Tinariwen`s nomadic Blues, Ostgut Ton`s Teutonic House, Metalheads at The Blue Note, Warp`s bleep, On-U`s sound, William Onyearbor`s Afro Moog, George Benson`s cookbook, Fabiano do Nascimento jamming with Jan Schulte, Sun Ra`s outerspaceways, and deep Southern Gospel. Africaine 808`s bizarre “Basar” is all of these things.
“The Awakening”`s orchestral tunings, modal blows and oud-like strange strings mix with UFO emissions. Part Panorama Bar sunrise, part Floating Points holed up with Burroughs in Tangier. Bug powder dust, mugwump jism and subs showing off their muscle, making their pecs dance. “Nation” stirs together African Head Charge chants and percussion with Morricone desert arrangements. The title track “Basar” is a laser battle in an Electro meteor shower. “Balla Balla” puts its “Body & Soul” into Jose & Wolf`s “Afrikosa”. Jew`s harps twang, acoustic guitars duet with military snares, sanza sing like electric wasps and high-pitched noises twist inseparably into one another like the erotic gyrations of a team of belly dancers after one hookah too many of hashish. On the closing “The Lord Is A Woman” congregation foot stamps and handclaps, church organ, tabla, and the shine of stars, back a preacher extolling:
“Life is so uncertain, but death is so.”
as if Africaine 808`s wanton disregard for rules, convention and genre haven’t made their over-riding message clear enough already. It`s best not to give a fuck, and make the most of it.