.
posted by ifjuly at 8:37 AM on June 1, 2010

People need to check out some Kultiration. Reggae souls encased in the perfection of Swedish pop. So. Good.
posted by nosila at 8:41 AM on June 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ooh, I knew he'd get around to the African continent: Madlib's Medicine Show No. 3: The Beat Konducta in Africa. I haven't listened yet, but pretty much guaranteed to blow your mind.
posted by carsonb at 12:19 PM on June 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

« Older If Elliot Carter had a radio smash hit it would be...   |   Purchase Mini Blinds Online Or Local? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.