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IbeyiIbeyi (pronounced ee-bey-ee) means "twins" in the language of the Yoruban culture
of Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz. The album of the same name, produced by
XL Recordings boss Richard Russell, is the story of two sisters: their relationship,
their origins, their shared history and their musical chemistry.
The twins' roots are reflected in the polyglot nature of the lyrics - in English,
French and Yoruban - and music which combines ritual chants with synths and
samplers, jazz vocals with the spellbinding mystery of Björk and Fever Ray, the
traditional with the modern. This uniquely cosmopolitan sound is the perfect
vehicle for their intimately personal stories. According to them, "This album is
about love and family and people who are gone."
Lisa-Kainde and Naomi (the eldest by two minutes) were born in Paris, where
they still live, but spent their first two years in Cuba. Their father was Miguel
"Anga" Diaz, the member of the Buena Vista Social Club, who was acclaimed as
the greatest conga player.
Record producer and XL Recordings boss Richard Russell first encountered
Ibeyi when he saw them performing "Mama Says" on a 2013 YouTube video. He
soon invited them to meet him - a serious offer from someone who in recent
years has produced albums by Gil Scott-Heron I'm New Here and Bobby Womack
The Bravest Man In The Universe (co-produced with Damon Albarn), as well
Albarn's own acclaimed 2014 solo album Everyday Robots.
The album is a subtle melange of diverse influences: not just Lisa-Kainde's soul
and jazz leanings and Naomi's up-to-the-minute beatmaking but the bloodlines
of France, Cuba and Africa, including the use of Yoruban chants they first heard in
the Santeria ceremonies. The tense, dramatic "Oya," the lead track on their debut
EP, addresses the deity (or "Orisha") of change and destruction while "River"
honours Oshun, the Orisha of love, rivers and fertility. Yoruban culture travelled
from Nigeria and Benin to Cuba and Brazil with the slave ships centuries ago but
is little-known in Europe.1. Eleggua (Intro)
5. Think Of You
6. Behind The Curtain
7. Stranger / Lover
8. Mama Says
12. Ibeyi (Outro)$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ash (Pre-Order)Ibeyi is set to release Ash via XL Recordings. Their first album, the eponymous Ibeyi, grappled with the past-the sister's relationship, origins, loss, and roots. It earned them fans and collaborators in some of the most iconic and crucial artists of today, BeyoncÉ, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre included. By contrast, Ash is a more visceral and potent political statement, and while firmly rooted in Afro-Cuban culture and history, finds itself entirely concerned with Ibeyi's present: Who Lisa-KaindÉ and Naomi are, what's important to them, and how they live today, especially given that the spheres, both personally and politically, are entirely different from when Ibeyi was recorded. It's also a testament to their cathartic live performances, where they're able to transmute a vast array of emotions-sorrow, anger, sensuality, happiness-to and through their fans.
Ash is also a study in deft electronic production. Ibeyi worked once again alongside XL head Richard Russell, a confidante, and friend, to produce Ash at his studio. "We absolutely wanted, 100%, to work with him again: It was not even a question," Lisa-KaindÉ says. "Richard is an amazing producer... wherever you want to go, he will guide you there. But it feels like you're playing with him. You're sharing ideas together and he has an amazing ear. It's like a flow, it's really easy." To that effect, Naomi adds: "It's like we produced the album too, actually, and it's a good feeling." Along with Russell's stylized production sensibilities, Ibeyi drew from a host of influences ranging from Kendrick Lamar, Jay Electronica, Meshell Ndegeocello, Erykah Badu and Nina Simone and beyond, to craft the wide-ranging musical landscape of Ash.1. I Carried This For Years
2. Away Away
3. Deathless (feat. Kamasi Washington)
4. I Wanna Be Like You
5. No Man Is Big Enough For My Arms
8. Transmission/Michaelion (feat. Meshell Ndegeocello)
9. Me Voy (feat. Mala Rodriguez
10. When Will I Learn (feat. Chilly Gonzales)
12. Ash$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now