International dance veterans Tama Sumo and Lakuti know the best routes through music’s past and present | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

International dance veterans Tama Sumo and Lakuti know the best routes through music’s past and present 

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click to enlarge Tama Sumo and Lakuti

Tama Sumo and Lakuti

Courtesy the Artist

Tama Sumo and Lakuti, each a key player in electronic music for nearly three decades, have been linked professionally and romantically for several years, even though their journeys started in different continents. Lerato Khathi, aka Lakuti, went to her first rave in Johannesburg in 1990, and since then she’s worn several hats: DJ, promoter, booking agent, and label head. She established her first label, Süd Electronic, while living in London in 2002 (during that time she also organized a series of underground parties, also called Süd Electronic). Within five years, Lakuti had moved to Berlin, where she launched the Uzuri Recordings imprint, established the Uzuri Artist Bookings & Management agency, and met her future partner in life and music. Born Kerstin Egert, Tama Sumo got her first DJ gig in 1993, spinning at a bar called Drama in Berlin’s hip Kreuzberg neighborhood. She’s since grown into a foundational figure in Berlin’s dance scene, and maintains a residency at the city’s internationally renowned club Berghain (as well as at its smaller adjacent venue, Panorama Bar). Lakuti and Tama Sumo began collaborating musically a few years ago, and in their DJ mixes they reach across dance music’s past and draw from their own histories to develop expansive, engrossing musical narratives. They made their first Web mix for Discwoman in 2017, weaving house and techno edits together with Tall Black Guy’s arty hip-hop, Loleatta Holloway’s refined disco, and Allan Harris’s rangy jazz. The mix lasts just short of two hours, but with all its unexpected turns and uplifting jolts, I wish it could soundtrack my entire day.   v

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