REVIEW Manoo & Raoul K feat. Ahmed Sosso ‘Toukan EP’ [Innervisions]

Arguably one of the top releases of the year, Innervisions’s ‘Toukan EP’ is making waves. With two works by boss-man Dixon and one by Portuguese producer, Trikk, the three tracks are surely to be in every DJ’s record-box across the globe.

The track’s complimentary percussion, with kicks on the strong beat and shakers on the weak beat makes for an uninterrupted, strong sense of rhythm. The foreign vocals don’t fall within the traditional bar-line either, some lines are short, some lines are long and they sound slightly free form above the precise confines of the beat. Crashing symbols every 4-bars increase the sense of urgency, which is further heightened by claps. So far, the track’s greatness can only be measured on its well-developed sense of rhythm and build-up, but that’s only the beginning.

A dancey, up-beat and crisp keyboard melody begins, as does the horn-like synth line, growing in volume, intensity while decreasing in pitch. All the while the vocals continue with more force and conviction. A slight pause or suspension in almost every musical element beside the wailing horn causes our anticipation to build until it is met with the drop of all other musical components. At its height this track employs chorus vocals, and a synthesizer has adopted the rhythm previously played by the keyboard.

Dixon’s dub is another variation on the theme, but plays more toward the atmosphere of the music instead of highlighting the vocals. This version’s feel can be attributed more to the piano melody and lush percussion. Without the vocals the track is slightly more ambiguous in it’s tone letting the listener attribute any feeling or mood they choose.

Trikk’s powerhouse dub is the final variation and takes a darker twist. Completely void of vocals, this version is stripped down and bare. With barer percussion, we hear the echo of each beat more and with a harder attack. Booming synth notes chill straight to the bone, while the original soaring synth line warms us back up again.

The ‘Toukan EP’ was released on July 14th, 2017 on Innervisions. (Tess Daniella)