Many times though, I've felt that there have been some massive local tunes that deserve at least some special retouching at least, if not to be packed into a single. Simply put, so many of the local stuff that bang in the club or rotate on radio haven't had all the juice squeezed out of them. And who can better remind us of this than Just A Band? Yes, they're back in the kitchen, after revolutionizing the Kenyan music scene and for the first time putting us on the universal social media map after reviving our forgotten superhero Makmende and dishing out an acceptable serving of localised house, chill, funk, disco and a host of other 'foreign' genres in their hit albums Scratch To Reveal and 82.
This time, Just A Band have whipped up a collection of remixes they made for their live shows and DJ sets since their first appearance in 2008. Aptly named Kudish! The Sound of Soup, this compilation brings together a bunch of rare ingredients of their own and other artistes in just the right quantities to come up with a veritable feast of minimal, chill, house,afro-pop and genge; much like very good soup. The kind of good soup that reminds you of your mother's cooking...the compilation has quite the nostalgic feel to it given the impeccable sampling from classic techno tunes and Kenyan genge and boomba.
They revive Jua Cali's Nakuroga with their Koroga Mix, mashing up the genge rhymes with Juliet's Avalon. Nonini goes all minimal techno on Keroro (Safisha Mix), something I wouldn't mind bumping to in a club at all. Fly reminds me of the first highly underestimated compilation album by Ogopa DJs, remember it? Mpishi Bora Megamix (my fave track on this) brings together the two big Jomino Ent. tracks Banjuka and Tichi with some dope Ludacris sampling. They remix Poa Sana, the tune by that Coca-cola Popstars group SEMA. I just have to repeat that the sampling here is as impeccable as it is diverse though Daft Punk and Madonna make notable appearances in Around the World vs. Oh Ndio and Mke Nyumbani Mashup. JAB also throw in proper remixes of their own tunes including Ha-he and Forever People.
All in all, this compilation serves largely as a 30 minute historical timepiece. Playing it around a bunch of friends will immediately spark of stories and memories of the late 90s and early 2000s: when Ogopa DJs ruled, those njaros we used to have, stuff that used to show on TV, all the parties and good times we had etc etc. This is something most Kenyans would love to add to their music collection to play together with the older stuff.
The best bit about all this is that the compilation is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD HERE, so cop it as soon as you can. You can also check out JAB's second video art exhibition, KUDISHNYAO![TRNSMSSN_II] currently on show at the Goethe-Institut, Nairobi. The exhibition will culminate in a Finissage on 4th June with a DJ mixset by these guys.