Ibibo Sound Machine return with their third album and second for Merge Records. Doko Mie is a joyful blend of post-punk and West African electronic music, that reflects Eno Williams' own upbringing having been born in the UK but raised in Nigeria. Arpeggiated synths meet exuberant horns, always being marshalled by Williams' commanding vocals.
Vinyl LP £19.49 MRG665LP
Black vinyl LP on Merge, housed in a matt and gloss gatefold sleeve.
- Includes download code
Limited Vinyl LP £18.52 MRG665LPC1
Indies only white vinyl LP on Merge, housed in a matt and gloss gatefold sleeve. Limited edition of 1500 copies.
- Coloured vinyl
- Indies only
- Limited edition
- Includes download code
CD £11.49 MRG665CD
CD on Merge.
Ibibio Sound Machine are an English group that make an electrifying brew of afro-beat, funk, and disco, carried along by modern-sounding electronics, and all glued together by the magnetic presence of vocalist Eno Williams. ‘Doko Mein’ is their third album and it picks up where their sublime second album ‘Uyai’ left off.
ISM are just cool, there are no two ways about it. Everything from the vocal hooks (funky), to the outfits (chic), to the bass-heavy grooves (I’ve run out of synonyms...) just personify a band that deserve to be huge.
There are so many fantastic elements and textures that never take center-stage but add to the multi-layered tapestry that is this album. There’s the grimace-inducing acid bassline break in ‘Wanna Come Down’, and the pops and squeaks of percussion in ‘She Work Very Hard’. ‘She Work Very Hard’ is possibly my favourite song from Doko Mein. It opens with a bassline that wouldn’t sound out of place at a techno rave before morphing into a classic Ibibio track, all weapons-grade groove, beautiful Nigerian language vocals (including a scintillating spoken-word passage), and scuzzy funk guitar lines. I also love the production on this, it’s crystal-clear and is like hearing a particular good live reocrding.
They do slower tracks just as well as they do the big brash numbers, ‘I Know That You’re Thinking About Me’ and ‘I Will Run’ are two beautiful ways of toning down the impact of those first three bangers, and are done in such a way that the flow is never disrupted.
My favourite Ibibio song (and the song that first introduced me to their magic) is ‘Give Me A Reason’ and I was slightly skeptical as to whether they could be able to recreate that magic on their next effort but ‘Doko Mein’ proves that they’re just getting started. When listening to this album, I kept waiting for tepid moment to occur, or a filler track, but they never came; it’s eleven tracks that fit together and flow so perfectly, it’s definitely up there already for my favourite LPs of 2019. The way the album flows together is further proof of Ibibio’s brilliance. I don’t want to damn them with faint praise (as many will probably do) by comparing them to other artists past or present (please nobody mention the bloody Talking Heads...) because there aren’t really any like Ibibio, they’re operating on another level.
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