#011 Tracking for Tracks: Namibian Drum Kit
June 18 2019 – Julez Jadon
The idea behind this project was to capture a piece of the musical identity of Namibia. We traveled around the country to collect as much impressions as possible. Returning home from our journey we were not happy with the recordings we made on this trip so we decided to record all instruments again. The result is a pounding drum library of Namibian influenced drums and percussions in studio quality. We took all of our experiences and impressions of this trip and transformed it into a inspiring collection of drums in the best possible audio quality!
In December 2018 me and my brother startet our trip to Namibia. On the day before Christmas we jumped on a plane to escape the cold weather in Germany and to find some new musical inspiration in the „land of contrasts“. After about 15 hours of travelling we arrived in Windhoek the capitol of Namibia. The Asco Car Hire pick up brought us to our first destination: Hotel Thule. The first day was all about the essential stuff like exchanging money, shopping groceries and charging the mobile phone (MTC Air Time).
After a relaxed first night and delicious breakfast we got picked up by Asco Car Hire again to receive instructions for our Toyota Hilux 4x4. This pick up truck should be our home for the next few weeks. After about 2 hours we were ready to hit the road and started driving north to our first „real“ destination: Okonjima Camp near Otjiwarongo. While entering the camp we already saw lots of wild wildlife like Zebras, Oryx, Knus, Warthogs, Greyhounds, Impala and Giraffes. In the evening after it turned dark we went back to the camp site to build our tent for the first time when we got surprised by a heavy thunderstorm. We ended the day sitting by the campfire and enjoying music and wine not knowing that the night is going to be short.
The next morning we were confronted with the first problem: Our road book disappeared! This book contains all the vouchers and important route information for our trip. We drove back to the main house of the camp and were lucky to find it there. We joined a game drive where we were able to see lots of Giraffes and in the evening we just chilled by the camp fire and enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches.
The next day started a bit more easy with a long and nice breakfast. We planed our next route to Waterberg (Afrikaans: Water Mountain) which is a table mountain rising from a plateau surrounded by a huge national park. As we entered the national park we noticed that nobody had unpacked. While building our tent the camp ground got run over by a horde of Baboons. Baboons are extremely clever! They watch very closely and open car doors, windows and zippers on their own. We had to send them away so we could rebuild our tent. The rest of the day we enjoyed the pool with a spectacular view to the Waterberg!
The next day we spent swimming in the pool, hiking and enjoying the beautiful landscape. After dinner in a nearby restaurant we slept really good at night.
The following day we continued our trip to the Etosha National Park which is one of the most important national parks of Namibia. We drove to the east gate of the park where we arrived at the beautiful situated lodge: Namutoni Camp. We took care of our laundry and built our camp for the next two days. In the meantime we charged our mobile phone with MTC Air Time so we could speak to family and friends. At night we were rewarded with the most beautiful starry sky.
The next day we left at sunrise to the west side of Etosha National Park. On our way we saw hundred of wild animals: Zebras, Giraffes and Impalas everywhere! We headed to a water hole where we hoped to see Giraffes but we got surprised by a huge Elephant instead. The massive male Elephant stood in the middle of the gravel road flapping his big ears because the vehicle in front of us had moved too close to him already. He moved towards the car to prove who the street belongs to. Truly a breathtaking spectacle. All of a sudden it started to rain cats and dogs! As we got back to the camp we found the power supply interrupted as the place was flooded with water. As if this wasn't enough the fridge of our Hilux stopped working and a damage to the water hose of our truck puts the entire cargo area under water. We needed the rest of the evening to fix all of our problems at the camp site. Luckily we got energetic support from a very nice and efficient technician!
After a couple hours of sleep we drove to the Anderson Gate in the south of the Etosha Natioanl Park. Again we saw hundreds of animals but this time we even had the chance to see a Leopard. From the south gate of the park we continued our travels to the Madisa Camp near Khorixas. The roads towards the camp were in such bad conditions that it turned out a real struggle to pass them. We arrive just in time at the camp to enjoy the sunset on the hill nearby. After all the happenings from the last days we almost forgot that it was New Years Eve. We were surprised by the beautiful built Madisa Camp and fabolous traditional Namibian cuisine. We fall asleep at around 10 pm that night. I guess we never had a more relaxed New Years Eve.
2019 startet unusually cold as the temperature in the desert can fall below the freezing point. After we packed our stuff and grabbed a little breakfast we moved on to our next stop: Swakopmund. Passing through Hentjes Bay we had excellent prawns and kingklip. Arriving in the very german-influenced city of Swakopmund we meet our parents. We touched down in a sensational lodge called The Stilz. After the eventful times of the past weeks we were looking forward to a shower and a bed! In the evening we had delicious seafood again. Highly recommended: „The Tug“.
From the Atlantic coast we continue traveling through the Namib desert towards the Naukluft mountains. At 3937 feet above sea level we arrived at the beautiful located Namib Naukluft Lodge. We enjoyed the evening with traditional stews straight from the camp fire and excellent wine.
After a short night we woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning. After a coffee we left the lodge to see to the world-famous sand dunes around Sossusvlei. Our guides name was Berron. We climbed the Dune 45, visited Deadvlei and the Sesriem Canyon. This had been one of the most eventful days so far.
The following day we were exhausted from the previous days that's why we decided to take a day off.
Towards the end of our trip we stopped at Tsauchab River Camp and Anib Lodge to relax for another 4 days before flying to Cape Town, South Africa.
After returning from Africa we locked ourselves in the studio and recorded all the percussion instruments we collected and did our research about. The finished product is a pounding african influenced drum kit in best audio quality!
Link to the kit:
Photo edits: Philipp Levinger
Additional writing: SVRN