“Basar” is the new album from Berlin based duo Africaine 808, and it pushes their divine blend of West African bass and rhythms, disco, island-funk and house to newer heights. Their deep and timeless debut is about “Freedom and Freedom only” and is an album that reaches for the party Arthur Russell was talking about when he said “I wanna see all my friends at once.”
Africaine 808 are musician and producer Dirk Leyers, formerly one half of the project Closer Musik, and Berlin DJ and established artist Nomad. The pair met in Berlin at the city’s annual summer techno demonstration Fuckparade in 2000, where they caught the infamous “Techno Viking” scene
live as it unfolded. Nomad got his first drum aged 6 years old, from a church collective yard sale. Now an avid collector of African influenced musical styles, from South African Shangaan to Westafrican Funk, his rhythmic quest has lead him to study and explore African and world music for almost 3 decades. Nowadays Nomad’s legendary Vulkandance parties are a melting pot of African, Latin, and Caribbean club music.
The title “Basar” comes from the ancient term for “oriental marketplace”, a place to experience a multitude of impressions with your senses. Like an exotic marketplace, “Basar” is filled with different sights and sounds around every corner. From the deep and mystical “NGONI” which takes West African music to the rave with wobbling bass and hints of 90s ethno-dub to the killer
squirmer of a bassline on “Language of the Bass ft. Alex Voices” which keeps things heavy but nimble whilst recapturing UK bass histrionics. The smokey, soulful tones of OFRIN on “Ready For Something New” offers a mystical downbeat gem. Whereas “Balla Balla” takes it back to the
dancefloor for a sweaty rhythmic number that bounces off the walls with it’s tribal funk groove. Recent 12” single “Rhythm Is All You Can Dance” also makes an appearance; wedding funk, earthy rhythms and frenzied African grooves to the gurgle of an 808.
The duo made their debut back in 2013 with “Tummy Tummy”; which featured on Will Speculators W.T. Recordings compilation “DJ MUSCLE.” The following year Golf Channel put out “Lagos New York.” Pairing New York flecked disco with West African bass and rhythms, “Lagos New York” made for one of 2014’s most essential electronic releases.
Having found the right home with one of the best labels (and parties) in New York City, the Berliners debut album “Basar” has the feeling of an essential album all over – a big, brooding, emotional and uplifting record that you can dance, laugh and cry to.