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'African Night Life Ravers' Mixes & Malian Electro-Dub From Midnight Ravers

Okayafrica takes a look at Midnight Ravers, the Malian multimedia electro-dub project from Dominque Peters of High Tone

French dub musician Dominique Peter first traveled to Mali in 2010 after being captivated by the ambient Mandinka blues of the West African nation. Two years later, Peter returned with cartoonist Emmanuel Prost in tow to launch Midnight Ravers, an audiovisual project that married Peter's love of art with his burgeoning interest in the soundscapes of veteran Malian musicians such as Boubacar Traoré, Toumani Diabaté and Ali Farka Touré (whose son is Okayafrica favorite Vieux Farka Touré).


The project's debut album, Le Triomphe du Chaos (which arrived last October via Irfan(le label)), brought together some of Mali's finest contemporary vocalists and multi-instrumentalists for a full multimedia exploration of popular Malian music. The 8-track LP featured appearances from Samba Diabaté on guitar, Assaba Dramé on ngoni and tama, Mamadou Diabaté (son of legendary kora king Sidiki Diabaté and brother of Grammy Award-nominated kora player Toumani Diabaté) on kora, and Cheik Diallo on flute. As the first solo effort from the High Tone drummer and his Malian collaborators, the album showcased Peter's departure from the less atmospheric sample-based tracks that he was accustomed to producing as part of his pioneering French dub band in favor of a more "authentic" sound. Prost's illustrations of the entire recording process in Bamako culminated in a unique visual diary of the creation of Le Triomphe du Chaos featuring over fifty large-framed paintings and original drawings, some of which can be seen in the gallery above.

Peter's latest endeavors since the release of Le Triomphe du Chaos continue to revolve around Mali's rich musical tradition with a stellar set of mixes dubbed African Night Life Ravers. Featuring hits from pivotal figures in the development of Malian orchestral music such as Ama Maiga, Super Biton de Ségou, Salif Keita and his Rail Band de Bamako, Kanté Manfila and Super Djata, the two sets are extensive meditations on the polyrhythmic compositions and hypnotic vocals from the golden age of Malian music. Stream and download both African Night Life Ravers mixes plus an animated music video by Benoit Boucher and Arnaud Lhomme below. Le Triomphe du Chaos is out now on iTunes .

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Chinonye Chukwu Will Direct the First Two Episodes of HBO Max's Upcoming 'Americanah' Series

Here's the latest news surrounding the highly-anticipated limited series, starring Lupita Nyong'o, Uzo Aduba and more.

Nigerian-American director Chinonye Chukwu is set to helm the first two episodes of the upcoming limited series Americanah, starring Lupita Nyong'o.

Chukwu is the award-winning filmmaker, behind the critically-acclaimed film Clemency, which won the 2019 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, making her the first Black woman to win the award.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

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