Watcha Clan have you heard of them? If you haven’t yet, there is sometimes in the music scenes some bands that with their style manage to put down frontiers, find a way to play around with categories, bring back old traditions with a newway of looking at it, instead of choosing difference, they find what links music and people together. I encountered them this winter at a party at Le Chazelay in the mountains of Serre Chevalier in france.
It was a nice occasion to introduce them to you!
Hello, can you introduce yourselves?
Watcha Clan, we’re a band, composed of Sista K-Lead vocal/dancing, Suprem Clem-programming/keyboard/sampling/accordeon, Nassim-Gumbri/guitar/vocal, and Matt-double bass/guitar. We begun with reggae, ragga, jungle in 2000. but it’s natural for us to find sound from all origins, it all really started in 2003 in north Africa- Algeria, were we met Nassim and met some musicians of every background. After 3 albums in Autoproduction and some travels in North-Africa, “Diaspora Hi-Fi” comes out In 2008 (our first album on Piranha Music from Berlin), and so our meeting with the German and East-European scene, really boosted our music and our choices. Balkan Qoulou is one of our tracks that marked us, its a Balkan/arabo/andalous influence, and it was remixed by quite a lot of people . We find the “Global Bass” scene in these countries is much more develloped than in France, and they really helped us being heard, and thats amazing, also all the dj’s playing/remixing us that helped us so much.
How do you define you’re music?
We call it “World & Bass”, a mix of traditional mediteranean music and modern electronic music (from Dnb, Hip-Hop to Dubstep), we want to urbanise the ethnic musics of these regions. Our thought is that these musics are made to live on, we want them to live on, not to be put in static museums of old intouchable stuff. Put them back in a live context, on the dancefloor, with big sound and rock energy. We like to notice, the things that are similar in all different backgrounds of mediterranean area, from Balkan, Spain, North of Africa, Turkey, Middle East… We Are One!
You’ve travelled a lot, anything to say about you’re voyage?
Yes we had a lot of great meetings, with great people and musicians. Maurice Medioni a piano legend, it was a really strong experience to cross his road, He’s 80 years old now, and still living his music to the full, a beautiful energy, and collaboration.
Merlin Shepperd the clarinetist is a wonderful souvenir too. Crossing roads with Transeglobal Underground, and Asian Dub Foundation really influenced us deeper in our style. Also the meeting with T.O.X the rappers from Oran, it’s crazy how they work out there. with nothing but they manage so much!! Also Medhi from Speed Caravan who plays the oud, a traditional instrument, but an electric version. All them featuring on Radio Babel. Also all the dj’s and producers we met on the road really inspired us.
Tonight you’re not playing as a group, but as Diaspora Sound System, tell us about this project?
Well we love to play as a group, but we need time of, and a different way of expressing ourselves. as a sound system, its easier, its another way of looking at it. just making people dance, and get to know us, our influences, the music we listen too. We have the freedom to choose when we play our gigs, and when we take time to work on projects and in the studio, and thats very important to us, that’s why we’re still independant.
What are you’re future projects?
Coming very soon somas remixes from Radio Babel. And right now we’re taking time in the studio, going off the gigs for a little while. we are on the verge of a new evolution in our music.