DJ Katapila is a Ghanaian DJ/producer whose marathon, relentlessly joyful DJ sets have swiftly become a thing of legend: splicing the neo-traditional dance music styles of his youth in Accra with the uptempo, bass-heavy, Roland 808-rooted sounds of Detroit techno, Chicago acid and house. Live he adorns his killer selections with electronic percussion and vocal interjections that help galvanise waves of full-blown euphoria wherever he plays.
DJ Katapila's new Aroo EP (Awesome Tapes From Africa) is the latest addition to the iconoclastic producer’s catalog of fast-paced, pan-West African-influenced dance music and follows his debut Trotro (2016) which ignited the international acclaim for his work, with the likes of The New York Times, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor and FACT heaping praise on his work.
Cutting his teeth in the early 90s as a mobile DJ at funerals across Ghana, Katapila began spontaneously inserting Ga- and Twi-language chants and raps into instrumental breaks of the well-trodden international house and techno radio hits he’d been playing. Performing on his Yamaha DD11 electronic drum pads during instrumental breaks, he also added his own percussion. He combined the microphone toasting and his rhythms with a sampler and invented new creations on the fly, establishing his trademark rough-edged dance sound which has now become ubiquitous in Ghana and other parts of West Africa.