Hypnotix: In tune with the pulse of the world beat

Although it was born in Jamaica, reggae-music has its innermost origins in the cultural traditions of the "black continent", Africa. Despite its connections to home base and the "darkness" resulting from the present elements of Rastafarian philosophy, reggae has surprised the whole world with its ability to exist far away from home. Not only are there innumerable Jamaican musicians living and working all over the world, but many other artists from the Caribbean, Europe and the United States have dedicated themselves to this form of music. Germany, for example, is a powerhouse of dub which is a derivative form of reggae. This country`s economic power enables the development of small, independent cultural spheres. So it is no wonder that Hypnotix, a Prague-born band, mostly works west of its homecountry`s borders. This band started its career by making reggae-influenced music, and today is an ethno-dance formation good and universal enough to make it successful all over Europe.

In the mid-eighties, reggae began inspiring the Czech music scene, and the most typical example of that was a Prague-based band called Babalet. The group, however, soon suffered through a struggle between two very different, almost opposing attitudes towards music. Some band members wanted to devote themselves to the jolly pop reggae while the others were moe more ambitious. The latter finally left Babalet and, in a garage/rehearsal room in Nusle, they gave birth to Hypnotix. The band is an offspring of improvised jam-sessions and the verses of Bourama Badji, a "dub poet" and a descendent of the family of natural healers from Senegal. The album Rastaman in Prague (Bonton Music, 1990) captures this band in its raw, and, therefore, a lot more powerful, form. Instead of a real drummer, there is a rhythm-machine.

In the Czech Republic, in general, it doesn`t make much sense to listen to records two or three years after they are released. This nine-year-old Hypnotix work, which immediately sold 37,000 copies, is timeless. Rastaman in Prague feels as if it contains the strangeness of the time it was made in. There is opposition to the old and hope for a better tomorrow lingering throughout the album. Genuine Bourama crashed with the Czech musical ways in a manner which could have never passed unnoticed.

A vinyl record ended up in the hands of Steve Barker, a prominent reggae DJ of an English radio-station. Hypnotix was invited to contribute to the compilation called Shocks on the Wire, where they found themselves in the company of such acts as Dub Syndicate or Suns of Arqa. After that, the group was asked to record an album at the Sheffield-based "Bob Marley Studios" which is the centre of the Jamaican ghetto in England. Local Rastafarians at first dished the "whities" who played "their" music in the club situated below the studios. Bourama, however, managed to cast away all their doubts before the fifth song came on.

The albums New World Order (Monitor, 1993) and Right Time (Popron, 1995) mixed by Louis Beckett of Adrian Sherwood`s On-U Sound (Sherwood is the sound-engineer of African Head Charge and Asian Dub Foundation), were noticeably technically much clearer and more expressive. They are also an undeniable proof of the band`s development. The cornerstone is still Bourama`s "skankin`". He usually comes up with the finished texts which are confined to a certain African rhythm. In the case of the song Jambo Style, for example, it`s a jambadon-style. The rhythm is then played-back on the drums. This base intertwines with every single aspect of the music, as if it were describing the African hypnotising "language of the drum". The guitar, however, plays a mish-mash of all that occurred during 30 years in the world of rock`n`roll. The keyboard, once in a while, pleasantly wanders off into the Middle East. This musical open-mindedness towards the world, artistic talent and the ability to enrich such a personal style are what make Hypnotix an interesting band anywhere in the world.

New World Order album was recorded with a real drummer, but time again played a role with the band members, and the rhythm-machine was quickly brought back. While unable to create a circle of listeners in the Czech Republic outside of Prague, Hypnotix has had enormous success on the stages throughout Europe. They played not only in Germany, but also in England, Holland, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Poland, and other places. While there was little response at home, the band played abroad with the Wailers, Burning Spear and Lee Perry. Hypnotix depends on and heavily relies upon the reggae-beat. However, it transcends it and turns it into an individual, personalised, and very peculiar form of art. The absolute peak of the musical ladder for Hypnotix is last year`s album Witness of Our Time (African Dance Records, 1999). The new album is dreamy and happy, spatially filling up the air and keeping in step with the times which change the world of music each day. And the band turns out to be a valuable witness of our time, sensitive to the pulse of the world beat and delivering joy wherever it goes.

Sasa Neuman

5 von 5 Sternen Wunderbare Afro-Dubs

Neues aus Prag! Das Tschechische Soundprojekt Hypnotix hat sich wieder auf den Weg gemacht und ein neues Album herausgebracht. Die Formation um den musikalischen Kopf der Gruppe und Bassist Michal Ditrich sowie den senegalesischen Texter und Sänger Bourama Badji hat ihren längst in den europäischen Clubs heimischen World-Dub-Reggae Sound der Anfangsjahre konsequent weitergeführt und ist inzwischen bei einer magischen Trance-Dub Club-Mischung angkommen, die 2001 die Europäische Konzert- und Clubszene begeistern dürfte.

Das neue Album Kumah von Hypnotix bietet dabei aber nicht wirklich Neues, es sind keine extravaganten zukunftsweisenden Kreationen dabei, aber Ditrich's Sound hat Klasse, das Projekt zeigt sich in den Details kreativer als manch andere aus der Abteilung World-Dub. Die Musik bietet eine vielfältige aber konsequente Mischung aus klassischen Dub-Reggae Einflüssen, Drum-and-Bass, TripHop und Weltenklängen. Dadrüber schwebt immer der eindringliche Texter Badji, der in den diversen Senegalesischen Dialekten zur Musik spricht und singt. Und eine Ebene tiefer kommen dazu Stammes- oder sakrale Gesänge als ferne Untermalung.

Mit Kumah hat Hypnotix meine Erwartungen für ihr neues Album zumindest erfüllt. Die europäische New-Dub Szene hat sich mit dieser Scheibe wieder ein bisschen weiter nach vorne geschoben! Freuen wir uns auf eine umfangreiche Tournee der Tschechen!

STRING(top-1000-reviewer_5246) Rezensentin/Rezensent: reggaenode-de (Mehr über mich) aus Mülheim / Ruhr, NRW Deutschland

New Hypnotix album

We all know a section of the music industry has the tendancy to manufacture music rather than create. The beauty of an artist is primarily taken into condsideration, disregarding that musical abiltiy should be the main factor. Presentation is part of the package but surely the music supersceeds.

I have had the unfortunate insight of talentless artists who have promient positions in the industry, while producing in studios around Britain. Not only is it embrassing, but an insult to all of the talented musicians who do not share such a major roll in the music business. Thankfully for a change I have had the opporutnity to work for musicians who have great insight, depth, creativity and musical talent, Hypnotix.

After several months of e mail exchanges with the bass player Michal, production for the new Hypnotix album was to be the new project for 2001. An excellent start to the year. Whole humans, real musicains, and endless nights of producing. Tea, pizza, and assortment of sweets as my suplimentary diet.

The unique ability Hypnotix have to create music, lies with the blend of eastern instruments, modern technology and live playing. Well constructed tracks, rich dynamic sounds, with the addition of the deep vocalist, Burama. Boy George, The Light House Family, and many Boy / Girl Bands, who dont deserve a mention, make up the endless list of artists I have worked for. Yet Hypnotix lend themselves to being the most intretesting project I have ever worked on.

Kiron J

Music for the next millenium

Those who are familiar with the sound of African Headcharge and Asian Dub Foundation, understand why the Hypnotix wanted just Louis Beckett to flip the switches and turn the knobs. The result is brilliant in any case. Music for the next millennium.

VIVA / Irie

New musical dimension

No category fits here and therefore the most different musical tastes can be satisfied. It is rather that the Hypnotix have entered a new musical dimension. Performed live a delikacy can be expected.


Something special

Especially the effects, atmospheres and the explicit statement made in the lyrics connected with Modern instruments, make this album something special.

Eurobands / Alexander Denk

Before and after midnight

The new futuristic sound of the Hypnotix really came unexpected. This is the music bringing us Smoothly into the next millennium, without the need of lubricants. Preferred time for listening: Before and after midnight!

Radio 1 / MDR Sputnik

Truly Excellent!

By sound of indian temple-singers up to conjuring shamane-songs of Africa is this made as a bound-experience for the listener. Truly Excellent!


Hypnotix Kumah - Spirit of the Word

Hypnotix spent many years building a reputation in Prague, then the wider Czech Republic, as an ethno-reggae rock band. What separated them out from many other outfits operating in the same area was Bourama Badji, their Senegalese vocalist, the musical dedication of the band members, the vision of their bass player Michal Ditrich and then working with African Headcharge's engineer Louis Beckett (now with ADF but still son of Harry!). With the separation of the Republic came a slimming down of the band, a tightening up of their percussion base and a conscious moved towards a sound more dominated by freer African polyrhythms. Still coming from a dub root they have managed to work up a much more satisfying framework for their obvious talents, especially the chanting style of Bourama and the driving bass sound of Ditrich which now characterises many of this set's best tunes. Time for wider appreciation.

On The Wire BBC radio Lancashire

Top 20 World Beat


# - Artist - Title - Label

1. Ojos de Brujo - Bari - kindustria

2. Various Artists - The Rough Guide to Brazilian Electronica - World Music Network

3. Various Artists - Festival in the Desert - World Village

4. Airto Moreira - Life After That - Narada

5. Richard Bona - Munia: The Tale - Verve

6. Super Rail Band - Kongo Sigui - Indigo

7. Kila - Luna Park - Kila Records

8. Barun Kumar Pal - Ragas on Slide Guitar - Simla House

9. Virginia Rodrigues - Mares Profundos - Edge Music

10. Various Artists - Putumayo Presents: French Cafe - Putumayo World Music

11. Mafalda Arnauth - Encantamento - Narada World

12. Hypnotix Bagua Hypnolet Music / Barraka el Fanatshi

13. Mani Neumeier & Friends - Terra Amphibia: Deep in the Jungle - Prudence

14. Various Artists - Robert Crumb Presents: Hot Women Singers from the Torrid Regions of the World - Kein & Aber

15. Joanne Shenandoah - Covenant - Silver Wave

16. Mahwash - Radio Kaboul: Tribute to Afghan Composers

17. Incendio - Incendio - New World Music

18. Samite - Tunula Eno - Triloka 19. Cibelle - Cibelle - Six Degrees 20. Original Soundtrack - Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion - Karuna

New Age Reporter

El Spiritu del Sur

El sello Barraka el Farnatshi sigue en su línea de fusiones entre la música étnica y la electrónica: El cometido de Hypnotix es la transformación de ritmos hipnóticos y su fusión con la improvisación proveniente del jazz y del rock, y los sonidos de otras culturas. Desde 2001 la banda checa coopera con el cantante bengalés Mohsin Mortaba, de educación basada en la música clásica india. A través de él incorporaron las líneas melódicas orientales características de su nuevo disco, Bagua. A diferencia de sus álbumes anteriores, en los que firmaron como productores Louis Beckett (Asian Dub Foundation, African Headcharge) o Kiron J. (escena tecno de London), esta vez se encargaron ellos mismos de la producción. Otra participación importante en Bagua es la voz de MC Strictly Orange, un personaje famoso en la escena club de Praga. Sus incursiones de rap forman un interesante contraste con las melodías bengalesas de Mohsin Mortaba. En las partes instrumentales los sonidos de instrumentos étnicos se combinan con ritmos rotos y otros recursos de la música dance de principio del milenio. Con el título del disco, "Bagua" (simboliza el balance y la relación causa/consecuencia en el Feng Shui) el grupo quiere referirse al balance y la convivencia entre los tres componentes fundamentales de este trabajo: el canto de Mohsin, el rapeo de MC Strictly y los arreglos instrumentales del cuarteto checo.

Hypnotix de Praga participará en el Festival Internacional de las Culturas Pirineos Sur

Ante de hacer la primera pregunta debo revelar que Petr Pokorný combina muy bien la música y su trabajo aquí en Radio Praga, ya que se trata de uno de los técnicos de sonido de nuestra emisora.

?Qué tipo de música es la que toca tu grupo? "Puedo decir que se ha tratado de una especie de evolucíón paulatina hasta llegar a la plataforma que se conoce como "world music" o "world beat", pero introducimos muchos elementos de las últimas corrientes de la música pop e incluso de la música bailable".

?Cantan en checo o en otros idiomas? "No, en checo no cantamos, y resulta interesante el hecho de que tenemos un cantante de Bangladesh que canta en bengalí y el otro cantante es checo, pero canta en inglés".

?Tengo entendido que han tocado en muchos países de Europa? "Pues si, asi es. Creo que con excepción de Suecia, Finlandia, Grecia y Suiza, hemos tocado en toda Europa. Este verano iremos a Espana y a Estonia". El grupo checo Hypnotix existe desde hace 13 anos y se ha presentado ante muchos públicos del Viejo Continente. Según revelara Petr Pokorný tienen una deuda con el público de su país que tratan de saldar poco a poco, pero que no será enseguida, porque en verano participarán en el Festival Internacional de las Culturas Pirineos Sur en Espana. El Festival trata de mostrar las nuevas creaciones musicales que se han producido a lo largo y ancho del planeta en el último ano. Por los dos escenarios del Festival desfilarán artistas consagrados junto a nuevos valores.

?El grupo Hypnotix actuará el 29 de julio, qué mensaje tienen para el público espanol? "Bueno, quiero invitar a los espanoles para que asistan al festival, que vayan a divertirse. El público espanol es muy buen público, porque se trata de personas muy abiertas y espontáneas. Creo que nuestra música es dinámica y alegre por lo que les puede gustar".

Los integrantes del grupo Hypnotix aseguran que las expresiones multiculturales ayudan a que los seres humanos se conozcan mejor. El arte es una de las manifestaciones más sensibles y a la vez sensibilizadoras y los músicos también pueden cooperar para profundizar la comprensión entre las personas, las culturas y las naciones, sostiene el guitarrista del grupo checo Hypnotix.

14-05-2004 Por Freddy Valverde


BaguaHypnotix, ?Bagua? (Hypnolet Music/Barraka El Farnatshi, 2.003): Desde la Republica Checa nos llega esta agrupación que ya tiene un poco mas de 15 anos de carrera musical diseminados en 10 discos, que se han paseado desde el Reggae, pasando por el Dub, música africana y arábiga. ?Bagua? es su décima producción discográfica y en ella cuentan con el cantante originario de Bangladesh Mohsin Mortaba. La placa cuenta con 10 temas y un video, la atmósfera del disco es bastante relajada y se puede catalogar como una banda de corte netamente experimental en donde hay Dub, percusión africana y secuencias, de verdad que es hipnotizante escuchar este disco, tal y como ellos definen el concepto de la placa: ?Bagua toca nueve zonas que corresponden a las nueve grandes áreas de la vida: Prosperidad, Fama y Reputación, Relaciones, Familia, Salud, Creatividad y Ninos, Conocimiento, Carrera y Ayuda a las Personas?. Quien escuche este disco tal vez diga que la agrupación se alejo de sus inicios, es probable, pero no hay manera de negar que la experiencia que significa escuchar este disco es altamente placentera, entre los temas resaltantes se encuentra ?Dole Dole?; ?In The Mirror?; ?Vhalo Koira?, ?Bomb Ashram? y ?Jungle Bells?. La placa fue grabada en Febrero de 2.003 en Studio Bubny, Praga, Republica Checa, la producción corrió a cargo de Hypnolet Music. SI QUIERES HIPNOTIZARTE CON BUENA MUSICA PUES ESTE DISCO ES EL INDICADO.

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