It’s time we took a trip down the aural soundscapes of Mali through the lens of Wind Horse’s commander-in-chief, Hamza along with legendary Malian musician Bassekou Kouyate (from the band Ngoni Ba). The latest release from the Wind Horse community titled “Bamako Calling” features remixes from Oscar P, Stalvart John & Farhan Rahman, Jose Marquez, and Unnayana to make for one of the year’s most powerful releases.
Support from Guy Gerber c/o, Daniel / Trickski, Greg Delon, Pete Tong c/o, Luis Leon, David Granha, Erick Morillo c/o, Satin Jackets c/o, Davide Squillace, Da Mike, Shiba San c/o, Nicole Moudaber, DJ T., Adana Twins, LUXXURY, Sugarstarr, Lost Frequencies, Villanova, Themba c/o, Claptone c/o, Bill Brewster, Severino / Horse Meat Disco, Olderic, Crazy P, Jonny Tawn / Jive Talk, Tony Humphries, Djeff Afrozila, Infected Mushroom c/o, Roger Sanchez, Franco De Mulero, dOP, Chus & Ceballos / Pablo, Michel De Hey, VONDA7, Markantonio, Auntie Flo, Carl Craig c/o, and Richie Hawtin c/o
The EP begins with the track ‘Ben Kadi’, an original from Hamza and Bassekou that’s a proper afro-house dance floor burner. The track opens with simple percussive elements that accompany a chunky kick-drum that sets the groove right at the offset. As the track builds gradually, melodic riffs of stringed instruments coupled with piano stabs and vocals layer over the rhythms with ease. Bassekou on strings steals the limelight with explicitly exciting strums that power through the track. It wouldn’t be surprising if you heard this being dropped at a club near you, who could argue?
Los Angeles based house music DJ/producer Jose Marquez follows up next with a remix that’s inspired by his roots in Latin and world music. Discreetly busier than the original with purpose, Jose adds a touch of soul with Detroit-Esque pads that lend it a lush, unique vibe. Credit goes to Ezel, on keys who doesn’t hold back. As the remix gathers steam, Sidy Maiga and his Djembe skills delight and adds a lot of bounce and groove to the rework. The breakdown is smartly construed to give listeners a chance to submerge themselves in the vocals on offer, coupled with heavenly pads that can easily put a smile or three on anyone who listens to it. Definitely a powerful weapon to carry in your arsenal if you’re a DJ!
‘Ben Kadi’ gets the full-on acid treatment with India’s own afro-acid purveyor – Unnayana. The Bangalore based sound-smith carves out an acid-dub banger that’s sure to set fire to any dance floor. Purposely minimal in nature, the track kicks off with a distinct saw-tooth bassline that gives it, it’s own identity. Accompanied by delicate squelches of acid, Unnayanna demonstrates how one can do more with a lot less. As the song builds, the track remains true to its aural nature by allowing Bassekou’s epic guitar riffs take center stage in alteration with the acid lead. All in all, a fantastic addition to an EP that’s overflowing with musical inspiration.
Rising Indian producers Stalvart John and Farhan Rahman follow-up next on remix duties for ‘Ben Kadi’ with funk, soul, and panache. Adding a different twist to things, the duo use existing elements rather intelligently while keeping things cheerful and bouncy at the same time. An addictive bassline is what you will be drawn to almost immediately in syncopation with simple yet effective percussions and rhythms that could easily transport your mind to the shores of a tropical paradise. No-nonsense piano stabs also add an element of fun to a track that one can definitely expect to find being slammed out at a party near them, pretty soon!
Hamza and Bassekou’s incredible musical pedigree is on full display with the next track on the EP titled – ‘Tolon’. Funky from start to finish, the Malian’s insane ability on strings shines through, accompanied by uplifting chords and a combination of simple drums, claps and hi-hats. Staying true to the Eps African roots, the rhythm is unmistakable and easily addictive. As the original picks up the pace, evergreen vocals and the riffs are enough to lure you into a state of temporary ecstasy. Definitely a must-have.
Brooklyn’s very own – Oscar P steps up next with his own rendition of ‘Tolon’ that’s starts with an in-your-face kick that already announces this track’s intentions. Stripped down, the remix slowly welcomes a dreamy pad that serves as the backdrop, along with those lovely vocals. It’s pretty easy to lose yourself as the intelligent composition keeps the listener on edge, constantly and extremely effectively. Always building to a crescendo but never needing to go past it, Oscar definitely manages to showcase his originality and prowess. Left of field, this one definitely blurs the lines between techno and house on this one.
That’s not all, to round things off, Oscar also throws in a dub remake of ‘Tolon’ with minimal use of vocals that give it, it’s own sonic signature. Cosmic pads lend spacy ambiances and vibes to the tune and are complemented by an easy-going groove that can easily transport the listener into a world of their own. To some this, could even be a crossover between dub-techno and house, something that one does not come across, commonplace.
All in all, the Wind Horse family is extremely thrilled and honored to bring you one of our most exciting releases yet!