Tracka De Day: Owiny Sigoma Band's "Hera" (Sun Araw Remix)

The original “Hera” is a tribal affair – full of folky Kenyan drumbeats and a chanted, repeating chorus – but when Sun Araw, the woozy one-man psychedelic outfit, gets on the Owiny Sigoma Band’s track for a remix, he transports it to outer space. Sun Araw said of the original and the remix, "inspiring rhythms, sort of just went voyaging on them."  The inspiration seems mutual.  Jesse Hackett, who plays keys for Owiny Sigoma and the Gorillaz, talks about Sun Araw's remix:

I was lucky to meet with Cameron (aka Sun Araw) last year and had an immediate musical connection. I had found his music online and immediately loved it. Its warm soulful tones, deep spiritual intensity, and amazing sound struck me straight away. When I met Cameron, I found he was a total music specialist, articulate, and open minded and very specific in his tastes. Sun Araw's Beach Head EP was the soundtrack to my first visit to LA and I was lucky to go jam with him and some friends one evening. I love his music and it's a great honor that he did a mix for our group. I hope to do more collaborations with him very soon.

Check it out right here:

Owiny Sigoma Band - "Hera" (Sun Araw Remix) by noraritchie


7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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