Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang sign with Byrne

Blake Gillespie

Janka Nabay

Much like our amigo at Terroreyes.tv, we feel compelled to share our Janka Nabay admiration through anecdote…

The first night of our 2011 SxSW Austin Imposition, I was mostly excited for the headliners like Toro Y Moi and Das Racist since I was hardly aware of acts like Tearist and Janka Nabay. Tearist set was puzzling at first, but eventually won me over in theatrics and sensuality. We all crush a little, guys and girls alike, when Yasmine Kittles makes every inch of the stage her play thing. The vibe was subdued by Tearist as most of us probably retreated into our fantasy sectors.

Between bands I talked with an artist I'd made acquaintance with from Austin. He was a little older and playing that old man's charade of turning in soon because the crowd was a little young and hip. But I encouraged him to stick around for a few more acts. I might have even bought him a PBR and a whiskey in the persuasion. While Janka Nabay set up I was out front, doing out front of a bar things. I loitered a little longer until it the sounds from inside became too enticing to ignore. There is an electrical pulse that resonates off Janka Nabay's voice that is like a sniper's shot to the body-movin' button in your head. The bubu bounce is one of the purest energies in music. Marry it with the greater continental Afro-beat and some 70's psychedelia and it's impossible to not be swept away by Janka Nabay. A once cool and collected Longbranch Inn, was now an ant hill of bouncing bodies. I pushed through to about halfway through the room, where I found my elder friend, dancing and shaking with all the young kids. Every artist that performed after Janka benefited from the energy that lingered in the room. You can see it in the photos. People are smiling, a rarity in our photos section.That's the power of Janka Nabay to me. He is capable of altering the spirit of hundreds of individuals into one frenzied mass, smitten with a style of music they might never seek out otherwise.

Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang's An Letah EP is out March 20 on True Panther. A release is also being planned with David Byrne's Luaka Bop label.

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