Ibibio Sound Machine – Electricity
Hot Chip produced new LP from the electro Afro-funk ensemble. This has some serious energy.
Electricity was produced by the Grammy Award and Mercury Prize nominated British synthpop group Hot Chip, a collaboration born out of mutual admiration watching each other on festival stages, as well as a shared love of Francis Bebey and Giorgio Moroder. The fruits of their labor reveal a gleaming, supercharged, Afrofuturist blinder. Electricity is the first album Ibibio Sound Machine have made with external producers since the group’s formation in London in 2013 by Williams and saxophonist Max Grunhard. True, 2017’s Uyai featured mixdown guests including Dan Leavers, aka Danalogue, the keyboard jedi in future-jazz trio The Comet Is Coming, but Hot Chip and Ibibio Sound Machine worked together more deeply throughout the process, collaborating fully. Along the way, the team conjured a kaleidoscope of delights that include resonances of Jonzun Crew, Grace Jones, William Onyeabor, Tom Tom Club, Kae Tempest, Keith LeBlanc, The J.B.’s, Jon Hassell’s “Fourth World,” and Bootsy Collins.
The hook of opener “Protection From Evil” has Williams wielding a massive synth line from Hot Chip’s Al Doyle like a spiritual shield against unspecified, malign forces unspecified because Williams is speaking in tongues. Her lyrics are onomatopoeic: their meaning is defined in her energetic delivery. As Electricity takes off, so do Williams’ words towards a brighter future, alternating between English and Ibibio, sometimes within verses, and propelled by Joseph Amoako’s unabating afrobeat. She digs into this sentiment further on single “All That You Want,” coolly assuring her romantic interest while also requesting reciprocity. Meanwhile, Scott Baylis’ playful Juno synth guides the listener’s feet along the dancefloor.
Electricity is a deep and seamless realization of Williams’ and Grunhard’s ambitious founding manifesto to combine the singularly rhythmic character of the Ibibio language which Williams spoke growing up in Nigeria with a range of traditional West African music and more modern electronic sounds. While the band enjoys veering further into electronic territory with the help of mutuals like Hot Chip, Grunhard emphasizes, “For us, it’s not just a matter of embracing new technology. What’s key is to keep the music grounded in African roots.” Ibibio Sound Machine best exemplify this on Electricity’s “Freedom.” That track was inspired by the water-drumming rhythms of Cameroon’s Baka women, which in turn fueled its lyrics, which in turn prompted Hot Chip and Ibibio Sound Machine to layer joyfully kinetic electronic counterparts on top in the studio. As the track culminates with the mantra of “rage, hope, cope, soul,” it’s clear that Ibibio Sound Machine have channelled, harnessed, and distilled these words as guiding principles, both for the album and for the turbulent world that awaits it.
We offer free delivery on orders of £85 and over, sent within mainland UK. To qualify for free delivery, your order will be sent as one dispatch.
Click & Collect
On all orders, we offer a Click & Collect option for you to come and collect your order in Totnes. You will be offered shipping and click & collect options during the checkout process.
Royal Mail Tracked®
✔️ End-to-end tracking
✔️ SMS or email notifications
✔️ 48 hour delivery aim
✔️ Compensation cover up to £100
✔️ Change your delivery options before delivery is attempted
Alongside a weekly playlist of new and old tracks (tune in via the news section), all of the Drift staff also contribute to a weekly 'Drift Recommends' playlist.
Updated every Friday, it's full of new tracks that we love, absolute bangers that have popped back into our heads and all sorts of other weird avenues. It is supposed to sound a little bit like that feeling of walking through the door at Drift.
You can subscribe to it via our Spotify public profile.