Just waking up and everything sounding slower. Holes in the wall. The unknown in the familiar. The shock of the new. Just-turned rubble. Thick clouds of recall. Muted high-life, de-centered hip-hop, and disparate conversation. Heavy, sinking jazz and dissected infomercials. Too much chewing gum Not quite anything, or half of something. Reminds me of. Smells like…
Turkson Side is Africanus Okokon‘s first album. It is almost entirely sample-based, made largely within a simple, custom-made playback software with each track recorded in one take with very little editing. ‘Wrake‘ is the only exception, a recording of him playing an Ethopian krar inside his house. Africanus is no stranger to the label. Primarily a visual artist with background in video, animation, and collage, he’s designed most of Other People‘s recent site graphics and a number of release covers.
In part, this album as Okokon is a translation of a developed aesthetic to an unfamiliar medium. Like his collage and animation work , it’s rough-hewn yet deliberate, consciously inclusive of digital processing and sampling artifacts for their unique texture and visceral affect. Throw the means aside, though, and what you’ve got is an evocative collection of craggy, trance-inducing concréte-poetry that act equally well as soundscapes for late-night or early-morning.
‘Asphalt‘ starts things, a near-fifteen-minute multi-movement (if you will) piece that moves through zones of blasted commercial intro FX, alien telecast High-Life, gibberish spoken word, and xylophonic skeleton dance march music, lingering at every interstice. Shorter, more singular pieces follow, each swathing and detailing a particular rhythmic structure with choice loops: the detritus of film soundtracks, warped conversation, gain-pumped jazz-shuffles, and old, mystic drum tapes that glitch and squeeze through the software’s un-sanded synapses.