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Digging Deep: DrumTalk

Digging Deep: DrumTalk
Rhemayo Brooks

Usually a man of few words where press is concerned, DrumTalk tends to let his music do the talking. The anonymous East London DJ-producer is steadily making a name for himself establishing his distinctive sound; a rambunctious blend of Afrobeat patterns, laced over the more familiar 4×4 apparatus of house, techno and other electronic variations. His early associations with Soundway and Sofrito seem to have acclimatised his sound. Throughout his production there’s a recurrent embellishment of African percussion, married with brooding melodies that has set him on similar musical terrain as Auntie Flo and Daphnii.

His most recent releases have come via the ever on-point Huntleys + Palmers, which in the early part of this year released the “moody house anthem” Time, a tripping, swinging beat, layered with skittish percussion, dressed in melancholy organ swells and diva-ish bursts.

Following a recent appearance at FWD>>, DrumTalk will be stepping behind the decks in fabric’s Room 3 this Saturday alongside Auntie Flo, Esa, and Andrew as they complete the periodic Huntley + Palmers showcase, a purely debauched takeover that always promises good vibes and an achingly forward-thinking policy. Ahead of that, we got DrumTalk to drop a selection of the deepest dug gems from his record collection for an insight into his textured Afrocentric productions.

Innerzone Orchestra – Architecture

This is taken from the LP Programmed, released in 1999. The Carl Craig Helmed project had previously yielded the now seminal tracks ‘At Les’ and ‘Bug In The Bassbin’. They are classics of their kind, faeturing an organic warmth without losing their unmistakable Detroit sensibility. The album continued and developed this approach and featured a number of musicians incorporated into the electronic environment with absolute finesse. This track is actually one of the more purely electronic but happens to be one of my favourites.

LB Disco Power – Homage a Mimi Mongo

This was introduced to me by an ex-girlfriend of mine who is into African music. I really don’t know much about Mimi Mongo but I understand she was a Congolese singer, very well known and held in high regard. It’s easy to see why. The first time I saw this I was totally struck by her utterly effortless and unmannered style of singing. It gives me goosebumps.

Nu Yorican Soul – Mind Fluid (Chemidub)

I actually heard this one a few years before I got the record. It’s stark and cold compared to the original and I in fact prefer it. I always loved the toughness of the drums and the heavy percussive vibe. The stop-start arrangement is interesting too but makes it an absolute fucker to mix with, to be honest with you.

Sikiru Ayinde Barrister – Dimensional Fuji

Fuji is a Nigerian music that follows a fairly rigid format: a drum ensemble made up of American kit, traditional Nigerian drums and occasionally drum machines and call-and-response vocals. The tracks are always very long, you’ll get two on an album if you’re lucky. It’s worth being patient and getting into it though. If you like drums, you’ll be in absolute heaven.

Don Williams – Pieces

I was put onto this just recently by Benji Semtek. Again, it has the organic percussive vibe working just right alongside the electronic elements, a combination that I love. Clocking in at 10 minutes, it’s a long journey, but one that remains exciting throughout.

DrumTalk plays Room 3 in fabric this Saturday for the Huntleys & Palmers takeover.