Friday Five: Oduor Nyagweno, Doogatron, Bubak, Tyrus Archer, con.
Friday Five is where we highlight music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features Kenyan nyatiti music by Oduor Nyagweno from Dagoretti Records, techno from Doogatron, metal from Bubak, hip-hop from Tyrus Archer, and R&B electronica by con.
Oduor Nyagweno, Where I Go, I Am There
Ann Arbor's Dagoretti Records is run by Dr. Pete Larson and he learned how to play the nyatiti from Oduor Nyagweno, an elder on the instrument who some consider its greatest player.
Where I go, I am there is a collection of seven songs performed by Nyagweno, who Larson recorded when he lived in Kenya. Dagoretti also released Oduor Nyagweno and the Nyatiti Attack, which includes the great track "Obama," which "starts out with a story about a poor, impotent man in the village whose wife becomes so distraught that she returns to her her mother for counsel. Nyagweno then goes on to praise the greatness of Barack Obama and all his good works." Read our 2020 interview with Larson about Dagoretti Records here.
Doogatron, "What Do We Owe to Each Other?" & "Cosmic Dance" singles
I'm a broken record when it comes to describing Ypsilanti's Doogatron: leftfield techno. There are enough BPMs in the duo's music to get your booty boppin' but the textures, tweaks, and glitches also make the tunes herky-jerky in ways that invite close headphone listening.
Bubak, Vol. 3
This two-man Ypsi metal band blasts excellent stoner-doom metal that features riffs so big you could build a house on them. This four-song EP is Bubak's first release since 2018 and it was worth the wait. Read our 2017 interview with Bubak here.
Tyrus Archer, Atlantis
Ann Arbor's Tyrus Archer makes tripped-out hip-hop, and this six-song EP is a strong showcase for his talents. "Thank God!" also has a feature by Ypsi rapper Black Alfalfa.
Ann Arbor producer con. produces an appealing R&B-electronica hybrid on this six-song EP. The first tune, "playing_games," is actually a straight-up remix of Summer Walker's 2019 ballad and the other tracks sound like they're probably built from samples and loops of other recent-ish R&B tunes, but more educated ears will have to figure that out for all of us.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.
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