DJ Black Low UWAMI

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DJ Black Low UWAMI

Debut LP by the remarkable producer from Pretoria, South Africa who has a singular take on amapiano.

In many ways, DJ Black Low’s debut album, Uwami, shows the signs of an artist’s first offering in any musical genre. Showcasing fluency in a broad range of styles and stuffing a number of ideas to the record’s brim is the 20 year-old producer’s attempt to both introduce himself to a wide listenership and stamp a recognizable sound in their minds.
In other ways, somewhat out of the young South African producer’s control, Uwami goes against the grain.

DJ Black Low showed an early interest in music, particularly in producing.
“I’ve liked music a lot from a young age,” he says “I used to produce hip-hop and commercial house before I started producing amapiano. When I started out, I used to listen to a lot of commercial house.
I used to DJ at places in my neighborhood, parties and weddings. I wasn’t getting big gigs.”

For a young producer living in the townships of the greater Pitori area of South Africa’s Gauteng province, there were few avenues available for Radebe to pursue a career in music. His trajectory shows the vulnerability of this pursuit.
“I had started producing in 2013 and it so happened that I lost my equipment in 2014. I couldn’t afford to buy equipment.
In 2017, a friend of mine who had been making music found a job and decided to quit music. He gave me his equipment and I was able to start producing again. That’s when I started getting back to it.
I tried to pick up where I had left off, with hip hop and commercial house but I found that amapiano was the popular music. I liked it, so I started producing it.”

Solid for its ability to showcase DJ Black Low’s individual creativity and experimentation, Uwami is a promising debut.
Most interesting, though is the producer’s ability to harness his improvisation and experimentation into compelling grooves when he collaborates with others, as he does so readily on this recording.

DJ Black Low UWAMI

Debüt-LP des bemerkenswerten Produzenten aus Pretoria, Südafrika, der einen einzigartigen Blick auf Amapiano hat.

Das Debütalbum von DJ Black Low, Uwami, zeigt in vielerlei Hinsicht die Anzeichen für das erste Angebot eines Künstlers in jedem Musikgenre. Der 20-jährige Produzent zeigt, dass er eine breite Palette von Stilen beherrscht und eine Reihe von Ideen in das Album einfließen lässt, um sich einer breiten Hörerschaft vorzustellen und ihr einen wiedererkennbaren Sound einzuprägen.
In anderer Hinsicht geht Uwami dem jungen südafrikanischen Produzenten etwas gegen den Strich.

DJ Black Low hat sich schon früh für Musik interessiert, insbesondere für das Produzieren.
"Ich mochte Musik von klein auf", sagt er, "ich habe Hip-Hop und kommerziellen House produziert, bevor ich anfing, Amapiano zu produzieren. Als ich anfing, hörte ich eine Menge kommerziellen House.
Ich war DJ in meiner Nachbarschaft, auf Partys und Hochzeiten. Große Auftritte hatte ich nicht."

Für einen jungen Produzenten, der in den Townships des Großraums Pitori in der südafrikanischen Provinz Gauteng lebte, gab es für Radebe nur wenige Möglichkeiten, eine Musikkarriere zu verfolgen. Sein Werdegang zeigt, wie verletzlich dieses Streben war.
"Ich hatte 2013 mit dem Produzieren begonnen und verlor 2014 zufällig meine Ausrüstung. Ich konnte es mir nicht leisten, Equipment zu kaufen.
Im Jahr 2017 fand ein Freund von mir, der Musik gemacht hatte, einen Job und beschloss, mit der Musik aufzuhören. Er gab mir sein Equipment und ich konnte wieder anfangen zu produzieren. So fing ich an, wieder damit anzufangen.
Ich versuchte, dort weiterzumachen, wo ich aufgehört hatte, mit Hip-Hop und kommerziellem House, aber ich fand heraus, dass Amapiano die populäre Musik war. Ich mochte es, also begann ich es zu produzieren.

Uwami ist ein vielversprechendes Debüt, das die individuelle Kreativität und Experimentierfreude von DJ Black Low unter Beweis stellt.
Am interessantesten ist jedoch die Fähigkeit des Produzenten, seine Improvisationen und Experimente in fesselnde Grooves zu verwandeln, wenn er mit anderen zusammenarbeitet, wie er es auf dieser Aufnahme so bereitwillig tut.



Awesome Tapes from Africa

Awesome Tapes From Africa is a record label and web site operated by Brian Shimkovitz.

The site was founded in 2006 in Brooklyn, New York.

The site was created as a way for Shimkovitz to share music he had come across while on a scholarship in Ghana.

He was interested in the variety of genres and artists he found, distributed largely on cassette tapes at markets, but that he had not come across outside West Africa.

In 2011 he transitioned the site from just a blog with posted recordings of collected tapes posted without the artists' permission to a commercial record label.

The goal of the company is to seed and expand an audience for the artists presented as well as provide opportunities to sell albums and tour.

Artists are paid every six months and receive 50% of the profits from an album.

Tapes presented on Awesome Tapes come from a variety of sources: gathered in Ghanaian street markets, purchased in stores in the US, or sent by others over the internet.

In addition to the website, Shimkovitz DJ's concerts, clubs and at festivals as Awesome Tapes From Africa, as well as hosts a show on Dublab.

Most Awesome Tapes From Africa releases are official rereleases of out-of-print cassettes from African musicians and bands.

SK Kakraba's Songs of Paapieye is the first album to consist of a new release. Although music is distributed in Africa via MP3 on mobile phones, Shimkovitz says the widest variety of music in West Africa is still available on cassette tape.

In the journal Public Culture, Awesome Tapes From Africa, along with record labels Sublime Frequencies and Parallel World, is discussed as being emblematic of "World Music 2.0" for combining the "open source ethics of online networks with long-standing countercultural networks of circulation" within cassette culture and music distribution in developing nations.

More about Awesome Tapes from Africa