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AUTONOMOUS AFRICA


In 2015, Optimo’s Autonomous Africa label released Youth Stand Up!, a triangular recording project hatched at Glasgow’s Green Door Studio that brought together young musicians from Belize, Ghana and Glasgow for ten tracks of cross-cultural collaboration. The result was an infectious cocktail of traditional Caribbean and West African rhythms, hip hop, highlife and Glaswegian post-punk, featuring contributions from Optimo Music regulars Golden Teacher and Whilst, among others.

The proceeds from that project went directly back to the youth groups in Ghana and Belize, helping the musicians from Ghana’s Tafi Cultural Institute build a recording studio and performance space in their village.

Two years later, a grant from Creative Scotland’s Open Fund spawned the sequel to Youth Stand Up!: Youth Stand United, recorded both at Green Door and at TCI’s new studio in Ghana (with Golden Teacher’s Laurie Pitt at the controls), and mixed by Green Door’s Stuart and Emily Evans.

Youth Stand United features backing tracks contributed by members of Golden Teacher, Pu$$y Mothers, Whilst, Kaputt, and Sordid Sound System, with vocals provided by the musicians from TCI. Over 6 songs, it oscillates from the left-field disco of Diloeshutubui to the Juju-electro odyssey of Gidi to the Joe-Meek-meets-William Onyeabor space age gospel pop of Nobody Knows.

Proceeds from Youth Stand United will go towards a scholarship fund for musicians from Tafi Atome, Ghana.

Tanda Tula Choir

Adap-Adations (Inc. Superpitcher / Red Axes / Lax / Esa Remixes)

After a slight hiatus, Autonomous Africa is back...

A couple of years ago Superpitcher was invited to go on a safari in South Africa.
It was wild and wonderful and he saw many exotic (and big!) animals, even a leopard in a tree that told him the secret of the universe. He forgot what the leopard said because his mind was still playing and replaying the sound of what he heard on the first night of his arrival – the hypnotic and moving sound of the voices of Africa, the voices of the wonderful Tanda Tula staff choir.
There, the choir members work during the day at the camp and at night entertain the guests with their captivating voices and energetic dancing. So impressed was he with their songs and beautiful Shangaan language that he decided to record a CD for them to sell in the shop at their camp.
He then approached Autonomous Africa with the idea of putting out a remix EP, which took a little longer than planned to come together but is finally ready to share with the world. It contains four very different but somehow complementary remixes from Superpitcher, LAPS, Red Axes and Esa.
All profits from this release will be split between Tanda Tula choir and the International Library of African Music. Founded by ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey in 1954, ILAM is an an organisation dedicated to the preservation and study of African music.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Charitable Afro-electronix here from Superpitcher and Autonomous Africa featuring a quartet of club ready remixes of South Africa's Tanda Tula Choir. On the A-side the shimmer and glide of Superpticher's mix meets the Shangaan nang of the Red Axes. The flip sees LAPS get tense and techy while Esa romps through a progressive variation.


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