The Gypsy
Jun 2011 17

Now the first glance at the title of this article may appear slightly confused but anyone who was present at Rich Mix last Tuesday night to see the first UK performance of Wanlov the Kubolor’s Brown Card album will fully understand the sentiment. Also known as African Gypsy, the album is the musical manifestation of Wanlov’s cultural heritage, reflecting both his Ghanaian and Romanian (or Transylvanian) roots, his extensive knowledge of music and his socially conscious personality. Indeed Wanlov commands the stage with his infectious sense of humour and a clear appreciation of the musicians he is playing with. Combining African drum patterns with accordion and violin solos, intricate guitar patterns and hiplife melodies any listener of the Brown Card will enjoy a globe trotting journey through multiple musical genres. Described as “music for music lovers”, it is hard to disagree with the description of Wanlov as “the Manu Chao of hip-hop” or indeed his own assertion that he is the modern day Gypsy Fela. Enjoy this footage of the Wanlov classic “Human Being” which appropriately for a song celebrating global citizens was performed with a Frenchman on accordion, an Italian-Transylvanian fiddler and a Ghanaian on the Cajo drum.

Check after the jump for footage of Wanlov in his ambassador role for Orphan Aid in Ghana!
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FOKN Bois’ Dunaquest mix
Apr 2011 11

Buy the FOKN Dunaquest in Budapest Album here. AVAILABLE NOW!

Check out this link for a review of the album cut entitled We are the Future (which now also includes a free download):  http://aspecks.com/blog/commentary/africas-fokn-future/

Aspecks recently provided you with a sneak peak of the productive summer that the FOKN Bois spent in Budapest when we posted about Africa’s FOKN Future. Consequently we had raised expectations for the release of the full mix and of course, despite being busy working on their various solo projects, the FOKN Bois (M3NSA and Wanlov The Kubolor) do not disappoint in the slightest. Hosted by the Irie Maffia Production duo (ELO and Jumo Daddy), the Dunaquest minimix combines their eclectic fusion of hip-hop, funk, reggae and European dance beats with the reflective and optimistic humour of the FOKN Bois’ verbal dexterity to magnificent effect. But don’t just take our word for it as you can listen to the results of their endeavours below.

FOKN Bois meet Irie Maffia Prod.-FOKN Dunaquest Minimix by Irie Maffia

Officially released on Akwaaba/Irie Maffia Productions on the 26th April 2011.

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Feb 2011 18

The FOKN Bois spent some time in Hungary last summer whilst on tour and collaborated with Irie Maffia Sound System(another powerful music collective who specialise in reggae, hip hop, funk and cumbia amongst other genres) to make a song called “We are the Future” which you can listen to HERE. (unfortunately embedding of the tune has been disabled)

(UPDATE – you can now download the song at the link provided and the album will be available on on all digital outlets NOW)

We find the song particularly invigorating not only because of the beats and how fresh they are but also because of the visions a bright future for Africa presented by both M3nsa and Wanlov in their verses and how they mesh with the things we are concerned about as aspecks. In the song, they speak of a ‘new world’ with Africa partaking at the forefront of global prosperity and no longer the continent that people seek to flee from in search of greener pastures.

Specifically – M3nsa makes reference to the oil find in Ghana and the wealth that it will bring (with no mention of pollution and irresponsible corporations implying that if they exist oil companies will be held to high standards of corporate social responsibility etc because we don’t want exploitation in our future). Not one to rest on laurels, he also suggests harnessing SOLAR energy on the continent *which we have discussed here before in detail* and further sustainable energy from biogas “developed by a village man from Abetifi“.  [read more..]
Wanlov – African Gipsy – Global Citizen
Oct 2010 16

wanlov_2010 -BBC interview mp3 (418KB)

The link above is to an interview Wanlov gave with the BBC on his upcoming project; The African Gypsy. He is recording in it Paris and has described it as rapping and singing over a mix of traditional Ghanaian and Romanian Gypsy instrumentation. We’re looking forward to it.

In the meantime, check out this live performance of Human Being (with M3nsa) which we regard as a leading theme song for the Global Citizen Campaign.

Previous Aspecks coverage of Wanlov here.

The FOKN BOIS talk “Coz Ov Moni”
Mar 2010 20

Eighteen months on from our last interview with Wanlov and M3nsa a.k.a the FOKN BOIS, Aspecks managed to catch up with these pioneering artists to talk about the upcoming release of their unique pidgen musical “Coz Ov Moni”, which they filmed on location in Ghana.

The film has been accepted by the Pan-African Film festival in Los Angeles, the Black Film Makers Festival in London and on the day the promotion video above was released the FOKN BOIS received news that the Rio International Film Festival has accepted “Coz Ov Moni”. Check out the videos below from our conversation where M3nsa and Wanlov explain some of their motivations behind a film which they describe as a cultural exchange programme. Having been privileged to see a sneak preview of this fresh, funny film we cannot wait for the prospective international release dates (with subtitles in english, french, spanish and chinese) and for people to see what happens to the FOKN BOIS “Coz Ov Moni”.

Part Two after the jump…

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