Series I by I 07.02.22

Fact Mix 845: Turkana

A whirlwind set of hard dance from ANTI-MASS member Turkana.

Anita Kevin, who is part of the ANTI-MASS collective alongside fellow Uganda-based artists Authentically Plastic and Nsasi, didn’t necessarily expect to find herself drawn to DJing. After spending time as a curator who brought together female visual artists and performers, she was invited to join a DJ workshop organised by veteran Ugandan artist DJ Rachael’s Femme Electronic platform.

The experience inspired her to dig deeper, and she bought a DJ controller from her friend Catu Diosis. Kevin, who was born in South Sudan and grew up in a refugee camp near Lake Turkana in Kenya, adopted the artist name Turkana as a way of reclaiming the experience.

“I thought I should really use something that is connected to me,” she said in an interview with Subtile. “It’s reclaiming that whole experience of being in a refugee camp and overcoming it and being powerful, not being limited by what you’ve experienced.”

Since Turkana’s breakthrough performance at Nyege Nyege Festival in 2019, she has showcased her own take on hard dance globally at events including Utrecht’s Le Guess Who? and Berlin’s CTM Festival. As part of ANTI-MASS, “a series of roving, riotous, music happenings” based in Kampala, Turkana and her collaborators reclaim the dancefloor for queer and femme clubbers and other minorities, as well as “exploring new potentials for sound and artistic expression in an increasingly regressive social climate.” 

Turkana’s Fact Mix is a whirlwind trip through her frenetic style, featuring music from Nyege Nyege artists Slikback and Duma, as well as tracks from Badsista, Osheyack, SWAN MEAT and Gabber Modus Operandi. “The tracks selected were inspired from the past few months when I was touring, the feeling of seeing people back to enjoying music, dancing together and the emotions that came up,” Turkana says of the mix. “I think the dance floor is a liberating space, a place where we free ourselves with the safety of music. Some tracks represent the complicity and variations in the rhythms and sounds of African dance music and hard dance music from all over the globe blended with 808 percussion.

“The mix is an extension from the fun that I have playing and hope everyone can enjoy it.”

Follow Turkana on Instagram and SoundCloud.

Tracklist:

Osheyack – ‘Downwelling’
Tzusing – ‘Esther’ (Gabber Modus Operandi remix)
Scotch Rolex – ‘Tewari’
Badsista – ‘ZL CLUB MUSIC pt. II’
Faizal Mostrixx – ‘Kuhamahana’
Chrisman – ‘Hewa’
Scotch Rolex – ‘Juice’ (ft. MC Yallah)
Duma – ‘Omni’ (quest?onmarq bootleg)
SWAN MEAT – ‘SLUDGE’
Phelimuncasi – ‘Wazini Ngo Qoh’ (prod DJ MP3)
Slikback x Tzusing – ‘JAHAD’
Phelimuncasi – ‘Uyaphi WeNano’ (feat Mafethan, prod DJ Scoturn)
Gabber Modus Operandi – ‘Padang Galaxxx’ (Skyshaker Dusk Novox)
Biga Yut – ‘Walah’ 
Manuka Honey – ‘Pestañas’

Listen next: Fact Mix 844: A Psychic Yes

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