Sanscapes Vol 1
World Music

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Sanscapes Vol. 1
Visions Of The Bushmen

Remixes from the album Bushmen of the Kalahari

 

Track Listing (60 Second Samples)



  1. ANNA GOUTE - INTRO
  2. RAJ GUPTA - HUNGRY MAN (AFTER DINNER MIX)
  3. ANIMAL RADIO - KALAHARI WARRIORS (SQUIDDLY MIX)
  4. MAHDI HADDAB - NXA
  5. KRISHNA/RASHID - QUANDODO REMIX
  6. DUB TREES - KALAHARI (DUB DISCO MIX)
  7. GAMBIT - TRIBAL CHESS
  8. KIRK DEGIORGIO - CRY OF THE BUSHMEN
  9. SMADJ - SWEET WILD REMIX
  10. ABZOLUTE ZERO - ETHNIC MIX
  11. SOUL DRUMMERS - CELEBRATION MIX
  12. BOB HOLROYD - LOOKING BACK
  13. ZENA EDWARDS - KHOISAN ULTRA AFRICAN


Making music is the most primeval form of human expression, imbued with a mystical power to communicate at an instinctual level that transcends language and speaks directly to the soul. The San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert are South Africa's oldest inhabitants having lived in the region for at least twenty five thousand years. For them, music and dance are not merely creative expressions, but an integral part of their being. Tragically, after decades of systematic marginalisation and dislocation, the modern world threatens to eradicate these ancient people, their culture as hunter-gatherers, and to silence their strange and beautiful music. SanScapes - Visions of the Bushmen draws its inspiration from this ancient culture, bringing their creativity and musical imagination into the realm of contemporary western dance culture. Using the raw and undiluted recordings revealed on Pops Mohamed Presents the Bushmen of the Kalahari (BW2128), some of the worlds best and most diverse producers and remix artists have embraced the traditional sounds of the San, weaving them into a contemporary digital setting. Artists include Raj Gupta, Simon Emmerson (Afro Celts), Kirk Degiorgio, Smadj, Ekova, Soul Drummers, Gambit, Krishna/Rashid, Pete Lockett, Youth, and Bob Holroyd; all of whom have delved deep into one of the earthís oldest surviving cultures to produce some startling results. The result is a truly unique amalgamation of past, present and futuristic sounds that maintains strict respect for the culture being sampled.
This project aims to raise awareness and financial support for the San Bushmen of Southern Africa.

Artists involved:
RAJ GUPTA - Raj Gupta is a UK producer to watch. Already gaining an impressive reputation under his Ray Mang and Quakerman guises, his remixes for the likes of Midfield General, Blo (Strut recordings), and Robin Jones, have showcased a remarkable new talent. His remix for the Bushmen project has been universally acknowledged as amongst the best with its deep house flavour and wispy jazz-funk nuances. Watch out for a new album as Block 16 for Nuphonic coming soon.

ANIMAL RADIO - There are few people on the world fusion scene that have gained as much respect and notoriety as Simon Emmerson. The huge success of the Afro-Celt Soundsystem has led the way for a fresh resurgence within the global beat scene, whilst his Grammy nominated production work for Baaba Maal has given him the kind of recognition that few can hope to attain. Now working on their third Afro-Celt album Simon and crew kindly took the time out to record a classic mix for the Bushmen project.

MEHDI HADDAB - Mehdi is best known for his work as part of groundbreaking Paris based trio Ekova. This band with their unique mix of Algerian, Iranian and American influences have achieved notable success in France and also Stateside where their unique blend of tripped out dance beats and traditional concoctions have wowed audiences with some stunning live performances. Here fabulous Oud player Mehdi adds one of the most infectious and original mixes to the Bushmen project. The track is based entirely around the rhythms of the Khoi-San augmented by hard percussion that never lets up in intensity or ingenuity.

RASHID DUKE and KRISHNA BOOKER - Better known as Eyedentity alongside Diana Moriera Booker (daughter of Airto), and for Krishna's groundbreaking production on Airto's last album Homeless, this production duo go from strength to strength. Going for the minimal abstract hip-hop feel on top of ingenious samples in their San remix, Duke & Booker will keep the Bushmen bouncin'.

YOUTH - There's not much that can be said about Youth that hasn't been said before. As the bassist for industrial rock heroes Killing Joke he pioneered a sound that many bands have since emulated. More recently Youth has produced albums for the likes of the Verve and the Orb, alongside running his well-respected trance label Dragonfly. This mix combines his love of driving dub dance and breakbeat with some ingenious san sample trickery.

GAMBIT - Gambit is a young and gifted producer on the up. Recently signed to 4Hero's highly influential Reinforced record label, and producing his cutting edge brand of drum & bass science for a variety of other hip breakbeat labels, Zula has given us a superior drum&bass flavoured San odyssey featuring a fabulous breakdown in the middle before really going for the dancefloor jugular.

KIRK DEGIORGIO - Kirk has received countless plaudits for his groundbreaking tech-jazz musical exploits under his As One project and also more recently under his own name. His sound has been championed by the likes of Kiss FM's Patrick Forge, and Gilles Peterson, and here he gives a beautiful and very personal interpretation of the plight of the San people that brims with pathos, melancholia, and tech house sass.

SMADJ - In a world where eclectic musical tastes are finally being given free reign through technology, Smadj still stands out as a pioneering spirit. Starting out as a classically trained jazz musician Smadj soon tired of the stuffy restrictions and embraced the anything goes policy of electronic music. Combining this with a love of his Tunisian heritage, and conjuring up the sound of the North African Mahgrebs, Smadj's two albums to date (namely Equilibriste and New Deal) are complete revelations. On his very special remix for the Bushmen Smadj uses seven tracks from the original album accompanied by his favourite instrument, the Oud. The result is intense and intoxicating is equal measure.

ABSOLUTE ZERO - Pete Lockett is a master percussionist in every sense of the word as his wonderful remix will testify. Having worked with the likes of Joji Hirota, David Arnold, Vanessa Mae, Transglobal Underground, A R Rahman, Craig Armstrong, James Asher, Bjork and Kula Shaker, his percussive skills have been sought far and wide. Seeing Pete live with the Network of Sparks or in collaboration with master drummer Joji Hirota is an unforgettable experience. His mix has perhaps the most organic production feel of all the contemporary interpretations. All the percussion is live and the use of the Khoi-San samples creates an amazing empathy to the original recordings.

MARC WOOLFORD - Recently Marc Woolford's Soul Drummers project on Ashley Beedle's AfroArt imprint gained a huge amount of press adulation and respect throughout the dance scene. His album Medicine Man is a triumph of ancient rhythms and contemporary flavours - a factor that he has brought so eloquently to his remix. Also noted for his engineering work on Baaba Maal's seminal "Firin In Fouta" and production for the likes of the Ballistic Brothers, Black Jazz Chronicles, and Gabrielle, the acknowledgement of his own debut album shows that his time is now. Marc describes his wonderful remix as a celebration of the Khoi-San.


BOB HOLROYD - If there is any justice in this world Bob Holroyd's name should be up there with the likes of Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, and Bill Laswell. Having had his most famous track African Drum remixed by the mighty Coldcut, and having a variety of his tunes highlighting many recent global fusion compilations, his last album "A Different Space" (on Six Degrees Records) was a masterpiece. For this mix he has gone above and beyond the call of duty with a truly beautiful interpretation of "Looking Back" - the last track of the original Busmen CD featuring the rich and haunting vocals of Ngube.

ZENA EDWARDS - Tottenham born and bred but imbued with a rich global consciousness Zena trained as a theatre stage manager before finding her chosen path of spoken word and singing. Having become a part of the Rhythm writers and joining Shades, a five female Acappella group, Zena met up with South African musician Pops Mohamed, going on to become an integral part of his Millennium Experience group. Zena joined Pops on his more recent trip to Namibia and accompanied Pops and a group of Khoi-San Bushmen fronted by Ngube at the Hannover Expo and various other events worldwide. For this project she has done a remarkable appraisal of the Khoi-San through rich and colourful spoken word which bears a close (but still unique) resemblance to the work of the great Last Poets.

 

FEEDBACK FROM THE SANSCAPES GIGS IN LONDON

I really can't explain to you the feelings I had watching the San people the other night. So many contrasting emotions. Sadness at seeing what our ways have helped to endanger, and at the same time feeling very proud to know people who are putting their hearts into redressing the balanceÖ.You helped bring something special into everyone's life, of both the Bushman people and us, their captivated listeners. Hearing the rhythm of true hearts beating is something that no being can resist for long. George Barker - Director of Flying Rhino Records

It was such a privilege and so fantastic to play with the Bushmen and Pops. I'm still flying off that! Youth (Killing Joke)

What a great night! Such a good vibe beaming out to cynical London. Well done indeed. Diarmid Harrison Murray (musician)

A quick note to say THANKS for Thursday night- I feel like I've been walking on Namibian air ever since. I just thought the vibe in the room was amazing and so funny to see all those hardened geezers sitting and clapping like meek little children ..... Alex James

The event was stunning. Thanks so much for giving us all the opportunity to experience such an exotic people on our doorstep. Katy O'Rorke

Just a quick note to congratulate you and thank you for a brilliant evening yesterday.Also, thanks for asking me to be involved in such a truly moving and worthwhile project - you have done a fantastic job for which you should be extremely proud. I was very pleased and flattered to be involved,and I'm sure it will do nothing but good - also it was an amazing experience to meet the Bushmen at the farm on Saturday , it was a real one off to meet the man whose song I had remixed and I'm glad he thought I had done it justice ! Bob Holroyd

Many many thanks indeed for a truly Wonder-Full evening last night! I feel honoured to have shared the Space,Time and Songs of the San people. Thank you for your energies to allow us all to gather together and share this experience. Many friends and I were enchanted by the Honesty of the San people, and their ancient Musical Magic has touched us very deeply. Thank you all. Darren E.S (DJ)

Just a note to say that we all really enjoyed last night. The atmosphere was great! I think it is great that Melt2000 decided to support the 'Bushmen' and raise awareness of their struggle. We will continue to keep you updated with our campaign. We have received over 80,000 signatures in opposition to evictions and torture of 'Bushman' in the Central Kalahari. We are hoping to receive 100,000 to hand in the Embassy this year. When we do this, we will obviously contact you all so we can make it a big occasion. Liberty Bollen (Survival International)

 

Khoisan expedition

Making music is the most primeval form of human expression, imbued with a mystical power to communicate at an instinctual level that transcends language and speaks direct to the soul. The Khoisan bushmen of the Kalahari desert are Africa's oldest inhabitants and, for them, music and dance are not merely creative expressions, but an integral part of their being. To hear them play and sing and dance to their own music is like stepping into a time machine and being transported thousands of years back almost to the dawn of time. 

But, after decades of systematic marginalisation bordering on genocide, the modern world threatens to annihilate these ancient people, to eradicate their nomadic culture as hunter-gatherers, and to silence their strange and beautiful music. For Pops Mohamed, the veteran South African musician and key player in the Outernational Meltdown, the preservation of indigenous musical forms has become his life's work.  For years, Pops had sought in vain to discover the music of the Khoisan but all he had been able to find was a documentary recording in the archives of the South African Broadcasting Corporation and, from then on, he knew that he must go to the desert to find for himself the sounds that are captured on this album, the first release on the MELT label.

In July, 1995, a party of six, Pops Mohamed, Peter Thwaites, Libera & Robert Trunz, Dick Jewell, Norma Fletcher & Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor embarked on an unforgettable journey to the Namibian 'korridors', near the border with Botswana to record and film with the Khoisan. Beyond the international sporting grounds where rich tourists go hunting with their cameras, this region is off the maps given out by rental car companies. To travel there is like going on a pilgrimage to discover the very soul of Africa. 

altThe Khoisan inhabit an austere environment with hardly any greenery left because of the soil erosion that has taken place since the bushmen were removed from their traditional hunting grounds, all over Namibia, and forced to become cattle farmers. Today, without land and barely able to support themselves, the bushmen eke out a desperate existence but their spirit is indomitable and, with the support of the Nyae Nyae Farmer's Co-operative, they are now learning to organise and to demand their fundamental human rights.

Upon arrival, after negotiating with the chief, we had a huge barbecue and then there was singing and dancing the whole night long. It was the most wonderful welcome any of us had ever experienced in our entire lives and the prelude to a few magical days and nights as their guests and sharing with them our food and whatever we had brought with us. The Khoisan may not have a lot, but they are one of the few people today who still understand that in order to survive, we must respect the earth and be thankful for its treasures. No matter how sparse, nature provides.  alt

Over three days we listened to and recorded their stories and their music from a makeshift studio set up in the back of a 4X4 drive jeep. It was the most inspirational experience of my life. All of us had our hearts opened to a new way of being that has been hidden so far away from us, and made us realise that we in the so-called first world have become so sophisticated that we have lost touch with the elemental concerns that preoccupy those primitive people, who inhabit the third world. The process of evolution has brought mankind a long way since the dawn of time but, really, how far have we come?

cover of Sanscape V2 - future visions of the Bushmen