Describing the global dance music landscape may be one of the skills I hate to love most. I often hear, “Oh you’re a DJ, cool, what kind of music do you play?” I say, “Well, I play a lot of different music, I suppose I’m a bit of a ‘multi-genre’ DJ. I’m mostly focused on global dance music, particularly street-wise bass music. Actually, anything heavy in bass from around the world.” At the risk of pursuing a PhD in order to describe the sounds I like, some do, I’m content being vague, circuitous, and muddy. After all, it’s the ambiguity that’s often what is most interesting about dance music today; the perpetual question and the myriad non-answers.
To add to the malaise is one purveyor of confusion, producer/DJ Chief Boima out of the San Francisco Bay Area, and more popularly known as a principle contributor to the blog Ghetto Bassquake, which focuses on percussive, bass-heavy sounds like Kuduro and Coupé-Décalé—one of many African dance rhythms as varied as the continent itself. The result is a tag-team effort that covers a significant chunk of fresh and shuffle-worthy sounds from around the world. Boima’s partner in crime Vamanos, situated in London-town, makes up the other half of the contribution force, where Bassquake extends beyond the blog format and into the dance with the monthly night “Secousse.” The night is hosted by Vamanos and nascent production duo Radioclit, whose project The Very Best with Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya has been making warm splashes around the critical and listener-empowered world.
Boima, the producer in the family, has been busy synthesizing these delectably confusing array of sounds, drawing particularly from Coupé-Décalé, and demanding awareness of a sound that Boima proves is a pliable and convincing rhythmic form. Deep in bass and heavily percussive, the Coupé-Décalé sound is quite fast and repetitive, reminiscent of house’s appropriation of African tribal rhythms, creating Tribal House, and now reemerging under the zeitgeist of the UK Funky sounds, a title worthy of debate. Working on a project with Bersa Discos man Oro11, under the alias “Banana Clipz”, as well as under his own name, Boima has an intriguing series of releases coming up. And here for your uber-precious exclusivity are a few examples of Boima’s latest work, even a special treat including guests Lil’ Wayne & Drake. You can catch Boima spinning at Little Baobab in the Mission District of San Francisco, as well as making surprise guest appearances around the globe.