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Mozambican Beatmaker Nandele's Dilla-Inspired 'Fin O Humano (E O Regresso Do Boom Bap)'

Mozambican beatsmith Nandele makes his debut with the J Dilla-inspired 'Argolas Delciosas' EP.


Hailing from Maputo, Mozambique, budding beatsmith Nandele is the son of the first black director of the Mozambican National Radio after the country's independence. It's only natural that, through his father, he developed a special connection to music after being exposed to a healthy diversity of artists ranging from Hugh Masekela to Toots and the Maytals. By the early 90s Nandele was learning to play the drums and soon began performing in local venues, first with a grunge band and later with in a hip-hop project. He continued to expand his talents with several DJ gigs around Maputo as well as a brief residency in the city's most historic bar, Gil Vicente.  In 2013 Nandele was invited to DJ for the band Azagaia & Os Cortadores de Lenha–one of the more prominent rap collectives in lusophone Africa.

Inspired by the need to create his own rhythms, Nandele has now stepped out on his own to release his first solo project, Argolas Deliciosas (which translates to Sweet Rings). Conceived as a tribute to the late J Dilla, Argolas Deliciosas fuses all of Nandele's influences into a series of beats that lightly reference the genres of dubstep, trap, instrumental hip-hop and electronica. Conceptually, the six-track EP is a sonic escape to ethereal atmospheres or, better yet, a journey to a distant planet in a foreign galaxy for deep contemplation and self-reflection. Argolas Deliciosas will be available on February 25th, 2015 via Kongoloti Records. Listen to the first single "Fin o Humano (E O Regresso Do Boom Bap)" below.

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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