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Afro Jazz

Rhythms Reimagined: Exploring Raz Olsher & Afla Sackey’s Fusion of African Beats and Electronica.

Kono Vidovic May 13, 2024 38 4 5

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Raz Olsher & Afla Sackey’s music represents a harmonious union of African influences with electronica that is full of soul, vibrant energy and captivating rhythms.

Raz’s repertoire includes a range of solo electronic music productions, producing for Basement Jaxx, Lamar, Sam Lee. Afla’s background as a dancer and session musician for artists like Ginger Baker, Sun Ra, Oren Marshall, Osibisa, Ibibio Sound Machine, and Tony Allen embodies his lineage.

Raz & Afla

The balance between Raz’s production style and Afla’s Afrocentric flavours has ignited dance floors and has earned the duo a glowing reputation. Their debut album, ‘The Cycle’, came out in 2022 and has been supported by Gilles Peterson, Lauren Lavern and Jamz Supernova.

As they prepare to bring their vibrant energy to the Wild Wood Disco festival in the UK in June, we asked them to talk us through some music that has played a part in their journe

1. The Meters – Ciccy Strut 

As I was learning to play the bass guitar I got obsessed with the Meters. Funky grooves shuffle like no other band. The rhythm section is as tight as it gets.

2. Smooth Criminal (Micheal Jackson) 

I loved the video and dancing as I was a young dancer at the time and I was imitating it from watching the TV.

3. RHCP Sir Psycho Sexy 

This album changed my life. Bangers with a unique sound and production. Clean guitars that hit different. I was obsessed with the lyrics and the outro.

4. Sex Machine (James Brown) 

Fell in love with James leg movement and was very curious to find out what a sex machine is.

5. Get it Together – Beastie Boys 

Beastie boys defined a new organic sound to Hip Hop. As kids we were smoking weed and listening to this record again and again. The Q Tip feature is monumental! 

6. Water No Get Enemy (Fela Kuti) – Water no get enemy (Fela Kuti) 

A childhood favourite. I love the horn arrangements and groove and Fela’s presence was electrifying. His controversial life story captivated me.

7. Underworld – Rez 

Discovering British dance music was a big thing in the 90s. I found out about Underworld from Trainspotting and fell in love with their energy. Rez reminded me of my name and was a glorious B side. 

8. I Just Called to Say I Love You – Steve Wonder 

I’ve never seen anyone sing on the phone before, so I was curious. I started to search for his music and was mesmerised by his talent and skills despite him being blind. There is simply no voice like that. Divine.

9. Song of Life – Leftfield 

This album opened me up to electronic dance music as it did to many of my generation. This track brings up memories of early sunrises after a long night in a field. 

10. Back to My Root (Lucky Dube) 

As South Africa was coming out of the apartheid regime, this guy came out with beautiful reggae music that lit up everyone with hope.

Wild Wood Disco Festival 2024 Line Up

Thank you.

Thank you, Raz and Afla, for sharing your vibrant energy and inspiring stories with us today. For everyone tuned in, don’t miss the chance to experience their electrifying performance live at the Wild Wood Disco Festival this June. Get your tickets, feel the magic of the woodland stage, and be part of a weekend that promises unforgettable music and merriment!

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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco

Kono Vidovic

DJ | MUSIC CURATOR & SELECTOR | PODCAST MAKER | BLOGGER Professional online interpreneur. Coffee practitioner. Electronic music culture maven. Total music guru. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Food & sports fanatic.

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