It could be quite easy to snub the emergence of an African funk-house edit label considering their popularity at the moment; not so much so if Brian not Brian is affiliated in some capacity. Half the musical mind behind the brilliant Going Good label, he again proves his knack of spotting good tunes whatever the genre, with the first outing for Decent International, a four track EP courtesy of an unknown artist.
Reminiscent of the playful and bouncy feel of Ajukaja’s Afro house edit royalty ‘Benga Benga’, ‘When Koaa’ was the standout for us. It elevates itself above the former comparison, however, with a more authentic live feel, offering tin pot percussive textures and intertwining guitar melodies. A sustained feel good factor endures throughout with the distinctive African vocals sharing turns with charming brass segments. As hectic as the instrumental arrangement sounds ‘When Koaa’ does well not to sound cluttered and offers more melodic and rhythmic complexity than some of the slap-an-afro-vocal-on-a-house-beat efforts that you may usually find.
Elsewhere on the EP, ‘Ugandan Futura’ parts one and two are also great in their own right. Both invert to a focus on percussion, merging warm chords that give a cosmic tinge which feel best suited to the (very nice} artwork. A fine debut for the label.
When Koaa is out now – buy from Phonica.