NENAHALENA is something of an enigma.
Since bursting onto the electronic music scene in 2018 with the instant classic ‘La Ka Rubá’ featuring Akil, on Jonas Rathsman’s ELEMENTS imprint, the Berlin-based producer’s sound has been described as ‘Afro-Brazilian-Berlinian’ and has been shaking dance floors ever since.
The follow up releases on ELEMENTS, ‘Shae’ and ‘Own The Fire’ went further to establish the sound. A sound which is reaching far around the globe. Undoubtedly this is due to the way NenaHalena’s human approach to building rhythm and dynamics, coupled with real musicality, induces listeners with emotions and a real sense of journey.
The new EP, ‘Sagas Of Iziki Chapter 1’, a collaboration with the infamous Djuma Soundsystem was released last week on the tastemaker label, Stil For Talent. The EP features two tracks, ‘Rim Jhim’ and ‘Nangarin’, dialing up hearty tribal beats, earthy percussion and ritualistic vocal samples. Both tracks are irresistible slices of melodic, deep tribal tech house and the package comes with amazing remixes from David Mayer and Lunar Plane.
We caught up with NenaHalena this week to chat through ten tracks that perfectly frame the kind of sound you can expect from a seamlessly crafted NenaHalena DJ set.
Hyenah Ft. Lazarusman – Not enough [Watergate Records]
#BLM – A poignant and powerful vocal from wordsmith Lazarusman over the rhythmical workout from Hyenah makes this latest release from Watergate Records essential listening.
Djuma Soundsystem & NenaHalena – Nangarin (Original) [Stil Vor Talent]
Anyone that knows me knows that I’m big on groove and percussion. This track which I produced with Djuma Soundsystem has got live recordings throughout, knitting together melodic synths and safari sounds and the result is this Afro-Brazilian-Berlinian concoction.
Henrik Schwarz – Come [Innervisions]
Capricorn – 20Hz
This was only unearthed again for me recently. When first hearing this on a big sound system, those massive samba drums and pushing groove were like nothing I’d felt before. It obviously latched right onto my soul because that Samba feeling is a massive part of my music and my life.
Phonique Ft. Fairplay – Alua (Raw Main Remix) [Bar 25 Music]
It’s only been released for around 1 month and it pains me I haven’t been able play it loud to anyone yet. It’s how you say; “it’s a bit of me that is”. Brazilian Rhythms and vocals plus moody synths. tick, tick and tick.
K.E.E.N.E. Ft. Jackie Plummer – Why Do You Worry [Cacao Records]
A Sleek and Sexy Vocal over warm music and tight drums. Just let it wash over you.
Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra – Too Much Information – Laolu Remix (Edit) [Innervisions]
Released just over 5 years ago and showing no signs of ageing. It really is timeless. It’s organic, symphonic and flawless. Press play and enjoy the journey.
Oliver Koletzki, Niko Schwind, Sidartha siliceo – Satinka [A Tribe Called Katori]
I love this for its contradictions. It’s earthy yet cosmic, organic yet techno. Either way, every time I hear it, it just sets me into a really nice mood with it’s Indian instrumentation and vocals.
Jonas Rathsman – Cosmos [Elements]
This track was set to premier at our gig in April this year at The Orange Yard Soho London. Sadly Covid-19 put a stop to this event happening. I feel it didn’t get the love it deserved. Its an intricate and warm production throughout. I could have this on loop all day and all night.
NenaHalena – La Ka Ruba Ft Akil. [Elements]
Getting oldie but still a goodie. Phrases like modern classic, a bit of magic and gold have been said to me about this track. I’ve received videos of it being played from all corners of the world. It’s dear to me because of the amazing world of creative freedom it has opened up. I’ll be forever grateful to Akil for laying those vocals down like he did. Wha Ley Leh Lay!!!
Djuma Soundsystem & NenaHalena Sagas Of Iziki Chapter 1 – Inc Remixes from Lunar Plane and David Mayer is out now. Grab your copy HERE.