Top Five: Thris Tian’s Global Roots

Fresh off the back of supporting Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace on their European tour, Brownswood’s Owiny Sigoma Band bring their hypnotic brand of Afro-tech to Village Underground on 1 August. They will be headlining Global Roots, the brainchild of Boiler Room/NTS music aficionado Thristian bPm, and the creative umbrella for him to explore sounds from across the world on his blog and weekly NTS show. That term is not used lightly, there really is no place he won’t look.

In anticipation for the first in a series of Global Roots events, which also welcomes Auntie Flo, Thris Tian answered a few questions for us and picked his favourite Global Roots at the moment. For more information about the night and to buy tickets, head over to the Brownswood website.

We hear you’ve just come back from NYC for a couple of weeks. How was it and what did you get up to? 

Yeah it was great. It was mainly a holiday. I managed to get a friends flat in the West Village for two weeks. So I just hung out, checked out what was going on, and spent too much in shops. It was great though, I felt like a resident more than a tourist. It’s always nice to feel naturally comfortable.

I’m sure you’ve answered one or two questions about your antics with Boiler Room, so let’s focus on Global Roots. You’ll be putting on a night with Owiny Sigoma Baninane Auntie Flo on 1 August. Is this the first Global Roots outing since your residency with Gilles Peterson at Plastic People? 

Yeah it is, we named it Global Roots off the cuff for Plastic People and then I started using it for my radio show on NTS. It seemed to fit and work quite well, so we’re running with it. There’s a few more plans and ideas floating around and starting to settle. So yeah, it’s really exciting.

For anyone who did go to the Global Roots nights at Plastic People, what’s in store?

First and foremost the music will be really enjoyable. The crowd should be friendly and appreciative. I’m not 100& sure what I’ll play, but it won’t be a traditional ‘world music’ set. It’ll be African rhythms and drums infused with electronic stabs and drops. It should be a lot of fun.

I love Owiny Sigoma, and haven’t seen them play for ages. It’s a great combination of enthusiastic musicians from Kenya and London combining their sounds and vibes. They’re just finished their tour with Thom Yorke’s ATOMS FOR PEACE, so it’ll be interesting to see how they’ve gelled as a band, maybe made some new tunes and learnt from someone as experienced as Thom.

Auntie Flo are great, a real revelation. It’s colourful, interactive, powerful, electronic, tribal. It sounds like I’m hyping it, but i’m not. They’re sick, and travelling the world playing their music because of it.

The fact that Village Underground are hosting a night like yours is testament to how successfully African sounds are infiltrating electronic music in 2013. Why do you think the combination works so well and is seeing such favour with western audiences at the moment?

I’m not sure to be honest. It sounds great, it always has. I think the technology is there and available for african and non african artists to mould together different influences in their music. Whether that’s techno, afrobeat, garage or highlife. The samples are easier to access through the internet, tricks and tools of the trade are becoming cheaper. It’s allowing people to not only experiment with sounds, but also to gain access to exactly what they wanna hear.

Thris Tian’s Top Five Global Roots

Listen to four of his selections in the playlist below, then the last, which goes so deep, Soundcloud and YouTube have never heard of it!

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