Since everybody and their hippie uncle who downloaded some Fela Kuti tracks started jumping on the Afrobeat bandwagon, NOMO decided to jump off for Ghost Rock, and it sounds like the right way to go. The kickin’ West African rhythmic pulse is still here, but they’ve dropped the obvious Africa 70 signifiers, with some percussive help from heavy-hitters Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph.
The horn parts now echo the group members’ favourite free and spiritual jazz joints while moving in and out of the percolating gamelan-style bells and gongs and synth blurping. It’s not unlike some of what was coming out of Germany in the early 70s, when Krautrock and prog bands began to dabble in sounds from Africa and the Middle East, although NOMO should brace themselves for screwy critical comparisons to Konono No. 1.
NOMO blast their way into the El Mocambo Tuesday (July 8).