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Dumama + Kechou | Buffering Juju

This African duo change the recipe for their musical melting-pop concoction.

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THE PRESS RELEASE:buffering juju, the title of dumama + kechou’s debut album, relates to the process of “excavating spiritually charged content from within.” the duo’s textural sound, driven by cyclical song structures and chant making, not only captures the angst of the modern world but mines this state of affairs for regenerative potential. their approach to music is a coalescence of their respective individual journeys into the self and society, making their sound – described as nomadic future folk music — the sonic result of an organic meditative process. buffering juju plays out as a lush narrative meeting its sonic equivalent; one whose world is self-contained and interwoven. the narrative unravels as a piece of magical realism informed by south african folklore and reality, detailing a woman’s liberation story where the characters shift shape and traverse multiple realms, deploying various iterations of their power or lack thereof. “it has an organic, natural, cyber and modern kind of energy – all rooted in african aesthetics of sound and storytelling,” says kechou.

MY TWO CENTS: There have been countless musical melting-pot offerings from Africa. But few if any have followed the same recipe as this disc from lower-case loving singer-songwriter Gugulethu Duma and Algerian-German producer Kerim Melik Becker. Along with the polyrhythmic grooves, transfixing vocals and electronic backdrops that are now par for the course, these tracks factor in everything from free jazz horns and piano to avant garde percussion, swampy funk and hip-hop loops. Good juju.