First Look Friday: Benamin & Sly5thAve Are IGBO + "CHANT" Premiere
Beatsmith Benamin and saxophonist Sly5thAve have joined forces under the mononym of IGBO – a word of cultural import whose utterance encourages emphatic statement, absolute pride and mystic beauty – to ready the world for their forthcoming self-titled collaborative project. The project brings the pair together following their respective acclaimed projects – Benamin’s Beats And Thangs and Sly5thAve’s AKUMA – to deliver an explosive mash of melody, might and sonic sophistication that pushes the envelope pried open by the advent of fusion and jazz-funk.
Following the August release of “ENTRANCE THEME” – their golden brown and distinctly bright appetizer of an opening theme – the pair return today to premiere their follow-up track “CHANT.” A triumphant boogie laden statement of purpose, the track channels Return To Forever‘s brash experimentalism and the beauty of Bobbi Humphrey‘s “Harlem River Drive” into a composition that is fiercely singular and fearlessly dope.
An off-kilter post-Dilla swing anchors the track’s dense percussive foundation – a rhythmic hodge-podge that is as much an homage to Brazil’s vaulted samba schools as it is A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Butter” – framing the plush vocal harmonies, parallel sax lines and otherworldly synth work that can be found burning rubber all over the Beats And Thangs project from Benamin. For Sly5thAve this is the rebirth to the elegiac ode to self-discovery and the tonal language of his ancestors that was his AKUMA LP. Eager to unleash the hybridized results of their creative partnership, the duo primes fans for their impending project with a proper introduction:
IGBO was born with the intention of creating funky, hard hitting, melodic music with attitude and tasteful arrangements; inspired by pioneers of the jazz-funk and fusion era. The group is the brainchild of producer/songwriter BENAMIN, and saxophonist/composer prodigy SLY5thAVE, who both play all of the instruments on the records. IGBO will soon release their debut, self-titled EP, and unveil their four piece, ass kicking, grooving live show.
Check out the short interview with IGBO below. Scroll up to listen to the debut stream of “CHANT.” Purchase the “ENTRANCE THEME” single via Bandcamp. Stay tuned for more from IGBO.
Okayplayer: How you and sly came together to collaborate on IGBO?
IGBO: A while back, we were collaborating on various personal projects, brought together by mutual friends, and realized that we had a similar musical vision and a desire to share it with the world. Each of us handles different aspects of the production process, its a good balance, so it made a lot of sense when we started writing songs together.
OKP: Speak a bit about the significance of the name IGBO?
I: IGBO references one of the most ancient tribes of people in the world; an important, unique culture that stems back thousands of years, symbolizing the origins of music and life itself. We have adopted it as an acronym for the tropical earth tones that represent our sound: Indigo Green Brown Orange.
OKP: How do you balance IGBO with your other respective projects
I: We don’t really think about a balance. We just try to get together and work as much as possible. It is a goal in both of our lives to work on the stuff that makes us excited and happy.
OKP: How did this track chant come together?
I: We set up shop in a basement of a house in the Catskill Mountains of New York and recorded for three days, recording “Chant” and a couple other tunes.