Since first emerging in 2009, indy darlings tUnE-yArDs have been particularly adept at incorporating a variety of African influences into their looping soundscapes. From the stacked horns and hocketed vocals that defined their debut, to the inspired recreation of Fela Kuti’s “Lady” they constructed with Questlove for the Red Hot and Fela album, the band has productively engaged with the musical challenges posed by many of the continent’s most fertile traditions.
That’s why we were thrilled to see that the band had tapped DJ Marfox and Pearls Negras to remix their already killer track “Water Fountain,” providing a global leg-up for some of most innovative young musicians we’ve ever covered. For those who need a quick recap: DJ Marfox is from Lisbon, where he helped reconfigure the city’s electronic music scene with his mind-bendingly mutated version of kuduro, while Pearls Negras are a trio from a favela in Rio de Janeiro prone to dropping Beasties-style rhymes over bass-heavy beats.
The remix itself is something like a gang fight. The song emerges for long enough to be recognizable over Marfox’s electronic pulse before succumbing to his rhythmic assaults, fracturing into looped tension. And then Pearls Negras show up to drop a verse. It almost sounds as if there are two or two and half tracks struggling to be heard at once, as the song settles, and dissolves, and settles again. Check it out–and if you haven’t heard Pearls Negras or Marfox? Check them out too. Big up to tUnE-yArDs for shining some light on both of these musicians!
And guys–if either of you read this? Please make an album? Thanks.
–The Afropop Staff
Catch the song here: