Highlife's Auntie Flo releases debut album
Afro-house DJ Brian d'Souza launches Future Rhythm Machine LP with dates in Glasgow and Edinburgh
It’s a busy month for Brian d’Souza; first he’s launching his debut album as Auntie Flo, Future Rhythm Machine, at his Highlife night in Glasgow, then a fortnight later he’s celebrating the club’s second birthday in the same city. Sandwiched in between there’s a live Flo date in Edinburgh as well as numerous live and DJ sets around the UK, all on the back of the album’s first launch party at Fabric in London in late April. Things are happening fast for one of Glasgow’s hottest young producers.
The alter-ego Auntie Flo actually began life in 2003 (named, says d’Souza, after his real-life aunt in Goa ‘for no real reason, I just thought she was a special woman’), becoming dormant until recently, when d’Souza could afford a bit of production gear and had developed a musical aesthetic worthy of the name. ‘The sound doesn’t fit within any one genre,’ he says. ‘It’s based around the music I play at Highlife, which focuses on sounds from all around the world – everything from folk styles to young electronic producers from Africa, Latin America and America.’ A big influence has been Kodwo Eshun’s eccentric Afrofuturist text More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction.
The intention to collaborate with artists from around the world bore fruit on this body of early work, which was recorded before the more dancefloor-friendly singles ‘Highlife’ and ‘Oh My Days’. Chilean diva Mamacita was introduced to d’Souza by DJ and friend of Highlife Alejandro Paz, while South African/Glaswegian Esa Williams will perform with him at these and a slew of upcoming festival dates. ‘Our only rule is no laptops,’ says d’Souza, ‘we’re trying to make it as live as possible, even as we get used to being a couple of DJs playing an actual live set.’
Highlife at La Cheetah, Glasgow, Sat 5 May and Sub Club, Glasgow, Sun 20 May; Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 13 May.