‘Ode to Ghana’ Review by JUICE Magazin

Wenn es um afrikanische Musik geht, muss man ausHipHop-Sicht eigentlich nur kurz an der Oberfläche kratzen, um sich sofort jahrelang mit populären Feldern wie dem von Fela Kuti in Nigeria geprägten Afrobeat und äthiopischen Jazzern wie Mulatu Astatke befassen zu können. In deren Schatten stehen aber Länder, deren reichhaltige und von spannenden Fusionen geprägte Musikszenen erst vergleichsweise spät dokumentiert werden. Wie eben Ghana. 

Das von Robot Orchestra und Shuffle Jack gegründete und damit in Deutschland beheimatete Netzlabel Hobo Truffles lässt nun eine Armada von mehr oder weniger unbekannten internationalen Produzenten auf ghanaisches Rohmaterial aus Jazz, Highlife und Afrobeat los, das man partiell von Soundway-Compliations kennen könnte – was die aber daraus machen, ist irgendwie viel mehr als die Summe seiner 20 Teile. Da finden sich relativ simples Beat-Konducta-Loopdigging und übliche Schlurfdrums ebenso wie elaborierter Schwurbel-Jazz, modern interpretierter Afro-Funk und zwei, drei ernsthafte Banger, die förmlich nach dem nächsten Beatfight rufen (#Afrobeatfight). Und weil das alles auch noch kostenlos ist, kann man sich zwischen Ben Bada Boom, Peet, Kommerzklaus, Nomad und Freunden ganz hervorragend selbst aussuchen, wie man’s gern hätte. 

Ein neugierig machender Einstieg in eine vielleicht noch etwas mysteriöse Musikwelt ist das obendrein – und für diesen Winter locker die interessanteste Instrumental-Compliation in einer Sahara voller Beat-Tapes.

(JUICE Magazin N°157 / Ralf Theil)


EyeKnowHipHop on ‘Ode To Ghana’

“If like me, a Hip Hop tribute to Ghana’s afro-jazz musicians made solely using samples from that vibrant scene sounds like the most exciting the internet has shown you this week; you’re in the right place. This 20 track compilation from indie web-based label and international production collective Hobo Truffles is a chilled listen that’s perfect for simulating some rays of sunshine to get you through Britain’s cold streak right now.

When German producers Shufflejack and Robot Orchestra assembled this band of beat-makers for their take on the Highlife genre, they chose from the world’s foremost aspiring talent; who all soak in the radiant African influence and reinterpret the genre through a Hip-Hop-tinted lens. Over Twenty tracks each man brings his own distinct style, drawing from electronica, much of the modern, more jazz-influenced tones that permeate instrumental hip hop at the moment, that ubiquitous touchstone that the Dilla legacy has become, and the rich indigenous culture that inspired the project. As with Madlib’s Beat Konducta series, the self-imposed genre restriction only serves to make the LP an even more interesting listen. The experimentation and individuality that each track offers has been accomplished with ease and showcases each producers strength; creating an involving musical experience when listened to either as a full album, or randomly on shuffle.

It’s an ambitious project that is brought to life with as much vigour and tenacity as the original music the collective have taken influence from; making for a dynamic journey through sound that will leave you wanting to rewind to catch the subtleties and nuances buried in each track. Much respect to everyone involved for creating an interesting and exciting listen that treats the source material with respect, and crafts some fresh ideas to breathe new life into instrumental Hip Hop as we begin this new year.”


‘Talking Drum’ Review by EyeKnowHipHop

“The man known as Robot Orchestra has been making some nice instrumental albums for a while now, his 2012 album Beat The Odds was one of my favourite instrumental Hip Hop releases of that year, so I wasn’t surprised in the slightest when Talking Drum was another smash from the producer; his catchy take on the vocal chants of  the Ghanian people is genius in it’s deft simplicity, all the while laying down some real nice smooth samples that shift with the melody, making the song another masterclass in cool, calm production from one of the genre’s leading lights.”


Amplified Review on thegroovethief.com

“Crisp and confident, Robot Orchestra’s Amplified EP is full-on boom-bap. Mostly intrumental, these are well-polished productions made primarily from chopped, looped, and manipulated 60s & 70s guitar samples. “Malfunction” ought to have been spelled with a ‘k,’ while “Sunday At The Park” is suited for head-nodders in all locales. The rock comes through on “Studderstep (Interlude),” short and fierce, which pairs nicely with the lushness of predecessor “Beauty and the Beat.” “The Joke’s On You” is heavy and brooding, awaiting an action flick to be paired with. Wrapping up the EP are two Robot Orchestra productions  with Rob Regis feat. Akbar and M.A.R.S. on the mic respectively, putting the beats to good use.”