Tam Fiofiri- The Speed of Thought

It is said that Sun Ra introduced the Moog synthesizer to the jazz world. The man who introduced Sun Ra to the Moog is Tam Fiofori, a little known Nigerian journalist, photographer and historian – then Harlem based, but better known in Lagos as “Uncle Tam”. Fiofori is also one of the first critics to write seriously about the most famous citizen of Saturn – his essay in Downbeat Magazine “Sun Ra’s Space Odyssey” (1969) is a founding connection between Ra and the movement that would be known as Afrofuturism. Uncle Tam later invited Sun Ra to Lagos for FESTAC 77, took him to the Kalakuta Republic (Fela wanted the Arkestra to perform at his counter-FESTAC festival at the Shrine, Sun Ra politely declined), and wrote about it all in the pioneering Nigerian journal Glendora Review – read Akin Adesokan’s brief history of Glendora Review here:

Tam Fiofori is one of Nigeria’s most accomplished photographers who has chronicled Nigeria’s history in albums of photographs over decades. He was also Sun Ra’s manager.

He is an artist, journalist and veteran, who has written about art, music and culture almost as prolifically as he has photographed them. He is also a filmmaker and media consultant with documentaries like ‘Odum’ and ‘Water Masquerades 1974’ that were screened at FESTAC ’77.

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Temitope Kogbe

Temitope Kogbe is a DJ from Lagos with interests in photography, music and African history. Temi also collects vinyl of post-highlife West African music and genres it birthed. Temi’s interest in music started with his dad’s large collection of LPs from the 70s and 80s. His family later moved to Paris during the boom of the Jazz era where he eventually caught the bug, attending as many concerts as he could and taking drum lessons from jazz drummer, Sangoma Everett. Temi …  ( continue reading

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Pan African Space Station Lands in Lagos

Pan African Space Station at Freedom Park in Lagos, 23rd -26th of June 2016 Launched in 2008 by Chimurenga, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) is a periodic, pop-up live studio; a performance and exhibition space; a research platform and living archive, an internet based radio station. Taking advantage of both the intimacy and unpredictability of the live radio studio, PASS seeks to forge new collaborations across time and space; while also engaging how relationships change and practices evolve. The …  ( continue reading

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The Anti-Art of Kongofuturism

In the multidisciplinary lifework of Bebson Elemba aka Bebson de la Rue, Eléonore Hellio* discovers the mind and matter that inspire ‘ephemeral architectures’, radical folklore and emancipation from the post-colonial present.  Bebson de la Rue is one of central Africa’s most unique sound and visual artists. A musician and a singer, a rapper, performer and bricoleur extraordinaire, he grew up in the city of Mbandaka, on the banks of the Congo River. Located astride the Equator in a region of …  ( continue reading

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Call For An Archive Of Afrosonics

The collective improvisations of black America – and their profound impact on poetry and sound – are near impossible to find in the annals of US academe. In fact, their absence is as stark as the control of archiving is white, writes Harmony Holiday.  Since the 1950s, jazz music and the literary imagination have been inextricably linked, producing transcendent recordings and written work and many hybrids of the two – a new sonics, an antique Futurism – from Langston Hughes …  ( continue reading

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Reading Fred Ho: A Jazz Suite in the Key of Red

  Gwen Ansell and Salim Washington celebrate the revolutionary life, language and hard-ass leadership of an unconventional saxophonist, composer and generous collaborator. Reading The Text  Gwen Ansell Prelude: Home is where the violence is ‘Everything I create starts with the music… [and music]… like any conscious human activity, can be a force to change humanity, society and the world.’ Baritone saxophonist, composer, martial artist and revolutionary polymath Fred Ho (Fred Wei-han Houn) was born in Palo Alto, California in 1957 and …  ( continue reading

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Whycome Kamerun be Bass Central?

Lionel Manga explores the place of music in the social and cultural space of ‘this here country’ – a world of ambient, chronic poverty and the land of Manu Dibango.  Night has taken over from day where the Wouri river makes its way out to sea. Thick miasma travels the streets, stinking in the heat. The city’s going beery-eyed: joy and bitters, if you can believe it. It’s back to normal – sort of – but February lingers on the …  ( continue reading

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Gospel Christian Porn Rap

Fucking with the puritanical social mores that pervade the world’s most religious country is the clear and conscious intent of Ghana’s popular and controversial hip-hop duo, the clever FOKN Bois, writes Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah.  M3nsa and Wanlov the Kubolor are the FOKN Bois: controversial, unapologetic and boldly venturing into territories that other Ghanaian musicians stay well clear of. The duo met as college students in 1997, and Wanlov would “lie to M3nsa’s teachers that M3nsa was needed at the school administration block by staff, and we would run off to …  ( continue reading

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Stalking Thandiswa

by Clarissa Cummings I’m a sucker for intense relationships with people who have no fucking idea I even exist. Since the advent of online social holes like Twitter and Facebook, my phantom connections and passive-emotional steez have skyrocketed. And I’m not complaining.  I’ve been enthralled in some of the most fulfilling 15 minutes of non-committal, pseudo relationships.  All types of relationships.  I’ve become a serial cyber best friend, lover, intellectual companion and enemy; all with strangers I meet scrolling through …  ( continue reading

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JitsVinger: practicing, not preaching

By Lindokuhle Nkosi Jitsvinger is concerned with matters of identity. Language. Land. Becoming. Being. He delves deep into the “who are you” and “why”.  Through his lyrical, rhythmic fast-paces rhymes, he aims to do more that entertain. He enlightens. In stark comparison to the flashy, bling-culture of the hip hop of late, he wears his humility like a cloak. “People always wonder about how I made it. How I’m making a living of my art but they don’t know what …  ( continue reading

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