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Andi Otto Electronic & Dance 2 Items

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Andi Otto - Rwandance
Andi Otto
LP | 2019 | EU | Original (Shika Shika Collective)
17,09 €* 17,99 € -5%
Release:2019 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Boundary-pushing composer and sound designer Andi Otto returns with his new album ‘Rwandance’, which sees live instruments, studio recordings and sampled archival material melded together as part of an electrifying reimagining of the musical traditions of Rwanda
‘Rwandance’ is a collaboration between Rwandan dancer and musician Evariste Karinganire and cello player and electronic music producer Andi Otto, brought together by a chance connection. Inspired by Steve Reich, Mark Pritchard’s Harmonic 313 and Otto’s mesmerising musical experiences touring India, Otto built software to translate the intensity of Karinganire’s hand claps into different synth notes - the structure and time signature of traditional Rwandan music providing the framework for Otto’s creations, new instruments and sounds incorporated into its parameters.

Otto follows a path similar to many producers from Latin America’s burgeoning electronic music scene but instead of using Andean folk music as a starting point, he reappraises Rwandan music mirroring traditional sounds but similarly, reimagined through a contemporary lens. ‘Rwandance’ follows Otto’s 2016 link-up with Indian singer and actress M.D. Pallavi and underground hit ‘Bangalore Whispers’, a showcase for his original approach to cross-cultural musical dialogue. He has since cemented that reputation with subsequent albums “Via” and “Bow Wave”, weaving global sounds into his distinct sonic approach.

Producing and releasing music since the early 2000s, under the Springintgut alias and under his own name, for labels including Multi-Culti and his own Pingipung imprint, Otto draws on minimalism, electronic music and sound theory to create work that’s as considered as it is engrossing. ‘Rwandance’ is respectful and bold at the same time; Otto hews close to Karinganire’s hard-learned traditions, while unpacking and reconstructing them in unique ways.

Otto has long nursed an interest in creating music with a hypnotic quality, and working with Karinganire provided the perfect platform for exploring this. ‘Igisasa’ is a prime example, a slow-building track built around Otto’s custom-built thumb piano, Karinganire’s vocal, and a gentle acid bassline. It’s underscored by a long-nurtured interest in repetition, developed through tours of India – where he saw four hour, trance like performances based around one note – and an artist residency in Kyoto, Japan.

A pioneering force, he developed a digital sensor-extension of his cello, the “Fello” at Amsterdam’s radical STEIM centre, a reflection of his interest in repetition in music. It’s seen him featured in a London Science Museum conference on the history of electronic music. He teaches a course at a sound art academy in Bern, Switzerland, called “Repetition is Change”, where he leads students in considering how we relate to sound. “I’m thinking a lot about repetition and change and the dialectic between these two words,” he says. “It’s like brushing your teeth: you do the same thing every day, but if you really look at it, it’s new every time.”

The connection between Otto and Karinganire came through a serendipitous crossing of paths in the 2018 stage show Planet Kigali, where Otto was hired to create the soundtrack, and where Karinganire was hired as one of the dancers. In creating the soundtrack, Otto was given access to a wealth of archival recordings from Rwanda, ranging from music to field recordings of everyday goings-on. By chance, one of the drum parts he sampled for the show was a recording of Karinganire performing from some time during the 1970s.

Karinganire pointed this out to Otto, who suggested they go to his studio and record Karinganire singing. Otto had imagined he would perform for a few minutes but, aside from a brief pause to drink a beer, he sang for 45 minutes with no backing or metronome. This session was the starting point for the record, and Otto went on to build around the plentiful material which Karinganire had provided him with.

The record they’ve created was a natural fit for the Shika Shika label, founded in 2015 by UK producer Robin Perkins (El Búho) and Argentine producer Agustin Rivaldo (Barrio Lindo). Otto and co-founders Perkins and Rivaldo had had an online friendship for a while, and this album presented the perfect opportunity to work together. The label is currently focused on a crowdfunding campaign to launch their second edition of a new compilation, “A Guide to the Birdsong”, where electronic artists will be commissioned to write tracks incorporating field recordings of birds from their respective countries. It taps into the natural ambience that filters through many of the label’s releases, with all of the proceeds going towards supporting bird charities.

Shika Shika is a home for music that combines organic and electronic sounds, a meeting place between the past and the future. (They also put an emphasis on supporting artists, splitting profits in their favour.) This chimes exactly with what Otto wanted to achieve in his collaboration with Karinganire, taking deeply-rooted traditions and giving them a new sonic make-up.

Thoughtful without being obtuse, ‘Rwandance’ fuses different musical disciplines together with ease, making for a unique record that’s easy to get lost in.
Andi Otto - VIA
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