Monsterboy sound man, BankyOndBeatz, has announced the release of his much talked about all-female January 7 EP, titled Fuego Senoras. The title means Fire Ladies in Spanish.
Niniola and former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Munachi Abi (alias Muna), feature on the project. It showcases “rising Nigerian stars based in different parts of the world”, in the forms of Lady Donli and Deena O from the UK, Eli from Canada, Nigerian based DJ Yin and “femcee”, AT.
The EP “subtly addresses the much talked about social issue of Gender Equality that is said to be present in the entertainment industry as there are whispers of inadequate opportunities for female music talents”.
BankyOndBeatz, through this EP, “iconically tackles this phenomenon head on, by collaborating with only female artistes”. This game changer comes after his last effort, the mixtape, Legendary Reflections.
“Intro” is mournful, though maybe with the redemptive joy of a gospel church. This is very much a mission statement, putting forward the EP’s message of gender equality.
It’s then onto “New Things”, featuring Muna, which has ringing stabs of keyboard chord so deep it’s disorientating. The click and clap of the drum furthers the infectious, addictive vibe of the track. Deep, processed voices help lend the impression that you’ve landed on another planet, another dimension.
You then “Come Through”, featuring Eli, which has a similarly natured backdrop. It swirls with a chorus-like effect, deep booming bass bottomless. There’s not the disorientating aspect, and therefore it’s more positive than somehow menacing. That processed industrial drum hits moodily, really getting the head nodding.
“Fale Comigo”, featuring Lady Donli, has raspy, shaking percussion and that, what appears to be now, the signature sound of swirling synth. There’s a tad of disorientation, primarily accordion that could pass for organ, and vice versa.
The listener is then implored to explore their “Heart Desire”, which features DJ Yin and has that ringing ethereal vibe to it with prominent percussion and busy drum. There appears to be a hint of saxophone apparent, too. It’s explosive in some respects, militarily regimented and coming skyward like fireworks set off. A deep masculine voice, processed, ends the track.
Stopover, “Skit”, featuring Sippie Wallace, is short with, in turn, a deep feminine voice, processed. She appears to be singing an old standard, the vocals absolutely alien when hitting those high notes. Almost disconcerting.
There’s then a “Take Over”, featuring Deena O, which has moody, infectious rhythms locking in with triumphant horn. The former, of course, driving the whole thing, until an intermission to focus on other elements and let the whole thing breathe. The closing minute sees everything stripped back before jumping right back in, again. The whole thing has a real swing to it.
“Ago Alago”, featuring Niniola, swirls ethereal, ascending heavenwards. Then a rewinding and fast forwarding effect brings things to a halt. The track then starts from scratch, pursuing a whole new tangent.
Spare a thought, a relatively deep one, for “Pensive”. Featuring AT, it has a totally different tempo to it. Yes, the backdrop stays primarily in line with what’s already established. The drums, though, more immediate and urgent, implore a faster delivery. Hanging by the seat of your pants, kind of thing. The closing minute’s sedate, but not for long as the high octane click and clap of the drum shake you from the reverie.
Fuego Senoras ends things with “Fale Comigo (Instrumental)”. It’s here it’s noticed the drums are tribal, but more, perhaps, to do with lines drawn on street corners than on the sand. Some of it seems almost hard and industrial, some of it evoking being shipwrecked on a remote tropical island.
Points of note on this release are “New Things”, “Fale Comigo”, “Take Over”, “Pensive” and “Fale Comigo (Instrumental)”. Looking at the composition of the EP, and how it comes together as a whole, you notice there’s rarely more than a single track between all said points of note. Track two, track four, a slightly bigger gap come track seven, then the double whammy of track nine and track ten.
The EP proper, “New Things”, has a disorientating feel, one which seems to take one to another place entirely. You just about forget where you are. This works in conjunction with the click and clap of the drum. Infectious and addictive. Its deep, processed voices help lend the impression that you’ve, indeed, landed on another planet, another dimension.
Two tracks later, “Fale Comigo”, has raspy, shaking percussion and that’s so satisfying. It’s at this point you come across what appears to be, now, the signature sound of swirling synth. There’s a tad of disorientation as experienced in the aforementioned, and this’s via accordion that could pass for organ, and vice versa.
The slightly longer gap of three tracks after, “Take Over”, has moody, infectious rhythms locking in with the triumph of horn. An intermission to focus on other elements, and let the whole thing breathe, occurs. The closing minute sees everything stripped back before jumping right back in, again. Deconstruction, reconstruction. The whole thing has a real swing to it, too.
A single song interval and you get “Pensive”. The selection of this one primarily centres round the fact the pace is so much more up-tempo that it really stands out. It works, too. The beat necessitates a faster delivery, hanging by the seat of your pants is the best way to convey this aural thriller. There’s then sedate moments, but the subsequent span of the song’s duration shakes the reverie. Satisfying.
The closing track, coming straight after, is “Fale Comigo (Instrumental)”. It’s here it’s noticed the drums are tribal, perhaps buried in the mix in its prior incarnation. There’s a real sense of location where it seems to evoke lines drawn on street corners than on the sand of a desert island. There’s a good mix of hard and industrial, on top of the more picturesque and organic.
BankyOndBeatz has what appears to be a signature sound in most of the tracks presented here. Sometimes it gets repetitive, and other times there’s enough of an expert variation on it that a comforting sense of familiarity is prevalent without getting bored. BankyOndBeatz’s Fuego Senoras EP can be heard on iTunes here.
Also visit his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages to keep tabs on BankyOndBeatz.
Words by Andrew Watson