Listening to ‘Leywole’, the first track on Falle Nioke’s new release Badaire EP, you’re instantly hit with a chant-like beckoning that’d fit in nicely on the soundtrack to Dune. Bold and atmospheric, it sets the tone for an engaging and dynamic listen that doesn’t disappoint.
Working alongside UK artist Ghost Culture, Nioke’s vocals are at the forefront of this release. With low, bassy tones and a call-and-response atmosphere, the EP opens with an immediately intriguing sound. Soon, the vocals blossom into a synth-driven beat, complete with digital trip hop snares and West African influences. It’s this melding of genres and textures that stands out; throughout the EP, traditional and modern influences weave together seamlessly, creating a clear and confident musical voice.
This blending of sounds is really quite distinctive. ‘Spiritually’ shines by mixing West African drum patterns with off-beat high hats and snares to create a unique and constant sense of movement. ‘Jaarama’ – the softest track on the release – utilises synth arpeggios, swelling and crashing under rhythmic vocal chanting and emotive lyricism. And the final number ‘Ayekouma’ throws pulsating techno beats under a looping, addictive vocal line. Walking the line somewhere between ambience and club music, the whole EP is danceable but roomy, groovy but not generic – does that make any sense?
With a clear and vivid sound, Nioke brings together old and new in a refreshing and captivating way on Badaire EP. As a whole, the release reads as the work of an artist capable of bringing a vast array of influences, cultures and histories together to form a singular, accessible and entertaining end result. Refreshingly put together and impeccably performed, Badaire EP is a small-but-nifty release.