18/03/2020Koichi Sakai & Afla Sackey Release Debut Collaborative Full-Length On Olindo Records

With so many great collaborative projects surfacing the world around, this one had us locked in from the start. It was actually the magnificent artwork by Berlin-based artist Denis Faneites that reeled us in and then of course the Olindo Records seal of quality (see also Betsayda Machado, Isaac Sasson and Insólito UniVerso). But back to "Wono". 

Building on the success of their eponymous 2019-released EP with remixes by the likes of grandmaster Osunlade and Venezuela's Pocz, Tokyo-born and London-based DJ/producer/musician Koichi Sakai and the multi-talented Ghana-born master percussionist/singer/band leader/teacher/songwriter Afla Sackey have extended their collaborative effort to produce a seven-track LP. 

"'Wono' means 'It's Ours' in Ga. As in that which you desire, will be yours in time, even if you do not possess it now. So don't rush brother, patience is a virtue," the description reads. Coincidentally, this seems to be just the right message coming at the right time, as is the music. As the world remains on lockdown and people 'confined' within their own four walls, great soundtracks are just what the doctor prescribed. 

Koichi's modern electronic explorations blend perfectly with Afla's rhythmic and vocal creativity. Opening with some wicked drum'n'flute patterns and serious range on "Atenteben Blues", "Wono" adds catchy vocals and spheric club beats before "Yamb" takes a step back, giving us time to reflect on the sounds of "master Kora player" Kadialy Kouyate. "Rebirth" is a Space-Odyssey-type interlude that paves the way for "the acid-infused, slow house workout" that is "Niege", followed by a shorter version of the previously released "Jingo" and, last but not least, the happy-go-lucky new generation Highlife vibes of "Suolo". Rest assured, once you reach the finish line, you're going to want to reboot and start over again. 

You can buy/stream the "Wono" LP below and remember, good things come to those who wait. 

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom