Kenya’s KMRU Shines Light on Nairobi’s Musical Talents with Compilation

KMRU, real name Joseph Kamaru, has curated a label compilation that shines a light in electronic music talent from Nairobi, Kenya.

The 14-track curation features a glimpse of the different styles of music coming out of the city, from the sample-based productions of MR.LU*, who has been reintroducing old Kenyan traditional folk into his work, to Barno, who blends ambient with elegant piano sounds.

The compilation features Coco Em, who we recently featured, and the improvised work and Nabalayo’s “changanya” style: a modernized folk music built on the aesthetics of local folk music. There’s also Charles Nyiha’s film-like compositions, and KMRU himself delivers a field recording.

Place: Nairobi is only a scratch of the surface of what’s happening in the Nairobi electronic music scene,” we’re told.

The compilation comes out on New York label Air Texture, and it forms part of Place, a location-specific compilation series where all proceeds are donated to a local environmental cause in that place. In this particular case, that cause is The Green Belt Movement (GBM), an environmental organization that empowers communities, particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods.

Currently studying sonic arts in Berlin, Kamaru is a Nairobi-born sound artist whose work is grounded in field recording, noise, and improvisation.

Tracklisting

01. L3GS “JADI”
02. 7headc0 “justfiu”
03. Nabalayo “Room 23”
04. MR. LU* “Kinanda”
05. Kimina “Nuru”
06. Munyasya “Incandescent Plight”
07. Barno “A Lifetime”
08. Coco Em “2021”
09. KMRU “Window Stills” (Field Recording)
10. Ngat Maler “Flux”
11. [MONRHEA] “o_O”
12. Charles Nyiha “Violet”
13. Janice Iche “Thirsty Reggae”
14. M3 “So Unfazed”

Place: Nairobi is scheduled for September 24 release. Meanwhile, you can stream L3GS’ “JADI” and 7headc0’s “justfiu” in full below and pre-order here.

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