Lead singer Thom Yorke performs

You know western Rockstars getting into Transnational sounds ain’t a new thing.

The Beatles were doing it in the 60’s with Indian sounds, Led Zeppelin were also experimenting with it in the 70’s with Arabic sounds.  The Clash were mixing up Rock with Reggae in the late 70’s.  Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon started their experimentations with African sounds in the 80’s as did Byrne and Eno with Arabic sounds.  Erik B & Rakim were sampling Ofra Haza in the 80’s too.

The 90’s opened up Rai to the world and  a wealth of new Transnational Roots music plus some of the first Transnational Bass bands like Transglobal Underground and Afro Celt Soundsystem and the Asian Underground in the UK was in full flow with DnB.

In the noughties, Transnational sounds almost entered into the mainstream with massive successes like The Buena Vista Social Club project and Manu Chao.  A clutch of fusion styles started emerging and the great Buddha Bar franchise opened up the tastebuds of millions of people via their enormously popular chill and lounge compilations which have in turn sold millions of copies.  The likes of Johnny Depp bigging up the Balkan Gypsy sound and labels like Sublime Frequencies & Soundway Records, amongst others, finding their way into the record collections of white indie rock kids.  These kids are then inspired to set up bands like Vampire Weekend and others, making the inclusion of African guitar riffs and other Transnational sounds a growing custom.  Of course there was also M.I.A. doing Baile Funk!

In the Teens, Transnational Sounds are spreading like wildfire, Bjork doing a track with Omar Souleyman, The Strokes taking on Tecnobrega and producers like Diplo and others threatening to make a bunch of Transnational dance tracks with top stars like Beyonce.

So it’s really no surprise that more and more people will be incorporating Transnational dance sounds into their listening habits, music collections and also into their DJ sets/mixes.  Transnational dance is gonna be the NEXT BIG thing someday soon and blogs like ours are right on the crest of that wave.

So it’s great to hear Thom York reinforce this and to say the following in a recent Guardian interview.  This is alone worthy of doing this post because it also reinforces why we do what we do.  Someday soon a lot  more people will get it and hopefully it’ll bring us all a lot closer too!

“When I’m DJing I always put an afrobeat tune in between dance tracks of the same speed because it suddenly loosens everything up. Because it’s more human… ” 

Read the full interview HERE!




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