September 4, 2010

The Jamaican-Orthodox Grooves of Komba Bakkh

Komba Bakkh: Exponents of “Natural, Jamaican-Orthodox Grooves”

July 24, 2010
Far From Moscow

Komba Bakkh are an all-male outfit from Kostroma, an ancient town first mentioned in chronicles around 1213; some historians date the founding of Kostroma hundreds of years earlier. Today it is home to just under 300,000 people, all of whom are surrounded by a rich architectural and spiritual heritage. Komba Bakkh are acutely aware of threats to this tradition and celebrate it in the strangest of ways: they are avid exponents of Orthodox Christian, primarily acoustic hip-hop. Their name comes from an equivalent of the word "combo" (i.e., ensemble) and an anagram made from the performers' initials.

We first celebrated their work in 2008: "Most of the group – who number up to eight when performing live – met in school and formed friendships around a shared enthusiasm for Russian rappers Detsl and Ligalaiz, plus Canada’s Amon Tobin and New Jersey’s The Fugees. They performed their first ever concert in Moscow only three days ago [in 2008]. The promotional materials have added to this strange melange by noting that Komba had already, while still at school, developed sufficient tech-skills to start mixing samples from Wyclef Jean with Stravinskii…"

"Komba Bakkh now use their music to champion several causes, most notably the value of Orthodoxy for one’s well-being, and the unification of Russia and Belarus for ancient spiritual reasons. As they say: 'We take everything that’s ‘not-modern”… and then we make it modern! We love Russian Folk-Hip-Hop and play it as best we can. Give us a chance and we’ll get you going! We’ve got one hope – that we’ll not live in vain and that people will remember us fondly. Thanks, everyone! God is Love.'”

Read the rest here.

Visit the official website of Komba Bakh