#Trending in the World of Mike: SK Kakraba – “Yonye”

A quick look at “the ‘Cogs” suggests this record is undervalued… their loss, cuz this thing is great. At first I thought listening to the complex, rewarding compositions was kinda like solving a math equation in my head, except I didn’t have to think hard. You think I’d ever do math for fun? No, I’d rather just simulate the experience. According to the liner notes, that’s a very white American way to perceive this music, b/c in its native country of Ghana these songs inspire all-day parties of dancing. The title of the record translates to “Travel & See” in the artist’s native tongue, referring to his travels from Ghana all the way to Los Angeles, which his Bandcamp page lists as his current residence. I bought this LP direct from there.

I admit it – I typically don’t dance when I listen to music. And the best “dancing” I can manage anyway is jumping around crazily to something high-energy & even at that I’m clumsy. This record sure has a lot of notes, & at first to me that was all that was necessary; in a way it was similar in my mind to releases like “Sonorant” by Koeosaeme. String together a ton of notes according to some precise internal logic & I’m sold; I don’t need to know anything else. I thought the artist was maybe some sort of composer, but reading the insert suggested this particular LP is 100% traditional. I was just like the American the artist describes in the liner notes, enjoying this music in an analytical way sitting in my armchair feeling mentally stimulated, but eventually it did hit me deeper.

This music isn’t just some dense pattern of notes to stimulate yr brain, the tone of the percussion is deeply healing, almost holy. The track “Nuntari E-Pourfu” in particular is straight-up ecstatic. Spinning this on my record player on a Sunday night, I felt enveloped by a sense of warmth. This music cradled me out of a state of heavy depression; I’m sure it has the power to do the same to anyone else willing to open their mind & their heart to it. I enjoy this music quite a lot.

The only link to this album I can find is via Bandcamp. Here it is.

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