The Volta Break


PSYCHED is the best word to describe the remix version of The Volta Break Ian Martin sent me last week. I know Ian since the early days of the CBS forum, I-F‘s radio station before he started IFM, from where Ian nowadays runs his SEER radioshows with a collective of dj’s. SEER stands for Sinister Echoes and Exotic Realms, a heady vibe in which krautrock meets acid and cold wave mingles with tropical heat: heavy stuff served with skepticism and humour, that’s how I’d define what I experience in the radio shows and in Ian Martins’ productions. In this remix the Sinister Echoes are added to the exotic beats I presented 3 months ago. I’m psyched!



In search of the ultimate break beat, I remembered I once bought a record of Orchestre CVD (Club Voltaique du Disque) in the cheapo section at Superfly in Paris. The sleeve design immediately fascinated me, the record was quite scratched and didn’t contain the most interesting Afro sounds, but there was a great break in the middle of one of the tracks that made me spend 2,50 or 5 euros on it… Compared to other famous breaks, like the Funky Drummer– and The Amen break, it’s quite a long break, but it’s energetic and subtly keeps on changing and building up. It’s from the song Kiiba from this album.

When Googling the names CVD and Orchestre Club Voltaique de Disques it becomes clear this was a band founded by the owner of the label CVD, Adama Ouedraogo, former gitarist of ‘l Orchestre Super Volta, who ran a recordshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, that grew out to be the lands’ leading label in the mid till late 70’s. These words Volta and Voltaique refer to Haute (Upper) Volta, until 1984 the name of nowadays Burkina Faso.

If you like this sound, check the Analogue Africa compilation Bambara Mystic Soul, which also features this track by the same band I took my sample from.

Back to the Volta break, I decided to treat it systematically, like looping it in phases, so each time I move 1 or 2 or 3 bars after having 4 beats looped. I don’t know if I explain this theoretically correct, but that’s kind of what I tried to do… Afterwards I pitched it up a little and put some effects to make it sound more weird and further detached from its’ origin, and more usable as a dj-tool. Result sounds a bit like a funky tennis match 😉
Up for download, if you do something good with it please let me know!