Amon of Analog Players Society: Behind the Fall 2013 Soundtrack “Coule’ba”

(Above pictured, left to right: Amon, Missia, Famaro) For our Fall 2013 lookbook video, we were excited to be able to pair our visuals with an outstanding track from Analog Players Society. The song is the instrumental version of “Coule’ba,” a song that can be heard with vocals here, sung by Missia Saran Diabate from Guinea. We’re stoked to have been able to incorporate these tunes and highly recommend you check out the three-track set it is part of, CKY to JFK. Below, we picked the brains of Amon, who heads the APS super group out of Studio Brooklyn in New York.  What brought you to bring Analog Players Society to Studio Brooklyn? It’s a non-question.  Studio Brooklyn is a record label.  The Hook Studio is our recording studio where we create and mix.  Studio Brooklyn is the overarching entity that I started in 2005.  This is also the home of The Analog Players Society.  “APS” is a super group born out of the Hook Studio by amazing musicians in the NYC session world. CKY to JFK, which Coule’ba is part of, is a set of three tracks that are outstanding fun to listen to, and incredibly complex. They make us want to dance. What is the inspiration behind the name and set? CYK is the Conakry airport in Guinea, West Africa.  It’s the arrival and departure point for many of my musical explorations.  I studied in Guinea with Mamady Keita and have been studying jembe and dundun from other master musicians such as the great M’Bemba Bangoura (here in New York City, and Famoudou Konate.  Most of what I learned of jembe and dundun was taught to me here in the States.  But I went to Guinea to get the feeling behind the music. JFK is that airport that brings the amazingly talented musicians from Guinea to Brooklyn, NY and thus to the Hook Studio.  As a side note, all of my instruments, jembes and dunduns have made this trip.  With one or two stops, but who’s counting. What is the story behind “Coule’ba” itself? Who is behind the vocals in the original version, and how did you get to feature her? It’s sung by Missia Saran Diabate.  I created the instrumental backing track on my own using analog synthesizers and drum sequencers.  Then I went about replacing those with live instruments at the Hook Studio.  Missia was at the Hook recording her album in 2009, and we had some down time.  I decided to see if she had a vibe for any of my instrumental tracks that I was working on.  She heard the instrumental version and immediately went into the booth, put on the headphones, and sang the song that you hear today in one take.  We then went back background vocals.  But literally, one take, from beginning to end.  Coule’ba is a powerful message.  The translation to English is difficult, but if I could paraphrase, Coule’ba means it takes a special man to be able to speak to a large crowd.  It takes courage and will.  It’s like the charisma and connection that someone like Martin Luther King or President Obama or Ghandi has.  It’s the story of a powerful speaker. Do you think there are common misconceptions about African sound, or Africa in general? If so, how do you engage this? The only misconception that I widely see thinking of Africa as one place.  It’s incredibly big and incredibly diverse.  And it’s not one place, it’s thousands of different people, thousands of different sounds, thousands of different languages.  54 countries. What kind of sound gets you excited, and why? Good ones.  I love good sounds. What’s an average day like at the studio? Average is a tough thing to describe.  It varies from day to day.  Studio is constantly vibrating.  Music is coming out more than it’s not.  Whether it’s a West African, Central African, South African, Asian Jazz, Hillbilly rock, Hip Hop, Hip Life.  I like to think of Louis Armstrong when Louis was asked what kind of music he likes.  His response was, good music.  I don’t think I could say it any better.  We like good music.  We try to make sure each session we have is of quality. Who are you expecting to visit next? Not sure.  The benefit of owning a studio is I get to meet new artists each day.  Thus, I get to choose the ones that I really vibe with so it could be anyone.  That is the inspiration of Analog Players Society. What are your goals for the studio? Anything exciting down the pipeline? We are working on the new Analog Players Society album right now.  We have our first set of vinyl singles coming down the pipeline very soon – in the Fall of 2013. Thanks for letting us feature your song – it’s stellar.  My pleasure!

Comments are closed.