Wednesday, 1 June 2016

ROB (U) RANG - Ofo

Music overload - I mean new music - some of which is old - thinking: 'What would happen if music was suddenly taken away? Perhaps I'd hear the world around me better, but...' & 'What if I went on 'music strike', like Stewart Homes' Art Strike? Would it do me any good? No. I'd think more...and ignorance is bliss..., ignorant of Rob(u)rang I gave Ofo a listen and ...what the hell is this?! Le lion et la gazelle, first track, the bass weight was striking, trouble is (well, only if you care about such details) there are two bass-playing guests, Quentin Hanon and Gil Mortio and I've no idea which is featured here but the playing is so good, so prominent in and crucial to the sound that it reminds me of Jah Wobble juice.The vocals also become an instrument, all shimmer in the echo and fading back and forth as to be mostly indistinguishable words although I can make out 'in another space, in another world' (I think); a conscious acknowledgement of Van Morrison's trance-like incantations of Astral Weeks? Maybe. Whatever, a strong start. 

Apparently he draws his inspiration from yorùbá spells (collected in Nigeria and Benin), yet Oògùn èrò is as far from 'native' as you could imagine, other than being some heavy psyche freek-out by urban bushmen, nicely countered by a drum machine rhythm. Dub is in here, there, everywhere an influence, along with everything else, it feels like, without being a mess, just a mess of ideas, lots rhythmic, reverberating throughout, hand clap, timbales, skins and mechanised clicks, alien language, flute, guitar, bass rumbles...the simple, phased organ on Les puisatiers...and the chanting...(other)World Music like this (is there anything actually like this?) really is trance-inducing. Whilst one part of your mind is hypnotised, the other is trying to digest what's going on, which is a futile endeavour; best let go and submit to the ritual. 

No tracks to stream unfortunately but you can sample it on the Sub Rosa site

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