Boomkat Product Review:
Following deployments for Peak Oil and his own Black Studies imprint, Lamin Fofana joins the Avian stable for 'Here Lies Universality', a long-form EP that sits well alongside similarly vibrational biz from Space Afrika, KMRU, and Romeo Poirer.
Lamin Fofana's first for Avian is a meditation on the whitewashed history of ambient music that stands in opposition to the concept of it being background music. Instead, the veteran Sierra Leonean producer channels Black history and Detroit techno spirit into his compositions, using his sonic canvas as a way to express personal artistic themes that chart Black global movement and the constant push against ideas of liberal universalism. It's a noble goal and one that Fofana approaches relatively subtly, using drifting, techno synthesizers and thick vinyl crackle that evokes the hazy brilliance of horizontally-minded material like Detroit Escalator Company and the noisier end of Jan Jelinek's output at once.
'Here Lies Universality' isn't passive listening by any means, Fofana has created a record that's intended to unravel itself to anyone who's prepared to tune in. 'Here Lies Universality Redux' is a cotton wool-eared decomposition of the opening track that sounds as if it's been submerged completely, and its following epic 'Measure of Memory/I Stagger and Remember' pushes the Drexciyan influence even further, ignoring the usual electroid pulses in favor of rain patter and elegiac synths. Fofana's subtlety makes this one an unmissable installment, and the final piece 'Resounding Water' is among the most moving compositions he's released: five minutes of haunted, sub-aquatic movement that sounds like tuned percussion at 1% speed. Recommended.