February 20, 2017

Ibibio Sound Machine | Uyai

ARTIST: Ibibio Sound Machine
LABEL: Merge
The second album by London-based Ibibio Sound Machine is being released by the indie-rock Merge label, a sure sign the band is trying to escape the world music ghetto. Which is entirely appropriate considering their sound: as influenced by disco, electro and post-punk as by West African funk and psych, this is rock music for the post-colonial culturally hybrid era. They’re fronted by British Nigerian singer Eno Williams, who describes her songs, written in the Ibibio language, as based “around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.” I’m betting that tracks 1, 2 and 12, disco and electro with an unmistakable West African esthetic, will immediately liberate your from your chair. If that sounds like the formula for Talking Heads’ Remain In Light, that’s your reference point; stellar guitarist Kari Bannerman plays the Adrian Belew part. If you’re an African music enthusiast, you may find these rhythms a bit stiff for your liking. If so, try 7 which is more like a Tony Allen dance remix. The consistency isn’t there yet, but the highlights are tracks I’ll be going back to again and again.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    7    12
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    4    6    9

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