Watcha Clan Title: Hasnaduro / Im NinâAlu Remixes – ep review (Piranha)
Out 21st January 2013
Last year, Watcha Clan released the rather wonderful We Are One, the first in a series of three EPs from the highly acclaimed album, Radio Babel. And, with the second, theyâve only gone and made another cracker containing two tracks with three remixes of each. Paul Scott-Bates reviews it for us.
First track, Hasnaduro, opens with the Shazalakazoo Remix (I kid you not) and from the opening chaos ensues as it’s a high powered drum and bass track with overtones of Dutch House wrapped around lyrics of cultural convergence. The Kosta Kostov Remix concentrates on the guitar riff from the track making it a lot harder and rockier without losing its original feel. There are bits of aciiiiid in here too. When Watcha Clan released We Are One, they managed to put out five versions of the same song which were so different in style that there was no feeling of repetitiveness in sight – and theyâve done it again here.
The third version of Hasnaduro is by Dr Cat and starts with a slow, stomp beat. Again, very different to the previous two versions, driven by an electronic bassline and plenty of looped vocals excerpts. Main vocalist Sista K is moved out of the mix with Nassim Kouti drafted in. A powerful mix with the instant chorus really embedding in your head. With such a catchy song, maybe the multiple mixes are there to engrain themselves in you â a clever marketing ploy? Possibly, but it works. Loads of extra sounds and effects are thrown in for good measure. Wonderful stuff.
With band members from France, Corsica and Algeria and drawing influences from urban electronic and the folklore of North Africa, Israel, Turkey and the Balkans, you get some idea of how diverse their sound can be and I was rather excited to find versions of the lovely 17th Century Hebrew poem Im NinâAlu on the EP. Made famous by Israeli Ofra Haza itâs compelling listening comparing the divide between rich and poor. If youâve never heard her version, you really should look it up (or, click here!)
The versions of Im NinâAlu here are a great tribute to Haza, bringing the beautiful song back to life, she would be overjoyed to hear such superb versions had she still be with us today. The Dr Das Remix plods along with a âstompâ drum. Lovely vocals from Sista K, reaching out into a phat bass melody. The Maba Bo Remix has a reggae dub effect and continues to engage you. There are some great echo effects and additional instrumental thrown in, a wonderful galloping drum after a minute and a half. A very different version to the previous mix and thoroughly entertaining.
The final version starts with a sexy, swirling wind instrument (I have no idea what it is!) Again, a very different version, more slinky and it embeds itself into your head. You will be singing the melody to this all day long, I guarantee it!
In summary, Watcha Clan come up with the goods again. Remixes that differ so much that you really have no sense of repetitiveness at all. I love this lot!
All words by Paul Scott Bates. More work by Paul on Louder Than War can be found here. Paulâs website is Heaven Is A Place On Pendle. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashireâs On The Wire, easily one of the best radio shows on the BBC. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow his personal twitter, @hiapop.