One tune that really excited me
Lengueno is a joint effort by French producer duo Synapson and singer Pongo. The outcome of the multi-national collaboration is the perfect danceable track between electronica and dancehall. The instrumental arrangement is already dynamic and driving but Pongo’s vocals add the missing ingredient. Lengueno follows the singer’s EP Uwa which she released earlier this year. On it the musician explores the kuduro sound of Angola fusing everything from samba to techno to energy-laden dance anthems. Lengueno follows a similar dynamic and upbeat groove.
One wonderful discovery
A close follow up to the tune that excited me this month is Sima Noon. I came across the singer and rapper from Israel a few weeks back and her debut album is an absolutely immersive listen. Packed with similar female energy as Pongo, the artist spits rhymes in Hebrew over heavy hip hop beats, some reminiscent of 90s rap, some more on the trap spectrum. Sima Noon is the rapper alter ego of Sima Brami who has been leading the punk band Not On Tour for ten years. She maintains the tongue-in-cheek attitude in this project and sings about anything from a love song to punk rock to political content. Even on the record, which is clearly rap, the artist’s vocals have the certain no-fucks-given punk vibe. I guess here the two genres, rap and punk, are not that different after all. Sima Noon’s musical effort is not just a confidence booster for the occasional strut to the supermarket in pandemic times but also an incentive to dabble in other languages. Listening to this record definitely made me want to learn a little Hebrew and to dive deeper into the Israeli music scene.
One thing that really annoyed me
This month I chose to not listen to anything that annoyed me. With everything going on around us at the moment, the second wave of the pandemic hitting hard, combined with the incoming seasonal depression, I surrounded myself with music that fuels me with energy and passion. There are so many great artists out there that I will spare you from a musical rant this month (don’t worry there will be plenty coming in I just need to seep through my mail inbox to find another dull cis-het male one, two, three, four-piece with uninventive melodies). But especially in hard times it is important to try to channel positivity on every possible level. We cannot influence everything going on around us, but we can influence what we listen to. So, this month nothing but badass female energy and here is another track worth listening to by Yemenite-Israeli sister trio A-WA fusing folklore elements with contemporary electronic and hip-hop beats.
One thing that really surprised me
Speaking of badass female energy.. I never thought I would say the words, but I have been listening to an artist from the current Top 10. Cardi B’s WAP has already made its way through many mediums and would certainly be played at all parties if there were any but I am still not done with the track. Cardi B also inspired be to revisit my old-school hip-hop playlist with fierce females like Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, Monie Love, and Lil’ Kim. So yeah, I surprised myself listening to Cardi B but in the end, it is not as far-fetched as it appears.
Just a random thought
Since we are on a row here, I’ll add one more female rapper to the list. Brazilian artist Cynthia Luz is hardly a discovery but worth mentioning here as I have also spent much of my month of October with her raw vocals on my headphones. Her 2019 album Efeito Violeta has been on repeat a few times and if you do not know her you should definitely go check it out. The artist even manages to incorporate bluesy vibes on Gota Amarga and turns a piano lament into a trap-infused beat.
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