In the last nine years the out here records team has been getting connected with Africa’s vibrant urban music scene. The story began in 2001 when music journalist Jay Rutledge put together the compilation ‘Africa raps’ for the label Trikont in Munich, travalling to Dakar, Bamako and the Gambia introducing artists like Da Fugitivz, Tata Pound, Pee Froiss, BMG 44, Gaston and Omzo to an international market. Next up was ‘Mzansi Music’ (Trikont) put together with www.rage.co.za celebrating the rebirth of black urban South Africa 10 years after the end of Apartheid, featuring some of the hottest artists such as Mzekezeke, Mandoza, Zola, Mapaputsi, Skwatta Kamp and many others.
Out here records was founded in 2004 to present a new urban image of africa. The first release was the album ‘Dakamerap’ (OH 001) by Senegal’s first female rap trio Alif. Georg Milz joined the team and started getting more and more involved in the labelwork. Soon the Tanzanian band X Plastaz and their album ‘Maasai hip hop’ (OH 002) followed. This got us in touch with East Africa and the Bongo Flava scene which has been booming literally unnoticed by the rest of the world for the last ten years. ‘Bongo Flava – Swahili rap from Tanzania’ (OH 003) released in 2005 (compiled by Mawingu) brought together the Swahili hip-hop cats from Dar es Salaam. It introduces superstars like Professor Jay, Juma Nature (just nominated for a MTV European Music award), Afande Sele (Tanzania’s King of Bongo Flava 2004) and many others to an international market. 2005 brought us to Lagos together with Kora-award winner Adé Bantu. The trip resulted in the CD compilation ‘Lagos Stori Plenti’ (OH 005) featuring artists like African China, Faze, D’banj Modenine (most visible Nigerian artist on MTV Base Africa and Channel O), JJC & 419 Squad and many others. At the beginning of 2006 we also released ‘African Rebel Music’ (OH 004) introducing some of Africa’s young and hot reggae and dancehall voices such as Peter Miles, Necessary Noize & Bebe Cool, the Danfo Drivers or Batman Samini (MOBO award-winner 2006 – best African act) to an international scene. After running our Urban Africa Club in Munich for a couple years we summed up our experiences DJing on a compilation entitled ‘Urban Africa Club’ (OH 006) our choice of Africa’s best club tunes. Next up was Ghana and its Hiplife revolution Black Stars – Ghana’s Hiplife generation (OH 008), which brought Georg Milz to Accra where he hung out with the vibrant Hiplife scene.
2006 saw out here records first own production: ‘Segu Blue’, the debut album of ngoni wizard Bassekou Kouyate from Mali and his band Ngoni ba. Now two years later Bassekou Kouyate and his band have collected two ,BBC Awards for World music’ and established themselves as one of the hottest new acts from Africa on the international touring circuit.
The label then made a quick stopover in Guantanamo/Cuba signing the Cuban HipHop / Changui / Roots Reggaeton act Madera Limpia from Guantanamo. Their new album ‘La Corona’ (OH009) came out mid of november 2008.
In 2009 we went back to Mali to record the second album by award winning Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba. This time we invited wellknown soundengineer Jerry Boys to come along. He is known for recording Buena Vista Social Club, Ali Farka Toure and countless others. As with ‚Segu Blue‘ BBC presenter and SOAS scholar Lucy Duran produced the record. ‘I speak Fula’ came out in autumn 2009 and was soon licensed by famous Indierock label Subpop / Next ambiance in Seattle for the US market. In spring 2010 Bassekou & Ngoni ba toured the US extensively starting out as opening act for Bela Fleck and playing venues like the Carnegie hall, Savannah Music Festival & many others. He was joined on stage by the likes of Bill Frisell or Taj Mahal and Howlin’ Wolfs band. ‘I speak Fula’ has just been nominated for a Grammy Awards 2011 in the category best traditional album.
2010 became a very busy year for outhere records and saw a shift back to our work with urban African music. In May – just in time for the worldcup 2010 we released ‘Ayobaness! the Sound of South African House’ (OH 015) a compilation with some of the most happening house artists on the booming SA music scene. We also organised a small releasetour through Germany with Kwaito cats Mgo and Pastor Mbhobho performing in Munich (Crux), HdKdW (Berlin) and Rudolstadt Festival. In june we also released the compilation project ‚Yes we can: Songs about leaving Africa‘ (OH 016) 16 songs that talk about the problems of migration from Africa to Europe. The album includes unreleased tracks by Daara J family, Modenine, Afrikan Boy Kedjevara & many others. And in early September 2010 we put out the album ‚Eritrea’s got soul‘ (OH 017) by the Asmara Allstars featuring some of the finest musicians Eritrea has to offer playing a laid back Eri-Jazz reggae sound.
Also check out the official outhere sound system DALA DALA that has been touring extensively lately: they have played WOMEX 2007 in Sevilla, Africa festival Würzburg, Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi 2009, Amsterdam Roots Festival, Helsinki Club (Zürich), Poland, Italy, UK, Austria and rocked Roskilde’s Cosmopol in 2010. More gigs are coming in.
We are proud to announce our participation in the BLNRB Berlin – Nairobi project initiated by the Goethe Institute Nairobi. Three Berlin based Electro acts – Modeselektor, Jahcoozi and Teichmann – went to Nairobi to link up with the local scene there. The stunning resluts can be heard on BLNRB – Welcome to the madhouse (OH 018&19). 2011 also saw the release of a compilation with some of the most exciting urban artists from the Beirut. The Compilation ‘Golden Beirut – Urban Sounds from Lebanon’ (OH020) was put together by our longterm collaborator Thomas Burkhalter from Bern, who runs the network: norient.com.
artists we worked with:
… / Abass Abass / Afande Sele /African China /Afrikanboy /Afroganic / Alif / Awadi / AY / Azadus / Baay Sooley / Bantu / Bassekou Kouyate / Batman Samini / Bebe Cool / Bongo Maffin / Brown Dash / B.O.P. / C.B.V. / Carlou D / Chronik2h / Country Man / Crazy GK /Da Brains / Da Fugitivz / Daddy Bibson /Danfo Drivers / Daniel Haaksmann / Daz Baba / Daz Nundaz / Dede Mabiaku / Djoloff /Dully Sykes / Dread Maxim / D’banj / East African Bashment Crew / Eedris Abdulkareem / Ernie / Faze / FBS / Ferooz / Gangwe Mobb / Gidigidi MajiMaji / Godessa / Gokh-Bi System / H2O / JJC & 419 Squad / Juma Nature / Kassemady Diabate / King Ayisoba / Kontihene / KwabenaKwabena / Kwaku-T / K’Naan / K-Sal / Lady JayDee / Leo Muntu / Les Escrocs / Lobi Traore / Lord Ekomy Ndong / LWP Majitu / Madera Limpia / Mafikizolo / Magic System /Mandoza / Mangwair / Mapaputsi / Modenine / Mr. Ebbo / Mwana FA / Mzekezeke / Natty & Wharfy / Necessary Noize / Nkasei / Ntando / OBC / Ofori Amponsah / Omzo / Oskido / Pee Froiss / Peter Miles / Pidgen Allstars / Positive Black Soul / Professor Jay / Professor Linkin / QDL / Rebellion the Recaller / Reggie Rockstone / Revolution / Rokia Traoré / Ruggedman / Ruleclean / Sbu / Schlachthof Bronx / Scientific / Selectah red / Sheriff Ghale / Sista P / Six Foot + / Sen Kumpe / Skwatta Kamp / Small Axe / Solo Thang / Sydney Salmon / Tata Pound / Teba Shumba / Terry Bonchaka / Terry tha Rapman / Tic Tac / T.I.D / Tiken Jah Fakoly / Tinny / Tony Harmony / Tumi / Tumi and the Volume / Tripple M / V.I.P / WA BMG 44 / Wagosi wa Kaya / Weird MC / X Plastaz / Xuman / Zola / Zoumana Tereta / Zubz / 340ml / 994 Crew / …