In this fast-paced, high-pressure world we consume music it’s rare to listen to music and be so fixated what what instruments have gone into the finished product. Listening to Mo Kolours’ work, it’s enthralling to imagine all the different tools at his disposal; a kaleidoscope of people, materials and inventions, all funnelled into his masterful mind. Some music makes you think of other places, some music actually takes you there. Mo Kolours’ music offers up a one-way ticket around the world, back in time and forwards again as it sets the standard of what a genuinely aware and appreciative modern-day-musician is making.
Retaining the similar style of his self-titled first album, Texture Like Sun, is a collection of short tracks. All very different and not necessarily flowing easily from one to another, Mo wanted to push his listeners, to disorientate them, to whisk them from one place to another. “This record is about cycles. From the tiny cycles of loops within songs to the broader cycle of the whole album, which is designed to take you away and bring you home again at the end. Loops within loops. Loops overlapping in different ways and shifting as they go can take you very far away.
Each song evokes such a different feeling within the listener. ‘Keep Cool’ combines two distinct music styles of Black heritage with a modern-day twist, fusing rolling Jamaican dub with soulful backing vocals that evoke Lady Blacksmith Mambazo. ‘Harvest’ showcases Mo’s warbling spoken vocals that were so endearing on his debut album. In ‘Find Out What You Want’, Mo confuses as much as he allures, looping emotions, sounds and feelings in a haze of indecipherable gasps.
As the album bounces between short tracks and interludes, you’re never allowed to settle on any one feeling. But don’t resist, just let Mo guide you by the hand through his musical musings. His unique cover of The Stranglers’ ‘Golden Brown’, after whose lyrics the album takes its name, exemplifies his artistry the most. Worlds apart from the original, it encompasses his blend of cultures from around the world. Named after a Mongolian folk song, the noble ‘Orphan’s Lament’ is laden with paradoxical wisdoms: “fall to get back up again, lose only to win again, revive only to breath again, breathe only to be back again.” Whilst somewhat contradictory, his lyrics invoke a sense of learning a lesson.
Equally, this metaphor could aptly describe what listening to Texture Like Sun is all about. Not the kind of lesson with uncomfortable consequences, but like an adventurous field trip, no rules, just imagination and appreciation in excess.