Ian Eagleson and Alex Minoff of DC-based Golden — a group responsible for such chunky instrumental tracks as "Records Is For Assholes," "The Quim Adjuster," and (sorry) "Cleveland Steamer" — have come a long way indeed. The best Afrobeat-indie rock meltdown I've ever heard, OK-Oyot System ("it's not easy" in Kenya's Luo language) achieves a scruffy perfection by its third (and title) track. That's when the borders dividing the wonderful singer-guitarist Otieno Jagwasi and drummer Onyano Wuod Omari, of the Nairobi-based benga group Orchestra Extra Solar Africa, and their American friends dissolve into music that bubbles as intensely as it broods. The album opens and closes with loping, dozen-minute tracks. In-between, the Golden boys prove themselves magnificent mopers on "It's Not Easy" and syrupy "Tussin and Fightin'," which they perform alone. By the time it's over, what may have begun as an academic exercise turns out to be an emotional elegy: Otieno died of HIV-related liver failure in 2005.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 10.04.12 in Collections
After 20 years, Thrill Jockey is still nearly synonymous with the Chicago mid-'90s post-rock scene – an avant-garde crew that in broad terms includes Tortoise, Trans Am and the Sea And Cake. The imprint has also been hom...
By Mike McGonigal on 04.22.11 in Reviews
It's surprisingly tough to find musical collaborations between Western and African musicians that aren't stiff-sounding, no matter how well-intentioned they are. Cross-cultural/cross-continental experiments that...
By Richard Gehr on 09.28.09 in Reviews
Anyone who can't help but hear euphoric echoes of vintage American improvised rock in Afropop's entwined quicksilver guitars will flip their snood over Extra Golden's latest. After two albums and one long (an...
By Richard Gehr on 01.03.15 in Features
The couple talks about their playful new album 'Savage Imagination.'