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31/01/2024SonarMix 033: Coco Em - Borderless, innovative and energetic club music

“I love the sound of rhythms laid upon other rhythms to create more complex rhythms”, says Kenyan artist Coco Em. SonarMix 033 is testament to her passion for polyrhythms, and an attempt to see “how many drum patterns we can fit into a one-hour set”. 





Recorded in Nairobi, it’s built on “polyrhythms and bass - lots of bass”. Kicking off with the swirling low-end of Pessimist’s remix of British conceptual artist Richie Culver’s ‘Alive in the living room’, it moves through hard-edged gqom (Formation BoyzCitizen BoyGriffit Vigo), hyperspeed polyrhythms from Lisboa’s Príncipe crew (DJ FIRMEZA and DJ LILOCOX), and dizzyingly complex beats from La Réunion (BoogzBrown). Plus there’s space for East African artists - a typically punishing club track from her compatriot Slikback, and a flip of legendary Tanzanian group Kilimanjaro Band by Marseille-based afro house producer Moris Beat - and a host of music from South Africa, including a final “wind down with some of my favourite amapiano tunes.” 


There’s a thread that runs through all of Coco Em’s work as DJ, curator, activist, producer and filmmaker: the vital sound of African and the African diaspora’s producers, and the structural challenges that these artists face. SonarMix 033 echoes this reality: it’s borderless, innovative, and energetic, but also “dark and moody”, and full of “sudden transitions”. 

“In my mind, I’m dancing at Sónar by Day to percussive sounds from the world over,” adds Coco. So in June, expect more of the same: “Drum rhythms, polyrhythms, lots of bass, and me playing around launching clips, creating live remixes - sort of like a hybrid DJ/live set!”. We can’t wait.



Richie Culver - Alive in the living room (Pessimist Remix)

Aryu Jassika - Sqomething Else

Strick - Drunk at Laser Quest

Formation Boyz - Kicker (gqom)

Slikback - KENEKI

QUE DJ - iGhost (feat. Babes Wodumo, Mampintsha & Madanon)

MduScabha - Vula Vala

Griffit Vigo - Activated Gqom 2

Citizen Boy - Tribute to DSB

Emo Kid - Jumping Castle

QUE DJ - Maku Wrong (feat. Madanon)

Griffit Vigo - Ups and Downs

Brothers On Cue - Dragons Moon

Dj Paparazzi - Harlem

Mxshi Mo - Jungle Fever (Epock Remix)

Dj Patris Boy - Pemba

DJ FIRMEZA - Alma Do Meu Pai

DJ LILOCOX - No Momento

BoogzBrown - Madurai

BoogzBrown - Parispeed

Vudufa - Kindunga

MORIS BEAT & Killimanjaro Band - Kachiri (Remix)

Dj N.K. - Track 16

Cleyton M - Slow Motion

Munchi - Ta Maluco

Abstracttet - Uróboros

Siu Mata - Quimico Ultra Mega X Yofrangel 911 Envidioso 

Mr Eazi & Lady Donli - Lagos Gyration (Intro)

Teraphonique & DNZL444 - Mob Ties

Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa - Ungakholwa (feat. Kweyama Brothers, Slowavex, Konke & Madumane)

Pcee, Justin99 & EeQue - ZoTata (feat. Mr JazziQ)

Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa - Khutuza (feat. Young Stunna, Shino Kikai, ShaunMusiq & Ftears)

Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa - Shaya Imoto (feat. 2woshortrsa, Stompiiey, ShaunMusiq & Ftears)

Junior De Rocka & Lady Du - Catalia (feat. Mr JazziQ, Mellow & Sleazy)