FORWARD-thinking indie labels are fast beginning to celebrate the soulful connection between dancefloor-slanted electronica and the rhythmic foundations of anything dubbed ‘world’ music. So right on cue Moshi Moshi offshoot PRAH have announced the release of a new EP, Marasi, which will be ready for consumption on April 30th. The new record captures the results of a partnership between West African singer/percussionist Falle Nioke and Joel Wastberg (aka sir Was, the Gothenburg-based electronic alt pop sorcerer) to full and fine effect.
Falle Nioke and PRAH do have previous they put out his Youkounkoun collaboration with underground house-master Ghost Culture last June to a deserved scramble of approval from the grassroots right up to Radio 6 playlisters. So the Marasi EP has momentum to work with and some anticipation to satisfy … but hey, if the preview track “Rain” is any measure, the Falle Nioke/sir Was team is more than ready to push on.
With lyrics based on an African proverb and sung in a blend of Fulani and Malinke, “Rain” has an immediate integrity and focus. It’s that grounding, along with Nioke’s soaring vocal agility and the glistening cross-rhythms, which mark the track out as something else. Beginning gently and carefully pared back to Falle’s tender voice and natural percussive touch, the cut soon shifts into a rich electronica sway and sweep, shaped by the sonic sensitivity that sir Was brings.
It’s a track that keeps a space around it; nothing gets too cluttered even in the build to its closing uplift which deftly weaves spoken word, bass twang and intricate synth flutters.
Signs are that heavy rotation is rightly on the way for “Rain” and the Marasi EP might soundtrack the summer that we’re all waiting for.