Rina Mushonga - In A Galaxy
Feb 15, 2019
74
There is a constant bustling just below the surface of Rina Mushonga's music. Layers of synths build upon one another to create detailed sonic tapestries. Her music feels dislocated from a single place; she uses such a variety of noises and instruments that it is difficult to pinpoint an origin to her music. What is at the center of this technicolor world is Mushonga's powerful voice and thoughtful lyrics. She absorbs culture, reorganizes it, and presents it as her own. It is a liberating move as she is unconcerned with fitting a particular convention of the genre. Her music feels free and expansive.

I like how this album presents the world as a single, nearly unified place. 'In A Galaxy' does a nice job at playing with the distance between people. She manages to make the world seem relatively small compared to the entire universe. What creates distance is not physical space, but miscommunications and closed minds. You could be standing right next to someone and still feel miles away without a connection. '4qtrs' also utilizes distance interestingly as it links time and space as one measurement. I like this conflation as it shows how we often think of the past as a physical line we move away from certain points as we progress towards the future.

I like the themes of this album more than the listening experience of the record. There is almost so much going on that it becomes opaque. While the album sounds great, there are moments where Mushonga gets lost in the brightness of the background. I wanted to be more into this album than I was. I will continue to listen to see if it grows on me.
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