Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Tribal Roots

Artist: ATAMA



ONE of the best hip-hop albums I’ve heard all year ain’t from Detroit, or Atlanta, or New York. Hell, it ain’t even from the good old US of A. It’s from right here in Malaysia ... from Kota Kinabalu to be exact.

Remember the time when Too Phat scorched the airwaves with its take on Anak Ayam? What made the song so popular was that it sampled a well-known and well-loved Malaysian tune and re-interpreted it in a totally different way.

Sabahan-born Atama (whose real name is Andrew Ambrose Mudi) does the same thing, only much, much better.

My Tribal Roots is cool, catchy and irresistibly fun, in a large part due to Atama’s ability to fuse tribal sumazau music with modern hip-hop beats.

At first glance there appears to be 19 tracks on this album, but eight of these are interludes that are excerpts from a bedtime story session. Of the remaining songs, the standout has to be the one that has had radio listeners hooked ever since it was released last year. Yes, I’m talking about Throw Your Hands in the Air, in which Atama samples the superb John Gaisah number, Taragang Rasuk.

Other songs that are bound to do well at nightclubs are Can’t Stop the Sumazau and Saputangan Keningau (Muli Oku Hilo Kampung Remix), both of which are pumped up with infectious beats and vibrant music.

But Atama proves that he can also tone it down or heat it up according to his whims and fancies. Listen to the exciting and testosterone-fuelled Panagzou Headhunt Raider or the slow and easy Guangku Mangkakada (Body Bumpin’ Remix) if you want to get what I mean.

Also notable is Ika Noh Butia, which introduces the talented AmberRose lending her pipes to the project.

All in all, it looks like Atama, who used to spin at the best clubs in Kuala Lumpur, is now proving his talent on a bigger stage. Good luck to him, though with this kind of music, he really doesn’t need much of it. Visit www.kadusmusic.tambalut.comto buy the CD.

Profile of Atama

Atamas' musical background started back in 1988 in his teenage years. He and his friends formed a modern dance group they performed in various schools in Kota Kinabalu for Talent Show. Their group, Rockin' Nation lead the bloom of HipHop trend in the early 90s . In the same time, ATAMA aka Andrew started developing a keen interest in DJ-ing where he started spinning for numerous house parties all over KK. The DJ-ing world proved to be his playing ground. He started spinning professionally in Sgt.Peppers, Kota Kinabalu. Soon he was on his way around Malaysia DJ-ing for various clubs and parties in Labuan, Melaka, Perak, Penang, Kuantan, N.Sembilan, J.B and ultimately in Kuala Lumpur. The 6 years of professional DJ-ing placed his name among the top 10 Malaysian club Resident DJs where he spinned in high-end clubs such as Modesto's Embassy, Arena Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel, Bali Dance Club, PartyBox PJ and Boom Boom Room just to name a few. He also established himself as a professional host & production assistant ; having host MCeed national and international corporate events such as Escada Perfume Launch, Calvin Klein Summer Collection, Vidal Sassoon Party and numerous designer labels. After 10 years of gaining experience over the sea, Andrew came back to home base; Sabah, thirsty for his own flavour and looking for something else to fill his creative soul. His love, admiration and pride of his own culture and heritage sparked the idea of taking the tribal elements of Sabah to a whole new level. All his experiences and knack for producing lead him to produce Throw Your Hands In The Air, a song that garnered much attention and liking from the local community. The song, which sampled vocals of the late John Gaisah from the song Taragang Rasuk caused an explosion in the local scene, introducing a new music genre of what is now well known as - Sumazau HipHop.