MC YALLAH & DEBMASTER + MCZO & DUKE INT

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Alternative hip-hop and manic dance music meet in this special concert setup

Want to try something different? Something that will make your body move and your head bop along (or spin!). Get a taste of (some of) the sounds of Nyege Nyege Tapes, the celebrated Uganda label focusing on “outsider music from around the region and beyond” (their own description).

This concert package offers you a double treat: The Ugandan/French duo MC Yallah and Debmaster serves up non-conform hip-hop while Tanzanian duo MCZO & Duke give you a taste of the frantic electronic sound from the streets of Dar Es Salaam.

MC Yallah & Debmaster first got in touch because of some beats Debmaster had sent to Arlen Dilsizian, label boss at Nyege Nyege Tapes. The beats caught the ears of Yallah who quickly decided she wanted to put down a rap on the production. And thus, a duo was formed.

MC Yallah and Debmaster released the debut album Kubali in 2019 through Nyege Nyege Tapes’ sublabel Hakuna Kulala (Fact and Wire loved it!). It’s an energetic affair that combines MC Yallah’s lyrics in Kiswahili and Luganda, Uganda’s main language, with Debmaster’s fragmented and detailed productions that stutter, roar and generally makes a lot of noise.

The same goes when the duo plays live. Debmaster works his magic as a live producer, and occasionally he whips out a modified PlayStation controller to programme and manipulate drum patterns on the fly. MC Yallah has a stage authority like a skilled player – which she is, she started at the age of 15.

MCZO & Duke will make your body go into spams. They are exponents of the singeli genre.

Singeli is a bracing listen for the uninitiated. It's fast, anywhere between 180 and 300 BPM, placing it well ahead of drum & bass and even some gabber, with MCs rapping over relentless electronic rhythms. It's rowdy and uniquely Tanzanian, informed by decades of the country's electronic and folk music.

Duke is one of the key artists from the scene. He is focusing on raw, intoxicating sounds, packing his tracks full of intense, repetitive rhythms that don’t sound like anything else.

2019 saw the release of his debut album Uingizaji Hewa on Nyege Nyege Tapes, which features MCZO –  one of the most skilled rappers in Dar Es Salaam – who will perform together with the producer at Roskilde Festival 2020.