FREE DOWNLOAD - Maga Bo - Beni - from Archipelagoes
Maga Bo is part of a new breed of "fusioneers" who are helping to make that phrase legit again. Somewhere in the 70's, the concept of "fusion" music became inextricably associated with jazz rock bands that seemed to be more interested in flexing their chops than in presenting music that was interesting and satisfying compositionally. Nowadays, in a world which has become ridiculously small, the idea of "fusing" the sounds of different cultures is equally fraught with the dangers of self indulgence and neutered mediocrity. At it's best however, "fusion" music can bring together the more interesting strands of different cultures into a new whole that is more interesting than it's separate parts. Much of what we do here at Six Degrees strives for this kind of "melting pot" approach. There are always going to be purists who are aghast at these hybrids- but anyone who knows the history of music knows that it is in fact a history of "fusions". In my opinion, this is what keeps the gene pool strong and healthy.
To my ears, Maga Bo's new album represents the best of this concept at work. Recorded "on location" during his extensive travels in Africa (no canned samples here), Maga Bo turned tiny hotel rooms and a variety of locations into impromptu recording studios, capturing not only the local talent but the local flavor as well. The beats are steeped in Bo's love of ragga, dance hall, Baile Funk, hip hop, reggaeton and other "street grooves" of various cultures and the final result has the feel of a vital block party which could be taking place on almost any street in the world.
Big thanks to DJ /Rupture, another peerless (and fearless) fusioneer, for allowing us to post this track from this fine album. All of the releases on Rupture's Soot Records are well worth your attention and we look forward to featuring more of them on this blog in the future.
World music is music with truly global reach: 50 Cent, U2, Shakira.
ARCHIPELAGOES is the other thing - emissions from the flip side where (it's
happening, now) vocals recorded in one-room studios on a microphone taped to a refrigerator
in lieu of a stand get released on the internet and played over local sound systems that same
night. By the next day the track has been sampled again by youth 6-time-zones away and
mashed up with whatever local concoctions they got going on.
Maga Bo's tapped into that weird new force-field. He grew up in Seattle during the grunge
years, learning studio production (read: fetching beer & cigarettes for Soundgarden), but left
as soon as he could, resettling in Brazil after lengthy worldwide travels. That force-field
surrounded him the whole time. I don't know what it is, but it helped this album turn
beautiful... aided by a mix of knucklehead determination and the gifted accidents that fall
when understanding happens despite the friction of honest collaboration, despite itself.
You can hear his production voice (low-end crafted for extra bump, those melodic string
stabs, his sound engineer skills in full flex) hold together music made by loitering after work
in Senegal, Zanzibar, Capetown. The stories of its making got pressed into the sound. Some
of the unGoogleable contributors are African musical luminaries, famous in places where the
street doesn't talk to the internet. The overall vibe pulls a bigger picture into focus. Or maybe
it is a process.
An album like this comes loaded with stories... the motorcycle accident (well, it was the old
dude's fault) which led to blackmailing cops in Zanzibar, making the 3 videos and how that
was, the clicking in that track with Teba, the drunk virtuoso he had to relentlessly cajole and
quantize... (just don't ask about the cardboard box in Madrid).