By Kenny McMurtrie
December 13, 2012
Multi-instrumentalist Ahmad Gallab’s debut album as Sinkane is a high quality filtering of African rhythmic work and afrobeat through the modern day American experience. Previously seen onstage with the likes of Caribou and Of Montreal Gallab has now stepped out on his own to bring us eight tracks of supremely crafted melodic funk. Right from the off ‘Runnin’’, complete with its politically charged video, has you pricking up your ears at the tightness of the playing on offer along with the underlying beat chugging along nicely. ‘Jeeper Creeper’ is so lushly funky it should have a health warning attached to it. The slinky but propulsive bassline, combined with the short, fierce organ trills manages to drive the piece forward at a good pace yet still give an overall relaxed feel to a song that in less capable hands could well have been a frenetic mess.
The bass part on ‘Making Time’ may justifiably have you thinking about The BeeGees, bearing a close resemblance to the one from ‘Staying Alive’ as it does. No bad thing though on the nearest the album has to a 1980s disco/rock hybrid (dig that guitar screeching away from George Lewis Jr. just before the three minute point as well). The contemplative and insistent ‘Lovesick’, track number six, calls to mind the Steve Miller Band, particularly with the effects applied to the vocals and the welter of trumpet near the end of the song gives a nod towards the likes of Miles Davis. Things go all Anchorman on the album’s title track as jazz flute is the order of the day, amidst a swirling and disorienting wash of cymbals and sleigh bells before the album ends on a blissed out, head bobbing note in the shape of the seven minute ‘Caparundi’, all phased trumpets & flutes and wah-wah’d guitar. Keep listening to this until Summer comes back and you’ll get through the next couple of months okay.