Kawuku Sound unites the UK’s Cervo and Contours with Uganda’s underground music scene

The Banana Hill collective will release a scintillating body of music in October after a tour of Uganda – it follows UK producers, Cervo and Contours, securing Arts Council funding last year to undertake a recording project in the capital Kampala.
Banana Hill began as a party in Sheffield, before becoming a label and expanding to clubs all over. With this release the label shows it is becoming even more creative and diverse, as well as showcasing fresh talent.

Chris Knight, aka Cervo, explains the project: “We worked with local percussion troupe Fonkodelis Arkestra as well as traditional instrumentalists, and the outcome of this project is an 8-track album that will be released under the name Kawuku Sound. This process was facilitated by label & festival owners Nyege Nyege at their studio space called Boutiq Studios.

“The music was written and recorded in this shared residency space, home to musicians and visual artists from all over East Africa and beyond, and a hub for Kampala’s underground electronic music scene. Boutiq Studio’s DIY mentality provided the perfect environment for experimentation, allowing the fusion of these disparate sounds. Kawuku Sound is a reflection of this, merging the hypnotic and trance-inducing percussion of Buganda drumming with elements of contemporary electronics and traditional instrumentation.”

The album artwork is a special commission from Nuwa Wamala Nnyanzi, who runs the Nnyanzi Art Studio in Kampala.

Kawuka Sound will be the third release for Banana Hill and will be out on October 8th. It is an extremely accomplished and forward thinking album and follows one of the stand out dance releases of 2017 – the Cervo re-edits of Majid Bekkas on the African Gnaoua Blues 12″ – Banana Hill’s first record.

The latest World Treasures Music radio show features three tracks from this release in the first quarter of the show:

Tracklist

The Last Poets – Understand What Black Is (Mala Instrumental Remix)

Jackson Almond – Open Your Head

Kawuku Sound – Ggaba Road x Jinja To Kampala

Kawuku Sound – Youth ft Spyda MC

Kawuku Sound – Buganda Dub

Aura (Spiritual Emanation) – She Can Turn You On

Aura (Spiritual Emanation) – Ayamaho

A.K. (Ngahiwi Apanui) – He Whakapapa

Charly Boy – 1990

Ras Enoch – Jah’s Rock

Ramzi – Fly Timoun

Loidis – A Parade

DWART – Taipei Disco

Secret Circuit – Stomping Ground

Secret Circuit – Crazy Wayz

Planet Battagon – Moon of Dysnomia

BKO – Dirty Donso

LAPS – Who Me?

LAPS – Ode To Daughter

Roger Melt – Mone La

Amral’s Trinidad Cavalier Orchestra – 90 Percent Of Me Is You

Tohru Aizawa Quartet – Philosopher’s Stone

Il Guardiano Del Faro – Finale

Rainbow Generator – City Of The Sun

Il Guardiano Del Faro – Lady Moon

Il Guardiano Del Faro – Sinfonia Al Sole Che Nasce

Blip Discs drop beautiful Ugandan spirituals from Mubashira Mataali Group

Blip Discs have released an enthralling collection of Islamic spirituals from Kampala, Uganda, performed and composed with the traditional mataali drum and vocal troupe Mubashira Mataali Group (pron: moo-ba-shee-ra).

The globetrotters at Blip Discs follow up their impressive label catalogue of forward thinking and genre fusing dance music with these songs composed for weddings, pilgrimages and worship. Although these themes may not immediately seem fitting with the label’s club-focused and dance-floor specific output, Tom Blip at the label assures us that these cuts will refreshingly surprise DJs and dancers alike. The work in Uganda follows funding being awarded in the UK for cultural exchange.

“I’ve played these out a few times and I never can quite believe what I’m seeing,” Tom says. “The reaction seems testament to the idea that we don’t have to keep on remixing and westernising contemporary African music in order to dance to it. This is Mubashira Mataali Group as we recorded them – with absolutely no electronic overdubs – just a few microphones, some drums and some vocals.”

Mataali is the music the people of Madinah celebrated to when the prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) arrived in their city in the 7th Century. It features spirited call-and-response vocals, visceral chanting and driving percussion. Mubashira Mataali Group is a troupe of 25 musicians led by Sulaiman ‘Sula’ Sulait, a film star-come-musician based in Kampala. The Blip Discs crew first saw the group at the capital’s Bayimba Festival – and inspired by their performance – promptly invited them to a recording session, which took place only a few hours later on the same day.

The fruit of Blip Discs’ musical labours in Uganda were recorded in 2016. World Treasures Music features four tracks from the EP. They are back-to-back during the latest show for KMAH Radio. Click below to listen, the tracks are at the 11 minute, 25 second mark and at the 1 hour, 31 minutes and 20 second mark.

Respect to all at Blip Discs for their work and courage in delivering this music to new audiences.