TOTD // 28/02 // Auntie Flo

Published: February 28, 2017, words by Mitchell Green

Part of the Our Black Roots takeover


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Brian d’Souza exists as a treasured gem within the boundaries of today’s electronic music scene. Known to us as Auntie Flo, he has cemented himself as one of the leaders of a movement marrying the rich textures of world music with the linear capacity of house and its surrounding genres. He is an artist that possesses an irresistible groove that in turn seems to run as a theme throughout each of his productions. Auntie Flo also represents the Highlife label and club night, for which is he is a resident. Highlife represents a whole host of artists who seem to have nailed the same marriage of genres that Auntie Flo has come to be known for, with exquisite music released from the likes of Alma Negra, Cain, Esa and Auntie Flo himself.

d’Souza has overtly represented black music worldwide for the entirety of his career. He is an artist who has achieved much with his Highlife World Series in terms of carrying the influence and recognition of certain strands of black music to the forefront of the electronic music scene. It is partly due to him that this specific fusion of genres has been popularised in recent years and it is great to hear sounds from further afield so prominent in releases from every corner of the globe.

For Our Black Roots, we have sought to receive selections from some of the most prominent figures that have represented the struggle for equality either within their music directly or via their arguments and statements that have resonated with us in recent years. Equality is an issue that is still rubbing off on individuals worldwide and we at Watch The Hype want to do our bit to publicise the issue as much as possible.

For today’s instalment of Our Black Roots, Auntie Flo has picked four tracks that span five decades, from the unquestionable soul of Nina Simone to Theo Parrish’s ode to black music. Listen and read below.

via youtube

Sun Ra

Space Is The Place

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Gotta start with Sun Ra – the afrofuturist pioneer, using a jazz foundation as a launch pad to space! This song is taken from the film of the same title, pushing Ra’s vision to leave planet earth and start a new civilisation with “different music… and different vibrations”.”
via youtube

Nina Simone

See-Line Woman

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Theo’s ‘Black Music’ references this track by Nina Simone so I needed to include it! As well as being one of my favourites by her, it’s much sampled and I often play the Kerri Chandler and Jerome Sydenham version. I recently watched the Nina Simone biopic and it struck me how involved in the civil rights movement she was, using her voice as a political tool, which can still be heard loud and clear today.”
via youtube

Theo Parrish

Black Music

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Traditionally, ‘black music’ relates directly to music formed out of the slave trade and is the root of many genres from blues and RnB to Chicago house and Detroit techno. This song perfectly exemplifies the notion of afrofuturism, fusing house and jazz, with Craig Huckaby’s lyrics – “the past slips into the future, the future slips into the past”.”
via youtube

The Art Ensemble Of Chicago

Theme De Yoyo

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“I once saw Art Ensemble of Chicago perform in Glasgow, minus leader Lester Bowie who was sick at the time (and died shortly after). Recorded in 1970, this song sounds so fresh! And it has stood the test of time, with bands such as The Cinematic Orchestra covering it for their Man With A Movie Camera album. Listen and feel ALIVE.”

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