I had previously reviewed Falle Nioke’s single ‘Wonama yo ema’, a collaboration with Swedish musician sir Was, and that was a gentle river of a track. But on ‘Leywole’ we get to dive into deeper, darker waters courtesy of a collaboration with electronic artist Ghost Culture.

‘Leywole’ means ‘whatever’ in Coniagui (one of the many languages Nioke speaks including French, English, Susu, Fulani and Malinke) and he says “I was inspired just by watching men and women in the street, in particular an interaction between a strong woman rejecting the approach from a bold man,”…”‘How can this man have the audacity to talk to me?!” she says and asks him questions like ‘and you are the son of who?!’“.

The track has an edgy quality that comes from this kind of abrasive interaction between people. Low growling vocals and a deep bass note sit underneath the song, and percussion bubbles along like sandpaper and arcade games, synth washes sit in the middle and Falle Nioke’s beguiling half-rap, half-spoken voice dodges in-between everything, almost as if he is trying to understand, but avoid, the conflict he describes.

The track is taken from the Badiare EP which is out in November and something I am keenly waiting for based on hearing ‘Leywole’. Falle Nioke is also playing live in the UK in August and October (dates below).

Falle Nioke live:

7th August – London, Visions Festival

28th August – Lincolnshire, Lost Village Festival

2nd October – Ipswich, Sound City

16th October – Margate, Caring is Creepy

Review by Paul F Cook

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