Accra-based trio Nyamekye Junction announces the release of the Dasein EP, a spiritual and political manifesto that delicately combines nostalgia and the future of African music.
For its very first release at the end of 2020, the London-based label Kitto records hit hard with Sankofa Season, an album born from the collaboration between soulman Andrew Ashong and the virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Kaidi Tatham. Moving to another genre, they’re now introducing Nyamekye Junction, an international trio that brings together Burundian singer and producer Betina Quest, Ghanaian singer Eli A Free and German percussionist Ma.ttic. With this symbolic name borrowed from an important crossroads in the city of Accra, the avant-garde group announces its raison d’être, to find its musical richness at the junction of their respective heritage.
On these first four tracks, the three explore political, environmental and identity themes, denouncing consumerism and post-colonial oppression through organic yet hopeful music. Like the indescribable first single “GMT” (short for Ghana Man Time), the group wraps the essence of soul in a fine and complex rhythmic ribbon that challenges the stereotypical codes of African music. Lo-fi synthesizers, vocal incantations and traditional West African percussion are concentrated in a music that leader Betina herself admits she has never heard. The two African protagonists then exchange in Twi and English on the airy and contemplative “Cloud 21”, the melancholic “Eyes Don’t See” and the anti-colonial lament “Aduro”, all elegant songs with a discreet groove, intimately linked to their common influences for Ebo Taylor, Nina Simone or Erykah Badu. Meaning “Existence” in German, Dasein is a promising EP with new textures that captures “the need to live in the moment with a heart full of gratitude“.
Dasein out June 24th via Kitto Records