00:00 Segun Adewale ‘yo pop music’
04:09 Susan Mapfumo ‘dzvoko’
07:25 Zani Diabete ‘super djata’
10:49 Fede Lawu ‘cherie coco’
13:48 Edikanfo ‘da da edikanfo’
17:00 Nyboma ‘double double’
19:05 Bibi Den’s Tshibayi ‘the best ambiance’
22:14 D.O. Misiani & Shirati Jazz ‘sister mary lucy’
27:19 King Sunny Ade ‘synchro feelings’
30:56 Chief Dr Sikuru Ayinde Barrister ‘fuji garbage series II’
37:41 King Sunny Ade ‘sunny ti de ariya’
44:25 George Mukabi ‘bibi mama ngani mzuri’
So tell us about the mix…
“Well it’s some of my favourite african tunes, all vinyl rips, nothing from comps. Some careful editing was necessary, as a lot of these tracks run to 15 minutes plus in their original form, and I wanted to get a lot in! These songs of musical joy were my soundtrack and sanctuary whilst working on Bridges….
What else are you enjoying listening to at the moment?
“There’s a truly amazing and totally alien sounding new act called Raime, 2010 will be a big year for them…the woozy synths of Oneohtrix Point Never…My current African obsession is Kenyan benga music, it’s super stripped-down, mostly about the interplay between bass guitar, hi-hat and vocals, unbelievably funky!”
When did your relationship with African music begin, and how has it evolved over the years? Does it impact on your own approach to music-making?
“Embarrassingly enough it probably started with Graceland, which I got on cassette for christmas when I was about 9 years old…When I worked at [sorely missed record store] Imperial in Bristol all those years ago, I got obsessed with Fela Kuti, who lead me on to King Sunny Ade, my hero, who in turn was the gateway drug to highlife, juju, fuji and all sorts of other goodness!
“All the different rhythms are a constant supply of inspiration, a big ass-shaking and joyous reminder that dance music can be complicated and funky without turning into breakcore or IDM, that you shouldn’t fear the beats between the beats…”
What can we expect from May The Bridges? How does it differ from albums previous?
It’s a continuation and a total break if that makes any sense (no, it doesn’t, I know…). It started as an attempt to capture the live instrumentation and the energy of my touring set, but then snowballed in to something else…I tried to make a whole album, with an arc and a story. I find it really joyous and a celebration of the power of music, but what everyone else will make of it I don’t know.
“Hmm, I guess if I could eloquently explain what I was trying to do – which I evidently can’t! – then I wouldn’t have needed to make the music, so maybe you’ll have to figure it out for yourselves…”
What else have you got planned for 2010?
“Loads of touring, hopefully some vinyl releases before all the oil runs dry, a lot of collaborations…and another album if I can get my shit together. It’s not going to take another three years, I promise…”