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Music

Emeka Ogboh: Beyond The Yellow Haze (2×12″, A-TON, January 2021)

This record was a surprise and a delight. The blurb I’d read about Emeka Ogboh had described him as a field recordist who’d had his work in art galleries, and I guess I was expecting something kind of austere. But bang on the first track, Lekki Aiah Freeway, and you’re hit with this awesome shuffling beat, layering wood blocks and a thumping bass drum and a big clanging chord and skittering pads and an echoing chanting type thing in the treble and then more percussive elements building up a brilliantly rich and textured polyrhythm. It’s got the kind of laid back but compelling groove that made everyone love the DJ Python album so much last year. It’s only about halfway through the track that the field recordings come in: traffic noises that blend so perfectly with the music that I almost didn’t notice them at first. Flip the disc, and the aptly named Danfo Mellow follows a different pattern, starting out with the jostling and bustle of a Lagos street, which the tune emerges organically out of. And what a doozy it is: an equally hypnotic groove paired with the most delightful loop of xylophone melody you could wish for. Side C, Everydaywehustlin, is a somewhat moodier affair; Side D has Palm Groove, a beatless and rain-soaked number centred on some kind of sampled vocal (I can’t tell whether it’s a street preacher or just some kind of announcement) and distant horns and thunder, followed by a short outro.

I’ve got to admit that I think the first disc is stronger than the second… But all in all it’s a stunning piece of work, that does two different things brilliantly and then combines them to make something even more amazing.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Electronic.

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