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Christian Tiger School Share 'Chorisolo,' The First Release Off Their Tommy Boy Debut

Cape Town production duo Christian Tiger School share "Chorisolo," the first release off their Tommy Boy Entertainment debut, 'Chrome Tapes.'


Photo: Kent Andreasen

On Tuesday we had the pleasure to announce that Cape Town-based production duo Christian Tiger School had signed with New York City's iconic Tommy Boy Entertainment and they'll be releasing their sophomore album through their new label home later in June. Chrome Tapes, which was previously teased as a limited edition cassette back in 2014, sees South African producers Luc Vermeer and Sebastian Zanasi integrate a more scientific whirlwind of techno, house and experimental sounds to their hazy, L.A. beat scene-inspired hip-hop production. "Chrome Tapes is a further exploration of the music we’ve been making over the last year and half," the guys told us over email. "It was really interesting playing around with different tempos, sounds and textures. There’s definitely a more melancholic side to our music that comes out in Chrome Tapes, something that didn’t really feature that much on our first full length."

Today Christian Tiger School shared the very first official release off their forthcoming LP over at Spin. "Chorisolo" is a thumping 6-minute burst of uptempo percussion, glittery effects and a minimal vocal loop. Listen to it below (plus watch the making of the track they created with Bilal and World's Fair for Okayafrica/Okayplayer's Player Xchange series. For more on Chrome Tapes, read our interview with Christian Tiger School's Vermeer and Zanasi here.

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6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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