(Stones Throw Records)
Sometimes, when I hear a new band that I instantly love, it's like finding a new girl in the old days, when I did that, You know that feeling. I wanted to tell everyone and I didn't want anyone to know anything at all. I just wanted to be with her by myself. To get under her skin before she got under my skin or whatever it is the all grown up Leon Bridges says about that sort of stuff. Eventually Miss CM had to be told. When I heard Sudan Archives for the first time, I just felt at first like I didn't want to share that, but it's all too, too great to resist the telling.
The music business, the business of music so risible, so desperately homogenous. There have been no outsiders in the music business ever, there are no outsiders in music or art. I know I've been told in no uncertain times that if you are on the outside, on the periphery then you don't exist. There are the people in the business, and the people who are not.
Happily then, there are distributors like Routenote, for small time operators who do not charge to list your music in all of the large online music archives in the world. It's still not great if no one is going to listen to it, but it's a start. Then there's Bandcamp. In the past year I've found more great music for me, on Bandcamp than anywhere else. And dipping back into Bandcamp the other day I chanced upon the new recording from Sudan Archives, relentlessly refreshing, original and exciting. I was drawn instantly by the iconographic graphic design for sure. And the lovely backstory and then the music lived up to all that. Wow!
Sudan Archives writes, plays, and produces her own music. Hers is the voice and the fiddle. Drawing inspiration from Sudanese fiddlers, she is self-taught on the violin, and her unique songs incorporate elements of R&B, and experimental electronic music.
She was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. When she discovered the violin playing style of Northeast Africa, her eyes opened to the possibilities of the instrument. "The way they played it was different from classical music. I resonated with the style, and I was like, 'Maybe I can use this style with electronic music,'" she says.
I love all the low-fi origination. No excuses. Originally she would just sing straight into the iPad. She moved to Los Angeles to study music and it took a chance meeting which led to her signing with Stones Throw records. Her first EP drew rich critical acclaim and now her latest EP sink, is just well, breathtakingly audacious and beautiful blend of beats and voices and strings. I't super accessible despite it's experimental antecedents and thats what make it all sound so new. One of the great records of the year for sure.
Hear Sudan Archives on Bandcamp