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The Happy Show Premiere Their 'African Surf Safari' Mixtape

DJ duo The Happy Show blend early afrobeat rhythms with psychedelic 70s funk and disco in the 'African Surf Safari' mixtape.


South African, New York-based DJ Xander Ferreira (aka Gazelle) and UK native Findlay Brown of the afro-funk duo The Happy Show release their latest African Surf Safari mixtape just in time for summer. African Surf Safari is a collection of colorful, African surf-rock tracks with an infectiously breezy, beach vibe – a playlist perfect to jam out to on a balmy summer day. The nearly hour-long mixtape features jaunty tracks boasting rich electric guitar and piano riffs, as well as early afrobeat rhythms accompanied by psychedelic 1970s funk, disco, and soul compositions. In addition to dropping African Surf Safari this week, The Happy Show will also be throwing their new Happy Show Monthly dance soirée at Happy Ending in NYC this Tuesday June 30, you can find out more about the party here and in the flyer underneath. Stream the 13-track African Surf Safari compilation and check out the full tracklist below. For more from The Happy Show, revisit their previous Africa In Your Earbuds mix.

African Surf Safari Tracklist

Chant to Mother Earth - Blo

The Quest - Afro Cult Foundation

Gbei Kpakpa Hife Sika - Waza-Afriko 76

There Is Time - Bokoor Band

Ne Noya - Cos-Ber-Zam

Wait for Me - Roger Damawuzan

Obiara Wondo - The Cutlass Band

Leki Santchi - Napo De Mi Amor et Ses Black Devils

Mi Ma Kpe Dji - Picoby Band D’Abomey

Inkonjane Jive - Zed Nkabinde

Yeah Yeah Ku Yeah - Bokoor Band

Ma Nserew Me - Apagya Show Band

Mmamakhabtha - Damara

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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