EDD BATEMAN'S WEST
AFRICAN LOVE AFFAIR
EDD BATEMAN'S WEST
AFRICAN LOVE AFFAIR
..."It'll knock you down"... London African Music Festival
..."Really, really great"... BBC
..."You'd better listen"... WorldMusic.co.uk
..."Brilliant, unmissable"... Soundcheque.com

..."It'll knock you down"... London African Music Festival
..."Really, really great"... BBC
..."You'd better listen"... WorldMusic.co.uk
..."Brilliant, unmissable"... Soundcheque.com

From Senegal, to London and an eight date UK tour ‘Diamonds, Gold & Mobile Phones’ is the second, self-produced album by Edd Bateman’s West African Love Affair, this time recorded in a living room on a laptop in the troubled Casamance region of Senegal. The debut featured 15 guest musicians from 8 different West African nations dueting with Bateman on songs he had written in the traditional genre of their respective countries. This new release has retained the vibrant percussive and melodic complexity of traditional African music and subtly fused it with contemporary electronica.
 
The title track documents the terror experienced by people in mineral rich countries where tribal wars breakout over the control of these precious natural resources, diamonds, gold and rare earth minerals like the cobalt mined in Congo, a vital component to mobile phones, laptops and modern life.
“Diamonds, Gold & Mobile Phones is a positive cultural exchange which tells of the continued negative, exploitative trade based exchanges between Africa and Europe and, more recently, Africa and China that costs lives.” explains Bateman. “We are all carrying the blood of Congo in our pockets, purses or on our desks”.
 
The album celebrates a people and continent blessed with natural resources and blighted by human nature, the greed and corruption of foreign powers and some tribal leaders. The soon to be released video for the track ‘Casamance’ features Senegalese singer Tony Essamay, an old friend and Casamance countryside drinking pal of Bateman. The King of Oussoye who may only wear red and is not allowed shoes as he’s forbidden to leave the house so his spirit and decision making are not contaminated also graces the video but without his four wives, who no doubt make the housebound existence more bearable.
The Casamance video taps into the spirit of Africa with its rhythms and Essamay’s vocals and the liberal consumption of the local super strength palm wine known as Bounouk. The band, dancers and all participants in the video from the local Diola ethnic group cut loose. It was not without good reason that since 2010 the Diola people gave Bateman the honorary tribal title of ‘Ampa Bounouk’, Father of Palm Wine.
 
From Tree, an orchestrated harmony and percussion piece featuring dundunba, kenkeni and djembe, to Flowers On My Grave, a stripped back kora and voice duo about ageing and questioning the worthiness of our actions featuring award winning and celebrated griot kora player Sadio Cissokho. Diamonds, Gold & Mobile Phones is a triumph of African musicianship and western production.
Where else would you hear an ear defying combo of machine gun Sabar percussion, Mandinka roots drumbeat, fierce rock solos with soukous waterfall guitar licks, 700 years of historical kora, the retro mbalax DX7 keyboard bounce and everything orchestrated by the worlds leading African bass guitar tutor vocalising the unfiltered truth. This is Part 2 from Edd Bateman’s West African Love Affair. Turn it up and turn up at one of their explosive live shows.
 
When a teenage Edd Bateman began his music career on a borrowed bass in a heavy metal garage band he could never have predicted the knock on the door that would lead to him collaborating with the stars of the West African music scene. The year was 2001 and a Zimbabwean dance band was rehearsing next door to his family home in Tavistock, Devon. When they knocked on his door looking for a bass player the 14 year old Edd signed up. He spent the next six years performing with the band at venues ranging from The Africa Centre, London, to the Glastonbury Festival but that was just the start!