Audio

Audio: DJ Okapi 'Afrosynth XI - On The Move' [Mixtape]


DJ Okapi digs up South African "bubblegum/disco" gems from the late 80 and early 90s, showcasing individual releases and collecting tracks onto mixtapes that he features on his Afro-Synth blog. On The Move marks his 11th mixtape release of vintage pop tunes often unheard outside of SA due to the cultural boycott of the 1980s. We asked Okapi to him to expand on his mix:

Building on the vibe of some of my favourite tracks from the previous mix, Winner Takes All, with the latest mix On The Move I focus on the R&B/disco-funk that some of the more innovative South African artists were recording in the second half of the 80s - artists like Cisco, Funky Masike, Melvyn Matthews, Ymage and Om Alec. While the American influence is obvious, all [the artists] managed to inject some local flavour — rather than cheap imitations, these songs show how SA acts translated international trends for local audiences.

Tata's "Afro Breakdance" is a good example. Listeners from overseas will again be pleasantly surprised to hear how diverse the local scene was at the time of the cultural boycott and how fresh it still sounds today. The second half of the album is vintage bubblegum more similar to previous mixes — acts like Dan Nkosi, Zone 3, CJB, Ali Katt and Lazarus Kgagudi were all big local stars in the 80s — ending with a novelty hit by the late reggae legend Lucky Dube, using the name Oom Hansie.

Stream Afrosynth XI: On The Move below and download it from Afro-Synth's site.

>>>Download (via Afro-Synth)

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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