Alex | Aju
Caveat emptor: I did absolutely none of the drumming in this piece.
ANOTHER WORLD PREMIER! FIRST RECORDING OF THIS PATTERN - EVER!
My friend Kokou “Alex” Yemey delighted me with another visit this evening. He played “Aju” - all 5 tracks from memory (“I’ve heard it since I was a child”).
“Aju” is a name without implicit meaning, referring specifically to this pattern. West African, and specific to voodoo harvest ceremony held in the fall of each year, this song is publicly played every night from around 4-8pm for 1 month, after the harvest, in thanksgiving, by an animist tribe. It’s an ancient, traditional pattern. It is considered to be “classical”: the beats are well known and not to be altered. As far as Alex & I know, “Aju” has not been recorded before.
Traditionally, this pattern is performed by an all male percussion ensemble, to an all female dance squad. During the month of this celebration, the female dancers are confined to a fortified compound every night, and they speak in a special language that is used only during this month.
I had considered submitting this to Ramen Music, as it is indeed a treasure, but Alex did not feel that “Aju” was his to sell.