Audio

AFRICA IN YOUR EARBUDS #53: ALEXIS TAYLOR OF HOT CHIP

Download Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor's North African mixtape for our AIYE series.


Cover artwork by Underdog.

After witnessing Alexis Taylor take part in the William Onyeabor live shows and looping his band's "Atomic Bomb" cover incessantly in the office, we knew we had to get him to do an Africa In Your Earbuds tape. The Hot Chip frontman came through with a North African-centered mix crafted out of Moroccan market finds and his own field recordings. It's a slow burner, which starts at trot pace and builds patiently to more percussive tracks by the 20-minute mark. Alexis explains:

The music on this mix comes from compilation CDs from market stalls in Marrakech, and from street musicians selling their own CDs, as well as my own field recordings of dawn and dusk prayer sounds and general Medina music/noise. Some of the music comes from the Gnawa tradition, and the low lute-like instrument you hear on some of the recordings is the Sintir or Guembri (or Gimbri or even Hejhouj), a three stringed skin-covered bassy instrument. My favourite music collected here is the opening piece (after my short field recording ends) which is performed by an unnamed (on his CD-R) musician who was playing whilst I walked down a narrow backstreet one evening on a recent visit. Despite no name, song or title information being printed on his CD-Rs he had for sale, I recently found this footage of him: and this also, where he performs the same music but in a different key.

I also very much like the second piece, known as Maquamat, attributed to Musique Douce (which may just be the CD name), for it's combination of soft keyboard sounds and drum machine (all in the same keyboard I imagine) along with the Oud, another lute instrument. I hope you enjoy this mix. Sorry there is not much in the way of information about performers or song names, dates of recording etc.

Stream and download Africa In Your Earbuds #53, mixed by Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor below and make sure to check out all of our previous mixtapes listed underneath.

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Get more African mixtapes from Africa In Your Earbuds:

CARLOS MENA — ZACH COWIE — ELIJAH WOOD — KOOL A.D. — SOL POWER ALL-STARS — DJ NUNAS — NIC OFFER OF !!! — LARRY ACHIAMPONG — KYLA-ROSE SMITH OF FRESHLYGROUND— THE GTW — RADIO TANZANIA — JON THEODORE — DESMOND & THE TUTUS — MATHIEU SCHREYER II — YOUNG FATHERS — BBRAVE OF AKWAABA — OLD MONEY — DJ NEPTUNE — SAHEL SOUNDS — BEATENBERG — M1 [DEAD PREZ] — BODDHI SATVA — L’AFRIQUE SOM SYSTEME — NOMADIC WAX —  THE BROTHER MOVES ON — LV — BEN ASSITER [JAMES BLAKE'S DRUMMER] — 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

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

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

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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.

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