For a whole year Alex Barck was living on the Pacific island La Reunion. The plan to record here his solo album was soon established. It will be released later this year on Sonar Kollektiv. The three preliminary 12inches („Re-Set“ with Pete Josef, „Don’t Hold Back“ with Jonatan Bäckelie and „Skydancing“) already accelerated the expectations for Barck’s debut across all audio blogs and the respective music press. And now follows the fourth and final vinyl 12inch before we finally can hold the album in our hands.
With the already released Reunion-12inches Barck clearly proved how the Indian Ocean, the life on an island and its forces of nature have influenced him musically. „Oh Africa“ is more than inspiration though. It’s the actual processing of the native Maloya and Séga sounds which Barck learned about and come to appreciate at his weekly residency at „Potiron’s“ in Saint Denis. It was at one of these Wednesday nights that he met Christine Salem. The probably most famous singer of La Reunion soon became a friend and one of the results of this musical fellowship is „Oh Africa“. The track is a tribute to Barck’s temporary adoptive home and a declaration of love to a whole continent. After half of the playtime Barck’s Berlin origins push through and we are treated with a proud hybrid of traditional African folk and soulful percussion house. La Reunion has a new national anthem!
If a song has so much soul like „Oh Africa“, a remixer has to pay close attention not to burn his fingers. That must have been one of the main reasons why Barck consigned his old acquaintance Osunlade to fulfill the task. The New York based producer and label boss (Yoruba Records) is on a roll with flawless, sophisticated releases and remixes for almost twenty years now (his album „A Man With No Past Originating The Future“ released in January of this year is another highlight). And this guy surely knows how to take African elements and lots of Soul to build an ambitious dance track. That’s exactly what he does with his remix for „Oh Africa“ and thus makes Reunion No. 4 one of the absolutely essential release of 2013.
A further treat is the remix of „Don’t Hold Back“ by Copy Paste Soul. The London based producer established his reputation with remixes for Pepe Bradock and Photek. Known for his slightly left, sometimes broken deep house his approach corresponds perfectly with the one of Alex Barck: Lots of bass, even more breaks and a reliable sense for the things that work on a dance floor without a doubt.