When tradition meets contemporary - Milambi is the perfect mix of folk and house

Tuesday 11th February 2020 | Grace

Melding traditional, harmonious African vocals with contemporary electronica, ‘Milambi’ is a genre spanning afrobeat single with the kind of warm, pulsating rhythms that take you to a different world.

The latest release by Swiss DJ, producer and filmmaker Pablo Nouvelle was inspired by his time touring around Eswatini and Mozambique. Vocals on the track come from Angélique Kidjo, a three-time Grammy winner who, with thirteen albums under her belt, doesn’t just have a poetic and enticing voice, but has the type of originality and creativity that rivals the best. Teaming up with Nouvelle to make a house track was a first for the activist and artist. But it isn’t just musically where Kidjo excels, as she also travels around the world promoting education for young women.

The video for Milambi stands out as an artistic piece by itself. It takes archived footage, shot by esteemed ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey, of traditional African dances and landscapes. Flowers have been edited into the video, meaning the mixed media not only adds an extra level of beauty but creates the perfect metaphor to reflect on the deep layers of music that the song contains.

With its pulsating sound mixed with African melodies, the track has been successful in bringing back traditional African heritage to a modern audience. The song is part of Beating Heart, a project that aims to bring forgotten folk sounds to a modern dancefloor.

Beating Heart gives world-renowned electronic artists access to world’s largest collection of vintage African field recordings via the International Library of African Music (ILAM). Rudimental, Goldie, Auntie Flo, Nabihah Iqbal, Muzi, Luke Vibert, My Nu Leng and the legendary Angelique Kidjo have all remixed sounds from the collection, creating some the most unique sounds in modern dance music.

Check out Pablo’s new track and what he’s up to on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.