Sound Advice: Sinkane with Steven A. Clark

Sunday • MOTR Pub

What do Caribou, of Montreal, Born Ruffians, Eleanor Friedberger and Yeasayer have in common? Besides a propensity for edgy Electro Pop, they’ve all collaborated with Ahmed Gallab —better known as Sinkane — to add a unique spice to their musical recipes.

In his solo career, Sinkane combines several connected yet disparate genre elements — Funk, Afropop, Soul, Jazz, Psychedelia, Krautrock — creating a silky, sensual sonic experience that seeps into your pores like a healing balm while simultaneously inspiring you to dance with dervish-like intensity.

Born in London, Gallab’s college-professor parents moved to Sudan when he was 5, but the country’s 1989 military coup resulted in his activist father’s exile. Relocating to the United States, the family settled in Ohio (Kent initially, and then Columbus). When he was 18, Gallab became enamored with Columbus’ Punk/Hardcore scene and started exploring his musical options, eventually moving to Brooklyn, N.Y.

In 2007, Sinkane self-released his debut, Sinisterals, a lushly propulsive EP comprised of one track (the 21-minute title song). In 2008, the multi-instrumentalist did session work with Dan Snaith, the braintrust behind Caribou, and became the band’s touring drummer. He also signed with Emergency Umbrella Records for his Color Voice EP. The following year, Sinkane dropped his self-titled debut full-length, a Psych-tinged, Afropop-meets-Shoegaze masterwork at the nexus of Fela Kuti and My Bloody Valentine.

In 2012, Sinkane released his sophomore solo set, the chilled-out but engaging Mars, and the following year found him teaching his song “Runnin’” to Usher and The Afghan Whigs and performing it with them at South By Southwest.

Sinkane’s third album, last year’s Mean Love, is an incredible synthesis of Sinkane’s lifetime of creative absorption, cross-pollinating his rainbow of influences into an amazing hybrid that suggested Sade if she’d been steered by the likes of Solomon Burke and Curtis Mayfield. Sinkane focuses his Sudanese heritage and his American experience through an imaginative musical lens for a sound that stirs souls and asses with equal passion.

Click here for more info on Sinkane's free show at MOTR.

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