THE story goes that Pussy Mothers, who play this Saturday at the Green Door Studio’s latest fundraiser for the Tafi Atome Cultural Institute’s new recording studio in Ghana, “met on a street corner in Glasgow during a fire alarm”.
True or not, the story has an endearingly ramshackle feel that will be familiar to anyone who has studied the work coming out of the Green Door in recent years. The pair – aka Australian Hannan Jones and Scot Murray Collier say they were engaged in “hiding away from the grim Scottish winter” when they met, and they kept warm by honing a brand of DIY party music in their flats before laying some tracks down at the Green Door and then sending their The Number 1 EP on to JD Twitch of Optimo Music, where it was met with acclaim.
The record, which is a slow-motion pile-up of cosmic disco, jittery percussion, hip-twisting grooves and idiosyncratic textures laced with sardonic, playful vocals, fits snugly into the canon of the Green Door. This Saturday’s fundraiser at the African Arts Centre is just the latest instalment of the Ghana Sounds story, which has seen musicians from Glasgow travel to Ghana to give training and recording equipment to the children of the village of Tafi Atome. Also on the bill are JD Twitch of Optimo, the Green Door Studio’s Sordid Sound System, Cucina Povera, described as a “Fenno-karelian producer with feet firmly in Glasgow, mind aloft in the imaginary and heart ambling around Europe, making multilayered compositions using a simple set-up transforming the listener to a new sonic headspace”. Also playing is Ghana Soundz – a small collective of DJs who play traditional and often acoustic West African music in a club setting. Formed after a trip to Ghana meeting musicians and collecting music from outwith the better-known Afrobeat and Highlife genres, their sets highlight the similarities between modern electronic body music and West African rhythms.
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The Green Door’s Emily McLaren explains the Tafi Atome project thus: “When it’s finished the facility will house a multi-track recording and mixing studio, performance space, music library, and office and will be owned and managed by the Tafi Atome community.
“Profits generated from the Cultural Institute and Recording Studio will go towards the Tafi Futures Fund to provide educational opportunities for local young people,” she goes on.
“We want to provide affordable recording and mixing sessions for local Ghanaian musicians; music Residencies for UK-based musicians and Study Tours and collaborative recording projects for international artists. Engineers, music tutors and staff will come from the local community and will be trained by volunteers from Green Door. The facility will also act as a creative hub and archive for the development and preservation of music from the Volta Region, including Borborbor, Agbadza, Adewu and Akpi, by supporting local musicians through the provision of affordable recording facilities and employment opportunities through its Study Tours and Music Residencies, as well as maintaining a library of music from the Volta Region.
This stage in the fundraising effort is concerned with filling the now-built studio with equipment, and the momentum building behind the initiative looks set to yield further inspiring results as time goes on.
The Tafi Atome Cultural Centre Studio fundraiser is at the African Arts Centre in Glasgow on Saturday, 11pm to 8am, £6/7-adv £10-OTD £3-Unwaged