When he’s not touring as James Blake‘s drummer, percussionist/DJ Ben Assister can be found playing with London outfits Ruby and The Vines and Fur. Assiter developed an interest in African music through friends, which was cemented by a musical pilmigrage to Senegal and Mali. He tells us, “As a musician, and particularly as a drummer, I find it difficult not to be inspired by the wealth of different music that has come out of the African continent.”
In Africa In Your Earbuds #26, Ben Assiter compiles a meditative, all-vinyl mix. The mixtape features a premiere of “Biannual Coffee Cups” by his group Fur, as well as tunes by Ruby and The Vines, Thomas Mapfumo, The Wings, and Owiny Sigoma Band. There’s also a batch of tracks from around the globe:
I’ve included tracks from other parts of the world that demonstrate different forms of engagement with Africa. Technology has clearly had a big part in facilitating such cultural interactions… , and although I’ve been lucky enough to travel in Africa, the internet has definitely played a massive role in my African musical education. For me, several of the tracks have origins particularly close to home. There’s a small but lively African music scene in London, be it involving African artists who have relocated here, or local musicians who have been influenced by various African forms. I’ve picked a few tracks to play here which I feel have African inspirations below the surface somehow.
Londoners can catch James Blake’s drummer, Ben Assiter, spinning at 1-800-Dinosaur, a new biweekly night at the sonic mecca Plastic People. Stream/download AIYE #26: Ben Assiter below. Hats-off to Underdog for the cover artwork.
Jarabi – Toumani Diabate [MALI]
Sanu Maakaan – Guelewar [GAMBIA]
Xale – Mark Ernestus presents Jeri-Jeri with Mbene Diatta Seck [SENEGAL/GERMANY]
Little Big Or Small – United Vibrations [UK]
Gone With The Sun – The Wings [NIGERIA]
Red Storm – Ruby And The Vines [UK]
Paulina (Pt. 1) – Orchestra Les Wanyika [KENYA/TANZANIA]
Biannual Coffee Cups – FUR [UK]
Butsu Mutandarika – Thomas Mapfumo [ZIMBABWE]
Odera Lwar – Owiny Sigoma Band [UK/KENYA]
Let Me Love You – Bunny Mack [SIERRA LEONE]
Stay Up Zimbabwe – Brother Valentino [TRINIDAD & TOBAGO]
Last Chance Dub (Joe Ariwa feat. Annie Brown) – Val Veneto [ARGENTINA/UK]
Previously on Africa In Your Earbuds: JAKOBSNAKE, CHRISTIAN TIGER SCHOOL, SAUL WILLIAMS, TUNE-YARDS, MATHIEU SCHREYER, BLK JKS, ALEC LOMAMI, DJ MOMA, AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA, PETITE NOIR, OLUGBENGA, RICH MEDINA, VOICES OF BLACK, LAMIN FOFANA, CHICO MANN, DJ UNDERDOG, DJ OBAH, SABINE, BROTHA ONACI, DJ AQBT, JUST A BAND, STIMULUS, QOOL DJ MARV, SINKANE, CHIEF BOIMA.