Thursday 24 November took me down to Frankfurt for the first ever Alma Negra live show. In just over a year the guys have gone from a collective pushing world sounds along with house and disco to a lean, hungry revolving DJ team and live act. The live act has come together in less than 4 months and has enlisted the talents of Senegalese percussionist Fabio Freire, who’s stage presence and skill on the djembe, berimbua and udu really bonded the group’s live percussion, drum machine and synth work together. He also happens to have been one of the closest friends of the father of one of the main driving forces behind the live act, Dario Rohrbach.
With the imposing structure of the Commerzbank headquarters scraping at the sky outside the venue owned by Robert Johnson honcho Ata, the hypnotic and energising sound of live drumming gave this an almost transportive feel away from the metropolis of Frankfurt rising from its edgy street level base.
Back to Berlin (via Golem in Hamburg for the boys) for Saturday and this time the DJ wing of the collective was in action at the excellent African Acid Is The Future party at Loftus Hall, where they played almost five hours snaking between afro influenced grooves, smatterings of salsa and some golden era house music, making for a lively party atmosphere and a diverse crowd of die hards and curious newcomers.
To round of a fine week they also took the time to speak to Stamp The Wax about their home town of Basel and record a mix celebrating the cities rich music culture old and new.