VAN CZAR & FRIENDS – AFRICAN ROOTS (BONZAI BASIKS)
February 26th, 2014
Belgian DJ and producer Van Czar delves into his ancestry and discovers his own African roots. Van has an ability to deliver quality productions every time, from Techno to House, he always puts his soul into his sound. Drums and percussions are big elements in his sound and with his ancestry we can see how he is able to tap into this and create purely soulful, outstanding rhythmic structures. Here we see Van recruit a few of his friends to contribute to the wonderful ‘African Roots’. Nine tracks filled with all the goodness of house and techno and burgeoning with tribal driven grooves.
Top Belgian DJ and producer Eric Powa B gets us going with ‘Supafly’. The intro boasts a penetrating tribal rhythm with some well constructed drum patterns. Nice and crisp hats sit over a cool chunky kick while some vocal samples add texture. The bass is the big hitter here as it pulsates through the groove keeping you locked in. On the break we get some awesome tribal chants which gives the track character, superb stuff from Eric and a wonderful start to this project.
Van is joined by New York based South African DJ and producer Brendon Moeller aka Echologist on the title track ‘African Roots’. Brendon has been around recording studios for a long time with a very respectful list of releases to his name and under various guises. The track takes on a tribal vibe right from the off as a myriad of drums weave out intricate patterns resulting in smooth rhythms. Nice crisp hats accompany a full kick giving the track a techno edge. Vocal samples ebb and flow in the track and add to the tribal textures. The break gives off a sweet string sequence adding a cool contrast to the sound. The track powers on and releases an acid line late on which further enhances the sound, wonderful stuff!
Next up we have Surasela with ‘Southern Attraction’. Cool percussion led intro which shapes up into a fine flowing rhythm. Chunky kicks and brilliant hats come through alongside some really cool deep chanting vocals. Simple synth notes add a beautiful texture to the sound and marry well with driving nature of the groove, top notch!
Darouge is up next with ‘Around The Corner’. Darouge was first introduced to electronica through listening to top trance and progressive jocks and as time went on his musical preferences changed. After attending many different styled parties he began to settle on house music with minimal tech and techno being his main focus. His last outing through Bonzai was his ‘Displacement EP’ on Eyepatch. Here he keeps with main theme behind the album and focuses on tribal rhythms with outstanding results. Expertly crafted drum and percussion patterns form up into driving rhythms with vocal samples thrown in. A truly deep throbbing bass shores up the grooves while on the break we get treated to a beautifully tweaked, hat, drum and vocal workout which builds back up to full on techno delight.
Van’s ‘Tobassi’ is next, the track intros with a slowly fading in beat accompanied with sharp slappy drums and cool hats. Powerful kicks give off a classic techno vibe and the drums intensify building to a sublime tribal rhythm. The break brings in surreal African chants which blend perfectly with the beats. Van has gone down the full on tribal route here and what a brilliant job he has made of it, simply stunning!
Swiss producer Mark Kavas and relative newcomer Peter Storm deliver a stunning tech fuelled slice with ‘Fennec’. Right from the off the track takes a cool tech edge with phat kicks and well balanced hats building the platform for a superb ride through the deeper side of tech house. Fantastic carnival-esque drums pop up and are the perfect companion for the gritty bass that dominates the sound. Sweeping FX make a show alongside cool and subtle synth work. Great track from these guys and a must for those deeper sets.
Mexican DJ and producer Ritch Mollen gives the vocal fuelled ‘Togo’. Ritch made his Bonzai debut with ‘Enough Of Disco’ at the start of 2013. He delivers the goods yet again with this electro-tech monster. On the intro we get a classic kick and hat combination which leads into a very cool male vocal which is a big attraction on the track. A tough bass soon follows taking much of the focus as it powers through the sound. Superb electro snares bring in each section with great effect and gives the track a surreal diversity, top stuff!
Van and Brendon Moeller aka Echologist give us a Dub Mix of ‘African Roots’ which is a full on jaunt through the deeper side of techno with tribal elements. Very dark atmospheres are created with dull thudding drums and beautifully crafted bassline that dominates the sound. Vocal samples give a hypnotic vibe and really set the track off. A hell of a ride this one and sure to be a big feature in many sets.
Spanish, veteran DJ and producer Mauro Nakimi delivers his track ‘Black Cube’. Mauro has been active on the scene since 1991 when he was big into the jungle, breakbeat, hardcore scenes. He became a regular feature around London playing at all the big clubs and in the mid nineties he began to write his own music. This resulted in numerous releases across many top labels. Today he sticks mainly to Techno as evident within this superb track. Big chunky kicks and percussions get us going along with the odd vocal sample. The percussion are very well arranged giving off smooth flowing rhythms as a deep rooted bass brings up the rear. As the track evolves many different elements combine giving a Techno flavour, on the break this is magnified with a brilliant deep bass arp that teases throughout the rest of the track. An epic ride that is not to be missed!