Release Date: Nov 13, 2012
Record label: DFA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Dance
SINKANE opens for Yeasayer on November 9 at the Danforth Music Hall. See listing. Rating: NNNN For the better part of this year I've had the remix of Sinkane's Runnin by Daphni (Dan Snaith) on loop. The original version is lush and raw, all wah-wah guitar and pleasant atonality gleaned from Sinkane's Sudanese roots.
SinkaneMars[DFA; 2012]By Rob Hakimian; November 7, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetBefore delving into Mars, the debut release from Sinkane, you will possibly have already heard a number of facts about the artist. Sinkane is the stage name of Ahmad Gallab, a Sudanese-born musician based in New York; he has toured with the likes of Yeasayer and Caribou, and is now signed to dance-friendly label DFA. All of these give you a fairly good idea of what Mars sounds like, but the final piece of the puzzle comes from the album’s cover art; on a golden-sanded beach, backed by crystal blue water, Gallab stands casually in nothing but shorts and sunglasses, nonchalantly smiling and giving the ‘peace sign’ to the camera.
Biography can be overstated when evaluating an artist's work, but Ahmed Gallab's story is key to understanding his music. The Sudanese son of two college professors, he moved to the United States with his family at the age of five to escape the country's fomenting political violence of the late 1980s. The family moved around a bit, and Gallab eventually settled in Columbus, Ohio, when he was 18, where he fell in with the city's hardcore punk music community.
It’s hard to doubt Ahmad Gallab’s credentials: he’s worked as a touring multi-instrumentalist for Caribou, Yeasayer and of Montreal among others and, on this debut album for his Sinkane project, there are contributions from the likes of Twin Shadow, Yeasayer and Afrobeat band Nomo.And at times on ‘Mars’, a groove heavy and colourfully sunshine-filled record, you hear all of these influences weave themselves into a rich tapestry.Yet despite all these influences the record is very much about Gallab. He is essentially a one-man band, playing at least four instruments on every track. And his back-story also seems key to the album’s creation.