SNF Nostos


DJ Sets - Out of Africa

June 21 2019

At a time when East Africa’s underground club scene is becoming a matrix for new dance music movements and a top destination for major festivals, the Summer Nostos Festival, imagined by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), is bringing the East African dance scene to Athens and to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Out of Africa is the collective name of these DJ sets that promise to deliver, for the second year running, a truly unique experience for the nights of the SNFestival. Four influential DJs from Uganda, Tanzania, and Ghana will take Athens by storm for four nights: June 23, 25, 27 and 29.

This year, the pulse of this music scene is brought to us by three unique personalities: queer activist Authentically Plastic (29/6), the outgoing Catu Diosis (27/6), and the rising star of the genre,  (23/7) originally from Ghana, who has turned into one of the most interesting personas of the Parisian club scene. More than anywhere else, we encounter the awakening of musical roots and past experience into modern expression, is most certainly in the music of Duke, who is coming together with MZCO (25/6). They are some of the most important representatives of singeli, a distinctive genre of electronic music belonging to the broad spectrum of hardcore techno that has emerged in the capital of Tanzania.

All of them are creatively irrepressible; ready to push the limits for the sake of expression, loyal to the speed and appeal of electronic, pop, techno, Afro-house, and dark punk music; but also deeply influenced by tradition. These representatives of the East African underground movement remain faithful to their roots, breaking away from “ethnic” music and carving new artistic paths.

The program Out of Africa, which is taking place in collaboration with the Nyege Nyege Festival, offers Europe a unique experience of rising Eastern African DJs. The emergence of multidisciplinarity and diachrony in artistic expression is one of the main undercurrents of the Summer Nostos Festival, with the concept of “Nostos” at its center. The memory does not stay inactive, but renders the now and tomorrow.

The schedule
Sunday, June 23: Pö*
Tuesday, June 25: MZCO & Duke
Thursday, June 27: Catu Diosis
Saturday, June 29: Authentically Plastic

Time: 23:30
Location: Canal Stage

*Pö will replace Slikback, whose appearance was originally announced for the Summer Nostos Festival. Slikback has had to cancel half of his European tour due to force majeure.

Pö (Sunday, June 23)
Pö is a real phenomenon. From her roots in Ghana, she has come to be considered one of the most up-and-coming music personalities of the club scene of Eastern Africa and Paris. Part of the Congolese pop band Poko Poko, her music brings together intense dance sounds from Africa with contemporary electronic music in a unique way, with an emphasis on the percussion that will transport you across the continent.

MZCO & Duke (Tuesday, June 25)
Underground music’s frenzied sounds will travel from East Africa to the Summer Nostos Festival thanks to the unique, idiosyncratic style of producer and DJ from Tanzania Duke, who will be appearing onstage with MCZO. Duke’s sound defies description: it adopts popular Tanzanian advertising jingles and connects them to sounds created in the studio. His style is characterized as the most punk sound of the singeli scene, with an original and aggressive way of encouraging the audience to dance non-stop. Singeli is an emerging kind of electronic music that belongs to the broader range of hardcore techno. It was born in the Tanzanian capital of Dodoma, a city with a decisive role in the development of electronic music in East Africa. Duke and MCZO are piquing the interest of the most influential festivals around the world and are scheduled to appear at Germany’s CTM Festival and at the Intonal Festival in Sweden.

Catu Diosis (Thursday, June 27)
At the very heart of the Kampala underground club scene, the place where the renaissance of electronic music in East Africa is taking place, Catu Diosis is emerging as a dominant force. With a multitude of dizzying influences, from the techno sounds of Detroit to afro-house, she creates her own new landscape in modern electronic music. Catu Diosis exemplifies the emerging generation of young women DJs.

Authentically Plastic (Saturday, June 29)
Authentically Plastic explores unfamiliar, uncharted sounds from ‘out there,’ based on the contemporary musical forms of Gqom, Kwaito, Vogue, and Techno. The musician has thus acquired a highly personal identity both as a DJ and as a graphic designer in the vibrant scene of East Africa. They are a distinct artist who experiments with many different creative media, even directing themselves in their photographs. They live and work in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Gender issues dominate their DJ set, as does a dance beat, and they place particular emphasis on femme artists. An activist, Authentically Plastic organized the first night time queer runs in Kampala. In September, they will be debuting on the Boiler Room, an online music platform for live music broadcasting from every corner of the earth.