Billy Bao



Diana Bada

Duro Ikujenyo

Mark Ido

Oduyomi Isaiah Oluseye

Joel Isioma Okoh

Orlando Julius


Emeka Ogboh

excerpt from Lagos Sessions

2LP out on
Munster Records (Madrid)
CD out on
Night School Records (Glasgow)

Munster Records is extremely proud to work with Billy Bao and Night School Records to present "Lagos Sessions".

"Experimental; Conceptual? That's what these sort of things are usually called, when references are anything but immediate: in the feeling, hearing, and seeing, especially by many. Even more troubling, when the accustomed in us gets ajar... We lack articulation of the seemingly unfamiliar! Even at that, I think the most charitable review of this live electronic exploration will suggest the four sections bordering on insanity.

How else? Even when not a few self-styled patriots were booking their flights out of the country, with an election looming to signal the end of a nation, and a band of modern day faith-heads detonating grenades in every other street corner, two dreamers swim against the currents and sneak through the lagoon into the country collecting inputs of derelict art; of garbage can noise; of hooting; honking horns on screeching brakes squelching tar; rackety generator booms? For an imagined program! What's that? Who, what do these doods think they're doing with Lagos?! I'll call it rebirth. That simple.

How to find a centre here? The output? The hum-drum of the street's daily accent compels the sense of the immediate, the terrestrial; and then those primitive, primeval-seeming echoes of the earliest beginnings of the big bang and its wavesound simultaneously releasing Sun Ra's reverb sensation of end time! This should not be danceable but these guys are suggesting the possibility of rhythm in the inchoate. Believe me, you can't miss the Lagos Faaji, Sakara flow, Awurebe, Afrobeat slices; its jazz, highlife/Euro-Afro funk/rock/rap and seedy night echoes too. But in their otherworldly dimension. No matter the accolades, I will encourage a therapy of some sorts to the creators of this production."

Sola Olorunyomi, poet, bassist, co-editor of Glendora Review
Kunle Tejuoso, Jazzhole, Lagos

Munster Records presenta, junto a Billy Bao y Night School Records, “Lagos Sessions”.”¿Experimental? ¿Conceptual? Son términos que suelen utilizarse cuando las referencias no son nada obvias: en el sentimiento, en el sonido, en la impresión visual… Sobre todo cuando las nociones a las que estamos acostumbrados se atascan. Nos falta la expresión necesaria para lo supuestamente desconocido. Incluso teniendo eso en cuenta, creo que una reseña amable de esta exploración electrónica en vivo describirá sus cuatro secciones como cercanas a la locura.No podría ser de otro modo. Dos soñadores nadan contracorriente y se adentran en Nigeria para recoger muestras de arte en ruinas, de ruido de cubos de basura, de gritos, bocinazos y frenadas chirriantes sobre el asfalto, generadores destartalados… ¡Con un plan en mente! ¿Para qué? ¿Qué creen estos tipos que están haciendo en Lagos? Yo lo describo como un renacer.Así de sencillo.¿Cómo encontrar un punto central en esto? ¿El resultado? El runrún del ambiente cotidiano de la calle provoca la sensación de lo inmediato, lo terrenal; y luego está ese eco primitivo del Bing Bang y su onda sonora que al mismo tiempo libera la sensación de reverb de Sun Ra sobre el fin de los tiempos. Esto no debería bailarse pero estos tipos están sugiriendo la posibilidad de ritmo en lo imperfecto. Créeme, aquí puedes encontrar retazos de Lagos Faaji,Awurebe, flow Sakara,Afrobeat; ecos de jazz, highlife/Euro-Afro funk/rock/rap y el ambiente enrarecido de la noche. Pero en una dimensión de otro mundo.Aunque reciban elogios, recomendaré algún tipo de terapia para los creadores de esta producción”. Sola Olorunyomi, poeta, bajista, y coeditor de Glendora Review. Kunle Tejuoso, Jazzhole, Lagos. Con la participación de Billy Bao, Ambido, Diana Bada, Duro Ikujenyo, Mark Ido, Oduyomi Isaiah Oluseye, Joel Isioma Okoh, Orlando Julius, Mendo y Emeka Ogboh.


The Quietus names its Albums Of The Year 2016
ONE: Årabrot – The Gospel
TWO: Solange – A Seat At The Table
THREE: Innercity Ensemble – III
FOUR: Jessy Lanza – Oh No No No
FIVE: Shirley Collins – Lodestar
SIX: Fat White Family – Songs For Our Mothers
SEVEN: David Bowie – Blackstar
EIGHT: Ian William Craig – Centres
NINE: D∆WN – Redemption
TEN: Jenny Hval – blood bitch
ELEVEN: Frank Ocean – Blonde
TWELVE: Laura Cannell – Simultaneous Flight Movement
THIRTEEN: Matmos – Ultimate Care II
FOURTEEN: Klara Lewis – Too
FIFTEEN: Skepta – Konnichiwa
SIXTEEN: The Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time
SEVENTEEN: Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
EIGHTEEN: Shackleton – Devotional Songs
NINETEEN: Peder Mannerfelt – Controlling Body
TWENTY: Marissa Nadler – Strangers
TWENTY ONE: Sote – Hardcore Sounds From Tehran
TWENTY TWO: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
TWENTY THREE: Katie Gately – Color
TWENTY FOUR: Sex Swing – Sex Swing
TWENTY FIVE: Brian Eno – The Ship
TWENTY SIX: King – We Are King
TWENTY EIGHT: Wolfgang Buttress & Bees – Be One
TWENTY NINE: Jute Gyte – Perdurance
THIRTY: Huerco S – For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
THIRTY ONE: Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
THIRTY TWO: The Stargazer’s Assistant – Remoteness Of Light
THIRTY THREE: A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
THIRTY FOUR: Julianna Barwick – Will
THIRTY FIVE: Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
THIRTY SIX: Suede – Night Thoughts
THIRTY SEVEN: Jambinai – A Hermitage
THIRTY EIGHT: Convextion – 2845
THIRTY NINE: Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo
FORTY: Kemper Norton – Toll
FORTY ONE: Puce Mary – The Spiral
FORTY TWO: Black Merlin – Hipnotik Tradisi
FORTY THREE: Daniel Patrick Quinn – I, Sun
FORTY FOUR: Lord Tang – Butterflies
FORTY FIVE: Underworld – Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future
FORTY SIX: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – Sunergy
FORTY SEVEN: Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – We Be All Africans
FORTY EIGHT: Equiknoxx – Bird Sound Power
FORTY NINE: Anna Meredith – Varmints
FIFTY: Factory Floor – 25 25
FIFTY ONE: Tim Hecker – Love Streams
FIFTY TWO: Bully Fae – Defy A Thing To Be
FIFTY THREE: Beyoncé – Lemonade
FIFTY FOUR: Kano – Made In The Manor
FIFTY FIVE: Bruxa Maria – Human Condition
FIFTY SIX: Grumbling Fur – Furfour
FIFTY SEVEN: Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
FIFTY EIGHT: Skee Mask – Shred
FIFTY NINE: Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
SIXTY: The Comet Is Coming – Channel The Spirits
SIXTY ONE: Babyfather – BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow
SIXTY TWO: The Body – No One Deserves Happiness
SIXTY THREE: G.H. – Housebound Demigod
SIXTY FOUR: Darren Hayman – Thankful Villages Vol. 1
SIXTY FIVE: Laniakea – A Pot Of Powdered Nettles
SIXTY SIX: Waclaw Zimpel – Lines
SIXTY SEVEN: Roly Porter – Third Law
SIXTY EIGHT: Chance The Rapper – Colouring Book
SIXTY NINE: Atlantikwall – Atlantikwall
SEVENTY ONE: Marie Davidson – Adieux Au Dancefloor
SEVENTY TWO: Pattern Man – Pattern Man
SEVENTY THREE: Julien Marchal – II
SEVENTY FOUR: Billy Bao – The Lagos Sessions
SEVENTY FIVE: Gyda Valtysdottir – Epicycle
SEVENTY SIX: Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina
SEVENTY SEVEN: Mica Levi & Oliver Coates – Remain Calm
SEVENTY EIGHT: Hen Ogledd – Bronze
SEVENTY NINE: Kassem Mosse – Disclosure
EIGHTY: Kristoffer Lo – The Black Meat
EIGHTY ONE: Hannah Peel – Awake But Always Dreaming
EIGHTY TWO: Sam Shalabi – Isis And Osiris
EIGHTY THREE: Pangaea – In Drum Play
EIGHTY FOUR: Ghold – Pyr
EIGHTY FIVE: FIS – From Patterns To Details
EIGHTY SIX: Carla Dal Forno – You Know What It’s Like
EIGHTY SEVEN: Swans – Glowing Man
EIGHTY EIGHT: Bon Iver – 22, A Million
EIGHTY NINE: Omar-S – The Best
NINETY: Knifeworld – Bottled Out Of Eden
NINETY ONE: Gnaw Their Tongues – Hymns For The Broken, Swollen And Silent
NINETY TWO: John Cale – M:Fans
NINETY THREE: The Invisible – Patience
NINETY FOUR: Wire – Nocturnal Koreans
NINETY FIVE: Jackie Lynn – Jackie Lynn
NINETY SIX: The Dwarfs Of East Agouza – Bes
NINETY SEVEN: Cat’s Eyes – Treasure House
NINETY EIGHT: Ahrkh Wagner – Ahrkh Wagner
NINETY NINE: Melt Yourself Down – Last Evenings On Earth
ONE HUNDRED: Stein Urheim – Strandebarm

James Blake - The Colour In Anything (Polydor- 2016)

Gaika - Spaghetto (Warp Records - 2016)

PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project (Island - 2016)

Shackleton w/ Ernesto Tomasini ‎– Devotional Songs (Honest Jon’s Records – 2016)

Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun (2MR - 2016)

Kendrick Lamar - 'untitled unmastered ( Top Dawg Entertainment - 2016)

Årabrot - The Gospel ( Fysisk Format - 2016)

Burial - Young Death / Night Market ( Hyperdub - 2016)

Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch (Sacred Bones Records - 2016)

Boreal Network – Itasca Road Trip (Boreal Network - 2016)

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition (Warp Records - 2016)

Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know - 2016)

Andrew Weatherall – Convenanza (Rotters Golf Club – 2016)

Gaika – Security (Mixpak - 2016)

Matmos – Ultimate Care II (Thrill Jockey – 2016)

Jessy Lanza - Oh No ( Hyperdub - 2016)

Kate Tempest - Let them eat Chaos ( Lex Records - 2016)

A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic - 2016)

SHXCXCHCXSH - SsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSs (Avian - 2016)

Billy Bao - The Lagos Sessions ( Munster Records - 2016)

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS (Western Vinyl)
Billy Bao – The Lagos Sessions (Night School)
Stian Westerhus – Amputation (House Of Mythology)
Mica Levi / Oliver Coates – Remain Calm (Slip)
Katie Gately – Color (TriAngle)
Elysia Crampton – Demon City (Break World)
Ssaliva – Mercury Coast (Not Not Fun)
Kassem Mosse – Disclosure (Honest Jon’s)
Tim Hecker – Love streams (4AD)
Ian William Craig – Centres (130701)
Second Woman – Second Woman (Spectrum Spools)
Lolina – Live In Paris (self-released)
Claire M Singer – Solas (Touch)
Laura Cannell – Simultaneous Flight Movement (Brawl)
Maxwell Sterling – Hollywood Medieval (Memory No.36)
Oval – Popp (Uovooo)
The Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time (History Always Favours The Winners)
Carla Del Forno – You Know What It’s Like (Blackest Ever Black)


Seth Kim-Cohen
No depth: a call for shallow listening:

Seth Kim-Cohen and Mattin on the Lagos Sessions:



The Quietus (London)

The Lead Review: Tristan Bath On Billy Bao's The Lagos Sessions
Tristan Bath , March 11th, 2016 12:24

Released on Michael Kasparis' Night School Records this week, Tristan Bath explores the mysterious world of Billy Bao and his experimental sonic portrait of modern Lagos

The population of Nigeria's biggest city Lagos has recently been measured at over 20 million residents, making it easily the largest city on the African continent, and nestling it somewhere around the top 20 largest cities in the entire world. If noise and the avant-garde have achieved anything during the last few decades, it's been to massage our eyes and ears in preparation for such 21st century moments of singularity; when exponential growth sees populations and cities explode in size, turning demographic line graphs from paltry Ben Nevises into towering unwieldy K2s. The insertion of modern urban textures so directly into this music goes back a long time, such as the moan and groan of Soviet composer Arseny Avraamov's Simfoniya gudkov ("Symphony of factory sirens"), first performed in November 1922 in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. The symphony made use of a quite literal arsenal of flotilla foghorns, artillery guns, machine-gun regiments, hydroplanes, and all the city's factory sirens to assemble a spectacular mass of industrial noises. Avraamov himself conducted proceedings, wielding a pair of flaming torches from up on high. However, the symphony is now nearly a century old (and was quite clearly engineered through sheer iron fisted bolshevism rather than a purer artistic will), so its vast scope and almost peaceful sense of space seem practically ancient, and utterly devoid of that modern sense of urban paranoia, or that claustrophobic wall of city noise. Most vital of all, Avraamov and the several generations of noise and industrial music that followed him were mostly unaware of the dissonance of urban multiculturalism.

Billy Bao is the project of William, a young Nigerian troubadour from Lagos who wound up landing in the Basque country's largest city Bilbao back in 1986, and soon became one of the many agents of chaos in the city's punk scene. Most punk of all perhaps, William doesn't even really exist. He's the creation of Basque musician Mattin, a long-serving noise artist who's collaborated with the likes of Oren Ambarchi, The Dead C's Bruce Russell, and Skullflower's Matt Bower, and avows a vehemently anti-copyright, anti-capitalist ideology. The Billy Bao project has gone on to spawn several aptly confused releases since its inception. 2010's Urban Decay released by PAN, and 2012's Buildings From Bilbao were two of the more substantial artistic leaps forward. Both albums collaged the group's red raw noise rock alongside lengths of confused conversation, studio rustling, field recordings, and swathes of silence into woozy and confusing concrète portraits of the city. Notably, a mid-2013 entry to The Guardian's excellent 101 Strangest Records on Spotify blog highlighted Urban Decay, describing "Nigerian band Billy Bao", completely buying into the existence of fictional band leader, William from Lagos.

Only a few minutes into The Lagos Sessions it's clear that the Billy Bao project has been building up to this. In the manner of Buildings From Bilbao, it's a beautifully scarred portrait of the Nigerian metropolis, but it's surprisingly listenable for something both so radically experimental and coarsely textured. The production throws the listener about like loose change in a washing machine, hurling us quickly between angered screaming noise of the Hanatarash variety and passages of unsettling quiet. The addition of Lagos' own sonic fingerprint take the whole rugged affair to the next level. Billy Bao travelled to the city for 12 days, recording in the local studio of Eko FM, and gathering material including contributions from a cast of local musicians such as Orlando Julius, former Fela Kuti Keyboardist Duro Ikujenyo, and Russo-Nigerian Afro-Jazz singer Diana Bada. There are practically no projects in existence that seem to have quite so starkly stared into the heart of a multi-faceted and culturally dense African city as an outsider, and come up with something that neither steals nor 'appropriates', yet still embodies its subject as wholly and honestly as The Lagos Sessions.

Cultural appropriation has been just one of the many complex issues to arise amidst the din of post-post-modernity's moral self-probings, but it's one that's resonated increasingly deeply with the recent maturation of noise music criticism. For example, one blog post entitled Fascism and colonialism in the work of Cut Hands and Blackest Ever Black (just one of very many on the subject by the way, and none of them ever seem get published by a respectable site) targeted the works of William Bennet and his excellent Cut Hands project, suggesting its imagery was contributing to the concept of 'African otherness', and utilising the wonderfully vague adjectives of "troubling" and "problematic" to describe the project. (The article itself also seemed to view the billion strong population of the African continent as one great monoculture, failing to differentiate between even sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, let alone delving any deeper into the 54 distinctly different sovereign states of the continent).

While I find it hard to agree with such half-baked arguments, there has definitely been a fetishisation of certain African phenomenon in a wide variety of media - and it's at its most reductive when it comes to poverty. Putting Mr. Geldof to one side, flick through any writings about the Congotronics movement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's capital Kinshasa - another city with a population in excess of ten million residents - you'll more than likely stumble across a line referring to 'rusty old speakers' or gear built from 'recycled car parts'. As if they'd all rather use $30k Dumble amps if they could. Bands such as Konono Nº1, Kasai Allstars, or Mbongwana Star utilise distortion with precisely the same understanding as Merzbow, Whitehouse, or even Jimi Hendrix. Even a brief delving into contemporary pop and dance music from central African regions (Ndombolo for example) reveals an all too familiar crisp and clean radio-friendly production to be the popular standard. Hardly music sewn together in shanty towns. Either way, to view The Lagos Sessions as anything other than a benevolent and honest document made on location would be “problematic”. It's the avant garde cousin to Owiny Sigoma Band's recent album Nyanza, which was made using similar methods some 3,000 miles to the East of Lagos, in the eponymous South-West regions of Kenya. Even compared to a country like Kenya though, Nigeria represents an especially complex mix of languages, cultures, ethnicities, and religions, with Lagos the epicentre. What better form of music to embody such a place than confused cut-ups mired in noise?

The four 15 minute 'chapters' of The Lagos Sessions form a blurry narrative somewhat in the shape of a diary. Chapter A opens to the confused and jarring recordings of sound artist Emeka Ogboh's project Lagos Soundscapes, evoking the Lagosian wall of noise that greets anybody soon after their arrival at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. It then launches right into some ball-bustingly heavy guitar riffs from Mattin and co alongside a reading from widely celebrated Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's 1960 novel No Longer At Ease:

"Going from the Lagos mainland to Ikoyi on a Saturday night was like going from a bazaar to a funeral."

Busy walls of deep needle-burying guitar noise roar on all sides, supplemented by some truly mental drum playing from both Joel Isioma Okoh and Alberto Lopez Martin, sparring with the processed parps of Orlando Julius, twisted into a drooling monster. The rest of the first chapter slowly seeps out of the speakers with  improvised detritus including Yoruba Talking drum and a guitar, married with the eerily hushed and distant chants of Duro Ikujenyo. Like much of the record it comes to life when the pieces seemingly interlock by chance. The impression is that all the pieces were produced independently of each other, then brought together like the disparate channels of John Cage and David Tudor's indeterminacy, beautifully criss-crossing at chance junctures. Chapter B documents the second day of our visit, opening with a mega heavy slab of heavy punk noise rock, before giving way to several lengthy snippets of sound artist Emeka Ogboh talking on the state of Nigeria with journalistic insight ("We are listening to ourselves now"). The final third ushers in a bubbling bleepy mass of generator noises behind the freestyle vocals of Diana Bada, occasionally punctuated into actually properly groovy passages with the addition of some percussion. Bada's voice switches from quick fire rhymes to more haunted singing into the distance, and the generators fall silent as night falls.

The grab bag of noises and textures continues to expand throughout the album. Chapter C features more field recordings, as well as metallic bangings and woody rhythms, assisting a narrator through his life story, including a trek across the Sahara in search of pilgrimage to Europe. His delivery is manic though, and Orlando Julius's tenor sax later enters, musing more calmly while the background grows sparser, and dub echo effects and employed to great effect on a handful of snare hits. News broadcasts off the telly and Muslim calls-to-prayer intervene halfway through, contrastingly painting the multi-ethnic, multi-religious country as both united and divided. Almost entirely solo, Julius plays gently and pensively until the chapter ends. It's one of the most affecting moments on the entire record. Chapter D's first half is another highlight, investigating the criminally unexplored region between the semi-groovy noise of Wolf Eyes' Burned Mind and Nigerian rap. Spoken word artist Ambido yearns to life over some truly weird-yet-funky synthetic sounds. Lilting bass tones punctuate a slowly grooving bed of hisses and sawtoothed pads, while Ambido's voice gets processed into the same monster heard on countless stories by US weirdo troupe The Residents. The seven minute song is the most potent mission statement of noise-rap this side of clipping. Ambido's voice is slowly swallowed by a hurricane of fuzz and bloops, and the chapter closes with a ridiculous gnarled jam of guitar, drums, and vocal tribute titled "Eko ile" (Lagos my home). It's so deep in the red (save a weird excursion in the centre of the song) that's it tough to take. The jam burns like red hot fire, and after one final barrage, this Lagos experience is over.

The Lagos Sessions is one of those fortuitous projects, where both the aesthetic and the mission of an artist marry so perfectly it's essentially impossible to imagine the task completed any more completely. Its closest cousin is perhaps Sam Shalabi's Osama from 2003, where the Canadian composer montaged a mix of improvisations, surreal satirical poetry, and Arabic-tinged radio pop into a cohesive statement on the then current state of the Middle Eastern experience. Here the narrative is reduced perhaps even further, to little more than highlife rhythms, Lagosian voices, and the harsh crunch and hiss of the city, all sewn together like Burroughs rifling through newspaper snippets on the floor of his apartment in the search for that next sentence. The results are as inviting and fresh and listenable as they are rotten and harsh and challenging, blending musical characters that have never yet been properly introduced. As a portrait of the infinitely interesting chaos of modern Lagos, it's hugely valuable, but as an expansion of the aesthetics of noise, punk, and concrète, The Lagos Sessions could end up labelled a decisive moment in years to come.

Billy Bao’s Lagos Sessions, Or: New Takes On Classic Industrial Methodologies For A Post-Industrial Wasteland

How many bands who claim to be “experimental” actually…you know…experiment – as opposed to those who just use a couple dissonant chords and a couple effects pedals? Unfortunately, not many. But, powerhouse bands like Billy Bao make up for all that is lacking in the realm of so-called experimental music. Billy Bao is infamous in industrial and noise rock circles for their truly unpredictable and challenging releases, the likes of which are practically unparalleled. Over the course of their existence as a band, they’ve consistently upped the ante, pushing themselves farther into the abstract and unsettling. And now, with their latest, and most ambitious (de)composition, Lagos Sessions, they have crossed yet another threshold.

Lagos Sessions is a sonic nightmare; in the best way possible, obviously. Over the course of the 2xLP, the listener is assaulted with a plethora of unnerving soundscapes, electronic noise, spoken word pieces, field recordings, dub, hip hop, jazz, noise rock, and confusing combinations of these and more; much of this is all thanks to a long list of collaborators Billy Bao brought into the studio with them. And it’s not just randomly cobbled together, the entire album is incredibly calculated and revolves around conveying to the listener what a visit to Lagos would feel like. This is done through the use of four separate sound collages over the course of an hour – one for each side of the 2xLP. It’s a jarring experience which is both baffling and engaging; and overall totally immersive.  Lagos Sessions is the kind of album that requires multiple listens; not just because it’s good enough to warrant coming back again and again (which it is), but because it’s overwhelming to the point that it’s going to take a few listens to really let the entirety of Billy Bao’s mad genius fully sink in. You’ll definitely realize how ingenious this is during the first listen, but each time you go back you’ll pick up more and more.

It may be a fairly basic comparison, but Billy Bao’s body of work really brings to mind industrial pioneers such as SPK, Nurse With Wound, Clock DVA, Boyd Rice/NON, and others, both conceptually and musically (or non-musically as is more the case), and because of their willingness to take risks by exploring ideas to their extremes. In a world over-saturated with bands who don’t really “get it,” Billy Bao is dishing out a lesson in the truly weird, and the rest of us need to take notes. But don’t take my word for it, you can stream this bad boy below. You might want to sit down for this one.

The Wire (London, November 2015)

Odita (6 December 2015 )

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Berria (Euskal Herria)

2015-12-13 / Julen Azpitarte

ENTZUN (Euskal Herria)

Antton Iturbe 2015-12-07

Lagos Sessions Billy Bao

Soinu-Psikogeografia-Zaratatsua BINILO-BIKOITZA
Diskoaren azala. Diskoaren azala.
Lotura erlazionatuak
“Zure egoa atean utz ezazu mesedez, eta ateratzen zarenean hor izango duzu berriz eskuragarri”. Nigeriako Lagos hiriburuko Jazzville Clubaren sarreran zegoen kartel baten leloa da, eta ezin hobeto datorkio Billy Baok eskeini digun lan berri honi. Jakituria faltsuaz eta aurreiritziz betetako gure egoek ez dute lekurik disko bikoitz honen barnean. Batik bat, elektronika eta punk rock zaratatsua lehen munduko herrialdeetako paisaia hotz eta grisen gauza direla eta, aldi berean, afrikar doinu eta erritmoak instrumentazio organiko goxoetara murriztuta daudela ezartzen duen gure kontzeptu sasikolonial eta erabat egozentriko hori da hankaz gora jartzen dutena.

Elektronikako ehundura likitsez jantzita, zelai grabaketa kaotikoak, hip hop eta spoken word moduko kontakizunak, afro-jazz saxo eta erritmo sensualak, punk gitarra trumoitsuak eta highlife dantza doinuak bata bestearen gainean, atzean, ondoan eta erdian nahastuta eta kontrajarrita eskeintzen zaizkigu
Elektronikako ehundura likitsez jantzita, zelai grabaketa kaotikoak, hip hop eta spoken word moduko kontakizunak, afro-jazz saxo eta erritmo sensualak, punk gitarra trumoitsuak eta highlife dantza doinuak bata bestearen gainean, atzean, ondoan eta erdian nahastuta eta kontrajarrita eskaintzen zaizkigu diskoaren lau aldeetan. Egitura logikorik gabeko magma koloretsu eta zirraragarri bat eratzen da gure begi eta belarrien aurrean, Lagos-era iritsi eta lehenengo aldiz bere kale eta jendartean mugiltzea izan daitekeena ederki iradokiz. Horixe baita disko honen helburua: Mattin, Xabier Erkizia, Iñigo Telletxea, Alberto Lopez, Jon Mantxi eta Mark Idok osatzen duten Billy Bao taldeak Nigeriako Lagos hirian barrena egindako bidaia eta hartu-emanen kontakizun egiazkoena eta biziena egiten saiatzea. Eta baita lortu ere.

Egun, Lagos ia 20 miloi biztanle dituen megalopolis bat da. Estatubatuarrek dioten bezala, kultura eta jatorri ezberdinetako “meltin’ pot” izugarria da. Esklabuen komertzioaren garaitik, Afrikako portu garrantzitsuenetako eta handienetako bat da, alde guztietako eragin eta etorkinak jasoaz: hala Europako kolonizatzaileak nola Afrika barneko migrazio mugimenduak. Nigeriako independentziaren ondoren eta afro-beat eta highlife erritmo bizigarriek piztuta, Afrika osoko kulturaren aitzindari eta erreferentzia bilakatu da gainera.
Disko honen soinuek irensten uzteak, nahaste borraste txundigarri horretan murgiltzearen parekoa izan nahi luke. Sekulan Lagosen izan ez naizen arren, diskoaren ordubeteko tarte horretan bertan pozik galduta ibili naizela esan dezaket.

Lagos Session esperientzia mingarri eta deserosoa da une askoetan, bizitzaren izerdi, poz eta minez beteta dagoelako

Kontuz, hala ere, eta ondorio errazegiak ez atera (aurreiritziak atean utzi mesedez). Hau ez da “lonely planet” moduko bidaia gida sonoro bat, ezta Starbucks bateko Latte batekin batera entzuteko bilduma exotiko eta aseptiko bat. Lagos Session esperientzia mingarri eta deserosoa da une askoetan, bizitzaren izerdi, poz eta minez beteta dagoelako hain zuzen ere, eta bakoitzak bere erara hausnartu behar du ibilbidean jazotzen dena. Billy Baok eta bere laguntzaileek (Orlando Julius saxo-jole mitikoa, Joel Okboh bateria-jolea, Duro Ikuyenjo teklista edo Mendo eta Diana Bada abeslariak, gutxi batzuk aipatzearren) milaka pintzelada uzten dizkigute, guk, hiriko kaleetan barrena galduta ibiliko bagina bezala, nahi dugun moduan jarraitu edo alde batera utz ditzagun.
Guzti hau esanda ere, disko honen balio musikalari ikaragarria deritzot. Testuinguru guzti honen beharrik gabe eta Lagos bera ahaztuz, gure irudimeneko hiri edo espazio batean kokatu dezakegun soinu collage zoragarria baita. Maila estetiko, kultural nahiz politiko ezberdinetan funtzionatzen duen artifaktu miragarria, azken batean.

"Deja tu ego en la entrada, y cuando salgas lo tendrás ahí­, esperándote¨. Es el mensaje de un cartel en el Jazzville Club de Lagos, la capital de Nigeria, y se adapta perfectamente al nuevo trabajo de Billy Bao. Nuestros egos llenos de prejuicios y de falsa sabidurí­a no tienen cabida en este doble disco. Es especialmente, ese concepto pseudocolonial y tan egocénctrico nuestro que asocia la electrónica y el punk rock ruidos con el paisaje frio y gris del primer mundo y al mismo considera que las sonoridades africanas se limitan a sensuales ritmos de instrumentación orgánica, el que sale volando por los aires. 
Vestidas de pringosas texturas electrónicas, caóticas grabaciones de campo, narraciones a modo de spoken word y hip-hop, saxos afro-jazz, guitarras punk lacerantes y ritmos highlife bailables se entremezclan y se contraponen sin lí­mites y desde todos los angulos a lo largo de las cuatro caras de ¨Lagos Sessions¨. Un colorido y excitante magma sin estructura lógica se forma ante nuestros ojos y orejas, a modo de bella sugerencia de lo que debe ser llegar por primera vez a Lagos y sumergirse entre sus gentes. Ese es pues, el principal objetivo de esta grabación: transmitirnos de la forma más intensa y fiel posible el viaje y el intercambio de ideas que el grupo formado por Mattin, Xabier Erkizia, Iñigo Telletxea, Alberto Lopez, Jon Mantxi y Mark Ido ha vivido en la capital nigeriana.  Y vaya si lo han conseguido.

En la actualidad, Lagos es una megalopolis de casi 20 millones de habitantes. Como dicen los americanos, un ¨melting pot¨ de diferentes culturas y procedencias. Desde los tiempos del comercio de esclavos, Lagos ha sido uno de los puertos marí­timos más importantes de Africa y ha recogido influencias de todas partes: tanto de los colonizadores europeos como de los movimientos migratorios internos. A partir de la independencia de Nigeria y espoleada por los rirmos afro-beat y highlife, se ha convertido además en referente y punta de lanza de la cultura Africana.

Dejarse engullir por los sonidos de ¨Lagos Sessions¨, es como dejarse llevar por el maremagnum de la ciudad. A pesar de que no he estado nunca en Lagos, puedo decir que durante la hora de duración del disco me he perdido gozosamente por sus calles.

Pero cuidado, y no saques conclusiones de manera precipitada (deja los prejuicios en la puerta, por favor). Esto no es una guí­a turí­stica sonora para la colección ¨Lonely planet¨ ni un exótico y aséptico recopilatorio para escucharlo mientras degustas tu Latte en Starbucks. ¨Lagos Sessions¨ es una experiencia dolorosa e incómoda en muchos momentos, porque esta impregnada del dolor y el sudor de la vida, y cada uno debe asimilar a su manera lo que capta durante el recorrido. Billy Bao y sus colaboradores (el mí­tico saxofonista Orlando Julius, el baterí­a Joel Okboh, el teclista Duro Ikuyenjo o los cantantes Mendo y Diana Bada, por citar algunos) nos dejan miles de pinceladas, para que nosotros, perdidosen mendio de las calles de la ciudad, las sigamos o las ignoremos según nos apetezca.

Dicho todo esto, creo que el valor musical del disco es también extraordinario por si solo. Sin necesidad de este contexto y olvidándonos de la propia Lagos, es un maravillos colllage sonoro que podemos situar en una ciudad o espacio de nuestra imaginación. En definitiva un aretfacto sonoro prodigioso que termina funcionando a muchos niveles diferentes, tanto estéticos como polí­ticos. (Oslo, Berlin)

Den brutala ärligheten

Ett projekt som lämpar sig för koncentrerad lyssning är Billy Bao. Vem som egentligen ligger bakom bandnamnet är höljt i dunkel. Enligt projektbeskrivningar och albumanteckningar är Billy Bao någon som kom från Lagos i Nigeria och anlände till San Francisco i Bilbao, där han upptäckte punkrock som ett sätt att ge utlopp för sin frustration inför ett system som förstör våra liv. Även om han vidhåller sin identitet i ett antal intervjuer är personen sannolikt en produkt av musikerna Mattin, Xabier Erkizia och Alberto López Martin. Namnet Billy Bao speglar uppenbart den baskiska staden Bilbao, medan det invandrartäta området San Francisco – känd för sina problem med droger och kriminalitet – tjänar som en utgångspunkt för bandets sociala punkestetik. Om de tidigare skivorna bestod av en ursinnig energi blandad med kreativ redigering ägnar sig det senaste albumet Lagos Sessions (Munster Records/Night School Records, 2015) åt att överlagra fältinspelningar, samplingar och korta musikaliska avsnitt i vad som är mer collage än musik, men mer punk än konst.

lagos_sessions (2)

Billy Bao, Lagos Sessions (Munster Records/Night School Records, 2015)

Bandets beskrivning gör gällande att detta är Billy Baos återvändo till hemstaden Lagos, Afrikas folkrikaste stad med 20 miljoner invånare. Historiskt sett har staden varit en viktig knutpunkt för musik, och inhyser en stor mängd etniska grupper och religioner, men har även varit märkt av politiska konflikter och proteströrelser genom landets historia. Lagos Sessions är ett samarbete med lokala musiker, såsom saxofonisten Orlando Julius, producenten och keyboardisten Duro Ikujenyo, sångerskan Diana Bada och ljudkonstnären Emeka Ogboh. Samtidigt erbjuder projektet en högljudd sonor vy av staden, med trafikljud, intervjuer och samplingar i en svårbestämd blandning av traditionell musik, hiphop och punkrock, där inspelningar ständigt överlappar med varandra. Den synnerligen detaljerade ljudbilden tvingar till en koncentrerad lyssning som inte sällan störs av högmälda klipp.

Skivan är indelad i fyra 15-minuters avsnitt, beskrivna som »kapitel«. Varje kapitel bifogas av en generös introduktionstext till Lagos historia, tillsammans med utförliga anteckningar kring vad vi hör i varje avsnitt, författade av historikern Ed Emeka Keazor. Projektet utgår i första hand från den utomstående blick som etableras av det baskiska bandet, som genom att kontrasteras av de nigerianska musikerna skapar en underlig frånvaro av mittpunkt, där musiken är någonting som istället för att återge lokala identiteter och idiom fungerar som en portal för etablerandet av nya idiom och oförutsägbara förgreningar, en grundläggande regel för all kreativitet

Session är nog ordet för att beskriva det prövande förhållningssätt som ges av Lagos, ett tillfälligt möte som gör det klart att detta endast är en av många sessioner, kapitel eller versioner av Lagos, att denna brokiga och levande sömnad alltid höljer otaliga andra röster och historier, kanske möjliga att avtäcka genom att placera örat tillräckligt nära. Den märkligaste pusselbiten är nog skivans omslag, en bild av innanmätet till en stationär dator som det förklaras att projektet spelats in på, vilken tjänar som ett koncentrat av de relationer som därigenom omkopplats, ett teknologiskt ackompanjemang som verkar ge vid att allt kunde potentiellt sett vara en illusion, att Lagos är ett dammigt hörn på ett redan förlegat kretskort.

I förhållande till Mattins konfrontativa framträdanden där ingenting lämnas orört, där allt är föremål för upplysningens krav, så är det en imponerande nyansering som dominerar Billy Bao som projekt. Billy Bao vänder upp och ner på ärligheten, vänder på punken lika mycket som på geografin, låter den underifrån slående bilda en motvikt till maktteknikerna i Mattins performativa verk. Tillsammans med Regler visar viljan att röra sig bortom konstens ramar, det område som Mattins verk tycks minst lämpade för, att den kritik med vilken han närmar sig improvisationsmusik såväl som det politiska omsätts bäst när den rör sig rastlöst vidare, när den inte lutar sig på den trygga famn som konstvärlden emellanåt utgör.

Att estetisera sociala relationer eller att göra samtalet till musik undgår inte regeln, det flyttar bara på ramarna, förändrar positionerna, genererar ett nytt utrymme för estetiken. I skivans form försvinner samtidigt det element av konfrontation som är en så påtaglig del av Mattins framföranden, där publiken görs mindre till deltagare och mer till en del av den sociala yta med vilken Mattins utvidgade uppfattning av musik produceras, en frågande musik som inte stannar vid en konstform, genrer eller kroppar, utan lockar till undran.

Blow Up Magazine (Italy, December 2015)

Delayed Gratification (January 26th 2016, Chicago)

Conceptually staggering, Lagos Sessions, the newest opus from San Francisco provocateurs Billy Bao, is as massive as it is nuanced. Recorded in Lagos, Nigeria, home to the band’s vocalist and namesake, alongside a diverse cast of musicians, improvisers, and artists, Lagos Sessions presents the band at its most expansive and personal. Both digitally and physically, the new album is two LPs split into four sides, each lasting about fifteen minutes. At once monolithic and fractured, the four pieces capture the schizophrenic nature of being a displaced person trying to find something – anything – stable and comforting that, even if not a literal home, can at least have a home’s trappings.

Lagos Sessions is hard to even call an album. Oh, it’s certainly a record – two, in fact! But the term “album” makes it seem like a collection of songs, rather than a piece of auditory art. Where “album” is an appropriate signifier, and visual analog, for plenty of records, it doesn’t do justice to Lagos Sessions, which has more similarities in common with a megalithic painting than a series of laminated inserts in a binder.

It’s an exhilarating listen, sonically and thematically. Littered with field recordings, improvised jazz, noise, punk, and soul, Lagos Sessions is an exercise in amalgamation and collage. The frequent changes in tone, tempo, and texture are disorienting, at least at first, but eventually make themselves at home. For instance, side B begins with what most closely resembles a noise rock song before descending into a prolonged monologue on what it means to be Nigerian in 2015/2016. Abrasive sound makes way for education. Easy listening, this ain’t. Rewarding, necessary listening, this is.

GARA (28 enero 2016, Euskal Herria)

ROCKDELUX (Febrero 2016, Barcelona)


El grupo afincado en el País Vasco, Billy Bao, viaja a la antigua capital de Nigeria y graba esta oda, dividida en cuatro movimientos, a la ciudad. Collages sonoros que toman fragmentos del artista local Emeka Ogboh, de Duro Ikujenyo -mano derecha de Fela Kuti- y  del afro saxofonista de jazz Orlando Julius, fusionándolos agria y ásperamente con el ambiente sonoro callejero en que capturan el amor, el vértigo y la inevitable inconfundible frustración que Lagos evoca y respira como urbe. Música conceptual que bebe de la electroacústica y los vanguardismos experimentales clásicos de mediados del siglo XX también tanteados por Frank Zappa

Hartzine (France)

Billy Bao – C (PREMIERE)

« Je suis fait baiser et je me ferai baiser à nouveau. (…) Je ne peux pas enregistrer ce processus, mais je peux exprimer ma désolation. » Cette phrase du Nigérian installé au Pays-Basque Billy Bao à propos de ses expérimentations noise-punk en dit long, en termes de portée, en termes de liberté aussi : c’est violemment déstructuré, résolument engagé. Ayant quitté Lagos pour s’installer à Bilbao, Billy Bao n’a pas trainé pour enregistrer des disques en solitaire, étrillant de distorsion l’hypocrisie contemporaine, puis s’acoquiner avec trois autres musiciens basques, biens installés dans la filiation punk locale, pour former un groupe empruntant son nom au sien, Billy Bao. Ensemble ils perforent une harsh-noise patibulaire et menaçante de baisses de pression free-jazz et autres divagations électroniques sur lesquelles fulmine l’afro-baroudeur qui ne va pas par quatre chemins pour dire ce qu’il pense : « Je ne suis pas focalisé sur la note juste. Les mecs – Mattin, Alberto L. Martin et Xabier Erkizia – se chargent de cet aspect. Je suis intéressé par les idées et il plus difficile d’en avoir que de savoir jouer d’un instrument. » Après quatre albums, dont les deux plus récents Urban Disease et Buildings From Bilbao respectivement sorti en 2010 sur PAN et en 2012 sur l’excellent label espagnol Burka For Everybody, le fantasque quatuor sortira un double LP, Lagos Sessions, constitué de quatre longues et imposantes vêpres bruitistes, génialement décousues, constituant chacune une face. Enregistré live avec une palanquée d’invités – dont Ambido, Diana Bada, Duro Ikujenyo, Mark Ido, Oduyomi Isaiah Oluseye, Joel Isioma Okoh, Orlando Julius, Mendo, Emeka Ogboh – et doublement édité sur support physique via le Castillan Munster Records et le Night School Records du ce cher Michael Kasparis (lire), on écoute ci-après la face C, certainement la plus calme mais aussi la plus habitée, présentant une géographie sonore insaisissable..

yellowgreenred (Philadelphia, 1st March 2016)

Adding to the Billy Bao pile of sonic confusion, here’s his newest album, recorded in Lagos with locally-sourced musicians and released by a Spanish garage-rock label. Only Mr. Bao could do this, I tell ya! Much like his other recent release, the Communisation EP, this one grabs from all of Mattin’s musical interests and splices it all together – you get free-range field recordings, cavernous drums emanating from some dark corner, radio interference, and of course, blistering noise-rock. Just when the barely-there blips that close the A-side have you questioning your listening habits, the B-side opens with a Brainbombs-esque slammer that will wake the neighbors, which abruptly transitions into a street interview. It’s clearly Billy Bao’s form of a sonic postcard, revealing his days and nights in Lagos and the alienation, fear, excitement and vigor that came out of them. I’ll admit that I assumed Billy Bao’s relevance in my life had essentially expired, but these new records (Lagos Sessions in particular) are entertaining and discomforting in the way that only Billy Bao knows how.

KFJC (California)

Recorded in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, this album attempts to capture the sights, sounds, and smells of the most populous city in Africa. From the writhing mass of humans and metal and concrete and heat comes a unique experience, known as “Lagos Wall of Sound”. Through four different “chapters”, each 15 minutes long, visitors are exposed to different aspects of this complex city.

Crunchy blasts of broken beats and fuzzed out bass mix with field recordings of malls, tribal chants, and traffic jams. Industrial soundscapes, spoken word poems, reverb-drenched head-slamming punk, a socio-political history of the city, and soulful Afro-Jazz, all processed and tweaked with varying levels of electronic fuckery.

Side A is the most varied and the most noisy, like a sightseeing bus tour crashing through the center of the city.

Side B starts with heavy punk rock featuring vocals by Nigerian artist Mendo. This is followed by a spoken word history of Lagos, and finally by a jazzy electronic piece with English lyrics from Russo-Nigerian singer Diana Bada.

Side C has the beautiful bass-heavy Afro-Jazz which trails off into peaceful electronics and a local news broadcast.

Side D contains glitchy hip-hop beats alongside the freestyle rap of Nigerian artist Ambido before sliding back into some more garage sludge punk.

The album includes some great visual imagery of the city, as well as extensive liner notes. The notes include descriptions of the sounds and artists heard in each chapter, a detailed history of the city, and a review of the album from Sola Olorunyomi, a musician and professor University of Ibadan, which puts this review to shame.

Reviewed by Louie Caliente on March 27, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Ruta 66 (Barcelona, April 2016)

Deep in the Music Blog

Four 15 minute pieces of what I hope to be African influenced electronica that I got to via the Aquarius weekly email.  This first tune is opening collage style with some static, distorted chants, African singing, the sound of urban traffic.  Regular readers know that Imma huge fan of the African electronica but I’m not hearing enough formed music here to keep me interested.  The second tune, B, opens up rocking with a white boy singer so now I’m completely confused as to what’s on offer here.  Especially as the third tune, C, returns to the African found sounds.  I’m feeling like this third tune, C, is what came here for and it should have been at the opening of the record.

Fucked by Noise

I reviewed this for Cvlt Nation, but here's a summary: Billy Bao is back and pushing their sonic experiments ever further than ever on their newest and most audacious release. A jarring, yet unbelievably engaging hour long sound collage over four 15 minute tracks takes you on a journey through Lagos, giving you a taste of what the experience might be like. Buckle up.

FFO: Nurse With Wound, Cosmonauts Hail Satan

Noisey Blog

Contro le hit estive: la musica sperimentale da portarvi in spiaggia

Di Demented Burrocacao

5 – Billy Bao – Lagos Sessions (2015)

Qui invece si passa a una freschezza diversa, che trae forza dalla visione di corpi in costume nell’ atto di tuffarsi tra il vociare della gente sulla riva. In particolare, quella delle spiagge del Lagos, vera meta hardcore per un turista: e in questo disco infatti il terrorista sonico Billy Bao ci infila tutto quello che caratterizza tale posto, passando da rumorazzi liquidi a field recordings sul campo simili a una fata morgana, a possibili hit afro dell’estate sepolte da rumorosi ventilatori a poco prezzo, a brani noise rock per “raffreddare” l’atmosfera come farebbe un beduino indossando capi di lana nel deserto. OK, lui in realtà intende Lagos nel senso della metropoli, ma che ce frega? È un disco perfetto per vivere l’estate al massimo perché, si sa, l’estate dev’essere anche un’avventura, altrimenti statevene pure a casa. Il disco è anche doppio quindi potete gustarvelo sulla sdraio, che se magari state a Ostia potrete immaginare di trovarvi in mondi lontani senza sentirvi in difetto alcuno.


all material has history.

so said painter, sculptor, photographer, performer, art prankster robert rauschenberg.

and all his (re)constructions, finds, incorporations, glory in disparity on canvas.  fuck unity. appropriate, agglomerate and present.  draw yr own conclusions.  dada or pop art or proto-neo-whatever.  his work represented a capturing of whatever’s to hand  – trash, oil, ink, pencil, fabric, newspaper, photos, pictures, calendars…

which brings me to lagos sessions. thrownups and thrownaways. revelling in this collage, melding and melting and layering and chucking a bunch of shit at tape to see what sticks.

the pleasure lies in the theft, the recontextualising, the stitching together of noises found and made. aural sketches, soundtrack textures, ur-song structures. exploring all these things then churning them into a disorientating (w)hole (of sorts).

the act of composition, the sound, the sight, the taste, seems as important as the completed piece itself.

which, reduced, is a cacophony of post-discogs stylelessness. a nongenre. a reflection / recording of the chaos sprouting from urban culture / global post-somethingorother in lagos.

there are a few reference points i guess. mainly emeka ogboh’s lagos soundscapes (and he’s on this record). william bennett’s cut hands. the untuned radio station cycle you sometimes get from sublime frequencies. :zoviet*france:) but really, feels kinda singular.

four chapters. as much of the past as the present as the future. but with no patience to settle on anything. a tour diary, a portait, a landscape of sorts.

envelopes like the city. sweaty. clinging. grubby. it’s all this, but unlike previous billy bao, feels as much celebration as anxiety.

and in these four chapters, the players (in one capacity or another). including, but not exclusive to: afro veteran orlando julius, fela kuti pianist duro ikujenyo, singer diana dada, spoken word artist ambido, emeka ogboh, mendo, chinua achebe…

a production technique like throwing marbles down stairs. letting things fall, collide. mongular rock. conversation. wireless noise. highlife. the street, the station, the party. silence. accents.

field recording as free jazz. concrète as punk rock. the city as a burroughs cut-up. decomposed. recomposed.

yeah it’s overwhelming, jarring, alienating at times. yet despite all this confusion lagos sessions is mattin’s most complete, and arguably listenable, record for a while. somehow these jump cuts, displaced, settle into a kindof groove.

interesting in this context that the lines between mattin and billy bao are blurry / blurring. his infernal conceptual machinations slowly melding with the avant bombast. coz if a city, abstract, tells us anything it’s that everything mutates, unites, divides. places are found. people are lost. everything is swallowed or subsumed. eventually.

Genericrecordreviews June 3, 2020

First things first: police is a tool of oppression. The very existence of nations is the first cause of death. Where there is power, there is abuse of power. I hope 2020 is another step in the process to get rid of these murderous sycophants and the evil system they answer to. As a white European, the racism I know is different from what happens in America. The history is different. The oppression, the exploitation, the silencing are different. Black culture is different as well, with European Blackness being more closely tethered to the African continent. But the most striking difference between Europe and America when it comes to Black-White relations is that, well, white Europeans know nothing about their Black brothers and sisters. There is no representation, no conversation. This is where an album like Billy Bao’s ‘Lagos Sessions’ comes in handy. The project of Basque experimental musician Mattin has always been capable to perfectly translate a concept into blown-out musical mindfuck. This time, similarly to what they had done with their 2012 masterpiece ‘Buildings from Bilbao’, the concept is a city—the city of Lagos. The band traveled to the Nigerian megalopolis and recorded the album with local musicians and local instruments, creating a patchwork of free noise, field recordings, Afro-jazz, reggaeton, spoken word. The album serves like a diary of the time the band spent in Lagos, divided in four chapters, one for every side. It’s chaotic but intensely stimulating, with its bursts of noise juxtaposed to groovy, sweet, spontaneous and warm West-African rhythms and melodies—and its spoken word moments are fascinating and instructive. While the music world scrambles to offer their hypocritical faux-support to the BLM movement after exploiting Black artists and culture for decades (or centuries), this experiment creates exactly what European underground culture needs: a space for African voices.
#grrawr #recordreviews #billybao #mattin #lagossessions #munsterrecords #noise

Piero Scaroffi

(2016), divided in four 15-minutes chunks, is an indulgent and redundant collage of field recordings, conversations, improvised jazz jams and warped songs.

Friday Playlist: Autre Magazine’s Fashion Editor’s Favorite Music of 2016

Billy Bao is usually a project created by the French noise artist Mattin. He’s collaborated with noise big boys ranging from Bruce Russell (The Dead C) and Mat Bower (Skullflower) but the Billy Bao project was initially his most rockist project; ugly sneering punk noise reminiscent of ugly titans like Rusted Shut jettisoned by Mattin’s extreme anti-copyright and anti-capitalist ideology. The Billy Bao project would grow more conceptual over the years with albums like Urban Decay and Buildings from Bilbao that mutated the noise rock with conversational tidbits, field recordings, and deafening silences. And no we are here, and 2016’s Lagos Sessions has turned Mattin into a fictional character named William; a young Nigerian troubadour who would become one of Bilbao, Lagos’ most important players in a so-called punk scene in 1986. But what the album really is is an examination of the city. Mattin spent 12 days in Bilbao recording in a local studio Eko FM and with local musicians like Orlando Julius, former Fela Kuti Keyboardist Duro Ikujenyo, and Russo-Nigerian Afro-Jazz singer Diana Bada. And yet this is not an appropriation of, just a meditation on a city from the perspective of an outsider who happens to be one of the most fiercely individualistic artists from any medium in the entire world. The album jumps between Lagos musicians’ sounds and Mattin’s sneering shards of noise. It’ll take a lot of listens for this to sink in. It works like great fine art cinema; what at first is off-putting and nonsensical soon starts to burn a maddening concept into your brain,

Best of 2016, James Caster

A collection of sounds, noises and musical pieces creating an outsider’s view of Lagos without getting dodgy. Features a fictional musician.