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Alai K
Kila Mara
On The Corner
Catalogue Number
Release Date
February 4, 2022

Press Release

The Kenya born, Berlin based percussionist, vocalist, DJ, producer and “musical witchdoctor” Alai K releases his red hot debut album ‘Kila Mara’, via On the Corner Records. Sonically speaking, this vivacious collection of frenetic, polyrhythmic and percussive workouts link the spirit of Jeff Mills, DJ Rush, DJ Bone and K Hand with beats from The Bajuni Islands, Mozambique, Malawi and the maritime Swahili coastline north of Mombasa. On moving to Berlin, Alai went raving regularly and became enamoured with underground dance music culture. “I love techno and believe that African drums influenced the percussion and programming: lt’s coming from the same place; with both you get extended periods with no chorus or verse, just occasional chanted or chopped vocals. In Africa people play drums and dance for hours, which is the same experience as western electronic music”, says Alai.

Alai started living and recording in Berlin 3 years ago, in a oneroom flat shared with his family. He would constantly be in flux, setting up his small studio in the kitchen, then packing it away again when they needed to cook. He later hooked-up with a notable Kenyan percussionist based in Hamburg called Izo Anyanga, and over several trips down the autobahn they jammed acoustically, with just drums, marimba, xylophone, and some good weed. The vibe was huge, and the pair decided they wanted to make a record, which could easily transpose for performance to a crowd. Music from eastern Africa, ancestral customs and the rituals of dance are deep in Alai’s DNA. His great grandmother was a singer and composer, and his father was a professional drummer, who alongside friends and family would play spiritual music from Bajun like Ndurenge, Kirumbizi and Bati, all night long, to uplift the spirit, or remember the dead.

Under his previous Disco Vumbi alias Alai self-released ‘Disco Vumbi 1’, followed by ‘Disco Vumbi 2’ on Byrd Out, and ‘Boutiq Electroniq’ on Nyege Nyege Tapes. At On the Corner he joins a roster which has included Guedra Guedra, Hieroglyphic Being, Collocutor, Uffe, Sunken Cages, BCUC and Khalab.

Digital Tracklist

On The Corner

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