Video

Malian Electro-Dub Meets Animation In This Video From Midnight Ravers

3 Malian and 3 French artists form Midnight Ravers, an audiovisual project that blends traditional West African sounds & electronic beats.


In 2012, three Malian and three French artists connected to form Midnight Ravers, an audiovisual project that explores the meeting points between traditional West African sounds and electronic beatwork.

The group—comprised of Malian vocalist Fatim Kouyate, electronic n’goni player Assaba Drame, producer Dominique Peter, kora musician Mamadou Diabate Sidiki, illustrator/painter Emmanuel Prost and videographer Pierre Duforeau—have just put out their sophomore album Sou Kono, a follow-up to last year’s Le Triomphe du Chaos.

The clip for “Exil” (“Exile”), one of the highlights from the new record, superimposes Prost’s illustrations over idyllic shots of a lone canoe rider going down the Niger River for a unique Bamako visual excursion.

Watch our premiere of the video below and grab Midnight Ravers’ 11-song Sou Kono, available now on Jarring Effects. Catch the band live on their upcoming European tour dates listed underneath and revisit their previous video for "Diarabi."

Midnight Ravers European Winter Tour Dates

12/3 @ EMB Sannois

12/4 @ Bars en Trans -Rennes

12/5 @ FGO Barbara -Paris

12/9 @ Transbordeur -Lyon

12/12 @ La Pêche -Montreuil

12/14 @ RFI - Bande Passante Live

12/18 @ Iboat - Bordeaux

12/19 @ La Basane - Miramont de Guyenne

Music

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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