a big thanks to Benjamin Defrocourt for his photo report about the 3rd POLAAR episode which happened last thursday at le Batofar / Paris.
The vibe was excellent, with awesome mixes from The Town & Matsa, with their elegant and sexy house, and Arystoth for his vibrant dubstep mix. The aim of POLAAR is to be an eccelctic night, and it was !
Usually i don’t make advertising for companies, but i found this webstore had an interesting concept…
Loopmasters, one of the best plateform to buy samples, has just launched The Pluginboutique, a webstore where you could buy music plugins – imagine: one website where you could buy everything at the same place!
I found the idea interesting.
And to celebrate this new service, they offer all first time purchasers at pluginboutique.com a Free Sample CD of their choice from Loopmasters through the post. Plus until the end of May every additional £100 you spend entitles you to another free Sample CD (to claim your free samples simply leave a comment on the Pluginboutique facebook page with your order number and the type of music you produce – your mystery sample CD/s will arrive in the post!)
So here’s the reason i’ve been so quiet lately: i’ve been invited to teach Ableton Live in Zambia.
Life sometimes gives you some surprises, and this trip was definitly one of them. Zambia is not know as a touristic area, nobody says « my dream in life is to go to Zambia », this is definitly one of the most unknown area in Africa. One of the reason is that after decades of slow developpement, the country is just starting getting richer & richer. The market of copper is getting really big and loads of people from foreign countries start coming investing in different businesses. Most of the tourists you meet are from South Africa, America or Australin. Don’t ask me why, but it is extremely rare to meet European people. It’s a really stable & peaceful country, so i’m sure it’ll explode sometimes soon, especially with such amazing landscapes, rivers, and of course, the amazing Victoria Falls.
The aim of my visit was to teach Ableton Live to some expatriates people. But i had loads of « gifts » during my stay. While i was there, there was the celebration of the 40th anniversary of la Francophonie, and i had no choice than to go to the inauguration (and you know how this kind of VIP events suck) but i had the honnor to meet Zambian minister of Foreign Affairs. After a short chat about my visit, he asked me if i’d be up for playing at the National radio. Of course, i said yes. So things were planed, i had to come mixing at ZNBC the week after.
In Zambia, the most popular music is Afro Pop. Afro Pop is a crossover between dancehall & kwaito, with a very mellow & sexy groove. Most of the vocals have vocoders on the top, and it talks about love and sex. Besides that, you also have David Ghetta or Rihanna, like everywhere else on this globe.
Let’s be clear: what we call Global Bass here means absolutely nothing there. Of course. But even kuduro is pretty unknown in Zambia, even if Angola is next to it. I first was very surprised, but really, Zambia is a huge country, and it’s normal they’re doing their own thing. Do we actually know what’s going on on the spanish scene for example ? We all have the same shitty music (Lady Gaga & co) but we also have our own things.
I also had the chance to play in a club called News Cafe, one of the trendiest place in Lusaka. The dj was very good (Nano Untouchable) and he played some very good south african music (but unfortunately most of the people left the dancefloor – which proves how difficult it is to play more underground music).
So what was the response of my music ?
really surprising :)
To be honnest with you, when i accepted to play at the gig, i didn’t know what to expect. There was 50% chance people gonna love it or hate it. But actually it went… crazy! When i started, there was a kind of transition, where all the girls left the dancefloor (they love it slower in the tempo ;) but men started dancing and after 10minutes it evoluates as a…. dance fight!! In the african way. This was AMAZING! I love the way african people dance, it is REALLY sexy, really physical, sometimes even porn, this is proper adult dancing (sorry, i tried to find a video on youtube, but couldn’t find anything interesting…)
So yeah, it made men crazy, i had loads of people coming at me saying they loved this sound, that it was really unknown there. I had the same kind of reactions with the radio show. And it made me very proud to be honnest.
There’s only a small pourcentage of people having TV in Zambia. So everybody’s listening to radio. So i think it is very surreal that i’ve played my music to people in the bush, or in bars in the middle of nowhere in Zambia. This makes me really happy.
So yeah, i’d recommend people to go visit this country. People are very friendly (they have this reputation in the whole continent to be the nicest people in Africa), landscapes are amazing, and there are loads of things to discover and to share.
Here are some more pics about my visit. Hope it’ll make you want to visit ;)
The Victoria Falls. Eden on earth.
The Victoria Falls from the top. Danger!
A bridge going from Zambia to Zimbabwe.
On our way to Livingstone by bus…
I had the chance to meet an amazing percussion & dancers band who explained & showed me the traditionnal dances & music you could find in this part of Africa.
With my friend Romain. PUUUULLL UUUP!
Rock’n roll on the Zambese baby ;)
Bye Bye Lusaka.
Unfortunately i don’t have any footage from the gig at the News Café, cos there was not light at all. But i have witnesses if you don’t believe me ;)
So yeah, this trip to Zambia makes me want to discover more of the african country. Who knows which country will come next ?
I’m back again!! I’m really sorry, i’ve been really shit lately to write on my blog cos there are some many things happening at the moment, it’s crazy! You’ll know more about it very soon, i’m actually preparing a long post about what happened these last couple of weeks ;)
But for now, let’s enjoy some fresh music! I’m very happy to tell you my remix of « Party crasher » from top belgium band the Peas Project is now available in good record shops!
The original tune is a very addictive kuduresque dance tune, with amazing vocals, so when they asked me if i was up for remixing it, i said « Hell Yeah!! ». The result is a moombahton remix, keeping the vocal flavor pretty identical, but with a slower twist. If you like sexy booty shaking music, i think this one is for you.
Life is funny… i was just writting about Neat and his license on Ministry of Sound compilation when someone told me the Albert remix of my tune Overnighters was in the Dub Pressure / Ministry of Sound chart this week. This tune will be available in may, so be patient :)
DJ mag -sept ssue
8 /10 – Some choice producers get their hands on the parts from different tracks from Flore’s new album ‘Raw’, with Gella excelling with ‘Get It In Get It On’ featuring Rodney P. Gella weaves a duly raw beats lattice around da riddim killer’s commanding vox for a brilliant bashy bonanza, while Hackman’s funky reimagining of ‘Raw’ is fresh and fly. The album’s cover of ‘Cars’ by Gary Numan is itself quite UK funky, so Flore tuffens it up here, and Maelstrom makes it a mahoosive electro-house affair.
IDJ – sept. issue
Gella remix is the bomb. Absolutely firing stuff from the number one badboy on the breakbeat scene!
Mixmag – 8 out of 10 – all top dollar mixes.. good works
Tilllate - Aug. issue SINGLE OF THE MONTH
Gella has a real talent with vocals. Loved his remix of Baobinga & I.D ‘Jump Up’ and his own single ‘Twinkle’. Here, Gella delivers the goods with a bass heavy bouncy, bashment-jungle styled break-step remix of ‘Get It In Get It On’ featuring Rodney P, complete with a delicious half speed dubstep breakdown and lush chords. Gella is gonna be big! UK Funky don Hackman, turns in an effortless and super slick piece of sublime urban musicality with his remix of ‘Cars’. Having trained classically as a youngster it is very apparent from his meticulous and sexy production that he knows his onions! Maelstrom, the man of many genre faces, puts on his 4/4 urban house head for his sleazy reworking of ‘Cars’. Flore’s remix of ‘Cars’ sees tropical beats and parping b lines. 10/10