BBC Guest Mix: Jef Stott
Bobby Friction presents the world’s British-Asian beats with new and unsigned Asian music. Electronic DJ Jef Stott drops an Eastern Drum Attack Mix.
There’s a luminescent, nearly indescribable feeling you get when walking through the Playa, Burning Man’s centre, after sundown. In this empty desert 50,000+ people have joined forces with too much diesel and an endless supply of imagination to, as San Francisco-based artist Jef Stott says, share in this “container for radical self-expression.” The sentiment is so powerful that Stott has devoted the opening song (and many others) to it on his now released new album, ‘Arcana’.
This is an album riddled with Middle Eastern vibes from a creative who lives and breathes with the oud and percussion; add to that, his individual style of writing, composing and producing with authenticity plus the added touch of the modern day wobble or even wiggle, you like me will have the essential modern day ‘Globetronica’ delight on repeat !!!
Also be aware when you hear the opening track ‘Deep Playa’, it will touch you so deep that it will have an ever lasting effect on you, whilst influencing how you embrace the rest of this must-have essential album 🙂
Jef Stott Album Release at Under One Roof! Get your sexiest tribal gear or your shiniest saris for what will surely be 2012’s most epic Global Bass production. This Saturday, April 14th, Public Works SF will be hosting the not-to-be-missed Hookahdome and Non-Stop Bhangra extravaganza: Under One Roof. Along with co-producing this massive night of Global Bass, Bollywood, Bhangra, and epic performances, Jef Stott is launching his 10th album production. Stott will be selling and signing advance copies of his highly anticipated album, “Arcana”, and kicking off his North American tour. Stott describes Arcana as “ a 10 song collection celebrating the sacred in global bass culture. An imaginary soundtrack to an epic adventure film set far in the future.” Sample his album teaser on Soundcloud to get your palate wet and expect total satiation on Saturday night when Stott plays live electronic and Arabic percussions, including the electric Ude, while accompanied by the sultry Tunisian vocals of MC Rai. With a rumored 1,200-1,500 of the most interesting people in the Bay attending, don’t miss out on this sexy night filled with bass, booty and Bhangra. Click here for the full article
Featuring a whole host of genres including techno, chill out and the much maligned dubstep to name a few Stott creates a dizzying and mystifying atmosphere within each of his songs. The songs are expansive, airy, and as mysterious as the image on the cover. Fusing all kinds of traditional sounds with modern wobbles, squiggles, and throbs Arcana comes off as a global journey around the dance floor stopping at all ports along the way. Stott does an excellent job of mixing all these sounds together and the songs on Arcana are in a word awesome. The rhythms, the synths, and the sounds they wash over you in a tranquil, serene and mystical way that soothe your soul while finding new ways to move your feet.
As I get older, I think I have more respect for the whole sub-genre of ethno-techno. And if it fuses several genre’s together during its quest for expansion and harmonization even better. That’s where Jef Stott comes in. His latest album Arcana is anything but arcane. In fact it’s rather cutting edge and up to the moment.
Whether it’s dubstep or traditional wind instrumentation Jef Stott isn’t afraid of anything. He’s an explorer and music serves as his unchartered sea. Each sound opens the opportunity for something else, something different and an ability to expand his musical consciousness. Arcana is awesome because of this and it’s the sort of record that while obviously geared to a certain market has more than enough appeal to cross over into new territories. My guess is that’s exactly what Stott wants to do.
Saracen, Jef Stott’s first full-length solo recording, has been a long time coming. His roots in experimental guitar work led him into the transglobal sonic underworld a la Balkan/Middle Eastern influences that formed the band Stellamara, where he discovered a wider range of instruments to experiment with, namely the hypnotic oud (Arabian lute). Thus he began a serious study of traditional cultures and their instruments, taking a departure from his former fascination with electronic sounds. But all in good time, his passions united and a natural marriage was born, he founded the label Embarka records to further his exploration into the endless world of sounds.
Stott has been on the global music scene for over a decade, and last year he released SoukSonik, an EP, on Six Degrees’ (digital-only) Emerging Artists series. His honest efforts were validated with heavy rotations and a successful world tour, building up to his much anticipated solo debut.
He plays many of the instruments himself, including the Persian oud and dulcimer; saz and cumbus (Turkish lutes); various percussions and electric bass. Stott collaborated with Persian and Arabic vocalists MC RAI, Reda Darwish and Hooman Fazly to top off the already full and steamy hot cup of modern-world-beat-brew.
Saracen opens unapologetically; “Lamaset” immediately begins with a solid beat and waves of dubby rhythms rolling in to make way for magnetic vocals and that Middle Eastern string sound Stott so loves to share. The album continues, maintaining the opening momentum and breathing out long, deep steady exhales that often sound like Mercan Dede or Cheb I Sabbah, while remaining uniquely Stott.
Though the record is solid from start to stop, there are tracks worth revisiting before moving onto the next one, like “Ashk.” It is an eerie and symphonic psychedelic lullaby, the sensual rhythms and hypnotic vocals whisper like a familiar scent only pausing long enough to make you notice it before it drifts again.
The title track lures and charms as Stott’s seamless blend of percussions – be they Indian, African, Brazilian or Egyptian based – tell a mysterious story, one that knows no cultural designation, except maybe just one called Human Expression.
The beats pick up on tracks “Medina Step”, “Faqir”, and the infectious “Axis.” The only thing missing is a good disco ball, solid dance floor and another notch (or ten) of volume (because something really incredibly good happens when a mash up of sounds from around the globe are fused together all at once on top of an in-your-face beat and listened to extremely freaking loudly).
It’s interesting to note that Stott has a degree in Anthropology and that he specifically focused on Turkey and Morocco, writing ethnographies about their cultures. He cites this education as a catalyst to his thoughts on music and what “truly global music would sound like.” If ever there was a puzzle to solve, it’s looking for those dividing lines that separate our cultures, and more significantly, how they’ve influenced each other along the way. What we label “traditional” has come to mean pure and unadulterated, though nothing could be further from the truth. Artists like Stott who are creating “new” sounds, are perhaps really just explorers, unearthing our past and reconnecting fractured pieces of a world culture.
Saracen is a logical and impressive response to Stott’s straightforward academic observations. It flows like a wave across all oceans, collecting and dispersing pieces of the whole not as we experience it through finite cultural boundaries, but as the never-ending process of an ecosystem sustaining all its parts.