Digital Indigenous 01: Imba Africa  cover

Digital Indigenous 01: Imba Africa


Awesome Tapes from Africa, Sahel Sounds, and Nyege Nyege Tapes were among the first to shine a spotlight on the hyper localized scenes emerging across Africa thanks to the meeting of traditional music and digital tools, from Mali’s Balani to the Acholitronix of Northern Uganda. Polish label 1000HZ Recordings is the latest to highlight these idiosyncratic sounds with their Digital Indigenous series, which focuses especially on East Africa. The first album, Andy One’s Imba Africa, is a joyous record that has a lot of heart even with its rudimentary production. Andy One began his career as a musical leader in his local church in Northern Mali and later, unable to pay his jazz studies in the city’s only music school, he opened his very own studio, where he perfected his mix of local sounds, like ngoni and vimbuzza, with pop, reggae, and hip-hop. Tracks like “Mbuye Wanga” are infused with the uplifting melodies of gospel, while “Tadekha” is the kind of song you’d hear blasting out the speakers of a roadside bar.

Megan Iacobini de Fazio