Boomkat Product Review:
Cult LA label Peak Oil present Lamin Fofana’s most sublime yet quizzical work in a suite of 4th world ambient fraught with noise and smudged with ghostly grooves primed for fans of KMRU, Patten, Jon Hassell, Emeka Ogboh.
Lamina Fofana originally hails from Sierra Leone and Guinea, before he moved to NYC and spent formative years between Harlem, NYC and Alexandria, Virginia, where he soaked up experimental electronic music, ambient and techno. Active as a producer since the ‘00s on Shadetek’s Dutty Artz, and notably working behind the scenes of his Sci-Fi & Fantasy label, who introduced Lotic to the world, Fofana has more recently been found on his Black Studies label and the ‘X/Perience’ boxset containing three albums produced 2018-2020 - ‘Black Metamorphosis;, ‘Darkwater’, and ‘Blues’.
Joining an illustrious set of releases by Topdown Dialect, Hoavi and Paperclip Minimiser on Peak Oil, Lamin’s ‘Unsettling Scores’ proceeds into the most ambiguous ambient interzones of his style where vaporous traces of Jon Hassell’s dreamy brass and notions of a 4th world ambience intersect smudged rhythms redolent of Emeka Ogboh’s deep sonic-topographic reading of Lagos, and lowkey, liminal lines of atmospheric thought also expressed by Klein at her quietest.
The crackling melodic filament of his ‘Tune of Departure’ vignette leads off into 12 minutes of digitally smeared and funereal ambient on ‘A Symbol of the Withdrawn God Redux’, while much lusher, aerosolised tones give way to a sort of washed out 4th world dream space on ‘Erosion / Whispers’. Rhythmic impulses guide the knackered crawl of ‘Broken Time of Transition’ somewhere adjunct Andy Stott and Klein, and the deep house thrum of ‘Oily (Resurfacing)’ nudges the reference points closer to KMRU’s take on melodic electronica, beside a pair of gorgeous ambient classical works rich with crackling textural embers.