it is said that the drum itself was invented in Africa. and as far as i'm concerned, all modern pop and especially dance music have deep roots in the musical traditions of that continent. i have made the admittedly sensationalist proclamation "techno comes from Africa", and here is an extremely simplified version of my concept of this lineage: slave songs - blues - gospel - jazz - funk - disco - house - techno ---- the circle is complete. some may have problems with this generalization (and in some ways i do too), but all sidelines, exceptions, and details aside, essentially it makes sense to me. after all, the 4 on the floor hypnotic groove can be found in the myriad styles of African music from every era, be it high-life, rumba, or the thousands upon thousands of much older regional traditions.

most people were, and still are, confused, skeptical, or straight up dismissive when i talk about this, but history was made in 2008 with Warp Records' release of DJ Mujava's Township Funk in Europe, which i believe is only the beginning of Europeans coming to grips with the awesome power of African Techno.




mediafire or rapidshare or megaupload


Anonymous said...

hi zhao, thanks for this one, really enjoyed the last. gonna have a smoke up and a listen, ATB

Anonymous said...

your blog is amazing

Anonymous said...

This is... the best blog.

I've been proselytising about kwaito since Brenda's comeback, I suppose. I sort of missed the South African house scene, though. It's down to you that I've got my ears on.

This is a very good blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey...thanks for this and all your other music...this blog has been a great resource to get inspiried with new combinations of music that you've created and the old stuff that you've posted as well. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

incredible mix. thank you so much, playing this for everyone i know and getting amazing reactions

dsenews said...

Nice blog I liked it.Thanks a lot for writing wonderful things.


fritz the cat said...

Hi. Nice mix.

I really don't see the point of generalizations like that. Surely the American and Japanese engineers who created drum machines have as much to do with the four-to-the-floor beat as anyone else? Plus you conveniently leave Kraftwerk out of the equation (how could you??) - they hardly have any african influences at all (but have influenced Afrika Bambaataa, amongst many).

AFAIK, there's no native black African music with a four-to-the-floor beat, therefore it must come from somewhere else.

Anyway, thanks for all the music.

zhao said...

ha great, i was beginning to fear that no one will take issue with the verbiage :D

sure it's a generalization, i admitted as much in the post, and i said that in some ways i have problems with it too.


it is naive to think kraftwerk came out of nothing: of course they were drawing from rock, mo-town, soul, and all the popular music of the 60s, 50s, etc.

drum machines are only tools with which to realize ideas, and thus not central to what we are talking about here, which is musical heritage.

and "no native black African music with a four-to-the-floor beat" ---- this is simply very, very, very, VERY far from the truth. i can easily, easily give you THOUSANDS of examples which would testify to the contrary.

if i have time i will make a post of some ancient, traditional, and 20th century african music which are to me without question the deep roots of modern dance music.

thanks for sparking the schizm

fritz the cat said...

"drum machines are only tools with which to realize ideas, and thus not central to what we are talking about here, which is musical heritage."
I strongly disagree - I am very fond of Marshall McLuhan's assertion that 'the medium is the message' - i.e., the tools shapes not just the product, but also the mental processes of the people who uses them and ultimately their society

"if i have time i will make a post of some ancient, traditional, and 20th century african music which are to me without question the deep roots of modern dance music."
go on then ;-)

zhao said...

re: mcluhan -- good point, and yes, the tools shape the user and the society, but their influence is not comparable to the influence of the much older roots of a particular art form.

take for instance typography and the advent of printing presses and later, digital graphic applications. of course these technologies changed the way we create and think about type, but they are, above all else, new ways to interpret the much older tradition of the written word, which is itself was just a new manifestation of much older oral traditions.

to say that drum machines created modern dance music is akin to saying that printing presses created written language.


oh and a big influence on kraftwerk i failed to mention earlier: Funkadelic (!!!) in fact, to me the kraftwerk project is so amazing because it is precisely using machines to re-make the soulful music of the prvious decades: expressing the same emotions and themes as earlier pop songs -- love, loneliness, etc. (albeit problemized: expressing an inability for expression of these emotions).

so i see a clear connection of House to the hand clapping energy of Chicago Gospel music of the 1930s. and beyond that, the work songs of the slaves, and ultimately tribal rhythms of the motherland...

it's likely going to take some time to sort out a proper group of tunes to demonstrate this lineage... stick with me :)

flageolette said...


Many thanks,


xingavi said...

Zhao I really enjoyed your last mix. I think it is brilliant the combination of the African musical sensibilities with the current dubstep/electronic trends.

If I could add my two cents. Whatever the mode or method that self expression manifests it is ultimately the "self" being projected. Intentionally or not, the "self" is in turn a projection of a culture produced by generations from a given sociopolitical location.

zhao said...

re-indexed with song titles, countries of origin, and re-upped.

Marlon said...

thanks for names!

but i wanna know the name of the track 17

from angola, vozes afro (??)

"roubaram minha viola
me impediram de cantar
levaram minha guitarra
me impediram de sonhar"

this is so emotional and beatiful.

zhao said...

thanks for translating those 4 lines Marlon! feel free to do the rest :)

i'm pretty the singer is the same one that works with DJ Znobia... actually it might be a Znobia track.

Marlon said...

haven't found yet, but i keep listening to your version, lol

goes like that

"roubaram minha viola
me impediram de cantar
roubaram minha guitarra
me impediram de sonhar

roubaram minha guitarra
me fizeram chorar
roubaram minha viola
me proibiram de tocar

mas eu vou continuar a tocar
mas num estilo diferente
sei que já errei pué
mas não consigo parar

roubaram minha viola
roubaram minha guitarra
me proibiram de cantar
calaram a minha boca
mas não vão calar
o meu coração

roubaram minha viola
roubaram minha guitarra
roubaram minha viola
roubaram minha guitarra

falaram que é disparato
mas já estou arrependido
eu não acredito
o povo angolano é chato

só pra me perdoarem
notícias dos jornais pensam que vão me calar
eu sou filho da Angola
vou cantar

roubaram minha viola
levaram computador
falaram que tenho carro
(didn't get it)
me impediram de sonhar"

thanks for the muzik