It was only a matter of time before Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound frontman Mark Ernestus made another appearance on our site. Ernestus will forever have his name etched in the techno hall of fame as a massive innovator, but holds a special place in his heart for African and Caribbean sounds. When he first opened Hard Wax in 1989, the idea was to be Berlin’s first outlet of dub and reggae imports, and his love for such styles is certainly telling of Ndagga Rhythm Force – his own unique take of onmbalax, a polyrhythmic style emanating mainly from Senegal and Gambia, released last year courtesy of Honest Jons.
In 2011, he travelled to Dakar to record with the Senegalese drum collective Jeri-Jeri, and since then has released seven records with the group through Ndagga, a label dedicated to the project. Yermande has to be my favourite track on the record, perfectly encapsulating the fluidity and chaotic nature of the crazy percussive onmbalax style, whilst the heavy dub rhythms bubble under the surface – creating something utterly unique. Of course, the beautiful dubbed out vocals of Mbene Diatta Seck compliment the track perfectly adding even more to the overall brilliance of the record.
This is some of Mark Ernestus’ best… get to know.