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Okayfuture Audio: King Britt's Sonic Journey Into Afrofuturism

Stream veteran producer King Britt's podcast and sonic journey in the African electronic music style of Afrofuturism.


The family over at Okayfuture point towards this podcast + mix on the origins and current mutations of "Afrofuturism" from veteran producer and heavyweight remixer King Britt The man himself wrote some enlightening words on the subject for OKF:

I was asked a few months ago to curate a show on Afrofuturism and its influences on me and my compositional work. Afrofuturism is a term originated by Mark Dery who did an essay in the New York Times in 1995 called “Black To The Future.” It became a very famous term among Afro American musicians who embrace Science Fiction, realities of space and time, and who tend to look at other worlds, comic books, and that sort of thing, as a way of escape. You have authors like Octavia Butler who wrote Kindred and other amazing books, Kodwo Eshun who wrote More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction, which really go into breaking down what Afrofuturism is. But basically it is the African American sound that embraces Science Fiction pioneered by artists Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Sun-Ra, Parliament Funkadelic, DJ Spooky, just to name a few.

The mix is part of the Noise From The 18th Floor series, presented by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. Listen to my interview with Tracy Tanenbaum as well as musical selections, listed and streamed below.

Stream A Sonic Journey Into AfroFuturism below, music starts around the 8:40 mark. For more from King Britt and Afrofuturism check out our recent interview with him and Tendai Maraire on their Zimbabwe project.

Part 1:

“Kawaida” -Kawaida

“Gamla Stan” – Don Cherry

plus: an interview with Alondra Nelson

“Ostinato” – Herbie Hancock (as Mwandishi)

“John McLaughlin” – Miles Davis

“Space Is the Place (Live)”- Sun Ra

plus: an interview with Pearl Britt

“Feel”- George Duke

“Rien Neva Plus” – Funk Factory

“Cabral” – Mtume feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater

“Radhe Shyam” – Alice Coltrane

plus: an interview with Sun Ra

Part 2:

“African Roots”- King Tubby

“Eyjafjallajokul” – Mad Professor

“Zodiac Shit” – Flying Lotus

“Ahoulaghuine Akaline (King Britt Remix)” – Bombino

“Teleport” – Headless Headhunters

“Nights Over Nantes” – Jneiro Jarel

“Castles” – HouseShoes feat. Jimetta Rose

“Brgundy” – MndDsgn

“Connect” – Some Other Ship

“All in Forms (Leatherette Remix)” – Bonobo

“Light Odyssey” – Union

“Planetary Analysis” – King Britt feat. Rich Media

“Discipline 3” – Ras G

plus: an interview with Sun Ra

“Heritage Ship” – Madlib

“Emotional Quotient Deringer of Chiek Anta Diop” -King Britt feat. Rilners Jouegck

“New Wave” -Common feat. Stereolab

“The Stars Are Singing Too” – Build an Ark

“Bug in the Bassbin” – Innerzone Orchestra

“Raven” – Actress

“Voodoo Ray” – A Guy Called Gerald

“Dem Young Scones” – Moodymann

“Flower (King Britt’s Underwater Garden Dub Remix)” – Soul Dhamma

“Planet Rock” – Afrika Bambaataa

“Mozaik” – Zomby

“Endgame” – Antipop Consortium

“Loveless” – 4Hero feat. Ursula

Part 3: Tomorrow

“Beyond the Sun (Live)” – Fhloston Paradigm

“Endeavors for Never (The Last Time We Spoke You Said You Were Not Here. I Saw You Though.)” – Shabazz Palaces

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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