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ARTIST
TITLE
Negore
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
AVM 079LP AVM 079LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
7/26/2024

Negore is the second album by the Kenya-based duo Odd Odokko. After their debut Auma (PING 068LP) saw percussionist Sven Kacirek work with pre-existing recordings of singer and instrument builder Olith Ratego, the two opted for a similar approach for the ten pieces to preserve the expressiveness of the latter's performance. Further contributions by sound artist KMRU and Angel Bat Dawid on bass clarinet expand the duo's sonic palette which draws on the dodo music of the Luo people and enriches it with percussive, melodic, and occasionally electronic means. The record's title translates to "petroleum lamp," signifying the transition from day to night -- when the time has come to dance. In this decidedly joyful spirit, Negore is dedicated to transitions and venturing into the future. Ratego's interpretation of the folk tradition is expressly contemporary, while Kacirek uses a rich variety of avant-garde and advanced electronic music techniques to propel it even further. Preceded by their first tour since the world first came to a grinding halt in early 2020, Negore marks a new beginning, but remains faithful to the unconventional working process of the two and the continuously surprising results it yields. With the exception of the track "Ochuya," for which Kacirek wrote a sketch in advance for Ratego to work with, the entire album is based on recordings of the singer that were made in a Nairobi studio. Accompanied by the sound of his odokko, a lyre that Ratego built inspired on the Luo instrument nyatiti, his highly expressive -- boundlessly anthemic in one moment, introspective and almost mournful in the other -- vocal performance is subtly accentuated and complemented by Kacirek on marimba, vibraphone, prepared piano percussion, drums or even programmed rhythms. The songs on Negore were written in Ratego's native Luo language and deal with subjects such as love, destiny, and perseverance. It serves as an introduction to his world, faith, and life in a rural community near Lake Victoria. It's hyper-specific and universal at the same time, much like the music that forms its foundation.