In the rural area of Fashaga, where the borders of Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia meet, a new sound is being created. Jaglara, also known as “cosmic dance music,” is a genre largely unknown outside of its Sudanese origins. Its creator, Jantra, is a mysterious figure who has achieved cult status in his home country.
The Yamaha keyboard that Jantra uses to create his music, like most keyboards, was not made in Africa. It required special tuning from legendary keyboard mechanics in Omdurman market to cater to Sudanese rhythms and melodies. Jantra further tweaks the sound to achieve a soul stirring tone that is universally appealing.
AN OSTINATO RECORDS PRODUCTION
Instead of producing Jantra’s album in the traditional sense, the Ostinato team took a hybrid approach to create a contemporary reissue of Jantra’s early cassette and digital recordings. They followed Jantra to his legendary parties on the outskirts of the capital and extracted the individual melodic patterns, rhythms, and MIDI data from his keyboard to recreate his lengthy sessions into individual dance tracks.
Jantra’s music is hopeful in a world often without hope, uplifting in spirit, ancient and modern, childish and mature, familiar yet refreshingly obscure. The hypnotic Sera rhythm that fuels his 155-168 BPM music is known to inspire the occasional gunslinger to raise his pistol in the middle of the dance floor when the music reaches its climax.
THE SPIRIT OF JAGLARA
This record is confirmation that Jantra’s electronic Jaglara from the Fashaga underground is a new worthy sibling and rival to the many electronic styles being exported from Africa. Its hypnotic rhythm and enchanting melodies are sure to captivate a wider audience beyond its Sudanese origins. The discovery of Jaglara sheds light on the rich and diverse music scene of Africa. With more exposure, Jaglara has the potential to become a new global sensation in the world of electronic music.
Synthesized Sudan: Astro-Nubian Electronic Jaglara Dance Sounds from the Fashaga Underground is set to be released on June 16 and can be preordered now on BandCamp.