N’dekho (which translates as ‘cousins’) is the new musical project from Falle Nioke and Joe Goddard a magnificent collaboration that brings together West African folk and London electronics. Nioke is from Guinea and speaks a mere eight languages and Goddard (who also produced the track) will be no stranger to fans of Hot Chip, the band he founded in 2000.
The first track released by N’dekho is ‘Exile’ which bounces in on an undulating rhythm of synth pulses over the tsk-tsk-slap of an 808. Keyboards bring tidal swells and elastic band twangs and it’s an electronic landscape where of Falle Nioke’s exceptional voice is like a sun shining down. His voice, and the inherent poetry of his delivery, sits somewhere between melting butter combined with the strength of tungsten.
Nioke says of the track’s theme” I am singing to my brothers. It is about the sadness I feel leaving my home country because of a lack of opportunity there and being unable to return home for a long time.” He sings, “Exile is not easy, Miles away from my family, Brothers and sisters.”
If there was such a category as ambient electronic dancehall, then this would fit right in and it’s a great herald for the second track ‘Lonely’ which will be released next month through the Greco-Roman label (of which Joe Goddard is one of the founders).
Review by Paul F Cook