Bamba Pana: "Poaa" LP
Label: Nyege Nyege Tapes
Release Date: 9/21/2018
Nyege Nyege Tapes follow the frenetic Sounds of Sisso comp with Bamba Pana's debut album, Poaa -- an incredible second volley of grimy Singeli fire from the belly of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Jumanne Ramadhani Zegge a.k.a. Bamba Pana is one of the core producers, alongside Jay Mitta, of the Sisso studio -- a central hub for MCs and producers in the Mburahati ghetto on the outskirts of Dar Es Salaam. Along with his peers, Bamba Pana uses a laptop and software to update the local, usually acoustic and instrumental style of Singeli, computerizing its hyper rhythms and zinging melodies for the needs of younger, contemporary crowds in an upfront, direct way that has translated far beyond its East African roots, as anyone who witnessed the Sounds of Sisso tour or heard the compilation will surely attest. As a debut album statement, Poaa could hardly be more distinguished. Perhaps best compared with the urgent tempi and quicksilver syncopation of Shangaan Electro or Angolan Kuduro to outsiders, it's effectively a form of Tanzanian grime or hard dance music, using rapid-fire, hypnotic rhythmelodies to drive crowds to dance in thrilling, new ways. Bar one killer cut, "Linga Linga" featuring the distinctive bark of Bamba Pana's long-time vocal foil, MC Makavelli, the set is entirely instrumental with voices used only as strobing rhythmic filaments. The other eight tracks range from an "introduction to brand new dance from Africa" in "Agaba Kibati," to what sounds like turbo speed makina in "Biti Three," whereas "Baria" hops from shredding synths to hyper-colored percussion in wild style. Meanwhile "Biti Six" features some of the set's giddiest harmonies, spiraling so fast they evoke weightlessness, while "Kusini" is patently compatible with the ruffest P.
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