Track 4: Rain Music

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by Michael Baird and friends, recorded between 1987 and 2022

Zambia-born drummer/composer/producer Michael Baird was an ‘Afro-futurist’ way before the World-Music Scene and the Hipper than Hip ever came up with that name! This compilation of tracks from between 1987 and 2022 shows that beyond any doubt. But musically he always felt himself just a plain ‘Pan-Africanist’ – aside from his home country Zambia, we have here beats inspired by rhythms from Rwanda, Senegal, Congo, as well as influences from Jazz, Funk, Dance, Lounge. “You borrow”, he says, “you don’t copy, you borrow a certain aspect to create something new – hopefully with the blessing of the spirits.” He grew up with African music. From Kasaï trance to Fwanda dance, from ambient elektro to polymetric free-jazz, from Pygmy pipes to Maghreb yells – this selection is a true body of work, comprising the most danceable tracks from over the years, wonderfully remastered. With guest appearances by David Tronzo (USA), Hans Hasebos (NL), Mark Lotz (D), Kofi Ayivor (GHA), Ousmane Seye (SEN), Russell 'Konkie' Halmeyer (CUR), Jeroen van Vliet (NL), Sophie de Vries (NL), Nusch Baird (NL), Yvonne 'Niobe' Cornelius (D), Michael Moore (USA), Vitold Rek (PL), Michel Massot (B), Arnold 'Broer' van den Bogaart (NL).

Tracklist: 1. Loxo, 2. Strut, 3. Fwanda Fun remix, 4. Rain Music edit, 5. Download and Merge, 6. Heritage Groove, 7. Sutter, 8. Stick Gongs remix, 9. Pinky's Dayout remix, 10. Sophie's Jumpsuit remix, 11. Allatatto Al Seno, 12. Mulungushi Rock, 13. Baonoko Central Station, 14. Kasaï Neighbours, 15. Beep-Bop, 16. Monday's Heat Wave, 17. Pygmees & Elephants remix, 18. Randjes, 19. Jingling Bells.

MixedWorldMusic 2024 (NL): "Danceables delivers what it promises and more. The music breathes Africa, but without constantly labouring the point. Baird LIVES Africa. It gives his playing an extra dimension which can’t easily be imitated. The dance fans amongst the readers will in particular be interested that it all swings like mad, but the more demanding listener will also be well satisfied. Indeed, the clever instrumentation ensures layering and abstraction in the music, something that can also attributed to the impressive list of guests."

JazzFlits 2024 (NL): Baird, a Brit born in Zambia, approaches rhythm from very many sides. The album as a whole can be listened to as if you have a film in your head, with a large variety of moods, from distinctly merry to confusing and obscure. Recommended to anyone wanting to organise a weird party.