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DAVE OKUMU

Dave Okumu & The 7 Generations

I Came From Love

    Okumu released his first solo record Knopperz in 2021; an instrumental concept album based on pianist Duval Timothy’s 2017 album Sen AmIt was friend and mentor Lexxx who sparked the soul searching that kicked off his next record after he told Okumu that he was trying to explain who Okumu was but struggled to summarise his vast catalogue.

    “There are all these ways into these aspects of who I am and I felt like he was saying, it would be so cool if you could find out how to say who you are in a comprehensive way”. Okumu took on that challenge and in response devised his sophomore release I Came From Love, a tapestry of Black experience that explores ancestry, the legacy of slavery, what it means to exist in an unjust society, and Okumu’s own family history.  

    The album writing and demoing process began in January 2021 at Lexxx’s East Sussex studio The Barn, while early recordings were completed at Okumu’s studio with Tom Skinner on drums, and Nick Ramm on keys, and Aviram Barath on synths. On I Came From Love, Okumu calls on a star-studded array of guests, including Eska, Kwabs, Wesley Joseph, Robert Stillman, Anthony Joseph, Byron Wallen, Raven Bush, and Grace Jones.

    Rather than release solely under his name, Okumu has chosen the moniker ‘Dave Okumu & the 7 Generations’, which Okumu sees as “my actual ancestors, the ancestors of others, my musical ancestors, and my descendants”. Sonically the album hits a kaleidoscopic frenzy of notes, rocketing through bass heavy rhythms, neo soul-tinged cries and frenetic spoken word passages.

    The album is a body of work presented in chapters; “You Survived So I Might Live” [tracks 1-4], “The Intolerable Suffering Of (The) Other” [5-8], “Seduced By Babylon” (9-11), and “Cave Of Origins” (12-14).

    TRACK LISTING

    Two Things
    7 Generations
    Blood Ah Go Run Streets
    My Negritude
    The Cost
    Prison
    Black Firework
    Scenes
    Amnesia
    Get Out
    The Struggle
    Eyes On Me
    Abaka
    A Paradise

    Joan As Police Woman & Tony Allen & Dave Okumu

    The Solution Is Restless

      Of the album Joan Wasser says :
      Damon Albarn introduced me to Afrobeat legend, Tony Allen, at the March 2019 Africa Express event “The Circus” and we hit it off. Tony and I played a version of Nina Simone's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" and decided to record together. I asked my old friend and fierce musician, Dave Okumu, to join from London and that November, in a Parisian studio, we improvised all night. When the world shut down, I used those recordings to write a record entitled “The Solution Is Restless”. This first single, “Take Me To Your Leader”, is the most incendiary on the new record. I wrote it watching Jacinda Ardern, PM of New Zealand, navigate 2020. In my dreamworld, the US asks to meet her in order to learn how to better run the country. “Take me to your leader/ ‘cause I’m ready to play/ can’t hold my breath any longer/ word on the street is she’s a healer/ I’m know I’m down to obey/ and don’t we need a break in the chaos”

      Tony Allen was the drummer and musical director of Fela Kuti’s band Africa '70 from 1968 to 1979, and was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat. Fela once stated that, "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat” and he was described by Brian Eno as "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived". Besides many other musical milestones and collaborations, in recent years Tony teamed up with Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon and Simon Tong to form The Good, the Bad & the Queen.

      Dave Okumu is best known for fronting the Mercury Music Prize band The Invisible and more recently announcing the release of a solo album ‘Knopperz’ due for release in September.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. The Barbarian
      2. Get My Bearings (feat. Damon Albarn)
      3. Take Me To Your Leader
      4. Masquerader
      5. Dinner Date
      6. Enter The Dragon
      7. Geometry Of You
      8. The Love Has Got Me
      9. Perfect Shade Of Blue
      10. Reaction 

      Debut solo album from Dave Okumu - who you probably don't know from producing and guesting on projects with Arlo Parks, St. Vincent, Tony Allen and Jesse Ware (amongst others). You might recognize him as singer and guitarist from the Mercury nominated band, The Invisible.

      However this isn't anything like anything he's made before. An ode to early electronica, downbeat and instrumental hip-hop, it combines elements of glitch, boom-bap, and warped sample heaven to create something with soul, identity and, more important, something that'll sound amazing in your living room as the dark nights draw in.

      Playing with a tantalizingly organic palette of sounds, it's jazz-indebted, with lots of dusty piano, upright bass and brushed drums strung up with an elastic, head-bobbing groove which I can't workout is some expert MPC trickery or some other kind of beat-production voodoo. Either way it pulls you in and out, fast and slower as it nods through its movements and is a guaranteed H I T for anyone with penchant for stoner, instrumental hip-hop in the vein of Madlib, J Dilla and Your Old Droog. 


      TRACK LISTING

      Intro
      Son Of Emmerson
      Ballpark
      Trouble
      New Dawn
      Brother
      Reprise
      RTN
      Don’t Die


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