Kokoko! - Fongola
Jul 8, 2019
Mixing gritty synthy noises with traditional rhythmic African drumming is a really cool idea, but unfortunately Kokoko! falls a little short in that they don't have a lot going on for them aside from that.

Now, I have nothing against albums where every track sounds hella similar. One of my favorite albums is Instruments Disorder, and you can't get much more indistinguishable between tracks than that. When an album has a really solid concept and executes said concept excellently, it makes for a very holistic experience, but when an idea isn't anything to write home about or the execution is off, the whole thing kinda falls apart. The latter is how I'd describe Fongola.

While there are moments that work more than others certainly ("Buka Dansa" most notably), they hardly stand out enough to feel like a change of pace or anything. I think for me it's a matter of the execution just not being experimental or energetic enough to feel like a solid enough groove throughout nor is it subdued enough to feel trancelike.

I'd be excited to see what these guys go after in the future with their sound, but their execution isn't nearly sustainable enough to do their fascinating ideas justice.
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