It was back in early in 2012 during a tour of Angola, that Boddhi Satva first came across Game Walla. Djeff Afrozilla, a producer friend of Boddhi’s, recommended that he have a listen to Game Walla. Boddhi wasn’t disappointed. Far from it. Game Walla is one of the top Kuduro musicians in Angola. That’s apparent on his Boddhi Satva’s latest E.P. for Offering Recordings, Apaga O Fogo, which will soon be released on Offering Records. Apaga O Fogo, features the vocal prowess of Game Walla.

Apaga O Fogo, which translates as Stop The Fire, is a heartfelt plea for social awakening. Game Walla addresses his plea not just to his fellow Angolans, but the whole of Africa. The lyrics to Apaga O Fogo, were written by Game Walla. They’re intelligent and full of social comment. They were inspired the effects of globalisation, where the superpowers and the stronger countries survive and the smaller, weaker countries are left behind. Some of the countries left behind, include part of Africa. Things could be very different though. Especially if there was the social awakening Game Walla sings about on Apaga O Fogo.

Having been introduced to Game Walla by Djeff Afrozilla, Boddhi decided to record the vocal to Apaga O Follo in Angola. Recording took place in the Kazukuta Studio Facility in Luanda. Accompanying Game Walla was guitarist Alex Samba. Boddhi Satva arranged and produced Apaga O Fogo, which will soon be released by Offering Recordings.

Apaga O Fogo, which is Game Walla’s debut E.P. features seven tracks. This includes the Main Mix and Radio Edit. There are also five other remixes of Apaga O Fogo. The remixes include the Instrumental Mix plus the Ancestral Dub and Ancestrumental versions. Two of the remixes are from one of South Africa’s top remixers, Uhuru. He contributes the Uhuru Remix and the Uhuru Instrumental. These five remixes bring something new to the original track. You’ll realise that, when I tell you about the Apaga O Fogo, E.P. 

On the Main Mix of Apaga O Fog, drums are panned right to left, their powerful and deliberate sound grabbing your attention. They’re joined by shakers, before a heartfelt, impassioned and dramatic vocal enters. It pleads for the social awakening Game Walla believes Africa needs. Soon, the drama builds. Banks of keyboards, searing, blistering guitars and drums that crack combine. As for Game Walla’s vocal, it grows in power and passion. Frustration, sincerity and hope fill his vocal as  he delivers lyrics full of poignant social comment. During five minutes, not only to we hear a plea for social awakening, but the debut of Game Walla who we’ll hear a lot more of.

Unlike the Main Mix, The Radio Mix of Apaga O Fogo is only three minutes long. Losing two minutes, doesn’t detract from the song. Instead, Game Walla is able to get his message across succinctly. He’s enthusiastic and passionate about social awakening. Game Walla is a man with a mission. This Radio Edit will help him get across his plea for a social awaking to a wider audience. The result is a track that’s both powerful and poignant.

Although the vocal plays a huge part in the success of Apaga O Fogo the Instrumental Mix still works. Based around the drums, instruments are dropped in at just the right time and create a hypnotic and mesmeric mix.

The Ancestral Dub Mix is one of my favourite mixes. It too has a hypnotic sound, before joyously bursting into life. It’s a call to dance. Dance-floor friendly and hooky, the vocal arrangement are like ying and yang and play their part in the track’s celebratory sound. 

Gradually, the Ancestrumental Dub reveals its charms. You’re teased and tantalised as the mix unfolds. Thunderous drums dominate the mix, while bursts of vocal are constantly repeated. They give the track a hypnotic quality. Then midway through the track, the arrangement is stripped bare, before rebuilding and once again, revealing its hidden secrets.

Getting Uhuru one of South Africa’s top producers to remix Apaga O Fogo was something of a coup. It doesn’t take long before you realise why Uhuru’s talents are in such demand. The Uhuru Remix breathes new life and meaning into the track. He adds a myriad of percussion, harmonies and horns. No longer do the synths play such an important role. Uhuru adds to the Afro-beat influence. Quite simply, his remix is a  revelation. The same can be said of Uhuru’s instrumental remix. Even without the vocal Uhuru transforms the track. It becomes hypnotic, mesmeric and irresistible.

Boddhi Satva’s latest E.P.  Apaga O Fogo is a truly compelling project. The basic premise is simplicity itself. Take the one of Africa’s most talented vocalists, record a track, then remix it, and in doing so, transform it. It’s like a musical makeovers, where one track is transformed into five new tracks. Each one is unique, bringing something new and innovative to the track. It’s comparable to a musical journey, that soon, becomes an adventure, an adventure where anything’s possible and can happen. Not only is it compelling, but captivating. Sometimes, you wonder where a track is heading, then just at the right moment, a curveball is thrown. This curveball not only sees the track take on new life and energy, but new direction.

Comparing the five remixes of Apaga O Fogo to the original version is fascinating. You hear something new in each remix. Subtleties, secrets and surprises are sprung. These five remixes breath new life, meaning and energy into Apaga O Fogo, which reinforces the fact that Boddhi Satva is one of the most innovative producers around. It’s also the perfect introduction to Game Walla. 

Apaga O Fogo which introduces the wider world to Game Walla, one of the top Kuduro musicians in Angola, is a tantalising taste of one of music’s best kept secrets. A huge star in Angola, Game Walla’s music is yet to find an audience elsewhere. Hopefully, with the help of Boddhi Satva, one of the most talented and innovative producers, a  whole new audience will discover Game Walla’s music, and he’ll no longer be one of African music’s best kept secrets. His music deserves to be heard by a much wider audience. After all, he’s a hugely talented singer and songwriter. An example of this is Apaga O Fogo. Game Walla wrote the lyrics and delivers them with real passion. His lyrics are cerebral and full of social comment. I just hope that we’ll hear much more from Boddhi Satva and Game Walla. Who knows, maybe Apaga O Fogo E.P. will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship between Boddhi Satva and Game Walla? 


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