Bubu is music made by the Temne people, a mainly Islamic ethnic group from Sierre Leone. It’s existed for ages, but it wasn’t until Janka Nabay moved to Philidelphia in the mid 90s that it was recorded, with electronic instruments substituting for many of electronic ones.
New York label True Panther Sounds released his EP ‘Bubu King’ in 2010, and it remains one of my favourite of this magazine’s short life. Soulful, energetic with an incredible range of tone, you really should listen to it on Spotify as soon as possible. Like most things released on the label that Glasser, Tanlines and Girls also call home, it sounds like pop music of an integrity, wit, originality and verve that belongs in some indefinite time and place different to this.
His new EP ‘An Letah’ will be out on the 20th March, and this new track, posted onto Soundcloud a few days ago is really something. Now backed by a band featuring members of Brooklyn fixtures Gang Gang Dance, Zs and Skeleton$, Janka is exploring the ranges of psyche and fusion jazz with aplomb. No surprise, then, that David Bryne will release his album this summer on Luaka Bop.