News

Sinkane 'How We Be' (Lexx Remix)

Listen to Swiss DJ Lexx's dub remix of Sinkane's 'How We Be,' off his forthcoming sophomore effort 'Mean Love.'


Photo by Philip Di Fiore

Sinkane (aka the solo project of Sudanese-born/Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab) is gearing up to release his sophomore effort Mean Love next month off DFA / City Slang. Gallab, who has most recently served as the musical director/bandleader of the excellent Atomic Bomb! supergroup tribute to the music of William Onyeabor, co-produced the new album along with his longtime collaborator and childhood friend Greg Lofaro. So far we've heard been treated to the silky smooth lead single "Hold Tight" and its follow-up "How We Be." The latter was recently remixed by Zürich's DJ Lexx, who adds a dubbed out groove to the airy original. Listen to the semi-tropical rework below. Mean Love arrives 9/2 on DFA Records in North America and City Slang worldwide. Catch Sinkane this Saturday, August 9th, at Okayafrica Presents Electrafrique NYC at the 303 at Louie & Chan along with hosts DJ Underdog and Cortega. Entry is free with RSVP.

>>>RSVP For FREE Entry to Okayafrica Presents Electrafrique NYC W/ Sinkane (Sat. August 9th)

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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