“Having a place means that you know what a place means...what it means in a storied sense of myth, character and presence but also in an ecological sense... integrating native consciousness with mythic consciousness” - Gary Snyder
“Nairobi’s electronic music scene is quite eclectic, featuring diverse styles of music creating personal narratives by the artists, musicians and producers. This curation features a glimpse of the different styles of music coming out of Nairobi's electronic music scene.
From the sampled based productions of MR.LU* who has been reintroducing old Kenyan traditional folklore and narratives in his electronic production; Barno, who blends ambient with elegant piano sounds; Coco Em’s experimental improvised work; Nabalayo’s ‘Changanya’ style - a modernized folk music form that is built on the aesthetics of local folk music in Kenya; to Charles Nyiha’s film-like compositions and M³ live jazz synth improvisations.
The scene is quite diverse in styles and ‘Place: Nairobi’ only scratches the surface of what’s happening here. The curation focuses on burgeoning artists exploring different sonic auralities in music production” - KMRU
Place: Nairobi is created in collaboration with KMRU.
Currently studying sonic arts in Berlin, Joseph Kamaru aka KMRU is a Nairobi-born, Berlin-based sound artist whose work is grounded on the discourse of field recording, noise, and improvisation. His work posits expanded listening cultures of sonic thoughts and sound practices, a proposition to consider and reflect on auditory cultures beyond the norms, an awareness of surroundings through creative compositions and installations.
His last three albums, 2020's "Peel", "Opaquer" and "Jar" received high praise from Resident Advisor, DJ Mag, NPR, and Bandcamp, KMRU is part of SHAPE platform roster of artists for 2021. His works have been presented in NyegeNyege Festival (UG), CTM Festival (DE), GAMMA (RU), and Mutek Montreal and Barcelona among others.
Place: Nairobi Cause
The Green Belt Movement
The Great Green Wall is a reforestation initiative that will span the width of Africa. This African-led movement aims to grow an 8,000km belt of trees, vegetation and fertile land across the Sahel to transform millions of lives living on the climate change frontline.
The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is an environmental organization that empowers communities, particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods. GBM was founded by Professor Wangari Maathai in 1977 under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK) to respond to the needs of rural Kenyan women who reported that their streams were drying up, their food supply was less secure, and they had to walk further and further to get firewood for fuel and fencing. GBM encouraged the women to work together to grow seedlings and plant trees to bind the soil, store rainwater, provide food and firewood, and receive a small monetary token for their work.
The Green Belt Movement (GBM) was founded by Professor Wangari Maathai in 1977 under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK) to respond to the needs of rural Kenyan women who reported that their streams were drying up, their food supply was less secure, and they had to walk further and further to get firewood for fuel and fencing. GBM encouraged the women to work together to grow seedlings and plant trees to bind the soil, store rainwater, provide food and firewood, and receive a small monetary token for their work.
The Green Belt Movement began to advocate for greater democratic space and more accountability from national leaders. It fought against land grabbing and the encroachment of agriculture into the forests. It contested the placement of a tower block in Uhuru Park in downtown Nairobi and joined others to call for the release of political prisoners. In recent years, it has extended its reach internationally to campaign and advocate on climate change, the importance of Africa’s rainforests in the Congo, to initiate the mottainai campaign—an effort to instill the notions of “reduce, reuse, recycle” in Kenya and around the world—and has partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in its Billion Tree Campaign.
The work of Professor Maathai and the Green Belt Movement continues to stand as a testament to the power of grassroots organizing, proof that one person’s simple idea—that a community should come together to plant trees, can make a difference. Her legacy truly lives on through the Movement which to date remains in the frontline of advocating for environmental conservation in Kenya, and making great progress on reclaiming and restoring forest land.
The Movement continues to expand its horizon to include community development work encompassing the arenas of environmental conservation, democracy, community empowerment and conflict resolution, as Wangari envisioned.
A non-profit project from New York based label Air Texture, Place: is a location specific electronic music compilation series where all proceeds are donated to a local environmental cause in that place. The goal is to build a global network of music producers bringing important issues to the electronic music community and world at large.
Electronic music is a truly egalitarian, classless, and empowering art form. Producers have emerged from every corner of the globe in recent years, infusing their own ideas, culture and influences into the endless mix.
Let’s highlight more producers than the few who show up on the same lists and parties. Let's promote electronic music as an activist artform by and for the people. An artform that activates, like the great traditions in Detroit, Berlin, Queer Movements, Squat Cultures, and Progressive Politics.
Let’s work to make Electronic Music Green.
released September 24, 2021