Zulu Rhythms of the Future

In the land of the Zulu, a new music scene is thriving. Guitar wizardry, something called gqom, and everything under the South African sun…

Sibusile Xaba vocals are particularly mind-bending:

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Classic Kanaky Grooves be Catchy

The Hen, northern Nü Caledonia.  Free range heaven on a tiny beach.

The Hen, northern Nü Caledonia. Free range heaven on a tiny beach.

On the north tip of the sleeping continent Zealandia, there is a land of super crows and bubblegum reggae that rises out of the deep Pacific.  New Caledonia (increasingly known as Kanaky by locals) is still a “special collectivity” of France.  But 40% of the overall population are native Melanesians, and there is an ongoing push for independence from their far-off administrators.

But regardless of who they call président, the Kanak are a strong and proud people, keeping their culture alive and infusing traditional vocal and percussion music with reggae and reggae-related vibes.  Yes, this is as far from the Caribbean as it is from France, but in the South Pacific, reggae rules supreme.

Hear skanking of many forms, ancient chants, janglin’ oldies, french hip hop and more on the Kanaky special…  {STREAM HERE}

(As a side note, there is very little information available about these artists.. the song titles are often missing.  Hey, if I lived on a tropical island I wouldn’t spend much time on the computer either.. but O the wealth of music from a mere quarter million people!)

good wooden vibrations

((we got the good wood vibrations))

Also, the first hour’s Global Mix {HERE}

Wooden Trumpets & Water Drums

In the depths of the great African jungle is a nation forgotten by the modern world.. or perhaps never known.  Welcome to the Central African Republic (a.k.a. Centrafrique).

Bayaka Tribesman // Extreme Honey Collecting

Bayaka Tribesman // Extreme Honey Collecting

While global eyes are on the power struggle in Ukraine, the CAR (a nation of roughly the same size) is currently experiencing its own internal division that is bordering on civil war.  The country has long been split between Christian (from the French colonial period) and Muslim (from northern Africa) populations, echoing the same violent saga that ruptured Sudan.  May the people come together and forgive their differences!

Though political struggles have prevented the development of the CAR music industry, many local talents have nonetheless drawn influence from the potent sounds of neighboring countries (notably, Cameroon and the DR Congo) to carve their own masterwork of contemporary rhythms, including the Bangui Rumba.  These boys were tops:

But the sweetest sounds of all remain gloriously hidden in the great jungle connecting CAR, Cameroon and Gabon, preserved from the rolling ball of modern religion and style. The so-called Baka ‘pygmies’ (a term to describe smaller than average humans) of the forest make some of the wildest, most futuristic-sounding, ancient music on the planet.  (In timeless cultures, everyone is a singer!)  Even Herbie Hancock snatched the Baka’s style.  Oh yeah, they rock on guitars too.

Hear these fine sounds and more on the Wandering Rhythms {{CENTRAFRIQUE SPECIAL}}.