Boomkat Product Review:
Going like a cosmic-lysergic answer to Mark Ernestus’s Ndagga Rhythm Force or T++’s archival EMI reworks, Lamin Fofana gels hypercoloured synths to swingeing Senegalese rhythms on a killer session with master mbalax drummers.
Raised in Sierra Leone and Guinea, and based in the US since a teenager, Lamin Fofana’s musical explorations of displacement, identity, and immigration come back to root in West Africa in riveting ways across this EP. On a trio of ‘Bench Mi Mode’ parts, an an hypnotic extended roller, Fofana meshes field recordings with original synthesis and virtuosic percussion supplied by Dakar, Senegal’s The Doudou Ndiaye Rose Family that elevates and swirls the dance with a lush vitality and freedom of expression that’s hard not to fall for.
On the ‘Bench Mi Mode’ parts he enacts a compelling Afro-Astrophysics, taking off with the trampling, diffractive rhythmelodic cadence, spiralling arps and windswept voices of ‘In Motion’, before thickening the humidity with a more juicily playful answer to Mark Ernestus’ Prophet 5 synth vamps on the swaggering, bubbling ‘Red Eye’ part, and leaving the drums aside for a hot minute to bask in the Dakar atmosphere, a la Emeka Ogboh styles, as the drummers loosely strike amid engines and street chat in the ‘Spectrum’ portion. The 12 minute ’Toco Sos’ is perhaps the most DJ-able bit, sustaining a steady pulse and swaying chants certain to grip supple dancers.