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INTERVIEW: Barney Rattle

Hi Barney, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Fine thanks very well, it great to meet you.

Can you talk to us more about the single “The Path”? Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Actually this track is from one of our artists LUKE PARKER (more info of him on our website www.africanstorybookofsongs.com) This is what he has to say about: Borlal & The Path.

These two tracks are inspired by my love for African folk music. The tune ‘The Path’ represents my anticipation of my then up-coming musical trip to West Africa. ‘Borlal’ was actually the original funk backing track of a Vogue Gyratory tune called Banks, which took a major turn. The axed ‘drum & bass’ track transformed into this African tune. Following making this track I went to West Africa, first stop the Gambia; a small country based around a legendary river of the same name and known as the ‘smiling coast of Africa’. Seemed true enough. Whilst there, I was lucky enough to receive Kora lessons from Jali Hammay, a fantastic musician of the Mandinka tribe, and a genuine griot connected by culture and roots to the old Malian empire. We recorded an album together called ‘Betehma’, and following this I was intent on getting Hammay’s vocals somewhere on the latest Vogue Gyratory (VG) album ‘Waste Not Want Not’. The track ‘Borlal (VG version)’ is named after the Jali song of the same name. In fact I cut & paste his vocals that we’d recorded, from the original, to this version of Borlal; then I pitch bent the vocals a little to fit the key, et voila! I was a bit concerned when I played the final mix to him (essentially a remix of Borlal) but he gave it the thumbs up.

Any plans to release a video for the song?

Not at this time.

The single comes off your new album African Storybook of Songs – what’s the story behind the title?  

The album is a collective of songs from a collective of artists, we all have our story to tell… hence the name – This collective spans 20 years.

How was the recording and writing process?

Some were recorded live on lacation in the townships of South Africa , others in West africa again out in the bush. Some were recorded and mixed in a studio in cape town and Johannesburg.

Did you handpick the artists featured here or how did they come on board? 

We have met over the years in Africa and grown together as a collective of music pioneers under our one banner , and then it’s my job to sell and market on behalf of us all.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are writing for a TV or a Movie than when you are writing for an album or compilation in this case?

Normally the client will have a spesific requirement so we have to record what they want rather than what we love to make, which sometimes is more interesting but less commercial.

The album blends lots of genres – does one tends to shine out the most depending on the lyrics?

I love the Reggae track LOVE because of its message. Also PAIN , again because of its wonderful message.

What aspect of the African culture did you get to explore on this material?

All aspects , cultural , spiritual and mostly love of the community spirt.

Any plans to hit the road?

We are working towards a UK concert for next year and a EU tour for the summer.

What else is happening next in Barney Rattle’s world?

We want to make a film about the history of the music and take it global.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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