Today in bass techno-utopianism | Bleader

Friday, January 20, 2012

Today in bass techno-utopianism

Posted By on 01.20.12 at 11:00 AM

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In South Africa there's a style of dance music called Shangaan electro—named after the tribe whose musical tradition it's based in—that uses maniacally fast tempos and hypnotically repetitive looping melodies to fuel a dance style that demands such speed and agility that, watching YouTube clips of it, you can have a hard time accepting that the footage hasn't been sped up or tweaked in some way. Which is just about exactly the same way you'd describe Chicago footwork music.

Last year ethnomusicologically inclined London label Honest Jon's released a compilation of Shangaan electro, and some smart person there had the idea of hiring Chicago footwork producers—RP Boo, DJ Rashad, and DJ Spinn—to remix Shangaan electro tracks. Abetting transoceanic collaborations between musicians who work in tiny niche communities that even a decade ago might never have had contact with listeners in the wider world (never mind with one another) makes me want to forgive the Internet for all the other awful shit it does.

Here's a taste of Shangaan footwork:

Rashad and Spinn Meet Tshetsha Boys (clip) by Honest Jons

R.P. Boo Meets Shangaan Electro (clip) by Honest Jons

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