EKITI SOUND - Drum Money . LP
A must-listen for anyone who appreciates genre-defying, boundary-pushing music from Africa, Ekiti Sound is back with his sophomore release, delivering a gorgeous and powerful album and a worthy follow-up to 2019’s award-winning debut ‘Abeg No Vex’.
Drum Money is a sonic ride which seamlessly incorporates elements of Nigerian music, electronic beats and hip-hop influences to create a sound that is both utterly unique and warmly familiar.
Sophisticated and earthy, provocative and multi-faceted, Drum Money comprises seventeen tracks which abound with surprises and invention. From lead single Chairman (out March 31), a wild slice of neo-afrojuju and electronica, it’s clear that the London/Lagos based artist has upped his game. Horns blast, drums rattle, and featured artist Aunty Rayzor’s rapid-fire Yoruba bars blend to enclave the listener within the afro juju synths and energetic drum patterns.
Leke aka Ekiti Sound produced and programmed the album, and also handled most mic duties. On the the elegant, ironical jazzy hip hop title track, he displays self-deprecating hairline humour, while referring to past experiences such as running around New York trying to sell beats. Elsewhere, he leaves a voice note to a past lover on a talking drum (see the attached track-by-track notes). Throughout the album, his punchy style and melodic delivery blur between pidgin, patois and prose.
Also appearing on Drum Money are a cast of great Lagos musicians, including a vintage afrobeat-like horn section, keys, percussion, some deep grooving live bass lines courtesy of Metronomy’s Olugbenga Adelekan and several guest vocalists. Drum Money was recorded at the Ekiti Sound studio in Lagos, and mixed between Lagos, London with Clinton Mccreery (Enny, Idris Elba, Maverick Sabre), and Los Angeles with Stef Morro at irkobeats3 studio (Kanye West, Jay-Z).
Among the album’s many highlights, special mentions should go to moody downtempo soundscapes such as Mami Wata, driving afro/clubby tracks like Ku Ise, the mysterious Raindrops (illuminated by Debbie Ohiri’s vocals), and many songs packed with catchy melodic lines, deep lyrics and unexpected sonic textures.