Melding tropical bass, Nigerian funk, traditional African music and latin styles, the motto of German duo Africaine 808 is “No Boundaries. No Rules. No Bullshit. All Styles.” Electronic beats, funky acid keys, disco hi-hats, mbira, steel drums, African vocals and hand percussion all collide into a seamless melange. Carefully balancing their celebratory vibes by threading hints of bass, grime, electro, ambient techno and dark synth arpeggiations into the mix, their deferential globe-trotting borrowings transcend and challenge the normative frame of Berlin dance music.
Africaine 808 began as an extension of Berlin’s Vulkandance parties and the associated label Dirk Leyers and Hans Reuschl have run for the past few years. Renowned for mixing everything with an accent on world rhythms, the duo appeared to seamlessly progress into Africaine 808. The two had been crossing paths inside Germany’s techno world for years before joining forces: a guitar player and solo producer, Leyers was working for Kompakt records in Cologne and notably involved with Chilean-German producer Matias Aguayo as Closer Musik; Reuschi was employed by BPitch Control, busy as a graffiti artist but had a few breakbeat and bass productions floating around. Together with the addition of a TR-808 as a third member, they set the controls for the polyrhythmic hotspots of the globe with their debut album, Basar.
With a live show as elastic as their sound, they often enlist 2 percussionists to enliven the machine pulse at the heart of their sound — but for their debut at MUTEK, it’s Leyers and Reuschl alone, with their analog machines and the world at their fingertips.
With the support of “Germany @ Canada 2017 – Partners from Immigration to Innovation”, a special cultural program presented by the Goethe-Institut and the German Embassy highlighting the German-Canadian friendship in honour of Canada's sesquicentennial year.