Gambia, Senegal, United Kingdom 16.7.2022 / 20:45 - 21:45
Drive stage

Sabar beats and Wolof rap, dystopian electronics and dub textures, in an earthy, urban, futurist, yet deep-rooted soundworld; Fofoulah (meaning "it's there" in Wolof) is a London-based group, featuring Senegalese vocalist, dancer and percussionist Batch Gueye, Gambian sabar drummer and vocalist Kaw Secka, Red Snapper collaborator Tom Challenger on sax and keys, Phil Stevenson on guitar, Johnny Brierley on bass, and drummer Dave Smith (Robert Plant, Juju).

Their critically acclaimed debut album 'Fofoulah', produced by Smith, was released on Glitterbeat Records in September 2014. They followed up this trailblazing album with some intense shows which led to an even more shapeshifting and adventurous album, ‘Daega Rek’ (meaning “The Truth”), released at the end of 2018, which is brought into sharp focus by the infectious rhythms and shamanic chants of Secka and vivid production of Challenger.

"FOFOULAH... are properly outlandish, teleporting the listener to some West African metropolis a hundred years in the future…this one’s fierce on every level.”         MOJO

Daega Rek pushes things a lot further [than Fofoulah’s first LP for Glitterbeat] … It’s dense music, humid with electronics and keys, and gives the surprising yet exciting impression of a band who were seeking after one thing but stumbled on something else entirely. Fofoulah have set sail toward an original” The Wire

One of the most progressive and innovative albums of this year … Electronica glitches through frightening and beautiful shamanic chants, quickfire sabar beats punch holes in your daily lives and fill them with futuristic melodies and Wolof tales. Everything shifts with such fluidity and shockingly raw power that any other music that you might care to listen to afterwards will seem limp and bland … Hip-hop dances with wild West African trance, jazz trips with electro lightning strikes and they come together in a sweeping embrace of different cultures. They are creating Worlds within Worlds.” Louder Than War

It is not an album to describe, it needs to be experienced, to allow the cross patterns and varying speeds to take you body and mind in different directions simultaneously. It is, however, an album that bears listening to time and again, learning as you go and grasping more of the deep heart and soul of the collective along the way. Open your mind and your heart and let this album in(vade).” **** Music-News

Fofoulah's follow-up album hasn’t just moved on but supersonically zoomed into the experimental void; even an esoteric, spiritual one at times … A ricocheting lunar-tropical bounding dub cosmology … On the ensemble’s most out-there of experimental dance albums, vague echoes and passing reverberations of R&B connect with roots, hip-hop with drum’n’bass, and the tribal with post-punk synthesized music as rhythms both rapid and chattering flutter with slower slurred ones and synthetic melodic atmospheres.” Monolith Cocktail

The core of the Fofoulah album is built around a suite of often convoluted and multi-directional beats, integrating a selection of instruments and samples, that either sit upon a core rhythm, stopping, starting and phasing in and out to build a canvas of melodies and abrupt rhythmic injections. Secka provides the narrative to this intricate and elaborate work. It’s he that turns the symphony into an opera, adding an emotional response to the music, and giving the music a sense of purpose and direction. Without his vocal, and there are instumental pieces here too, the music has an almost meditative complexity that almost reflect the human mind in its darting, flitting, randomised notation.” The Audiophile Man

It’s subtle, beckoning with its toes in the ancestral mud, but this is modern music, intriguing and well-textured” froots