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. The remix is acidic, streamlined, reverberating techno, with a particularly caffeinated climax. Initially, they seem like opposites, though the remix is faithfully funky.
Sinkane (aka Ahmed Gallab) is a still-rising, multi-instrumentalist whiz kid who's worked with Of Montreal, Yeasayer and Caribou (Snaith's main project). The brazenly ambitious musician plays almost everything on his thickly orchestrated solo debut album. Bits sound familiar, but the whole is its own thing: a mix of Afropop tropes, washed-out vocals, deviant harmonies and variant rhythms meticulously arranged into something like East African surf pop.
It's studiously derivative - see the dusty, meditative groove of Jeeper Creeper - and indignantly fun (Love Sick). A diasporic pop beacon for those of us from neither here nor there.
Top track: Love Sick