Today we take a brief trip back to the Belgian Congo of the 1930s through “Bapere Dance” off of the new Peder Mannerfelt release “The Swedish Congo Record”.
The album has its roots in an obscure 78 rpm compilation, “The Belgian Congo Records”, produced in 1950 by Belgian filmmaker Armand Denis who one of the first Europeans to preserve the sounds from this corner of central Africa. When Mannerfelt crossed paths with the recordings his plan at first was to sample material but he decided instead to recreate it using only synthesizers. Why? From its Soundcloud intro:
The Swedish Congo Record is first and foremost a thrilling, refreshing album. However, it is also an unintentional critique on a dark passage in Belgian history. The colonial times are marked by a violent, shameless exploration and exploitation of resources and people. On a humanitarian, political and social level a deep scar was left behind by this period of Western European Colonialism. Still now Western economic interests continue to influence the fate of central Africa. Simply sampling the original album could be seen as another way of colonising or disrespectful appropriation. However, by re-sculpting the album, reshaping its original musicality into a wild electronic universe of his own, Mannerfelt pays tribute to the traditional and folkloric meaning of the dances.
Attention musicians, record label reps or fans: Got a suggestions for a Tune du Jour? I’d love to hear it.
Each weekday at noon Eastern Time Piran Café spotlights a new or recently released song from smaller or independent labels for our rapidly growing audience. Genre? Any. So long as it’s good. Suggestions are most welcome and encouraged – do get in touch. Please include press info about the song /album /artist, and links to video, audio or both. The more info, the merrier.
CURRENT FOCUS: Since I’ll be based in Colombia through the latter half of August, I’d love to focus as much as I can during that time on new or emerging artists from South America. Obviously, exceptions will always be made. Just trying to keep it local. Thanks!