News

New Sounds: Pan African Space Station


“There are other worlds out there that they never told you about”, says the tag line of the legendary Pan African Space Station (PASS), hinting at the sonic pilgrimage of discovery yet to be undertaken. Started in 2008 by musician Neo Muyanga and publisher Ntone Edjabe, the web-based radio station is a “cross-cultural and cyber-spatial exploration, bringing together diverse pan-African sounds from ancient techno to future roots.”

Streamed mainly from Tagore’s in Cape Town, South Africa, with satellite stations in Limbe, Cameroon, and Kisangani in the DRC, (plans are afoot to set up new stations in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya later this year) PASS, according to Muyanga and Edjabe, “embraces the lineages that shape music making on and from this continent, but we also try to challenge the stereotypes associated with music from Africa. This project isn’t about connecting with one’s roots; it’s more about exploring African cosmopolitanism in this 21st century through music.”

Once a year, PASS organises a 30-day music ‘intervention’ in Cape Town, featuring a host of African avant-garde musicians exploring new territories of sound. You can listen to "PASScasts" and view videos of previous PASS events (like Plan Be below) and access the radio station here.

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Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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