Recent cold weather getting you down? Don’t worry, Thomas Gesthuizen of AfricanHipHop (aka Jumanne, J4 and now DJ Gioumanne) has just released a massive new mix of 80’s era African club music to heat up your next dance party.
Spanning just under a decade and pulling from the music of numerous countries, this new mix seamlessly combines a startling variety of styles. And to make things even more impressive, all the tracks are taken straight from vinyl. Which means a lot of this music is well-nigh impossible to hear anywhere else.
And seriously- this is music that you want to hear. Over the course of its hour-plus running time, listeners are presented with diverse selections that sound like funk, disco, pop, high life, rumba and even proto-hip hop, while never quite landing squarely in the genre they seem to be influenced by. Throwing light on an all too often ignored era of African pop music, each track employs the (then) recent technological innovations of synthesizers and drum machines. But what is most impressive is that each artist is able to avoid the sheen all too common in 80’s era studio work, leaving the music strangely timeless.
Ever the documentarian, Gesthuizen has kindly included an annotated list of all of the artists and tracks, just begging to be researched further. And by the way, if you like what you hear, remember that this is volume 2 of the series. You can get the first one, along with album covers and notes, here.
Wondering about the mysterious DJ Gioumanne credited with the mix? For more of a back story on this amazing release, be sure to head over to Fader for an insightful interview with the man himself. And if that’s not enough, we have an entire program of our own dedicated to the history of synthesizers on African pop music. Listen to it here.