Music Review | posted 13.02.2015
Ibeyi
Ibeyi
XL Records, 2015
Text Pippo Kuhzart , Translation Julia Frohn
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7.1
Editorial
Cover Ibeyi - Ibeyi

Parents like it, girlfriends like it. »Ibeyi« consists of lots of things that actual music lovers despise on first sight: a touch of Nelly Furtado, the naivety, the flowers. So why the hell should you like it, too? Because there’s more to explore than harmless hand-holding on a field of flowers, even though not much more comes across at the first listen. The lyrics, on the other hand, speak a different language; not to mention the fact that the twins sometimes sing in English, sometimes in their Nigerian-Cuban dialect Yoruba. Amongst other topics, their sister’s death is being coped with. And their father’s, Miguel »Anga« Díaz, who used to be the percussionist for Buena Vista Social Club. When missing him translates into »mama says, there is no life without him«, it sounds nothing but earnest and heartfelt. Especially when being followed by »It pisses me off, it drives me mad that she lets herself feel so bad«. Here, at the latest, it becomes clear that this isn’t just another perfectly styled ethno-pop-record trying to fill the shoes of FKA Twigs. Instead, it’s a record created by two sisters who try to overcome their losses and also find a place to belong between the cultures. From the drums and the bass, you can hear European sounds shimmering through (the sisters live in Paris), while the melodies remind us of West-African folk and Caribbean joy. And still, the record lacks a certain density – there’s too much empty space between the various influences. These holes leave us with the impression that the twins’ musical vision is not mature enough, yet. However, if they manage to fill these spaces, they’ll be more than just a recommendation for parents and female housemates.

You can find »Ibeyi« by Ibeyi+ at hhv.de on LP
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