DJ Khalab’s output has been pretty limited, but his palpitating brand afro-futurist fusion has already caught the attention of quite a few. On the back of a Beat Tape and solo 7” effort for Black Acre, he’s is back with an effort straight out of the “ancient afrofuture”. Incoming by way of Wonderwheel Recordings, the Italian producer is joined by Malian Griot and prodigious talent Baba Sissoko for an intriguing collaboration.
It isn’t the frenzied approach we’ve become accustomed to hearing from Khalab. Instead he’s laid the groundwork that Sissoko’s contributions dance over, giving the mesmeric chimes of the ngoni and balafon room to breath and envelop the underlying elements. A true master, it must have been an honour to work with Baba Sissoko and the Malian takes centre-stage, but that’s not to understate Khalab’s input. The minimal arrangement is near on perfect, while the undulating pulse of his production provides the perfect backdrop to Sissoko’s masterful performance on both originals. The remixes aren’t there just to make up the numbers either, but special mention goes to Ibibio Sound Machine’s effort where the vocals are propped up by an alluring, funked-out groove.
DJ Khalab & Baba Sissoko – Kumu / Tata EP is out now on Wonderwheel Recordings
For more Wonderwheel on STW:
Nickodemus’ top 10 tracks for sailing down the Hudson
Sorceress – Te Kano