Audio

AFRICA IN YOUR EARBUDS #45: LARRY ACHIAMPONG

Download an African music Africa In Your Earbuds mixtape from Larry Achiampong.


London-based producer Larry Achiampong stumbled onto our radar through his stellar More Mogya LP, in which he flipped vintage Ghanaian highlife records and placed them on top of alluring hip-hop beats. Larry wrote extensively on the creation, history and meaning of his Africa In Your Earbuds mixtape, so we'll let his words do the talking:

With this mixtape, I intended to... amalgamate moments from both my audible heritage and musical-related experiences of my upbringing. African music, especially highlife, were a strong part of my childhood. My parents did a good job in retaining... their collection of highlife jams that they brought from Ghana in the early 80s and would play such classics as Alhaji K. Frimpong’s KyenKyen Bi Adi M’awu. To hear that unmistakable crackle from the vinyl always gave me joy and for some reason I have since that moment continued to associate the vinyl crackle with the sound of something cooking in the kitchen. I think that is why I love playing vinyl, because of its strong connection to memory and ritual.

To... see my uncle crafting mixtapes by mixing highlife classics with American Disco and R&B was a sight in itself. I watched him like football fans might their favourite player – I could see how much he was in love with the sound and how it made him happy... I wanted to feel what he was feeling, to be in on the secret that had his spirit so sprung... My father also played in a band at a church that my family attended for many years in south London. One of the strangest things I found about this band was that they never really had rehearsals, all of the guys were family men and had to hold down their responsibilities with their full time jobs, but they sure didn’t sound like a band that never had time. They were always tight, they had that unique ability to jam and work into each other’s contour in a way that made you believe a higher spirit was with you.

Moments like the ones that I’ve described above as well as experiences like hearing my first hip-hop album in NaSIllmatic, listening to makeshift pirate radio stations… these pockets of experience are connected to [a] second thing that I wanted to do with this mixtape: to re-present some of those elements of nostalgia via my music production efforts.

Stream and download Larry Achiampong's Africa In Your Earbuds #45 mixtape below, which features Larry's original productions, a good amount of Madlib beats and plenty of vintage highlife. Big thanks to Underdog for the cover artwork [original photo of Larry Achiampong by Kate Keara Pelen]. Hear more gems from Larry Achiampong over at his bandcamp / facebook /website

TRACKLIST

1. "Hunting Theme" By Madlib

2. "Yafeu" By Madlib

3. "Twelve" By Mo' Kolours

4. "SlumBop" By FreshNerd & Tommy Rickard

5. "Osu A Meresu" By Atakora Manu

6. "Obiaa Ne Mre Bebe" By City Boys Band

7. "Bullwalk" By The Comrades

8. "Community" By Larry Achiampong

9. "Some Jokes Are Expensive" By Larry Achiampong

10. "Problematic" By OH NO

11. "Tuff N Smooth" By Al Quetz

12. "Harbour Song/ Asantehene Ceremonial Drums" (BBC field recording)

13. "Kyenkyen Bi Adi M'awu By Alhaji K. Frimpong

14. "Tamfo Nyi Ekyir" By Apagya Showband

15. "Hustler" By Tony Allen.

16. "Kulunmanqueleshi" By Mulatu Astatke

17. "Funeral Parlor" By OH NO

18. "Mandingo Swing" By Madlib

19. "Sew N' Reap" By Larry Achiampong

20. "WO BE KU ME" By Larry Achiampong

Like African music? Previously on Africa In Your Earbuds: KYLA-ROSE SMITH OF FRESHLYGROUNDTHE GTWRADIO TANZANIAJON THEODOREDESMOND & THE TUTUSMATHIEU SCHREYER IIYOUNG FATHERSBBRAVE OF AKWAABAOLD MONEYDJ NEPTUNESAHEL SOUNDSBEATENBERGM1 [DEAD PREZ]BODDHI SATVAL’AFRIQUE SOM SYSTEMENOMADIC WAXTHE BROTHER MOVES ONLVBEN ASSITER [JAMES BLAKE'S DRUMMER]JAKOBSNAKECHRISTIAN TIGER SCHOOLSAUL WILLIAMSTUNE-YARDSMATHIEU SCHREYERBLK JKSALEC LOMAMIDJ MOMAAWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICAPETITE NOIROLUGBENGARICH MEDINA, VOICES OF BLACK, LAMIN FOFANA, CHICO MANNDJ UNDERDOGDJ OBAHSABINEBROTHA ONACIDJ AQBTJUST A BANDSTIMULUSQOOL DJ MARVSINKANECHIEF BOIMA

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Ayra Starr Is Ready to Take Off

We talk to the rising Nigerian star about growing up between Cotonou & Lagos, meeting Don Jazzy and how she made her explosive debut EP.