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Highland world music club collective Karawane bring tropical vibes to warm up Inverness winter at Upstairs alongside Edinburgh night Samedia Shebeen's founder and Kelburn Garden Party promoter DJ Chris Astrojazz

By Kyle Walker

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IF anybody had any doubts that Highland world music club collective Karawane and Edinburgh tropical club night Samedia Shebeen weren’t already a match made in heaven, one only has to look at their taste in tunes.

In advance of last Saturday’s club night at the capital’s Mash House and this Saturday’s return leg at Upstairs, Inverness, both Karawane’s Mark 92 and Samedia organiser Chris Astrojazz made mixes to represent their respective nights and give people a taste of what they could expect.

And in the course of making those mixes, something unusual happened. “They were done within a week of each other and we’d both started the mix with the same tune!” Mark laughed.

“And it’s not a common one, it’s a reasonably unknown Brazilian tune and we both chose the same one, which as I pointed out to him, I was first – which is important to know!”

But after the success of last weekend, city audiences can expect a good time when Samedia Shebeen visits the city – its first time up north.

The popular club night has made a name for itself in the capital city for its mix of tropical, African and Latin American beats, as well as its stunning tropical décor.

The Samedia Shebeen club night at The Mash House, Edinburgh. Picture: Stevie Powers
The Samedia Shebeen club night at The Mash House, Edinburgh. Picture: Stevie Powers

While Chris Astrojazz – the founder of the night – will be representing Samedia Shebeen solely as a DJ without the frills and whistles, partygoers can espect a jumping night.

“What we try and do with the club is create a unique atmosphere,” he explained, “where we can play music from Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean and elsewhere around the world in an environment that feels right.

“We’ve developed a really strong fanbase amongst international types. We get people from all over the world in the club, which is really what our aim was – to break down the barriers with the music.”

The music is what has made world music curators Karawane’s club nights the talk of Inverness since their first night at the Tooth and Claw 14 months ago.

And after Samedia Shebeen audiences got a taste of Mark 92’s music last weekend, Chris is looking forward to returning the favour with his own tastes and grooves.

“What I try and do with a DJ set is join the dots from Africa to Latin America to Caribbean in a geographical sense – mixed music from each of these places,” he said. “But also it’s like a journey through time – you get the traditional music of these places, and it’s been sampled and remixed and continues to influence club music in the modern day, you know?

“So I try and draw a line between the old and the new in that sense.”

n Karawane meets Samedia Shebeen at the Upstairs Club (above the Gellions), Inverness on Saturday night. Doors open at 9pm and entry costs £6. For more information, go to www.karawane.co.uk

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