Shot on location at New York's Knitting Factory, this performance from Extra Golden
is the product of impeccable timing. Claiming band members from both the United States and Kenya, Extra Golden rarely tour. So when we saw New York dates lining up amongst high profile performances at Bonnaroo and Pitchfork, we knew we better act fast. Over the course of this hour-plus set, Extra Golden pit patented bits of progressive American psych-rock up against honest to god Kenyan Benga music, with surprisingly compatible results. So give the globe a mighty spin for yourself. Check out this incredibly unique performance from Extra Golden. - david pitz
Extra Golden was formed rather casually in May of 2004 when Ian Eagleson, Alex Minoff and Otieno Jagwasi began fiddling with each others compositions in an apartment in the Buru Buru neighborhood of Nairobi. For rhythmic inspiration, the trio used isolated drum tracks by Onyango Wuod Omari that Eagleson had recorded earlier that year. After several song ideas were hashed out, Omari came by the apartment and, tapping pencils on a table, familiarized himself with them. The next afternoon, the four musicians met at the Annex Club and Restaurant in Kariobangi South Estate. Positioning themselves on a concrete slab between the tables and the restrooms, they set up a laptop and mixing board, a broken-down drumset, a couple of amplifiers and several microphones. Three hours later they packed up and left, the majority of Ok-Oyot System completed.
A year after this initial recording session, Otieno Jagwasi succumbed to his long struggle with liver disease. Besides causing great sadness, Otienos passing spurred Eagleson and Minoff to bring these recordings to the public. Chicagos Thrill Jockey Records agreed to release the album and, in May 2006 exactly two years after the groups formation Extra Golden was introduced to the world.
Ok-Oyot Systems unique blend of Kenyan Benga music with American Rock and other, assorted African guitar stylings met with widespread critical praise. The immediate demand for Extra Golden concerts was deafening. After months of hard work and determination, that demand was finally met, as the group (now featuring popular Benga star Opiyo Bilongo) arrived at the 2006 Chicago World Music Festival. Many weeks of engagements followed, after which Extra Golden holed up in a house in Pennsylvanias Pocono Mountains to tackle the task of recording a follow-up to their beloved debut. Five days later the group emerged with twenty new tracks, eight of which constitute Hera Ma Nono.