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Ekiti Sound
Abeg No Vex Dustin Krcatovich , April 29th, 2019 07:48

With 'Abeg No Vex', the Nigerian producer forces Dustin Krcatovich to reckon with the insufficiency of his home stereo system

It just doesn't seem fair to be reviewing Abeg No Vex by listening to it at a moderate volume in one's home office. Dance music, as they say, is for dancing; you should physically feel it. This cheap subwoofer does the trick for a lot of things, but this ain't one of them.

Let it be a testament to the quality of Ekiti Sound's debut LP that, while it would surely benefit from being played over a big PA system in a big room, you can catch the vibe without all that. Nigerian producer/vocalist Leke, aka CHiF, has been honing his skills over the last few years, bouncing between musical projects in Lagos and London when he's not doing sound design for Nollywood films, and the depth and breadth of the skills he's developed in that time are brought to the fore here. The result is a borderless electronic dance music that heedlessly blends classic Nigerian pop and funk, digital dancehall, New Orleans bounce, big beat, drum & bass, hip hop, and traditional ritual dance music into its ebullient mix. Amazingly, while there are plenty of wild tonal shifts throughout, it never sounds disjointed or unfocused.

Lead track 'Miss Dynamite', by all rights, should be a widespread party banger this summer - its looped chant of "motherfucker, we don't care" is an ideal mantra for hedonistic nights on the underground party circuit - but it's also a fascinating sound construction which drops ringing house piano chords and what sounds like classic "dry guitar" samples over its skittering, nigh-manic beat. Elsewhere, 'Maybe There's A Rainbow' feels almost like Quiet Storm radio in miniature, and its flow into the psychedelic collage of 'Super String Theory' is a bold gamble that pays off in full.

Some parts of Abeg No Vex are easier than others to ignore at press time, but every listen thus far has yielded new reasons for excitement. I promised my neighbours that I wouldn't hook up my DJ speakers in the house again, but with every office listen, I'm two steps closer to damning the torpedoes and landlord both. Motherfucker, we don't care, indeed.