Thursday, April 05, 2012
Fftang! Fftang! - Tropical Bass in New Cross
So an SE14 neighbour of mine turned the former garage at the bottom of their garden into a temporary social space at the weekend. I ended up dancing with an all ages 14-50 crowd to a scratch band playing ska on Sunday afternoon (including a Message to Rudy). It got me thinking about how strange and wonderful it is that a music invented in Jamaica fifty years ago has become a kind of universal party sound, in the UK at least. Ska was first heard over here via Jamaican migrants, crossing over to mods via clubs like El Partido in Lewisham , then being taken up by the first wave of skinheads, revived by 2-Tone bands in late 70s/early 80s, and further popularised in the 1990s by bands like No Doubt. Now it's just part of the grammar of pop music.
Ska is just one of the many ingredients in the mix for FFTANG! FFTANG!, a night of 'Global Beats and Tropical Bass' coming to the Amersham Arms in New Cross on Easter Saturday 7th April (admission free). If you check out the mix below you'll see that is starts with a ska remix of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, but the FFTANG! FFTANG! sound includes all kinds of infectiously danceable stuff from all over the world - favela funk, dancehall, afrobeat, reggaeton - you name it.
As they say: 'From Buenos Aires bedrooms to Cape Town raves, traditional dance rhythms from around the world are being fused with modern production to create hybrid party music. Boundaries are melting and genres breed as internet culture allows worlds to collide. FFTANG! FFTANG! is a monthly club night in London set up to champion these genre mutations. Brazilian dubstep crossed with Himalayan mambo? Swedish hip hop over Congolese speed disco? Old meets nueva. Sound-clash meets culture-clash'.
If this all sounds a bit like ethnomusicology homework, just listen to the music - all of it very accessible and get-up-on-the-floorable. In this mix, there's some Kate Bush, Etta James and versions of Seven Nation Army, Nirvana's Lithium, Uptown Top Ranking and Mas Que Nada. Oh and mash up of Cutty Ranks 'Limb by Limb' with Tequila! And you don't need to know what Moombahton is to appreciate a great mix of The Rolling Stones' Miss You (starts at about 9:30):
FF have been putting on monthly club nights at various venues across London, including 93 Feet East and the Big Chill bar. For their first night in New Cross they will be including live percussion along with the DJ sets.