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DTM Funk is David Mizero Tricot, one of Antwerp's busiest bees and a long time contributor to the scene in Belgium. One of those DJ's you can genuinely call genre-defying. He runs his own label, San-Kofa Rhythm Records, a platform for Afrocentric rhythm and percussive music and recently launched Labi & Funk, a recordstore / hairsalon with a firm focus on Black Soul Music.
You named your podcast ‘Sit Down Rhythms'. Can you explain why and what mood you tried to capture?
The past year it was only sporadically possible to enjoy live music, so I took every chance I got, even though it was always with a seated audience. In July I DJ'd myself for a seated audience in Doka, with people spacing out on the music I played. The set only contains music I bought in the last year for this purpose, both vinyl and digital releases. "Sit down music", from exotica to space age, jazz, cosmic and hiphop rhythms.
Any tracks you want to highlight, a personal favorite?
Alberto Baldan Bembo - Oblo. Just listen to the backing vocals!
Can you talk a bit about your digging routine when looking for new records? Where did you find the records in this mix?
For some reason I've been buying a lot of records on Discogs instead of recordstores and fairs. I never really was an online digger or even someone who buys anything online. Fuck Amazon and all those other capitalist multinationals. I prefer walking into a random recordstore because it's much more authentic and cozy. On the other hand, by being inside so much I did find a lot of cool releases. Still, the most enjoyable thing is to find something amazing by accident. The good ones always come to you, you can't go looking for them.
The good ones always come to you, you can't go looking for them.
You're running San-Kofa Rhythm Records, putting the emphasis on Afrocentric rhythm and percussive music. Can you explain what San-Kofa means, and how you tie this meaning to the way you run the label? What other labels do you recommend for people who want to dig deeper into these sounds?
Sankofa is a word in the Twi language of Ghana that translates to "go back and get it" (san - to return; ko - to go; fa - to fetch, to seek and take) and also refers to the Asante Adinkra symbol represented by a bird with its head turned backwards while its feet face forward carrying a precious egg in it's mouth.
To me it means that as an artist, you are always taking something with you from the past, to shape the present. Nothing exists out of nothing. If people send me demo's, I want to hear something authentic. I want to hear a certain connection between the past and the present. It's quite difficult to suggest some comparable labels since I take inspiration from many different ones, for example Stones Throw or Crammed Discs. In the same way as a DJ I'm inspired by very different artists such as DJ Stingray, Theo Parrish, Mr. Scruff, etc. I would recommend people to follow their soul.
The last release on your label was volume one of the Black Gravity Rhythms compilation series, in collaboration with AliA. Can you tell us a bit more about how this project came to be and what the future plans are?
The idea to make a compilation already existed, but very quickly I realized I didn't want to compile it all by myself. There's not a lot of people like AliA in the scene right now with whom I have a total musical connection. We can send each other really obscure bass and footwork but also super clean jazz and house music. I want to do the compilation on a yearly basis together with an artist or DJ that I have a connection with. The sound will depend on the person I'm partnering with. At the moment I'm working on a compilation together with Toon Janssens (Soft Focus), which will be out in 2022.
All of the releases on your label have Obi-strips. Typically they are used to provide practical information about a release in the Japanese market, but yours seem to have a little comic book design. What's the story behind this and who do you work with for the design?
De Obi-strip originates in Japan, but is only used for listening records, not for club records. This type of record doesn't have an Obi because you are constantly handling them and taking them with you to gigs.
When people buy a record I want them to respect the record as a whole. Both the music and the visual aspect are important here. In that respect, the record is made by many different artists: the musician/producer, a designer for the cover, a designer for the Obi, and a spoken word artist since every Obi has a quote or some slam poetry. Suze Alba designs the Obi's, I met her at a festival in Amsterdam and we immediately connected. Years later I found her on Instagram, where I saw her illustrations and that she worked for Vlisco. Vlisco is a Dutch company that designs textiles and African wax prints. Since we have a good connection I give her complete artistic freedom. She will get to hear the demo's and create her own illustrated story from there. When you put all of the Obi's next to each other you may end up with a comic.
You just opened a record store in Antwerp called Labi & Funk, congratulations! How have the first weeks been going? What can we expect to find in the crates and what are the future plans for the store?
The first weeks went really well. It's a small store, combined with a barbershop. I've been coming here for years and the only thing we talk about is music, from jazz to funk to hiphop. It's really cool to see people come in for a haircut and go out with their fresh cut and a killer Miles Davis record.
The idea to combine our forces has been there for a while but finally we're able to make it happen. Most of all we want to focus on black soul music; jazz, disco, funk, hiphop, house, African and Latin-American music. The selection is not necessarily meant for DJ's, although a good DJ can make people dance on any type of music! Other than that we have a selection of electronic music by labels or artists we like, such as Ekster, Granvat, Wicked Wax and many more.
The selection is not necessarily meant for DJ's, although a good DJ can make people dance on any type of music!
Due to nightlife being shut down, we've not been able to go raving for a while now. What will be the first banger that you'll play out on a big sound system?
Holy Tongue - Emet. I discovered this track in a Kiosk Radio set by Lawrence Le Doux. I've never looked up and bought a track this fast. The shipping cost was more than the value of the record, but now and then it's worth it!