Since 2011, the London sextet Afriquoi celebrates what cosmopolitanism has to offer to those who appreciate it with a galvanizing afro-fusion, focusing on Congolese guitar (“Papa” Fiston Lusambo), Gambian kora (Jally Kebba Susso), percussions (André Marmot), catchy refrains (Andre Espeut) and 100% British electronic material whose garage, house or dubstep sounds borrow from the best of bass music (Nico Bentley and Oli Cole).
After two albums, a few hits including the now-classic afro-house “Kudaushe”, some remarkable remixes and some collaborations – notably with the saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, the Burkinabe balafonist griot Moussa Dembélé or Kakatsitsi, a group of Ghanaian dancers and percussionists – Afriquoi is back with a new EP: Time Is A Gift Which We Share All The Time. Taken from the lyrics of “Ndeko Solo”, the title of the EP is inspired by Mandinka wisdom to remind us of “the permanent joy of existing and our intimate connection to all and everything.”
Accustomed to the biggest European festivals from Glastonbury to WOMAD, Afriquoi insisted this time on injecting the energy as well as the live sound into their new EP by recording tracks already well known on stage and by bringing the whole band together in the studio. Afriquoi would have had the intuition that the concerts would deeply miss them (us) in the months to come?
According to Fiston Lusambo, master ès-soukous, the four tracks on this new opus are “the result of a dialogue between our individual talents, a creation that finally reflects what we had in mind from the very beginning of the group”. Recorded at Octagon Studios in the heart of Brixton and produced under the supervision of Tom Excell – conductor of Onipa and Nubiyan Twist -, this EP also testifies the creativity, the horizon and the cohesion of the new generation of British musicians, at a time where England is experiencing a new era of musical creativity. Moreover, for the record cover, where two children look down on us while wearing embroidered cushions typical of English interiors, Afriquoi calls upon the Ghanaian photographer Derrick Ofusu Boateng, known for his proud portraits and his always brightly coloured backgrounds. Could this be Afriquoi’s answer to the prevailing gloom or a way of questioning our view of Africa? Afriquoi’s work is as subtle as his music.
Expected for June 2020 on the Parisian label Mawimbi Records (Loya, Onipa, Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band), Time Is A Gift Which We Share All The Time also receives the visit of the Lyon-based producer Bruno “Patchworks” Hovart, aka Voilaaa, for a disco remix of “Ndeko Solo”. Philosopher on the power of karma in the single “Acid Attack”, Afriquoi can go confident because maybe there’s no coincidence when so many lucky stars are watching over them!