Much of our experiences with the club-focussed permutations of traditional African music have one thing in common: sampling. Whether it’s a call and response vocal, hand-held percussion or a marimba loop, those organic textures offer a powerful juxtaposition to the synthetic sounds we’re so familiar with in the realms of contemporary dance music.
The fact that Gary Gritness has turned his back on this method of work makes his collaboration with Jacob Mafuleni all the more intriguing. Returning to Nyami Nyami Records after assisting on their first release with Chiwoniso, the mbira maestro offers up two tracks that were recorded in Harare with his wife Martha Thom on vocals and traditional percussion ocho. Clone records affiliate Gary Gritness then harnesses the natural flow of the original arrangement and feeds it through his TR 808 drum machine, to create a minimal afro-techno fusion. One for the warm-up, we’ve got a first play for the club edit of ‘Atuka Mhondoro’.
Atuka Mhondoro EP is out 15th April on Nyami Nyami Records. Pre-order from Redeye Records.