If you’ll search Google or YouTube for ‘electronic tribal music’ about 90% of your search results would be related to a musical genre called ‘Tribal-House’.This musical genre dominates the cyberspace.Quite heavily I dare say.It’s basically ‘house’ music ( or ‘deep’ house whatever that means… ) with an emphasis on percussion parts especially Latin percussion.YouTube is flooded with tracks\mixes\DJ sets etc. of Tribal-House music.Actually you can’t escape it even if you really wish to.
But…. some of you might be surprised to know that electronic tribal music has many other flavors.In this blog series I’ll try to spotlight some of my favorite electronic tribal artists whom I think have an interesting & original contribution to the ‘electronic tribal’ music world, broadening & enriching its definition & many times escaping any trivial definition.
So what’s on my playlist ?
1.Pentaphobe – I Cash Radii A great track to open our alternative tribal journey.An interesting fusion of middle eastern beats & sounds ( the Darbuka & Zurna are very dominant here ) with some IDM & Glitch electronic treatment.
2.Erick Rincon – Sangre Atzteca Being one of the founders of the Mexican Monterrey DJ collective known as 3BallMTY , they describe their music as tribal-guarachero which indicates the Cuban Guaracha influence along with the Colombian & later Mexican Cumbia music & dance.The triplet rhythmic ‘feel’ is a major characteristic of this musical genre.This track has a great rhythmic drive which reminds me of an ancient ceremonial Indian-American ritual.
3.SplitBrain – Alpha Warriors Meditation Yes folks …That’s me.I included this specific track here because I think it mixes very well with Erick Rincon’s track & musical spirit & provides a great ‘drum meditation’ & tribal drum composition.You can DOWNLOAD this track & my whole new album for FREE if you click here.
4.Beats Antique – Nau Ashta Beats Antique are quite familiar in tribal-alternative world for their unique fusion of Middle Eastern music , Tribal Fusion bellydance , Circus music , Glitch & Dubstep ( to name just a few of the influences in their rather ‘eclectic’ musical style ).Nau Ashta has a beautiful asymmetric 9/4 rhythmic cycle which already creates a special rhythmic ‘feel’ throughout the track.The Turkish\Balkan Zurna wind instrument is also very characteristic in the track.Along with the Flute , the vocal chanting samples & the beautiful drifting bass line , a unique 9\4 downtempo electronic\middle eastern\tribal Beats Antique dish is created.
5.Beats Antique – Beauty Beats One of Beats Antique ‘Hits’ if we can use this term here.The sitar melody ( or is it the Persian Tar string instrument ? ) is very catchy & groovy & serves as the main ‘hook’ in this track.Along with the darbuka & the sampled glitchy drum samples & beautiful bass bursts it creates the special Beats Antique atmosphere.
6.Filastine – Informal Sector Parade Grey Filastine is yet another interesting ‘world fusion’ musician with music that escapes conventional genre definitions.I like his attitude to rhythm & sound.An interesting blend of Indian rhythms ( sounds like the Indian Dhol drum ) with Zurna glitched & manipulated samples along with heavy kick & bass breakbeats that create this electronic central-Asian fusion.
7.Sheeqo Beat – Macumba – Sheeqo Beat Remix Another tribal-guarachero bomb.Sheeqo Beat is also one of the founders of the 3BallMTY DJ collective.The rhythm composition & drive in this track is so powerful & hypnotic one physically needs to move when listening to it.Together with the ecstatic vocal shoutouts & dance music buildups it creates a powerful tribal piece of music.Ecstatic Guarachero.
8.M.I.A – Bird Flu M.I.A is one of the most interesting ‘underground’ ( is she still ? ) musicians nowadays.Her fusion of Asian, Indian\Sri-Lankan sounds & rhythms along with the most updated electronic sound production & her idiosyncratic Asian hip hop style of singing is definitely her unique musical blend.Bird Flu is based on the Urumee Sri Lankan\Tamil drum which gives this song it’s special rhythmic character.Along with M.I.A unique vocals & phrasing it creates a powerful Tamil Tribal masterpiece.I love it.You can watch the video here.
9.Richard Devine – Glen Velez Remix – External Combustion Let’s go ‘experimental’.I guess by now you already know that I’m a Frame Drum freak.Glen Velez is one of the most famous Frame Drum masters.Richard Devine is an electronic music wiz that specializes in experimental IDM electronic music.Together it makes an interesting combination.This track is part of a whole album by the IDM schematic label which is dedicated & based on Glen Velez Frame Drum samples.I like the concept.I also like this track especially because I think it preserves the special Frame Drum sound, character, groove & energy even though it is heavily electronically manipulated.Experimental tribal.
10.Karsh Kale remix to Beats Antique – Kismat Karsh Kale is one of the most exciting musicians in the so-called Asian Underground as far as I’m concerned.His unique blend of Indian influenced music with electronic beats ( especially drum & bass but not only ) & Tablas ( he is a great Tabla player himself ) is a real treat.In this track he is remixing Beats Antique Kismet & transforming it into an electrifying D & B frenzy with delicious Tabla breaks along with the characteristic Indian string section.