Audio

Audio: African Hitech "Blen"

With static bass kicks sprinkled, C-3PO-sounding tones and rude boy toasts, "Blen" makes for another true afro-futurist track from Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek's project, African Hitech. The latest album, 93 Million Miles, represents, as some have said, an "eclectic diaspora of electronic styles" that is largely backed by broken-beat, African-inspired sensibilities. With a nice mix of bass heavy space beats, and atmospheric chill out tracks, this release is ahead of its time. Other noteworthy tracks include 'light the way", "Out in the Streets", and "Dont Fight it."  Listen to "Blen" below.


African Hitech — “Blen”

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.

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