Using the rich complexities of the multi-faceted experience in post truth and reconciliation South Africa; the never-ending contradictions, politics of love and spirit life as inspiration; dumama (born Gugulethu Duma) collaborates with kechou (born Kerim Melik Becker) building live loops on the spot with hand- made instruments inspired by the innovation of the continent. The duo is reflecting on simple sounds, the tonal emergence and decay of these sounds and the different elements of the universe that exist and are reflected within the soundscapes for their own meditations on decoloniality. This creates fertile foundations for rewriting narratives, creating transformations not just in the African context, but in making substantial contributions towards the global narratives, for necessary reflection and collective healing.
dumama was raised eMonti, Eastern Cape where her love for music was initially sparked by a spiritually charged family of creatives, caregivers, singers and healers. She grew up in Pretoria and moved between Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. She navigates systemic oppression in urban South African spaces and channels the internal conflict and multi consciousness as some of the tools in her creative process. Being based between Europe and South Africa, her writing explores nomadism, mediations of social realities and histories re-enacted. She creates a conversation between the sounds of future and before solidifying the spiritual connection between rhythms, lore songs and allegories inspired by Xhosa folk, jazz, Hip-Hop, and moments of protest in Africa and beyond. She writes magical realism prayer music, kechou, of Algerian-German decent, was raised in the buzz of Berlin by musician father and German early day feminist mother. He has been studying African Music for a number of years, and has produced and performed jazzy Hip Hop and Afro-fusion experiments in Germany, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa. kechou relates to dumama’s feelings of displacement as a child of a globalized world, creating a poignant musical message and sonic map. He represents a collision and merger of two worlds not easily combined without friction and tension, and creates harmony in his expression and innovative creative process. Building live loops, fusing organic acoustic hand made instruments with electronic sounds creating hypnotic healing rhythms and grooves that hit the spot.
Together, the duo shares a rhythm of memory and future taking the audience on a journey into a deep sea of sounds and worlds. The duo, who met by way of serendipity, adopt a give-and-take approach to the creative process – where music is a vessel for understanding the world and themselves.
dumama + kechou work with the following tools: Vocals; loop station; vocoder; guitar (hand crafted); bass guitar; multiple effect pedals; uhadi; chitende; guembri (abdelkader); found sounds; hand-made percussive instruments; drum/percussion pad darbuka; shakers calabash; dundun (talking drum); cascas and synthesizers.
They have been playing together since November 2017, and have since then curated standout experiences and interventions in South African spaces such as: Zeits Mocaa, The Slave Church, District Six Museum with Madosini, GUS, Drawing Room, Alexander Bar, Cafe Roux, Waiting Room, Raptor Room, KONJO and Stories about Music In Africa with Chimurenga’s Pan African Space Station.