Percussion intruments are not exactly an obvious choice for music students in a country which has produced some of the major classical composers. Perhaps the demise of German folk music following World War II aside from trash and kitsch provides the very explanation why so many are embracing musical traditions outside Europe. A notion instigated by real master drummers such as Mustapha Tettey Addy from Ghana or Dudu Tucci from Brazil - who have both lived in Germany - and one which can be taken many steps further. Part of the concept involves German students bringing forth their own ideas and combining traditions, more so than their teachers, and very carefully taking up submerged national folk traditions and integrating these in their 'Global Village Music'.



Various Artists: The Soul of Percussion CD WW 115-2



'The Soul of Percussion' mainly focusses on european or european based musicians. They take us on a musical and fantasy-stimulating journey around the globe which starts in small village in the northern part of Germany, then delves deep into the African soul, subsequently pays tribute to the Indo-Arabic art of ornamentation, and ultimately brings us back to our starting point via the Andalusian flamenco.

Common to all 13 titles on this journey of rhythm is an ability to communicate without words - music is a universal language. Listeners suddenly become dancers. Rhythm itself is a dancer !




1. Dull Dull: Drummer's Delight 4.45


dull1Although at home on the lowland plains of northern Germany, multi-instrumentalist Olaf Plotz and his band Dull Dull have embraced the idea of global village music for his project in which acoustical instruments are unusually combined with every-day utensils, resulting in an unexpected sound experience linking the lowlands with the wide open spaces of the African steppe and sunny Caribbean palm beaches.


2. Quinta Feira: Stop Baião 2.55


Quinta Feira (pronounced 'keentah fairer') means 'Thursday' in Portuguese. This is the day on which some thirty Sambistas come together for their weekly practice session with the Hamburg musician and bandleader Paul Lazare. Quinta Feira began with Samba percussion music taken from Brazilian Afro-Blocos such as Olodum and Timbalada. However, various styles such as funk, HipHop and Afro-Cuban elements have been added to the band's mix during their five-year collaboration.


3. Ayo Nelson-Homiah: Doun' Doum Ba 4.02


Nelson - Homia, who was born in Sierra Leone and subsequently grew up with his mother in Gambia, built his own drums at an early age, initially using cartons and tins. Later he learned the traditional rhythms and songs on the Djembé and Balafon. His work in the Royal Air Force took him to Cyprus and Gibraltar until he landed in Berlin where he is living since then. Following the end of his military service, he devoted more of his time to music, touring with percussion bands 'Africa Mama' and 'Senegambia', and established the Afro-Caribbean project 'Mag la Ria'. The follow-up to his 1996 debut solo CD 'Heartbeat' is scheduled for 2000.


4. Dénagan Janvier Honfo: Sakete 3.17


Although singer, musician, actor and choreographer Dénagan Janvier Honfo has been living in Ger-many for some years, the artist still maintains close ties with his homeland Benin, whereward he recently acted as compare at a presentation awards ceremony celebrating the country's finest musicians. He himself is no stranger to such events, having taken part in various international festivals such as the competition organised by Radio France Inter-national and the UNESCO Festival of Culture. Besides his two CD`s comprising traditional themes focusing on his work as a percussionist, he has also released an Afro-Pop CD with the group Azuka and established a musical project focusing on relaxation.

5. Ifang Bondi: Sabar 1.26



Ifang Bondi ("Be Yourself") from Gambia have quite a unique band history. Their musical director Badou Jobe was one of the stars of the 'Super Eagles' who brought West Africa to a frenzy in the 1960s. The band broke up at the height of their career to further pursue the tradition of the Griots. Ifang Bondi delighted audiences with their root-blend of 'Afro-Mandingue Sound' for over 20 years. Besides the arrangements comprising all the instruments, it is the wild percussion pieces that now enrapture audiences time after time on numerous tours.


6. Amampondo: Collective for Changuito 7.27


The eleven South Africans can be seen just as often at inter-national venues as at regular performances in South African schools where they provide the "westernised" children with an understanding of their forefathers' culture. Besides the sophisticated dance choreography it is, above all, the buzzing, lingering and driving percussion that characterises the trance-like quality of their music, here in an homage to the cuban Changuito, who supported Mandela's favourite band on its first international production.


7. Pedro Weiß' Waraba Percussion: Mandana 2.33


The outstanding characteristic of musician and teacher Pedro Weiss, who for over 15 years has invited students to embark on a journey to 'discover rhythm', is his sheer inexhaustible pleasure derived from playing music. With two solo CD's firmly under his belt, he himself repeatedly takes such musical trips throughout the world tracking down the magic sounds of Oriental, African and Latin American cultures and integrating them in his own musical style. Salsa, Samba, Pop and Jazz formations make up part of the 39 year-old's vast experience.


8. Bhavani: Neeru 2.59


Ramesh Shotham, resident in Cologne, has been in demand as a studio musician for 15 years. His skills, developed primarily at the legendary Karnataka College of Percussion, have been behind more than 75 jazz and world - music productions. The lively master Indian percussionist works for radio and television companies and with the support of Goethe Institut travels half the globe. In addition, he has established three of his own groups: 'Madras Spezial', 'Xillob' and 'Bhavani'


9. Mokhtar Al Said feat. K. Henkish: Tabla Solo 1 2.42

Mokhtar Al Said began his musical career over 30 years ago as an accordionist for such famous Arabian singers as Om Kalsoum and Abdel Halim Hafez and has been a composer for Egyptian national radio for almost as many years. His arrangements include Egypt's national anthem. Together with the El Ferka Mesaya Orchestra he has so far recorded four CD's for the 'Raks Sharki (Oriental dance) Project' organised by the dancer Jalilah. As the main man is extremely camera-shy, the picture seen here is that of Jalilah who put together the compositions.


10. Sayed Balaha: Hamada 5.16

The Egyptian Sayed Balaha made his first concert appearance on Cairo radio at the age of eight. Its success gave rise to countless further programmes. Ever since, the Tabla and Darbouka player has accompanied all the famous Oriental dancers, including Nagua Fouad, with whom he came to Berlin in 1989. Here he taught Tabla and Oriental dance, established the Egypt Stars with other Egyptian musicians, and gave numerous concerts throughout Europe. His first successful solo CD, 'The devil and the dancer', was followed in 1997 by a collaboration with the band.

11. Mahmout Fadl: Karachi 1.56


The three CD's released by the musical director and arranger of the Salamat project, percussionist Mahmoud Fadl, primarily provide Western listeners with an understanding of the Nubian elements of Egyptian music. Fadl, whose instruments include the Darabuka, Conga, Djembé, Tabla, Tar and the Duff, recently invited fellow musicians to accompany him, and his dance rhythms he has known since childhood, on a voyage of discovery along the Nile.


12. Los Activos: Caña 3.28


This Spanish flamenco percussion group boasts an incredible band history. Ten years ago social workers set-up a workshop project on the "El Torrejòn" housing estate, a ghetto in the industrial town of Huelva near Seville. In an area with serious drug problems this workshop seemed an ideal way of taking youngsters off the streets. At first hands, feet and dustbins were used as percussion instruments. Subsequent performances in pubs provided the funds for 'real' instruments. Since 1993 this workshop has witnessed the formation of some 8 to 10 full-time musicians who have recorded a CD and accompanied flamenco singers such as Enrigue Morente and Carmen Linares. Current highlights in the band's history include appearances at the most important flamenco festivals and the WOMEX World Music Fair.


13. Global Drummer : When the stars fall down, we are on top 5.17


Thirty-nine year old drummer Donald Holtermans, who discovered his love of rhythm 20 years ago, is the driving force behind the project 'Global Drummer'. He was granted an in-depth insight in a rich variety of culture groups by the master drummers Mustapha Tettey Addy from Ghana and Pandit Badri Maharaj from India.

Besides accompanying dances and dance performances he has also played in various bands ('Ganja Band', 'Koo Wulu') and together with Johannes Heinen established the 'Piano & Drums' project. Following major contributions on four CD productions, his own debut solo CD is set to be released in 1998 in which the call of the drums will be answered in his very own personal style.


In October 1998 the 'Global Drummer' released his first solo CD on WeltWunder Records.


Homemore drummers different topic order