Video

The Busy Twist 'Labadi Warrior'

The Busy Twist's 'Labadi Warrior' is the first track off their forthcoming Labadi Warrior EP via The People's Ear.


Ghana-obsessed Londoners The Busy Twist are back on our radar following dual-city banger "LDN LUANDA PT. 2" back in March. In the lead-up to the production duo's forthcoming EP, "Labadi Warrior" is an early taste of Ghanaian-infused UK bass– a fusion of grimey basslines, which in this case sample drumming from their namesake source the Labadi Warriors (the Accra drumming group featured in the video). Shot and edited by The Busy Twist's Gabriel Benn and Ollie Williams, the video immerses viewers into a world of dope rhythms and infectious dance moves. The Labadi Warrior EP is due out February 24th via The People's Ear. In the meantime, watch the visuals for the first track 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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