Sinkane, the moniker of London born Ahmed Gallab, has a long history of traveling the world and working with some of the best musicians. Whether on tour or in studio, he’s been a contributor to acts like Of Montreal, Caribou, and Yeasayer. His work as the musical director of Atomic Bomb! Band, a project that performed the works of the legendary William Onyeabor, had Gallab at his funkiest working with members of Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, Antibalas, and guest musicians including David Byrne, Damon Albarn, and many more. It’s safe to say that Gallab knows a thing or two about making great music.
Gallab has been cultivating his extraordinary talent by amassing so many different styles under his belt that it’s no surprise that Sinkane has gravitated towards genre hopping perfection. On albums Mars and Mean Love, style embraces an irresistible mix of far reaching influences that work surprisingly well together. The guitars weave through melodies like krautrock jams while the bass comes straight out of the best experimental funk, and it’s all layered on the liberty of free form jazz. There are actually so many more snippets of genre influences in his work that he creatively brings together with an exquisite intricacy.
That ear for musical complexity is incredibly apparent on his latest album, Life & Livin’ It. While the album still manages to bring in a variety of sounds into its structure, there is an undeniable emphasis on a Sudanese pop vibe that verges on the edge of psychedelic spectrum. It’s that fun and stands as the most cohesive and succinct Sinkane record, lending itself to the collaborative nature of Gallab and his band while maintaining his deft leadership. Nearly every song urges your to dance your butt off and have fun with the endless sense of positivity and optimism that beams from their instrumentation and lyrics. “Everything is fine, we’re all gonna be alright” sings Gallab on “U’huh” and it feels just right.
Sinkane’s Chicago tour stop will take place on February 23rd at the wonderful Lincoln Hall. Tickets are $15 for this perfect opportunity to see just how entertaining and electrifying he and his band are live. Life & Livin’ It is currently available on your favorite streaming services and for purchase at your fine local record store or on his website. Get the albums, tickets to the show, and start living that fun life.