From Kenya to Detroit with Owiny Sigoma Band, Theo Parrish & KDJ

Wires "Owiny Sigoma Band"I love Detroit. I grew up in the area and have the city to thank for my passion for music. But it is a passion for music of a different land that sparks the inspiration for the Owiny Sigoma Band.

At the core of the Owiny Sigoma Band are 5 London-based musicians who traveled to Nairobi in Kenya in order to play with musicians and share ideas. The 4 demo tracks that this experiment resulted in were so good, Gilles Peterson signed them to his Brownswood Recordings label and then sent them back to Kenya to reunite with Joseph Nyamungu, Charles Owoko and other musicians to finish an album.

The first single from the self titled album is “Wires” which is a wonderful introduction into the world of what this project is all about. There’s undeniably an IndieDance sound here many will recognize, but equally as undeniable is its authenticity. This is not just some band from the city trying to have an Afrobeat sound. This is the sound of real musicians in a different country playing with local musicians and making music that is collaborative and real. Centering around a lovely guitar lick from Joseph Alego Ondir and bouncing bassline by Louis Hackett the song really is a jam session that you hope never ends.

However, its the flipside that takes us from Kenya back to Detroit where beatdown maestro Theo Parrish provides another one of his inspired remix offerings. A thumping excursion into intermingling rhythms, wildly hypnotic synths and key vocal elements, Theo strips the bright melodies of the original down to a different beast entirely. Imagine Fela Kuti producing an LCD Soundsystem and Matthew Dear collaboration and you’re in the right ballpark. With references like that this is a must hear, and I have to say I just can’t stop listening to the whole 12″ single.

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As long as we’re in Detroit we may as well stay there to talk about another hot live jam from the Motor City that has been reissued. This time we have the usual suspects rounded up by Mr. Kenny Dixon Jr. (Moodymann, KDJ) for a rearrangement of Innerzone Orchestra’s People Make The World Go Round. Originally released back in 2000 on Planet E, this is a single-sided reissue featuring just the KDJ remix which is well worth its own slab.

In the remix (reinterpretation really), KDJ delivers us his trademarked sexy, slow-groover complete with saxophone. However, never one to play by the rules he throws in a surprise when the track ramps up into a full on house groove a third of the way through.

This track is an excellent end of the night record for the club or an excellent record to put on when you’ve got a gathering at your place. Its really no surprise though as KDJ releases are never ones to miss!

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-Scotty Brandon

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