For AfroZone’s debut release, Raz & Afla reunite with an inimitable two-tracker that resounds the sub-label’s vision in perfect elocution.
AZ001 is the label’s genesis as they always imagined it to be. Educing from their tried, tested and proven transcontinental chemistry, the Hackney-based producer and Ghanian musical maestro render their Benwa Marafi EP, a forward-thinking manifestation of Afro House that breathes the past in unison with the present.
Organic percussion, convictive tribal drumming and bright, gritty strings pulsate life into the 7:12 minute journey, while Senegalese inspired vocals siphon soulfulness that ground man to earth, and earth within the body. Quixotic melodies, airy riffs tread Benwa Marafi’s sensual rhythm while elegant electronic tweaks and effervescent synths lend a subtle cosmic touch that unravels a celestial perspective from which earth is one entity. An impassioned plea out of love and despair, a deliberate chorus of hope into syncretic conviction, Benwa Marafi’s exudes rich tapestries of ethnic sounds, made by man, some, machine, echoing the universality of Afro House and the universe within Afro House.
Shake It Mama rounds off the EP, shaking loose and breaking beat in a vast acoustic space, wallowing in a kaleidoscope of Afro-infused raw materials, mechanical modulations and funky sonic juxtapositions. This 4:03 minute track is a mental trip for locomotive desires, teeming with faded reverberations, ominous harmonies and glossy resonance self-fulfilling on ecstatic bass lines and body-binding rhythms.