Makadem is a Benga musician, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Some of you may know him from a previous 12, released as part of Auntie Flo & Esa`s laudable Highlife Project (which now goes for crazy money on the `Cogs). His Nyako opens with a nyatiti* refrain that`s a ringer for Penguin Cafe Orchestra`s Sketch For Two Cuatros, Ukulele, Bass And Drum. Which shows how effectively Simon Jeffes` collective combined Classical Minimalism and traditional African elements. Machines provide the bass and beats. Sampled birdsong compliments Makadem`s own.
Africaine 808 then subtly straighten the rhythm and add vocal overdubs. Echoing the lead in harmony like strings. Daisho loops up the intro and raises the tempo . The results now closer to the “House” found on the aforementioned Highlife record. Modified Man`s mix makes the most radical departure. Scratching a robotic big band in and out of blunted 22a Jazz. Sounding large handclaps. Forcing you to dance. Regardless of how wasted you are. Somehow squeezing more of a smile out of the already joyful original.
*Kenya`s version of the Kora