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Fat Baby Bembe

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This is a 3/16 Bembe on tuned congas, played with mallets. I’ve arranged it (at the very kind suggestion of Vaisvil & ReefWalker) in a verse/chorus/bridge/capo fashion to get away from a straight pattern - I think this sort of arrangement makes it easier for these classic patterns to be incorporated into contemporary Western music.

Bembe rhythms hail from West Africa (Nigeria area) and are associated with Santeria rites in some cases, so they may sometimes have religious significance. A “Bembe” is a gathering (or party, if you will) with a lot of percussion, which may play uninterrupted for a very long time (like, all night). The dancers (and drummers) literally wear themselves out, often ending up in a trance (or even inebriated!). A “rave” of sorts, but maybe with a religious significance.

I personally place no religious significance to these rhythms, but really appreciate their trance effect.

3/16 180bpm.


Rick Phillips's avatar
Rick Phillips said

That makes me a big kid I guess!

Tharek Ali Mokbul's avatar
Tharek Ali Mokbul said

Listened to Rumba columbia just before this. Leads on soooooo Well!! A Great Listen!

Guest said

Beefy beats!

kirklynch's avatar
kirklynch said

Wow! Very cool rhythms!!

Wildgeas Music's avatar
Wildgeas Music said

Outstanding! Shakers, cowbell,and mallets?? Wow! I'm off to bum my brother's bongos. MORE DRUM SOLOS!!

launched's avatar
launched said

Yeah, this is pure gravy, bro! Spicy and lively. That cowbell is awesome and mixed perfectly!

Rick Phillips's avatar
Rick Phillips said

Norm the Lion King! Nice!

Alister Flint's avatar
Alister Flint said

this is africa and it takes you right at the hear of it! - and still one my faves..

vaisvil's avatar
vaisvil said

excellent groove - it will be interesting to see what AT folks can do with it. (I hope!!)

Dave Berry's avatar
Dave Berry said

love your grooves. This is so subtle and infectious.