Man 076 | April 9, 2013

Banda Westfalica is from the city Bünde in the German area North-Rhine-Westphalia. “Banda” means “group” in Spanish and Portuguese, and it’s Latin rhythms that this nine-headed student percussion ensemble is dedicated to. “Westfalica” is the ancient Latin word for the area of “Westphalia”, located in the far Western part of Germany (where the famous German DJ WestBam also stems from thus calling himself “Westfalica Bambaataa”).

Each Monday afternoon, the Banda meets up for class at Bünde’s music school. The students aged fourteen to nineteen come together to learn to play percussion instruments such as marimba, bongos, cajón, cowbell and cachichi amongst others.

One of the classes students, Sönke Oberschmidt, aged fifteen, has been a huge fan of Man Recordings for a while, and when his music school teacher asked for student’s suggestions of preferred songs, Sönke came up with „Carimbo“ by Schlachthofbronx. The song was rehearsed various times and peformed live on a field trip of the music school. When the mobile phone video of the high street performance made it to Youtube, Schlachthofbronx soon found out about it and were enthusiastic.

Shortly after, Man Recordings label boss Daniel Haaksman got in contact with Sönke and asked whether they’d be up for covering further songs from Man Recordings. Sönke and his ensemble rehearsed for weeks and eventually mastered to play live percussion versions of their favourite Man Recordings songs such as El Dusty‘s „K Le Pasa“ (in the So Shifty version), Schlachthofbronx’ “Tulum“ (and of course „Carimbo), „Hands Up“ by Daniel Haaksman, Beware & Motorpitch‘ “El Toro“ (also in So Shifty’s version) and last but not least „Cartagenera“ by Dutch Rhythm Combo, the solo-project of Daniel Haakman’s younger brother Felix.

In autumn 2012 Daniel and Felix drove to Bünde to record the songs with a mobile studio set up. Now the mixdowns of the recording weekend are finished and we are proud to present the debut EP by Banda Westfalica „Versions“.

Watch the mini documentary about the making of “Versions” EP:

Since Tropical Bass is music often associated with heavy bass, rampant sampling, simplicist melodies and sexist lyrics, it is actually often very musical, as these fine cover versions display in a very fascinating way.

So sit down and relax and enjoy the vibrant grooves and sounds of Banda Westfalica!