“When Thomas Sankara Met Fela Kuti “
The track is a musical meditation on a real life event that occurred when famed Nigerian musician Fela Kuti met the African revolutionary Thomas Sankara at a music festival in Burkina Faso in 1987.
The track features stirring Afro Colombian rhythms recorded in Chia, Colombia by the musician & producer Bassilar Membrane who in addition to playing acoustic bass on the track also had guest musician Oscar Munar playing a traditional marimba.
This music accompanies the vocals of Ugandan artist Kabaka Labartin performing in various languages including Swahali .The vocals were recorded in the natural setting of Kulambiro mountain in Uganda.The vocals were actually recorded on an ordinary cell phone on the mountain top and relayed to Colombia.IR circumvented the need for a conventional studio recording setting by directing the Rasta youth Kabaka to a place in the mountain where he could feel a calm dub meditation vibe and then using an internet communication app giving him vocal recording direction and writing lyrics with him while he was on the mountaintop.
The video for this track uses footage filmed throughout South America by Santiago Ospina and in Uganda by Patience Asaba Katushabe with the final editing done by Santiago “The Dangerous Editor “Ospina in Colombia.
The track was mastered by Brain aka Juan Aguilar in Bogota, Colombia.
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Language Of The Free”
After reading the IR book “Ethiopia Dub Journey II” Tracia wrote her vocals for ‘Language Of The Free”. She describes her lyrics “as a conversation with nature and the subsequent journey.” The creation of the musical track itself went through many treks in many lands.
Starting in Toronto, Canada where Colombian musician Caballo created the flute breakbeat and set the musical tone for the track. Afterwards it travelled across the Atlantic to Dr Das to his Red Reception studio in Harrow, England, where he first performed precision audio editing with the flute and Tracia`s vocals (which had been recorded in Kingston, Jamaica). Dr Das then relayed those tracks to Dj Soundar and Jerome Klur in Paris France who then created the dub influenced jungle programming.In the midst of this process Dr Das did alot of very intricate work and audio surgery to make the timing of vocals match up the drum programming being created.All throughout the journey, Ramjac was our guide, using his vast experience as a sound engineer and percussionist to give suggestions and keen audio advice.
The track finishes with the quote “We need to transcend this material world, liberate yourself following your heart.” These words by Nada Ashkar that are found in the Ethiopia Dub book were translated into the Dene language and sung by Simon Paul Dene, an indigenous Dene artist from Canada. And full circle, Caballo recorded the vocals back in Toronto.
“Dj Soundar produced the final mix in Paris,France”
Language Of The Free” A Dr Das Dub Video For IR:: Indigenous Resistance Dr Das created this video using among other sources the photography of Gregg Young Ing found in the inspirational book “The Native Creative Process” by Douglas Cardinal &Jeanette Armstrong.One also sees images from the IR book “IR 30 Indigenous Visions In Dub ” designed by Dubdem and the book “Ethiopia Dub Journey II ” by Amastara &Dubdem.
“Congo Story “
Caribbean poet Kamau Braithewaite once wrote “Kumina is the most African of the [cultural expressions] to be found in Jamaica, with negligible European or Christian influence.” With many connections to Jamaica, IR has been an enthusiast of Kumina drumming for a long time. Many believe Kumina originated in the Congo and their ceremonies feature evocative chants, intense drumming and dancing often leading participants falling into trance states. On this track, dub maestro Herman “Soy Sos ” Pearl was working out of his Tuff Sounds Studio based in Pittsburgh. Soy Sos takes live kumina drumming played by Alfonso Craig and recorded by engineer Ryan Sterling at the Merle Grove avenue percussion studio in Kingston ,Jamaica. “Soy Sos” adds musical instrumentation overlaid with his studio wizardy. Drawing on his experience as a dance music producer, Soy Sos created something uniquely parallel to the trance-inducing groove experienced at Kumina ceremonies.
Lyricist Tracia watched documentaries on the Congo like The History of Patrice Lumumba, the Congo, and Colonization on YouTube [https://youtu.be/icdzgvP056s] and PATRICE LUMUMBA’s STORY-A TRUE AFRICAN NATIONALIST” also on YouTube [https://youtu.be/2UkAFGecf-E]. As Tracia says in her own words ” Patrice Lumumba’s story must be told by every tongue until every ear had heard it. One can’t tell Lumumba’s story & not tell di Congo’s” With those lyrics and IR’s music, Congo Story is a meditation of promise denied, of the future curtailed, of assassination—character and physical. Cornelius Harris from UR lends his vocals at the start of the track to provide an introduction to Tracia`s sung vocals recorded in Jamaica.
The words and dub spiritual reflections come from Mooji who hails from the
parish of Portland in Jamaica.His words are an affirmation of the importance of being courageous.Tapedave did the vocal editing.Dr Das produced this track which features musicians DJ Soundar ,Jerome Klur as well Dr Das who creatively incorporated a truck horn recorded on the streets of Laos by IR to make a musical refrain.Dr Das recorded his melodic baseline and programming at Barrio Carmel, Barcelona .
In Paris,France Jerome Klur contributed guitar & effects.The mighty Louis Beckett who can be often seen doing live sound for Asian Dub Foundation is accomplished dub maestro in his own right .He added additional instrumentation and programming and then did the dub mix & mastering for this in his UK studio SUBBDUBBERS BUNKER.
Programming & production by Dr Das at Red Reception ,Harrow ,UK.
In the words of Dr Das: “This track is the sonic consequence of Dr Das as a dub musician ,listening to UR for over a decade and contains sounds and frequencies from supposedly disparate musical and cultural communities .It is a spiritual call for a resurgence of compassion and empathy as the driving force in the relations and interactions between people, not egos or material gain”
KumIna Dub Sparks From John Trudell”
The words and reflections of John Trudelll that can be found in the book “Ethiopian Dub Journey II ”
Trudell an indigenous activist and poet was a former chairperson of the American Indian Movement. His power of oratory and clear thinking were so feared by the Fbi that they kept a 20 000 page file on him.
On this track his words are read by Tracia and Cornelius Harris from UR (Underground Resistance)They are set against Kumina drumming.
Recorded in Jamaica anchored by the flute of Mike 360 recorded in New Mexico.
Flute player and beat boxer Mike 360 was introduced to IR by Jamaican author Dutty Bookman . Dutty met Mike when he was djing a roots reggae session on Apache territory in New Mexico .In the words of Dutty at the session ” I bigged up the Apache on the microphone and a bredrin who is Apache came to the microphone towards the end of the night and started blowing his wooden flute so beautifully. It was a great moment”
Percussion and bass from from Dr Das joins percussion and keyboards from Louis Beckett who gave the track a fierce dub mix in his SUBBDUBBERS BUNKER
The dub song title came from Tapedave
Sacred Dub For Nelly Stharre: Dr Das African Anarchist Mix
This special mix for IR was done in 2015 by Dr Das in memory of our friend and IR conspirator Nelly Stharre.
More than three years later there has still not been a properly concluded investigation into the cause of her death.This is unacceptable!Nelly loved indigenous reasoning and was someone who appreciated what our friends in Solomon islands told us “That often what is not said is as important than what is said”
As Dr Das was about to mix this track he learnt about the passing of Sam Mbah one of the authors of the book “African Anarchism :A History Of A Movement ” ( See Sharp Press ,Tuscon Arizona )
A book IR feels is very important!
This track was produced and mixed by Dr Das .Players of instruments Dr Das and DJ Soundar. Vocals include those by Jimmy Dick and Tohununu
A Partial IR Dub Visual Dictionary
The script written in Geez the ancient language of Ethiopia means to elevate ones self .
ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ Refers to the concept of Chardi Kala indicates the elation or high spirits of Sikhism. Chardi Kala, meaning “the waxing mood” is an equivalence of a mind that never despairs, never admits defeat and refuses to be crushed by adversities.Chardi Kala has also been described as the superior and glorious state of mind in which there is no fear, jealousy or enmity and there is a constant celestial bliss of self-dignity, self-abundance and grandeur of soul
It is written here in the Gurmukhi script which is used to express the Punjabi 1language.
இலவச மொழி in the Tamil language means “Language Of The Free”
The ancient adinkra symbol from Ghana which is also on the front cover of IR 47 represents hardiness ,toughness and perserverance.Also relevant is the fact that indigenous people refer to North America as Turtle Island.
The adinkra symbol which is on the front cover of IR 49 is a symbol which represents the triumph of good over evil.
The adinkra symbol on the cover of the IR 48 and IR 50 the Caballo releases
signify the talons of the eagle .The strength of the eagle`s talons is connected to the overall meaning of this symbol which stands for strength,power and bravery.
Not all code is immediately explained as the lyrics of the IR track”Indigenous &Sacred” states:
“Understand the concept of sacred things/there are moments to hold things close /moments to reveal them ”