African Electronic Diaspora: Black Lives Matter

· by Rupert Bottenberg

Attempting to catalogue the full spectrum of the Black planet’s excursions in electronic music would be a fool’s errand. A copious, if hardly comprehensive, selection of sounds of the moment is a more manageable undertaking. It’s one Belgian label Rebel Up! has handled admirably across this wisely curated and programmed spread of almost 30 tracks, a fundraiser motivated by the growing global demand that the worth of Black lives be recognized.

The artists contributing to the compilation’s two solid hours of music speak a dozen tongues and hail from twice that many countries, on four continents. Sorry, five – Indonesia’s MC Nina appears on Ugandan crew Sankara Future Dub Resurgence’s “Two Thousand Seasons Dub”, a shout-out to West Papua’s own BLM uprising. Likewise, the tracks here cover enormous territories, stylistically and, more importantly, in mood.

There’s defiance and anger, certainly, but so much more as well. There’s the caustic and the unsettling – Scúru Fitchádu’s snarling, combative version of Cap Verdian funaná; The enigmatic “MAMA” by [MONRHEA] and “A State of Uncertainty” by Kirdec – but also the reflective, the pacific, the upbeat, even the wildly positive (Onipa’s hectically happy “Nipa Bi”). There are some interesting iterations of Angolan kuduro present, from Lua Preta, Octa Push, and Diron Animal. A snatch of hyperactive singeli from Tanzania’s Duke, as well. There’s Dandana’s slick Mandingo funk with silky synth parts, and Disco Vumbi’s fusion of Kenyan benga and intractable Berlin techno (DV, alias Alai K., has a new album out this weekend too). All the aforementioned don’t cover even half the goods here, some of it exceptional, very little of which can be easily ignored.

In keeping with the principle of abundant possibilities, proceeds from your purchase of the digital album are directed to any one of almost 20 advocacy groups active in countering racism and fortifying Black communities, among them Colombia’s Renacientes, Brazil’s Criola, Portugal’s SOS Racismo, and the U.K.’s Black Minds Matter. Review the list and choose the one that suits you best.

Latest 360 Content

Suoni: regarding Luke Stewart + Tcheser Holmes + Aquiles Navarro + Keir Neuringer + Nicolas Caloia + skin tone + Geneviève Gauthier + Jason “Blackbird” Selman + Charlotte Layec + Dave Rempis + Tashi Dorji + Eric Hove

Suoni: regarding Luke Stewart + Tcheser Holmes + Aquiles Navarro + Keir Neuringer + Nicolas Caloia + skin tone + Geneviève Gauthier + Jason “Blackbird” Selman + Charlotte Layec + Dave Rempis + Tashi Dorji + Eric Hove

Suoni  | Sick of Fun

Suoni  | Sick of Fun

Wisp – Pandora

Wisp – Pandora

Suoni, June 17 | Reverberations, voices and multiple reflections

Suoni, June 17 | Reverberations, voices and multiple reflections

Convulsing – Perdurance

Convulsing – Perdurance

Darkthrone – It Beckons Us All…….

Darkthrone – It Beckons Us All…….

Ulcerate – Cutting the Throat of God

Ulcerate – Cutting the Throat of God

Botanist – Paleobotany

Botanist – Paleobotany

Jordan Hamilton – Project Freedom

Jordan Hamilton – Project Freedom

Nino Carlos &  Friends – Placenta

Nino Carlos & Friends – Placenta

Arooj Aftab – Night Reign

Arooj Aftab – Night Reign

Samuel Hasselhorn – Urlicht : Songs of Death and Resurrection

Samuel Hasselhorn – Urlicht : Songs of Death and Resurrection

Suoni per il popolo | The socially committed and fiery jazz of Irreversible Entanglements

Suoni per il popolo | The socially committed and fiery jazz of Irreversible Entanglements

JAKŌ and his experimental soundscapes at Suoni

JAKŌ and his experimental soundscapes at Suoni

Ishi Tishi and their Evening With All The Animals at Suoni

Ishi Tishi and their Evening With All The Animals at Suoni

Suoni per il popolo | A chat with a contemporary music legend: Howard Skempton

Suoni per il popolo | A chat with a contemporary music legend: Howard Skempton

June 13 at Suoni Per Il Popolo: No Hay Banda with Sarah Davachi and Nadah El-Shazly + Sarah Pagé

June 13 at Suoni Per Il Popolo: No Hay Banda with Sarah Davachi and Nadah El-Shazly + Sarah Pagé

Habitat Sonore at Centre Phi| Summer playlist and ideal venue for active, immersive listening

Habitat Sonore at Centre Phi| Summer playlist and ideal venue for active, immersive listening

HABITAT SONORE :  the music that rocks Montreal… and the Phi Center !

HABITAT SONORE :  the music that rocks Montreal… and the Phi Center !

Piknic Électronik | Pretty Privilege is aiming joy and sassiness

Piknic Électronik | Pretty Privilege is aiming joy and sassiness

Suoni | Sarah Davachi and the idea of being played by No Hay Banda

Suoni | Sarah Davachi and the idea of being played by No Hay Banda

Subscribe to our newsletter