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10 Seconds: Skanda Sabbagh

"Special thank you to brudda George Nelson for reaching out with tenacity and patience, and creating new platforms for dialogue and experimentation. You are a real one G…for the culture…"

1. Aswad - Truth (0'39" - 0'49")

From Aswad - A New Chapter Of Dub (1982)

"The drop after that intro sheeez it takes a second still, but what to say, its worth the wait – 10 seconds… it’s not long – simplicity we use to survive…slow and steady wins the race…

On a reflective sunny day, drummer Zeb and Tony Gad hold a steady positive jazz influenced bubble the boundaries of UK Dub…I first heard this on my pops “borrowed” CD player at the back of the “free” bendy bus from Wood Green to Trafalgar Square – Dub Fire…"

2. Balimaya Project - Soninka/Patronba (7'49" - 7'59")

From Balimaya Project - Wolo So (2021)

"Reaching higher levels recorded without a click, on a live set locking in on this riddim Maraka/Soninka takes some doing, the djembe phrase sits in the pocket and puts hole through it

Mande West African folkloric music fused with UK Jazz, Balimaya, 16-man deep, a diasporic black brotherhood, The Wu Tang Clan of UK Jazz a shameless and sincere plug for my people. Led by my brother and visionary Yahael Camara Onono generating cultural legacies in real time….."

3. 47 Soul – Intro to Shamstep (3'16" - 3'26")

From 47 Soul - Shamstep (2015)

“State and switch, straightforward stuff but nothing better than an synth lead at a wedding but with distortion through the overloaded amps….

47 Soul’s live show is a madness, drums swing, synths distort and Palestinian flags fly in solidarity. This is one of the more commercial riddims showcasing their formula creating accessible versions of Dabke Levant Traditions. Big up to 47 Soul and Marsm holding the corner in the UK…."

4. Maleem Hamid El Kasri – Moulay Ahmed/Lalla Aicha (2'18" - 2'28")

From Maleem Hamid El Kasri - Live Recording of Traditional Gnawa Tracks at Studio Hiba

"The phrase to smile by – As a traditional song I have heard this phrase from taxi’s in the mountains, Illas in the Medina and on stages pon the beach, it positively climbs in your bones...forever.

Immersed in all night ceremonies (Illa) this transient trance-inducing music will lift you differently. The abrasive cyclic Krakebs become lucid and the Guembri bass penetrates while you join the call and response songs from the Malleem - there are no spectators, if you're onsite you're part of the transformative experience.."

5. Lafayette Afro Rock Band - Darkest Light (3'45" - 3'55")

From Lafayette Afro-Rock Band - Malik (1974)

"Stabs and drops couldn’t choose between the straight intro drop or these later stabs, no need for complexity, think Gil Scott Heron “No Knocking HaHa for you my brother”…..

This riff has been sampled a million times, afro funk, 0 Frills, straight drops, these are the breaks that had the power to bring dancers off the wall and inspire dem to spin on their heads….sheez tun up…"

6. Bassidi Kone – Bwazwan Rehearsal (1'14" - 1'24")

From Bassidi Kone - Bwazan Rehearsal (2016)

" Intro break fire, no qualms, hi tuned djembes, breaks, multiple mandem in unison, beautifully powerful stuff. Ahhhh... Mande Music in the 21st century is something else…

Bassidi's YouTube content of rehearsals and performances in Mali are addictive, the continuous cyclic balafon and clean unison breaks with highly tuned djembe and precise Dounoun kill me. Contemporary Mande Djembe music."

7. Tigran Hamasyan - Levitation 21 (3'40" - 3'50")

From Tigran Hamasyan - The Call Within (2021)

"Switches on a madness, puts my synaesthesia in knots that turn themselves inside out within only 10 secs, too much beauty and contorted passion compacted into 10 secs.

Virtuoso Piano, Bass and Kit doing bits- Odd time Balkan time signatures, throat singing, clean cuts and switches. Was not ready for the madness of what the Armenian Tigran brought, a measured creeper wid hints of J-dilla, Questlove from the drummer, by luck we caught a late-night set of Tigran’s trio at Cully Jazz festival in Switzerland."

8. Ziak - Akimbo (1'56" - 2'06")

From Ziak - Akimbo (2021)

"Flow and tension – references to the Unknown T and Abra Cadabra, the flow drags and smears unapologetically across the riddim leading into the chorus – 808 glides and big kicks. Yep..ZIAK Salute!!

French Drillers? – The energy is too real - That 2017 Drill don’t exist no more and the whole movement is splintering in 5 directions as we speak with a global reach, being locally reinvented and taking root in hostile environments from Paris to Sydney. The hope is or it not to implode and fall victim to its own violently expressive success."

9. Konono N1 - Ungudi Wele Wele (7'50" - 8'00")

From Konono N1 - Congotronics (2004)

"The type of ting that shuffles, twists with monotony - listening at loud volumes the Kasai Allstars recordings were not destined for in the whip….yet here we are a lens focused on two two changes in 10secs…The distorted sounds, metallic percussion, odd tunings and micro timing grooves hypnotised and haunted me and still do…I first came across this riddim on a CD borrowed from Wood Green Library, my ends were packing the shelves on madness."

10. Jeich Ould Badu & Ahmedou Ahmedou Ahmed Lewla - El Moutarah (4'05" - 4'15")

From Jeich Ould Badu and Ahmedoy Ahmed Lewla - Top W.Z.N (2016)

"A backward drop, the epitome of anti, this be Mauritanian Taxi music apparently, these some real Sahara desert junglists with that repeated riff….lets go. Balancing somewhere between North and West – I could not be on job when these synths and riddims drop. The micro timing + groove with the electronic tumping kicks and percs way up in the levels hit home differently."


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