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Ibibio Sound System

Ibibio Sound System / Shock Records
Featured: Week starting 12th May / Underground Solution / Global Rhythm Pot / El Ritmo

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“Out of nowhere”, yet in the UK, was born an orchestra-like band, which released an astounding piece of work. Out last March under Soundway Records, their debut Self Titled album attracted amazing feedback, both in quality and quantity. The project was written and organised by Max Grunhard, Leon Brichard and Benji Boutonfronted, who composed it around British-Nigerian singer Eno Williams’s vocals. The pre-mixed track is then handed to Ghanian virtuoso guitarist Alfred ‘Kari’ Bannerman, who supplies the final creative layer.

The sound strongly revolves around Afrobeats and is rooted as influence and main texture. It is yet reinvented and restored, dipped in new era invasions and wrapped in layers of Nigerian oral tale culture, West African funk, disco, soul and UK bass culture. Song titles appear in English, as well as in Ibido, which is how the vocal performance works as well.

Equal to the fusion of genre influences and time periods is the fluctuation of intensities and form within the songs’ composition. “Let’s Dance” is a strict appeal for a hyponizingly ferocious physical loosening. The vocal repetition enhances the sense of rhythm, allowing freedom and light to each instrument. “Voice of the Bird” however is a pastoral, ballad song which, positioned first in the record, introduces the textual core subject and proves the band’s cleverness, dispersed and much appreciated within this record.

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