Ibibio Sound Machine are the 8-piece dynamite led by London-raised Nigerian Eno Williams. Highlife, disco-funk, modern electro and post-punk is their elixir of life and this blend never ceases to brim with vision and energy. They have a tendency to produce a wild variety of dancefloor bangers, their songs moving between English and the Ibibio language of South-Eastern Nigeria, and have so far dropped two studio albums; Ibibio Sound Machine in 2014 and Uyai earlier this year. Here is our selection of ISM top tracks:
Give Me A Reason
A fizzling firecracker of a track that sets the pace to ISM’s latest record ‘Uyai’ . Complete with blasting horns, jiving guitar and frantic percussion, the track is a heartfelt lament speaking about the 276 Chibok school girls who were abducted three years ago, with 113 girls still unaccounted for.
A highlife groovebuster recorded for the Beating Heart Malawi Project set up by a collective of artists and enthusiasts (including Afriquoi, Lack of Afro, Throwing Shade and many more) who believe in the power of music to create a world without borders. The track uses samples of recordings compiled between the 1920s and 1970s across 18 Sub-Saharan countries.
A rare yet beautiful dip into the down-tempo. In the 5th track of recent album ‘Uyai’ the mood is darkened, the vocals are deep and reflective and the guitars take on an eerie ripple effect. Sit back and zone out.
80s disco bomb taken from their first studio album ‘Ibibio Sound Machine’ with semblances of Tim Maia-esque Brazilian funk. Here is their explosive live performance from Oya Festival Norway in 2015.
DJ Khalab & Baba Sissoko – Tata (Ibibio Sound Machine Remix)
This track “manoeuvres in funk territory, lathering Baba Sissoko’s iconic vocals atop a contagious bassline underbelly.” A wonderful remix for Italian producer DJ Khalab.
Let’s Dance (Yak Unek Inek)
Hit single from their debut album brimming with attitude and drive that established ISM’s status as a tried and tested remedy to bypassing any insecurities one may have about hitting the dance floor.
Unsung techno banger. An ominous, thumping track from the 2nd album with striking synths and a deep bassline tailor-made for dark, stuffy rooms and strobe lights.
The Hot 8 Brass Band – Sexual Healing (Ibibio Sound Machine Remix)
One for Sunday morning. A feel-good and wholly enriching version of Hot 8 Brass Band’s hit track.