IMPEPHO | Trap Funk & Alivio featuring Morena Leraba & Mankind

When I was told few weeks ago that Lesotho’s Morena Leraba was working on a new track with producers from Brazil, I didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously intercontinental collaboration is how I got to know him when he created a track with Kashaka last year (and I also happened to call the initial bits of that very song one of the best moments in tropical music in 2016 which you can read about here) but South American rhythms mixed with his strong vocals performed in Sesotho would be something completely different. And then there was also his Bophelo Ba Ntsupe which had its world premiere in my Basy Tropikalne radio show in August – this track, in turn, is more delicate and sees Leraba actually singing rather than rapping.


Impepho – a single that’s being released tomorrow via Subterrâneo Records – proves to exhibit yet another side of Morena Leraba but first things first: the track is in fact not only the aforementioned collaboration between two continents (with Brazil being represented by Nordeste de Amaralina’s Trap Funk & Alivio) but also brings together two African nations as Lesotho is joined by South Africa personified by Johannesburg-based rapper Mankind. Early seconds of Impepho are already surprising with the song beginning sounding as though it’s been taken out of some lost NAAFI’s mixtape. Then Leraba’s powerful voice comes in and similarly to last year’s Lithebera it’s a huge moment. The music remains quite dark and gloomy throughout the whole track which in this sense is a new experience for me with this Mosotho artist. By no means it’s a disadvantage though as both Morena’s and Mankind’s verses fit those beats perfectly with their firm and at times aggressive manner of rapping.

Good job done on so many levels.


Top 100 tracks of 2016

31st of December seems to be the perfect day to publish the end-year list with the best tracks. And 2016 was a very good year when it comes to songs and I had to deal with it while making this list. If I’m counting correctly, 48 positions are associated in one way or another with women which is good. There are are also three remixes, two names appear more than once, five tracks are longer than 10 minutes and four are shorter than 3 minutes. There is also one artist who is included for the fifth year in a row. Interesting fact – English is not included in any of the songs from the first three places.

All the best in 2017. See you here in a year!

(don’t miss everything that happened in 2016 in tropical music, another list by me)

100. YAEJI – New York 93 (Single Version)

99. SANTS – Rajada

98. JUNIOR BOYS – What You Won’t Do for Love


96. BEACON – Better or Worse

95. SEI A – Ancestors

94. VIMES – Kyra

93. SMERZ – Blessed

92. POMRAD – Knights (album version)

91. OYINDA – Never Enough

90. YUKSEK – Golden Age

89. KAYTRANADA – Bullets (feat. Little Dragon)

88. LABRADOR – Stile

87. SANTIGOLD – Can’t Get Enough Of Myself (feat. B.C)

86. YELLO – Limbo

85. ALEX SMOKE – Dust

84. SAMARIS – T3mp0

83. SHIT ROBOT – Lose Control

82. PILLOW PERSON – On Your Way

81. MNTJY – Aparentemente

80. BABYFATHER – Meditation (feat. Arca)

79. DANNY L HARLE – Ashes of Love (feat. Caroline Polachek)

78. EMIKA – Flashbacks

77. CASSIUS – Action (Feat. Cat Power & Mike D)

76. OLGA BELL – Randomness

2016 in tropical music

Ok, so I guess this needs (and deserves) an explanation. Since October 2015 I have been hosting a weekly radio show on Radio Luz in Wrocław, Poland which is called Basy Tropikalne and is all about tropical music. The name of the show means – at least more or less – tropical bass but at the same time it is a kind of wordplay in Polish as by exchanging only one letter you obtain lasy tropikalne – and that means tropical forests. The reason I am mentioning this is because the name of the show can be in fact somehow misleading as it may suggest that a genre called tropical bass is in the centre of my attention. But it is not. Of course it may appear and most certainly has appeared few times in the tracklist of some of the shows but Basy Tropikalne brings definitely many more sounds.

What is tropical music for me then? Well, I have not come up with any elaborate definitions. Instead of that I am just looking for music which has been either produced in Latin America or Africa (or any other tropical region) or which contains traditional elements of cultures from that areas or whose authors come from those distant parts of the world. In fact, if there is any decent connection between the sound itself or its producers and a particular tropical region – such composition may make it to the show.

The list you can see below is a very brief summary of what happened in 2016 in tropical music from my perspective. Since I am very much a single person this list is brutally limited and without any doubts incomplete but it contains almost everything that I think is worth mentioning – it can be a song, an album or something else. There are no specific places as you simply cannot compare gqom to digital cumbia. The order is also completely random, just to make it fair (for the eagle-eyed among you – yes, it’s a little bit chronological). Enjoy and have a tropical 2017.


Top 100 tracks of 2015

End-year list with the best tracks is a must so here we go. To my surprise, there are twenty-two compositions that are longer than six minutes and one that is shorter than two minutes. There is also one remix. One artist appears three times (like Orbital in 2012) but his album as a whole was actually somehow disappointing. There is also one musician who is featured for the fourth year in a row (and it is a woman). You can check out the previous charts by clicking ‘the best of osom’ above.

Enjoy and have a happy 2016.

100. SEVDALIZA – Marilyn Monroe

99. ARMS AND SLEEPERS – A Thief is a Thief is a Thief

98. .GIF – Godspeed

97. CATZ ‘N DOGZ – Open Door (feat. Cloud Boat)

96. LECHUGA ZAFIRO – Tambor Espada (سكين) (feat. C1080)

95. MARCUS MARR & CHET FAKER – Birthday Card

94. SQUAREPUSHER – Baltang Ort

93. KEDR LIVANSKIY – Sgoraet (Burning Down)

92. MONOKLE – Calypt (feat. Milinal)

91. ARGY & MAMA – Staring At The Wall

90. SZATT – I Guess My Brother Got Shot (feat. Vito)

89. ALGODÓN EGIPCIO – Multiestabilidad

88. JAMIE XX – Stranger in a Room (feat. Oliver Sim)

87. PHIL ANKER – Miracle (feat. Ana Zhdanova)

86. TILL VON SEIN – Like Air (feat. Meggy)

85. PETITE NOIR – Chess

84. CHICKLETTE – Predator


82. JAMIE LIDELL – Believe In Me

81. MARTIN EYERER – Intimacy (feat. Princess Superstar)

80. ANDREA BALENCY – Deep Sunk

79. TOMAS BARFOD – Fill Me (feat. Fine)

78. PURSUIT GROOVES – Dark Fiction

77. MAXIME DANGLES – Ride The Snake

76. DJ DINO – Wozuzobhenga (feat. Arow Da Oash)

Autrenoir – Nuit

Remember Mondkopf? This master of monumental and dark techno is back after last year’s album Hadès but he is not alone now – for a new project called Autrenoir he has joined forces with a fellow Frenchman Greg Buffier. This is not the first time these two cooperate as Mondkopf has already released a collaborative track Last Love which was recorded back in 2012 together with Saåad, a drone duo in which Buffier plays guitar.

Although Autrenoir have even played some gigs in the past, Nuit is their first ever officially published song. It is a deep and brain stimulating composition with majestic atmosphere that accumulates slowly towards the end of the track and eventually turns into a disturbing drone structure. To immerse fully into this dark world of instrumental electronic music, you should listen to Nuit while watching the fantastic accompanying video that has been made by As Human Pattern.

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