Sinkane is the primary project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab, but he’s no slouch in other areas. Born in England, he spent much of his childhood in Sudan before moving to the US, eventually settling in Ohio. Early on, he drummed for Yeasayer and Of Montreal, and a bit later in the truly incredible live incarnation of the Caribou Vibration Ensemble. Between these jaunts, he wrote, produced, and recorded two Sinkane records effectively on his own. Caribou’s Dan Snaith heard what he was working on for his third, and was blown away by the track “Runnin’”, which he bestowed with a Daphni remix on a super limited 12” in 2011. This tune signaled a shift in the sound of the project, moving away from indie rock crossover psychedelia to complex Afrobeat with a refreshing pop sheen. 2012’s Mars (DFA) saw Sinkane become a *band*, experience that would serve him well during his stint as bandleader for a touring revue of the music of Nigerian funk musician William Onyeabor. Sinkane’s latest is Dépaysé, a jubilant record of Sly Stone and George Clinton-esque Afro Rock. Gallab explains the title thusly - “Dépaysé is a French word that basically means “to be removed from one’s habitual surroundings.” By extension, it means to be disoriented, homeless. That's a feeling I relate to very much in these times — and I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. That word gave me clarity and made the journey inward that much more exciting.” But in covering Gallab’s experience as an immigrant, the mood is celebratory, not cynical. Opening “Everybody” begins with immediate call and response lyrics shouted by Gallab and backing vocalist/keyboard player Elenna Canlas. “Stranger” is a neat reggae rumble with strong, straightforward vocals about faith-related struggles, “Ya Sudan” is an uplifting rocker with bright keyboards and a complex, chugging bassline. Title track “Dépaysé begins with an flanged-out guitar solo, with lyrics that shift between English and Arabic. This record is pressed on limited edition orange vinyl, and is packaged in a reverse board sleeve with printed inner sleeve. Highly recommended.
- orange colored vinyl pressing
- printed inner sleeve with full lyrics
- digital download included
- limited edition
- music label: City Slang 2019
reviewed by fka kris dfa 06/2019