Creative hub FLEE launch new sub-label ‘Extra Muros’, with a debut comp’ exploring new electro-soul directions from Kenya – artists invited to collaborate for second project in Italy

The FLEE label and creative hub are releasing their next installment – a vinyl bounty of Kenyan collaborations in a wide range of styles – and are also inviting new artists to enlist for the next chapter of the project.

Extra Muros – Kenya is the result of the creative residency program, organised by FLEE, which took place in September 2019 at the Elephant Studio in Nairobi. First release Extra Muros – Kenya is available on vinyl and digital.

Olivier Duport, lead artist at FLEE, explains: “For three weeks, seven musicians and producers from East Africa and Europe came together to experiment on new sounds, inspired by a large variety of artistic environments and soundscapes. Documenting from various perspectives the music production process, capturing those exchanges, this compilation celebrates vanguard sonic music characterising the digital age.”

In addition to the sub-label’s launch, artists have the chance to collaborate and help form the next chapter of their trans-national projects. With the label’s creative diversity and wide remit demonstrated so far, the opportunity to work with global likeminds and benefit from FLEE’s support network and facilities is an extremely attractive prospect.

Olivier adds: “”We are pleased to announce an open call for music producers and sound artists interested in participating in Extra Muros’ forthcoming edition, which will take place between October 7th and 18th (2020) in Sannicandro di Bari, in Southern Italy. For two weeks, the selected artists will be experimenting and composing music together in a fully dedicated music studio built in the heart of the Norman castle of Sannicandro.”

You can find more information on the program and on eligibility criteria on the FLEE website.

Previous projects at FLEE have looked at historical documents (for example, Tarantismo: Odyssey of an Italian Ritual) and given them a modern perspective from leading avant-garde producers, as well as previously exploring the Benga music tradition in Kenya. Extra Muros – Kenya continues that journey, but the music moves in even more cross-polinated directions.

FLEE’s documentation has been exceptional on previous projects, providing the listener with context and insight into the recording techniques and collaborative junctures inherent to that project. The themes proposed to artists for each project, enabling the framing of key influences and inspiring aspects, are helping to shape truly diverse and emerging styles of music and composition from the artists. The artistic process is something that FLEE incubates and nurtures in a different way to other collectives, providing far more scope and agency for the music and artists respectively, as accompanying contexts are explored involved through an immersive musical prism – with added experise from Olivier’s team.

Whatever emerges from FLEE or Extra Muros in the next period for this multi-disciplinary and muli-thematic creative hub, although the future is uncertain, the next releases are something to look forward to at least. Having utilisied leading talents in leftfield dance music, such as Don’t DJ and Africaine 808, as well as championing emerging talent, FLEE goes from strength to strength.

The next project venue, in Sannicandro di Bari, in Southern Italy, is an inspiring setting that Olivier is preparing appropriately for the next project and is enthusiastic about the forthcoming applications. “Beyond music production, the residency will allow participating artists to discover the incredible Apulian heritage, while engaging in a deep dialogue with their counterparts in an exciting environment,” Olivier adds.

For more information, visit the FLEE website.

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