Ibibio Sound Machine – Electricity review

Opening tracks don’t come more intense than Protect Us From Evil which begins Ibibio Sound Machine’s fourth album Electricity. Singer Eno Williams begins by speaking in a frantic mixture of interwoven tongues, whilst haywire electroclash programming sounds like Kraftwerk ripped from the inside out. Part way through the chaos normalises and in an imperious, Grace Jones-like meter, Williams chants ‘Spiritual/Invisible/Protection from evil’ over and over, before delivering the same mantra through a vocoder.

The evil we need protecting from it transpires comes with a small ‘e’, the cumulative forces of amongst other things being isolated and also placed in opposition to one another. The process of making Electricity – which was done in conjunction with electronica mavericks Hot Chip – finished over 12 months ago.

Williams doesn’t label Ibibio’s sound as specifically Afro-Futurist, preferring also to draw audible lines to the potency of the continent’s musical past. The title track’s message is as simple as it’s fundamental however; ‘Let me speak from the heart, without love/There’s no, no, no electricity’, a reminder that this album is as much about re-connection and dance as it is warding off the things that have forced us to hide away from each other.

You can read a full review here.

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