Keleketla! announce a collection of remixes of their celebrated global album project

What emerged from the initial Keleketla! sessions in South Africa was music as an activist response, and this became a key theme for the “Keleketla!” album. Beginning as a musical meeting ground between Ninja Tune cofounders Coldcut and a cadre of South African musicians (introduced by the charity In Place Of War) Keleketla! soon branched outward from Johannesburg to London, Lagos and L.A, with Coldcut— who are friends of the Wenda family and long term supporters of the Free West Papua campaign—inviting West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda to contribute to the record. 

The resulting track, ‘Papua Merdeka’, produced by Coldcut and featuring the late Tony Allen, centres around a heartfelt political invocation led by Wenda. It’s a call for freedom for the nation of West Papua from Indonesia, from which Wenda fled in 2004 after being persecuted by the Indonesian military. He now leads a campaign from his home in Oxford, where the vocals for the track were recorded. 

The album will include remixes from some of the best underground producers including DJ Stingray, Skee Mask, Esa, Ehua, Project Pablo, Henrik Schwarz, On-U Sound, Mr Raoul K, J Saul Kane and including ‘Papua Merdeka’ remixes by Machinedrum Floyd Lavine.

Announcing the collection today are two new remixes of ‘Shepherd Song’—the Esa & His Afro-Synth Band version and a remix from Henrik Schwarz—released together as an EP with the previously unveiled Project Pablo remix of ‘International Love Affair‘ and edits of the infectious originals. ‘Shepherd Song’ reimagines a traditional song from South Sotho which speaks about a shepherd’s reflective journey while herding in the hills of their ancestors. This journey awakens joy and peace, a celebration of one’s history. ‘International Love Affair’ is a celebration of our need to come together as one and the healing power of music. The song is an international collaboration featuring musicians from South Africa, Nigeria, UK and USA.

On December 11th a limited edition white label 12” including the DJ Stingray remix of ‘Future Toyi Toyi’ and Skee Mask remix of ‘Swift Gathering‘ will also be released.

The initial sessions for the record were recorded in Trackside Creative studios in Soweto, and initiated by the Johannesburg based Keleketla! Library project and UK charity In Place Of WarColdcut were joined by vocalists Nono Nkoane and Tubatsi Moloi, plus Thabang Tabane (percussion), Sibusile Xaba (guitars) and Gally Ngoveni (bass). Then with contributions added from Tony Allen, Shabaka Hutchings, Dele SosimiThe Watts ProphetsTamar Osborn, Miles JamesEd ‘Tenderlonious’ CawthorneAfla SackeyAntibalas and others. 

The record went on to receive effusive praise from the likes of NPR who described it as “a stunning collaboration”, and as a “a cosmopolitan tale of musical resistance” by the Financial Times, it was named The New York Times’ “Critics Pick”, The Guardian’s “Global Album of the Month” and Bandcamp lauded it’s “inspired take on timeless creative traditions that speaks to the global impact of the music of the African continent”

Benny Wenda’s words from ‘Papua Merdeka’:

When I was a child my village was bombed by Indonesian military and many of my family were killed. Later I began to campaign peacefully to free my country from Indonesian occupation. For this I was arrested, tortured and threatened with death. I managed to escape to the UK. 

My people are still suffering. Hundreds of thousands have been killed. All we want is to live without fear, and for West Papua to become a free and independent country. Please hear my peoples’ cry for help.
Free West Papua!

Keleketla! Remixes” will be released digitally on Ahead Of Our Time on 1st December. Proceeds from the release will go to the Free West Papua Campaign

“Keleketla! Remixes” Album Tracklist:
1. Papua Merdeka (Machinedrum Remix)
2. Papua Merdeka (Floyd Lavine Remix)
3. Future Toyi Toyi (DJ Stingray Remix)
4. Crystallise (Dom Valentino Remix)
5. Crystallise (J Saul Kane Remix)
6. Shepherd Song (Ehua Remix)
7. Shepherd Song (Esa & His Afro-Synth Band version) 
8. Shepherd Song (Esa Remix) 
9. Shepherd Song (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
10. International Love Affair (Project Pablo Club Mix)
11. Freedom Groove (On-U Sound Humanity Screams Mix) 
12. Freedom Groove (David Hanke Remix) 
13. Into The Light (Mr Raoul K Remix)
14. Swift Gathering (Skee Mask Remix)

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Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.