Boomkat Product Review:
Immersive, sonic-psychogeographic/deep topographic readings of Lagos, Nigeria by its native artist and breakthru star of Berghain’s A-Ton Emeka Ogboh, now kicking off his Danfotronics label with a properly sick session highly recommended if yr into owt from Shackleton to the MvO Trio.
Titled by coordinates for the Ojuelegba bus station and former shine in central Lagos - as immortalised on Fela Kuti’s ‘Confusion’ - Ogboh’s ‘6°30′33.372″N 3°22′0.66″E’ mints his Danfotronics label with a brilliant, dubbed-out dérive of historic shrines, well trampled routes, and the red light district in his home city. It follows resounding acclaim for his now sought-after debut, ‘Behind the Yellow Haze’ (Galerie Imane Farès, 2018), which was reissued by Ostgut’s A-Ton in early ’21, circa the artist’s installation at Berghain’s lockdown exhibition series, when the club was transformed from its usual use.
For anyone late to his party, Ogboh’s sound is a prime example of Afro-contemporary sound art on the edge of ambient electronic composition and dance music. Weaving field recordings and sampled vocals around themes of memory and place, it results in richly mesmerising, uniquely expressive music that’s hard to compare to anyone operating in the current field. It’s very Berlin, but also nowhere near as gimpy as that might imply, with a familiar, stripped-down and grooving impetus offset by his uniquely observant ear for street sounds in purling polyrhythmic stripes that lend themselves well to early hours dancing as much as long headphone mooches, containing the potential to turn your daily traipse into something far more interesting.
Peppered with Nigerian voices, in the form of informal interviews on the name and descriptions of Ojulegba, plus the field recordings’ incidental clamour, the album vacillates between beatless passages that plug listeners into the anarchistic swelter of the inner city, with dubbed-out abstractions, and threads of rolling rhythms that entwine the whole thing with a purposefully febrile pulse.
West African rhythm fiends will be in their element as much as fans of more experimental dancefloor machinations, locating an unmissable sweetspot of new African sound art, ambient dematerialisation, and offbeat techno.