Friday, June 14, 2024

Uganda’s Kampala-based Nyege Nyege Tapes announces ‘Sator Arepo’ the debut album of acoustician, musician & self-styled ‘punk ethnomusicologist’ Julien Hairon. The Sator Arepo, or Sator Square, is an ancient word puzzle comprising five palindromes that’s etched on various historical sites throughout the Western world. Its origins are unknown, but the square has long been thought to hold magical properties. 

Julien Hairon uses this mystical symbol as the starting point for his debut Judgitzu album in an attempt to reconnect with his Celtic heritage, exploring how its hallowed messages might harmonize with contemporary Tanzanian dance music.

‘Sator Arepo’ is out October 2023 Friday 20th.

Julien Hairon has been traveling across the world for over a decade, collecting field recordings from countries such as Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, China and Bangladesh, and presenting them on his Les Cartes Postales Sonores label, re-issuing any curious cassettes and CDs he came across on the PetPets’ TAPES imprint. 

The most astonishing example of this is ‘Miracle’, a thrusting soundsystem experiment that layers serpentine, bagpipe-esque electronic wails over extravagant clusters of blocky percussion. Driven by the frenetic 175BPM pulse that echoes through the streets of Dar Es Salaam – popularized globally by forward-thinking producers like Sisso, Duke and Jay Mitta – Hairon opens up a rare conversation, seeking to draw parallels between today’s most urgent dance forms and the archaic rituals of antiquity. On ‘Vitalimetre’, Hairon drives his sonic palette into the red, harmonizing with Dutch hardstyle and gabber, and splaying distorted drones over maddeningly blown-out kicks and ratcheting percussion. 

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