Where do I begin with this? If this is the young sound of Dar es Salaam, I really need to get to one of their street parties as this debut EP by the Tanzanian duo Mario Swagga and DJ Silila is pure hedonistic madness! Though Singeli, the ghetto genre that this is a part of has been floating around the Tanzanian music scene for about 15 years, this a new twist on the street soundtrack of parties, shops and taxis. Like an East African gabba this is not for those with a heart condition. Hyperactive rhythms at up to 300bpm collide with sped up vocal samples, 1990 style rave sounds and distinctive Tanzanian rapping all created in DJ Silila’s front room studio using basic music software programme Virtual DJ.
Sharing much of the similar DNA as the Shangaan Electro sound of South Africa or Mali’s Balani Show, Singeli is the real thing, gloriously unhinged street music made for local markets and tastes that have caught the attention of open-minded listeners across the globe. ‘Mapenzi Digital’ is 8 bit propulsive future-funk that unlike a lot of Singeli is funny as hell! There is a happy hardcore-ness about the tracks here, early Jungle even, East African Taarab melodies mash into the clattering drums of Mnanda, the only bass the rumble of digital talking drums….Honestly, give these kids some serious studio kit and they could rule the world…
“Party as hard as you can, party with the vibe, this is an epic party” - Party La Uhakika (Epic Party)
Released by UK label Sign in conjunction with Danish imprint PG Sounds, the ‘Mapenzi Digital’ (Digital Love’ EP is an essential listen for music-lovers who want to know where electronic music might just end up. As always Africa is the source and it also appears to be the future.
BUY HERE - https://marioswagga.bandcamp.com/album/mapenzi-digital-digital-love
If you love this also check out - https://nyegenyegetapes.bandcamp.com/album/sounds-of-sisso
Words - Justin Turford