LES NUBIANS / “Les Nubians Mixtape”
It is easy to underestimate the cool, to think soft lacks substance. We are led to think: they are sexy so they must be senseless. As if beauty automatically means no brains, as if attractiveness automatically means they are there simply for the pleasure of consumption.
Rather than a commercial contrivance, I think they are centered in the reality of who they are; they are at peace with being themselves even as they recognize we are at war with systems of oppression. Listen to “I Disagree” from their Echos album. It is sung in English. Listen closely to the lyrics. Don’t just sway to the flute or rock to the mid-tempo, soft conga rhythms. They are saying “Babylon tries to drive you crazy.” They are not shouting or ranting but they are clearly declaiming “I disagree” with the system. No way you can confuse Les Nubians insisting “things must change” with a fashion statement. “Don’t stay blind. Take a step in the way of consciousness… Just disagree.”
—Kalamu ya Salaam on Les Nubians
I’ve already written my mea cupas, apologizing for taking so long to get into what these sisters are doing. I don’t know what took me so long but I’m here now. Actually, I do know. Les Nubians are a pop group and, except in exceptional cases, I have a long standing general antipathy toward pop.
I encourage you to read what I wrote back in 2007. I have been waiting since then for a new album from the duo. In late 2010 they dropped a new EP, Nu Revolution. It’s not a banquet, just a quick, light breakfast but it will hold us for a minute.
Back in December I went to the Les Nubians website and ordered Nu Revolution. When I received the EP in the mail, there was a handwritten note: “Thank you! Happy New Year!”
They are actual human beings. They, or more likely someone on their crew, took the time to drop a note in with the order. My overall impression is that these sisters are truly serious about their music and about their lives. I believe such seriousness deserves all the support we can muster.
Let me be clear: order Nu Revolution. $15. Go here to order.
In the jukebox I have added a short NPR interview with Les Nubians that delves into their background and clarifies their aspirations. The Mixtape includes selections from their three albums plus three tracks from their 7-track Nu Revolution EP, and a handful of singles and remixes.
Rather than just turn out generic sounding “world/pop music” they are pacing themselves for the long run. They are also rearing children and not just fixated on being superstars. They are spiritually in a good place.
Support the good and things will get better.
Asante sana (thank you very much) for checking out this Mixtape and for supporting Les Nubians, for supporting making the world better and more beautiful.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
Les Nubians Mixtape Playlist
03 “Sugar Cane”
04 “Princesse Nubienne”
05 “Si Je T Avais Ecoute”
06 “Hymne Nubien (Interlude)”
One Step Forward
07 “J'veux d'la musique (tout le temps…)”
08 “Que la mot soit perle”
09 “Unfaithfull / Si Inﬁdele”
11 “Immortel Cheikh Anta Diop”
Les Nubians Presents Echos
13 “Demain (Live Version)”
15 “Embrasse Moi (Deep Mix)”
16 “I Disagree”
17 “I Disagree (Dub Version)” - Tabou CD single
18 “Temperature Rising (Gabriel Rene remix)" - Temperature Rising CD single
19 “Tabou /featuring The Roots Remix”
20 “Autour de minuit (Round Midnight)" – Jazz A Saint-Germain
21 “Come Sunday” - Red Hot + Indigo
22 “African For The Future Featuring Freshly Ground”
23 “Fraicheur Souhaitee”
24 “Nü Revolution”
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 at 8:22 am and is filed under Contemporary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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