Fronted by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro. The album title Uyai means “beauty” in Ibibio language and refers to the strength and free spirit of women in general and, in particular, the courage of the women in Eno’s family, to whom she often refers in her writing. “It is a continuation of Ibibio Sound Machine’s story in which the worlds of West African highlife and electronic London collide via the storytelling lyrical thread of frontwoman Eno Williams’ vocals in the Ibibio language of Nigeria,” the band explains. “There is a darker, edgier quality to the sound that maybe reflects the difficult journey the band took from making the first album to completing the second one. The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.” Weird and wonderful folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band’s unique musical tapestry is woven. Evocative poetic imagery and empowering messages set against an edgy, Afro-Electro soundscape give the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe.


VARIOUS ARTISTS, T2 Transpotting (CD)


Gene’s Classical Corner:

BARTOK/CEDRIC TIBERGHIEN, Sonata For Two Pianos & Percussion (CD)
Had Alfred Cortot recorded Bartók the results may have sounded a little like this: in other words, rhythmically free, colourful and frequently visited by a palpable sense of improvisation, the latter attribute very much Cédric Tiberghien’s way. Idiomatic, though? Not so much. To quote another of Bartók’s piano works, the Three Burlesques, in Tiberghien’s hands the Piano Sonata’s first movement sounds rather more than ‘a little bit tipsy’ – ‘just plain sozzled’ would be nearer the mark. Though not quite as doggedly individualistic as Andreas Bach, it’s oddly hesitant, as if attempting to temper the music’s native violence with added flexibility. Tiberghien’s very personal manner of playing is more effective in the second movement and in the racy, wildly dancing finale.