Afronaught – Transcend Me

When Bugz in the Attic‘s Orin Walters released “Transcend Me” in 2001, West London’s broken beat sound got one of its first, if not the anthem and probably the most important tune for the genre.

While borrowing heavily from Masters At Work’s When You Touch Me, Afronaught emancipated the track with a crazy percussive build-up, raising the tension with every bar, and Melissa Browne’s powerful vocals. “Transcend Me” has not been the first broken beat track, but it is considered the first by the many who first got to hear about that genre.

And now, soon ten years after its release, it is available as free download on SoundCloud!

May 24, 2015 The first version of this article used a SoundCloud embed

Weekly Bits 7/2009

From now on I’m going to summarize some of the news that I did not cover in a full article. These weekly bits might not be a regular thing, but should be posted on weekends. So, let’s start with week 7 of 2009.

Orin Walters from Bugz in the Attic, otherwise known as Afronaught, did an interview for souledup.com. It’s a good read, focusing on the beginnings of his music production, the Co-Op parties and the current state of the West London scene.

The latest show of Deviation had special guest Phil Asher talking about the Phlash & Friends album. You can still listen to the show on the BBC iPlayer for the next couple of days, or grab the full show (or just the Phil Asher part) for your iPod.

Also, the launch party for the album will take place next Wednesday at London’s East Village. The night features singers Zansika, Shea Soul and Sandra Nkake, DJs include Zed Bias, Bopstar and Afronaught, the entry is free! If you need a taste, why don’t you rewind this video.

Afronaut Y Amigos Presentan Hecho En Casa Part 1

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

For the last couple of years, Orin Walters of Bugz in the Attic has been traveling to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. There he discovered the depths of latin music, its many flavours and in particular the rumba. Many travels later, a friendship with the local scene emerged and led to first collaborations – the most famous being Golpe Tuyo Calinda, a standout broken beat track released under Orin’s Afronaut moniker. First releases through the newly formed ABCD Records raised hope for more tracks of this kind, and many years later a long-announced compilation is finally available through Bipolar Japan.01. Mark De Clive Lowe – Relax Unwind… (feat. Abdul Shyllon – Afrojas Ricanstruction)
02. Candela Allstars – Mambo Roto
03. Broki – Es Que Lo Es (Kay Suzuki mix)
04. Oreja – Julietta (Nautz 20:20 edit)
05. Tito Sensai – Galeta Liquida
06. Broki – Mi Ritmo (feat. Tempo)
07. Totin – Rumba Cultura
08. Afronaut – Golpe Tuyo Calinda (feat. Son Del Batey)
09. Cachete Y Seiji – Batacumbele
10. Local 12 – Kulo
11. Tito Sensai – Shelembe (feat. Cachete)
12. Afronaut – Nuevo Rumbera
13. Neon Phusion – Calle San Sebastian (feat. Tempo)
14. Candela Allstars – Brobombique (Bugz In The Attic edit)

As the titles suggest, the compilation features both original and West London reworks. Long sought after tracks like the Relax Unwind remix or Golpe itself are finally available for those who don’t call a turntable their own. Many of the tracks can be heard on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Podcast or through the sampler in the Coopr8 player. The CD can be purchased directly from Japan or from Juno Records.

Our Music Our Culture Volume 1

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

The tracks sound familiar? That’s right, as they’ve been available in different outfits from the Coopr8 MP3 store. First you could get them on the five Cooperation III Samplers, the first two were even out on vinyl. Later this compilation showed up on the same store, under a different name but with most of the tracks, though not all of them. Now Kay Suzuki‘s Bipolar releases it’s first record, and it’s this compilation again.

So much for the introduction, let’s talk about music! The standout track for me turns out to be Simbad‘s Digital Revolution, the only track not featured on any of the previous releases – however, I’d love to hear an instrumental version. Next up are two tracks that were available on the first sampler, I C U from Karizma and Been Here Before from Lewis D. The first took a while to grow on me, but it’s a deep, tension-building dancefloor killer built around a sample of Nina Simone’s See Line Woman. Both tracks have a similiar feeling, broken beat on a house-tip – or vice-versa.

Unfortunately it goes straight downhill from there, though all the big names havn’t been mentioned yet. Afronaut makes a return with Change featuring Blu of Basement Jaxx-fame on the vocals, Domu contributes Nu Vision, from Marc Mac comes Take Ova Me.

The compilations suffers the problem, that it sounds like collection of left-overs or unfinished tracks. A theory that gets support from the Bugz in the Attic’s contribution called Reject. Especially the vocals on the majority of tracks are weak, the wish for instrumental tracks comes up more than just once. The list of artists featured sounds like an allstar roster, with many almost-forgotten names like Ayro or Colonel Red? For me this compilation is a big disappointment, most artists didn’t meet my expectations, I hope this compilation does not replace a proper Cooperation III album. I’m missing tracks of the quality of Domu’s Dangerous Times, Marc Mac’s Throwdown or anything Izmabad (a collaboration of the featured Karizma and Simbad). If you still feel like listening to more snippets, let me recommend you the sampler from the Coopr8 player. Also, Juno Records has this item in stock.