In 2009, the Goethe-Institut Nairobi teamed up with electronic music duo Gebrüder Teichmann to create a collaborative musical project like no other. The concept of 'Berlin-meets-Nairobi' (which later bore the name BLNRB-NRBLN) took three collectives from the famous Berlin electronic music scene - joining Gebrüder Teichmannwere breakbeat-due Modeselektorand multicultural trio Jahcoozi- and sent them to Nairobi, Kenya, where they met and mingled with artists from the vibrant local music scene.
From Kenya, rappers like Mister Abbas, Kimya and Lon ?Jon or the first lady of Kenyan rap, Nazizi, became part of the joint collaboration. The electropop band Just A Band and blind singer/guitarist Michel Ongaro also contributed their flavors. In addition, six members of the hip hop collective Ukoo Flani from the coastal city of Mombasa were a key part of the body of MCs who would turn up every day and night to the 'Madhouse' where all composing, recording, sleeping and eating took place.
Out of this collaboration came the eighteen-track album, 'Welcome To The Madhouse', a collection of creations that positively burst with innovation and energy. The project truly built a bridge between the digital technology required to create electro club music (which is largely inaccessible in Africa), and the wealth of contemporary musical talent from the continent. This was not about randomly sampling 'African music“, but about digging deep into the local Nairobi music scene and building the next generation of sounds together.
Over the past few months, the BLNRB blog has been teasingly releasing videos for all the tracks. Works of art in themselves, they really bring the songs to life and make the sounds all the more exciting. We've lined up a few of the most recent additions below...