Kuar EP Kuar EP

EPs

Emmanuel Jal Emmanuel JalKuar EP

7 / 10

Emmanuel Jal Kuar EP INNERVISIONS (IV29, 12” + digital)

Emmanuel Jal is more political than musical, which is why there are people who prefer to see him more as a speaker rather that as a rapper: his way of talking and communicating goes way beyond hip-hop. In his native Sudan he was a (child) soldier, suffered hunger, war and pain, and once he was able to escape those horrors and settle in the UK, he took his experience towards spreading a message to try and make people aware of the things that are still going on in post-colonial Africa. He participated in solidarity projects alongside Coldplay and Radiohead, recorded a straightforward album on which all his memories of the frontline are reflected ( “Warchild”) and even acted in films like “Blood Diamond” alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Now, Jal appears on the Innervisions label with a house project where he has the freedom to relax and fuse African music with electronic sounds. Judging from Henrik Schwarz’s remix on this 12”, the harmonies and instruments come from a different part of Africa –Senegal or Nigeria rather than Sudan–, but those are irrelevant details on “Kuar”. This is not a record with anthropological purposes, it’s one to celebrate: after the pains purged on “Warchild”, it is now time for Jal to be thankful for living life –his own, and those of many who have been able to improve their living conditions thanks to his activism–, and that’s why this Afro-house banger is released with, apart from the Schwarz remix, a pleasant surprise on the B-side: Olof Dreijer, the sonic brain of The Knife, applies his geometric electronics and wooden rhythms to the original Afro break in order to create a similar experience to the records of his band. If The Knife are the soundtrack of the enchanted woods, here we have the feeling of being in the jungle, or on a savannah, ruled by ancestral spirits. Recommendable from start to finish.

Richard Ellmann

Emmanuel Jal - Kuar (Henrik Schwarz Remix)

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