Ibibio Sound Machine - Ibibio Sound Machine
- Stewart Smith
- 23 April 2014
London-based eight-piece combining dancefloor production Nigerian highlife, afrobeat and gospel
Given Soundway’s excellent track record in reissuing vintage African funk and psychedelia, it’s fitting that they’re now showcasing acts who are updating those sounds for the 21st century. London-based eight-piece Ibibio Sound Machine’s name is a deliberate nod to Gloria Estefan’s Caribbean disco troupe Miami Sound Machine, and they pull off a similar trick in combining modern dancefloor production with more traditional sounds, in this case Nigerian highlife, afrobeat and gospel.
‘The Talking Fish’, with its funky bassline, Fela Kuti horns and joyous synths, sounds like an African companion to Norwegian cosmic disco king Lindstrøm’s ace collaboration with Christabelle, while ‘Uwa The Peacock’ and ‘Woman of Substance’ veer into acid house territory with pillowy 808 thumps and blissed-out electronics. British-Nigerian singer Eno Williams possesses a graceful alto, heard at its purest on the ambient electronic gospel reworkings. Her tougher, Grace Jones-like edge is revealed on the atmospheric ‘Woman of Substance’.