Covering Tracks is a regular series in which we ask our favorite producers and DJs to recommend ten new (and not so new) releases. This week’s submissions come courtesy of rhythm maker Auntie Flo, a resident at a London party called Huntleys & Palmers. You catch him live this Saturday, when the regular gig brings its vibes to the Berghain Kantine.
Professor feat. Character – “Imoto Etshontsh Imali” (DJ Clock Mix)
This is the sickest groove on any South African house track. I’m always trying to get the same groove in my tracks, and just can’t get them to feel like this.
Yacoub — “Da Na Maa” (Manoo Remix) [Offering]
I went record shopping in Malawi and found a stall in a market playing Afro-house. The guy wouldn’t sell us any of the stuff playing, as it was just on a USB stick. After much bartering, he agreed to let us copy the tracks on the USB for a small fee. This was one of the gems on there! I didn’t know what it was called until I played it at Trouw and someone in the crowd came up and started talking to me after about it.
The Otherside feat. Musa K — “Headless Corpse” [Signals]
This is the dark and deadly side of Africa. There is a general notion that African music is super happy and joyful, but this is the horror. It was released via a great Newcastle label Signals, which eventually managed to track down Musa K, an artist originally from Sierra Leone but who now lives in West London.
Amadou & Mariam — “Bara” (Joaquim Sacred Dance Remix) [Sacred Rhythm]
I basically love any song that feels like it could go on forever. I’ve ended my sets with the full 15 minutes of this many times.
Bola Johnson — “Lagos Sisi” [Vampi Soul]
I first heard this via the Cottam remix, which is a classic at our Highlife parties. This is original Afro-funk of the highest order.
Manu Dibango — “Abela Dance” [Carrere]
Love Manu Dibango. Love the 80’s electro beat, too—it shows that African music is not just about polyrhythmic percussion.
Auntie Flo — “Hey Don’t Make Trouble” [Permanent Vacation]
I had the instrumental for this one already done, and played it to DJ Raoul K. He immediately identified the rhythm as being the same as one he listened to when growing up in the Ivory Coast. They used to sing a rhyme to it that basically goes, “Don’t make any trouble/A word of advice/Don’t sleep with your boss’s wife.” He managed to hook me up with some vocalists over there and they recorded the vocals for this track.