April 17, 2014

Eccodek | Singing In Tongues

ARTIST: Eccodek
TITLE: Singing In Tongues
LABEL: Black Swan Sounds
Here’s one of the finest global fusion albums you’ll hear all year. This category, characterized by international samples and electronic instruments over EDM beats, is jam-packed with phony exoticism. That’s exactly not what you get here. Singing In Tongues starts with the songs of Malian singer-ngoni player Jah Youssouf; his recordings are fleshed out with all the same tools that other producers use, here employed with a much more sophisticated, empathetic ear. For example, start with track 2: the melody is carried in turn by Youssouf’s ngoni, Onkar Singh’s Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan-like singing, and a keyboard that echoes both qawwali harmonium and Augustus Pablo’s dub melodica parts. This ought to be a recipe for the blandest global-fusion EuroSausage; in Eccodek creator Andrew McPherson’s hands the blend sounds ingenious, and the whole album is filled with little epiphanies like that one. Try track 1, which starts like garden-variety Afrobeat and opens out into a broader palate; or 4, a beautiful slice of downtempo electronica, too pretty for the chill room; or 5, which brings back Singh’s vocals to excellent effect. Nicely done.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    4    5
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    3    7    8

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