New album from the maverick Kutiman, based on field recordings he made in Tanzania of local musicians, then manipulated, layered and expanded in his home studio.
This fourth studio album is a combination of the material he collected on his 2014 trip with recordings made with saxophonist Shlomi Alon, trumpeter Sefi Zisling and trombonist Yair Slutzki, alongside his own playing and studio wizardry. He was listening to a lot of spiritual jazz during the recording, and in a departure from his usual cut and paste style, played on top of the recordings.
It’s a creative push that has paid off: Horns and synth melodies spiral across borrowed rhythm patterns and chants which provide the bedrock around which Kutiman builds his own musical dwelling, creating new pathways of jazz, psychedelia and circular meditative zone-outs.
Returning home from his trip to the self-organised kibbutz community where he lives in the western Negev desert, he began dipping into the recordings to see how he could use them as a starting point for his own musical and visual explorations.
Fast forward six years, and we have ‘Wachaga’, an audiovisual feast which contains nine tracks and nine kaleidoscopic video pieces, named after the 2.4 million Tanzanians who live mostly on the southern and eastern sides of Mount Kilimanjaro.
He made the video strand of the release over a couple of years. The films are trippy and hypnotic, reflecting the emotions he felt while recording the music. They’re made using vintage analogue techniques and gear including a rare 1980s Fairlight CVI video synthesiser, a Videonics equaliser and a Panasonic mx50 video mixer.