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Owiny Sigoma Band - out on Brownswood Recordings

Owiney Sigoma Band
Owiney Sigoma Band - Owiney Sigoma Band
(CD/2xLP/Digital) Brownswood Recordings BWOOD062CD/BWOOD 062LP/BWOOD 062DD, 2011-05-11

May 2011 will see release of the Owiny Sigoma Band's self-titled debut album on Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood Recordings. The record, which is being tagged as a "cross-cultural clash of London and traditional Kenyan music", is the result of a collective of London-based musicians travelling to Kenya in 2009 to collaborate with musicians from the region. The jam sessions that transpired form the basis of this forthcoming release on Brownswood Recordings. If you're expecting the now usual Afrofunk new band, you're in for a big suprise since this album is really a new crossover sound of traditional Kenyan melodies and vibes with UK Jazz!!

Owiney Sigoma Band
Owiney Sigoma Band - Owiney Sigoma Band
(CD/2xLP/Digital) Brownswood Recordings BWOOD062CD/BWOOD 062LP/BWOOD 062DD, 2011-05-11

Owiny Sigoma Band // Album Teaser by Brownswood

Owiny Sigoma Band by Brownswood

Owiny Sigoma Band - Doyoi Nyajo Nam by Brownswood

Tracklisting :
1. Gone Thum Mana Gi Nyadhi 4:03
2. Odera Lwar 7:28
3. Wires 4:33
4. Margaret Okudo (Dub) 4:18
5. Hera 4:22
6. Doyoi Nyajo Nam 6:59
7. Owegi Owandho (Solo) 5:01
8. Nabed Nade Ei Piny Ka (Rework) 3:32
9. Here On The Line 4:11
10. Rapar Nyanza 8:18

Links :

Band Members :
Jesse Hackett (keys)
Louis Hackett (bass)
Sam Lewis (guitar)
Chris Morphitis (bouzouki/guitar)
Tom Skinner (drums)

Note : Jesse Hackett plays keys for Gorillaz and Damon Albarn's Africa Express, he's best know as Elmore Judd (Honest Jon's/Above The Clouds)

Press Release :
In 2009 a close-knit collective of London-based musicians - Jesse Hackett (keys), Louis Hackett (bass), Sam Lewis (guitar), Chris Morphitis (bouzouki/guitar) and Tom Skinner (drums) - first arrived in Nairobi. They were brought to Kenya's capital in order to collaborate with local musicians as part of a project established by an organisation called Art of Protest which aims to promote local Kenyan musicians and rappers. Art of Protest introduced the London faction to Joseph Nyamungu, a phenomenal player/teacher of the nyatiti (an 8-string lyre) whose scope of knowledge of the traditional music of the Luo tribe is unparalleled. The sessions with Joseph and Charles Owoko, a drummer specialising in traditional Luo rhythms developed into something unique, fresh and full of verve - a Nairobi meets London sound clash.

The five London-based musicians, who have been friends since their school days, draw on a broad spectrum of African influences, from Fela Kuti and Tony Allen to the likes of Thomas Mapfumo and Oumou Sangare. “What I heard when I first played Owiny Sigoma Band on the radio was a phat, wayward dance record with African leanings and it just felt completely right,” explains Gilles Peterson.

On reconvening with Joseph and Charles on a second trip to Nairobi in May 2010, the group had now grown to a 10-piece big band, with Joseph inviting many other musicians to join the proceedings. A two-day session at the Kenya National Theatre then culminated in the forthcoming self-titled album – a collection of gloriously loose Afro grooves symbolic of the true culture clash between the Luo and London. The founder of Gorillaz and Afrika Express, Damon Albarn, even gives the project his personal blessing, popping up on organ duties on the sprightly 'Odera Lwar' and 'Margaret Okudo (Dub)'.

In Gilles Peterson's words :
"Africa is still largely untapped. The US has been dug to death, likewise most of South America and Brazil. Africa is the new Colombia in terms of uprooted treasures by the likes of Analog Africa and Soundway. Nigeria, Ghana and the French Colonies - Congo, Sierra Leone and maybe Ivory Coast - they're the ones that have been tapped, but there's so much more. I've started hearing stuff from Eritrea and Mozambique… funk bands… James Brown made an impact everywhere.

What I heard when I first played Owiny Sigoma Band on the radio was a phat, wayward dance record with African leanings and it just felt completely right. That's why it was good to continue along the path that they'd followed, because they've got a different approach to how the drums should sound and the bass should sound - it's like they've been listening to a bunch of Arthur Russell and Liquid Liquid records. These characteristics alongside the nyatiti, the vocals and the cow's horn, lend it these unique properties that you don't hear in any other African music and make it exciting. But, fundamentally, the reason that it works for me (and Brownswood) is that it's drum and bass heavy… rhythmically heavy. And all those little disco tricks… the reverbs and the tape delays that they used are brilliant. It's by no means a disco record, but it's got enough of that in it to make it sound new and inventive. Plus of course there's the whole thing with bands like Vampire Weekend, the Damon Albarn touch and World Circuit… all of that has been embedded in people's heads. So basically you throw this project in the mix which has all of those elements and that's why it's fresh."

- Gilles Peterson

The Luo-London Soundclash

Introducing... Owiny Sigoma Band



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