News, reviews and commentary on afrobeat and related music from Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Soundway Launches New Collaborative Music Project with Batida Release

By Robert Fox
Since 2002, Soundway Records from the UK has set the standard for unearthing and re-releasing crucial recordings from the golden era of 70s-era West African big band music. As much as anyone in the world, they can take credit for bringing modern attention to this incredibly creative and compelling period of musical output.  In recent years, they have expanded their reach to include brilliant compilations of old-school funky roots music from Columbia, Panama, Belize, Thailand and more.  Their super-cool online radio show and podcast is essential listening.  Therefore it's exciting news that they are expanding their efforts to include the production of new music by artists inspired by Soundway's groovy, archival vision.  The opening shot will be on March 26th with the debut release by Batida, the brainchild of Angolan / Portuguese DJ Mpula aka Pedro Coquenão.  Here's more info from Soundway, along with a free download of the track "Tirei o Chapeu," as well as two accompanying videos: 
Soundway are proud to release the debut album of Portuguese/Angolan DJ Mpula aka Pedro Coquenão. A distinctly modern and vibrant project with its feet firmly rooted in the past, Batida combine samples from old 1970s Angolan tracks with modern electronic dance music. Simply put, Batida is the sound of the wildest Angolan street party.
Being the first of a string of brand new projects, this eponymous first album sees Soundway taking a slightly different direction in 2012 and beyond. Championed mostly for their work in un-earthing and re-releasing classic, rare and vintage tropical recordings, Soundway have started signing new acts that have drawn on and been inspired by the kind of music found on the label’s groundbreaking compilations and re-issues.
What originally started out as a radio show designed to promote new African music has slowly evolved into a collaborative project crossing continents. Music is the starting point but through dance, graphics, photography, radio and video, Batida expands, taking in politics and social commentary but always bringing it back to the party.
Batida’s high energy live show features dancers, percussionists, DJs, MCs alongside visuals and images (both archive and new) of Angolan streets, war and fragments of tribal life.
Batida will be making their first live performance of the year at this years Eurosonic festival in The Netherlands.

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