Raw, fierce electric sounds emanate from this more abstract set by Afrorack, aka Brian Bamanya, of Uganda. Now you get a rich video from Berlin’s CTM Festival earlier this year.

Video source: berta.berlin / Video: Julia Grüßing / Sound: Beat Halberschmidt

Actually, I’ll be totally personal here about my hearing. Back in January, I was really involved in Brian’s polyrhythm-laden take on techno, and maybe after the onslaught of sound and absence of sleep at CTM, I think I didn’t fully appreciate thismore abstract set as much as I could. I enjoyed it, for sure, and was glad I squeezed it into some insane and generally impossible program for that night – CTM is a reminder of how much overabundant musical goodness there is, and I hope we share that spirit.

But half a year and one pandemic later, this sound speaks to me more now than it did then – something about its visceral, destroyed, static landscape. Maybe our mental state is more like this set now. So – for once, the time-delayed video may be perfect. It’s good we get to listen to things more than once – sometimes even live sets. Our ears can be in different places.

This set also does feature Brian’s distinctive rhythmic approach, cycling atop the more brutal sounds like an additional layer of patterning. It’s definitely the sound of the synths, but it’s a great journey.

Oh and brutal as in ‘Brute from Arturia, too, natch.

I’m never really objective about music, nor would I want to be. Brian is a fantastic and multi-talented musician and inventor – and we were truly honored to have his contributions to our MusicMakers Hacklab, too. I miss you all; sure we all miss being together.

Oh, and this Afrorack (in Uganda) is not related to Afrorack the organization in Chicago. That organization has ambitions not only about providing equal access to music and music technology but also using those venues as a platform for expanding education in engineering and technology. So I do hope Afrorack the person and Afrorack the organization get to meet in person, across their respective continents. It’s another reason to remember that ultimately, travel still has value – even if we have to wait.

If you want more Brian, there’s more Brian.

Brian’s own site copiously documents his output and ideas, and also brings together some DIY resources.


This may surprise some people, but there are other people in Africa, one of the world’s largest landmasses. (Something like 1.3 billion + and growing, I think.) But here are just a few, with Brian on this thoroughly excellent compilation: